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Sep 25, 2007 11:00 PM

Stone Black IPA

Had the chance to try a limited run IPA from Stone Brewing: their Black IPA. It merges the dark color and toasty flavor of roasted barley and a potent hop kick of a proper IPA. A terrific combination. I don't see it on the Stone website, so I'm guessing it really is a limited production thing? Anyone know for sure?

I had it at Library Alehouse in Santa Monica yesterday, where they apparently won't have it for much longer. Stone was featured there this past month, and the waitress said the bar's phasing out this particular product from their tap room soon. If you can find it near you, give it a shot while it's still around.

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  1. I think you're referring to the just-released 11th Anniversary Ale. It is a limited production beer. They do one annually.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      Yeah, I read the description, that's it. Have you tried this yet?

      I'm gonna go find the bottled version now....

      1. re: Professor Salt

        Yeah, I had it. It was a little much for me, honestly. I prefer stuff that's got a little more balance.

        1. re: Josh

          No, it's not middle of the road in any way.

          I normally choose another hop-extreme IPA (the Anderson Valley Hop Ottin) as my go-to beer, so I thought the Stone XI was right up my alley.

          1. re: Professor Salt

            Funny, I don't consider the Hop Ottin particularly extreme.

            It's not the bitterness I don't care for, it's just pretty heavy. I don't normally go for stuff that heavy.

            It's a great beer, clearly - just not really something I'd want to drink much of.

    2. I'm really interested in checking this one out and see how it compares to The Alchemist's (Waterbury, VT brewpub) version named El Jefe. Its always been a good one and one of the first that I know about that combined dark malts with intense hop flavor/aroma.

      1. Oh man I loved this one (Stone 11th Anniv.). Dark roast malt blends with American "C" hops, simcoes and amarillos. What a mindf**ck it was to bring a dark brown beer to your nose and smell tropical fruit and flowers. Basically a stout body but with double IPA level pine/grapefruit hops slicing through. Sounds crazy, but Stone seems to pull it off somehow. I'd agree that it may seem intense to some, but it will be fully appreciated by hopheads.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Psychobabble

          I completely agree. Albeit it is not up to the 10th anniversay standard (and what can be), the IX is a fantastic beer. I can't get over how hoppy is it, as the color completely throws you off. Stock up while you can.

          1. re: Psychobabble

            if you want something more readily available that also blends hoppiness into a stout, Victory's storm king IPA is very good.

            1. re: Psychobabble

              Fantastic beer, lots of flowers in the aroma, with a real crisp bitterness w/o being overpowering. They had it on tap at JJ Brewsky's in Camarillo last week, and I was really happy to have sampled it.

              1. re: azhotdish

                The 11 th Anniversary is pretty good, although I don't know that it was the most imaginative move Stone has ever made. After a couple different bottles, It reminds me of a stronger, hoppier Arrogant Bastard.

                1. re: naven

                  I agree that it might not be too imaginative for Stone, and it is certainly stronger than Arrogant Bastard in terms of hops, but its crispness made the overall body seem lighter than AB. Still a very good beer in its own right.

            2. I haven't encountered it, but it sounds like a vigorously hopped, strong porter or stout. So why call it a "black India pale ale," which is a contradiction in terms? For the gimmick value and the *apparent* novelty of it, I'd bet (microbrewers have been making strong, robustly hopped dark ales for decades).

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kenji

                Actually the profile is much different than a porter or stout. It is black in color but doesn't have too much roasted/coffee/chocolate flavors and has the mouthfeel of an IPA. It really is a black IPA with the fruity/citruisy "C" hops that were used. I thought it was a great beer and one of the best Stone has ever made - it was quite drinkable despite the high alcohol %.

              2. Henry's had it for $4.39 a bottle last week, but it is likely to be gone by now.