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 Double / 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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 210 |  Reviews: 176
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5/5  rDev +26.3%

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5/5  rDev +26.3%

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5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of Anthony1
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of RuinationPress
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Juxtaposition is the second collaboration Stone has done. This time with Cambridge Brewing of Cambridge, MA and BrewDog hailing all the way from Scotland. All three known for aggressive and adventurous brews. Stone we know about. Now in Escondido, CA, they continue to push the edge of the craft beer world. All in a matter of 13 years. Greg Koch and everyone at Stone have continued to not rest on their laurels. Cambridge began its trek toward beer greatness in 1989 and is Boston's oldest brewery/restaurant. What's unique about these guys is partly their take on common beer styles and partly that their brewmaster and head chef at the restaurant often collaborate on beer and food pairings, as well as ingredients for both. I've only had their Cambridge Amber and it was nice. BrewDog just blows my mind looking at their website. I've not had the pleasure have sampling their wears, but their attitude is unmistakable: Conformity is not their thing. Bucking the typical European take on beer, these guys seem to be the Stone Brewing of Scotland. But that's not all. They've been in business for...2 years.

So, what style is this one? Pilsner/lager? Black IPA? American Strong Ale? Hard to truly say. It has characteristics of a black IPA. Very hoppy, bitter and an unmistakable piney flavor/aroma. It also blasts you with a strong alcohol content and strong malt flavor. But, then there's that whole Pilsner thing. So, what is it? Matt Steele at Stone trys to put this debate to rest "just what the hell is a Black Pilsner, anyway? 'It's a Pilsner in the fact that we brewed it with Pilsner malt and fermented it with Pilsner yeast,' said Mitch(The Brewmaster), 'but it's bigger, darker and hoppier, and it's unlike any beer I've ever had.' There you have it. Settled." To me, its characteristics are more that of a Black IPA. Knowing that it has Pilsner Malt and Pilsner yeast, I just don;t any Pilsner feel to it. So Black IPA is is for me, however I ultimately defer to the folks at Stone/CBC and BrewDog.After all, who am I to second guess?

Appearance is that of a black almost dark brown ale. Poured well into my tulip glass with moderate carbonation that produced a thin, but very sustainable lacing.

What an aroma. An explosion of smell on the first whiff. The grapefruit is very dominating, but pleasant indeed. Roasted malt hits me next making me want another before I've even had a taste and it must be bringing out the chocolate I smell. Not dominating, but definite hops in this one, giving it a nice piney aroma to balance all the smells in this 'pilsner'.

Taste is even better. I almost do not know what I'm tasting here, as all the flavors come at you at once. Not prominent in the aroma, as I think I missed it, but the roasted chocolaty malt is prominent more than it was in the aroma. The grapefruit comes in toward the end giving it a nice sweetness that really compliments the piney hop taste. The second taste brings out a little spice, almost anise in nature. What I am not getting here is the Pilsner taste. I expected that, but do not taste it at all. Not that I'm complaining, but no hint of the Pilsner yeast that was used to brew this one.

Mouthfeel fantastic. Crisp, refreshing and..wait, now I'm sounding like a damn Budweiser commercial. Ok, Crisp indeed. Medium bodied and goes down so easy, you miss the alcohol content in this one. What's great, is that all those smells are hitting your nostrils while your tasting the same flavors.

Overall, this was just flat out fantastic. This was actually the third one I've tried and they keep getting better. Although this is definitely Pilsner in name only. All these ingredients cooked up by the mad scientists at Stone, Cambridge and brew Dog just overpower any chance a Pilsner taste here. ABV weighs in at 10% and as I said, this goes down so smooth, pace yourself. if you have more than one, you won't know what hit you. This was enjoyed with a baked apple topped with cinnamon.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.78/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The same night that Blind Tiger rocked an aged keg of Vertical Epic '06, they also had a special on this bad boy, so I grabbed one...

Poured blacker than black into a snifter, with two fingers of tan head, and superb lacing. The aroma consisted of an eclectic but amazing mix of prune, fig, pineapple, caramel, and vanilla cream. The flavor yielded all of the above, with more of a lean towards the caramel and vanilla, but also with some smokiness and toasted coconut. The texture is creamy throughout, with a smooth/sweet finish. Very little, if any, hint of alcohol presence. I have NEVER tasted anything like this; truly a unique brew. If they still have this on the 'specials' chalkboard at The Tiger, you should DEFINITELY try one. I am currently scouring stores for some home supply.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up two 12oz bottles over the summer and let age for a few months and I might be drinking the next one pretty soon. Got them at Julio's in Westborough and would have picked up more if they weren't $9.99 a bottle.

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Pours black with mahogany and reddish highlights when held up to the light. It's not completely opaque with some highlights looks to be pretty well filtered with some clarity, but it's pretty dark so tough to tell. There was a tannish colored head that sticks around for several minutes and produces a better than average lacing and glass retention. The smell is great, initially hoppy, but also a bit of sweetness from roasted grain and malts. It smells of both citrus and pine hops to me, nice combination of the both, maybe a bit more citrus, but pretty close, very nice. The taste is similar. Has an initial sweetness from the malts then the hops just completely take over from there on out. Again multiple hops are noticeable, very nice. There is a bitterness and a bit of an earthy taste, but it's still a very tasty brew overall. The mouthfeel is more than medium but I wouldn't completely say full bodied. Dry bitter finish that is closer to an IPA. With the huge full flavor of this brew I still find it very drinkable, which I find classic pilsner. This is a very good brew I wish it was still in production. I don't know when I'll be drinking my second one.

Waited to have the other bottle on a nice warm night 9/7/2010 and thought I should add a few more notes. I liked it much more than I remember. One thing I neglected to mention was the pour itself. It almost seemed to have that nitro effect that Guinness tends to have, looked nice. I don't think I gave the lacing enough credit either, it was pretty good. The smell is really still really good, has a lot going on. I gotta say, I absolutely love the flavor. It's big and bold, it has so much to offer. If there was just one beer left on the planet I don't think I'd want it to taste like this. It has so much to offer, it's just big on everything, it doesn't skimp on anything. Very malty and hoppy with the perfect amount of bitterness. The mouthfeel is great, ery full bodied, bigger than most pilsners. It has a thickness to it that most of this style don't, but not too thick and remains smooth and even a little refreshing, unbelievably great bitter finish. It burps up nice, some slight smokeyness from the malts and bitterness from the hops. The alcohol is disguised very well too. I woudn't even know it was 10% if I didn't already know. I could personally drink it year round, warms you up in the winter and refreshing in the summer. Nothing not to love about this beer.

I'm dissapointed that this beer is retired. I would absolutely love to see this in stores year round, it has so many perfect qualities to it. I would love to see something work out and have this beer come out on a regular basis. I love it, thank you to Stone, BrewDog and Cambridge!

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Photo of neenerzig
4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well first off let me say I never thought I'd see the day when Stone would be involved in brewing any type of lager style beer, so I glad they finally did! Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my pokal glass. This beer pours a dark brown color with some nice deep amber highlights when held against the light. Nice, fluffy tan head about an inch when poured settles to a good 1/3 inch and eventually to a nice surface coating after a few sips with a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass.. Very nice lacing. Has with a nice sweet fruity candied malt aroma. Grapefruit is certainly there. Some hops are surely noticeable in the smell as well. Has a Sweet roasted malt flavor with hints of cocoa and Belgian candy along with grapefruit and maybe some other fruits as well. Rounded out with a distinct, piney and citrus bittering hop flavor. So many different flavors going on at once, this beer really is like a taste explosion in my mouth! Has a thick, crisp and frothy, creamy full bodied, and oily mouthfeel. This one really coats the tongue and inside of the mouth very well. Almost too drinkable, as some below said "dangerously drinkable." A great fucking beer! I think the best collaboration Stone has done so far. Wow!


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Photo of TonyBrew
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was at a great beer bar (Comet) and they lost my Credit Card so they gave me one of these on the house ($12.00 per bottle, ouch). Had it in a tulip hybrid glass. Pours dark brown with a small head that kept it's ring around the glass for a bit. Strong hops on nose (reminds me of Hopslam two/three years ago with the Hoppy grapefruit aroma). Taste sweet at first and them a roasted chocolate like maltiness with the citrusy hoppiness to give me a bit of a bite on the end. It seems low on the carbination, but close to being a full body with that bite. The drinkablity reminds me a of a black IPA but it is definitely not a black IPA. Is a very unique brew but not sure if worth the price.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.64/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't know why there are two different listings for this beer. This is a copy of my review from the other listing for Juxtaposition.

Picked this up at Cap n Cork. Poured into Duvel tulip (I figured a tulip would be my best bet, but as said before what is the proper glassware for a black imperial pilsner?)

A: Impenetrable black with a 1" khaki head. Decent head retention. The head is maintained as a thin ring around the glass. Good lacing.

S: Woah. This smells like peaches, maybe apricots. Some grapefruit like citrusy hops. An earthy, roasted malt is subtle but perceivable.

T: Sweet fruity peach like taste up front (it reminds me of what I imagined "sploosh" from the book Holes to taste like). A subtle earthy/roasty/slightly chocolate malt flavor in the middle. Citrusy grapefruit hops at the end.

M: Not very carbonated. Medium to full bodied. A decent bite.

D: The alcohol is very well disguised, but definitely a bit more of a sipper.

I am impressed and intrigued by this beer... never really had anything like it. Hats off to Stone for creating something entirely original and unique, but still delicious.

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Photo of darthweef
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a case at the local BevMo in Cypress, Ca. I think I left 4 bottles on the shelf. ;)

A: Black ... not dark, BLACK! Held up to light and saw nothing. AMAZING! Beautiful head.

S: Very earthy, all of what you would expect from a stout or porter, even though it is a pilsner, but hints of citrus, and some of the smells from the hops.

T: Delicious. Starts sweet, with some bitter in the middle and a smack of hops at the end to remind you the gargoyle is watching.

M: Smooth, Flavor lingers, but no filminess.

D: Heavy alcohol, even though you don't get the real strong alcohol taste.

I wish this was going to be a regular beer, but I will definitely enjoy it while it last.

Kudos to Stone, Brew Dog, and Cambridge. SCORE!

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
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!

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Photo of LibraryTom
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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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 DrBrewDay
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of evankeeling
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of bearisprime
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of womencantsail
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with about one finger of mocha colored foam.

S: They weren't lying when they said this is a hoppy beer. Enormous amounts of grapefruit aroma, a slight pineyness, perhaps a bit of tropical fruits, and hardly anything else.

T: A great tropical fruit sweetness, grapefruit, and a great bitterness. The roasted malt also makes an appearance here, but it is definitely overshadowed.

M: Lackluster, but hey, it's a pilsener. Light body, a slick feeling on the tongue.

D: The amazing citrus and fruit qualities along with a pleasant amount of bitterness make this a beer I'm glad to drink (if only it wasn't $7 a bottle).

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, I've never before tried an imperial pilsener, and here I go with a BLACK one. No comparison possible between this and a normal imperial pilsener, but then is it possible to compare this to anything else anyway?

Pours a murky cola colour, black for the most part but transparently brown at the edge. Head is lacklustre in size but not appearance. Cream colour, small but retaining some filmy bubbles and some nice speckly lace residue. Pretty nice.

Nose is wonderfully sweet, and spicy. Beautiful. Absolutely gorgoues. I'm just going to fill this review with positively valenced adjectives because conjunctions and prepositions just don't do this smell justice. Lots of chocolate. Licorice. Spicy coffee. Soapy notes. Kahlua. Lavender, definitely. Floral, chocolatey, sweet. Bloody brilliant. Fucking love it. Can only be described with gobsmacked sentence fragments. Embalm my dead body in this shit, please.

Yeah, huge licorice all through that palte. Starts with a star anise spice, then gets sweeter but spicier in increasing dosage but maintaining their balance with each other. Fair amount of mint, with mild chocolatey notes and a slight rum hit (distilled sugar flavour) as well. Touch of vanilla towards the back and a hint of alcohol bite, but really well hidden. I can imagine people disliking this if they dislike black jellybeans but to me this beer is just beautifully handled between sweet, dark and spice. Doesn't finish with quite enough gusto but an overall brilliant palate.

Mouthfeel is the slightest bit of a letdown as it feels a bit thin, especially for the strength and the fullness of the flavour. Has a smoothness and a light nip on the back, but just a touch watery.

I'm surprised, actually, that a collaboration could produce something this good. I feel like with something so experimental it would have to be a singular madman's vision that somehow came good. But in this case three mad geniuses have produced something ultra-special. If I ever need to be euthanised I will choose to drown in a huge vat of this beer, after being chased in there by a stampede of naked Japanese nurses.

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Photo of constahoogan
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of taxguyjase
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit, that when I saw "pilsner" I figured that this beer would be a unique type of pilsner, but it would be a lighter brew. Obviously, the "black" part didn't kick in, but after I poured this beer into a pint glass, I realized that the bottle was not dark, but rather pretty clear. The beer was really that black.... The head was pretty tan, but dissipates pretty quickly. Lots of coffee, alcohol, malt and sour scents. The taste was really robust with a hint of sourness, a lot of sharp malt and acidic flavors. The initial taste will come off really potent, but then it smoth out pretty quickly and leaves a sour aftertaste. I would have this beer again, especially after my wife stole the pint glass from me and took the rest of it. At an astonishing 10% ABV, just be careful that you don't take this beer down too quickly.

Appearance - 5.0/5.0 - Surprisingly black, originally thought that the bottle was darker; nice tan head, but dissipats quickly.
Smell -4.5/5.0 - Coffee tones, alcohol, malt, sour scent
Taste - 4.5/5.0 - Sour, sharp malt taste, robust, acidic
Feel - 4.0/5.0 - Really potent in your mouth, but smooths out and leave a sour aftertaste
Drinkability - 4.5/5.0 - Very unique beer that I would enjoy having again

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Photo of Damian
4.46/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at Whole Foods, New York, NY
Served in a pilsner glass

The beer poured a near pitch black with dark brown edges when held to the light. A stiff, creamy, cuppucino-colored, three-finger head capped the liquid. Thick rings of sticky lacing coated the upper third of the glass.

The aroma was super smooth and quite interesting. Surprisingly fruity and somewhat sweet. Sightly roasty. Malty rich with lots of dark chocolate notes. Some earthy, herbal, German-style hops appeared as the beer warmed.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was rather intriguing. Here again, the chocolate notes came through strong. Moderately roasty up front, yet not in the least bit ashy or bitter. Semi-sweet and fruity in the center. Citrusy. Somewhat buttery. The finish was hoppy, in a piney and raw sort of way. Lots of hoppy bitterness carried into the dry, lingering aftertaste. Wow. This beer really kept me on my toes.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied for the style with an average amount of carbonation. A bit thinner than I anticipated for a beer of this magnitude. Creamy, frothy and smooth on the palate.

Drinkability was simply astounding. This very well may have been the most quaffable 10% ABV beer I have ever sampled. It drinks like something half its strength.

At times, brewers try too hard to make something new and different in a beer. That was not the case however with this gem. The eclectic combination of ingredients worked together seamlessly. Overall, a fantastic brew that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Definitely seek this one out.

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Photo of m1ked
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh off the WF Bowery beer room shelfs.

A- Whoa this is a pilsner?? Cool. A pitch black until I hold it up to the light, a glimmer of garnet on the edge. Healthy espresso like foamy head that evetually shrinks to a thin all covering cap, minimal lacing.

S- Whoa this is a pilsner? Roasty coffee, caramel, piney notes, some black licorice.

T- Definetly get more of piney hops, where the roasty coffee is there, more subtle though, finishing with some of that black licorice, then the hops close it out, but black licorice aftertaste.

M-Good, crisp carbonation. Mild bodied- the only thing that resembles a pilsener I am familiar with.

D- This would not be a beer I put down a six pack of, or grab to watch a game...but this is not that beer...This beer is a boundry pushing, change your mind of beer and its definitions. I love the collaboration idea, I love the boundry pushing idea.

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Photo of walshclimb
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very attractive black beer with a thick frothy tan head that leaves a few thin horizontal lines and spots of lace. It says bottle conditioned, but I saw little to no yeast on the bottom. Pleasantly sweet aroma that is malty, a little perfumey, with a hint of anise. Increasing vanilla with temperature. Lovely deep roasted malt flavor with a nicely bitter aftertaste that has just the slightest hint of licorice. This aftertaste really coats your tongue and stays around for a long time. Creamy mouthfeel that is a little hot (expected) but very smooth. Overall an excellent beer that is highly enjoyable.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and heavy black colour, with twinges of ruby when held to the light. Head is only languidly formed, a creamy single finger of beige foam. Body looks dense, and there's some carbonation that stays static in the glass when it's swirled. Little lacing, otherwise a very good looking brew.

Nose is incredibly hoppy, a huge burst of fragrantly pungent and spicy West Coast hops. It almost smells like an IPA - big passionfruit characters, stonefruit, resin. Under it though, there are big twinges of darker things - a little oak perhaps, a bit of roasted malt, and something very classically Stone that I can't quite put my finger on. Something sweet but spicy in it as well, almost like liquorice or juniper. What a nose. It's so unusual, and so beautiful. I know it doesn't really fit into any category stylistically - and as a result, it's hard to score, but damn it's delicious.

Taste just adds another layer of bizarre attraction to it. If I were served this completely blind, I'd be shellshocked by the taste, because after the subtly tweaked heavily hopped nose, I'd be expecting a rush of hop characters. But here the dark characters come to the fore, notes of chocolate malt, roasted grains, rye bread, stilled underpinned by a strong and everpresent hop bite.

What's perhaps more extraordinary is that despite its weight, the mouthfeel stays relatively clean. It doesn't cloyingly layer on the tongue, but clears out once the message has been delivered. Still, there's certainly slickness on the palate, which is only to be expected.

What a great beer. I love Stone's three-way collaborations, they always come up with something so unusual, but something that feels as though it should always have existed this way. This is a classic example - a black pilsener, loaded with hop character and brewed to 10%. In a world where novelty is valued, you can't argue with that.

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