Onenote81 (1002) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - MAY 1, 2012
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Originally reviewed: 10/19/10. Saw this bottle on the shelf and actually thought I was getting the other collaboration brew, Saison du BUFF (actually rang up as that). Very surprised, and excited, to see that itís a low ABV session ale! Letís get to it.
Pours a fair orange with a finger-width creamy off-white head on top. Retention is decent; leaves some light lace behind. The nose on this beer is absolutely stellar! Big floral notes, lots of citrus with tangerine and grapefruit; big piney smack on the finish. Really standout. I could smell this all day.
The body is fairly light, which is expected as this is meant to be a session ale. Carbonation level is a little on the high side, but smooths out on the back end. Definitely a bitter beer. The hops come forward full force, with definite Cascade in the front. The finish is a bit spicy and grating. As a session ale, this could be tamed for me to want multiples of this beer. I like the low ABV though. Glad I got this beer "on accident." Recommend.
daknole (8013) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - APR 29, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A sparkling 24k gold pour, nice white head. Aroma is big hops up front, very resin forward, some citrus, fresh cut grass, and very light caramel. Flavor is citrus hops, hay, grass, some unripe stone fruit. Damn good brew.
LtDan (1718) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - APR 20, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Appearance: Pours a clear amber gold with no visible bubbles, and a big white rocky head. Leaves behind heavy lacing.
Aroma: Huge grapefruit and modest pine, flowers and minerals.
Taste: Dry bready malt, humongous pine and grapefruit. Finishes earthy and bitter. Flavor lingers well past the sip.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a tad dry, moderate carbonation.
Overall: The biggest little beer in the land. For the past year or so, as father time has been battling me, I have found beers like this, Firestone Pale 31, Mission Street Pale ale to be my go to beers. Big on hops and flavor, easy on the buzz. This beer is not lacking in flavor or aroma.
sethbreaker (173) - New York, Greater London, USA - APR 18, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
From the bottle. Not sure of the date on this one. Pours hazy. Pine hop aroma that has slightly medicinal tinge to it. Mouth feel is light and a little thin. It feels a bit muddled really, I get a strange vegetable like taste running through it, somewhat herbaceous, almost like boiled carrots. Perhaps it tasted much better fresh
Damico (2213) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 5, 2012
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
A year and a half in the cellar unfortunately, it pours golden orange amber in color with some sediment. The aroma and flavor has faded unfortunately to some bland bitter hop notes. There was a bit of a gush on the open and it was super bubbly in body with a big white creamy head on top.
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 28, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
From notes. First reviewed 12/9/2010. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
San Diego County Session Ale pours a vibrant golden tangerine color, which, although slightly hazy, still allows for visibility of the replenishing carbonation from the bottom of the glass.
A floral hop bouqet enters the nose with some citrusy hop notes and a touch of light, sweet malt.
In the flavor, there is just a touch of biscuity malt up front, and then this is a surprising hop bomb. Very bitter, particular just after the malt sweetness subsides and as an aftertaste. Some juicy grapefruit citrus, but very strongly floral as well. The sip closes juicy and puckering.
Something is just a little bit off with this feel. Maybe the low (for Stone standards) ABV is doing it, trying to pack so much hop flavor into a tiny alcohol content, but the feel comes off as trying to be creamy but fizzy at the same time. The plethora of hops give my tongue a tingly, almost numb feeling. Leaves a ton of hop oil all over my tongue.
Not sure if this was their intention or not, but they definitely made a mini - Stone IPA here, although just by dropping the ABV I am not sure if they are able to appropriately attach íSessioní to the name. This is not one I would really want to drink too much of.
Bockyhorsey (2607) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - FEB 18, 2012
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Good floral aroma. Copper body with white head. Light bodied brew with some pine and malty sweetener. Smooth on the palate good refreshment.
DomCharbonneau (31) - , Quebec, CANADA - FEB 16, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Highly aromatic hops of citrus, pine, resinous and light pinapple. Orange copper white white not persistent head. High flavor of hops, american flavor of citrus, pinapple, not too hars, but has a lot of aromatic hops. This gives an intense IPA with a lot of american caracter, but could gain by having more supporting malt.
drunkenpolack (319) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - FEB 2, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
County session pours a cloudy copper color. 2 Finger head is poured. White, fluffy, and crater filled. Leaves lacing all throughout the glass.
Aroma is full on hops and really not much more. Grapefruit hits the nose mixed in with grassy, piney hops. Thereís a touch of malt but itís really overpowered by the hops here. Maybe this is the most hops Stone has ever used in a beer.
In the taste, piney hops take over for the grapefruit. Itís strong and bitter and just sits on the tongue. Mixed in with the grapefruit and a citrus taste I didnít get from the smell and you have a damn hoppy pale ale. I really couldnít even find much of a malt backbone here.
Medium bodied and smooth. Goes down way to easy.
TheCorkStops (53) - Connecticut, USA - JAN 13, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A collaboration brew from Stone Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing, and Kelsey McNair, a home brewer. This is a beer that never really made it to my area of Connecticut, but we had a few bottles from a store in Massachusetts. This was brewed and released about a year ago. Iím curious to see how theyíve held up.
The twelve ounce bottle releases a little bit of a ďpopĒ as I break the seal. The brew pours out a great golden-straw color, with a bit of haze. Plenty of carbonation makes for a bright white foam, that lasts quite a long time. The lacing is mild, but sticks forever.
Just as I pour the Session Ale, I can already smell the hops. Of course Iím not surprised, considering Stone is involved. The nose reveals an interesting combination of light citrusy hops, as well as more in-your-face bitter hops. I let the beer warm a little bit and swirl is quite strongly, because Iím trying to find something else in the nose to describe. After several minutes, the only thing I can smell is still the hops!
When I take a sip, the hop complexity changes a little. The nose was dominated by the citrusy hops, but the palate is dominated but the rough and aggressive bitter hops. This beer is over a year old, and it feels like it was bottled yesterday. The bitterness of the hops is mouth-filling, and almost mouth-numbing. I take a few sips, swirl it in my mouth, and Iím going to walk away for a few minutes to see if it changes at allÖ
As it warms up, and I come back for a few more sips, the San Diego Session Ale has definitely opening a little. The hops is not quite as mouth-numbing. Or maybe my mouth is numb, and I canít tell that it is still super hoppy. I think this may be one of the most hop-intense beers I have ever tasted. That is to say, Iíve tasted really hoppy, bitter beers before, but they usually have more of a subtle malty backbone. This San Diego Session Ale is hops, hops, and more hops.
I can understand that the lower-than-average alcohol content, 4.2%, makes this a bit of a session ale. However, as a malt-man, I could not possibly drink more than one of these. As a matter of fact, I only poured myself half a bottle, and Iím seriously considering not finishing it. Iím not saying itís a bad beer at all, but it is nearly 100% the exact opposite of my preferred style.