Stone 8th Anniversary Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 261 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev 0%
Dug up a bottle from the cellar that came from God knows where while I was doin' God knows what to God knows whom.
Big double deucer pours out a russet dim amber yet light revealing pour, topped off by a frothy sticky tan beige head cap.
Vanilla ice cream and root beer float scents.
First swigs: Goey caramel candy like brown sugar and toffe flavors. Some cream and coffee notes met up with a hop wall of integrated citrous juices. Well balanced flavors disguise the hoppy profile all too well.
Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a sugar tacky residue. Quite the sweet brown ale.
Last swigs: STONE gets plenty of street cred in my wee little beer book fo making a bold brown. That is tantamount to the nerdy girl suddenly looking hot for the prom. Brown is usually bland. Not this. A hoppy blast of sugary goodness. Cool bottle cap that says "8 years, No compromises."
Beer is good. Happy Anniversary beering.
08-06-2005 03:53:47 | More by blitheringidiot
3.8/5 rDev -5%
A spectacular shade of crimson-bronze with bright orange highlights. The cap of foam is at least as impressive as the beer on which it sits. It's orange-influenced light caramel in color with a creamy density that promotes persistence and the deposition of a dramatic display of thick, tacky lace. Stone 8th doesn't look like any other brown ale that I can recall. In a word... fabulous.
The nose isn't quite the equal of the appearance, but it's still damn good. It smells like heavily toasted black bread sprinkled with cocoa powder and a small pinch of cinnamon. There's no pumpernickel spiciness and very little in the way of hops. Even though I'd like it to be a little more complex and a shade more forceful, it's better than good as is.
This is oddly flavor-deficient beer. There's a ghost of a brown ale here somewhere, but it never really materializes on the palate. The flavor profile follows the nose, more or less. It's toasted bready with a significant caramel maltiness and meager cocoa and molasses notes. Mildly spicy, not very sweet.
Things becomes increasingly bitter and dry within the course of each mouthful and the beer finishes a little hot and harsh, as if it was still young rather than being almost a year old. Like another beer that I had recently, the flavor sensations (sweet, bitter and dry) are much more apparent than the actual flavor. To be fair, there was more flavor with warming.
A thready dark fruitiness appears on the finish and a pleasant bitterness lingers. The beer may have been aged in oak, but it doesn't appear to have learned much from the experience. The mouthfeel is par for the brown ale course: medium with active carbonation.
I have a feeling that Stone 8th suffers from having been in the bottle for a year. I had hoped to hold onto each year's Anniversary Ale and review them on the following August 5th for personal reasons, but I now realize that that isn't being fair to beer that was never meant to be at its best at so advanced an age.
At this point in time, 8th Anniversary Ale is a slightly better than average brown ale that is drinkable and enjoyable for the most part, but doesn't stand out in any way (except for its appearance). My assumption is that the ghost-like flavor that I experienced today was significantly more corporeal in 2004. If this is a dweller in your cellar, open it now.
08-05-2005 23:50:21 | More by BuckeyeNation
2.78/5 rDev -30.5%
Pours a cloudy, medium-dark brown. No head or lacing. Smells of prunes, raisins, anise, and chocolate. No roasted aromas detected. Smell is offensively sweet. Tastes is also of prunes and raisins, no "brown" characteristics until the end, when it finishes with a slight malt-husk bitterness. No hoppiness detected (that makes it sounds like a landmine). Mouthfeel is thick but dead. I have no idea why this beer is classified as an American Brown Ale; it definitely sems like a brother of English Browns like Samuel Smith, Riggwelter Yorkshire, Hobgoblin, etc. The sickening sweetness reminds me of Thomas Hardy's Ale. This is not at all what I am looking for in a brown.
Thanks to RealityDeviant for the bottle.
07-30-2005 05:21:32 | More by battlekow
4.65/5 rDev +16.3%
22oz bottle, August 2004. Sticker on bottle says $5.99 bought somewhere in Norfolk, VA.
appearance: dark with a very dark red tint. slight dark head
smell: wonderful! Hints of chocolate, coffee, and smoke
taste: Chocolately, nice smoke flavors that are not overpowering. Alcohol definately present, but in a very good fashion.
mouthfeel: A little thicker than the typical american brown ale. Fairly sticky.
drinkability: Probably did not need more than a 22oz bottle but it went down smooth and easy.
I was really impressed with the brown, more so than the DFH and Rogue that it is typically compared to.
07-26-2005 01:18:48 | More by dirtylou
4.08/5 rDev +2%
This Stone offering pours many shades of red with dark copper being the dominant color. Small frothy head sits atop. Moderately carbonated. Aroma is powerful with hints of bourbon and residual sugars along with a yeasty profile. There's a toasted grain element in there as well which rounds out the aroma. Flavor is strong but the body seems a tad thin for all the flavors going on. Lots of sweetness upfront which is soon cut short by the bourbon/vanilla characteristics. A roasted woody flavor comes in next along with a little peat. Not too much though. Yeasty flavors become more prevalent the further I go in the bottle and I'm getting more phenolics from the yeast towards the end. Finishes dry and woody (oak). Nice beer, easy to sip on and enjoy. I probably could have been satisfied after 12 oz but I wasn't complaining about finishing this bottle in one sitting.
07-24-2005 16:43:19 | More by granger10
4.35/5 rDev +8.7%
7.8% Alc. Vol.
1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz.
Appearance ruby/brown slightly opaque body with 2-finger thick off-white micronized head; head has good retention; lace is sparse; the head and the color save it from average status
Smell dark fruit, caramel, milk chocolate; solid nose for a brown
Taste pleasant caramel malt early and some milk chocolate midway with a countering elevating hop punch and a very light cut of alcohol to close; the elevating hops on the back half blends with the milk chocolate flavor to more of a bitter dark chocolate
Mouthfeel excellent lightly creamy feel that plummets really late; crispy yet slightly oily afterfeel that helps the feel turn away from dry; minus the late nearly watery feel, this would be perfect
Drinkability the late bitterness sets the drinkability back a bit but it does lay down the law between sips where some browns get too sweet at the end and the flavor fades with aftertaste; Stones 8th presents a drinkability experience comparable to DFHs Indian Brown, Rogue Hazlenut Brown and Bear Republics Tribute Ale (albeit an English Brown)
Heres a beer that I can come back to and recommend with confidence. As Starsky says, Do it.
07-22-2005 18:24:11 | More by Wonka
3.9/5 rDev -2.5%
Pours a reddish brown, with a big rocky head. Some roasty chocolate aromas and alcohol. Very warming. Very rich and malty. My problem with this beer was that it was bursting with flavours that didn't exactly mesh well. This is probably a pretty extreme brown ale. Spicy, nutty and roasty. Alcohol is very potent. Interesting beer.
07-17-2005 08:04:36 | More by baiser
4/5 rDev 0%
Rich, chocolate brown with a thin foam of off-white bubbles. Ruddy aroma of hops and a nice malt profile.
Flavor is nice. Good depth for a brown, and keeps the tongue busy picking out different flavors.
An enjoyable quaff, if somewhat unspectacular. I like this, but it's certainly not up to what I expect from Stone.
07-09-2005 03:37:26 | More by RockyTopHeel
4.22/5 rDev +5.5%
Stone 8th Anniversary is big enough that it could maybe be called a double brown ale, but since that style doesn't exist yet, I guess American brown will suffice.
It pours a light brown/dark red with a thin tan head. No lacing in my glass, but it might be my glass that's to blame, not the beer. Aroma is floral and fruity. Taste is nice and complex, with some fruit, nuttiness, toasted malt with a bitter finish - but not an overpowering one. A really delicious beer, and one that I would like to see Stone keep around. I could see drinking this on a fall day more that a hot humid summer one. But for a brewery whose summer seasonal is an Imperial Stout, I don't hold out much hope. I think this will cellar well, and I may pick up a bottle to test that guess.
07-05-2005 23:04:10 | More by ColForbin
3.68/5 rDev -8%
Very deep brown coppery color with a thick tan head that dissipated relatively slowly and left some nice lacing on the glass.
The nose is dark chocolate, alcohol, toasted grain, and a light piney hoppiness.
The flavor itself is like a boozey brown on steroids. The chocolate and caramel flavors come together nicely, and the mouthfeel has enough thickness to complement them well. The hopping is so light that it's almost imperceptible, but this bottle is also about 10 months old. If anything, though, I feel like the alcohol comes through a bit too strongly in this one. The other flavors have an interesting balance that could serve as a bulked-up example of the style without the booze really pulling through in the finish.
Overall, it's a fairly drinkable brown, especially at its ABV, but it's not my favorite example of the style.
06-19-2005 17:49:10 | More by whartontallboy
4.18/5 rDev +4.5%
This beer pours brown, with a quarter inch thick head. Foam dissipates to a ring with swirls in the middle. It smells of nutty caramel malt, but there is a noticeable roasted, coffee-like smell. No hops are detected.
Wow! This is not my preferred style of beer, but I am digging this beer. Then usual nutty, caramel malt is present. There is also a pleasant chocolate-coffee flavor. The hops are barely detectable.
The mouthfeel is a bit thick for this style. It is similar to a stout with a somewhat thin mouthfeel. The drinkability is high, as I could drink this all night.
06-16-2005 02:38:11 | More by Sephiroth
4.05/5 rDev +1.3%
Pours rich brown with ruby hues that flash around edges under a full tan head.
Aroma as sweet as a rose backed by roasty, dark fruits, spices, bountiful malt, and just a touch of hops. (Yes mild hops from Stone) Rich, full bodied malty flavor fills mouth. Excellent mouthfeel. Finish is somewhat drying from coffee and roast barley - hops?. A well crafted American brown. Thanks for sharing - cja711!
06-12-2005 19:33:06 | More by karst
3.95/5 rDev -1.3%
Ruby red body capped with a full finger of dirty brown foam which quickly dissipated to a crescent moon wisp around the perimeter of the glass. The nose is heavy with a mixture of toasted malt and chocolate.
Zippy CO² ushers in a mouth-full of earthy chocolate malt which is closely followed by a sharp hop bite. The finish is a chocolate / coffee combo slow fade with a touch of warming on the back of the throat.
(Brings forth beautiful chocolate burps following consumption)
05-30-2005 16:33:41 | More by IceAce
3.7/5 rDev -7.5%
Pours a very deep translucent brown color with some crimson highlights and a small tan head.
A thick, heavily sweet hoppy nose.
I went crazy for this one at the tasting at Bauer Wine. Not everyone was feeling it.. but more for me, right?
The taste is sweet malt, spiced brown bread, then a big puckering hoppy finish. Not my favorite from Stone, but a good effort nonetheless. A good drinking ale that works well with a scotch or two.
05-29-2005 08:14:15 | More by MrSeth
3.18/5 rDev -20.5%
Stone I love you, however with this one, well just didn't tickle my fancy bone. It pours a great dark brown with shades of black. The smell is of toffee and syrup, the malts are strong, a subtle hint of citrus hop. The taste is syrupy and rather dry, not bad but better in the brown dept (ex. Downtown brown Lost Coast Brewing) Feels good, not bad for cold nights but probably won't go back to.
05-27-2005 05:34:27 | More by beertaster13
4.33/5 rDev +8.3%
Tastes more like a porter than a brown ale... tastes a lot like Stone's smoked porter.
Coffee, toffee, caramel... deep, roasted flavors.
Maybe something between Stone's smoked porter and their imperial stout?
Really quite tasty.
I'd like to see them make something like this, steadily, again.
But their porter is good enough for me...
and the imperial stout is supposed to come out again soon...
Good stuff, though!
05-25-2005 07:47:30 | More by ommegangpbr
3.2/5 rDev -20%
Appearance: opaque dark amber body. Nice big, tan head. Pretty good retention. Good lacing.
Smell: Quite sweet, light earthy/herbal aroma. Not very deep, though.
Taste: Big hop kick, very yeasty taste. This same taste is present in Double Bastard as well. As with the smell, this is very sweet, almost tastes like dessert. Feels a little thin in taste.
A good beer, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again. Does make a good pair with some afternoon baseball, though.
05-22-2005 19:50:16 | More by JackStraw22
4.1/5 rDev +2.5%
Sampled May 2005
This beer sits a drab brown color in my glass, but shows pretty amber-ruby highlights when held up to the light. It is topped by a thin light brown head that is propped up by a medium level of carbonation. The aroma is rich and malty with notes of toasted bread, biscuits, chocolate and coffee. The aroma really is quite heady in its ample maltiness. The taste is rich and mouth filling up front, and then moves to that expected rich maltiness that is dominated by a mix of coffee and roasted barleys. There is still a bit of spicy hoppiness to this beer towards the finish, but it is quite a bit more muted than when it was young. The beers finish starts with a solid bitterness and finishes with a roasted malt astringency. The malt character of this brew is almost perfect, the only thing that detracts is the harsh astringent burnt grain huskiness. This beer is aging wonderfully and should have another couple of years to go.
05-19-2005 02:48:01 | More by Gueuzedude
4.1/5 rDev +2.5%
Walnut brown, thin quickly receding head and spotty lacing. The aroma is killer: sweet caramel malts, burnt roasted coffee, with just a smidgeon of citric hops thrown in. This beer smells like a big robust porter. Flavor is much like the nose, but not as intense. Bittersweet roasted malts, a nutty earthiness, and the same smidgeon of citric hops as in the aroma. It finishes with a bitter roasted aftertaste along with an alcohol warmth. I should also note that the beer was bottled in 8/04, so the flavor may have mellowed a bit compared to the aroma. Solid all 'round.
05-15-2005 02:11:21 | More by gimmehead
3.68/5 rDev -8%
Served in the 22 oz bottle into a dimple pint glass. The color is a dark amber with a foamy tan head that leaves a nice layer on the beer. The smell is malty with a touch of apple to it. The taste is fairly brown sugar sweet, with an applish ester to it with a touch of a nuttyness and a nice dry finish to it. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, have a few.
Well, been saving this one for a little while. While this didn't age with the best of them, it's still a nice beer and a very unique attempt (an 8% brown ale??) and cheers to Stone for the effort. Nice....just better Stone beers out there.
05-14-2005 02:11:03 | More by beergeek279
3.4/5 rDev -15%
Poured a nice deep brown with ruby under tones. Head was tan and stayed a decent time. Lacing was there but didnt last long.
Aroma was roasted malt, a slight sweet maybe caramel smell, and a hint of hops
Taste was mostly roasted(actually more burnt) coffee mixed in was some nuttiness and a nice jab of earthy bitterness.
Mouthfeel was just slightly above average for a brown ale. Not too slick but not too filling.
Drinkability, while I could drink a few of these and enjoy them, I am not going out of my way to purchase more of this beer. Stone puts out better beers than this one.
05-08-2005 17:23:18 | More by stegmakk
4.47/5 rDev +11.8%
Aroma, delicious smelling. Wow. Smells of chestnuts and dark brown sugar. A bit earthy and woodsy, but, in a shy sort of way. No alcohol presence or yeast aromas, just a great heady aroma that is making me salivate.
Taste. Smooth and mild. Great character and body. That brown sugar taste is coming through spendidly, but the beer itself is not really sweet. Its a nice balance between this brown sugar and a nice, sort of springtime bitterness.
Mouthfeel is superb, carbonation is just right, not even noticeable as you are just concentratingn on the wonderful flavour of this beer.
Drinkability is wow, Im really glad I have a whole 22oz to myself!
I knew this beer wasn't going to suck, but, well, I am really surprised by how much i really love this one. It exemplifies everything I think a beer should be. Sturdy and delicious smelling and tasting. some nice simple tastes you can enjoy without thinking about, but a little extra layer of complexity in case you want to dig around. I'm glad to have run into this one when I did.
05-05-2005 02:41:55 | More by trancefishy
4.1/5 rDev +2.5%
Slightly hazed tawny bister hue. Steadfast, dense one fingered head yields rough lace. Twang of smokey roasted grain and burnt caramel upfront in aroma. Swirling releases fermented prune hints and rounded dark chocolate tones. Inviting aromawise. Incipient in flavor are notes of treacle and singed chestnut, which promptly yield to assertive, yet seemingly restrained hop bitterness. The flavor profile is left transiently minerally mid palate, until a combination of dark toffee, baker's chocolate and a sweet, woody hop flavor gently surface and persist. Moderate in body and suitably dextrinous considering the soft malt profile. Finishes mostly dry, with bittersweet dark cocoa and caramel hints overshadowed by satiating lingering, burly hop bitters. A surprisingly balanced and well rounded beverage. Tastefully crafted and superlative in drinkability. Alcohol flavors are aptly hidden. Excellent overall.
05-03-2005 13:36:20 | More by marc77
4.22/5 rDev +5.5%
Pours a dark root beer color with limited head and some carb action.
Aroma has a molasses nutty roasted malt smell with pine lime hops and hints of chocolate.
Smooth heavy bitter ale taste with chocolate malt and pine orange hops.
Medium to full body, dry syrupy texture, soft and smooth carbonation, and a smooth metallic finish.
Drinkability is alright for the style.
04-29-2005 10:10:15 | More by Troyone
2.78/5 rDev -30.5%
Stone 8th Anniversary Ale
Appearance- looks like coca-cola, dark brownish black with a bubbly head.
Smell- creamy stout with malt and alcohol.
Taste- a stout Ale hybrid with a mix of rubbing alcohol to boot.
Overall- the alcohol is too present. Ruins the beer in my opinion. Beer has a nice stout creaminess and an ale malty cripness but it's ruined by the high alcohol content.
04-28-2005 21:27:21 | More by NJpadreFan
Stone 8th Anniversary Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 261 ratings.