Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stone 10th Anniversary IPA

This looks like trouble ...

Stone 10th Anniversary IPA harkens back to our earlier Anniversary Ales, with abundant hopping at many stages of the brewing process.

Appropriately, the aroma is over-the-top, with pronounced piney and resiny hop
flavors combined with tropical fruit esters and more subtle notes of toasted
malts and alcohol. Our Stone 10th Anniversary Ale weighs in at 10% alcohol by
volume (perfect for a 10th anniversary beer), and has a little more color and
malt character than our other IPAs. In addition to using the new Summit hop
variety in the brewhouse to provide the powerful bitterness, we went back
through our records and found some of our favorite hops over the years, and used
them to flavor this brew, including Chinook, Crystal, and large doses of Simcoe
in the dry-hop to provide a huge, complex, piney, fruity and floral hop
character. This is a colossal beer, big in every sense: hoppy, malty, rich, and
strong! Right up our alley.

APPEARANCE: Deep copper/amber with a light tan, dense head.

AROMA: Really hoppy, with pronounced piney hop aromatics combined with layers of pineapple and mango tropical fruit.

FLAVOR: Wow! Intensely hoppy, alcohol and bitter with some nice complexity provided by lightly roasted malt.

PALATE: Full bodied, bitter, with some hotness from the alcohol.

OVERALL: This beer delivers on everything-hops, malt and flavor! We hope everyone is as stoked about this beer as we were when we first tasted it.

What is it about Stone Brewing, that gives me anxiety attacks??? I actually shake as I bring the bottles to the cashier. Could it be the demonic / gargoyle imagery toying with my overt Catholicism??? (Wait a minute .. we INVENTED gargoyles!!)

Could it be that my ‘former life’ silk-screener is asking me ‘why … HOW … could they print a gunmetal silver metallic ink on a brown bottle and expect the UPC scanners to pick it up [we’ve had troubles with the gold ink on the Ruination]???” Maybe it is the flat out “You’re Not Worthy!!!” on the Arrogant B.

For whatever reason, I felt like I needed to ask permission to open it up. Even that felt like some deep Satanic ritual I “knew not, but was guided to” ... After finding out about the Limited Edition caps [and realizing the one I had was on a short run] I employed the ‘Nickel Trick’ and popped it open.

Align the opener to the cap with the Devil Head; slip the nickel between to perserve the artifact of this glorious moment; kiss your ass goodbye.

Okay, granted, many people read the reviews on BA or from the brewer’s site and were tipped to what to look for … Usually they come off saying “Maybe I’m wrong; Didn’t find it.”

I read and posted Stone’s self assessment AFTER I bought it but BEFORE I tasted it … Let me say this: If you ever want to know what “pronounced piney hop aromatics combined with layers of pineapple and mango tropical fruit” is ... get a bottle of this!!!! They are so right on!!! I hate to admit that I didn’t know what I was tasting without being LED to it by the brewery … but I couldn’t have defined it better

And that was just the first sniff!!!

If you want my review … just use theirs … I have nothing to add.

Except this: This is an excellent beer to transition from Summer to Fall. It is a definite threat to Dead Guy Ale as my 'go to' Halloween Beer. It has all the thirst quenching dryness of a strong hoppy IPA combined with a rich mellow maltiness of an Oktoberfest / Marzen. It’s coming home, changing out of your work clothes, throwing on cammo cargo shorts and a T-shirt, and - while you go around the block on your bike, barefoot – you realize it’s a bit cooler than you thought. A hoodie sweatshirt might have been appropriate; the whole 'short pants / long sleeve' surfer dichotomy in full effect. The streetlights are on way too early. There’s a slight smokiness in the air … late wildfires, last-chance weekday hotdog grillers or early fireplaces???

It's been nice, Summer 2006.

---- Call me??? ----

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice review - I know a few brewers that could use you in their publicity campaign.