Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stone IPA -Shaun Revisits the Gold Standard

Stone IPA from Stone Brewing is one of Mark's favorite gold standard IPAs. It's been while since I've had one and decided to tip my hat to him and go back and review it myself. There are so many IPAs out there with various slants and varieties it's tough to sometimes wade through them all or even come back for seconds since I always want to try something new.

Stone created a great standard IPA 15 years ago that stands up today. It has a nice thick voluminous head that has a doughy look on top. There are nice large bubbles the color is clear amber and a little bit of haze with champagne like bubbles that flow up from the carbonation in the nose. You can smell the piny hops from the dry hopping. I swear if you're not dry hopping your IPAs you're doing yourself and your customers a disservice.

And it's got bitterness. it has an excellent balance of piny, resinous bitterness, herbaceous (that one's for you Mark) undertones and even a little bit of citrus. It's an excellently executed balance that shows off not only quality hops, but brewing skill at combining the right amounts of the right varieties to create a complex and well balanced beer. This is a very hop forward beer with a fair degree of bitterness but it doesn't push you away or suck the moisture out of your mouth. The creaminess of the head and carbonation help balance things out. Stone really knows how to seduce you with this beer. It sucks you in and makes it very drinkable for such a strong beer. As Mark stated in his review it makes you want to come back for more. While 7% may not be strong by today's standards, it will only take a few to do you in, which will be all to easy to drink with this beer.

Pros:  Its a great beer that you can drink anytime even though it's fairly strong. A great example of an American IPA.

Cons: There so many IPAs out there and you know how great this is and one that you can always come back to whenever you want, you end up experimenting on the next new thing than coming back as often as you'd like.

Verdict: A great beer to remind you what's great about American craft brewing. Don't don't forget to come back home to remind you what's great about it.
4.5/5 stars

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