highlandlad (1480) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - JAN 3, 2006
I shudder to imagine how bitter the Ruination must taste if this is its little brother. This poured burnt orange with a thin head. The aroma sparked several childhood "scent memories" (okay I was half-canned - bear with me): McCowans Highland toffees and a long-defunct (I suspect) hardboiled candy called Spangles. Weird. I guess that means the aroma had some toffee-like malt and plenty of sugar. My main criticism of this was that it didn’t seem to have enough body to carry those huge flavours. I would have liked a bit more muscle. Flavourwise, there is a brief flash of toffee before a tidal wave of resinous piney hops. Damn, this is bitter. You could strip paint with this. I enjoyed the short sample I had as part of a group tasting but I doubt I could drink much of this. (Pint bottle, RateBeer Sydney Xmas gathering 2005)
CMUBEERMAN (444) - - DEC 31, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2006 This is probably a bit better than hop devil. I like how wet and crisp it keeps. Lots o hops and some good citrus flavors. One of my "rocks" if you will...depending on what part of the country I am. tjthresh (1873) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - DEC 31, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2008 On tap. Pours with hues of golden straw, and fiery orange. Topped with a resiny frothy with head. Strong pungent hop aroma. Mostly pine, and then some more pine, and maybe some pine. I think I get some peachy notes too. Very clean bitterness. Crisp. First class all the way. ElBorracho (472) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 31, 2005
Guest tap at Three Floyds. Pours a medium orange with a white foamy head. Citrus, pine, malts and caramel are all abundent. The hop bitterness is balanced really well with the malty background. This puts a whole host of IIPA’s to shame. Stone needs to start making their way to Illinois. oldrtybastrd (5002) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 28, 2005
Pours a nice deep amber color. Aromas of hops/hops/citrus. Strong hop flavors with malts and a dry finish.
DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - DEC 27, 2005
I did a little mini tasting to compare this with Victory Hop Devil and Great Divide IPA, compared side by side. The Stone is a faintly hazy gold topped by a medium white head. Fine bubbles that stick to the glass, a very inviiting look indeed. Beautiful aroma of light citrus and floral hops that suggests the treasure that awaits. Smooth and lightly carbonated, not at all harsh like some IPA’s out there. The flavor is that of citrus over a nice caramel malt backbone. This beer is just beautifully balanced. The dry finish is not overly bitter or offending, the downfall of many IPa’s. Just a marvelously crafted beer. With regard to my impressions of the GD IPA and the Victory Hop Devil next to the Stone offering, I wrote down my impressions and ratings, and then went back to see how I had rated them before, and there was little difference. They are both very good IPA’s, but the Stone is the best that I’ve had to date. thehipone (197) - AUSTRALIA - DEC 25, 2005
AS advertised, loads of american hop flavor and aroma. The body was a little light, but I guess that just makes it easier to drink. Light pine tree aroma coupled with sour citrus fruit. A nice balanced IPA, wont blow the hopheads away, but tasty. stubby (334) - Santee, California, USA - DEC 25, 2005
A delight for hop heads everywhere. I like to let this age about six months. The malt comes through a bit more and the hops mellow out a but. But I should advance this disclaimer: I’m NOT a hophead. Quality stuff to be sure, but I don’t like sage brush/pine aromas to prevail over my mug. When I’m in the mood, nothing else will do, though. albert007 (415) - Penobsquis, New Brunswick, CANADA - DEC 24, 2005
Another delicious treat from Stone. Deep orange-copper color, rocky white head. Aroma is floral, piney hops with a mildly toasty, malty backbone. Flavor is hoppy but well balanced with slightly toasty crisp malt. Finishes bitterly, leaving a fresh hoppy aftertaste. Very warming as well. Aarleks (409) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - DEC 23, 2005
Bottle (RB Sydney XMASG ’05): Cloudy orange amber. Light coloured, chewy toffee aromas with some darker, slightly burnt malt notes underneath lots of structural, tokay-like hops. This one certainly has a strong presence; stone fruits (haha) and smokey caramel malts are almost instantly replaced by slightly burnt caramel, then a fist full of vibrantly spicy, pine/orange hop flavours that dominate the back palate. I really enjoyed this, though probably because of the hype I was expecting more. My main criticism is that, especially in the flavour spectrum, it seems to be a combination of powerful ingredients rather than a cohesive, integrated whole. This results in some gaps appearing in between the ingredients. Still, this is a really nice beer.