If only they made scratch-and-sniff computer screens, you'd be able to smell the heady hop aroma coming out of this glass. It's pretty intense. Almost as intense as the beer itself: to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the release of their groundbreaking Ruination IPA, Stone Brewing Co. crammed a total of five pounds of hops into every barrel of their celebration ale. That, my friends, is a lot of hops.
Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA from Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, CA (Double IPA, 10.8% ABV, 110 IBUs)
Appearance: Hazy straw-gold with a super thick cap of yellow-tinted foam that clings to the sides of the glass as its goes down.
Aroma: The hop aromas come pouring out of the bottle almost as soon as you crack the cap. Lots of straight up hop flower in there, mixed with apricot and fresh herb aromas.
Taste: For the crazy amount of hops crammed into this beer, I thought it was incredibly well-balanced. Or maybe my tongue just went numb. In either case, there is so much happening here that it's hard to catch all the flavors.
This double IPA has a chewy soft caramel center ringed on all sides by hopitude. The tart fruity hops are up in front: apricot, mango, and lemon zest. These get nudged to the side by the rich and creamy malts, but then come back again in a long and lingering bitter finish. So good.
This is one of the best double IPAs I've had in an extremely long time. It's smooth and tasty, balanced and nuanced. It doesn't taste alcoholic despite the high ABV, though you'll certainly feel it the next time you stand up! This is a beer worth seeking out.
Food Pairings: As if the beer itself weren't enough, I also thought it paired really well with food. I sipped it along with chips and salsa and some barbecue ribs. It was a good companion for the spiciness in the former and the rich fattiness of the later.
Have you had a chance to try this beer yet?
Related: BrewLab: A CSA for Homebrewed Beer
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Image: Emma Christensen)