Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stone's IPA Summer

I am in catch up mode on the blog.  I have plenty of notes on many beers that I need to clean up and post.  I have decided to write posts with short reviews of multiple beers, which will likely read more like brief impressions than deep insight.  Stone's summer IPAs is the first group of beers.

By my count Stone Brewing Co. released five IPAs this summer:  Enjoy By, RuinTen, 18th Anniversary and two collaboration IPAs, Collective Distortion and Unapologetic.

Enjoy By, which I classify as one release even though Stone released two or three different Enjoy Bys this summer, remains a brilliant double IPA.  It is the hoppiest, most drinkable "big" IPA available.

RuinTen was originally released in 2012 for the tenth anniversary of the Stone's Ruination double IPA.   It made its third annual summer appearance in June.  RuinTen is big and bitter for sure, but Stone needs to shelve this now-tedious beer for a few years.   It is overpowering, and not in good way.  If you want a big, aggressive IPA skip RuinTen and grab an Enjoy By.

Collective Distortion is a sweet, bitter, and delicious double IPA.  Brewed with elderberries, this beer that a rocker helped craft, well, rocks.  One of my favorite IPAs of the summer.

Unapologetic IPA is good double IPA, too.  It does not set any new IPA benchmark or cover new IPA ground, but it is worth trying all the same.

Stone's 18th Anniversary IPA is a hopped-up brown ale.  I guess after eighteen IPA variations Stone needed to get creative and turned brown.  I don't know of any other brown ale IPAs, and after tasting 18th Anniversary I don't expect a rush brewers to race and create their own brown IPA.  I'm not even sure if a brown ale IPA is a style, not that it matters.   The beer was a little bit boozy and a little bit boring - like a brown ale.  It's not a bad beer - no, not a bad beer - just not an exciting beer.  And was it me or did it taste thin?

I can't believe I did not take a picture of any of these beers. 

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