ultraspank (867) - Alverca, Lisboa, PORTUGAL - MAY 4, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Had a bottle of this while working the grill. This brew pours a clear golden honey amber. The large fluffy almost white head is fully lasting with good lacing. The bold perfumed nose is exclusively hops with grass, citrus, herbs, spruce, and flowers. The flavor is very rich and complex while staying straightforward and exceptionally balanced. The brew starts flowery with a sweet and fruity middle and a very long bitter bisquity finish. The palate is stellar with a medium smooth and soft body that is creamy and slightly oily. The finish is very clean. Stone is a MONSTER brewer.
MaxPower (961) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - APR 30, 2002
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 6, 2003 12 oz bottle, light orange -copper color with a white frothy head, nice lacing. Clean citrus-pine aroma, medium body malty with a strong hop profile, nice balance, One hell of an IPA.
dlclark (73) - Bloomington, Illinois, USA - APR 30, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 1, 2003 My wife was about to kill me for ordering these. Not available in Illinois, so I had six of them shipped from California and it was worth every penny. If you like IPA's, this is excellent. The aroma makes you want to stick your face into the glass until you run out of air. The flavor is very hoppy but also easily drinkable. Dogfish head 90 minute IPA is the only beer I've had with more hop flavor but not near the aroma or smoothness of this one. This is near perfect.
Just picked up a keg of this stuff. Not as hoppy as my first impression, but a great overall beer.
P-tor44 (886) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - APR 29, 2002
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
nice smooth hoppy aroma. its got a solid green bitterness. sweet malts poke through. I’ve had hoppier, but few that are this good.
legion242 (2229) - Richardson, Texas, USA - APR 24, 2002
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Surprisingly pale in color; Head was thin and fleeting; Lots of citrus and pine in the nose. Surprisingly mild- this did not knock me on my ass with hops the way that I expected. Actually restrained. I am really surprised.
Hugerat (452) - somerville, Massachusetts, USA - APR 4, 2002
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Definitely one of my alltime favorites. Humungus hoppy aftertaste that just kills your palate for any other beer on the planet. But why would you want to drink anything else?
heykevin (1277) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - APR 4, 2002
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is top notch extremely inviting hoppy aroma. Malt flavor is quite well done, just the right amount of residual sweetness. My main beef is that the hop flavor was quite different than the hop aroma. I felt that it led to a bit of a disjointed drinking experience.
NWHopHead99 (58) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - MAR 31, 2002
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This beer is the definition of IPA. No uncharecteristic flavors like the Maritime IPA, just liquid hops. What is particularly lovely about this brew is the enourmous hop-nose: I spent 5 minutes just SMELLING the glass! Obviously a lot of dry-hopping, but hops is the main ingrediant at every level of this beer. The flavor backs up the hops with a strong enough bite and carbonation to distinguish it from Tree’s IPA, which has no body behind the hops. I had the Full Sail IPA the night before, and almost poured the bottle out for lack of hops. God bless Stone Brewing for this perfect beverage!
maxhits (172) - Pico Rivera, California, USA - MAR 29, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours with a clear,dark gold color. Less citrus, more honey sweetness. Higher alcohol (6.9%). Modest head of foam, doesn’t exhibit the cloudiness or level of sedimentation that other craft IPA’s show. Sweet, yet bitter... and for those who find this brew lacking... then you are ready to graduate to one of the best beers on this planet; Stone’s Arrogant Bastard. Can’t say that it is my favorite IPA, but it is pretty darn good and reasonbly priced at $2.99 per 22 oz. bottle.
cathcacr (636) - Oregon, USA - MAR 25, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2007 Would it be excessive hubris to say that this embodies perfection in brewing? Technically speaking, there is "nothing wrong" with, say, a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It’s got all the nice qualities that make for a good beer, and it’s not weak or bad in any way. But it just doesn’t make for hop-nirvana, now does it. Quite literally, by contrast, there isn’t anything wrong with this beer. Remember, after all, that SNPA is a normal pale ale, something any beer lover could settle for absent something better. This, on the other hand, is an IPA, so the bar gets raised, and this hits the spot for what an IPA could be and ought to be. And when one’s favorite style appears to be IPA, and this one just doesn’t cut any corners, well, you’re left with a beer that has nothing wrong with it. It is Excellence in liquid form. As IPA’y an aroma as can be had. Beautiful appearance, small bubbles and spectacular lacing. No weakness in the taste; the palate is flawless. It simply doesn’t fall short anywhere. I tried to find where I might possibly downgrade it, but I couldn’t, because it satisfied completely in every respect. For brewing "perfection" of a related sort, you can refer to this brewer’s Ruination IPA. I think that the tastes of Stone’s brewers happened to coincide with mine; I don’t know how else to explain this glorious synchronicity between taste and fulfillment. If IPA is your thing, you’ve come to the right place.