To be fair, I must disclose that the Stone version is a couple months older. Mine is about 2 months now, would of been ready quicker, but I have been traveling a lot, and lazy. Also, I like to think I know good beer, but I am better at drinking it than describing it. Also, in the email from Mitch at stone, they originally dry hopped with Pacific Jade and Nelson Sauvin, but changed that to Pacific at flameout and Nelson dry hop. Not sure which one I have.
That said, color and head is pretty much spot on. Home brew version has better retention.
Aroma of the Stone has dropped off some due to not being fresh. More of the carmel almost molasses smell, with some pine/spiciness. Light on the fruit/citrus. Home brew version is still very hoppy in aroma. Some pine, and weird fruit. It's my first time using Nelson Sauvin, so don't know exactly how to describe it, but it smells great.
Taste, the roastiness and bitterness are damn near perfect. Mine finished around 1.026. I was hoping for lower but was lazy and didn't do a starter and may have mashed high. That said, I thing body-wise they are pretty close, as did my co-taster. Stone may be sweeter. Little more hop flavor on the home brew, probably due to the age. The hop flavor that is present is really close, just a little stronger in the home brew. For 10%+ Black IPA, this is smooth.
Overall, I am not sure what I would change. Probably mash lower to get a bit drier for my personal preference. I think the grain and hops are close. Maybe scale back the sauvin a little and up the Jade a bit. Too bad it isn't a year round beer to compare fresh to fresh.
Now, which one is the real deal?: