TheBeerGod (6284) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - NOV 4, 2007
Bottle. Deep brown to near black pour. Small foamy tan head lingers for only a few seconds before vanishing. Aroma hits you with a hop - grapefruit one-two punch. Underneath this is roasty malts, soft caramel and pine oils. Taste continues the assault with more hops, grapefruit juice, pine cones and pine oils, roasty malts and light caramel. Without seeing this beer, I’d think big West Coast IPA. As the taste mellows and the leftovers linger in my mouth I’m tasting bigger fruit notes and not necessarily citrus fruit. Some soft nectarine, and maybe even honeydew along with hints of cherry. Body is medium-full and well rounded. Carbonation is present but not obtuse. Nice overall feel to this one. Ends with more pine oils, grapefruit juice, orange peel, hops, roasty malts, ripe fruits and soft caramel. Very drinkable and tasty West Coast hop bomb! Braudog (6900) - Yorktown, Virginia, USA - NOV 4, 2007
From the cool silk-screened bottle. Poured a deep, deep red-tinged black, with a firm but thin head. This has a big piney aroma of a west coast IPA. And it doesn’t drink too differently either ... slippery with hop oil, pine tar and a chewy dark fruit essence. Stone hits yet another homerun, packaging a big hoppy American beer in a dark wrapping. Exceptional. (#3171, 11/4/2007) frankenstein (64) - Livermore, California, USA - NOV 4, 2007
The aroma of burnt caramel, a touch of soy aroma in there. The appearance of dark, roasted barley, looks a lot like coffee. I do not pick up on the hops as much as I thought I would. Although it is an interesting brew it is not my favorite Stone beer. TheEpeeist (3709) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 4, 2007
22 oz bottle. Dark purple brown with creamy tan wisps. Rum-soaked raisins and orange caramel. Begins with a lemon quinine hop bite soon tamed by chocolate and malts. Orange and grapefruit juice reassert adding a bitter kick in the end. Strikes a nice balance, good stuff. Emil (6064) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 4, 2007
Bottle. A dark red brown beer with a beige head. The aroma and taste is light roasted and of peach and heavely hopped. Medium body with a bitter dry finish.
auerbrau (3206) - Ithaca, New York, USA - NOV 3, 2007
22 oz Bottle. De rigeur aroma of biting Chinook, extrapolated pine resins and dusty floorboards. How predictable. Pours a medium charred mahogany with an even soap of tan. Flavor is an overly humonulous bittering effect, flavor comes as, again, fairly standard Chinook profiles. One dimensional hop character and strained out bitter tea. You would think you might get some unique maltings in the background, but instead you get this reducible sugar tone. Bland and predictable. Clean and dry, whatever. Filtered. Guess who’s the BMC of craft brewing? Not worth the $5.50 or the glass it’s in... bethmatt0421 (337) - Covington, Kentucky, USA - NOV 3, 2007
A whispering hoppy, floral aroma with a little bit of the alcohol content coming through as well. Color is deep dark with a little bit of light creeping through when you hold it up. A thick-as-hell rocky head sits on top and refuses to subside. Flavor is floral hops, making theirselves well known, but its not to overpowering. Balances out nicely with the malt. Man, i love this dark malt and floral hop balance. Roast flavors are somewhat found, and so is the citrus if you dig deep enough. What else can i say? Its dark, floral, and roasty. Unique is an understatement. Once again, Stone impresses! NephrenKa (27) - Ft. Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 3, 2007
No light passed through the ebon liquid in my glass; this stuff is a muddy black color, though it tastes little like it looks. The head was surprisingly aggressive, foaming almost malignantly like a soda. Sweetly floral aromas overwhelm an expected rush of hops, with a hint of ginger accompanying the alcohol. I was surprised at how little character the beer had upfront, as I typically expect strong IPA’s to knock me off my feet at the first kiss; but this beast waited a little while before pouncing. The middle flavor was a great, fullmouthed rush of hops, but not overwhelming. Just a pinch of coffee underpins the hops. After swallowing, I could feel the hops flavor ebb and flow not unlike distant cannonfire, while a faint frothy cream lingered on the back of my tongue. Overall, this beer is really damn good. Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste as strong as the 8.2% alcohol, but boy did I feel it after drinking the whole bomber. PeterA (342) - EL SALVADOR - NOV 3, 2007
The aroma was more malty than hoppy. Doesn’t quite pass the 60 watt test, there’s a bit of light that creeps through, being a really dark amber with a nice thick light head. I didn’t taste the citrus they say is in it, but it might be my palate. I did get quite a bit of sweet roasted flavors, followed by bitterness on the back of my tongue. This was a nice beer to drink and a chilly, rainy night in New England. ClarkVV (6958) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 3, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 4, 2007 Draught tulip at Sunset Grill on 10/6/07
A clear mahogany-chestnut brown, with plentiful large bubbles in the liquid and a foamy beige head that shows moderate retention, light lacing.
Very fruity nose, with obvious amarillo dominance, which is nice, but as TAR so elegantly notes, it dosent end quite as pleasantly, with tacky, sticky, nose and palate-dulling resin. Just unnecessary, and all it needs is the amarillo hop notes, without all the simcoe bitterness. Chocolate and biscuit malts sort of scratch at the nose, though some stickiness and base malt sugars do keep it fairly substantial. Gets rather peachy-bready on the finish, and conjures up memories of Avery 14....But if you focus on the chocolate and caramel notes and the interesting fruitiness up front, it’s passable. No flaws, light alcohol warmth, medium to medium-high strength of aroma.
Sweet and sticky, with gooey caramel sticking all over the palate. Flakes of dry chocolate are added to this and lush, tropical fruits emanate from the hops, growing juicier, to the point of fatigue, on the finsh. Bitterness is never a problem, but it just seems too peachy-sweet and gooey, for lack of a more elegant description. Roast courses through, but combines with a minty hoppiness that just dosent work, in my opinion, showing too much stark, dry contrast to the sweet caramel. Phenolic as well (black pepper). Carbonation is moderate and some butteriness is apparent on the end (not diacetyl) with light alcohol warmth. Eh, it’s certainly a step up from Avery 14, but I was far from enamoured.