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 (2610) - 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.
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - DEC 25, 2011
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Name: San Diego Session Ale
Date: October 06, 2010
Source: Duckworthís Stone Tour
Appearance: clear copper, wispy white head, drippy lace
Aroma: big sweet crystal malt aroma, lots of citrus, touch of sweet pine
Flavor: light sweet malt flavor, lots of citrus, touch of crystal sweetness, just enough balancing bitterness, touch of liquid hops
Overall: huge ipa aroma on a lighter pale ale makes a unique take on a session berr and I like it
Aroma: 8/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 13/20
Score: **+ /4
Markm2151 (280) - toledo, USA - DEC 24, 2011
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. When I first opened it, it overflowed and spilled out of the bottle from carbonation. I had not shaken it, or otherwise agitated the beer, so it was a little surprising. The head was white and fizzy, the aroma was hints of grapefruit and citrus. Med bitter, light to no malt on the palate. Light amber orange color. Overall, it was a little thin, over carbonated, with a light aroma. This is like IPAs little brother, so a good intro for those afraid of crazy hopped beers.
markwise (4586) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 21, 2011
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Thanks to IBrew2or3 for sending this one along. Cheers, Dave! Pours a hazy caramel orange with a white head. Nose is big and bright- reminiscent of a West Coast IPA. Nose is pine and floral hops with bits of honey, malt, and some grassy notes. Nice nose. Flavor reveals a bit of a mirage- I know the point is a session beer. I get a little bit of malt followed by some floral and herbal hops with bits of grass and very mild citrus. Light to medium and a decent session beer, but the nose gives an impression that the flavor is a bit more intense.
DYCSoccer17 (3442) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 15, 2011
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Iím not sure, but I think this beer should be retired. Looks like it was released about 16 months ago. I purchased 2 12oz bottles at Ledgerís in Berkeley. Each label was slightly different, and each beer was on sale for $1.99 a piece. Both bottles opened with loud fizzes and the foam came pouring out the top. Both bottles poured with a huge foamy head. The aromas on both of these are faint, metallic, grassy, and stale. Definitely some vegetal hints. Surprisingly, thereís still some decent hoppiness in this beer late. Almost an herbal and minty bittering. There are some light citrus notes to begin with and a bit of an astringency in the middle. This is well past its prime, and I would avoid buying this if you happen to see it anywhere. I debated whether or not to rate this due to its age, but I think I will rate it if by chance someone sees this rating and it saves them the money.
5000 (6300) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 23, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle:   Bright straw, a little hint of ornage, large foamy white head, nice lacing, little
carbonation.   That is one nose of pure hop juice.   Very aromatic hoppy aroma.   Wow, tiz really
hoppy on the tongue.   Seems lighter than others in terms of body, but has tons of hop flavor.   Could
use a bit more sweetness, and perhaps a touch more malt.   As is, its very hop sided.   Not has heavy as
an IPA, rightly so.   However, so dominated by hop aromas and flavors that I wished it were a bit
heavier/maltier.   Either that or tone down the abundance of hop aroma/flavor as its making this beer very
one sided, and not very sessionable.   Body and mouthfeel are average.   Hop flavors linger long... but
thats it.   Its almost a one sided wonder.   Its great they get such aroma and flavor out of a lighter
beer, but its almost too overpowering.   Yeah, just bring up the malts a bit, add a touch of sweetness, and
this is pure gold.   Decent, but just too lopsided for my tastes.