Stone / Cambridge / BrewDog - Juxtaposition Black Pilsner | Stone Brewing

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Stone / Cambridge / BrewDog - Juxtaposition Black PilsnerStone / Cambridge / BrewDog - Juxtaposition Black Pilsner
Very Good
210 Ratings
Stone / Cambridge / BrewDog - Juxtaposition Black PilsnerStone / Cambridge / BrewDog - Juxtaposition Black Pilsner

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Collaboration with Cambridge Brewing and BrewDog Brewing

Added by alexd3891 on 07-24-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 210 |  Reviews: 176
Reviews by wchesak:
Photo of wchesak
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Allagash 40cl chalice

A- very very dark brown, bordering on black, opaque with a bit of brown tinting at bottom, fingers worth of tan head, like a RIS would have

S - bready, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, some slight citrus hops that are never in the forefront

T - hop is much more pronounced here, more of bready, caramel that would be found in a pilsner just more intense, alcohol is fleeting towards the end of the swallow

M - medium bodied, good carbonation, ending is pretty smooth, esp once it warms up

D - alcohol is almost unnoticeable however no reason to plow through a beer like this, just amazing what they are doing with the collaboration beers, wondering when black pils will be added as category

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More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass a deep opaque black with an inch of creamy cocoa foam on top. Looks good in the glass. Aromas are big on herbal, resinous hops upfront. Spicy / earthy notes abound. Dark roasted backbone with a touch of cocoa. Brown sugar and caramel along with an underlying citric note.

First sip brings roasted malts dancing with a bit of chocolate and molasses. Big hop oils kick in with herbal, earthy resins. Citrus fruits and a toasted, lightly smoky flavor. Smack of bitterness on the way down with a touch of anise. Tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with good carbonation. A bit creamy even. Goes down fairly easily. This was quite an interesting, tasty brew and I'm glad I was able to try it. Wish I had easier access to this as I wouldn't mind drinking another bottle!

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Photo of gregmoscetti
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the beer worlds answer to Spinal Tap.

I bought this bottle last night and figured I would have it for lunch today. Upon my first taste i noticed it was entirely too cold for anything to come through so I let it sit a while. After the temperature reached a good 45-50 degrees I tried it again. still not impressed. 55-60 degrees. Better.

As i take my last swig of this baby I cant help but complain about the hopping. I here the sentence "yea, I am a hop head" from like, EVERY dude that sits down around me at the craft beer bar of my choosing and admittedly, before the terms prevalence, I suppose I was one too. But stone takes the hop head mentality not to 10, but to 11. They pushed this one over the edge. I know it is a pilsner from the label, but to me it just tasted like an over the top sublimely/11th anniversary which should speak to the fact that I couldnt taste the pils notes at all.

I just was not impressed, all things considered.

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Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer, w/o freshness info
Pours damn near black, mocha head, sticks around nicely, fluffy and mottled. Leaves plenty of moderatly thick lace. Nose is vibrant and full of doughy bread notes, burnt grains and herbal highlights. Tasty and bold brew... not sure where the 10 % is hidden, I dont taste it. Notes of dark grains, dark chocolate, leather, and smoke. I like it. Go get some as this is an interesting brew thats well worth a try.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of magictrokini
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured in a snifter.

Pours like a dry stout, very dark with a small dark brown head that fades fast. Nose is sweet and light in malt a hint of coffee too.

Taste is weird. I want this to taste like a stout, but it's like a really good pilsner... but dark! Nice saaz kick to it, a bit of sulfur and roasted malt. A really unique and tasty brew!

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Photo of jondeelee
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Juxtaposition smells like an IPA in the same way that a Red Delicious smells like apple cobbler. Think big aromas here, and you might be getting close. The hops lend the brew a nose redolent with grapefruit and rosewater, and what are obviously massive amounts of malts bring a maple syrup and brown sugar counter.

On the tongue, the hops are extreme, and in fact so Brobdingnagian that I doubt many imbibers would be at ease with them--at 100 IBU, this is not a beer for the light-hearted. Massive sugars are necessary to help counterbalance such bitterness, and they are present, bringing caramelized brown sugars, vanillas, and dark fruit esters, along with hints of chocolate malt. But hops are the obvious winner in the onslaught, and their bitter sting remains on the tongue long into the aftertaste.

For sheer audacity and impressiveness, this beer deserves the highest of marks. For accessibility, however, I'm afraid it's near the bottom of the scale; it's simply too big, too bitter, too sugary. Buyer beware, then: if you thought Dogfish Head's 120 Minute IPA was fantastic, then you'll go crazy over Juxtaposition. But if even a standard IPA (Harpoon, Ipswich, or Dogfish Head's 60 Minute) is too much for you, then this is definitely not your mug of ale.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Juxtaposition is the perfect name for this beer.

Pours a rich and dark black, great aroma, a good hop character out of a pilsner. Taste is exquisite, comes on, you taste almost oatneal imperial stout, and then rather than stick around, it vanishes miraculously in a pilsner like quickness. Extremely clean finish.

Mouthfeel, such depth, but doesn't bog you down. These hops give the big black background such a rad texture. So drinkable, you never want to put this down. Would be higher if it wasn't really pricey ($6 for 12oz)..

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Photo of mondegreen
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with ruby red highlights. Nose is sweet molasses and dry roasted barley. Taste follows, quite sweet with roasted overtones and an underlying earthy hoppiness. Finishes dry. Mouth is thin/medium with ample carbonation. Drinks very nice for a 10% pilsner, reminiscent of a thinner dopplebock.

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by pghlee - thanks!

Pours a color one shade away from black with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of black malts with citrus and pine hops and a hint of anise.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Dark malt flavors up front are joined shortly by piney flavors and light hints of citrus. Midway through the sip a hint of licorice/anise comes in before a crisp and slightly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a very nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have a few of these.

Overall I'm pretty sure this is the first black imperial pilsner I've had but it was certainly enjoyable. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Brenden
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

More thanks to Bobby (alembician) for a beer I might never had a chance to try at all.

This beer is close to black, a very dark brown with ruby-brown hues in the light. A light brown head shows some a little growth and some stick, as it retains itself well and manages pretty good lacing.
This is a unique beer that I wouldn't think could be pegged as any kind of pils going into it. There is some grassiness to otherwise citric, grapefruity and herbal hops along with a lot of roast and some char. I suppose I could see this tagged as a Black Pilsener in the same way there's such a thing as a Cascadian Black, in that the hoppiness stops short of that particular style, it has the same kind of mixture and balance of hops and malts, and it's a bit earthier and grassier. The malty sweetness just adds an extra element. Alcohol is exceptionally well masked.
The body is medium, not the typical lightness of a pils but with the crispness, with a prickly carbonation. It foregoes smoothness for the crispness.

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Photo of alamode
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of Stigs
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, served in a Stone Levitation glass. thanks to a74gent for the trade and knocking this off of my wants list. Cheers!

A - pours with about half an inch of very creamy and tight, milkshake colored foam. the beer is a *very* dark ruby/brown color, close to black. chalky and spotty rings of lace are left behind.

S - dark roasted malts, yet held just before the point of being charred. balanced by ample sweetness: vanilla, milk chocolate, toasted nuts, and coconut. some hints of booze and rum as well as weak coffee and black tea.

T - whoa! follows its true colors with many porter-like qualities. dark malts provide hints of charred bitterness, ash, and light smokey flavors. sweetness comes into play as toasted nuts, brown sugar, vanilla beans, and chocolate. earthy hops add some ample yet not distracting bitterness. finishes with some hints of coffee and licorice.

M - medium body, with moderate and slightly sharp carbonation...cuts easily and nicely through the robust flavors. leaves a lingering roasty bitterness, earthy hops, and slightly sweet malty finish.

D - defines all logic of what a lager is capable of. insanely dangerous at 10% and delicious to boot. a sipper for sure but goes down very easy. hands down my favorite Stone collaboration to this point, which is saying a lot considering I've been a huge fan of all of them.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Not familiar with Cambridge, but I would expect a bizarre idea like "black pilsner" to come from the iconoclasts at Stone and BrewDog. It's surely something Dogfish Head might've done, had these guys not beat Sam to it...

Pours out super-black, although when put to light and after everything settles a bit, it's not the most opaque black beast in the world. But for a pilsner, it's crazy black. Something tells me it's time to throw any pils-related expectation out the window...

Aroma is breezy, dryer-sheet hops, the kinda of ultra-clean, ultra-fragrant aroma that I've also caught in beers like Surlyfest and Gumballhead. A bit of dark fruit in back, but the particularly perfume-like hops rule the nose.

Same ultra-clean, fresh, dryer-sheet hops on the tongue as in aroma. They seem to dominate at first, but then comes something like burnt popcorn (surely attributable to the malt), while baked fig/plum offer a kind of savory succulence in the background. A little smoky overall, though the hops settle that down, and the alcohol is only present as a soothing glow. Definitely a well-incorporated 10%. Very different, to say the least, and not far off from another great black beer, Southern Tier's Iniquity.

Speaking of Iniquity, Juxtaposition has a similarly to-die-for texture. At first springy, buoyant carbonation takes hold--the only likeness to a pilsner that I can detect--but then a wonderfully gooey, decadent, abundantly creamy feel caresses the tongue and doesn't let go. Nor do I want it to. Mouthfeel can't be anything but a perfect "5."

At 10%, and with such complexity and uniqueness, and a hefty price tag for a single 12 oz. bottle, probably not the greatest "drinkability"...but is it awesome? Hell yes. Unless you're a purist, in which case you'll be happy to walk away from the steep price of admission. More adventurous beerists, however, should have it on the top of their must-try list. [There's a second entry on BA for this very same beer, listing it as a Weizenbock. Not sure what that's all about...]

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with some small ruby highlights and a light tan head that lingers pretty well leaving nice lacing.

Nose is full of west coast hop citrus with some burnt weed like notes and a clear sweet malt presence often found in old IPA.

Taste follows with some old IPA-like malt profile, but there is a slight bit more of a roasty complexity under there somewhere. Not sure when this was bottled but most (hopefully) of the hop profile is lacking. Finish is pretty crisp and has a lagery grain like feel.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid, carbonation is fine and viscosity is just a tad bit heavy.

Drinkability is decent for the abv, but just ok overall.

Overall really not impressed with this beer. Its certainly not bad, its just very unexciting and i was expecting alot more. I know this bottle probably has a little age on it, which is not conducive to the style, but ive got what ive got.

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Photo of schinebd
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A nice black color with a thin white head that retains around the edge of the glass, but otherwise disappears. Some extra novelty points because most pilsners are not this color.

S - A lot going on here - there are definitely the expected hops that go with the style, but there is some strange blend of malts and other ingredients trying overtake the hop aroma that I can't quite work out. A little messy, IMO.

T - I did not expect the taste at all. The roasted black malts explode immediately with each sip and then slowly fade. As the malt flavor recedes a rather strong licorice/bourbony flavor pokes through, all while a bitter hop spine lurks in the background and carries the beer from first malty taste to finish. Quite the flavor profile, and the order in which the flavors present themselves is extraordinary.

M - Well carbonated - the multitude of flavors really ignite all of the taste buds.

D - At 10% this is a strong one. And $8 for one 12 oz bottle? Seriously? I guess I'm a sucker for buying it...but, seriously?

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Photo of Sammy
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Rattle 'N' Hum. One of a kind, like a shwartzbier, with dry Irish stout characteristics, and pilsner hops. Black with light lace, off a bubbly head.Looks great, no pilsner like it. Easy drinker, smooth mouthfeel. Hops are not aggressive, there is also chocolate and a tad of sourness.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my pilsner glass. Pretty impossible to rate to style as this intentionally defies style conventions...this isn't even similar to the other Imperial Pilsners I've tried thus far.

Bistre liquid with dim cola/root-beer highlights - on first glance I would expect this to be a schwarzbier - but then the head forms a solid two fingers high, receding by half to a very fluffy layer of cream-infused desert sand foam with stupendous retention (especially for the high ABV) and thick sudsy lacing. Visually this could almost pass for an Imperial Porter or a Stout. Not really seeing the legs I would expect...

Aroma is fairly restrained at first, as I served this quite cold. Noble hops are clearly present, but I'm (thankfully) not getting bowled over by the pungence of Saaz like I expected. The hops present as floral (roses?) and delicate - all together quite welcoming. After the hops there are notes of cream and perhaps buttermilk (though this isn't diacetyl), concluded by a low smoky malt scent. I'm pleasantly surprised. As it warms up more, I seem to detect a hint of candied ginger as well (perhaps from the alcohol?)...

Roasted malt, herbaceous hops, fruit-forward alcohol, a very complicated mix...the combination of porter, pilsner, and strong ale notes is (for lack of a better adjective) intoxicating. No phenols, though you can taste the yeast. Fairly sweet on the palate, but a slow-building bitterness begins to swallow the sugars, themselves taking on more of a burnt presentation as the malt and alcohol (coffee, chocolate, and whisky) threaten to commandeer the finish.

Very full-bodied mouthfeel, chewy and thick with very mild astringency and quite a lot of warming.

Drinkability is rather good for a such a mash-up of a beer, though I find it confusing to have to slowly sip what is ostensibly a lager...

I was worried this would be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, but I'm very pleased with this collaboration...give it a chance if you are in the mood for something different.

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Photo of hreb
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
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's actually relatively thin.

Lip-licking good.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jon for picking this one up for me. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Harpoon Pilsner.

A: Moderate pour yields a gigantic, upwards rising 4 finger head that completely overflowed the glass. Head is a frothy, solid, faintly reddish coffee color with good retention. Beer is a dark, near opaque amber. Lacing is thick and with good stick.

S: Coffee, licquorice, brownie, cocoa, honey, and creamy toffee hops. Mouthwatering flavor with a slight background of booziness. Absolutely delicious.

T: Yeasty and chocolatey upfront with a sweet coffee flavor. Slightly nutty also, this may be the single most uniquely flavored beer I've ever come across. Hops mixed up with toffee invade my palate as does an almost tea like quality. I'm not really sure what to think here and my mouth definitely isn't helping. Almost like an imperial stout but not as heavy and with a more upfront hop character. Finishes hoppy accented by a sweet molasses that lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, slightly carbonated, and relatively smooth and oily. Sticky also and surprisingly easy drinking considering the abv. This is a beer that'll sneak up on you. Finish is messy and lingers.

D: A unique beer to say the least, I've never had anything even remotely close to this so there's nothing to compare to... YET... I know a good beer when I experience it, and this one is one of Stone's winning collaborations. Try to seek this one out. I promise that if anything else, it'll be memorable.

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Photo of prototypic
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Juxtaposition is a very dark brown color. Nearly opaque. There's a few burgundy highlights when held to light. Very impressive looking. The head is a light mocha color and easily reaches over two fingers. It was surprisingly slow to recede and left a rather thick, sticky lacing on the glass. I'm impressed. Nice job for a lager style beer.

The nose is interesting. It smells like it has an identity crisis, but overall smells good. It has a rather strong hop presence. It's somewhat reminiscent of a west coast IPA. Strong notes of pineapple and grapefruit, along with a healthy dose of pine. That's followed by an interesting mix of black licorice and molasses. Chocolate malts are easily noted. It doesn't have a very sweet smell to it. Smells like there's some light spices in here as well. I like the fact that alcohol is not noticeable. This is quite a complex, deep smelling beer. I don't think it's extremely well orchestrated, but it smells good overall. That's actually a little surprising given its strange variables.

The flavor is alright. I'm wrestling with how much I really like it. It's slightly sweet up front. Chocolate malts aren't overly sweet, but rather have a cocoa-ish flavor. An odd burnt or smokey taste is noted early. Hops are citric and piney. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors are noted. I like the hop flavor here. Surprisingly, it's not all that bitter. Black licorice and a little molasses are noted at the secondary level. They add quite a bit of depth. It's a little yeasty and spicy. Pepper's the only spice I can identify. Alcohol is more notable here. It's not overly strong and isn't warming, but it's there. No big surprise. Juxtaposition's flavor is pretty good. It's a little too jumbled and never quite comes together, but it's not far off.

Juxtaposition has a medium body that's nearly thick. It is nice and smooth. Carbonation is low and doesn't interfere. Drinkability is just above average. The flavor's interesting and alright, but it doesn't leave you wanting more. It's also rather hefty at 10% abv. One 12 oz. will do.

The results of this Stone/Brewdog/Cambridge collaboration are mixed. It's alright, but I believe it probably just has too many variables. Some of the flavors seem to be at odds with each other, rather than working together. It's certainly has an interesting flavor and is very well worth a try. But, I'm not crazy about it and wouldn't seek out another bottle, especially with its price tag.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
2.27/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a shaker pint. Very dark black stout looking with a nice tan thick head and decent lacing.

Aroma is weird. Lots of off flavors. Smells like beers I've tried from breweries just starting up. Or like a bad homebrew.

Taste is like black liquorish. Super malty sweet.

Mouthfeel is thick. Nice carb though.

Overall I might end up dumpin the rest. It's too much. Don't know that they were thinking with this brew. It's nowhere near pilsner tasting or looking. It's not a pils. We can't keep making beers and calling them a style that is noting like it.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours dark black with a fluffy light cocoa colored head. slow retention and nice lacing.

light floral notes with a sweet cherry aroma. maybe a light toffee scent. call me crazy, but smells a bit like cake.

very sweet with dark fruits up front and orange citrus flavors at the finish and aftertaste. not really bitter however the floral hop notes stand out. malts are dark with a slight roasted flavor. there really is a lot going on here and they blend well.

very thick, very full, and very slick. carbonation has a bit of bite but the thickness stands out.

this is great, very flavorful and very vibrant. at no point was i ever bored of this i just wanted more.

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Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +26.3%

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Stone / Cambridge / BrewDog - Juxtaposition Black Pilsner from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 210 ratings