jmuhops (669) - Winchester, Virginia, USA - NOV 11, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2006 Pours a very nice brown/dark ruby with a small but beautiful head. Very malty/caramel aroma. Surprisingly smooth, not too overpowering. Little alcohol burn. Very nice.
UPDATE: More alcohol flavor than I remember. -1 overall. pineypower (3346) - Ocean County, New Jersey, USA - NOV 11, 2004
Pours out a nice ruby color with tiny reminants of a lacing head. It has a malty aroma with noticible notes of alcohol on the nose. The taste is very complex but not overpowering like one might expect from the high gravity. Malty flavor at first with notes of fruit and a nice bitter hoppy finish. One huge beer! giarcsr (104) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 8, 2004
2004 batch. This is like the best smelling beer ever. It is mellower on the apricot taste then AB with a sweet roasty malt, caramel flavor. At 10% the alcohol taste isn’t too overpowering, definetly warms you up going down. Overall one of Stones better beers. HopalotCassidy (12) - Indiana, USA - NOV 8, 2004
Grapes and Cherries over black coffee
Sweet warming middle. Full rich palate and a long crisp finish.
Certainly a beer to be savoured.
Am still a bigger fan of their 7th anniversary and Epic 03 (2003 was good year for Stone) Hopgeek (90) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 8, 2004
2004 Release. Deep garnet red in color and makes a slight offwhite coloured head. Smell is sweet and rich of roasty malt, thick molasses, caramel and worty. Flavor is also richly sweet, nutty, caramel, molasses, roasty malt, well balanced hop bitterness comes through, alcoholic bite. This one is full bodied, thick and syrupy on the palate, very warming on the way down. This is awesome.
Saarlander (1686) - Saarlouis, GERMANY - NOV 7, 2004
A wonderful beer, taste was rich, but not too much of an aftertaste. Dark ruby color, Alcohol taste, but not in a bad way, as good as most strong ales I’ve tried, Malty, enough bitterness, very well balanced, Great beer! jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - NOV 6, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2004 Clear red/brown color with a medium tan head. Sweet malty aroma with a lot of hops in the background. Flavor of malt
and caramel initially, then the hops take over on the finish along with a nice alcohol presence. ragesaq (71) - Arizona, USA - NOV 6, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 14, 2006 2004 bomber: Wow! That was my first impression. Having been a long fan of Stone Beer I had high expections but not really sure what to expect.
Aroma is a fruitierwith a hint of spiced candied fruit.
Flavor is sweeter than the arrogant bastard, more blended and balanced, an almost spiced kick behind the most delicious malt flavor ever.
High in alcohol, but not quite as prominante in taste compared to the ABA.
Once you adjust to how powerful this ale is, its pure beer indulgence.
Second bottle a few days later further improved my opinion of this beer.
Top it all off with one of the coolest bottle designs I have ever seen. Padron4KM (810) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - NOV 6, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2007 2004 bottle
Pours a beautiful orangey red, with a small reddish tan head that dissipates quickly. spotty lace left behindverymerrymonk (413) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 5, 2004
Aroma is sweet fruits and flowery hops.
flavor is sweet, creamy then grapefruity, then sweet candied fruit, then citrusy, ending with a ruby red grapefruit with a spoonful of sugar finish.
The kind of taste that leaves your tongue tingling and your lips smacking for more.
alcohol is well hidden.
That is until you finish the bottle.
05 version sampled in 07. aroma is loaded with caramel and fruit. Hops are still evident in the flavor, balanced by sweet malt and subtle fruitiness. Long grapefruit finish still intact. This baby has really held up well. Wish I had more because I don’t think it is anywhere near it’s peak.
07 version is a little less assertive in the beginning, but after it warms for a bit the hops really shine. ABV is extremely well hidden yet again. I have a case this year, so I should be able to cellar a some.
2004 bottle: A dark brown body with a huge, fluffy tan head. Aroma is huge: fresh hops, sweet fruit, and alcohol. Flavor is slightly sweet, followed by an awesome, dominating, bitter kick and finishes dry. I will have to stock up on this one while it is available.