Friday, April 22, 2011

Stone Brewing Co. - Pale Ale; IPA; Ruination IPA; Levitation Ale; Arrogant Bastard Ale

The Stone Brewing Company is in Escondido, San Diego County, California.  Their logo is a gargoyle.

Pale Ale - This 5.4% ABV beer pours dark copper-amber with an orange hue and a quarter inch of off-white thick, creamy head that leaves light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is fairly subdued, lightly sweet, caramel malt, plum and cherry type fruit.  The taste follows the aroma with even more maltiness apparent in the taste and a dry, bitter finish.

IPA - This 6.9% ABV India Pale Ale pours a light orange-copper-amber in color with a small head that leaves light lacing.  The aroma is slightly sweet, grassy, a hint of melon, cantaloupe, tropical fruit and dark fruits, and a bit of caramel malt.  The taste is mostly bitterness with some light fruit and rye like maltiness.  I question whether my bottle is fresh as I was expecting a much more hop forward West coast American style IPA.

Ruination IPA - This 7.7% ABV India Pale Ale pours a medium orange-copper-amber in color with a small foamy head.  The aroma is much more subdued than I expected, a bit of tangy citrus over a slightly sweet malt background.  The taste is dark fruits, plum and cherry, sweet caramel malt, strong iced tea, and very dry and bitter.  Again, I was expecting hop bombs from these Stone IPA's.  Either I was totally wrong in my expectation or I got less than fresh beers.  These are from Zipp's Liquors in Minneapolis.  Stone only just recently became available in Minnesota so it would have been stupid of them to make their first release less than fresh beers.

Levitation Ale - Levitation Ale - This 4.4% ABV beer pours dark brown, translucent, with a ruby tint. There is a half-inch of thick off-white head that dissipates at a medium speed and also leaves medium lacing down the glass. The aroma is hop forward, zesty, piney, and resinous. The taste is slightly spicy, rye bread, dark sun tea with lemon and a medium bitter finish. This is a very interesting beer and hard to believe for its massive flavor that it is only 4.4%. This was a 2007 gold medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival.

Arrogant Bastard Ale - This 7.2% ABV beer pours dark brown and ruby but still translucent with a half-inch of thick foamy off-white head that leaves medium to thick lacing down the glass.  The aroma is fresh, malty, caramel, toasty, and some dark fruit.  The taste follows the aroma directly and has a massively bitter, dry and somewhat roasted finish.  The ploy on this beer is that the bottle suggests it is too much for you and you would probably just do better to avoid it.  It is an interesting beer, but the massive bitterness on the finish would make it hard to drink too much of it at any one time.

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