Super fruity wet hop aroma from the bottle. Mango, pineapple, and sweet smelling. Pours medium brown, with off-white head and lots of flotsom. This isn't just has chunkage. The head recedes slowly, larger bubbles in the center, and very fine around the rim. Aroma in the glass is still VERY tropical (I suspect from Citra Hops) and there is a bit of a swing towards piney and malts. So much fruit though, like strawberries. Dirty hop-forward flavor. Not what I was expecting after such a tropical nose. Not much body, bitter on the finish, but I am not getting anything in the middle. Perhaps because of the yeasties, this bottle is a little rough and maybe I poured it too soon or too roughly. I had noticed there wasn't much head, so I raised the bottle up and poured faster to get a head to develop. The head in fact is still clinging to the glass some 10 minutes later. I am not sure what the IBU is on this, but it seems quite high, and I also have to note that the ABV is completely masked by the interesting hop flavors. And the name really says it, in that this is certainly more IPA than black ale. In fact it really seems like a double IPA to me. I am getting more fruit, again sweet strawberry-ish on the very end of the finish. It is a very interesting brew to be sure. I am enjoying it. Tasted from the bottle @ 52.3F.


One of the many unfortunate casualties of Hurricane Irene was The Alchemist Pub and Brewery in Waterbury, VT, which was completely flooded and destroyed. When Stone Brewing Co. Brewmaster Mitch Steele heard of the loss, he immediately sent out an email to The Alchemist Head Brewer John Kimmich asking if there was anything he could do to help.

“John’s wife, Jen, wrote back suggesting that John fly out to Southern California for a few days… just to get a break from the reality of everything,” Mitch said. “And almost as an afterthought, she casually mentioned that maybe we could even brew something together. I ran with it.“

Mitch asked Jamie Floyd, Brewer/Co-founder of Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, OR, if he wanted to complete the brewing trifecta, and he immediately jumped on board.
In November, the three brewers came together and brewed “The Alchemist / Ninkasi / Stone More Brown Than Black IPA.” It was quite the occasion, so we made a nifty video about the beer and the brewday:


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