912: Stone Ruination IPA

Name: Stone Ruination IPA
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Escondido, California
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
Alcohol Content (ABV): 7.7%
First Brewed: 2002

Tasting Notes
Pours a slightly hazy orange, with a bright citrusy and floral hops literally jumping out of the glass. Layers of fruit on the palate, from both the hops and fermentation. Pungent, piney, and spicy, but the bitterness never overwhelms the solid malt backbone.

Ricky’s Thoughts
A few weeks ago, Jake asked me, “Have you ever had the Stone Ruination IPA?” I hadn’t. So I went to the liquor store and bought a bottle. I got home to find there was already a bottle in the fridge! It was one of our 1001 bottles. So I opened that one, and stuck the one I bought in the fridge for a later date. That date… that is today! So let’s focus is on what this hop-filled beer has to offer.

In the Glass: In the glass, it is hazy and has a typical wheat look to it. Most IPAs that I drink are fairly clear, where you can see the bubbles rushing to the top. Last night I had a double IPA that was like that. It has a thick white head, but a thin fading lace. The head makes me think this beer will have a ton of flavor and a good mouthfeel.

Nose: This smells like a bag of hops. I LOVE a good hoppy beer, and this one promises to deliver. The hops are just unreal, and there is a subtle floral note peaking through there. But the hops are just overwhelming on the nose. I like it!

Flavor: This is a GREAT beer. I love a good IPA, but when you make it a double… bottoms up. I sometimes like the overwhelming hop flavors, but this beer doesn’t have that. There are more hops on the nose than on the palate. It is cool, calm, and collected and that makes this double IPA drinkable. Almost too drinkable. The flavor doesn’t really hit your tongue until you have swallowed, but you get a bunch of flavors on the back of the palate as well.

Mouthfeel: There isn’t much mouthfeel at first, then you get hit with what feels like bubbles from the carbonation. I think that is just the thick creamy head that I was talking about earlier. Then, as you swallow, the flavors start to become pronounced and you begin to experience the imperial IPA piece of this beer. This isn’t your average double IPA. The recipe they used has a cool story, and I just love the way this beer slides down the throat. It’s not a typical IPA, but it doesn’t need to be!

Aftertaste: The aftertaste takes a few seconds to kick in, but when it does… I welcome it. The dryness from the hops kicks things off, and then you get a smooth almost bittersweet taste that settles on the back of the throat. There is a little heat too, which is weird since this beer only has a 7.7% ABV. But maybe the heat is coming from something else. The aftertaste doesn’t last long, but the burn brings all of those flavors (especially the hops) back to the surface.

This is a good beer, available in bombers, and is readily available all over the Midwest. Stone has done it again! Bottoms up, people!

Stone Ruination IPA – The bottle says: “Ruination – The act of ruining or the condition of being rued; a severe state of damage; destruction achieved by wrecking”

“Stone Ruination IPA. So called because of the immediate ruinous effect on your palate. The moment after the first swallow, all other food and drink items suddenly become substantially more bland then they were just seconds before. By the time you develop a taste for this IPA, you may find that you are permanently ruined from being able to enjoy lesser brews. Good. We freely admit to doing this. On purpose even! People are sometimes crazy enough  to thank us for this assault. To which we reply, “You’re welcome.”

“Out of the smoldering ashes of the Stone Anniversary IPAs, the Ruination IPA is born. Rising like the phoenix comes this over-hopped jewel, bringing with it not the acrid sting of smoldering embers, but the abundantly pungent aroma of hops. Bountiful hops. Glorious hops. If you are not already a confirmed hop head; if you have not already converted your palate to the glory of righteous joy that the miraculous little green flower brings to the senses, then this is NOT the place to start, for it will bring you nothing but shock. All its richly layered subtleties will be for naught. Intense hop character will only be perceived as binding and blinding bitterness. Does the experienced hop lover perceive this in a different way? Well, yes and no. The matriculated imbiber is not numb to the rambunctious rich of bitterness – indeed that is a major element of the allure – however they are also able to look beyond to the well spoken yet understated male presence. The aromatic alcohol tones. The swirling meld of naturally occurring complex flavor compounds courtesy of our little friends known as “brewers yeast cells”. God bless the yeast, the malt, and the HOPS!”

“100+ IBU’s (International Bitterness Units)”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
Sunday afternoon is a perfect time to drink a beer.  We are pretty much just hanging out at home today trying to get some things done, and we decided to take a break and have a beer.  This is the one we picked!

I’m pretty sure I’ve had this beer before, actually.  It’s a Stone Ruination IPA, and Stone beers are easily found around here.  A while back, a bar across the street from us, Chatham Tap, did a Stone tapping night where they had a lot of great Stone beers on tap.  Some of them, like the Vertical Epic, were pretty, well, epic.  I hope this one is just as good.

The beer has a LOT of head.  It’s been sitting here for a few minutes now and it still has about a half inch of foam on the top of it.  It’s a golden yellow, almost orange color, and looks pretty thick.  It looks kind of carbonated too, with tiny bubbles floating to the top.  It smells a little citrusy and a little spicy, not really like an IPA, so I’m curious what it’s going to end up tasting like.  Let’s find out.

My first taste was still through a lot of foam sitting on the top of the beer.  The first thing that hit my tongue was carbonation, but in a good way.  It doesn’t take away from the taste of the beer.  It’s the kind of carbonation that keeps you wanting to take that next drink again and again.  (Probably also the one of the reasons why I’m so addicted to Diet Coke.)  The next thing that hits you is the hops.  This may not look or smell much like an IPA to me, but it definitely has the hoppy taste.  The only other thing I really taste is the spiciness.  Carbonation, then a bit of spice, then hops.  All of which, to me, don’t really add up to a lot of flavor, but I still like this beer.  It doesn’t need a lot of flavor.  The carbonation, spice, and hops are enough for me.  If I wanted an IPA, this might be one I’d consider picking again.

Rating: 3/5

911 bottles of beer on the wall…

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