This 8.7% ABV ale is from the Stone Brewing Company of Escondido, in San Diego County, California. This beer was first brewed in 2007 as their 11th Anniversary Ale. It is brewed with Chinook, Amarillo and Simcoe hops and comes in at 90 IBU's. It is a black IPA or American black ale.
The beer pours black as pitch, and if held to the light a very dark ruby and garnet can be seen. There is an inch of light brown head, of fairly thick foam. The aroma is a hoppy delight, big, round, full tropical fruit and melons. The hoppiness sits over a subtle dark roasted char. The taste is the perfect balance of the full tropical fruit and melon hops with a delightful dark roasted malt, with tones of tasty char and a hint of coffee. The mouthfeel is smooth. This is sublime, they weren't exaggerating! This is hands down the best black IPA I have ever had. Most of them are imbalanced in some way, but this is what always existed in my head as what this style should be since I first heard the term black IPA. It is perfectly balanced and the best of the style I have ever tried. Sorry for being so effusive, but this is one exciting beer! I'm giving it five out of five stars.