grant (842) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - SEP 28, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown with impressive light brown head formation and retention. Interesting aroma - some fairly prominent crystal malts light citric hops and a weird wet leaf/pumpkin aroma that I don’t care for. Flavor is much more in line with what I’d expect. Somehow the roasted malt notes stay subdued and integrate with the bright, juicy citric hop flavors fairly well. There are problems with the citric acidity and the roast being a bit overwhelming together .This is sort of the same concept as Drake’s Expedition, only the hops come through more prominently in the flavor here, although the Drakes is more drinkable. I do love this concept though. Sharply carbonated finish; a richer, creamier palate would have helped here.
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - SEP 28, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Aroma of some roasted malt, some smokiness, citrus hops undertones. The flavor is a mostly the roasted malt up front, followed by piney / fruit rind bitterness and bitter chocolate malt. Lingering bitter finish.
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 28, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: AUG 26, 2008 Bottle from Whole Foods in Vienna, VA. Pours a cola brown with a tan head. Aroma of Fruity hops, nuts, and roast. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Initial flavor of dark malts and sap that transitions to an aggressive grapefruit and pine bitterness. Bitter finish is dry with notes of peanut shells and grapefruit rind. This tastes a little green to me. I am also not a fan of dark roast blended with aggressive bitterness. I hope this will improve with some cellar time, so that the flavors can meld. Now I just need to find another bottle so I can find out.
I opened one of these in June 2008, and the hop presence is still there, and the flavors have melded, improving this a bit in my book. I am still not loving the concept of a Black IPA , but one year is better than fresh for me. I wish I had another to cellar for another year, but we do not get many cases in Nashville
CASK VERSION WITH WET SIMCOE HOPS. Totally different beer and should be allowed on a beer database, but I guess Stone is not in the UK. Greg Koch was nice enough to grab me a pint. Pours dark brown with a light beige creamy head. Great fruity wet hop aroma. Medium to light bodied with a creamy texture and soft carbonation. Taste? Wow. All of the flavors melded nicely on this one. The tame malt backbone of milk chocolate and caramel really blends nicely with the mellowed hop bitterness. The finish is semi dry with subtle accents of roast. No alcohol whatsoever. Very British in character, but with a bit more texture and complexity. Outstanding beer, and one of the best ones of RBSG. Too bad this has to be buried in another rating. A-8 A-5 F-9 P-5 O-19
kdrobb2k (24) - Willingboro, New Jersey, USA - SEP 28, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
First whiff off the bottle was stunning. Pours a dark black with a short but lasting head. Borders on a porter in appearance. Piney with a mild chocolate flavor. The sweet hoppy flavor comes through along with the smooth IPA type mouth feel. Some pleasant bitterness lingers on the tongue. Stone has out done itself on this one. Better than the 10th.
jason (1834) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 28, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a deep brown/ light black body with nice head. Aroma is hops, hops, hops. As that smell passes I can smell the coffee, grapes. Flavor is complex. Noticable are the hops which aren’t too strong but more of a dominant flavor with a nice roasty feel one would get from a Stout. Low carbonation with a sweet malt backbone. I think this one would be an intresting one to age. Very good beer.
JahNoth (1039) - Rochester, New York, USA - SEP 28, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tangerine aroma - strong amarilo presence. Dark ruby in color with a thick, creamy head. Explosive hop flavor with a twang of sweet malt and some dark crystal. Rich and creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol builds as it warms. A real nice beverage.
AllAboutStout (605) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 28, 2007
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a dark brown with a very nice frothy head. Smell is piney, citrusy hops. Taste is pretty much the same, with a little bit of roasted malt to balance it out. And it truly is a very well balanced beer. The frothy head stuck around for the duration while drinking. An enjoyable and easy drinking brew.
Wegro (332) - Fresno, California, USA - SEP 27, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Wholefoods for $4.50. pours a deep black, some ruby if held up to the light. Big fat tan head leaves tons of lacing all over. Smells of green hops and lots of it, with a little alcohol if you get a good whiff. This is one of the hoppiest beers I’ve had in a long time. And it takes a LOT for me to say that. Tastes initially of hops, the grapefruity kind and the underlying malt leaves some dark chocolate to go along with the quite bitter finish. I’m not huge on double IPAs but I could get used to this "dark" ipa thing! The malt doesn’t overshadow the hops (this thing has so much hops, i wonder what the IBU on this shit is) but it gives it the backbone it needs and adds complexity. I knew I should pick up a bottle of this before it was too late. Complex, unique, hoppy, highly alcoholic, what else do you want???
pforei (338) - USA - SEP 27, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at Hop Devil. Trappist style glass. Dark black color and dark beige head. Looks like a stout. But the aroma is perfume, floral, and grapefruit hops. There is a little chocolate and coffee to go along with the strong pine/citrus hop taste. But there also is some weird fruit taste that I can’t put my finger on. Medium to full bodied. Despite the hop content, the finish is surprisingly smooth and not overly bitter.
beerguy101 (5356) - Newark, California, USA - SEP 27, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This American Strong Ale pours a deep black color from a 22oz bottle. Medium to large sized beige foamy head, with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma is big juicy grapefruity and piney hops with some chocolate malts in the background. A medium bodied ASA. The malts are roasted and chocolate, with a hint of coffee. The hops are intense, lots of grapefruit and pine. Bitter, but not overly so, it has a interesting interplay between the hops and the chocolate malts. Lively carbonation. Touch of alcohol at the finish. Interesting beer. I will be waiting to see how this one ages. I think I need to stock up… Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and dry.