Beaver (1799) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 6, 2011
22oz bottle. Pours a dark brown black with a frothy creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.BigBang (299) - Indiana, USA - SEP 6, 2011
The aroma is roasted malts with piney hops and a little fruit.
The flavor is a some sweet fruity malt followed by a big roast bitterness with a lot of char in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.
Overall, pretty similar to other black IPAs that just don’t do it for me. Too much roast and char bitterness rather than hop flavors. There is some sweetness and a little fruit and pine, but it just doesn’t seem to go well with the roasted char.
On tap. The pour look like a coffee/oatmeal stout but the taste surely is not. Certainly a different hop and malt blend, but it worked very well and went down way too easily for something at this level of ABV. I didn’t take good enough notes and need to track it down again to do a better job reviewing. I definitely recall my enjoyment. monkeychugg55 (1090) - Joliet, Illinois, USA - SEP 6, 2011
Coffee color with a small light brown head that lasts and leaves quite a bit of lacing. The aroma is very hoppy, with all kinds of citrus, pine resin, and a vegetal quality. Some toasty malt with coca and brown sugar. The flavor has a lot of coffee and burnt malts, that clash with the hops. Lingering bitter coffee finish with a lot of residual sweetness and a bit of alcohol warming. Not my cup of tea persay, a little too much in opposite directions. Boliv (1150) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 6, 2011
Bomber labeled August 2011. Pours oily dark brown, black in my glass, with a 2-finger creamy brown head. The head is extremely long-lasting, and leaves pretty blebs and rings of lacing as it falls. The aromas are rich bitter cocoa, fudge, and earthy malt with some vanilla and chocolate sweetness. Some floral hops are present. The flavor is sweet chocolate and vanilla, bitter bark and earthy malt, and a bitter cocoa/citrus rind finish with lingering bitterness. Very smooth mouthfeel, nearly creamy, and slightly warming with a dry finish. Really tasty; put together very nicely, with some nice bitterness.  GT (10000) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 6, 2011
651mL. Though not as bad as DaSilky1 thinks, I can’t help but see his review still in my head as I review this. The pour is a little deeper actually than Sublimely Self Righteous (SSR) with more of a menacing, deep mocha head generating. Suddy, big bubbled retention. Spotty lace. Nose is quite fresher in the aromatic hop department with tropical melons, grapefruit pith, cinnamon, durian, squash, and even something like zucchini bread (nuts, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, zucchini/squash). Taste is all over the place- hard to figure out what the hell is going on here. Some salt water, some earthy bitterness, lots of nut skins and shells. Palate at first is silky and rich but then goes very neutral and clean. Feels like stout in the body, which is nice over something weak and thin. But not a lot of roast, chocolate, or richness comes forth. Nothing that I can perceive as the "backbone" to this stout that was then hopped to death. It was better than the not fresh SSR I had alongside, but there is something wrong here. Maybe too powerful for its own good? Not focused very well and Stone keeps using more and more of these weird squashy hops in the nose that remind me of...gasp....Stone 14th. Please no.
p1meatloaf (256) - Corvallis, Oregon, USA - SEP 5, 2011
from bomber into sniffer bought at holiday wine celler. Looks pitch black with brown thick creamy head. smells like coffee vanilla rich chocolate and a sharpish crisp bitterness. tastes at first creamy rich and thick. Some citrus bitterness on top with deep roasty chocolate. massive quantities of both malts and hops that is balanced. a perfect example of the Double black IPA style in my opinion. Overall 9.5 of 10. Tmoney99 (14457) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 5, 2011
Draft. Poured black color with an average frothy brown head that lasted and produced good lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted malt and hop aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Moderate to heavy toasted bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration. This is a very good beer and hides the alcohol well.
Westmeister (2129) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 5, 2011
Bottle. Pours a viscous black with a lingering head. Very sharp resinous pine nose with just a malt touch. Aroma is in your face. Good toasty, malt touch with some anise to complement the big citrus/pine/hop oil flavors. The bitterness lingers on the tongue almost like pop rocks. This is a big beer and may be the best black ipa I will ever have, but it a bit too pine forward for my tastes to throw it in the over 4 category. Still, great effort. hophouse (5) - - SEP 5, 2011 does not count
I guess my rating is unfair in this regard. I have unrealistically high expectations for stone. This is nothing more than the grain bill for their Russian imperial less the anise and hopped like an American IPA. I expected something more unique. It pours a deep black. Nice piney, floral aroma but the flavor while solid is lacking that punch you expect from stone. In a way it is a bit unfair if this were from someone else I would rave, but its not it’s from Stone and I expect better NachlamSie (3481) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 5, 2011
Bomber from Vintner Wines. Now, this is a deliciously hoppy black beer. Aroma is complex, balanced, strong and very American. Pine and grapefruit are right up front but just underneath is silky vanilla, fresh roasted coffee and cacao. Everything is harmonious in the flavor as well. Roasty, ashy malts and bright, zesty piney hops. The finish is dry and lingering. The alcohol is completely hidden by the robust flavor. Really excellent take on a style I tend to prefer anyway.