dmac (5599) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12 oz bottle from Buy-Rite Jersey City. Pours a reddish/brown with a huge tight bubbly head that after some setteling turns more foamy yet lasts the entire beer. Aroma is loads of grapefruit rind, chcolate and bubble gum. The body is very full with assertive carbonation and a foamy mouthfeel that finishes super bitter. The flavor is slightly smoother then the aroma with lots of big juicy citrus notes followed to a lesser extent by some raosted malts and slight chocolate flavors. Despite being a solid beer once I realized that this was a "black IPA" I once again got my hopes up thinking of Stone XI only to find out that this one pales in comparision.
tastybeer (1853) - Indiana, USA - DEC 4, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is one hell of a beer. Pours brown with a thick light brown head. Tastes like chocolate, spice, and hops. You can taste the alcohol but very balanced with the malt. Very drinkable strong ale.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2009
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark burgundy with a dense lovely looking light tan head. Aroma is equall as lovely. Hints of juicy fruit (that’s a brand of gum in case you think I have lost it), caramel, pine and roasted malts. Flavor is quite nice but not as good as the aroma. The biggest surprise to me is the balance of hop-malt-alcohol that is achieved. Rare is the beer that accomplishes this deft balance. The palate is medium, a bit slick in the mouth, but still quenching, in a god-damn its cold outside kind of way.
mar (5248) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 3, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Forgot who brought this blutt59 perhaps. Deep amber with a cream head. Big grapefruit hops and not much else on the nose. Nice on the palate with a big grapefruit hop flavor and a bitter finish.
LtDan (1806) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - DEC 2, 2009
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Appearance: Pours a dark ruby with a thick frothy beige head. Leaves tons of lacing.
Aroma: Chocolate malt, orange, grapefruit, and spicy herbal hops.
Taste: Biter citrusy hops and dark chocolate. Makes for an amazing combo.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, moderately carbonated. A tad sticky maybe.
Overall: I was really impressed with this beer. Whether it be ’An American Strong Ale’ or a Black IPA, this beer rocks. I want to take an educated guess and say drink this beer fresh due to that wonderful citrusy hop profile.
carruthm (1401) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 1, 2009
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle. hearty hoppy bitter flavor, dark ruby color. Flavor doesn’t wane over time. Aroma isn’t very malty and palate is sticky bitter.
TAR (2677) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - DEC 1, 2009
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Deep speckled auburn. Voluminous dirty-white head clings to the glass as it slowly settles. Unclean aroma of plasticlike phenols, leafy hops, plum, raisin, caramel malt (instant iced tea), pinesap and grapefruit pith. Quite yeasty with strong scents of chalk and dough. Touch of earthy roast. Soft carbonation. Influx of tacky resins generate substantial weight as they combine with the oversweet and tealike caramel malt, upfront. Resin envelops the tongue, suppressing any bright and delicate hop flavors that might otherwise emerge. Notes of tobacco fuse with a pleasingly earthy blend of earthy roast and cocoa, but many of the malt textures and vivid definition succumbs to the unyielding caramel. Hops are overly acidic, throughout. Pervasive grapefruit further contributes to the body’s flabbiness, though perceptible notes of pine emerges and cleans things up by slightly augmenting the dryness. Intensely spicy and piney, and the chalky/doughy notes link up with distant hop-derived aspirin notes to pummel the juiciness with a raspy astringency. Alcohol and the high concentration of residual sugars creates a medicinal effect toward the finish, which showcases an intense medley of juniper, pinesap and candied pecans. A mixed bag. If they ditch the caramel malt, altogether, and clean up the fermentation (doughy/chalky yeast plagues this, as is the case with many Victory beers) this could be pretty respectable. Hops are also far too brash/resinous, acidic and leafy rather than soft and succulent. Kudos for leaving it unfiltered, though!
cbkschubert (2901) - BFE, Arizona, USA - DEC 1, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz. bottle via trade with j12601 - Pours a clear brown color with a two finger thick light tan head that took its time to settle. Light lacing. Aroma is floral, pine, and herbal hops. Flavor is fruity sweet hops. Surprisingly, the finish is somewhat smooth and non-astringent. Medium body. A very nice beer. Thanks Jay.
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 1, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle from Olive Tree market. Pours a reed reddish brown with a fluffy beige head, nice lacing coated the tulip. Nose was very juicy with tons of citrus and toasted malt. Flavor hold some assertive hop bitterness followed by some citrus peel and some caramel malts, finished with medium- high bitterness.
DavidHawman (24) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 1, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2010 Poured a deep red with a brown head. Aroma is strongly of hops with a caramel sweetness. Taste is great with strong hops, the dark malts, caramel and some cinnamon with a slight bitter finish. Alcohol is hidden extremely well. Palate is great as well with slight carbonation. Overall a very good beer with an ABV that sneaks up on you.