Boutip (6628) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 11, 2006
Bottle courtesy of Tpaliga: Poured a medium amber color ale with a medium slightly off-white head with OK retention. Aroma of bit citrus hops is clearly dominant as expected with some nice trace of caramel malt. Taste is bitter as hell with the dominant force of the citrus hops with a good base of caramel malt. Body is a bit thin and less filtration would have been appreciated but alcohol is very well hidden. Well done for the style but not necessarily something I would go for very often. GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - DEC 15, 2006
After waiting awhile to try this one out (there was a lot of good and bad reviews about it) I was able to try it at our December tasting. The aroma smelled like cat piss. Don’t know how else to say it. Cat piss with a bit of pine thrown in. Appearance was a deep orange color, nice head. Mouthfeel was full and a bit sharp. Flavors were just a little too sweet for my liking. It was hoppy, yes but I didn’t find a nice balance like I did with Ruination. Overall, a good beer but I think I’ll stick with Ruination. Schroppfy (2362) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - AUG 25, 2006
Let’s see, should I drink this now, while it is a hoppy, oily, resinous, sticky, piney mess that is way too sweet, or should I cellar it and let it get absurdly sweet with little discernment of the different hops? This is certainly a well made beer, but subtlety is not it’s strong suit. Blasting sugar, pineapple and alcohol scream out of the bottle. A bit of metallic flavors (I always seem to get that from Simcoe) to mix with your tropical fruits and cotton candy. Syrupy, big Crystal malt-y mouthfeel. In my opinion it’s quintessential Stone; in fact, it’s Stone turned up a notch. To Eleven, if you will. That’s just not a note I like anymore all that much. Have at it people, but really, cellaring will only round this out into the sweetest thing on the planet...Oh one more thing -- this has been done before many times. Some of these double IPAs are more herbally, florality + tangerine (PP Frank?) and earthy, which I prefer. JCW (1279) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 25, 2006
Started out drinking this warm at Discepoli , with Guy the owner. Aroma was a mix of piney and lemony my guess was that it was hopped with Centinenial. Warm it was slightly hot with alcohol. There was a fruity sweetness that many have complained about. I took some home chilled it, and the alcohol hotness went away. Much of the hops aroma/flavor did too! Left with only malty sweetness, which isn’t a terrible thing, but not what I was looking for either. I’m not the hop head that I was, but even then I don’t think this would have been my choice. For $2 more I could have had a Yulesmith, and yes enjoyed it a lot more. daalamar (405) - new albany, Indiana, USA - SEP 26, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 16, 2006 This was a hard beer to rate for me. It was incredible in some aspects and lacking in others. Pours cloudy orange with a large rocky head. Massive hop aroma with grapefruit, pine, and orange combined with some honey and fruit. Flavor is initially hoppy as would be expected but there is a sweetness that lingers too long on the palate, making you want a drink of water in between swallows. Alcohol was inoffensive but easily detectable none the less. Quite heavy in the mouth and on the palate. almost too much to handle in one sitting.
ABUSEDGOAT (2904) - California, USA - SEP 29, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 9, 2016 Thanks to after4ever for this one. #4/10 for anyone who cares. I used to love all the Stone beers but I’ve really lost interest in them lately. I had pretty low expectations for this but still wanted to try it. Clear dark amber body with a large white head and solid lacing. Aroma is a blast of Simcoe hops (which I lost interest in after Weyerbacher’s IIPA) with some caramel backing. Big fruity (peach, tropical fruits, grapefruit), piney, spicy hops. This is way too sweet to be an IIPA. The malts are sloppy and sugary. Some enjoyable flavors here, but it’s mostly a mess of them. Original rating: 7/4/6/3/13.
2016 rerate: Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve had this. I actually still have an original bottle of this, it’s always fun to ’find’ a beer many years later. Too bad there’s no real point in doing a side by side as that is nothing more than an antiquity of a bygone era. I found the aroma description I had above to be accurate with the exception that I rarely drink anything Weyerbacher anymore as they are not available in California. So yeah - darker amber color, moderate sized white head, good lace/retention. Aroma is peach, grapefruit, pine, citrus. Fairly sweet fruity finish, but it’s not as bad or overdone as I remembered.
What’s more interesting to me personally is that even 10 years ago I commented on losing interest in Stone beers yet here I am still drinking them. What’s more amazing is that I would argue my view has gotten worse. Of course there is a difference. The first time I saw their Russian Imperial Stout on shelves I freaked out and bought a case. Many Stone beers now try to appeal to hipsters or are just horrible (Crime, Punishment - seriously the worst sacks of SHIT beer.) Others require you to buy crap to try one beer (such as this 4 pack where I only really wanted the 5th Anniversary IPA) or having to buy some book in order to purchase a BA version of Old Guardian. I wish stuff like this would go away. I remember the last time being excited was when Wootstout came out and found it to be overpriced and mediocre. After Crime and Punishment instead of getting several bottles or even a case, I generally log on ratebeer, check ratings and buy one bottle. That’s a big change, even if they ’got’ me this time. What Stone tries to be, Russian River, 3 Floyds and other breweries have - quality that matches the hype. 7/4/7/3/14 = 3.5/5. I still really enjoy some of the Stone beers, but Ruination will never fly off the shelf as fast as Pliny. BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - OCT 7, 2006
Bottle and served in my GI IPA tulip: Pours a sunset orange topped by a nice frothy off-white head and excellent lacing. The nose displays juicy fruit and floral hops, caramelized malt, sugar, clove and pepper, a strange smoky vapour about and a heavy earthy yeast ester. The taste starts with a smack down of bitterness but is followed up quickly with a heavy handed dose of sweet malt and a crunching alcohol presence. This beer is more akin to a young barleywine than a IIPA due to the large amount of sugars left behind. The finish is peppery and astringent with some candy stickiness. The mouth feel is rough and raw, aggressive and brash. Will be interesting to see how this ages out. holdenn (2127) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 16, 2006
22 oz awesome looking bottle: pours a golden orange color with a tall off white head. Nose of raw citrus and grapefruit - nice hop aroma. Sweet carmel and malty flavors, grapefruit, tangerine, a little alcohol with a fresh raw and bitter flavor all around the edges. Too much raw grain and raw hop grassy and haylike flavors makes this just taste off. snoot (286) - Anaheim, California, USA - DEC 5, 2006
Lots of malt backbone in this one. Pours very clear, decent head for the ABV, decent lacing, decent aroma. Decent flavor...alcohol is hidden very well...but at the end of the day, it doesn’t taste like a Stone beer to me. It’s too subtle, too gentle, too balanced. If you disliked other Stone beers, give this one a shot. It may be exactly what you’re looking for. Suttree (6541) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 11, 2006
Cloudy orange, thin white head. Sweet, juicy aroma, verging on overly sweet. Flavor is caramel and citrusy sweetness, ans well. Hop bite at the end. Seems discombobulated, somehow. Thanks to Springslicker for this one!