- Brewery: Stone Brewing Company
- Alcohol: 11.26%
- Serving: 22-ounce bottle, chilled, served in a freezer-stored "Playing for Keeps" pint glass
Scoring (in solidarity with Charlie the Beer Guy):
- Appearance: 6 - Pours a strong copper that is initially hazy, but gains clarity as it warms. Topped with a white effervescent head that slowly fades to a lacy sheet.
- Aroma: 5 - Predominantly malty, with a hint of fruit and spice. More subdued than expected.
- Taste: 7 - Strong malt flavor upfront, accompanied by fruity and spicy notes. Hop bitterness becomes more assertive in the center. Alcohol notable, but not overwhelming. Lingering bitterness and bready notes in the finish.
- Mouthfeel: 7 - Moderate but not quite full-bodied, with notable alcohol warmth. Slight dryness to the finish.
- Holistic: 7 - Tasty, but "less extreme" of a take on this style than I was expecting from Stone. The nose was slightly disappointing.