Vacuum Readymade | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Vacuum ReadymadeVacuum Readymade
Very Good
122 Ratings
Vacuum ReadymadeVacuum Readymade

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
What is with the paradoxical term 'Black IPA' anyway? Whatever it is, we do love black beers.. also smoked beers, and of course everyone loves hops these daze.. A complex blend various smoked, caramel and subdued roasted malts lay the base for a combination of piney, dank and (dark) fruity hops.. While there is a lot to contemplate with this beast, just be sure to enjoy it without getting too sucked into its enigmatic composition.

Added by jhartley on 01-17-2015

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 122 |  Reviews: 36
Reviews by far333:
Photo of far333
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark chestnut and opaque with a haf inh of frothy oatmeal colored foam. Interesting aroma of citrus and toasted malt, though a slightly metallic note rides along, perhaps from the alcohol.

Flavors of toasty malt and florals and citrus. Well balanced, but could use more hops and a bit less roast for my taste. There's more character to the malt than the hops, with subtle smokey notes, a bit leathery with feint cocoa, root beer, and leather.

Even mouthfeel, good beer overall.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of dorianmarley
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark black with tons of sediment. Nice head that fades.

Nose is musty, with cigar smoke and dark chocolate.

Taste is cigar smoke and plum and red fruit and scone.

Mouthfeel is full. Terrific. Real alcohol bite but never too much.

Overall, flavor is simple, but everything works.

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Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep walnut brown with a thinner but well sustained off white head atop.Mainly roast,brown sugar, and char picked up in the nose,more like a porter than ABA.Earthy and resinous hops upfront on the palate,some caramel,lighter than expected smoke, and brown sugar in the finish,again more like a roasted/hoppy porter to me.

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Photo of pat61
4.68/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours brilliant dark brown under a 2” clingy, light tan foam collar with a fine bead. Fairly dense collection of floaties that gradually settle to the bottom after a few minutes.
S: Prune, dried fruit and faint smoke.
T: Dry chocolate, no harsh roast, dry toasted malts, the finish is more of a clean dark roast that supports and does not overwhelm the hop bitter accent. Bitterness is clean and not harsh. The smoke is very subtle.
F: Outrageously creamy, soft texture with medium ody and carbonation.
O: Despite the floaties, this is an exceptional beer with an excellent balance between the dark roast and the hops.

 627 characters

Photo of HopsForBrains
4.44/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of samtrillo
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a rich and creamy coca-cola.

Smells of sweet charred oak and light citrus.

Tastes similar, citrus is present at the tip, smoke in the middle and IPA bitterness on the finish. A cocoa pervades throughout. Semi-thick mouthfeel. Overall, a nice, every-once-in-a-while, novelty beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle - what does the 'Readymade' part of the name here mean?

This beer pours a clear, very dark brown colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some splendid layered cirrus cloud pattern lace around the glass as it very slowly melts away.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, cafe-au-lait, some indistinct stone and berry fruitiness, bittersweet cocoa powder, and more leafy, piney, and estery floral green hops. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, a touch of free-range ashiness, ethereal day-old coffee grounds, muddled black orchard fruity notes, minorly phenolic yeast, and more leafy, piney, and gently perfumed floral verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite light on its mainly frothy feet, the body a so-so medium weight, and sort of smooth, as the roasted characters seems to know when to lay off the gas in this respect. It finishes off-dry, the malt and generic fruitiness keeping tabs on the lingering char and hop acridity.

Overall, this is one of the better versions of this style that I've come across of late - the roast seems to be applied with a deft touch, and the hops are not obliterated in the process. The 16-proof alcohol component is also well integrated, making this one a somewhat enjoyable to drink offering.

 1,312 characters

Photo of Loveyourbeer
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was surprisingly good. Subtle smoke, fruity hop taste. Excellent black ale.

80 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black color with brown head. Aroma has sweet malt, caramel, fruity hops and a hint of roasted/slightly smoked malt. Taste starts with some bitter hops but continues with liquorice and some molasses. Finish has coffee bitterness and lingers with resiny hops. Medium body with soft carbonation. Quite nice beer, complex taste with well hidden alcohol.

 349 characters

Photo of jheezee
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of grahuba
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of k47k
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of beergorrilla
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of BKotch
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ConradKenney
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SFNC
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This interesting little ale pours a dark
cola blackish brown with a nice head of tan foam that settles to a thick ring,
thin light layer, and features some nice lacing. Nose of smoke, bakers cocoa,
light sweet caramel malts, piney hops, and a touch of pineapple and citrus.
Flavors follow the nose with char and smoke drifting into a heavy pine and
light citrus note with a touch of sweetness from cocoa and a ton of chewy smoked malts
that fade into bitter pine. Excellent mouth feel; medium light carbonation, full body,
and a bitter malt and hop finish.

Overall it is not bad for the style, but a bit overboard on the hop and smoke
which seems to lack a touch of balance. A BIG brew that while interesting
is a touch over the top.

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Photo of liquorpig
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Czarkazm
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Julian dating shows that this was bottled 11/1/2015. Pours a chestnut brown color, in the snifter, the body appears dense and black with a thin, creamy looking toasted khaki head. Held up to the light, the body shines with a crimson red glow. While still cold, the beer is very heavy on the bitter, earthy hops. Have to wait for it to warm up a little bit. Swirling the glass brings out additional notes of orange zest, pine needles, roasted malts, and bittersweet chocolate. Medium mouth feel with a huge punch of bitterness that lingers well into the aftertaste. The flavor is of pine resin, grapefruit pith, stale earthy hops, faint citrus, an ashy smokiness and roasted grains. I haven't seen this in the store before so I assumed it was relatively fresh; the hops have certainly faded but their bitterness definitely dominates. The sweet roastiness does help out once the beer has warmed but not to the extent that it needs to.

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Photo of buzzy
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ChipChaight
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz pour from West End Hall NYC on the UWS
Dark mostly opaque brown with a flash of white head, smell is sweet and biscuity, taste is sweet, roasted/smoked malts with a slight bitterness at the end, this beer is full bodied and quite sticky on the tongue. A nice smokey bitter elixir.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Vacuum Readymade from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 122 ratings