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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 210 |  Reviews: 176
Photo of Murchmac
1.98/5  rDev -50%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Don't brewers taste the beers they brew after they're done? How many sips does it take to get Stone Juxtaposition to the center of my sink drain? Let's see, 1... 2.... 3.... (pour) A three.

The best thing about this beer was the look, dark coffee black. Like Drunkin Donuts on a Monday morning. Burnt coffee smell, burnt coffee taste, not a good burnt, with a minty aftertaste?

I think this beer is really spent burnt coffee grounds blended with colgate toothpaste in a bottle. It tastes like Meg Ryan's face in the movie in the cut, a mess...

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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 Pipmeister
2.42/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours very black with a single finger of tan head that dissapates quite quickly. The smell is a cross of black marker and licorice. The taste is just that as well. Lots of licorice, very nyquil-ish. There is also some roastiness and it has a good mouthfeel. Overall I don't get this beer, I personally don't care for carbonated nyquil and I also don't see how this is a pilsner. Won't be drinking this again.

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Photo of JamFuel
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

Photo of Zaphog
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

Photo of Arbitrator
2.6/5  rDev -34.3%
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.

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Photo of beergorrilla
2.75/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of seedyone
2.8/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

09/26/13 From bottle. At 10% this has an exaggerated burn in the taste. Unfortunately it is at the expense of anything nuanced in the brew. Sure there are roasted malts in the aroma, but when the rubber meets the road...all I'm getting is "The Burn". Could be a bottle beyond use by since it was a one-off in 2009, but at 10% I wouldn't think that should not be an issue.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Of the Stone collaborations so far, the backgrounds of the other two brewers may be the most interesting in this one. CBC, a brewpub in Cambridge, MA (and one I have visited) which was the first to brew in Belgian beer in the USA, and BrewDog, a two-year old Scottish brewery which is already experimenting with strawberry infused IPA's and other "extreme beers". Allowed to warm up out of the fridge before before serving. On to the beer:

Black as the name suggest, some ruby red hues can be found when shining the beer through a light. The head is thick and luscious on top after the pour, retains well. Massive sharp, metallic hops in the nose. Fresh cut pine and chocolate notes are evident.

Man, that's bitter! Sharp, bitter hops, just as I would expect in a classic beer from Stone. There's some "dark" maltiness, akin to semi-sweet chocolate, but in this beer, those hops obliterate everything else. Very resiny. The alcohol is next to nowhere in this beer, and the body is big, but within its britches. Despite the crazy high bitterenss, it's drinkable to an extent.

The bounderies of extreme beer have expanded with this high gravity, super hopped black lager. Some tweaking would make this beer more enjoyable, but for a first time experiment, it's a beer worth trying out. Just don't expect to taste anything afterwards.

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Photo of naproxen
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked this bottle up at Julio's this past weekend to see what all the fuss was about. Having enjoyed Harpoon's attempt at an imperial pilsner, this one was a must try. is black alright, really black actually. Up to the light I actually get a pretty cool black raspberry/garnet coloring. I would assume this was a porter from across the room. Not much head on this beast, but what does remain along the glass is a nice cream & coffee.

The aroma is hops, citrus hops, and not much else except a touch of the booze. I get some orange rind or oil maybe, something along those lines that is pretty prominent.

The taste of this is something I just can not make myself want to really enjoy. The malts are really coming through in the roast department which I am not feeling when coupled with the pilsner malt, and I think I am picking up some licorice in there as well..not a fan. The hops are doing their bitter job but not much else, maybe some pine but its hard to tell whats what with this burnt aftertaste...

As for the 10%, I didn't quite notice it to start with, but good golly do I know it when I exhale now. I could fail a DUI from the back seat of a school bus.

I really couldn't finish the whole bottle, too bad for me.

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Photo of RichBeer
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of jerz
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of callmescraps
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this into a pilsner glass and the head seems to form like a stouts. Tan and building from within the beer it rose above the glass and had nice retention. Beer is indeed, almost black. Very dark with some brown highlights around the edges. Big clumps of lacing left behind in the glass.

Aroma was pretty assertive. Very Hop focused but also different than a pilsner style. Both pine and strong citrus/grapefruit. Some spice as well. Almost a menthol aroma.

Initial heat from alcohol, a big bang of hops and grapefruit peel. Then some spice, pepper, menthol again.. And back to some alcohol heat... ( a bit too much for my liking)
Some roasted malt flavors but they really take a back seat here.

Body is medium but the alcohol caused this to be a slow sipper.

It's interesting, but I am happy to have only purchased one bottle.

Nice effort, but not one I would seek again.

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Photo of Overlord
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very, very dark brown. The interior does indeed look black, though the edging is most definitely brown. Gigantic bubbling tan head that didn't die through the entire drinking session.

Smells overwhelmingly of earthy, mineral-y, breadiness. Maybe a bit of citrus, grapefruit, and pine to the nose, but it's definitely more earthy than expected.

Flavor is a bit strange. A biting, earthy hop undercurrent, a bit of roasted malt, and definitely some citrus. The bready/yeastiness is almost entirely swallowed up by the hops. Let it linger on your tongue and the grapefruit explodes.

Just what is that almost dirt-like aftertaste and earthy quality to this? Is it roasted malt that's been transformed by a titanic amount of hops? It ends up feeling like an acrid, charred earth aftertaste. If it was supposed to provide balance, it is instead a real distraction.

Good mouthfeel, not particularly drinkable for me.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle w/ no freshness date.

Dark browm w/ Ruby highlights.

Aroma is roasted malt and citrus hops and a little lactose.

flavor leans more towards a milk stout with an addition of c hops.

Finish is nicely bitter with a lactose back.
I'm a little confused on the 'Imperial Pilsner" designation. While it is good yes, and I enjoyed it very much, it really doesn't have any of the characteristics I would associate w/ a pilsner, imperial or not. Not clear, (yes I know it says black pilsner), not crisp and clean on the finish, and the hops altho more subdued than a normal stone are still mor west coast ipa in style. More like an IPA mixed wih a milk stout.

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Photo of berkey
3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought this by mistake while trying to pick up some more of Stone's other recent collaboration beer. Label calls this a Black Pilsener so I'm drinking it at fridge temp in a flute like I would any other Pils. From notes 11/04/09.

Pours almost completely black, forms a pale mocha head with great retention. Head leaves some very nice lacing once it finally fades.

Aromas are of chocolate and bready malts followed by a strong dose of dry bitter hops. The combo actually has me thinking Bock a but with a different blend of hops than usual for that style.

There's some fruitiness on the flavor profile but I'm thinking that's more from the hops than anything else, chocolate malt character is muted compared to the aroma. Noticeable amount of alcohol heat here which I'm not sure about. Aftertaste is ruled by more big citrus and bitter hops. I'm left asking myself what makes this an Imperial Pilsener. It could just as easily be clasified as an American take on a Dopplebock.

The label says they were looking to change the perception of what a lager could be but I fail to see any boundaries broken here. Strong, dark lagers have been around for hundreds of years. The only difference here is the distinctly American hop profile. Not bad but I'm not excited enough to seek out another bottle, especially at over six bucks each.

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Photo of illidurit
3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with orange corners and a thin, wet, khaki head. Smells and tastes like black tea with candied orange. Very bitter. What the hell. This is nonsense. As if the ridiculous name, collaboration gimmickry, and ludicrous made-up oxymoron 'style' weren't enough, they had to make it taste like Celestial Seasonings? This is a slap in the face, but it tastes okay I guess.

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Photo of ikats
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark brown (almost black) with brown head (only about half an inch thick). I love aroma of this beer (makes me think that it's been too long since I've tried a strong assertive beer). I do not get a lot of hops in aroma. Mostly it's malts - chocolate, a bit of roasted notes, sticky sweetness. Reminds me of a bit of barleywine. At first sip taste is a bit too harsh. Initial sweetness of malt is quickly overpowered by harsh bitterness of hops. I don't think the two are balanced and it makes for a somewhat unpleasant mouthfeel. Not very drinkable.

Maybe my mind rebels against such hoppiness in a dark lager, maybe aging did not do this beer any good, but this lager is not for me.

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Photo of Chelsea1905
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer here. Poured into a Pilsner glass, and came out very black, midnight molasses, with a large browned head that fluffed up cake-like, and then hung around leaving a little bit of lacing. No effervescence at all, so didn't look like a Pilsner, dark or not!

Smell initially is of teh floral hops that permeate from the bottle. You can smell it throughout the room you open it in. Strange steak-like smell, with burnt oak, and bread in the background.

Taste initially is of bourbon, then it subsides to some dark berry, and the hops hit a little on the bitter side at the end. Nothing in this beer says "pilsner" to me. The hops are like an IPA, and the Malts are like a bourbon ages Stout

Mouthfeel is more like and Ale, and the bourbon taste makes it fine to drink, but just not sure what they were trying to accomplish by adding "Pilsner" to the title

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from Bottle into Snifter glass.

Pours a smooth black/brown with a thin tan colored head that remains atop the glass and leaves nice lacing down the glass. Aroma has some grapefruit bitter-sweetness, mild roastiness, bitter chocolate but I would say the hops definitely pop out at you. The flavor is sweet with hop flavor and chocolate. As it warms there are more citrus, roast, chocolate and it has a stronger alcohol presence. Its medium-full bodied and has a very slightly dry finish. Its a pretty tasty beer although I would have hope the body was a little more crisp and the chocolate flavor was a little more bitter.

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Photo of stevoj
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle share thanks to Toby. Dark for a strong pils, lots of malt, roast grains present but subdued. Bittersweet. Not quite a schwarzbier, interesting take on several styles.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Out of the bottle and into a pilsner.

A- Seeing this in my pilsner glass is weird. dark dark brown with some red and mahogany highlights. Aside from the deep color I think this beer might be pretty clear.
A huge light tan head rises above the rim of my glass and holds on for a long while. On the pour this beer looks a lot like a cola or root beer float. I was getting some nice cascading effects with lively bubbles. The big sticky head leaves good lacing.

S- Some hops, and a nutty biscuity malt aroma.

T- Very strange to me and really complex. Ive never had anything like this. The closest thing to this that Ive had would possibly be a doppelbock.
Really spicy hops,lots of hops, very bite-y, buttery malts, some dark fruits, soy sauce and alcohol.

M- Smooth, dry and prickly. Really warm from the big abv. The booze is not hidden in this one at all.

D- Kinda low on the drinkability for me. Really flavorful and hoppy. Im not big on hops. As I said above, the alcohol is right in your face here.

This is a very very interesting and awesome beer. Juxtaposition is the biggest, darkest, most flavorful and less lager-like lager Ive come across.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.49/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $5.99 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia. Admittedly, I haven't been too terribly enamored with the latest string of black IPA's on the market, and was more than hesitant to purchase a self-labeled Black Pilsner. Seeing now that it's 10% ABV also goes me pause.

Appearance: Pours out a jet black body with a large, frothy, ecru head with some agreeable staying power.

Smell: Charry, creosote-soaked nose with some herbaceous, downright weedy hop and campfire charcoal tones. Minor alcohol hint if you're down sniffing around there. The nose is a bit rough around the edges, but, thankfully, the taste offers a bit more to round things out.

Taste: Roasty, charred, blackened malts with a minor hint of dark chocolate and powderized coffee crystals. What sweetness is on hand comes fast and leaves just as quickly. Fresh herbal, spicy flavor from the hops with a fair amount of bitterness that combines with the roasted grains. Quite a creosote taste in the latter half, so it'd pair well with roasted meats and coating fence posts. As it warms slightly, a caramelly, bready taste develops to soothe the burnt quality. Smooth, roasty, herbal-laden finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Very, very light creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Well, if nothing else, it goes down fairly easy for having 10% ABV emblazoned on the bottle. It presents a lot of burnt malts and a lot of herbal, bitter hops, but not quite too much of either to be overbearing, though, I am thankful it's not a drop above twelve ounces. It's interesting for sure.

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