Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stone Brewing Company Ruination India Pale Ale

Stone Brewing Company has always interested me.  Stone is  well established player in the craft beer movement, with beers such as the Arrogant Bastard and Lucky Bastard.  I know people who buy these beers for the name.  I guess there is something about saying to a bartender, "I'll have an Arrogant Bastard" that people find amusing.  I order the beer because it is a very good beer.

Recently, I purchased a bottle of Stone's Ruination IPA, which is a great beer that I have had in the past.  This time, I decided to look into the beer a little more.  Stone first released this beer nearly ten years ago in 2002.  The brewer produces this India Pale Ale using Columbus and Centennial Hops.  The brewer describes the origin of this beer as rising out of the ashes from the Stone Anniversary IPA, with an "abundantly pungent aroma of hops" and "richly layered subtleties" from the hops.  

The brewer describes the name "Ruination IPA" as the effect that the beer will have on one's palate. The moment after the first taste of the beer, says the brewer, all other food and drink becomes tasteless. This is the objective of Stone IPA. 

With an IBU of over 100 and an ABV of about 7.7%, Stone largely accomplishes that goal, but in a good way.  The beer pours a perfect amber and gold color.  Once poured, there is a nice cover of off-white foam that is stubbornly persistent.  The foam is permeable, allowing the flavorful aroma of the Columbus and Centennial hops to greet the drinker.  The foam is also suggestive of a creaminess and smoothness that provides body to this beer.  That smoothness is contrasted with the intense hop flavor of this beer.  With hops come related flavors and tastes, such as citrus like lemons and grapefruit, as well as flavors of pine.

After having weathered the hop assault, I am one of the crazy people who would say, "thank you."  This beer can be found at most stores with a good selection of craft beers.  It sells for about $5.99 a bottle. 


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