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Cambridge / Brewdog / Stone Juxtaposition Black Pilsner - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Cambridge / Brewdog / Stone Juxtaposition Black PilsnerCambridge / Brewdog / Stone Juxtaposition Black Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

208 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 208
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 23
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: alexd3891 on 07-24-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bfields4
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A black body with a deep amber hue. Nice large tight head that refuses to diminish. I'm digging the color.

Roasted malts blast off the nose with herbal hops and a earthy aroma.

Roasted malts and burnt flavors complement a nice herbal bitterness. The Japanese hops provide for a very nice earthy bitter flavor.

This beer is very light and smooth with a nice head that complements the smooth body. Nice alcohol burn lets you know its there lurking.

Photo of vrazionale
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Dark, ominous black body with a touch of rust along the edges of the brew. The head is a thin lacing that quickly recedes to the edges.

S - Bitter, earthy, and pungent. Roasted coffee, leather, cacao nibs, smoke, toasted walnuts, a touch of tobacco. The rich pungency of this brew is enticing.

T - There is nothing fruity or floral about the hop presence here. The brewers have managed to extract all of the pungent, bitter, resiny, and earthy flavors out of the hops. The dark roasted notes (coffee stands out most prominently) are a nice complement to the dark hop character.

M - Has the sticky undercarbonated feel of a stout, but the lingering stickiness helps to prolong the long finish.

D - If you're a fan of roasty imperial stouts, you should get your hands on this brew. Plenty of roasted malt, coffee, nut, and cacao flavor to go around. I'd pair this with an aged Gouda or Gruyere, or instead with a beef brisket BBQ sandwich. I wish I could pin it down, but it's missing something. A good brew, but not quite great, in my humble opinion.

Photo of callmescraps
3.13/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this at the brewery, succumbed to the press.

Appearance - Well, it's a black pilsner all right. Very dark. A nice inch of toffee head dissipates quickly. Some nice lacing.

Smell - Lots of roast malts. Some roasted marshmallow as well. Smells more like a stout than a pilsner, really. Some dark fruit maybe. Interesting.

Taste - Lots of roast up front. A real coffee bitter on the finish. A touch of smoke as well. Some piney hop seems to be making an appearance. There's a real herbal quality.

Mouthfeel - Nice and light. Good carbonation.

Drinkability - That bitter roast finish makes it hard to put down. But the abv is well hidden and it's light.

This is a strange beer. Seems more like a stout in many ways. Not quite sure where the "pilsner" thing is coming from. Not quite sure how to rate to style, since it's a very unusual brew. That said, there's simply too much burnt roast going on for me to enjoy it much. Pass.

Photo of mcallister
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very deep chestnut color bordering on black with a thick creamy tan head with long retention. Really nice looking head.

Black cherry, burnt malts, earthy hops, dried fruits, hints of the ocean, bubblegum and malt.

Very nice different beer. Burnt roasty malts devour the mid palate and finish which then turns to a long earthy linger. creamy thick mouth. Caramel, dried berries, black cherry and hints of currant, leather, and soil.

Photo of Wildman
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured almost a pure black color with little carbonation. It formed a light tan foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, coffee and anise. The flavor was of malt, herbs, light toffee and pepper. The body was medium light and the finish slightly peppery with a warming aspect of the alcohol present. The flavor seems like a black ale.

Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a mug. I don't really know what glass to use on this.

A: Huge thick looking head. Was not expecting the level of head, should have poured it more gently. Head color is tan, body is black, some brown hues on the edges in the light.

S: Hops up front and a slight roast note the back. I can almost smell the hop bitterness. Alcohol comes through a little later.

T: Hops, high gravity, a little roast, firm bitterness on the finish.

M: Good carbonation, decent mouthfeel. Puckering finish.

D: Nothing foul, but not particularly easy drinking.

Its a hard style to judge, but this gravity I expect a little more complexity or refreshment. It comes off as a tasty, slightly roasty IPA.

Photo of flannelman808
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

cool looking bottle. A strong black pils is in fact a juxtaposing sort of beer. Though BrewDog, Stone, and Cambridge don't really juxtapose one another.

A: cool bottle, one of the few stone beers with no gargoyle on the front. Long narrative on the back as usual. This pours a very opaque very dark brown almost black color. Great pancake batter head which has a light tan sort of color. Looks great!

S: Pine?? citrus...? Not what i would have expected to be the forefront aromatics on this one. Definitely some coco and chocolaty maltiness in the nose as well. Sort of weird with the hoppy grass and pine in the forefront.

M: Foamy and mouthfilling. This one seems to sit on the middle of your tongue. If you didn't try to swallow it all it would seem to just rest there, I suppose this speaks to the beers good lacing as well.

T: It reminds me of 82%pave dark chocolate. The bitterness from hops combined with the chocolate malt. Interesting beer, never would have guessed it was a pilsner. very good and very different!

D: Good for a dessert beer or as an aperitif. Im not sure how many of them I would want to drink but one is certainly worthwhile!

Photo of magictrokini
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap @ O'Brien's. Poured dark brown, from the light, possbily black. Dense tan head that doesn't budge and some nice lacing at the top of the glass. Earthy, grainy nose that has been burnt. Equally strong is a pleasant apricot and citrus aroma; this has me intrigued to find out what it tastes like. Citrus and tangy peach flavors up front with strong hops. Kind of wheaty, but malty Belgian as well. This mellows a bit to more grain/chocolate-like taste without the fruitiness, but all of the hops. Tangy, resin with roasted malt finish, kind of earthy. Very, very different from anything I've had from Stone, or any other brewer. It was a long drinker, and at the time I didn't want another. I do now.

Photo of cbutova
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black/brown into my glass, looks like cola, brown in the light with good carbonation. Small head disappears to form a small random blanket on the beer, little to no lacing on this brew. Smell and taste remind me of my 3L Double Bastard I had a while back, at least the hop aspect does. Get hops on this one with some sweetness, a warm and spicy aftertaste, little bit of alcohol in the taste but not much. Sweet smell and taste I cant quite ID. The mouthfeel was pretty light, but the 10% doesn't really shine through making it a very unique beer. Definately worth a shot, a bit overpriced though for a 12oz.

Photo of LibraryTom
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Brewing's collaboration with Brew Dog from Scotland, and Cambridge from MA. Big, rich, dark chocolate liqueur with coffee overtones. Pilsner, only in the sense that a "pilsner" malt is what was used, then roasted black. It is brewed with a lager yeast, which makes the gravity quite uncommon. But do not be fooled, this is a serious beer. A lot of sweet malty layers contrasted well by the Sorachi (Japan) and Motueka (NZ) hops. The hop profile really is the backbone of the beer and stands well against the dark malt. Many parallels can be made to the Black IPA or Sublimely Self-Righteous, but in my opinion the individual character of the hops used is very apparent.

Photo of wknight167
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - Pours almost black, dark brown edges with just under a one finger, tan head with moderate/low retention. Left with a nice crown for the rest of the beer.

Nose- Spicy, earthy hops that grows stronger as the beer warms, quickly outshine the coffee/roast notes perceptible early on.

Palate - First sip shows the roasty malts are only a supporting role to the hops. I have never tasted these hops before. They are similar to saaz, but earthier., which matches well with the roast malts.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation, slighly viscous.

Drinkability - For a hop head? high

Photo of Arbitrator
2.55/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. I ordered it online for pickup, and was a bit dismayed to see that my $6 bottle was actually a 12ozer. Most of Stone's $6 beers are bombers. Feeling a bit stiffed already...

A: Pours a pitch brown with just the slightest lightening to translucent ruby at the edges (easily seen when held against the light). The head is about a finger's worth of light tan-colored foam. Retention is moderate, and after a few minutes there is just a collar on the drink, some scattered bubbles on top of the brew, and a couple of clumps on the glass to pass as lacing.

S: The first whiff, when the beer is coldest, yields a pilsner malt aroma with slight citrus hops. As the beer warms, the hops overpower the malt entirely, producing a bouquet of grapefruit and orange. There is also a mild aroma of chocolate. However, the beer really had to be agitated to bring all this out.

T: As I was tasting this, I was picturing the meeting where these three brewers sat down and decided how to make this beer. They had undoubtedly hit some sort of stumbling block about how to make the brew stand out. "It's going to be a black... imperial... pilsner... But that's not unique enough. What to do?" And they were sitting around scratching their heads. Now, Stone has been feeling ashamed ever since they brewed their XII anniversary Oatmeal Stout (in response to the hop shortage) which turned out to be cleaning product. So they responded the only way they know how: "...I know. We'll HOP IT AGGRESSIVELY." Applause ensued, tears ran down the brewers' cheeks, and they clapped Stone on the back before embracing in a manly threehug. Crisis averted.

The taste starts off surprisingly earthy, which I didn't get in the smell. Earthy hops give way to boatloads of grapefruit citrus, followed by roasted malt and a little chocolate near the finish. The aftertaste is probably the most noticeable part of the brew, with a charcoal-like earthy flavor. I don't know whether it's hop / roasted malt clash or something else, but it's just really off-putting and begins to wear down on me after a while.

M: Light-medium body, moderate carbonation. Not too familiar with the "imperial" pilsner style, but this seems heavier and flatter than a pilsner should be. That being said, I wouldn't hold that against the beer if it didn't have such a strange aftertaste. BIG points for hiding the ABV so well in a thin body, though. I still can't believe this is 10%.

D: Definitely won't buy this again.

Photo of MiScusi
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Black, nice light tan head with good retention. Lacing is there.

S- Takes a while to come thru as it warms up (I poured it very cold), but it's roasty, chocolatey, a bit of alcohol... a bit of classic lager smell is there but maybe I only realize b/c I know they used lager yeast.

T- mildly roasty. Alcohol is detectable at the back end and it has a big belly-warming character. As it warms up more of a chocolate flavor is detectable.

M- On the thinner side which is nice, but I think it lets the alcohol shine through more, which is the catch 22 here with a 10% thin bodied lager. If this were bigger bodied though you may as well just throw ale yeast in there and call it an imperial porter... so good job to the brewers at keeping the body thin.

D- I like the flavor most of the way but as it warms towards the end I get tired of it. The alcohol is always noticeable and is more pronounced when warm towards the end. Nice beer to try once, I won't get it again though.

Photo of srroos
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Started cold and allowed to warm while drinking.

Pours opaque black with dark brown edges. Small tan head. Aroma is fresh piney hops with a bit of chocolate malt. Taste is as expected for a pilsner, light and fresh hops, but again with an unexpected malt component. Mouthfeel is very light due to the high carbonation. Drinkable just like a pilsner (amazing!) despite the 10% ABV.

Quite an interesting brew. Odd style, but very enjoyable fresh. Can't imagine it would be one to hold onto though.

Photo of constahoogan
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

NICE!. poured into my pokal.

A - awesome, pours extremely dark amber/brown color with a light brown foamy head. it looks somewhat clear from what i CAN see through.

S - Biscuit, bread-like coffee/chocolate malts. Slightly bitter hop nose.

T - great. This beer is so rich with the dark coffee malts it's a wonderful kick in my mouth. The coffee chocolate malts ride so smoothly then dissipates as the slight bitter hop comes to play.

M - Pretty smooth from what i recall. Not over-carbonated, but not flat either.

D - I could drink this one all night if i had the money/chance. at 10% itll surely get me well through a night of partying.

Photo of hreb
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cold 12oz bottle poured into Weizen glass. Beer pours dark chocolate brown with a thick head of chocolate frosting. Brown bubbles race upwards through black beer towards the surface. The beer is beautiful and striking, as is the painted brown glass bottle it arrives in. Initial aroma is alarmingly cascadey-IPA with a hint of chocolate stout. Seriously!

First sip is full-bodied, creamy, and smooth, with very little edge of carbonation, and an intoxicating chocolate malt flavor. The hops kick in with the aftertaste, balancing out towards a slightly dry finish. As I become accustomed to the flavor, tan lacing coats the glass, but it's apparent that the middle of the beer isn't super-heavy...it's actually relatively thin.

Lip-licking good.

Photo of HalfFull
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brownish black with rich ruby highlights and offers a half inch of bubbly mocha head. Retention is moderate yet yields a good amount of lacing and maintains a surface ring well.

Rich malt nose reminiscent of an imperial red ale. Sweet and quite hoppy on the nose, earthen in nature. Alcohol is evident yet not obvious. No notable lager presence as hops overwhelm this beer.

Taste is rich and somewhat malty but well balanced given the hop notes. Coarse chocolate on the palate with a hint of black licorice, dark cherry and cinnamon. A dry close of bitter hops is brief but pleasant. Feel is rich and chewy with a moderately long finish. Drink is moderate for the style as this is a rather complex brew.

Likely the most un-lager lager I've had, even in its dying moments of carbonation. Nonetheless, at $5.99 for a 12 oz. bottle, I'm unlikely to revisit. More for others....

Photo of BeerSox
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap into flute @ Cambridge Brewing Company during Aug. 8th tapping event (happened on this one coincidentally - imagine that...)

Pitch black with a one finger tan head. It turns into a thin and even cap once it settles. Sticky lacing, stringy and spotty. The beer ends up being more of a ruby hue when there is only a little beer in the glass.

Light smokey aromas, roasted malts, and very strong herbal hop aromas (noble aromas), not as much citrus.

The malts in the flavor are strong, with a lot of burnt flavors. One of the first things I noticed is that the alcohol sticks out a lot, giving a very warming feel with every sip.

It has a strong alcohol flavor but somehow ends up very drinkable. This beer falls in line with the Black Ale (Black IPA) fad, also pioneered by stone (I guess this is like the lager version). Very hoppy, but also very malty. I'll give Stone/CBC/BrewDog credit for making something fit well into a style that doesn't exist. Rather drinkable considering the alcohol content. Recommended, especially fresh on tap.

Photo of u2carew
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Cambridge Brewing co. for their collaboration night. Served in a wine stem glass.
A) Thin head. Thin and slightly sticky. Deep brown.
S) Floral hops. Complex yet delightful.
T) Casade hops? Smoky. Cocoa. Caramel. Hops work this through from beginning to end. Some grainy notes.
M) Gritty at times. Robust bodied, between medium and full.
Smooth. Slight tannin / resin feel.
D) Oh my! Fantastic. A dark beer that taste like an imperial IPA.

Photo of jamie2dope
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to the staff at Downtown Wine and Spirits for pulling this up from the basement for me. It is really cool to see breweries like these collaborating. Color is just a hint away from being black, more of a dark dark brown. Heading is absolutely flawless, with three fingers of really creamy looking foam at the top. I am mainly getting hops in the aroma, but there is also some chocolaty malt, and bitter grain. Taste is a real treat for hop lovers. I know they used some type of new hop in this beer, and whatever it is, I can only conclude that it is helping it out immensely. Mouthfeel is pretty big and burly. Although the hops really start punching right from the start, the malt does chime in from time to time. Drinking this beer is a real delight, but be careful, as that ten percent alcohol doesn't really make itself known too much. Final thoughts: This is one bad-ass brew from Stone, CBC and Brewdog. Probably ranks as my favorite in the collaborative series.

Photo of BeTheBall
4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown with a nice head with some lacing down the glass. To me, the smell was very similar to Stone's Strong American Ales, roasted peat and malt, earthy and spicy. Taste was much more complicated. There is something in the flavor I can't identify that makes it a little different than anything I've had before. Very earthy with some sort of herbs, finishes dry and with a nice little hop spice. The taste gets richer as it warms in the glass. Mouthfeel was good, rich and satisfying. Drinkability? This is very strong and rich tasting, but I could not drink more than one. Powerful stuff!

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on 08.07.09 from a 12oz brown bottle poured into a 20oz pilsner glass.

A: Dark brown & nearly black w/fluffy two finger beige/tan head

S: Good earthy hops in the nose. A bit of spice.

T: Nice & hoppy for a pils. Earthy, floral notes. Roasted malts o' chocolate. Not nearly as boozy as a 10%er should be.

M & D: Creamy texture & good carbs. Very drinkable & complex. IPA-ish pilsner, yet black. Well done all around. I wish I could have bought more than one at a time...

Photo of Lerxst
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had to get this from a buddy in California who is not a BA. But you are awesome for sending this!

A-Black fading to a brown near the outside with a two finger head that hung around for a bit and left just a bit of lacing.

S-Citrus and piney hops with a nice bready maltiness to it.

T-A bit of citrusy hops bite first followed by the bready maltiness with a nice bitter bite on the back end. There are definitely some hops in this baby.

M-Looks like a full bodied beer, but the mouthfeel is on the light side of medium and does not really coat the palate.

D-I enjoyed it, but I can't see this as a session beer.

Overall it was a very interesting experience that I will enjoy again since I've got one more in the stock. Another nice job from Stone.

Photo of vacax
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle for $6. Steep, but somewhat understandable for an insanely hopped beer that is the first lager coming out of the Stone Brewery.

Juxtaposition walks the line between brown and straight up black and pours a generous one and a half finger dark tan head that has moderate retention and lace.

The aroma blew me away instantly with a rush of sweet pineapple juice that soon gave way to more earthy fruit notes like mango or guava. I even get a little bit of an orange teriyaki fusion in there.

The initial flavor profile is bursting with sweet pineapple paired with a grapefruit and peppery hop profile. upon the finish the sweetness dissolves and gives way to an increasingly bitter and peppery hop bite. Initially sweet but the finishing bite prevents any cloying. The hop bill is strong on the finish and reminds me of some imperial red ales. Somewhat heavy, silky body is in line with the color and sweetness that are so evident, but is quite unique for something called a pils. Nice medium prickly carbonation seems appropriate.

A tasty beer that kind of reminds me of the original Stone XI in how it takes a popular style and turns its topsy-turvy. I would have believed it if they told me this was a new "Black IPA" with lots of sweet tropical fruit notes. The fact that this is a lager is not really something I can detect. I like this beer, though I am not overly fond of peppery hops and the finish is not crisp or dry like many a pils are. This is definitely a beer that is doing its own thing.

Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to snojerk321 for this.

The beer appears black (surprised?) with a very light brown head...I guess it's more beige than brown. Retention is pretty good and some lacing is left behind.

The aroma is of dark chocolate, cocoa, some coffee (just a little). The alcohol is aggressive in the nose. Maybe some brown sugar?

The flavor is immediately aggressive bitterness. I get some faint chocolate notes. I'm having a really hard time picking out flavors beneath the overbearing hop bitterness. Alcohol is quite apparent, and the finish tastes like Stone hop bitterness -the flavor.

The beer is full bodied with medium carbonation and a sticky mouthfeel. I don't have a strong opinion on this beer.

Cambridge / Brewdog / Stone Juxtaposition Black Pilsner from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.