Stygian Descent | Stone Brewing

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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 dwagner003 on 01-08-2014

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 79
Reviews by brewskis:
Photo of brewskis
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of ArrogantB
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
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 PretzelCity
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.54/5  rDev -39.1%
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.

 296 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.79/5  rDev +14.9%
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 BKotch
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of richj1970
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.84/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
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 -3.6%
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 HopHunter19
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
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 AJmon13
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beerbuddy21
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of CitizenGrain
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.25/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of chrismattlin
4.77/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of hermit990
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - black with incredible lasting head and sticky lacing
Smell - toasty and sweet scents with almost no hop
Taste - mellower than expected. Sweet toasted caramel followed by bitter coffee
Feel - medium light body and carbonation
Overall - fantastic but not worth the price tag

 281 characters

Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jpaulsen
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of THSdrummer
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with two and a half fingers of caramel-khaki head. Head formation is tight and foamy with wonderful retention. Lacing dots the entire glass after each sip. Every bit of a wonderful black IPA look, which is even more phenomenal considering this is barrel aged. Aroma is dark, biting, and inviting. Notes of rye whiskey, and the barrel show up simultaneously alongside toasted malts, and perfumey, spicy hops. Wonderful complexity and balance. Flavor profile is smooth, with a dry finish. Rye whiskey and the barrel open up the flavor profile. Toasted and rolled malts come in next, with some biting pine, and perfume hop notes showing up last. As the flavor profile develops, it's slashed by the dry finish of the rye keeping any bitter hop notes from sticking to the tongue for too long. Mouth feel is smooth, without much to consider. It's thick enough to deliver the oomph of the flavor profile without distracting from the complexity. Overall, a sublime black IPA. The barrel aging has done this beer wonders. Use of rye over other whiskeys provides this beer a dry, cutting flavor profile that plays extremely well into this variety of beer. Wicked good.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 1,197 characters

Photo of random846
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Piddmeista
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

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Stygian Descent from Stone Brewing
4.17 out of 5 based on 79 ratings.
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