I’m just about done with my second 22-ounce bottle of this so perhaps my review is biased, but I really think that they are very much onto something here. I have a thing for IPAs with a grapefruit finish, but this is something both brand new and familiar to me. Neither fruit flavors or hop bitterness are over-powering, yet both are vibrant. These flavors appear just when you want them to and overstay their welcome just long enough to leave a lasting impression on your palate.
Stone does consistently amazing work and they’re geographically just over 100m from me, which means I get to enjoy their beer fresh. I never realized the importance of freshness until I started brewing my own beer, but to have fresh beer from professional brewers is pure heaven.
I would tell you that you absolutely need to try this, now even, but I will delay that message until I’m able to empty out stock at my neighborhood Trader Joe’s (it’s that good!).
By Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: Pours golden with a creamy white head.
Aroma: Intensely aromatic with stone fruit, white wine and berries driving most of the hop character. Lots of yeast esters, a touch of alcohol, and a nice malt backbone follow after the hop aromatics.
Taste: Fruity, strong melon, tropical, and hints of citrus with a balanced malt character.
Palate: Dry and very bitter. Just the way we like it!
Overall: When Jamil, Julian and I first started discussing this beer, I don’t think we even considered brewing anything other than a double IPA. So the question became: “How do we make this beer unique and something that reflects all of our approaches to brewing this wonderful beer style?” Julian suggested first wort hopping with Chinook and using a four-way blend of hops in the whirlpool and dry hop. Jamil suggested the malt bill, which includes the use of biscuit malt, something I’ve never used before in an IPA. As a result, the beer has a great blend of fruit flavors and an intense bitterness coming from the hops, which the three of us love.
The hops we used are new and experimental varieties. For several years now, we’ve been researching the flavor profiles of newer varieties here at Stone Brewing Co., and the flavor descriptors we came up with for each of the hops used for dry-hopping this beer are as follows:
Belma – Strawberry or grape jam, black currants and berries, with some citrus
HBC 342 – Citrus and melon
Hopsteiner 06300 – Coconut, tropical fruit and orange, with hints of cocoa and earthiness
Azacca – Tropical fruit, citrus and stone fruit
Together, it’s a fun combination of hops that we think works exceptionally well for this beer.