footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - MAR 4, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from shp555, thanks Steve. Pours a copper-amber with just a bit of creamy foam. Kind of resembled a toned down IIPA with the hoppiness but after a I had a few sips then some of the complexity arose and the malt took over. Not a bad brew at all
cgarvieuk (12877) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 30, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at Toms Glasgow tasting 2 ... Deep brown ... high american hop ... lots of american hop ... lots of citrus... in blind test you would not guess the colour.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 15, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 16, 2007 The color is a nice brown and i use the basic term "brown" intentionally as itís not a shade of brown in this instance; its not "chestnut", its not "burnt Sienna", its not "Dark Copper"; its just plain, "brown".
The nose has some interesting depth...at first you get the background thickness of the darker malt...but softly sneaking in is this thicker, molasses-like hop essence, immediately followed by a nostril clearing alcohol heat.
Once sipped though, it certainly changes shape. Pine-sap like hops are poured over a chocolaty but slightly grainy & muddled backdrop..the bitterness clings, sharply...moving towards the back of the throat and leaving it grasping for wetness.
Kevin (2028) - Colorado, USA - SEP 18, 2007
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAY 9, 2009 christ i need to take shorter notes this is getting sad. o.k. here goes, bottle:
i have a new nephew as of today. hereís to the little fucker. i drink this dark brown ruby hued beer with a lasting milkshake like head to you little man. hoppy nose, really sweet smelling with oranges and honey and a touch of cream. aaahh bitter flavor, roastiness in a very small way. grassy bite on the back of my tongue, citrus on the sides. some mint flavor is in here too. it would be cool if this had promise as one to cellar, but itís all hops & i canít see this being as good in 7 or 8 years when the kid is old enough for a beer, oh well. iím looking forward to the balanced ipa vs. underattenuated arguments, but i donít see it with this one it is all hops. itís aggressive and unapologetic, as likely the child will be. hop heads are going to be happy, damn this makes my lips burn some, and that is kind of impressive and cool. now i just need to figure out why they gave the poor kid 4 names??
5 6 7 2 14
hmm, new notes:
very dark deep brown with a white head. strong hop nose that allows a caramel & hint of chocolate pine sherry lemon grass flavor, some coconut, but the bitter hop dominates. finishes with an odd cloying fruitness. a bitío nickel, but a nice overall hop flavor that is not out of place
4 7 5 2 8 =2.5
Ty5592 (1018) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 22, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: NOV 6, 2007 Bottle from Vidalia.$7.39 without tax. Black with brown edges. Thin lacing type head. Strong hoppy aroma. The taste was of piney hops. Slighty oily texture. Robust flavor. Funny, when you look at this beer you canít imagine that it tastes the way it does. I like 10th much better.
clingman71 (297) - Centerville, Ohio, USA - SEP 24, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 27, 2009 Bottle, Deep brown with off-white/tannish head. very roasty flavor, ot malty sweet but grainy. a decent hop aroma. The unique combination of grains and malts with IPA style hopping had me expecting more. it has an over abundance of hop bitterness without enough hop flavor/complexity to balance the bitterness. It is an ok beer worth trying, but didnít blow me away.
kmweaver (3204) - Petaluma, California, USA - SEP 25, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle. Pours a dark cola color; light tan head with solid retention and lacing. Piney and citrus hops in the aroma, with a nice wet resiny character to the pine; the malt presence is underplayed at this point, showing only mild licorice and dull caramel notes; you can get from aroma alone that this will benefit with some age behind it. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: this feels kind of tight and tannic in the mouth at first, with a sharp pine / citrus hoppiness and a very reserved malt presence; taste follows the nose; thereís some watery coffee and roasted malts in there, but this just doesnít come together quite yet; the maltís weak and the hops are slightly astringent; an unremarkable american strong ale. Give it some time. Medium, piney hop and cola finish; dry and mildly astringent towards the end.
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
hellomynameis (874) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - SEP 29, 2007
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Lots o hops in the aroma, but not like an IPA. Lots of up front hops and bitterness, pretty one sided and not very interesting. Still good though.
mkgrenwel (539) - Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 23, 2007
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Big smoky chocolatey malt, standing up against a good amount of hops, but not insane amounts. Bitterness overwhelms everything. Itís hard to tell if that bitterness is just from hops, or if itís a malt issue. Smoky, but a bit more like ash and charcoal than smoked malt. Sweetness is knocked out quick with the bitterness. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and dense. Big alcohol burn all over the mouth. Stone has not been hiding the alcohol well, particularly on the anniversary beers. Mouthfeel: check. Complexity: moderate. Balance: lacking. Alcohol burn: present and accounted for. A noble experiment, but not much of a crafted beer. Just an idea executed competently but not expertly.