Happy 17th Stone. This is an interesting brew. It’s got a Pilsner malt profile, with a bunch of interesting German hops, and an American attitude and style. Pilsner malt base with such hops as Herkules, Hersbrucker, Magnum, Merkur, Opal, Smaragd, and Strisselspalt.
Imperial India Pale Ale. 9.5% ABV. 102 IBUs. California. Limited Release.
Dark golden color. Nice fluffy head when it’s poured, but it calms down pretty quick.
German hops maybe, but the nose is all American. Heavy hop aroma that’s fairly earthy and floral. Some light fruits show up here, but I’m getting this really great tobacco component.
Mouthfeel is actually pretty light for this kind of beer. Probably a little too easy-drinking.
Interesting flavors on this beer. Earthy and floral with the hops. A little bit less fruit than on the nose. bitterness is there, but decent balance for the style. I’m drinking this beer room temp, and I do get just a bit of alcohol, but you really got to look for it.
This is what Stone does best, and this is no exception. This is a beer to buy. 91 points.
Coconut IPA? I can dig it. This beer features 280 pounds of coconuts and some interesting hop selections.
American India Pale Ale. 7.7% ABV. 90 IBUs. California. Limited Release.
Light orange color. Decent head and lacing, but a bit thinner than I come to expect from an (D)IPA
Well, it mostly smells like a regular DIPA. Citrusy, bit of pine. There is a hint of something that I’d describe as weird. I guess that’s the coconut, but it’s not really coconut-y. Bit of sweetness, as well.
Mouthfeel is nice. Medium body, medium carbonation.
Tropical fruit hit the palate initially, followed by a bit of pine and earth, finishes on a crisp sweetness and considerable bitterness.
It’s a fine beer, but I’d never guess coconut was involved. 88 points.
Well this is interesting. This imperial stout is a collaboration between Greg Koch (Stone), Wil Wheaton (Star Trek dude and general geek), and Drew Curtis (Fark.com). And it’s huge: 13% ABV. This beer also features pecans, wheat and rye malt and a quarter of it is aged in Bourbon barrels. Let’s give it a taste.
Imperial Stout. 13.0% ABV. 65 IBUs. California. Limited Release.
Really, really dark brown color, so let’s say black. Dark tan head.
Holy booze. Booze, wet rocks, hint of chocolate. Slightly nutty and vanilla component on there too.
Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy.
Chocolate covered nuts, booze, vanilla, bourbon, vanilla, booze.
I shouldn’t be breathing near any flame. It’s rich and complex, but just way too over-the-top for it to be enjoyable on my palate. I might have gone crazy for this a couple years ago, but I just don’t see the point today. Perhaps age will help, or it just might turn into soy sauce. 89 points.
Originally released in 2012 to celebrate Ruination’s tenth anniversary, the RuinTen will now be released annually. This beer is essentially a bigger, badder version of the Ruination, with 10.8% ABV and 5 pounds of a 50/50 blend of Centennial and Citra in each barrel.
Imperial India Pale Ale. 10.8% ABV. 110 IBUs. California. Limited Release.
Copper color with a beautiful fluffy head. Small streams of carbonation appear through the murky beer.
I can already smell the beer and I’ve only just poured it. Huge nose with just a ton of pine and earth with orange and lemon zest. Hints of black pepper, honey and even a little floral peddle thing going on.
The carbonation really cuts through the body, thank god. Otherwise, this is syrup. Hop syrup. Delicious.
Incredibly complex. Pine, orange peel, lemon, black pepper, vanilla, and earth. This beer will destroy your palate….but, it does have some malt backbone here. Just enough to make it drinkable, and give it just a bit of a sweet kick. The finish is along the lines of orange flavored charcoal.
Make no mistake, this will destroy your palate for quite awhile. That being said, it’s got some beautiful complexity and is the most stand-out IPA I’ve had in some time. 92 points.
This month’s Beer Club is brought to you by the Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/India Black Ale/American Black Ale or whatever else you want to call it. Regardless of the name, there was some kick-ass beer in this tasting. I actually designed the order by using the average of review scores. I used my own scores, BA, and RB.
To begin the tasting, we actually started with my homebrew. It gushed, and went back into the fridge. Oops.
The Laughing Dog Dogzilla might be my first beer from Idaho. I really don’t have much to say about that beer. I’m glad it was at the beginning of the tasting.
Next up was the 21st Amendment Back in Black. I actually like this beer. It’s not over-the-top with the hops and had a nice balanced flavor with quite a bit of caramel.
The Sam Adams Dark Depths Baltic IPA was a new one for me. It’s brewed as a lager. It was oddly sweet and oddly obnoxious.
One of my favorites of the tasting was the Alaskan Black IPA. Theirs isn’t real hoppy, but man, it’s a tasty beer. I’ve been a fan in the past and it held up well in the tasting.
My friend actually brought a beer for us to try, which was the Beer Valley Half Mast. I stuck it into the tasting here, and have no idea what the ratings are on it. I thought this one was a pretty good example of the style.
Another beer that I’ve been a fan of in the past, was the Oakshire O’Dark:30. Gave it a 90 on this blog and I still liked it.
We had the Widmer Pitch Black after. Nothing of note about this beer. Tasted like water to me.
Our only Washington competitor was the Fish Swordfish out of Olympia. I gave this one a pretty high rating, and enjoyed it in the tasting. It was a bit more aggressive than the others we’d have at that point.
You can’t do black IPAs without one of the greats: Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous. Probably the most aggressive beer, but the balance is fantastic. It’s what you’d come to expect from Stone.
Probably my favorite Black IPA is the Seccession by HUB. I still love this beer. It’s the perfect marriage of piney and citrus with the chocolate. My favorite.
This tasting was the first chance that I got to try the Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker. I guess there is a reason it’s the most highly rated beer in the tasting. Exquisite balance. It’s a beer I need to review on it’s own.
That’s it folks. It was a fantastic tasting and more user friendly than I thought it would be. Some folks just don’t enjoy the hops…yet. Next month hefeweizens at a lake house. Jealous?
This is a tasting that was long requested by a club member and she finally got her wish.
We started the evening off by tasting the last two vintages of Stone Old Guardian. Some liked the rounded flavor of last years, while others preferred the more aggressive and sweet tasting fresh version.
Avery’s Hog Heaven was decent, but relatively forgettable.
The Bridgeport Old Knucklehead was a favorite. It has a nice bit of oak, but not overwhelming. I personally thought the oak in this beer was perfect and had better balance than some of the others.
I was really excited to try the 2011 Ninkasi Critical Hit. I love Ninkasi and this was no exception.
The 2012 Rogue Old Crustacean was next and was one of my favorites. It was well-rounded and balanced, lacking the aggression of some.
The clear favorite of the night was the Firestone Walker Sucaba. One club member said it may be his favorite beer ever. I personally found the oak to be a bit too over-the-top, but otherwise an amazing beer.
We ended on the biggest beer of the night. The Midnight Sun Arctic Devil weighs in close to 14%. It was definitely on the aggressive side, but delicious none-the-less.
Thanks to the happy couple for hosting our loud-asses.
This is the final release in the vertical epic series. This Belgian Dark features a spice addition that appears to be Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice. Let’s see how it goes.
Belgian Strong Dark Ale. 9.0% ABV. California. Limited Release.
Dark brown to black. Barely any head on this beer, but a little bit of a dark tan head appears when poured vigorously.
Hint of spices. It’s a bit christmas-y if that makes sense. Got some allspice, cinnamon, clove kinda thing going on.
Mouthfeel is actually fairly heavily carbonated. Decent body though.
The first thing that jumps out to me is the spices, but also a surprisingly amount of roast. The roast flavor actually over-powers this beer. The spices are alright, not over-the-top. A hint of alcohol on the finish.
I’m pretty meh on this beer. I find it fairly off balanced and boring. Maybe it’ll get better with age? 83 points.