Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stone Brewing Company: IPA

I admittedly couldn't handle Stone's Ruination IPA. (See prior post: 5/4/08) Simply too much. Even for a self proclaimed hop head like myself. But as mentioned, Stone Brewing Company makes a series of incredible brews. My favorite selection from the variety of Stone beers I've sampled is their traditional IPA.

First off, the smell is very pungent. The aroma is so powerful it reminds me of the few occasions where I have decided to sample and actually eat a small amount of the straight hops I used in my home-brews. A very raw and fresh scent. Despite this remarkably strong smell, the beer is quite smooth to drink. Don't get me wrong, this is a hoppy beer. If you let it sit on your tongue your taste buds will start to sting. But for how hoppy this brew is, it is so smooth down the gullet. Very impressible. Obviously surprisingly drinkable for an IPA.

As the beer warms up a little you definitely start to notice a malty aspect to this beer. Which is always surpising for how hoppy it smells and tastes. I think the malt presence is ultimatley what is helping with the smooth drinkability.

The aftertaste has an herbal hop feel and if you happen to belch after a few sips you'll notice how your mouth cannot escape the hop resin flavors. But that's what most people are probably looking for in an IPA anyway. Cheers.


Hof said...

Your favorite Stone? That's saying a lot. I'll have to see if I can track down another one of their Imperial Russian Stouts because at the moment, that would be my Stone pick.

Mattie said...

I'm slowly chipping away at the wide selection of Stone ales on the market. By no means have I tried them all. But I do enjoy a fine crafted IPA. So I'd have to say that is my favorite that I've tried so far.
Hof, I realize your love for Stone's Russian Imperial Stout is strong. Seeing how you once claimed you would drink it all day. I also enjoy that brew. And their arogant bastard. And Stone's '08 vertical epic. And their pale ale. Maybe I shouldn't play favorites.

Brian said...

Hey guys,
I'm a high school classmate of Matt Lightner, he mentioned you guys have a solid beer review blog going so thought I'd take a look.

You said Ruination was too much for you, but man you're missing a world of wonder on some of Stone's best beers because of the hops. Arrogant Bastard is pretty fantastic if you can ever build up to that one, the Double Bastard is a bit ridiculous though.

My personal favorite Stone is the 11th Anniversary Ale from last year (this year's 12th anniversary oatmeal chocolate stout is pretty legit too though). I'm not sure if you can still find it, but it has a very dark and relatively thick pour similar to a stout. The taste is a bit of a hybrid between a dark ale (or maybe even a porter) and the sweet fruits of a Belgian quadrupel. Very interesting combination. I'm on the East Coast so we're likely out of them here, but any BevMo out west should probably still have it.

I've got a few reviews up on my blog, feel free to take a look along with the other ramblings I've got going.