Tag Archives: Stone Brewing

709. Stone Brewing 18th Anniversary IPA

Stone 18th AnniversaryThis is my fourth Stone Brewing Anniversary review; 14th, 16th, 17th somehow I missed 15. Not sure if their Anniversary ales are always IPAs but the 4 that I have reviewed all are. This one is described by Stone as a “golden brown IPA”. Not sure how something is golden and brown but this beer is an interesting color with a deep amber and thin white head.

Aroma is not what I expect from an IPA with a big sweet booziness. Taste is an interesting mix of a brown ale and a big IPA. Sweet start with an odd mix of citrus and dark fruits. Moderately bitter and some heat from the 8.5%

An interesting beer but not something I am interested in drinking again. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 75
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description: As we compose the text for this celebratory beer‐a golden‐brown India pale ale dry-hopped exclusively and abundantly with El Dorado hops‐we stand ready to leap from the precipice of all we know into a new era for our company, our beers and, most importantly, our fans. It’s one that will see us exploring new territory, both geographically and creatively, as we evolve from pacesetters for the American craft brewing movement to cross‐planetary champions of the worldwide cause of craft, hoisting our banner to proclaim artisanal beers’ vast superiority over stripped‐down, business-driven, industrialized, fizzy, yellow mediocrity. We thank you for shadowing us for the first 18 years of our journey, and welcome you to join us for next leg and all that follows.

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678. Stone Brewing Go To IPA

Stone Brewing Go to IPAThe session IPA; seems lots of breweries are doing them and people either like em or hate em. Many session IPAs have a watered down mouth feel and almost no malt bill leaving the drinker with a one dimensional beer.While Stone’s Go To IPA lacks complexity and does feel a bit watered down it actually works well.

Go To IPA pours a cloudy golden color with a thin white head. Aroma is plentiful for a small beer; pine and grassy hops dominate. Taste moves away from the aroma towards tropical and citrus fruits and is quite enjoyable. While it is a bit thin that is to be expected from the style.

Overall I like my IPAs big but there are some breweries doing a good job with low ABV yet flavorful beers and Stone’s Go To IPA certainly makes this list. 
Pros:
Great aroma
Cons: Watered down mouth feel
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 65
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description: Since Day One, we’ve been abundantly forthright and fully transparent about our lust for hops. It’s led us to craft many an IPA, most of them imperial—some intense for their time and all timeless in their intensity. For Stone Go To IPA, we are embracing our hop obsession in a new way, funneling an abundance of lupulin-borne bitterness into a “session” IPA delivering all the fruity, piney character of a much bigger IPA. To accomplish this, we employed “hop bursting,” a new technique wherein an irrational amount of hops is added during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out extreme flavors and aromas while also imparting a burst of desirably pleasant bitterness. The result is an Alpha-acid-rich beer that fans can enjoy more of without missing out on the assertive hop character you, like us, crave. So, sit back and go two with your new everyday go-to IPA and bask along with us in the glory of the almighty hop.

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677. Stone Brewing Collective Distortion IPA

Stone Collective DistortionIt seems like Stone is releasing a new big IPA bomber almost every week and I have stopped trying to keep up. Came across this one at a local store and decided to give it a try as the elderberries and coriander sounded like an interesting combination.

The appearance may be the best part of this beer as it pours a bright orange with a single finger white head. Aroma had some citrus, some pine but was underwhelming. Taste was OK but I didn’t get any elderberry or coriander, all tropical fruit with a sticky sweetness and a fair amount of alcohol.

Overall this was a pretty good beer but I was hoping for something different from Stone. 
Pros:
Appearance
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 9.3% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description: In bringing together artisans from disparate aural planes, one might expect an offbeat, feedback-warped cacophony, shrill to the point of unlistenable. Yet, by inviting Kyle Hollingsworth, keyboardist for eclectic, jam-prone sextet,The String Cheese Incident, and Keri Kelli, wailing rock guitarist of Alice Cooper fame, we were able to make truly beautiful music. Turns out, these musicians have a great deal in common, both with each other and with Stone. We all enjoy turning things up to 11, and that is represented in this collaborative offering, an imperial India pale ale ably backed by Nugget, Comet and Calypso hops, and amplified care of a healthy dry-hopping with Vic’s Secret, a new Australian hop, adding citrus and tropical fruit oomph. To give this modern masterpiece some soulful, classic character, we traced the roots of brewing to the days when Old World herbs were used to spice beers, adding in coriander and, a first for us, elderberries. To stand up to that sumptuous spice and blaring bitterness, we added golden naked oats, which are lightly roasted and add body and enhanced mouthfeel to the brew like a steady, unbreakable backbeat to an incendiary jam solo. Sit back, crank the volume and get lost in this operatic incarnation of genres combined in the name of invention.

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631. Stone Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA

Stone GrapefruitI picked this one up in Vermont the day it was released there which was at least a week before it hit the shelves in Maine. Apparently this is the first in a series beers from Stone that will continue to push the limits of beer.

Double IPAs are one of my favorites styles of beer and I really like the citrus/fruity hops versus the dank, piney hops so a DIPA brewed with grapefruit peel seems like a good idea. Grapefruit Slam poors a very clear orange with a single finger white head. Aroma has lots of citrus and well grapefruit.

Taste was excellent with a nice citrus hop profile and slightly bitter start. Finish is where I picked up the grapefruit pith. Mouthfeel, carbonation, etc were all where I expect them on a DIPA and made this beer really enjoyable.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 95
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone Stochasticity Project
Brewers Description: India pale ales harness the inherent flavor characteristics of hops to bring forward familiar flavors of pine, resin, spice, and citrus. In some cases, those botanicals are so potent, they exactly mirror specific edibles. Such is the case with Centennial hops, which hail from the Great Northwest and come across on the palate like a mouthful of citrus fruit. That sensation is amplified with this, the first beer introduced via the Stochasticity Project–a double IPA brewed with Centennial, Chinook and Magnum hops as well as an immense dosing of fresh grapefruit peel. The result is over-the-top bittersweet grapefruit intensity that is at once refreshing and bracing in its citrusy bitterness.

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504. Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA

Stone 17thThis is my third Stone Anniversary Ale review. I had 16 last year and 14 but somehow missed the 15th. It’s no surprise that the Anniversary ale is a big double IPA as that is what Stone does best. The artwork is great as always and the beer did not disappoint.

17th Anniversary uses lots of hops with odd names, see brewers description below, so you get a different flavor than most American DIPAs. Appearance may be a little lighter than most but with that nice thick head it is still an appealing beer. Aroma is not as pungent as I expected with only a bit of citrus and floral.

Taste was pretty good but quite sweet for an IPA. Some citrus and spice but not the huge hop bomb was I expecting. Finish is surprising clean for a big double IPA. Overall not my favorite beer from Stone but certainly a solid DIPA that introduces a lot of unfamiliar hops. 
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 9.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 102
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description: Our latest anniversary beer, starring an all-German cast of malt and hops, is yet one more glorious example of a Stone IPA brewed outside the box. Our brewers have brought their experiments with German hops to fruition, leaving convention behind to create this hefty IPA entirely with pilsner malts. These provide a superbly crisp mouthfeel, while a unique mix of noble and new-school hop varieties adds layers of bright, bitter flavors. Despite the daunting name, this beer isn’t designed to bring about the end of the world, but it just might destroy some of your preconceived notions of what an IPA can be.

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503. Stone R&R Coconut IPA

Stone CoconutI didn’t realize it when I bought it but this is also a homebrew competition winner that Stone brewed (see brewer’s description below). The thought of a coconut IPA was really intriguing to me and I was really hoping for something different than the many other Stone IPAs.

The bottle is really nice and the beer pours a nice orange with a white head. Aroma is nice with plenty of citrus but I got no coconut. Taste was where I really hoped this one would excel but it ended up being just another Stone IPA. Still a good beer and I had heard you get more coconut in the aroma/flavor as it warms but my bomber was gone before it had a chance.

Overall this is a good beer but not what I had hoped for. 
Pros:
A nice IPA
Cons:
Lack of coconut
Alcohol Content: 7.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 90
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone
Brewers Description: Originally dreamt up by homebrewers Robert Masterson and Ryan Reschan, who earned themselves the top prize in our 2013 American Homebrewers Association homebrewing contest, this innovative beer marks a refreshing sea change for IPA lovers everywhere. It was brewed with 280 pounds of coconut and an unusual blend of hop varieties, including a few from faraway lands or just brand spankin’ new, and is guaranteed to taste like no IPA that’s gone before. Prepare yourself for a tropical breeze of a brew that will lull you to a place of tranquil contentment for a little R & R.

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427. Stone Brewing Enjoy By

Stone Enjoy ByThe Stone Enjoy By series is an example of great marketing and excellent beer. Stone usually labels labels their beer with an enjoy by date or will let you know the beer is OK to cellar. Many retailers and consumers probably ignore these dates but that is almost impossible to do with their Enjoy By series. The Enjoy By 4.01.13 is the fifth batch of this beer and the first one that made it to Maine.

Appearance if a crystal clear with a thin white head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is all piney resin hops and there is a lot of aroma with this beer. Taste again has lots of pine but also some nice citrus and you can tell these hops are fresh, which is the whole point of Stone Enjoy By. Alcohol is well hidden considering it is 9.4% ABV. This is a really nice beer and I hope we get future batches of Enjoy By. 
Pros:
Big fresh hops flavor
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 9.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 88
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description: You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers – especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs – we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the label, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and consumers. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.

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396. Stone Lukcy Basardt

Stone Lukct Basartd

I really enjoy Stone IPAs but often find myself ignoring their other styles. I ended up with a bottle of Lukcy Basartd and Arrogant Bastard recently and decided to start with the Lukcy as the bottle claimed it should be enjoyed fresh while Arrogant could be aged. Not sure why one can be aged and the other cannot as both are classified as Strong Ales.

The beer pours a deep amber almost brown color with a small off white head. There is quite a bit of hop character in the nose with some piney, grassy aromas – also plenty of caramel malts. Overall a nice start to this beer. Taste is complex with something different coming through in each taste. Plenty of the hops and malts you get in the aroma but also hints of smoke and oak.

An enjoyable but very big beer. Also didn’t realize until I was doing this post that Lucky Bastard is actually mis-spelled intentionally as Lukcy Basartd. Leave it to Stone to try to break spell check on my blog post. 
Pros:
Very complex big taste
Cons: Strong
Alcohol Content: 9.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone
Brewers Description: Oepn yuor mnid. Use a craobwr if you msut. Snice 1997, Arorgnat Basartd Ale has denemdad taht tyrnianacl micredioty rleax its girp of opprobrium on our ciollectve couniescosnss. Few pessoss the ruiereqd isinght or detph of piversceptve to crdiet the Liuqid Arorgnace for initatgsing the rlveoituon in tsate taht it has. Hevweor, taht’s pfecertly fnie, as our hlurecaen erffots in thirstung the larlegy unlliwing wolrd farorwd rquereis no exrtneal vaditilaon. We ralieze it’s hmaun nautre to bleeive taht pregorss trowads getreanss is one’s own ieda. 

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369. Stone Brewing 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical EpicOn 12-12-12 I decided to be just like everyone else and open my bottle of Stone’s Vertical Epic 12.12.12. I was not aware of the Stone Vertical Epic series until last year so I missed out on most of the series including the 10.10.10 which I really want a bottle of as October 10th is my birthday.

12.12.12 is a Belgian Strong Ale that also incorporates a lot of characteristics of a winter warmer. Pours almost entirely black with a very nice tan head. Aroma has plenty of spice; cinnamon and nutmeg being the most prevalent. Taste is quite nice with tons of cinnamon, there area  couple other things happening here but they are masked by the huge amounts of cinnamon. There is a bit of alcohol warmth and mouthfeel is OK, not too thick and not too thin.

Overall this beer surprised me as I was not expecting much but it is unlike any other beer I have had and certainly enjoyable. 
Pros: 

Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 9.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness):
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description:  APPEARANCE -Deep black with a dark brown, foamy head.

AROMA – First impressions are of cinnamon and allspice, combined with fruity banana esters and hints of clove from the Belgian yeast. As the beer warms in the glass, swirl it around and take in the aromatics one more time-caramel, dark toffee and molasses notes come into play as well. The end result is a wonderful juxtaposition of roasted malts, yeast esters and baking spices.

TASTE – Intense cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice with banana esters dominate up front. Hints of citrus arrive mid-palate, while molasses notes persevere in the finish along with a very nice dark-roasted malt dryness.

PALATE -A full, but not sweet, extremely dry finish. Very complex with great flavor balance.

OVERALL – The aromas wafting through the brewery as we brewed this beer were amazing! We couldn’t think of a better way to sign off this Epic series of beers.

This beer will transport you to a very warm place; the house is warm, a fire’s going and grandma’s in the kitchen baking away.

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361. Stone Brewing 16th Anniversary IPA

Stone likes to push the limits with its beer and they certainly tried to do that with the 16th Anniversary IPA, unfortunately this mix doesn’t seem to work that well. It is a nice looking beer with a deep orange color and thick off white/tan head. The only things that stand out in the aroma are lemon and alcohol which is just strange.

Taste has a lot going on but doesn’t seem to have any balance. Lot of competing flavors with some big hop character, strong lingering bitterness and a bit of a soapy taste as well. The alcohol burn is also quite strong. This is not nearly as good as Ruination 10th Anniversary
Pros:
Appearance, bottle art
Cons:
Unbalanced taste
Alcohol Content: 10.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 85
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description: We’ve been loving creating Collaboration beers with great creative brewers from all over the world these last several years-unique beers that would never have existed without the free-flowing imagination and idea generation of the collaborative process. However, when it comes to the Stone Anniversary Ales, it’s all us. Yet, it is indeed still a collaboration with great creative brewers (if we do say so ourselves). We’re talking about our own brewing team, of course. And while some of our beers, anniversary and otherwise, have been designed by a single person, the Stone 16th Anniversary IPA was definitely a team effort.

This year our brewing team was inspired by some exotic-ish additions of the lemony persuasion. Yes, it’s a Double IPA (can you really say you’re surprised?), but as we strive to do with all our Stone Anniversary Ales of the let’s-take-this-IPA-in-a-new-direction variety, we’ve brewed up a Stone-worthy divergence from tradition. The amount of rye malt we used isn’t quite enough to warrant the appellation “Rye IPA,” but it still adds hints of spiciness that contrast deliciously with the tropical fruit flavors and aromas of the Amarillo and Calypso hops. Add a few European specialty malts, some lemon verbena, and three more hop varieties to the mix, and you have a highly complex brew melding both bitter and fruity hop notes with rich toasted malt character punctuated by nuances of spicy rye and subtle lemon.

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