Wolfenkopf (186) - Villa Park, Illinois, USA - FEB 9, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
The hoppy aroma is so intense, you’re eyes will water. Just behind it is a malt that smells similar to a strong rye bread. The mixture of the two sensations is unusual and amazing. The head is off-white and fades after a time. The brew is a dark caramel, letting only the slightest light pass through. The taste is unapologetic in its extreme hoppyness. The malt’s rye quality is right there to back it up. Silky and milky on the palate, the bitterness of the hops continues into the aftertaste, but does not take anything away from your enjoyment.
reverendj (185) - Brunswick, Georgia, USA - SEP 18, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
It ain’t bragging if you can back it up and that’s what Stone has done. Would one think it weird if it was called a midnight IPA? Big aroma of malty chocolate and fruit. First impression is one of bitter chocolate malt followed by a judicious hop bite. Very creamy mouth akin to a nice imperial stout. Another home run by one of my favorite breweries.
saintjulien (185) - - JUL 7, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
coffee, roasty, grass, herbs, soy sauce, black, brown foam, light sweetness, very bitter, lightly sour, full body, slick feel, average carbonation, bitter
dolemite77 (184) - Maryville, Tennessee, USA - APR 19, 2008
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Stone does another winner. Very interesting beer, because it is stout black, with a comparable head. Big, frothy and tan. Smell is reminiscent of Arrogant Bastard, but with the roasted overtones of the dark malt. Flavor is hops obviously (Stone’s specialty)- but with a rich chocolate malt background that is missing in the bastard series, or ruination series. Bottle was 8 months old when I had it, and I guess it would age well, as that is the suggestion. I’m not sure I would consider this an aging beer (of course, I never keep any around long enough to officially call them "cellared"). I will absolutely make another trip to pick up some more of these. Beers like this (both in quality and style) are not easy to find.
ElDuderino (184) - Hyde Park, Massachusetts, USA - APR 28, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Deep Ellum. Body is black with very little light at the corners. A tall creamy tan head had good resiliency and leaves spotty lacing. The nose and initial flavor is full of fresh crisp hops, with citrus peel, grapefruit and watery pine notes. The body feels heavy on the tongue, roasty and malty with lots of toasted nuts and chewy bread, but the hops and the carbonation carry this beer. I sometimes think Stone’s carbonation detracts from the beer, being too lively and acting as a thinning agent on my pallate, but it works to their advantage with this beer and allows the hops to break through the roasty body and come alive. Really nice.
ManvsCity (183) - Redmond, Washington, USA - JUL 29, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A flavorful black IPA that is light on the tongue and creamy-rich at the same time. From a bomber & on tap at Neighborhood San Diego. The pour is 99% solid black, with a Coke-a-Cola mouse of a head and spotty lacing. Friendly aromas of dark caramel, wet hay, and truffles. There’s a toasted sugar sweetness to the taste, but melded with a West Coast style IPA citrus and floral character. The dry finish lingers, but refreshes at the same time. A wonderful example of the style.
MannyGoldberg (182) - The big bad LDN, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 1, 2012
3.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Based on it’s status as top ranked black IPA on here I’d been looking forward to trying this out. An extremely pleasant beer but lacking the hop attack I like in my preferred black IPAs. Not much on the nose but reassuring malty sweetness. Overall I’d rate any of the three Kernel black IPAs released so far ahead of this brew. None of those are in the top 50 though, go figure!
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
julieimagery (182) - Coconut creek, Florida, USA - AUG 10, 2012
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had on tap at Yardhouse and it is phenomenal. The blend of smoothness with bitterness of the IPA is perfect. Would like to try it in bottle.
HopHeadinAZ (180) - Arizona, USA - SEP 7, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle: Pours a deep dark brown almost black with nice finger plus of tan head. The aroma is sweet, with nice hope presence but not like a west coast IPA. I get roast, some chocolate and almost a hint of smoke. It feels really nice in you mouth, almost creamy but the finish is a little harsh with a hop bite. Great lacing as the beer drains from the glass. Unusual but a good change for Stone on this Anniversary effort.
Nel (180) - Virginia, USA - NOV 7, 2007
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours out a extremely dark brown with a light red hue. Nose is mostly hops with some pine and a bit of malt. Flavor is hoppy, too hoppy in my opinion. Once the hoppiness dies down you get roast and citrusy acidic notes. I really wanted to like this beer, but it’s so unbalanced and it’s a bit too raw even for stone. This one seems unfinished. It’s just not that pleasant to drink.