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 SageO
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No official date on this bottle, but I know the release date was 10 days ago, so super fresh. Nose is out of this world – I’m used to Stone’s hop profile, but the smell of hops in this beer is unbelievable. Both pine and tropical fruit notes. Bright IPA taste… I’m not sure where the “brown” comes in, because I barely taste it. Maybe a bit of nuttiness, but definitely very little malt. I can’t possibly rave enough about the IPA profile on this – it’s 100x more than I expected, even from Stone.

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Photo of MEsoJD
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Poured into an La Fin Du Monde glass]

I: I've already have been slighted acquainted with this beer and immediately knew that this was going to be one of the better stone collaborations. This beer also helps Vermont victims of Hurricane Irene, so I defiantly couldn't turn it down.

B: [7.4% ABV, 12 FL. OZ.] Like the other collabs, it's a small bottle, but stone others packs their bottles with information, and print is more apart of the bottle. Completely satisfied bottle wise.

A: Dark brown body with ruby tint, nice fluffy mocha head(moderate dissipation with scattered remains), and little lacing.

S: Upfront I get spicy(earthy presence), but gentle hops, sweet roasted malt and citrus(will be crazy to say pineapple, unlike the usual grapefruit).

T: Roasted malt(not very significant and complemented by the hops), then spicy hops, and ending with very apparent oily citrus grapefruit(changed from pineapple on nose).

M: Oily and dry finish, light/medium bodied, medium carbonation, and medium alcohol presence.

O: Very tasty beer, and most satisfying collaboration I've had from stone. Taste mostly follows the nose, but I don't believe it's diverse enough to make it stand out above other ipas, though I got hints of an amber beer. Stone, Ninkasi, and The Alchemist have done a damn fine job with this beer. For the price, value, and charity, it's a no brain-er of a recommendation and pickup. Snag one, before it's too late.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with brown around the edges of the glass. Amazing fluffy tan head with excellent retention and lacing.

Lovely light fruity and hoppy nose which is much lighter and fresher than the look might lead you to believe. Nice notes of sweet pineapple citrus and candy-like hops.

Flavor is nice as well with great balance. Bright Citra hops seems present which is very nice and well blended with the other hops and light (but dark colored) malt profile.

Light bodied with med-high carbonation.

Overall it's a real nice beer. Nice nose, flavor and great balance with high drinkability. A must try.

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(A) Pours an almost opaque dark nut brown color. Almost black, but not quite. Quarter inch stone colored head that diminishes to a light coating atop the beer. Some lacing.

(S) An interesting mix of a rich brown ale with a bunch of hops dumped in. Pine mixed with roasted malts and grains, nut, biscuit, and hop bitters.

(T) The taste is really different. Something that you can't really categorize as an IPA or a Brown Ale. It's weird, but good. Decent bouquet of hops, pine, and grapefruit. Really hits home like an IPA upfront, but then gives way to a roasted malt flavor that is mixed with nuts, biscuit, some leather, and some caramel.

(M) Solid medium body. Thicker but not overly full. Has some grain to it but only at the end. Start is smooth and rich.

(O) Solid beer for what I feel is a mix of two styles. It's got the best of both worlds and sits well with a decent blend. It's different on a good level.

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Photo of mikeczech
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of DonDirkA
4.87/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful pour. Deep brown (yes it is more brown than black). The head is thick and leaves a lot of attractive lacing behind. I know some people think the lacing thing isn't a big deal but it does look nice and tends to mean deliciousness is about to ensue.

The smell, unlike many black IPAs, is very very hoppy. It smells piney and slightly fruity like pineapples and oranges.

Very little blackness to this black IPA. It is very bright and hoppy. Super grapefruitty. Orange and slight pine. There is some of the roasted character of the malts in the background. Really it is just a deliciously citrusy IPA.

Overall, I think this is an awesome black IPA. It is the least black of the black IPAs I have had. This is an awesome IPA. Fantastic. If this were available in my area (Tucson, Arizona) I would drink it on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I found this on a visit to Riverside, CA. This is one of the best of the Stone Collabs that I have had. Maybe the best.

UPDATE: It is now available in AZ. I have at least found it @ Magee Road Liquors in Tucson.

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Photo of rhino54
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Kevlee722
4/5  rDev -2.2%

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 TGS
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of GRG1313
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing this one so that it can have reviews sufficent for a grade.

Pours a dark brown with a light khaki head that is fast fading but comes back with a nice swirl.

Typical fresh pineapple IPA nose and not any "brown" character if you smelled it blind.
Clean, bright and inviting nose. Light burnt toast/malt undertones in the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium bold with a nice cream charachter and very rich and inviting.

Flavors are rich, bold, assertive appealing and most "drinkably inviting." In two words, this one just "tastes good." This is a big bold bright hop bitter IPA that has roasted grain and toast in the back palate and that goes into a pine/grapefruit old bitter toast/malt finsih. Complex, layers and well made.

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Photo of TicoCali
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Halcyondays
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown with a bit of floaties. Nice off-white head with good retention, some lace.

S: Hops leap out and attack immediately in contrast to the beer's dark colour. Lots of pine. As the beer warms notes of grapefruit and tangerine appear. Pungent.

T: As dark as the beer is the malt doesn't play a huge part. Heavy white grapefruit and cedar, spicy hop character. Good flavours.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy mouthfeel, resiny, not a huge aftertaste though the beer hangs around.

O: A real nice dark IPA plus I know its fresh since I bought the bottle when they first appeared. One of the best collabs Stone has done.

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Photo of Jason
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, no freshness date.

LOOK: Hazed brown, good lacing

SMELL: Mint, citric zest, earthy, leafy, spicy, toasted biscuit

TASTE: Bitter, orange oil, tobacco, chicory, carob, toasted grain, dry finish

Warming story behind the beer, as for the beer is gets all up in my grill ... In a good way. Hops slap my palate around a bit and the malt is enough foundation to keep this beer somewhat balanced. Nice twist to on the versatile American IPA style.

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Photo of Popp24
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown. There is a lot of sediment floating around in this one which is kind of odd for an IPA.

S - Citrusey hops but I don't get much more than that. Maybe some grapefruit.

T - This one tastes just like the nose suggests. I get the citrus flavor that is kinda mellow and then a nice hop bite at the end.

M - Light and creamy.

O - This one is pretty good but not something I would see myself gravitating towards on a regular basis. Maybe I am not that big of a fan of these dark IPA's.

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Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of SDtastentune
4.84/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruby brown through light, murky brown up close. Lots of sediment floating through out and at bottom. Little bit of cling lace and ring.

S - Smells of fresh sweet hops and caramel hidden behind the hops, but BIG fresh sweet resinous aroma that kills most of any other smell. Kinda orangy but not in a traditional sense, more tropical orange and hops.

T - Crazy zesty orange tropical mixed with some hints of caramel or some brown style malts. Mainly a nice twist on ipa's, this one is different. Reminded me of fresh 15'th any BIPA from stone but a liile different on the side leading it more to an ipa, picture the 15'th BIPA with no toasty'ness and more hops "fresh hops".

M - Lower to medium carb, nice aftertaste of tropical orange flavors, not too dry.

O - Overall I was not expecting such a robust ipa, for a brown style ale, this is great. Always thought of brewing brown ipa up, but this takes the cut. Dude.... buy some quick, I can see this one going fast. This is not your normal ipa. THUMBS WAY UP!

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Photo of fox227
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of nanobrew
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As the name hints, there is a slight brownness to the appearance rather than a deep black, though it is still fairly dark. Slight head, fairly good retention.

The nose on this is mainly orange and tropical type fruit. There is a little roast coming through on the nose with some dark caramel/toffee notes.

The bright citrus notes are the first things I pick out on this beer. These three brewers do not fail in bringing a well made IPA. The hop flavor is accompanied by a little roastiness.

This is a very refreshing "dark" beer. The citrus/carbonation/hops lend a nice bite to the palate. Though the beer finishes dry and crisp there is a nice sweetness and fullness to the body.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. The collaboration was a great success. I feel that Stone is making some great dark IPA, from SSR, SoCal Hop Salute, 15th, and now this.

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Photo of geoffsm12
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of jlb502
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of HopHead84
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On tap at Stone. The beer was served at roughly 32.1 degrees and it took at least 20 minutes before I could smell anything. For hating fizzy yellow beer they sure love the temperature at which such beer is served. I can see the gargoyle on the glass and it's turning blue.

A: Dark brown and opaque with two fingers of beige foam. Solid retention and a little lacing.

S: Perfumy floral notes blend with aromatic grapefruit and orange flesh. There's a whisper of roasted grains and pine resin is evident. The aroma is probably a 4.25, but I'll round up. Nice citrus profile. I get a little mango and a bit of melon as well.

T: Lightly roasted up front with pronounced citrus rind and an upper moderate bitterness. Notes of orange flesh meld with tangerine and grapefruit. Chocolate is merely a suggestion as it disappears the second it comes to mind. Perhaps it was never there. Alcohol is evident but not detracting. There's a little midpalate sweetness but the beer finishes dry with lingering pine and citrus rind.

M: Medium in body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and sticky.

Overall: A good brown/black IPA for a good cause.

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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