Beeronaut (176) - Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - JUL 7, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Although I have already rated this beer, I did so from memory and basic field notes. So, in the name of fairness and total legitimacy, I’ve decided to rate this great beer again with it right in front of me - the only side note being: that this, I assume is a new batch, as I first tasted the beer a year ago, and the place I get it from has only just restocked it, along with the new 2010 Old Guardian Barley Wine. So here goes: What an aroma! This beer has a nose that is just sensational. So much to take in - be in no doubt, this may look like a stout, pouring black with red hues at the edge of the glass, but it’s big IIPA hops to the fore! Along with highly resinous, earthy smelling hops there’s some grapefruit, loads of caramel and toffee, treacle, pepper - almost a note of celery... There’s also a good bit of sweetness in the background reminiscent of candy-floss or boiled sweets. Flavour is pretty darn mental. First up the hops definitely do the talking with loads of resinous flavours, bordering on rubber/leather, then there’s is an element of smoke and mineral, a truly roasted, pretty much charcoal bitterness. There are also ark fruit flavours such as bitter plum and blackberry, though without much citric tartness, having said that though, there is still a flavour reminiscent of grapefruit. There are some sweeter notes, once again more candied than anything else, I want to avoid using words like "chocolate" and "coffee" as that would be too easy under the circumstances, as it may look black, but this is no stout. The finish is big BIG bitterness ( you could almost mistake the bitterness for espresso, but it’s most definitely alpha acids bringing the hit) More charcoal and wet stones/slate in the finish also, with the tiniest hint of fruit. Finish has considerable length, almost like a great mature cheddar. I have to admit, I’ve hardly even scratched the surface as far as the complexity of this beer is concerned. But rest assured it has many levels to investigate, and shall reward any experimenter handsomely if you spend the necessary time with it. Truly wicked beer!
muteprint (176) - Olympia, Washington, USA - SEP 13, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
22 oz bottle. Dark slightly thick black color with a brown head that laces the glass. Aroma is full of IPA hops along with mild coffee and dark chocolate. The taste masks the high ABV completely but this beer will definitely warm your insides. Its hard to describe just how this beer tastes... Sweet hoppy bitterness at the start and a dry chocolate porter finish. Amazing complex beer that I am very glad to have been able to drink!
thagr81_us (175) - Gaffney, South Carolina, USA - MAY 18, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Served from bottle into a Spaten mug. Pours dark dark brown almost black with a one-finger light tan head. The aroma is mainly of a slight hoppy note. The flavor on the other-hand is of weak hops with a subtle nutty flavor. It was medium on the palate with low carbonation. There was no apparent lacing. Overall this is a very nice brew as with most Stone’s. Definitely worth trying if you have not before...
ReademNwheat (174) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
From a 22oz bottle. Pours a dark murky color with a nice off white head. Aroma of piney hops and roasted malts. Flavors is very hoppy with notes of pine, slight citrus and roasty malts. Very tasty brew.
udflyerfan07 (173) - Dayton, Ohio, USA - AUG 27, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber from Belmont in Dayton, OH. Poured a very very dark brown, almost black color. Nice looking ale. Aroma of bread, nuts, ect. Very bold taste for an ale. Extremely smooth beer, taste boarding on that of a porter. Highly recommended.
WolfsBlood84 (172) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - JAN 13, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber and on tap. This bottle is WAY FRESH and it shows! Pours a dark, dark brown - pretty much black, with a billowy tannish head that stays. Fantastic, thick lacing. Aroma is big grapefruit, piney, citrusy hops, chocolate, malt, roasty malt. Taste is chocolate, malt, grapefruit, piney hops, really fresh and ending with a long lasting tingly bitterness. The mouthfeel is very full-bodied and well rounded, with medium to medium low carbonation. In a word, Delicious.
essexcalf (172) - Essex, ENGLAND - OCT 20, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask at GBBF, 7/8/12. Opaque brown. Aroma - Grapefruit, quite piney, grassy, aromatic spiciness, hops, bit of grape, bit roasty/choc malt. Taste - Very piney, terpene flavours. Grapefruit flavours, but little bitterness. Bit of a spicy tang, but mainly sweetish. Bit choc malt. Good balance of darker, sweet malts & grapefruit, piney & aromatic hops. Body is medium-thick, slightly syrupy, soft.
Keil (171) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 5, 2011
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma is luscious, fruity, floral hops. Slightly citrusy notes combine with the roasted chocolate flavors of the malt. Smells delicous. Pours a dark brown with a big off white head. Taste is roasted malt immediately on the front, slightly chocolate. Follows up with a huge hop punch. Really coats your mouth with flavor. Lingering bitterness. Surprising amount of hop character for as powerful as the malt still is. Best black IPA I’ve tasted.
EHouse (170) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 18, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
An opaque brick of ebony sits sublimely in my glass with a nice head of tan. You can smell the hops right after popping the cap: smells like a pine forest full of sweaty men (As strange as it sounds I smell a hint of BO/cheese). A perfect medium body of coffee, bittersweet chocolate and a hint of sweetness. Finishes long and tingly with spicy pine and all that glorious hoppy bitterness. I’m amazed how balanced this is considering how hoppy it gets in the finish. A solid Cascadian!
raiderfost (170) - virginia beach, Virginia, USA - NOV 10, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 27, 2016 WOW!!!!!!!! This is heaven. Poured a rich dark brown with a light brown head. I was instantly overcome by the aroma of hops that no other IPA could recreate.The next 20 minutes were amazing! I have to get more of this! Thank you GandGKevin.