Stone Ruination IPA

big big IPA

Editors Note: I’m sure you can tell by now that BS and I constantly badger our friends to share their food and drink knowledge on endless simmer. Well, we’ve finally convinced the anti-blogger! Please welcome our friendly neighborhood beer geek, Tim.

Stone Brewery – Escondido, CA
Stone Ruination IPA – An American Double / Imperial IPA
7.7% ABV

Ah, Stone’s Ruination IPA. This is a big beer. If you don’t know what a big beer is, think twice before trying this one. Or, at least, try a more traditional IPA (India Pale Ale) before jumping into the Imperial IPA style.

IPAs are so named because they were first brewed by the British for the long trips to India when it was still under seizure as a British Colony. Realizing the natural preservative qualities of the hop, the Brits packed tons of these bad boys into traditional British pale ales. And I’m glad they did. They generated an outstanding beer style, glorifying the Hop. And while I mostly appreciate strong, well balanced beers, with an equal amount of sweet malty, alcoholic flavors to balance the hop bite, there’s just something supremely entertaining and refreshing about the unchecked hop bite of the big, nasty hop bombs that are Double IPAs. Stone’s Ruination IPA is an excellent example of the style.

The 12oz bottle I picked up at Lost Dog (great place) in Falls Church, VA was poured into a heavy 14oz glass mug that I was lucky enough to inherit from my girlfriend‘s grandfather. No date on the bottle. 🙁

Read on for a Tim’s Beer Rating Guide.

Appearance: Pale amber, like illuminated pinewood all laquered up. It held a firm, thin head. Thick to move when swirled.

Big Nose: This is one of those times when it just smells like HOPS. But yeah, orange citrus up front with a load of butter to follow it up. Characteristically of big beers, there’s a lot of caramel and sugar hiding down there too.

Taste Taste: HOPS, butter and citrus just like the nose. Honey and alcohol in the aftertaste. I love hops. This isn’t (supposed to be) a balanced beer. Please don’t buy it expecting that. It’s reminiscent of Dogfish Head’s 90 minute IPA, but there’s less depth to the malty undertones in this one. If you are a hophead and you don’t love this, you are weird. If you’re not a hophead, you’re welcome to try, but just understand what it is.

The feeling in my mouth when I drink it: Nice. Again, my preferences is for big beers, and this is one of ’em. So with 7.7% abv and enough hops to eat a goat (what?) it’s not surprising that this beer is thick. I can feel the hop juice tingling the back of my tongue. And, I did let this warm from the fridge for a few minutes, gave it a few rubs and junk, but it was a bit too cold. It loosened up nicely after I let it warm and breathe as I drank’t.

Drinkability: Very high, but I am insane. Besides, the 1,000,000,000 lupilin count makes me sleepy. Not really. Anyway, I nurse these bad boys ’cause of the price, not the taste. If these guys were any cheaper ($15 / 6er) I’d have one every day.

All-in-All: I can’t stress enough –this is a big beer. A big, hoppy, nuts, novel, American beer. I love it. If you don’t like HOPS or having fun, stay away from this one. Because these guys don’t deserve to be trashed or (and I can’t believe how many people actually do this) poured out.

timmy cheers


Photo: A Good Beer Blog

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  • BS November 30, 2007  

    I like big beers and I cannot lie! Thanks for dropping some knowledge.

  • bobbyc November 30, 2007  

    Great review. Great beer. I

  • Brian November 30, 2007  

    i’m only left with one question…can i beer bong it?

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