Like A Rock

Friday, June 20, 2008

At long, long last, Michigan beer distributors consistently carry the fine beers from Stone. This includes my favorite Russian Imperial Stout of all time, the aptly-named Stone Russian Imperial Stout (clever, no?). Stone is currently my absolute favorite non-Michigan brewery.

Yes, George, 2 weeks after our swap, Michigan shelves were filled with the RIS. Thanks for the shipment, though. I kinda feel like what you sent me is more authentic. I'm OCD that way.

Today's review is common enough in Michigan that you can consistently buy it at Meijers. I recommend that you do. Today, we're looking at the equally-cleverly-named Stone India Pale Ale.

So what they lack in creative naming, sort of like Sierra Nevada (they name it what it is...), they more than make-up for in clever brewing.

From the bottle, the beer poured a bright, clear golden-orange with a fluffy, creamy head head that stuck like thick lace down the side of the glass. Liquid invitation.

Huge aromatic, floral, citrusy hops assault my nose, ending with a lovely spiciness. Hop after hop after hop was used to flavor this lovely beer. Underneath it all, hidden but there when you pay attention, are some lovely fruity esters of lighter fruits; think melons and strawberries.

The taste is even a notch-up from the lovely aromatics. Orange peel, grapefruit, floral hops, earthy spices, and some pine just for kicks. So many hops it's almost puckery...and a hop-head's dream on a hot summer day (for this, the first day of summer). This beer would be completely out of control if it weren't for the judicious use of sweet malts, fading to a bready and yeasty finish under all those hops. It creates a great sensation between the huge hops and the sweet malts to give a sort of canned-pineappley-sweet taste. Really interesting and artfully done!

The beer is a slightly lighter body for a big IPA, with a creamy and oily mouthfeel; almost slick on the tongue, but with such a creamy body to it.

At a mere 7-ish% ABV, this beer could be quaffed one after another as the days in Michigan continue to heat up, and for the ho-heads, you won't be able to stop at just one.


the infamous roger 11:19 AM  

Stone IPA is pretty darn good, and an excellent example of West Coast IPA -- malty with a dry finish, big c-hops.

George 11:33 AM  

Smitty, my stuff is the real RIS. It came from California.

Oh, wait.

Seriously, the Stone IPA is lovely. A couple years ago for Amy's birthday her parents brought a half keg of it up and we had a fantastic BBQ afternoon. Nothing like Stone on tap in the backyard.

Sopor 12:32 AM  

I like Hos!!

Y'know... I was 20 minutes from the Stone Brewery last Sunday... and I didn't go. (smacks hand) But in my defense I was a bit jet lagged and had just had a couple o'pints and some pizza here. The beer was great! Pizza was pretty good too.

I picked up some goodies though, not a whole bunch, but some Racer 5 and a kolsch-style ale from Alaskan Brewing. I also tried the Hemp Ale from Humboldt, not bad, nothin' to write home about.

Stone IPA is the quintessential "West Coast" IPA, IMO. Damn good stuff. Gotta get a bottle of the Ruination now!

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