The Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA, poured from a 22oz bomber with a bottling date of 2/9/18, presents itself as crystal clear golden with a generous off-white foam. The choice of a $6 bomber format for this regular strength IPA, however, leaves me scratching my head, especially considering its exclusivity in Stone’s year-round lineup.


The aroma is bold, exhibiting dank and stinky notes reminiscent of durian fruit, ripe papaya, and star fruit. The tropical essence is evident, accompanied by a mix of nectary flowers. As the beer warms, white bread notes become more pronounced, adding complexity to the olfactory experience.


The taste journey begins with a prickly and rough sensation at the front of the palate that persists throughout. Despite being refrigerated and less than a month past bottling, a hint of papery deadness lingers. The mid-palate attempts to balance with white sugar and dense breadiness, while the bitterness, rated at a mid-range 6 out of 10 intensity-wise, delivers a sharp bite akin to eating mango skin. While more modern and approachable than some Stone counterparts, Scorpion Bowl doesn’t showcase the magic of Loral hops as effectively as desired, presenting itself as a typical Mosaic IPA.


The mouthfeel, unfortunately, falls short, maintaining a persistent prickliness and roughness. There’s an almost mealy texture at times, raising concerns about the beer’s overall drinkability. Despite being only a month old and refrigerated, the texture doesn’t quite align with expectations.


Stone’s Scorpion Bowl IPA, with its 7.5% ABV, seems to overcrowd the lineup, challenging its status as an everyday beer. The choice of exclusively offering it in $6 bombers adds to the puzzle. Moreover, the name “Scorpion Bowl” doesn’t quite align with the tropical fruit focus suggested in the beer description. While it has its merits, particularly in the aroma and taste departments, Scorpion Bowl faces stiff competition within Stone’s lineup. With its flaws in mouthfeel and format, it struggles to keep up with the likes of Vengeful Spirit, Tangerine Express, and Exalted IPA, all of which offer a more well-rounded and compelling experience. For now, Stone may need to revisit its lineup strategy to cater to the evolving tastes of craft beer enthusiasts.