Total Score: 8.1/10
Yet another Stone brew enticing me towards it with a brash label and (as usual) heady alcohol content (8.4% ABV with this one). Then I had a read of the label: Motueka, Mosaic and Mandarina Bavaria hops – yes please! I’m well acquainted with Motueka (which gives IPAs a real orange juice vibe) and Mosaic (mangos very prominent with this hop) however Mandarina Bavaria is a new one for me, I’m guessing mandarin notes [let’s not get ahead of ourselves Doc]. Added to what will no doubt be another fantastic Stone brew is wheat… so yeah, banana and clove flavours too? Sounds like a bit of a fruit salad in a glass, I’m looking forward to it!
Poured from a 650ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Cloudy, with visible yeast particles, orange body with a billowy white head on top. Very much looks more like a Hefeweizen than a DIPA, but I guess that’s the point when you add wheat to a beer. 8/10.
S: Bit of a fruit salad as expected: Orange-flavoured Starburst, banana, orange juice and hints of, yep, you guessed it; Mandarin. Overall it’s a pleasing, if overly sweet, melange of an aroma, one which makes me eager to dive right in to the next bit (my favourite bit) the tasting. 8/10.
T: Headstrong hopping upfront and all over – Stone do nothing by half measures, and for this we – the craft beer collective voices – thank them. Starts off syrupy with banana/mandarin, then mid-palate hits with a biscuity note, follows through to fresh orange juice/Starbursts, and finishes with a pithy orange moderate bitterness. The balance is on par with what we expect from Stone – that is to say excellent, with just the right amount of sweetness, it’s rather a little too easy to drink for 8.4%, but that’s how Stone rolls [needed a pun in there somewhere]. 8/10.
M: Wheat gives this a nice creamy medium bodied consistency, and the carbonation is spot on – dense but not too gassy, hard to fault here. 9/10.
D: Too drinkable for its own good IMO! This is the Stone you bring round to meet your parents (if your parents happen to be avid craft beer drinkers, mine are not appreciators of the fine art of brewing sadly). Aside from being exceptionally easy to drink and tasty the only question you need to ask yourself (apart from: “Do I feel lucky punk?”) is: Are these flavours that I love? Personally I’m not a huge orange fan, if you asked me to list my top fruits orange would be like 10 or 12th on the scale, however I do love bananas… so conflicted right now. 8/10.
Food match: BBQ ribs with slaw and a brioche (if I want to turn the hipster up to 11).