pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 3, 2011
UPDATED: SEP 4, 2011 22oz bottle. Thanks to curt for purchasing this at south loop binny’s... Pours a deeper shade of stout with a deeper consistenc. And topped with a thin to medium light beige head... Aroma consists of a little char and roasted malt, cocoa, as well to go alongside a piney citrus quality... Flavors are much of the same with a heavy roast and citrus/piney hop profile. Smooth at first but becomes pretty phenolic and has quite the boozy bite. Smooth bodied with carbonation on the lighter side. Bitterness is very big on the backend. Wow this is one bruiser of a beer. savnac (2391) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - SEP 2, 2011
22 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a thick, foamy tan head. Somewhat subdued aroma of citrus and pine resin with hints of bitter chocolate and roasted coffee. Flavor is lots of hop bitterness from start to finish with some bittersweet chocolate and a light alcohol warming. Medium body with average carbonation and a thick, chalky mouth feel. This is a good beer but not as drinkable and balanced as SSRA. AHTOH (101) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 2, 2011
Bomber dated August 2011. Drank 9/2/11.
FudgeSociety2 (311) - Florida, USA - SEP 2, 2011
AROMA: Hops (primarily grassy hops, some pine and citrus notes), roasted malt, coffee, earthy character. Light creamy sweetness from the malt. Faint vegetation.
TASTE: Similar to aroma. Earthy character behind the coffee notes more pronounced than on nose. Malt sweetness also more pronounced on palate than aroma, albeit behind the big bitterness from the hops and roast.
MOUTH FEEL: Quite carbonated. A bit sweet. Slight alcohol warmth. Hop oils seem to linger on back of palate. The sweetness mixing with the hop (and roast) bitterness and the resulting awkwardness on the palate is why I believe I generally prefer IPAs over DIPAs - regardless of black or pale or in between.
OVERALL: The faint earthy character, especially on palate, in the background reminds me of Rogue’s Chatoe Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager - except on steroids and heavily hopped.
Body like Great Divide Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA meets Stone Russian Imperial Stout; then add a plethora of hop oil and subtract the wood notes. Thankfully not as sweet at Avery’s Maharaja.
Despite the faint off-note on the nose, a great and complex brew.
Couple weeks ago had Uinta’s Dubhe Imperial Black IPA on tap, and though never took notes or even fully analyzed it, I feel I enjoyed that one more than this Stone 15th.
UPDATED: MAY 9, 2012 Nice beer. Awesome tropical fruit flavor, but with a strong bitter edge. The dark malt is nice but I can’t help but feel that a regular IPA with these hop flavors would be better. Good stuff. Drink fresh or don’t bother. I heard this beer varies greatly. This beer needs to be part of the regular lineup, drop the overrated Ruination. GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 2, 2011
Pours deep, deep brown, maybe not quite black with a small creamy tan head that recedes to a thin cap with some bubbles feeding it from underneath.
Aroma is excellent and headlined by a big citrus presence including grapefruit rinds and oranges. But there is also a hefty chocolate malt presence as well. There is also a little herbal note in the nose.
The taste starts with the citrus, grapefruit and pineapple, but has a huge chocolate malt backbone that underpins everything else. The finish is bitter and roasty, with more pine resin than I got in the nose.
The mouthfeel is fantastic, full bodied and creamy but with a nice hoppy bitterness.
I’m a huge fan of this beer which is a great combination of hops and dark roasted malts with a thick, almost chewy mouthfeel. Substantial and super tasty.
jlruthven (612) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 2, 2011
Bomber. Pours darker and oiler than a good many imperial stouts I’ve had. Big, creamy mocha-colored head that takes a LONG time to dissolve. Beautiful look to this beer. Nose definitely crosses wires with the appearance. Big pine, a little pineapple, orange, and passion fruit, metallic hint (copper maybe), resinous hops and a pronounced coffee-ish roasted quality. Taste is like a meeting of the minds; big hop quality, with a little citrus, pine in a big way, slightly nutty finish. As it warms, hints of espresso-laced chocolate sneak through. Big flavors, very little of the near-11% ABV noticeable. Exceptional beer. HughConway (831) - Washington, USA - SEP 2, 2011
Bottle. Opens with a hefty hop aroma, pours a pitch black with decent head. Taste is rich and thick with a hint of hops. Interesting beer, a bit overdone in all respects imo and not sure how well the hops would age. killjoy966 (677) - Washington, USA - SEP 2, 2011
22 oz from Chuck’s. This is a great beer. Pours pitch black. I’ve had some stouts that aren’t this roasty. Think of it like a hoppy porter and you’re getting warm. This is a big beer that was made to put you away. Terminus (3683) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - SEP 1, 2011
Bottle-WOW, this is a whopper-pours pitch black with a large kacki colored head with some decent legs but no lacing. nose is wacky-hops, metalic, copper penny, pine, lots of fresh hops in here. lots of burnt roast and husky charred malt notes. its a pretty good nose here. flavors are huge-metallic hops, huge char, roast, chocolate, with a decent amount of alcohol. Somewhat warming. lots of hop bitterness mixed in well with the burnt char notes. Its a very well put together beer. the finish is a bit on the warm side, but the huge roast helps to cover it up a bit. somewhat green as well but thats due to the fresh hops i think. Well done Stone! arkurzynski (2427) - Combined Locks, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 1, 2011
Pours syrupy black with khaki almost orange head. Definitely a nice pine hop aroma with a trailing cocoa/roast aroma. The initial pine aroma is nice, but the mix with roast muddies the overall appeal. Flavor starts sticky and sweet like an imp stout followed by a strong, but not overpowering pine bitterness. Finishes with cocoa, caramel, light roast. Residual sticky sweetness and mild hoppiness. Interesting take, and overall well-crafted, but not particularly digging the whole package. Not as impressive and balanced as Sublimely Self-Righteous. Kind of wishing this whole black IPA thing would stop soon before the style is even more played out.