Grumbo (3183) - Ipswich, Suffolk, ENGLAND - AUG 22, 2017 BeerBelcher (972) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 15, 2010
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
I’m always a little intrigued when a friend describes something as a "black IPA," bit usually a little on the disappointed side when I try it. Both descriptors set an expectation that is a touch contradictory; something that is hoppy-sweet and citrusy while at the same time roasty and malty. The two tastes are powerful ones, and balance between the two is frequently perceived by me as a touch boring. And RIS’s that shout about their hop content don’t usually taste hoppy to me - just too much going on to pick up the more nuanced note of bitterness, even if they dumped bushels of high-alpha hops into the mix, my tongue just can’t seem to enjoy them for everything else going on.
Wow - that is a long lead in to say that this beer is unique to say that it does this integration very well. It pulls off the balancing act without being boring; in fact it pulls it off so well it does the opposite - this beer is intriguing. It is dark and there is a dark-roasty-malt note to it, but it is also lightly sweet and citrus-y with pronounced bitterness. Both notes are there, but Stone has figured a way to make them play well together. If anything, the hops are more pronounced than the roast, which is the outcome I would’ve chosen (if given a choice). Appearance is quite pretty with a black-red body and tall white head. Aroma is as I’ve described flavor, and mouthfeel is like a solid IPA - not slick like a DIPA might be or cloying like a RIS frequently is.
All the way around - this is a heck of a beer, and I need to see if I can find some of it here in C-bus.
I bought my bottle down in KY, at Party Source in Newport.
Bottle, UK import, source not recorded. Backlog entry. Entering my historic scores for US beers whilst visiting New York. No tasting notes kept, just rating. But it was very good! oobawa (1508) - Tennessee, USA - MAR 21, 2017
Pours a gorgeous deep black underneath a giant beige head leaving tons of lace. Nose is citrus-mocha, roasted and fruity with a notable hoppy back. Taste walks the line between hoppy porter and black IPA (as do most entrants in the style), with a huge roasted malt base topped by loads of citric-pine hop madness. Mild sweetness gets quickly overrun by the massive waves of resinous, clingy hop vitriol. Good but a bit abrasive. (5/2011) Rumbero (86) - Miami, Florida, USA - NOV 2, 2016
this review is for a 2013 model, so more than 3 years old. didn’t expect much since I’ve had it fresh and its amazing. but found this and gave it a shot. - pours opaque brown with minimal crema-like colored thin head. on the nose, dates, plums, stale wet cardboard, some umami and soy sauce. not good.
taste is muted roasted malts, toffee, molasses with off-flavors of wet cardboard. bitterness is still prominent but in a very harsh way. mouth feel is medium full, with medium carbonation and oily, rich texture. the aftertaste is a lingering bitter harshness. - climberbob (458) - Virginia, USA - OCT 13, 2016
Bottle into tulip. Black w decent head. Strong resinous hop aroma and taste. Some muting of the hop by the dark malt but still unmistakably an IPA. I am not a huge hop fan but thought to give it a whirl. I Will not go back to it any time soon as too hoppy but can see why hop heads like it.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone mambossa (337) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - SEP 22, 2016
A dense, unwavering dark pour that holds up a brightly sandy head. Beautiful. Notes of roasted coffee and chocolate waft from a distance. A closer nose reveals the amazing tropical citrus, mango, papaya, and floral lemon. The flavor starts round and robustly dark, medium plus body, chocolate and light roast coffee, all surrendering to a floral, lemon, tangerine and lifted pine. The floral, rindy, and dark chocolate linger echo beyond the sip. I’ve had this one fresh, and I’ve had this one not-so-fresh. Both have been great.
MacNJ (99) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 20, 2016
Has a delicious smoky nose, and its black ink pour into a 6oz glass with a thick, frothy pour is very attractive. The mouthfeel is smooth, and the balance of malt and hops is masterful. I realize that the black IPA is an acquired taste, but Stone has truly hit the zenith. Cheers! Brettsky06 (475) - Manitoba, CANADA - AUG 4, 2016
Pours a nice cola color, aroma is pine, toffee and some roasted notes. The taste is quite bitter throughout. Some citrus as well. Excellent black IPA Aggiebob (1189) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - JUL 26, 2016
Bottle. Opaque with an off-white head and lacing. Aroma is light citrus and pine, with some roasted malt flavoring. Medium bodied. Slightly bitter. tfontana (1016) - Fremont, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 25, 2016
Bottle pour into nonic pint glass from Signal Variety. Aroma is caramel, roast, dark fruit, citrus, light chocolate. Appearance is dark brown/mahogany--almost black--with finger-width light brown creamy head with fair retention and nice lacing. Taste is as aroma with late fruit/earthy bitterness, mild alcohol. Palate is medium-to-full bodied, with airy/foamy texture, lively carbonation and mix of sweet and bitter roasted finish. Overall, complex and very good but it goes a bit more to the heavy DIPA side of things than the lighter IPA side, which I would like a bit better. CacheManyHose (737) - HONG KONG - JUL 17, 2016
From QC. Dark opaque reddish-brown black with beige bubbly head and wet streaky lacing. Smells of dusty dry malt, moderate stony slightly vegetal bitterness, some bready spicy dark rye and light plum. Taste is heavy bitter burnt malt, lightly puckering/dry and moderately spicy. Body is bitter, slick, moderately citric and spicy. Very bitter, stony verging on vegetal. Good but not amongst my favourite black IPAs.