Stone / The Alchemist / Ninkasi More Brown Than Black IPA | Stone Brewing

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Stone / The Alchemist / Ninkasi  More Brown Than Black IPAStone / The Alchemist / Ninkasi  More Brown Than Black IPA
648 Ratings
Stone / The Alchemist / Ninkasi  More Brown Than Black IPAStone / The Alchemist / Ninkasi  More Brown Than Black IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 12-20-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 648 |  Reviews: 255
Photo of Mattyr11
1/5  rDev -75.6%

Photo of Sarnford
1/5  rDev -75.6%

Photo of BarrytheBear
1.68/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle in a snifter. Purchased at Binny’s over Christmas.

Pours like brown watery diarrhea accompanied by a dab of Palmolive soap bubbles

Smells of solvent harsh chemicals. This may be used industrially to clean YMCA gym floors.

Wow! This is really gross. Rubbing alcohol, medicine, and nail polish remover. Long, relentless, sulfur laden finish seeps nastily into my tasting places. How can these three breweries combine to create something so perplexingly unappetizing?

I am engaged in a long, drawn out furrowing of the brow in a vain attempt to understand.

Verdict: Davey Jones locker

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Photo of JaysusJr
2/5  rDev -51.1%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
2/5  rDev -51.1%

Photo of TruePerception
2.31/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)


Stone / Ninkasi / The Alchemist More Brown Than Black IPA: Appearance: thick, black with grey specks; Taste/Mouthfeel: oatmeal, tobacco ash; bad

The name is far and away the biggest misnomer I've come across in beer yet!

Poured into a pint glass.

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Photo of charlzm
2.58/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Consumed February 12, 2012.

Beer pours a deep brown with a two-finger tan head that's a bit splotchy.

Aromas of pine tar and peaches. Huh.

Flavor is more of the same, except that there's a pretty disagreeable bitterness on the finish and the slightest hint of a caramel malt base in there.

Beer is slightly dry and finishes with a lingering bitterness.

Glad I only had 12 ounces of this to drink. Can Stone make a really good collaboration ale? So far, no. Not good, just... different.

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Photo of ithacabaron
2.69/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Well, the label don't lie. It pours decidedly brown, rich and full, with copper highlights at the very extremities. A khaki head settles down into toad's lie bubbles, with a scrim of lacing on the side of the glass. A curio.

Aroma brings strong fermentation notes. Lots of CO2. Green moss, starfruit, freshly brewed pekoe tea, and tumeric show up. It's a little tough to draw out these smells, however -- the nose is surprisingly muted. I'm not a fan.

Taste is full of dates and smoke, and intensely bitter at the back of the tongue. Some molasses is in here as well, and, after the swallow, there's notes of wood. It's somehow too sweet and too bitter at the same time, like a poorly made amaro. Interesting, but not especially successful.

Mouthfeel is fine, if a bit too full; the beer has a tendency to drag.

All in all, an interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying experiment.

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Photo of crossovert
2.92/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.

It pours a murky pond water brown with tons of floaties and a fluffy light brownish-tan head.

The smell is slightly roasty with some cocoa, there is a hint of tropical fruit. Not really a prime-time combo.

The flavor is pretty bitter which helps it. There is a fair amount of cocoa and roastiness. The hops aren’t as apparent in the flavor besides the bitterness. There is a slight bit of fruit but it is subtle. It really tastes more like a porter with a ton of bittering hops more than anything, not really an IPA at all and not bad.

If they just got rid of the aroma hops in this one it would be pretty good.

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Photo of jefftuck47
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of jk3
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of DMacQ
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of duceswild
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of drewburning25
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of jbarra101
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into bubble pint glass during a Stone event at a local pub. The beer was a very dark brown with about 1/4 inch of dark khaki head that OK retention and lacing.

There a bright hop scent, very reminiscent of Stone IPA, lots of floral and citrus notes. On the tongue, there was , surprise, lots of hops. On the tongue, the citrus stood out, there was malt playing a minor support role, and a bit of roast lingered on the finish, which was otherwise clean.

The body was just on the thin side of typical for this style. Drinkability was OK, if you like this style you'll want more than I did. Overall, this was a fairly average example of a CDA, a style that I think is something of a bastard child, and one that doesn't really trip my trigger. If you are a fan of the style though, you'll probably like this beer a lot. Worth a shot to decide for yourself.

 868 characters

Photo of RuckusDu
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very dark mahogany in color with light beige head. Maybe a finger or two on the pour. Some random lacing. Lots of floaties, including in the head and at the bottom of the glass.

S - Smells of gorgeous grapefruit and hops. So sweet and smooth throughout. Wonderful.

T - Don't get me wrong, I like hops, but this tastes like eating a hop pellet. Very harsh, with little citrus flavor. It starts off decent with a little sweetness, but goes downhill from there.

M - Thin in body but decent carbonation. Could use some work.

O - Not my kind of beer. In general, I don't reach for the black IPAs anymore, but this is worse than most. Just not good flavors in here. My one thought would be to use this in cooking if you want to give some hops flavor to something.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured brown with a nice dirty white cap and some bubbles hanging around

S: Pine resin and orange peel, perhaps a whiff of grapefruit

T: Starts out a bit spicey, pine and citrus, mainly citrus to me but this was not above any other traditional IPA. There was no wow factor for this beer whether they were going for a off IPA or a tame version of CDA. Nothing special/

M: Medium-bodied, with a lacking backend when it comes to flavor and feel

O: Average across the board..CDA or IPA

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Photo of codsmith
3.21/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

@ Bar on Buena, served in tulip

A: very dark brown, but can see a little thru when up to light. Small off white head that has nice lacing

S: huge amount of pine and fruit hops aroma. No grain aroma. Goes against style where you are looking for some roasted aroma

T: Hops are so over powering that none of the grain comes through. All you taste is hops from beginning to end. Horrible for category, but would be better in another IPA category

O: for sure not a black, cascadian, etc. IPA. better suited for another category

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of BMart
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of kojevergas
3.27/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe beerflute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. My first beer from Alchemist. Expectations are high due to Alchemist's reputaiton, but my past experiences with other Stone beers temper this a bit. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of decent cream, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is indeed brown, with floating yeasty particles abound. Appealing, but nothing special.

Sm: Biscuity yeast and fantastic fresh hops. Very hoppy indeed (hey, stone is involved...) Moderate and seemingly balanced. Here's hoping it isn't overly bitter and coarse like so many IPAs...

T: It isn't! It's hoppy, but curbed by the pleasant biscuity yeast notes and light spice on the climax. Perhaps some candied sugar is present? It seems full-bodied - strangely so. It's nicely balanced, though the hops are cut short rather abruptly. Still, this is better than overbearing bitterness. A nicely built, flavorful IPA.

Mf: Smooth and wet, without too much coarseness. It's got a strange creamy overtone going on, which doesn't suit the flavours. Moreover, it's a touch too thick. Still, in general terms it complements the flavours.

Dr: A drinkable IPA without a clear focus, this may please fans of the style but its strange build and experimental nature prevent it from being truly great. I like that it's bold, but this could have used more work. I look forward to trying more beers from The Alchemist.


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Photo of denver10
3.27/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with a nice tan head, decent retention and lacing. Lots of sediment present.Smells like a roasty IPA. Earthy hops, roasted barley, some chocolate comes out as it warms. Flavor wise, a little citrus, some sweet creamy mocha, and some earthy bitterness. Just nibbling on medium bodied with some carbonation. Not a fan of black IPA's and this one doesn't quite change my opinion of them.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Victory tulip/snifter thingy. No official bottle date, but the write up on the back reads November 2011.

A: Pours a deep brown color....more than black. About a finger of soapy light tan head. Almost unfiltered look for my pour with some bits of stuff floating around in the glass.

S: Mostly piney hops on the nose. I get a little medicinal note in there as well. Some fruity hops maybe, a little grapefruit hidden below everything.

T: You get a piney hop bite on the tip of the tongue. Then you get dominated by that strange medicinal earthy flavor. Eucalyptse maybe? I have heard that term thrown about for this one, and see what they are talking about. Bitter close of hops and that earthy weird flavor.

M: This is medium bodied like an IPA. Thinner than it looks.

O: This beer is OK. That strange flavor was a little off putting and might keep me from "buying" it again. Also, the $5 - $6 solo bottle price tag might help do that as well.

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Photo of BarleyWineRox
3.36/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a muddy brackish black with a huge toffee head. Pine and citrus scents jump out of the glass. Skunky pine dominates. Those hop scents fade once in the mouth. Surprisingly mellow caramelly malts seem to predominate the taste. A little hop bitterness on the back end, but Where did the hops go? Pleasant enough but a bit disappointing.

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Stone / The Alchemist / Ninkasi More Brown Than Black IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 648 ratings