Served chilled from a 22 oz bomber and poured into a snifter. Pours a copper-amber color with a thin off white foam head. Smells are of coffee and chocolate, mostly coffee actually. Carbonation is moderate with a medium to full body. Taste is of coffee, chocolate and a slight creaminess. If I closed my eyes I would think this was an incredibly dark beer. Based on the types of malts they are able to achieve a lighter color. There is some hop character but is really overshadowed by a burnt espresso taste. Aftertaste lingers and is somewhat harsh, almost like a black cup of coffee.
I went into this not knowing what to expect at all. Founders recently did a beer called Dark Penance which was a Black IPA. Closing your eyes and drinking that had a similar effect, as I would have thought that beer was really light. Best Bars in America did part an episode where they explored this phenomenon as well. There is a stigma that dark beers are heavy and light beers are light. Not necessarily true. Yes Bourbon County is dark and 14%, and Evil Twin Bikini Beer is 2.7% and light, but Guinness is only 4.2% (and lighter on calories than most beers out there) and Dogfish 120 Minute IPA (relatively light in color) ranges from 15-19% ABV. But there can be light colored stouts, dark colored IPAs and a variety of other things.
I will say I did not care much for the Dark Penance (I won't waste a post on reviewing that but will post a picture below) and I wonder if it had something to do with the color. It did taste roasty for an IPA, but I wonder if it had what I call the Heinz Ketchup effect on me. When I was a kid Heinz came out with the Green Ketchup. I could close my eyes and not be able to tell the difference between the green and the red. I couldn't stomach it though when I looked at it on my plate (that color doesn't exist anywhere in nature). I wonder if this was the same effect. Funny though that I enjoyed the lighter stout though. It was definitely different tasting than some of it's counterparts, but in general I tend to enjoy the heavier coffee style beers.
Enough rambling. Bravo Stone on a golden stout. I would definitely buy again.
$9.99/22 oz bomber