FlyingTaco (112) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2009
Review date 7/5/2009...
Crystal clear dark bourbon body. Head is over a finger with a great sourdough bread quality - very chunky with seam to match...a few muffin tunnels and it looks like rising bread dough. Moderate carbonation with speed to match as well. Lacing and retention are quite solid. Can’t find a flaw here at all.
Huge blast of grassy and citrus hop mix...Cascade and a few other C-level suspects? On the undertow there’s ample amounts of sweet caramel malt with a light to moderate roast - maybe a slight Germanic character. A hint of booziness. That Germanic whiff is one of the reasons I don’t gravitate towards red ales but for the style it’s hitting marks very well.
The grassiness becomes a bit more prominent at the first sip...the remaining citrus is now more pith than pulp. Caramel/Munich malt is very pronounced. A hint of astringent booziness here. Finish is high and tight. It’s good but maybe a little green in some respects, but the hops definitely have a little earth underneath that grass. I do appreciate the "do not cellar" notice on the label; it seems as though hops are getting a half life these days. May prefer this with a little time on it to mellow out the astringency at the risk of getting some more malt and sweetness.
As mentioned, this one’s a little tight. With warmth, the astringency fades and meshes in nicely with the grapefruit rind hop character so we get a bit more synergy...not quite Beautiful Chemistry but on the right track. The taste still has a little dry astringency but based on straight palate feel it’s not as harsh. Maltiness slowly seeps in to provide a little bit of velvety coating.
This one has a bit of heft on it but an appropriate amount for its weight class. Drinks quite nicely, actually. Stone rarely disappoints. For the style this is an extremely nice offering - I’m not one to say whether or not it’s a benchmark since I’m not too well-versed in reds and their imperial brethren, but it’s pretty damn fine stuff.
gorditoabd (636) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 9, 2009
Bomber. Pours very thick with minimal tan head. My bottle pours almost like cough syrup consistency. Aroma is all pine and hops with a hint of grapefruit. Taste is very similar, though strikingly smooth compared to some other high ABV Stone offerings. Not catching any toffe, just citrus hops, pine, and maybe some of the malts. Alcohol is fairly well concealed. Nice brew. jazz88 (2683) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 8, 2009
Bottle. A dark brownish color with a thick foamy tan head. Strong malts, rich deep fruity floral and pine aroma. A delightful and hoppy flavor with burnt caramel, bitter hops, vines, citrus, and robust malts. A big beer with a tremendous finish. JohnnyJ (5569) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 8, 2009
22 oz bottle. Bright copper red pour, with a sticky caramel colored head. This beer is very very hop forward. Resinous pine, citrus, grapefruit, carmel malt, and some alcohol heat. It’s good, I enjoyed it, just not that the complex. May be more interesting in something close to a year. TeamTrappist (832) - jericho, New York, USA - JUL 8, 2009
Tap at Rattle and Hum. Poured almost black with a thin white head. Aroma is strong on hops and malt. Similar flavor, with a big alcohol bite. But the hop flavor is strong and good. Might need to sit for a bit, but definitely worth a try.
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 7, 2009
Bottle w/ Pentz ... overly sappy, hoppy red w/ too much heat. I see what they’re goin for here, but it doesn’t blow me away. Tongue Buckler meets double bastard. ho-hum ... nothing special here....but could be good 6 months down the road ... bethmatt0421 (337) - Covington, Kentucky, USA - JUL 7, 2009
Resiny hops, and wheat bread on the nose. Flavor is dark malts, sour fruitiness, a resinous pine hop bite, alcohol seems to be fairly noticeable distracting from flavor. Maybe some ageing to help mellow that out? bb (9695) - Alamo, California, USA - JUL 7, 2009
Bottle. Rich copper color with a nice tan head. Big summer fruit aroma. Caramel and sumemr fruit flavor with a bit of grapefruit and pine. Good bitterness. Medium-plus bodied. Caramel, sumemr fruit, and grapefruti/pine linger. Nice. GT (10001) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 7, 2009
22 oz bomber. Pours a clear, deep red with a one to two finger tan, rocky head that has excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is superb: piney and resiny hops, strawberries, candi sugar, grapefruit. Taste up front is light fruits, crystal malt, and heavy on the strawberries and then moves to some insane bittering hops like Ruination like chewing on pine needles. Finish is extremely dry and bitter but subdues that warming effect of the 9.5% abv. Overall, this is like the Imperial Red version of Ruination and thus awesome. broozer81 (107) - , New Jersey, USA - JUL 7, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2011 very beautiful deep deep red pour to a big time tan head..piney forest, citrus aroma, acre’s and acre’s of hop bombs here, nice bitter taste, a little unbalanced with the malts but thats probably there intention..overall it’s a great beer very enjoyable sipper, but i think a step below Bastard ale...