BeerCritic


Stone Old Guardian BWSA

First Published on June 13th, 2008

link to collage on Picasa Web Albums

Glass: snifter
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ
Price: $6.49
Size: 22 fl oz
ABV: 11.26%
IBU: n/a

Estimated Calories: 400C
RateBeer Rating: 97

Aural: uneventful opening, quiet carbonation, simple easy pour

Aroma 10 out of 10
Intensity: strong
Balance: sharp (alcohol)
Impression: nice

Malt Aroma: bread sweet nut caramel roast coffee
Hops Aroma:
mud mold clover rum rubber mango
Other Aroma:
grapes arugula pepper
Notes: An amazingly deep set of aromas – very interesting.

Appearance 4 out of 5
Color: dark
Clarity: slightest cloudiness, almost clear

Head Retention: poor
Lace: poor
Notes: The color has great depth and character, but there is little head to speak of.

Flavor 10 out of 10
Intensity: strong
Balance: sweet start with bitter finish
Impression: amazing
Malt Flavor: brown sugar rye walnut caramel dark chocolate liqueur roasted espresso
Hops Flavor:
dirt grasses star anise smoke grapefruit
Other:
mango, ashes
Notes: One of the best barley wines I’ve ever had, and no surprise from Stone.

Palate 5 out of 5
Mouthfeel

Sensation: drying warming
Body: full
Carbonation: average
Finish

Length: very long
Intensity: very strong
Balance: very bitter
Notes: A fantastic finish that leaves you looking forward to the next sip.

General Impression: 19 out of 20
Craftmanship: excellent
Freshness: fresh
Personal Taste: loved
Notes: Except for the slight critique of the missing head, which is forgivable considering the alcohol content, which is well hidden, this is a nearly perfect BWSA. Great job, Stone, as per the usual. This brew was purchased to celebrate the finish of my summer 1 Mediation class at Rider University in the Graduate Program for Organizational Leadership. The review of this fantastic ale is dedicated to the efforts of Jon Millen and the COM 390 class. Collaboration, not litigation.



Stone Imperial Russian Stout
Stone Imperial Russian Stout

Stone Imperial Russian Stout

ABV: 10.8 %
RateBeer rating: 100/96
Calories: estimated at 600 C
Volume: 22 fl oz
Glass: Snifter
Purchased at: Super Saver, Pennington, NJ
Price: $5.99

Originally enjoyed on 5/9/2008

This is a one-year anniversary tasting, and by complete coincidence.

First Impression: Aroma is roasted, chocolate, nutty, and slightly metallic. Visuals are pitch dark body topped with a nice thick brown head, which dissipates in a few minutes but not completely. Lacing is nice.  Taste does not disappoint. A deep, hoppy, roasted flavor. Some coffee, some dark chocolate, some smoke, but just a touch. Alcohol is very well hidden. Palate is back of tongue, spongey, yeasty, and blunt, long, very tasty finish. Nicely done. A grave presence. Second Impression: an impressive beer by any standard, but a great stout. Surprisingly drinkable, deep, delicious, and so very well balanced. Stone does amazing things.

Aroma: 9 out of 10

Visuals: 5 out of 5

Taste: 10 out of 10

Palate: 5 out of 5

Overall: 19 out of 20. This is one of the best beers I’ve ever had.

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008
pourn: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008

pourn: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008

Glass: Shaker, Tulip
Purchased at: Oaktree buy rite, South Plainfield, NJ
Price: $16.99 for two 6 packs.
Size: 12 fl oz
ABV: 6.8 %
IBU: n/a
Estimated Calories: 170 C
RateBeer Rating: 96

Aural: quiet opening, active carbonation, nice pour

Aroma 8 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: sweet

Impression:  nice

Malt Aroma: rye toast, peanut oil
Hops Aroma
: dry earth, grass, basil, grapefruit
Other Aroma
: pine

Notes: A great active aroma. Very mindful of a strong IPA.

Appearance 5 out of 5

Color dark

Clarity: cloudy, bottle conditioned

Head Retention: average

Lace: intricate

Notes: Beautiful beer. Deep red orange hues with a white head and lace.

Flavor 9 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Impression: nice

Malt Flavor: grain bread toast nut
Hops Flavor: curry, cardamom, grapefruit
Other: orange, grapefruit, pine

Notes: Sawdust and blood. Like an accident happened, but in a good way. How do they make such a commercial beer so very good?

Palate 5 out of 5

Mouthfeel

Sensation: creamy drying

Body: full

Carbonation: average

Finish

Length: long

Intensity: strong

Balance:  bitter

Notes: Perhaps the best aspect of this very good beer. Leaves you wanting more.

General Impression: 18 out of 20

Craftmanship:  excellent

Freshness:  fresh

Personal Taste:  loved

Notes: An amazing beer for the brewer and price. Just fantastic.

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Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

First tasted on 2/21/2009

video added 3/25/2009

Style; glass: IPA; tulip
12 fl oz x 7.2% ABV = 86.4 / 60 = 1.44 beers * 150 C = 216 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.12

Aroma: hops, citrus, stinging, and pine needles. Invigorating.

Visuals: beautiful brand safe packaging, summer sunset, brilliant golden orange clarity, thinning white yellowish head, exquisite lace.

Taste: starts sweet and bitter simultaneously, middle is dark with some roasted notes and lots of citrus, which lingers as grapefruit, resin, and tar.

Palate: peppery, stinging, and tart, middles dull to a warming and a throb in the back of the mouth, the finish is dark, warming, and delicious.

Overall: This is a spectacular, delicious, and superlative achievement. At this price, intensity, and quality, I have found my go-to daily bread. Sierra Nevada, you’ve absolutely done it. You are so hired.

http://www.sierranevada.com/beers/torpedo.html

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Victory Wild Devil Ale Vodpod videos no longer available.
Victory Wild Devil

Victory Wild Devil

Style; glass: Belgian Ale, Trappist
22 fl oz x 6.7% ABV = 147.4 / 60 = 2.45 beers * 150 C = 367.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $9.99

It’s a deep bitter style that eludes traditional style descriptions – not quite an IPA, not quite a Belgian, but delicious, dank, and a bit soapy. Recommended as a different direction for hop lovers and Belgian lovers.



Mikkeller 黑
Mikkeller Black Stout

Mikkeller Black Stout

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; Snifter
12.7 fl oz * 17.5% = 222.5 / 60 = 3.7 beers * 150 = 555 C est.
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $18.99

Neither of those (17.5 or 18.99 or 12.7 fl. oz. ) are typos.

Aroma: amazing, coffee, cocoa, hay, barnyard, oak, alcohol, ether.

Visuals: world class packaging, blackness, midnight, deep woods, solid, thick, viscous, staying tan head, intricate lace.

Taste: nicely balanced, off the charts in malt and hops, a new level of strength. Superb.

Palate: highest quality, syrupy texture, long dark finish.

Overall: The DFH 120 minute IPA of the world of imperial stouts. All others pale. It is without a doubt the best beer I have ever tasted in my life. I will go and clear the shelves of it, whatever the cost. It’s not only a favorite, it is my new superlative standard. Highest value for the highest craft. Mikkeller is only posing as a human.

A second tasting: I often say that this beer or that beer is ‘one of my favorites’ but this beer is, by far, my favorite brew. I forst had this in November of 2008, and wondered when I declared that it was my favorite how long it would hold the title. Many beers since have been very good, very complex, flavorful, and rewarding, but this one has all of that, plus personality, style, and an aroma, that is at once chocolatey, peppery, and full of booziness. The complex mixture in the flavor and texture includes maple syrup, alcohol, vodka, coffee, licorice, candy, dust, and chalk. The heft is intimidating, and the alcohol effects about halfway through makes you respect and quietly sip and contemplate it. This is an amazing brew, and would pair well with the most powerfully spicy or sweet dishes. It would overpower almost anything else, and for me, that’s right on. Play on, Mikkeller, you rock it hard.



Brooklyn Local 2 Belgian Strong Ale
brooklyn local 2 belgian strong ale

brooklyn local 2 belgian strong ale

Style; glass:Belgian Strong; trappist
25.4 fl oz x 9% ABV = 228.6 / 60 = 3.81 beers * 150 C = 571.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $ (have to check)

Aroma: cloves, banana, peach, fruit. A wonderful version of the style, aroma fills the room.

Visuals: Meticulous packaging, beautiful and royal, thinner translucent head, hazy ruby body, gossamer lacing.

Taste: Begins bubbly, sweet, and washy, middles to a fruity candy, finishes dark with some bitterness. Delicious.

Palate: Heavily carbonated, very fresh, middle dulls and flavors emerge, finish is long lasting, sweetness, roastiness converging.

Overall: As most of my purchases from Garrett O., this is a quality brew, worth the price, with exquisite care, packaging, and attention to detail. Superb.



Stone Cali-Belgique IPA
Stone Cali-Belgique IPA

Stone Cali-Belgique IPA

Style; glass: IPA; tulip
22 fl oz x 6.9% ABV = 151.8 / 60 = 2.53 beers * 150 C = 379.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville for $7.99

Aroma: sweet, banana and cloves, some citrusy hops, pine, grass.

Visuals: packaging is beautiful, though screen printing always seems to be coming off the bottle. It gives the brand a bit of crumbly marble style, though I wonder if it’s intentional? Perhaps the most brilliant IPA I’ve ever seen, absolutely crystal clear. Like the final scene in THX 1138, it’s that bright sunlight. Golden, pale, transparent, bright white head, sticky fresh Belgian lace. Carbonation is continuous.

Taste: Delicious, sweet, and hoppy. A great blend, very much in the spirit of Chouffe’s Hobblon Dobblen (sp?). Expertly balanced, nice easygoing maltiness, great hops. Perhaps my favorite new session brew.

Palate: Crisp, clean, and refreshing. A dream of fusion of two of my favorite styles. I hope they develop an imperial of this. Starts very sweet, crisp, middle has a bit of a burn and slight roastiness, finish is hops and bitterness with a salty sweet end note. Amazing.

Overall: In terms of lighter brews and more reasonable ABVs, this is a clear winner, and easily my favorite IPA at the moment, and very much a favorite all around, though my top honor still goes to Mikkeller for Black. I’m going to get more, soon. Stone, just keep them coming, and please consider an imperial version of this.

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Schlafly Reserve Oak Aged Barley Wine Style Ale (2007)
Schlafly Oak Aged Barley Wine Style Ale

Schlafly Oak Aged Barley Wine Style Ale

Style and Glass: Barley Wine Style Ale, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.2% in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400C
Purchased at: Canal’s Hamilton for $11.99

Aroma: Oak, whiskey, alcohol, heartburn, smoke, and tobacco. An exhilarating aroma, and just being around it seems a little bit like a spicy barbecue is nearby.

Visuals: Packaging is a bit precious, but well done, and meets the need for specialty presentation. Body is an angry deep hazy red under an almost white long lasting head. Freshness and quality are evident from the way the body acts. Lacing is sticky and thick. Beautiful.

Taste: licorice, smoke, spices, and oak meld at the front, the middle has a deep slow burn, and the finish is almost all hops with a sweet malty undertone. An amazing brew. The oak really gives this BWSA a depth and flavor that I find pretty unique. Barbeque sweetness and smoke is welcome. This should be had with some blackened chicken and spicy curried potatoes. This would be great with Indian cuisine.

Palate: Smoother than you’d expect by far. Very oaky, woody, and crisp. A bit sour, puckers after a moment. Finish is warm, delicious, and strong

Overall: I love this, but I’d love it more playing against some savory and spicy flavors. Delicious.



Founders Double Trouble DIPA
Founders Double Trouble DIPA

Founders Double Trouble DIPA

Style and Glass: DIPA, Tulip; snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 9.4% in 12 fl oz. estimated at200 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $2.75

Aroma: A beautiful, hoppy explosion. Pine, citrus, resin, salt, seawater, and burn of alcohol is very present.

Visuals: design is fun, inviting, and apropos, body is a winter sunset, deep reddish orange with a bright white head, very clear, head is small but withstands the tasting, lace is missing.

Taste: smooth, sweet and burning, syrupy and spicy with savory notes, hops are forefront, bitter and biting.

Palate: smooth throughout. Alcohol inhale on first taste, followed quickly by sweetness, then intense bitterness, then a long dulling battering of the mouth. Delicious.

Overall: An amazing and delicious brew. A bit expensive, but always worth it. .