Wednesday, October 18, 2006

STONE IPA – A FLAT-OUT KNOCKOUT BEER

Without too much fanfare and hyperbole, I’ll just state it right out: the basic, no-frills STONE IPA is one of the finest beers I’ve tasted, anywhere, anytime, ever. I had my very first last week and I’m calling it a no-doubt-about-it 10/10. Wow – these guys (Stone Brewing) just might be the best brewers in the US right now; as you may or may not know, they also make ARROGANT BASTARD ALE, an IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STOUT that’s amazing, their Anniversary series of ales (the 10th ANIVERSARY ALE, which I have sitting on the shelf awaiting consumption, is getting rave reviews), and a host of others that are on my list. Tasting a beer this great helps one realize the vast distance between an outlier, A+ beer and the great bell curve of microbrews in the middle. The bulge in the curve has all those fine, very drinkable beers that this blog typically “scores” in the 6-8 range, and as the curve plunges precipitously downward on the x axis, right at the bottom (meaning the top) you find a tiny handful of knockout beers like STONE IPA.

OK, that’s too much fanfare and hyperbole. The reason I dug this one so much is the world-beating smoothness of the beer, and the integration of just an explosion of intense citrus, hops, and alcohol (6.9% ABV) flavors. It has a decidedly complex feel to it with lots going on, and yet never once is that jarring or strange the way certain Belgians can be for the novice (like myself). I couldn’t recommend it any higher for either the beer snob or the dilettante looking to understand just how intensely great some US beers have become in the year 2006.

6 comments:

EVAN said...

Absolutely no argument with you on this. Stone are like that rare band that makes meaningful, smart music AND sell records.

My cooking/beer-slugging partner and I made ice cream out of their Smoked Porter and their Old Guard Barleywine to awesome results.

We even recently made a pilgrimage for our blog "Hot Knives" and will be writing up our tour of their Brewery later this week.

stoned,
evan

JasonB said...

I have to agree that Stone's IPA is the tops of the IPA charts for me and their other products are amazing as well, and my wife feels that their Smoked Porter could be the best beer on the planet. I must admit that I feel very lucky in that the the gas station/minimart in town (no fancy beer stores for probably 60 miles) stocks the IPA and Arrogant Bastard. Never knew that beer could be so amazing until I moved to Southern California.

Cheers,Jason

Socialretard said...

Believe it or not, I hear the Stone Ruination IPA's supposed to be even better than their standard IPA. Can anyone confirm or deny?

JasonB said...

While the Ruination is tasty brew, I find the regular IPA more balanced and more enjoyable. However folks into hop bombs will think that Ruination is even better.

mumbly said...

I strongly recommend you go to the Toronado and check out the Pizza Port Hopsuey. The Pizza Port guys did a beer dinner on Friday and brought up just a few kegs of this, one of which went to the T. Hurry while it's cold.

Microbrew Review said...

I too really dig Stone Brewing's IPA. It's a totally complete beer in my opinion. Heavy enough, flavorful and goes down real easy, maybe too easy. I'm putting it in my personal top 5 of IPA's at least of those that I've tried. Being located on the eastern half of the U.S. we don't get a lot of Stone around here, but every single 12 ounce bottle and bomber I've had has never disappointed, even having suffered the long trek from sunny California. I put my Stone Brewing Company IPA review up last week. More to come as I can locate more Stone brews in this area. Their Russian Imperial Stout is incredible too!