Upon pouring Stone Ghost Hammer IPA into a tulip glass, its slightly hazy bright golden hue captures attention. The large, off-white, rocky foam quickly diminishes, revealing a beer that stands out in terms of appearance. The canning date, prominently displayed on both the cans and outer packaging, assures freshness and transparency, a commendable aspect of Stone Brewing’s presentation.


The aroma of Stone Ghost Hammer IPA is an intriguing journey into herbal complexities. Notes of Earl Grey tea, jasmine, potpourri, dried lemon, and hints of camphor/menthol create a distinctive olfactory experience. The use of the Loral hop varietal, as highlighted by the brewery, contributes to the beer’s European, noble hop heritage, adding a layer of uniqueness to the overall sensory profile.


Delving into the taste, Stone Ghost Hammer IPA delivers a flavorful experience that goes beyond the ordinary. The infusion of herbal tea and sharp citrus oils captivates the palate, concluding with a mineral-laden, remarkably dry finish for an IPA. The beer’s attenuation lends a slightly dusty mouthfeel, yet the low bitterness prevents it from veering into harsh or astringent territory. The unexpected light-bodied nature, coupled with the subtle 6.7% ABV, adds to the overall appeal of this unconventional offering.


The mouthfeel of Stone Ghost Hammer IPA distinguishes itself with its attenuated dryness. While a hint of dustiness is present, it complements the beer’s character rather than detracting from it. The well-managed bitterness prevents any harsh or astringent sensations, contributing to a smooth and easy-drinking experience. The overall texture aligns more with that of an English pale ale, offering a departure from the anticipated norms of an IPA.


Stone Ghost Hammer IPA emerges as more than a mere variation of Stone’s flagship IPA; it is a deliberate departure, showcasing a new recipe and a distinct hop varietal. The seamless integration of Loral hops brings forth a unique and innovative dimension to the beer, resulting in an easy-drinking, dry, and unconventional package. Despite its departure from the traditional Stone IPA, Ghost Hammer successfully navigates the realms of flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel, making it a noteworthy addition to the brewery’s repertoire. The intentional emphasis on showcasing the Loral hop varietal underscores Stone Brewing’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of hop exploration.