ABUSEDGOAT (2759) - 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 (6557) - 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 (2116) - 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. rxeight (3080) - Illinois, USA - SEP 25, 2016
22 oz bomber. 8/18/16 date. Golden orange color. Aroma is hops. Slightly floral. Taste is a uniquely spicy floral hop medium bitterness. Strong caramel malt. Zymurgeist2 (2243) - Redwood City, California, USA - SEP 25, 2016
Draught at Harry’s Hofbrau. Pine and resin aromas. Clear copper with small off white head. Taste is piney, sticky, alcohol burn. Side to side with the 5 year and the 5 year carried the day.
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - SEP 3, 2006
Pour is clear copper with a nice densely bubbled khaki head...smell is citric and warm and the pine comes through too...nice aroma...some bready notes in the nose too...slick and greasy texture in the mouth...it tastes good with some resin and pine flavors along with day old baguette...slight tart and bitter finish...otherwise there is nothing to this...alcohol wasn’t apparent at all, so this was sort of like a mediocre IPA with a horrendous blast zone...deceptive...well done hiding the 10%...finish was very quick...very very quick...overall this is just weak, flavorwise...I want to reiterate, there is nothing overly negative about this beer, but there is nothing interesting about it either... pfhyde (59) - Davis, California, USA - SEP 6, 2006
’Tis like a strong version of Arrogant Bastard. Harsh malts, tanish with nice, off-white head. Aftertaste is sharply bitter, much like AB. The alcohol is nicely masked by the hops, but I wouldn’t call this beer balanced. Bottle, 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. OldMrCrow (2437) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 10, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2007 Fresh bottle.
JasonG (776) - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA - JAN 11, 2007
Pours a rich orange amber with a nice foamy tan head. The aroma is a blast of pine-and-citrus hops, extremely powerful in that regard with almost cleaning-fluid intensity (including a definite alcohol burn even on the aroma), some other fruit notes of pear and mango. The flavor is an intense coupling of sweet malt and citric hops; this could almost pass for a hoppy barleywine. The palate is smooth and enjoyably rich in texture but this beer is very hot, ridiculously hot, to the point that one keeps it off the upper back palate simply to keep the alcohol away from the nasal passages.
I know I’m going against the grain here, but I’m really disappointed in this one. It’s not terrible, but it’s not particularly good, either. While it improves as it nears room temperature, it’s just one intense flavor, a very powerful citric pine-resin hoppiness backed by sweet thick malts. If you told me this was the latest Imperial Whatever from Lagunitas, I’d have believed it easily (and that’s no complement from me, I find their strong beers mostly overly sweet and unsubtle in exactly the hop flavors that dominate here.)
I’m feeling like a bit of an idiot for buying five bottles of this on word of mouth and generally good impressions of the previous hop-heavy offerings from Stone. I certainly hope it mellows with time.
(Note added two days later: to its credit, the beer seems to have improved after a couple of days open, or perhaps my attitude improved over the last couple of days. It’s not great still, but I can find its virtues now.)
Bottle, one year old
Today some friends and I drank one of these side by side with a Stone 11th. The hope was that this one would have improved with age and thus would give the very nice Stone 11th some competition, but if anything it’s gotten worse. Even more barleywine character as expected, but not in a particularly good way. It’s getting oxidized, presents a cheesy stale-hop aroma, way too sweet, still very hot...we very rarely leave a bottle unfinished and this had 1/4 left at the end of the day. It would have gone potentially as low as 6/3/5/3/10=2.7.
What on earth am I going to do with the remaining bottles in my cellar?
220z bottle: Very hazy light copper color with medium off white head. Aroma has lots of herbal, slightly citrusy hops, slightly soapy, bit of caramel. Flavor is sharp, with slighlty harsh herbal hops, bit of caramel and apricot, with a balanced finish and a noticable alcohol warmth towards the finish. A decent brew, more of a barleywine in my opinion than a dIPA, a bit too harsh in the hopping. Thaichile (599) - 10aFly, New Jersey, USA - JUN 11, 2007
Bottle. Pours a darker colour of the typical IIPA hue with a normal white head. Nose is malty with background hops. Flavor is very balanced, malty and sweet upfront as the bittering grows and peaks in the finish. The sweetness helps to mask the high alcohol. This was #3 in the 6 IIPA tasting. Thanks to Secret Santa for the bottle.