Beer Review: STONE IPA

Beer Review: STONE IPA

Stone IPA pours into the glass with a crystal-clear amber hue, showcasing its traditional aesthetic. The buttermilk-colored foam forms a rocky texture, demonstrating excellent head retention that lingers for several minutes before subsiding. The 19.2oz can packaging is boldly printed with a clear date stamp, emphasizing a four-month freshness window.

Aroma

Upon lifting the glass, a nostalgic aroma unfolds, reminiscent of a bygone era. Initial notes of orange slice gummy candies and orange Twizzlers dominate the nose, offering a throwback to classic hop profiles. As the beer warms, honey rolls and caramel emerge, contributing depth to the aromatic experience.

Taste

Stone IPA enters the palate with an assertive bitterness, delivering a substantial kick of kettle hops from the outset. The bitterness intensifies in the mid-palate, reaching a peak at 9/10 intensity, bordering on the abrasive. Tannic tea leaves, Brazil nut, and burnt orange flavors define the profile. Despite the elevated bitterness, the beer maintains balance with a medium to almost full-bodied malty foundation, featuring toasty notes and a dense caramel character. Each sip concludes with a prolonged, bitter aftertaste, making it a relentless and intense experience. While it initially overwhelms, the beer gradually mellows as it warms.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel of Stone IPA complements its bold flavors, offering a medium to almost full-bodied experience. The beer’s density, combined with a slightly toasty malt base, adds substance to the palate. The aggressive bitterness, while intense, is well-supported by the maltiness, preventing it from becoming overly harsh. The overall texture aligns with the beer’s robust and unapologetic character.

Overall

Stone IPA stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of classic, aggressively bitter amber IPAs from the 1990s and early 2000s. In a craft beer landscape dominated by evolving styles such as pale IPAs, Brut IPAs, and hazy IPAs, Stone IPA remains a stalwart favorite. Its unyielding bitterness may not align with the current trend of lighter-bodied, brightly-flavored brews, but its continued popularity attests to the enduring preference for this robust style. For those seeking familiarity amidst the constant flux of the craft beer industry, Stone IPA provides a reliable choice, delivering a hop-centric experience that has stood the test of time. While not a refreshing option, it maintains its status as a heavyweight in the realm of classic IPAs.