Endless Beers: Stone Ruinten IPA
ATTENTION HOPHEADS: the most recent release of the Ruinten is out. If you like the aroma and flavor of a hop garden, this is your brew. Stone describes the craft beer as a dare to craft beer lovers, promising that drinkers ” brave enough to plunge headfirst into this glorious mosh pit will revel in a blend of abundant lemon, nectarine and pineapple notes found in the aroma.” The bomber-sized container of hop flavor carries a bitterness that will scare away the novice beer drinker. Hops take over throughout the entire drink, with subtleties of citrus and fruit lingering behind. Those of us who enjoy hop flavors, however, welcome the “dare to drink” attitude of the Ruinten IPA, the bold ABV, and the full flavor and feel of the brew.
I liken this beer to a Sylvester Stallone flick. If you go into the movies expecting an action-packed non-realistic film, you will be entertained. If you go in expecting a theatrical masterpiece full of drama, some comedy, and lot of words–you will be disappointed. The Ruinten IPA is not a balanced beer–it’s not supposed to be. Instead, it is in your face with hops in every way with a full feel and an ABV that will leave you quite relaxed out on the porch on a summer night. If you are expecting the “in your face” attitude from the brew, you won’t be disappointed. If you are expecting a light, balanced IPA with just as much malty sweetness as there is hop bitterness, you will be overwhelmed.
Here’s the taste:
Stone Ruinten IPA: “A Stage Dive into a Mosh Pit of Hops”
Appearance: Dark gold, similar to copper, with a creamy darker-than-white head – good lacing throughout with a CLEAN glass.
Aroma: BOLD hop aroma hits you right away. A refreshing sent that literally places you in a garden of fresh hops. If your hophead nose allows you to get through the hops, you will also sense some subtle fruits like citrus and some tropical fruits as well.
Taste: Hop flavors hit the tastebuds first and carry through the whole sip. While it is not a “balanced” brew – the malty flavor comes throughout enough to complement a citrus sweetness as you drink. The hop flavor ends with a crisp, fresh, clean, and bitter feeling.
Mouthfeel: Very dry suds with a full body. While the malts add some bitterness, the true essence of the malts comes through in the body of the beer and the warming boozy feeling going down. Bitter, bitter bitter :-).
Overall: The hope flavor of the IPA provides a pleasant bitterness that carries throughout the drink. Aftertaste is dry and bitter, but not so bitter that your tastebuds are destroyed. In fact, if you’ve prepared yourself for the hops – they will be asking for more. Stone recommends drinking this fresh – since there are so many hops. If you do drink it right away, the bitterness will be a fresh bitterness….if you wait to long, it will become a bad “bitter beer” kind of bitterness.
Stone Craft Beer Ambassador “Dr.” Bill Sysak’s Suggested Pairings:
- Appetizers: Kimchee, ceviche, bacon-wrapped jalapeños (or habaneros), chips and salsa
- Entrees: Salt and pepper shrimp, jambalaya, roasted pork chops with apple sauce, fish tacos, seitan fajitas
- Cheeses: Mimolette, Pecorino Romano, Maytag Blue, Fiscalini Bandage Wrapped Cheddar
- Desserts: Apple pie with caramel sauce, carrot cake, spice cake, blueberry jalapeño blue cheese cheesecake
- Cigars: Ashton Classic Majesty, Litto Gomez Diez, Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label Invictos Corojo Robusto