Stone Brewing Co. roars into the metro the week of March 29th. It’s a long-awaited moment for many Twin Cities beer fans. The brewery is particularly noted for big, bitter beers and bold braggadocio. I thought I would give a few of them a second (or third…okay fourth) try leading into the launch. The first up is Stone IPA. Here’s my notes:
Aroma: Combination of citrus hops and stone-fruit syrup from malts. Actually less hop aroma than I had expected. Still pleasant though. Tangerine, pineapple, and sweet.
Appearance: Light amber to deep golden. Clear. Big, persistent, rocky, white head.
Flavor: Hits the tip of the tongue first with fruity, sweet malt, with a distinct biscuit character. English malts? Sharp bitterness grabs hold in the middle. Hops are definitely slanted to bitterness over flavor. Grassy and citrus hop flavors are moderate and make a good counterbalance to the malt. Citrus rind bitterness lingers well beyond the swallow.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium-low carbonation.
Overall Impression: A decent IPA, but I would like a greater emphasis on hop flavor over bitterness. That’s just my personal preference. I appreciated the biscuit notes that added complexity to the malt. It’s a nice beer, but it didn’t make me want to run out and buy a bunch of it.