Wow. Stone is not kidding around with this one. Known for their strong ales, all Stone brews pack a real punch. But I can't remember the last time I was physically shocked by an initial sip of a beer. Ruination IPA does just that.
This feeling is of course is what Stone wants to do with this imperial ale. Hitting at 7.7% alcohol and proudly declaring a mark over 100 international bitter units, this SoCal brew gives you a swift kick to the mouth. With this beer, I feel Stone is proudly staking their claim in the 'extreme beer' category.
This beer is incredibly hoppy. The hoppy flavors are more woody than floral and there is a ton of hops to go around. Bitter yes. Very bitter, leaving a strong aftertaste along with an alcohol falvor. In fact the reason Stone names this beer Ruination is because of "the immediate ruinous effect on your palate." I figured I'd put Stone's classic witty back bottle description to the test. I tried a average strength beer after consumption and boy were they right. I felt as if I was still drinking the IPA while sipping on a subsequent lager. The taste really does stick with you and 'ruins your palate' for any other beer.
I thought I was a hop head. I mean, I love Stone's Arrogant Bastard (see Hof's post), I like Stone's IPA, Pale Ale, and even their Old Guardian (which has a higher alcohol content than Ruination). But Ruination, I must say, might be too much for me. Prepare yourself if you gonna grab this beer. Consider yourself warned. Cheers.