Total Score: 8.7/10
Wow Stone Brewing is now 21 years old? That’s the legal drinking age in ‘Merica [the majority of the world is fine with 18 – for a country that is appallingly liberal with firearm ownership, among other things, it seems like an onerous restriction to have on civil liberties and freedom]. Anyhow, politics aside, Stone do manage to surprise me again and again with their brews, and this Double IPA is no different with a hop bill that includes: Magnum, Mosaic®, Pekko, and an odd little number called: Hopsteiner Exp 06300 (they’re really running out of hop names so they’ve resorted to using numbers as well now). So Mosaic® and Magnum? Had ‘em, love Mosaic®. Pekko is a new one for me, and Hopsteiner Exp 06300 – ??? Umm, yeah.
Poured from a 650ml US bomber-sized bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Nice ‘n cloudy with hop residue floating around – great sign for a DIPA! Body is a perfect safety-orange colour with an off-white head that slowly settles leaving splotches of lace on the side of the glass – she’s a looker this one! 9/10.
S: Orange peel, peppery notes, earthy/floral character, hint of mango, and a light caramel malt base tying it all together. The hops aren’t fresh (or they’re lacking in that “green” hop character) bottled in late July – that figures, so 2 months on it. Still there is enough hop character in this to still be noticed, and noticed well. It’s a solid West Coast DIPA aroma then. 8/10.
T: Eminently drinkable DIPA from the second it lands on the tongue till the very last sip (2 mins later) – what Stone have done here is what Stone almost always manage to do: Brew a great beer. Flavours are bountiful with: orange peel, peppery notes, earthy/floral character, hint of mango, light caramel & biscuit malt base, nectarine, and a slight piney note (there you are old piney). Balance is almost a perfect trifecta of dry/sweet/bitter – it doesn’t feel like it tips far in any of those directions. 9/10.
M: Medium to full bodied and creamy, tasty as brah! 8/10.
D: This is NOT a big hop onslaught of a brew – Stone has settled down a little in old age (for a craft brewery 21 is old). The fact that they haven’t gone for an all-out assault of hops shows that Stone are a dynamic brewer – they’re able to remain trendsetters because they don’t rest on their laurels. Even if that means pissing off some “hop heads” that seek more of the same, I say bravo to Stone for stepping back from that one-hop-manship machismo. Oh yeah, I also just realised this is 9.8% ABV: WTF are you hiding that alcohol Stone?! Seriously?! 9/10.
Food match: This is one versatile DIPA – steak, curry, chicken, etc…