Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Last week will be remembered by me as the week in which I learned that STONE BREWING, in fact, could do wrong. The DOUBLE BASTARD that I reviewed yesterday was bad enough, but this other recent foray into extreme/experimental brewing - the STONE 10TH ANNIVERSARY ALE - has me nearly as disappointed. Earlier in 2006 I had a slightly-aged 22-oz. bottle of their 9TH ANNIVERSARY ALE, and that was just a knockout beer - so what happened for the double digits, fellas? You calling this an IPA? Oh - a Double IPA? But why did you have to (again) make it so alcohol-packed that it tasted like you'd spiked it with Wild Turkey? Sure, there were a ton of hops, but why don't they dance on the tongue like your amazing normal IPA, or like MOYLAN'S Hopsickle? And "piney" is all well and good, but that's about all I have to recommend this one. It really strikes me as a "brewers gone wild" exercise or like a batch of moderately decent homebrew, rather than the high quality microbrews you've come to expect from the pioneers at Stone. I'm done bagging on these guys for the week, I promise - and believe me, no one's more dejected that I am that this brewer has descended with a thud from the perch of perfection. I still have many of their fine beers left to conquer - never had a Pale Ale, a Smoked Porter nor a Levitation Ale! - so the story has yet to wrap up on 'em. But for now, this one's a mere 5.5/10, and expert reports from two of my peers indicate that they too concur. So that's a majority.


Anonymous said...

It looks like you've had some trouble with Stone's more outrageous brews- Double Bastard & 10th... those are pretty extreme beers, but as you've learned with the IPA, their regular lineup- Pale Ale, Levitation, Smoked Porter, and Arrogant Bastard are all fantastic.

Many many beer enthusiasts seem to like the DB and the 10th, moreso I think to put themselves in a category of "I am a real beer drinker and my palate rules above all others because I can see the greatness of these huge extreme beers."

I have never had the DB, but I liked the 10th in the context of knowing I'd only ever be having 1 bottle.

Jay said...

You're right on target. I know that mentality seems to be dominant in the Beer Advocate community for sure. Then again, I may just have a weak palate & may not be "extreme" enough myself. It's been said before, but there's truly no accounting for taste.

Steve said...

Yep, those BA's love the HUGE beers. You don't get over 4.0 without 8% alcohol (or so it seems anyway heh).

As I said, I liked drinking the 10th the one time I did, but I didn't necessarily think it was a great beer. It was more of the, "hey it's a special anniversary ale, let's enjoy it like that." The alcohol did hit me hard though, since it was my breakfast :)

Kyle said...

I'm glad to get this feedback. I love the Arrogant Bastard and I've served it to folks in my home who were not beer snobs at all and were amazed at its flavor. I sure as heck would have gone for this, but it sounds like it would not be to my liking. I'm not looking for an extreme alcohol taste in any beer.

Anonymous said...

anybody who think that boont amber is "only one of the greatest beers in the history of recorded civilization" doesn't have the palate to drink either stone's double bastard or the 10th anniversary. you should just stick to pils - as the bottle says "you're not worthy!"