Stygian Descent | Stone Brewing

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Stygian DescentStygian Descent
129 Ratings
Stygian DescentStygian Descent

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels

Added by StoutSnob40 on 01-08-2014

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 |  Reviews: 35
Reviews by brewskis:
Photo of brewskis
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of ArrogantB
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Hops and Pie, nice to get to try one of these quigente millilitre specialties, apparently this was aged in Breckenridge whiskey barrels. Dark black, decent head. Aroma was extremely floral, much more so than sublimely self-righteous. Flavor was hoppy, bits of chocolate, not too much whiskey. Well done and very different from the regular version.

 357 characters

Photo of Marklaker
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DavidR_9
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 10/16 consumed 10/17.
Seriously delicious rye and bourbon barrel aged black ipa. Lots of chocolately and roasty notes along with woody oakey goodness and hint of spice, finished off with a bright zesty and citrusy/stone fruity hop character that is somehow completely welcome - finds its way into the territory of chocolately and malty barrel aged stout and reminds you that some boundaries and rules are meant to be broken.

 432 characters

Photo of Beer21
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WickedBeer
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up from Total Wine & More in Woodland Hills, CA. 11.6% ABV, Batch No. 2, bottled October 2016.

Poured into a New Belgium Goblet glass; Pours a beautiful black with a tall head of thick, cream colored foam. Heavy lacing.

Smell: so many good qualities here.. sweet, delightful raisin smell, lingering roasted notes.
Taste: same nice sweetness, a mix of raisins and light notes of burnt oak. Very mild hop quality for the amount used in this beer, but definitely clear hints of one of my all-time favorite Black IPAs.
Feel: Sticky, thick, and wonderful. Carbonation, but not overpowering. A very smooth beer for one so hearty and with an IPA base.

Overall very good; I was excited for this as I loved the original Sublimely Self-Righteous. Dare I say a tad mild taste for a Stone Barrel-Aged beer, but in this case it's not a bad thing. A high price point, but if you like Barrel-Aged beers and/or are hesitant about IPAs, don't be. This is a good beer. Cheers!

 968 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really dark brown color with creamy, tan head. Aroma has nice bourbon fudge notes with spicy rye and some booze. Taste starts with bourbon sweetness but is quickly overwhelmed by the hops making it quite bitter. Finishes with spicy whiskey and hop notes. Medium body, really smooth on the palate. Overall it's a really nice combination of flavors which are integrated quite well.

 379 characters

Photo of PretzelCity
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.54/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

500 mL bottle. Black body. Ample khaki head. Smells intensely oaky. Funky oak aroma. A little citrusy. Chocolate malts. Tastes of whiskey and sharp oak. Citrus. Aggressively bitter. Sharp bitter oaky finish. Heavy with a lingering chocolate sweetness in the back end. Not sure I really like this.

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Photo of russpowell
4.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Opens DIFFICULTLY!!! Cork seems like it may be susceptible to dry rot, like others they have releseased lately... grrr No signs of carbonation , pours mahogany with much ( 3 fingers plus ) of mocha colored head. Epic lacing. viscious, nice head retention

S: Bourbon, vanilla, rye & cakeyness

T: Follows the nose, a little pine & pumpernickel up front. Rye spiceyness & dryness start to dominate as this warms, the bourbon is strong here too. Finsihes boozey, piney, rich, dry with a nice rye spiceyness

MF: Chewy, slight carbonation, warming

Drinks real easy despite the abv & complexity. A Black IPA for the non-Black IPA fan, bloody good! I am thinking my beer of 2016...

 686 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BKotch
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of richj1970
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 500ml into a Speiglau BA glass.

The beer is pitch black with a thin light tan head.

Aroma is a cheesy vanilla bourbon with not much hops.

Taste is more of that intense vanilla bourbon. Absolutely delicious.

 224 characters

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of jaydoc
3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

This one pours a dark brown, nearly black, with a nice white head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like resinous hops, pine, a little bit of orange citrus, lots of oak, vanilla, and rye whiskey.

This is aged in both rye whiskey and bourbon barrels, but I really only get the rye here, as there's a nice spiciness to it. The barrel character is pretty subtle, though, only 5 months in the barrels was not really enough. There's more oak than actual spirit character, with some mild barrel derived vanilla. There's some smoke and earthy bitter hops. The hop assault that is the base beer is still present and accounted for, it doesn't seem significantly decreased by the barrel aging.

This is pretty creamy, with a good level of carbonation for the style.

I'm not really sure this is better than the base beer, but it's still interesting to drink. I'd like to see it in barrels longer to transform even further.

 976 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone gargoyle pint. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass, with a half finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Aroma somewhat mild, dominated by light whiskey with hints of dark malt, dark fruit and chocolate. Flavor is mild dark toasted malt, whiskey, oak, hints of chocolate and stone fruit. Finishes with bourbon and lightly citrus hops. Medium bodied with light creaminess. I am divided on this one. It is quite pleasant, but the base beer is one of my favorite all times dark ales and it is way dominated in this by the whiskey barrel flavor. Sublimely is a robust ale and it's a little surprising to find it a supportive, but subtle flavor contributor for this ale. So I miss the Sublimely, but this is quite tasty. The whiskey and oak flavors are up front and are carried well by the now more subtle dark malts. ABV is amazingly well covered. Not that complex, but recommended for fans of dark malt and whiskey barreling. Enjoyable.

 972 characters

Photo of Prager62
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A cellared 500ml bottle from the 2016 Series Batch 2 poured in a Stone snifter.

Look- Pours a slightly murky medium brown generating a quarter inch of creamy light tan foam. It settles to a thin layer leaving behind some light lacing.

Smell- Bourbon, vanilla, oak, pine, dark roast and char.

Taste- Pine, bourbon, vanilla, mild floral, char and heavy oak in the finish.

Feel- Creamy smooth up front yielding to considerable alcohol heat and a dry finish.

Overall- I'm not a big fan of the black IPA style and barrel aging IPA's can be treacherous at times. Both my fears were put to rest after drinking this flavorful beast. This is a solid barrel aged beer from Stone and something I'd love to drink again.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Agree with the difficulty opening. A cork should be able to be freed with your hand. This took teeth and an old handtowel for extra grip. Cork itself was dry.

A - 5 - really dark brown-black beer with ruby tranlucency on the edges. Smooth tan head sticks for days and leaves nice lacing. Bottle itself is the typical badass Stone Small Batch 500ml bottle.
S - 4 - big rye whiskey, dark roasty malts, oak, pine and grapefruit from the hops, overall a spicy, hoppy, whiskey-y strong dark beer
T - 4.5 - big rye whiskey, spicy notes, dark roasty malts, burnt marshmallow, pine and grapefruit from the hops. Everything a black ipa should be
M - 4.5 - medium to heavy beer, alc covered at 11.6% abv, aftertaste is more spicy rye whiskey, hops
O - 4.5 - i love sublimely self righteous. I love rye whiskey (and bourbon) aged beers. This is a great beer brewed by a great company. Will continue to drink Stone as long as I drink beer.

 931 characters

Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2016

A: Poured into an oversized wine glass to a black beer topped by a dense three finger light tan head which has excellent retention and leaves great lacing
S: Smells of stone fruits and tropical fruits with some black malt bitterness along with some oak, vanilla, caramel, and some spice
T: Taste is stone fruits and tropical fruits followed by some nice roasty notes. Good bits of spice, oak, caramel, and vanilla as well. Surprisingly well hopped still with a lot of nice rye barrel character. Swallow is more oak, stone fruits, vanilla, and lingering roasted malts.
M: This beer is on the medium side of things when it comes to the body. Carbonation is effervescent but not prickly from the bottle conditioning while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this one is really interesting. It has some slight dark beer flavors but it also still has a lot of really great flavor from the barrels and the hop selections. I'm a little sad that the base beer was discontinued as this is one that I would like to revisit from time to time.

 1,063 characters

Photo of dsshuck
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AJmon13
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beerbuddy21
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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Stygian Descent from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 129 ratings