Stone 20th Anniversary Citracado IPA

Total Score: 8.85/10 Honeycomb1HopFlower1Peppercorns1Tulipglass1

Review #750!!! The big SEVEN FIVE OH, and if you had to ask me which brewer most fires up my salivary glands when I hear its name uttered it would have to be: Stone… or Mikkeller… or Founders, Deschutes, Victory, Weihenstephaner… anyway you get the picture: My salivary glands are often fired up. In any case this 9% ABV Double IPA brewed with Citra hops and avocado flower honey seemed a fitting beer to give the nod for such an auspicious milestone (the next big one is #1,000 and I’ll probably be 40 by then… hmmm, 40th birthday idea formulating… nope it’s gone, oh well – skydive it is then).

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy deep sepia-orange body with a 1 centimetre wheat-coloured head that slowly drops back to a thin spotty blanket. Carbonation looks quite dense/creamy and that to me equals good times ahead. 8/10.

S: Stone once again fails to disappoint with a bold aroma of peppery spice and pine needles that is as fresh and bracing as a northwest coastal breeze. Slight earthy tones mingle with an additional orange note to create a little piece of West Coast bliss-in-a-glass. Honeyed sweetness gradually comes through as well. Damn near perfect aroma if you love your West Coast IPAs. 9/10.

T: Honey! Honey! Honey! At least enough honey to keep Winnie the Pooh entertained for days. It’s good though because it comes through at first as a subtle note on the roof of your mouth but it’s enough to be noticed without over-straying into cloying territory. The rest is quite as expected: Piney/orange/pepper/earthy hops with a hint of a biscuit malt base. Hefty herbal bitterness in the aftertaste is a minor criticism though. 9/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied with hop oils (obvs!), some chewy character that I suspect is honey-related, and a light but quite dense and creamy carbonation. Nice. 8/10.

D: What a massive beer to review for 750! Not nearly as big in ABV as most of my milestone bruviews, but the quantity is plentiful in a bomber, and I’m certainly feeling it towards the end. This is one of those beers that I would be curious to age however I bought the last bottle at my LCB [Local Craft Boutique] so there’ll be none of that… though I do imagine the honey will add more complexity as the hops fade and in 2-3 yrs (cellared correctly) it will be interesting/wow. 9/10.

Food match: This is an intriguing beer to match – honey and hops, bittersweet harmony in a glass, a tough one: Filipino lechon kawali with fresh chilli.

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