puzzl (3264) - New York, New York, USA - JUL 14, 2009
UPDATED: JUL 18, 2009 Tap at Rattle’n’Hum. Brutally hoppy, but not in a good way, and overloaded with booze. The hops are bitter and astringent and really not too juicy, almost all pine and syrup. Thick body, way too much crystal. Not my kind of beer at all. TwoDudes (77) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - JUL 3, 2009
I liked this beer, sort of...great aroma from the massive dry-hopping...everything else is just okay for me...Tastes very much like a homebrew I made, and I don’t mean that as a compliment........................................ 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? FrigidRoses (14) - USA - JUL 14, 2009
Pretty excited when I heard stone was brewing an Imperial Red. Too bad this taste more like a barleywine. Aroma and appearance are spot on, however the taste is extremely unbalanced and drinks heavy. FlacoAlto (4220) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 14, 2009
A soft pour still nets me an almost three-finger thick, lightly browned, amber-tan colored head. The beer is a dark, amber-red color with brown notes to it that when held up to the light shows a brilliantly clear, deep ruby hue. The aroma is sticky with candied hop notes; lychee, candied orange zest, sugar coated pine and spruce tips are followed & boosted by caramelized crystal malt flavors, toasted (almost roasted even) malt and a nice cracker / biscuit grain note towards the finish. Other, more herbal hop notes lend an almost dank, hemp-oil like character and perhaps a touch of green onion / garlic chive towards the finish. After a bit I start to notice a touch of cinnamon like hop character that mixes in with the sweet citrus notes. The nose of this beer is definitely quite hoppy, though given the hop-talk from the brewer I was actually expecting this to jump out of the glass with an expressive hop character. It doesn’t quite do that, though it certainly is a hop focused beer, but there is a solid, underlying malt contribution here; it is overwhelmed by the hops in the aroma, but you can tell this beer has a lot of malt richness to it as well.
steview (1088) - Petaluma, California, USA - JUL 16, 2009
Somewhat creamy textured and full in the body, the beer still has quite a bit of a prickly carbonation; it would probably be better without quite so much carbonation. There is enough hop character here that the overall beer effect seems dry. There is some residual malt sugars here, even a substantial crystal malt sweetness, it just isn’t that noticeable because of all the raw hop character. The beer finishes with a lingering, bracing bitterness that really stays on the palate long after the beer has left my mouth and even has some raw, green-hop astringency. Herbal hops are apparent as the beer first hits my tongue. There is also a solid fruity-hop character here, it just clearly plays second fiddle to the herbal hop notes. Hop notes of grapefruit zest, tangerine, lychee and kumquat are joined by notes green raw hop notes (that are almost a bit vegetal at times), substantial peppery pine notes, Towards the finish, after it loses the fruit notes, the hop character get piquant with notes of menthol, pine, peppery herbs and a resinous hop character that just fills the palate. The finish has some warm, almost hot alcohol character to it that accentuates the biting hop character.
I like that the nose strikes a decent balance between citrus hop notes, more dank, herbal notes and with a subtle, but somehow substantial malt character as a backbone to the nose. This is definitely a sipping brew, with all it malt character and alcoholic strength, not to mention the aggressive hop character. Stone puts this as part of the nebulous Imperial / Double Red style of beer. To my taste it is a cross between a rich, malty and thick Barleywine and a hopped up Double IPA. This is an unbalanced hoppy beer for sure, but it still needs some balance to it; the hop character can get a bit too harsh here at times and the hot alcohol doesn’t help things. Still not a bad beer, just could use a bit more finesse and perhaps just a month or two of age to mellow and better integrate the harsh notes; I’ll have to get another bottle of this to do just that.
Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ
refreshing aroma of spice, herb, and citrus; cloudy, deep brown body, barely any highlight, and lasting tan head that dissipates into an airy and frothy layer; very sharp flavor - it’s almost intrusive, and to get past it, a lot of sugar shows itself as another obstacle, but fortunately, after a third of it is gone, my tongue’s adapted to taste what flavor is actually there and there’s flavor; however, I don’t care for it, though it’s just enough to be good - it’s almost only like a bittersweet, carbonated tea... I’ve tasted an energy drink like this, I swear. Maddog (528) - Kettering, Ohio, USA - JUL 23, 2009
Not overly impressed by this anniversary beer from Stone. Pours a deep, dark, clear amber, this beer has flavors of big malt, toffee and a whole lot of spice. Almost overly spiced with the hops to the point of being a tad harsh. A bigger bodied beer, lots of power, just not my favorite. clingman71 (300) - Centerville, Ohio, USA - JUL 24, 2009
pours a beautiful deep mahogany color, hint of red, nice tan head. Aroma is of abundant spicy hops. The flavor is a strange mixture of spicy hops, hop bitterness, dark roasted grain, and alcohol. Thia beer just doesn’t do it for me. It is bitter, but not a good bitter, almost too spicy, along with the alcohol it just seems harsh to me. The roastiness seems to mask some of the hop flavor which leaves the hop bitterness unbalanced. AmEricanbrew (7011) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - AUG 3, 2009
Bottle. Clear deep garnet color with a tan head; beautiful pour. Big piney hop aroma with toasted caramel. Medium body. Almost harsh pine and grapefruit hop flavors on a sharp caramel malt base. Bitter raw alcohol taste to finish. Yikes ! Alcohoarder (34) - Seattle, Washington, USA - AUG 29, 2009
This beer is big. And big is fine if you can keep it balanced. This beer, however, did not seem balanced to me. Tons of rich, heavy malt and a bunch of hops that are prevalent, but overwhelmed by the richness of the malts. The alcohol content is also too prominent. I knew immediately that I was drinking something in the 10% range.I like it better when the alcohol doesn’t make itself known.
Happy 13th Stone. I usually love your beer, but this one was a miss for me.