Style: Imperial/Double IPA
Bittering Hops: Super Galena Hop Extract
Flavoring Hops: Simcoe, Delta, Amarillo,
Whirl Pool Hops: Moetueka, Citra, Cascade
Dry Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy
From: Escondido, CA
Brewer’s Note: “You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers – especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs – we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the label, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and consumers. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.”
The beer’s label is cool, as all Stone labels are. The Stone gargoyle’s head nicely ornaments this beer like a deer’s head, and I like the sprigs of barley that sprout from his ears, though I’m confused why they are not hops… The color scheme of green and white is beautiful and eye catching, and the prominent displaying of the “drink before date” is brilliantly placed and nice on the eye. I like all of the fonts, even though they overlap each other a little bit, and in all the label is only a touch cluttered, and keeps the ugly information away from the front of the label. This label is worthy of the shelf, since it can’t be scrapbooked.
The beer pours a beautiful golden orange with almost amber highlights. It pours with a half of a finger’s with head of pristine white, small bubbles that all sit as uniform in size, and stay the same height on the glass, but fad to a scrim in the middle of the beer. The head leaves a lacing of thick, creamy bubbles on the glass, forming fat waves on the sides. In body the beer is clean with a slight chill haze and lots of little bubbles gently working their way to the top of the beer. On the nose, the beer is pungent from the minute the bottle is cracked. This smell is everything I expect from Stone, with big sticky resin on the nose blending beautiful into tropical and stone fruit notes of mango, papaya, slight grapefruit, and a kiss of boozy malt. On the tongue, the beer tastes smoothly bitter with a nice kiss of sweet hops, a touch of sweet alcohol, and some slight acidity coming off the hops as well. The flavors begin as sweet mango and papaya, which are quickly blasted away by dank, resinous pine notes that smother the bitters gently across the palate and give the tongue a nice shiver. Pinecone flavors meld and overpower a slight sweet caramel touch, while stone fruit flavors and a touch of pineapple gel in the background of the flavor. The finish is long, smooth, and bitter with medicinal and pine flavoring that works into the aftertaste of bitter resin, though the finish does showcase a hiccup of sweet and almost cloying caramel malt.
In the mouth, the beer feels surprisingly fat and syrupy, coming in on the heavier side in body with a smooth and sticky carbonation that oozes the beer over the tastes buds. The mouth is left wet on the sides with a light dryness traveling up the middle of the tongue. Overall, this is good DIPA, and I didn’t expect anything else from Stone. It could use a touch more dryness to it, as the alcohol and sweet hops do provide hiccups of cloying sugar on the tongue and stomach, but overall, this is a beautiful expression of hops. The hop character is deeply complex and nuanced, revealing new flavors to the palate with every sip. It does sit a little thick in the stomach, though, and is definitely more of a sipper, but all in all this is a damn good DIPA with a great message about the life of hoppy flavors.