Beer Review: STONE EXALTED IPA

Beer Review: STONE EXALTED IPA

Stone Exalted IPA presents itself in a 12 oz. can, poured into specialty glassware. The liquid boasts a crystal-clear light amber to darker golden hue, accompanied by a medium-sized, yellowish to off-white head that persists for several minutes. The visual appeal is commendable, providing a glimpse into what lies within the can.

Aroma

From the moment the can is cracked open, the aroma of Stone Exalted IPA bursts forth, dominated by the potent essence of hop oils. The initial olfactory experience mirrors the sensation of opening a package of fresh pellet hops, offering an incredible symphony of scents. Notably absent are the typical tropical fruit notes found in many American IPAs. Instead, the nose is treated to gooseberry, perfumey Bergamot orange (a staple in Earl Grey tea), and sharp lime peel. As the bouquet evolves, it transitions into hints of lemon pound cake and overripe, sugary strawberry. The aroma, though intense, stands out as a refreshing departure from the ubiquitous tropical fruit-focused IPAs.

Taste

The taste journey of Stone Exalted IPA unfolds with a commendable balance between bitterness and sweetness at the front of the palate. Initial sips reveal malt richness, featuring caramel and bread rolls, seamlessly blending with a powerful wave of bitterness. However, this bitterness leans towards the aggressive side, scoring an 8 out of 10, overshadowing the sweetness at a 4/10. This bold bitterness, while captivating, occasionally threatens to tip the flavor profile off-balance. The beer’s body, initially oily and rich, experiences a swift transformation, culminating in a sharper and dry finish. Grapefruit and lime peel dominate the mid-palate, joined by the intensified notes of perfume oils and vibrant Earl Grey tea/Bergamot orange. Although the initial intensity may be overwhelming, the beer’s complexity becomes more enjoyable with each sip.

Mouthfeel

At its core, Stone Exalted IPA embodies a medium-bodied, richly malty amber to golden ale, delivering a potent hop punch. The traditional IPA formula receives a unique twist with the incorporation of noble hop-like aroma and flavor. Despite the overpowering hop intensity, finesse and perfection in the beer’s mouthfeel and finish take a backseat. The focus is unapologetically on delivering a single, robust blow of hop power.

Overall

Stone Exalted IPA challenges the prevailing trend of softer, sweeter, and more tropical IPAs. Its commitment to the old-school IPA formula, coupled with the distinctive noble hop-like aroma and flavor, establishes its uniqueness in the crowded market. While certain aspects, such as the aggressive bitterness, may initially raise eyebrows, the beer ultimately reveals its charm and complexity with each passing sip. Stone Exalted IPA caters to the beer geek, prioritizing a sensory experience dominated by intense hop aroma and wicked bitterness. Despite some critiques, the beer’s allure grows with consumption, enticing drinkers to reach for a second can.