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Stone IPA (India Pale Ale) | Stone Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
2,943 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,943
Ratings:
10,654
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.09%
 
 
Wants:
426
Gots:
2,743
For Trade:
7
Stone IPA (India Pale Ale)Stone IPA (India Pale Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The IPA That Launched Generations of Hop Fanatics
First Release: August 1997

By definition, an India pale ale is hoppier and higher in alcohol than its little brother, pale ale—and we deliver in spades. Now one of the most well-respected and best-selling IPAs in the country, this golden beauty explodes with citrusy, piney hop flavors and aromas, all perfectly balanced by a subtle malt character. This crisp, extra hoppy brew is hugely refreshing on a hot day, but will always deliver no matter when you choose to drink it.

Added by kbub6f on 01-25-2001

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,943 | Ratings: 10,654
Photo of Kurqt
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

With a 94 on the BA score, a 99 on the Bros score, and numerous personal recommendations, I'm coming into this review with extremely high expectations.

A: First let me say how much I like the packaging: the black and green color scheme, the expertly done drawing of the gargoyle, the way the label seems to be ingrained on the bottle through some manner of witchcraft.

Thin, foamy white head upon pouring. Drank out of an off-brand clear plastic cup because I've got no class at all. A layer of foam stays for minutes on the surface of the drink and around the edges of the cup, while carbonation visibly bubbles in a continuous and slow-moving manner towards the top. When held up to the light, the color could be most closely compared to honey (when the honey's in a bottle, not when it's being poured).

S: I smelled right after opening and was bulled over for just a split second. I'm still refining my beer nose, I'd characterize the smell as hardy, as being full-bodied yet having a lofty component. Nothing unusual per se, but a strong, reliable, yet distant sort of effect that I found myself smelling over and over again as I tried to pin it down.

T/M/O: This one's a straight shooter, definitely right-handed. What makes this beer great isn't some unexpected burst of flavor or unusual ingredient; it's the overall quality, the competence of the execution; it's the graceful balance between substance and drinkability. This beer rides like a dream. I'm going to sound like a broken record, but it strikes a tasteful balance between being light and pleasant, while also being bitter and complex enough that I want to keep sipping on it over and over again.

This beer did meet the high bar I had set for it before sampling it, though not in the way that I'd expected. This is the beer that I will judge other IPA's against; it is the standard for a well-made, high quality IPA without frills or gimmicks. I'm excited to compare some of the more adventurous takes on the IPA formula, my previous favorites (Great Lakes' "Burning River," Jackie-O's "Mystic Mama"), to this classic.

Addendum I:
As someone who's always preferred things that were a little different, I don't think this could ever be my personal favorite beer. Stone IPA is like the girl your parents want you to marry: comforting and substantial, but nothing exotic or challenging, nothing to get excited or passionate about. I find myself wanting something a little bitterer (is that a word?), though I know that I'm an IBU fiend.

Addendum II:
I've been sipping from bottle number two for a while now, and I keep coming back and lowering the score by intervals of .25. In the future, I think I'll try to rate beers blind, without any knowledge of the BA score, because I feel like knowing the BA score beforehand clouds my judgment.

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Photo of sgt_187em
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very good IPA. Had this from tap at BJ's. Had about a 1/2" thick white head and a copper color. Hoppy taste from start to finish and a nice medium thick body. I'll try again.

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Photo of devo1980
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Awesome beer. Just fantastic. With so many junk IPAs out there - this sets the standard of what an India Pale Ale shoud be. Tons of flavor and the bite is just right.

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Photo of ddugan
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my go to beers. Pours a very nice copper color with a medium white head. Smells like a west coast IPA should. Very hop forward with citrus, grapefruit, and pine. Taste is citrus/grapefruit and finishes with the hop resins. Medium carbonation helps balance the hops. Mouthfeel is good and surprisingly drinkable. I'll always have a soft spot for Stone IPA.

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Photo of Sandhollow
4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I am at a loss to think of how you improve on this IPA. Delicious, balanced, spicy. The Bros. got this one right. To those that are rating it low because you don't like IPAs, Get off my lawn! This is an excellent IPA with 6.9 ABV, but it doesn't taste like raw alcohol. I'll have another!

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Photo of Ferg
3.04/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bleh, IPA's just do not hit the buds right for me.
I will drink it, as I rarely toss a beverage.
I will not have another, luckily this one was a gift.

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Photo of gnumber9
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

as close to perfection as i can perceive (in this class). are there better beers? well always. however, this is a jewel. balance is an understatement, it's everything coming together. the look, nose and taste are like mortise and tenon. oh yeah, a citrus bitter that doesn't pucker, as clean a finish as a tight super model's skin. obviously words destroy this experience. a smidgen pricey (near 11 bucks in my area), but how can you argue, when this drink is such a fine work.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear gold with a dense, creamy off-white foam head. Smells of sweet lemon, orange and grapefruit citrus, some malt, with dank grassy pine. Tastes like bitter grapefruit citrus, some sweet tropical notes, with mild malty cracker and dank resinous grassy pine. Well balanced and boasting with flavor. It has a good amount of bitterness with a nice malt background. Medium body with moderate low carbonation. This is a great IPA. Citrusy and almost sweet with a good amount of bitter hops to balance. Overall a really great IPA.

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Photo of mchegash
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Beautiful hazy orange, with a couple fingers of very light tan head. A good amount of visible carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

S: Not a very strong smell, I am not detecting much, perhaps a vague piney hop aroma.

T: Floral and herbal hops immediately come to mind as I take my first sip. Perhaps some hints of fruit (grape?) as well. Overall, a decent taste, but nothing too complex or fantastic.

F: Carbonation is moderate light. Body is medium.

O: Overall a decent IPA, but there are many that I would prefer to this.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

had this one many times and decided to sit down and write a review after having it last night
pours gold/amber with a thick white head
smell is initially malty and hoppy then slighty fruity
taste initially citrusy, then piney/resiny then better at the end
feel crisp, slightly astringent with a dry bitter finish
overall decent
not my go to by any means as i like many of stones other beers better but not bad

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Photo of Erlkoenig
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Burnt orange/gold, a little hazy with a finger or so of bubbly head. Good lacing. Very appetizing.

S: Orange, candied sugar, grapefruit, sweet malt. Very nice set of scents.

T: Oh gods yes. The fruit from the nose returns up front, but soon opens up into a spectacular array of grassy, resiny, sharp hop flavors and spices. Bitterness is high throughout, but the fruity and malty sweetness balances it rather well while still allowing it that nice "sting". Very drinkable.

M: Mid-light bodied and nice carbonation. Pleasantly sticky. Goes down smooth.

O: Yes yes and more yes. A fantastic example of what an American IPA can be.

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Photo of BeerANDvinyl
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is usually my go to IPA when I'm on a tight budget. My local liquor store sells a 6-pack for around $8.49, which is fairly cheap for a decent IPA. I wish it had a little more Alc % but otherwise no complaints here!

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Photo of gandres
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taster Glass from the Escondido 4.25 Color/Look: light amber 4.75 Smell: Hoppy 4.75 Taste: nice bitter bite usual in IPA, well balance 4.50 "
Feel: really creamy" 4.50 Overall: Excellent beer, something to look forward to

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Photo of Dave97
4.99/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poor - From a 12oz bottle - Nice frothy poor. Nice 2 finger frothy head that settles down to a thin top lining. Very nice lacing.

Appearance - Nice 24k gold/amber. Nice haze, no particles. A Gorgeous beer. Not a lot of carbonation.

Nose - Beautiful nose. Not huge like some DIPA's, but very nice nonetheless. Dank, tropical, pine, resin, citrus. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - Nice medium body, Not fizzy, dry and crisp. Very easy drinking.

Taste - Loads of spice; nutmeg, ginger, cardamon and clove. Very nice sweet malt backbone, but not too much. And of course tons of hop bitterness. Might as well just be chewing on some hops; Sour, bitter, herbaceous, piney and resiny.

Finish - When closer to room temperature, there is an actual crystallized sugar/malt on the finish and taste. This is a personal distinction I've made about this beer only. The main reason that keeps me coming back to this one over and over. The finish is long and delicious. Sweet/sour on sides of tongue and nice granny smith sour on the back of the throat. Overall a lasting sour lemon.

Overall - This is my double IPA. I'm not a double IPA drinker, they are all too over the top for my personal taste. I also don't like a total grapefruit bomb. This definitely has a little grapefruit but not ALL grapefruit. All in all just a juicy, dank, piney, delicious IPA. This one of my all time favorite beers.

Food pairings - hot red curry. Pizza with sardines, Clam bake with chorizo sausage, Spicy Mongolian, and most especially without a doubt mussels and pasta in red pepper and garlic sauce.

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Photo of Ksmoove27
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a pale goldish color; one finger head; good lacing

A - Aroma is not strong; resiny...I've started this review 5 times expecting to catch something I'm missing

T- resiny with a strong floral aftertaste

F- Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall - It's a good IPA. I like the flavor and floral notes. I am always a little disappointed when a beer doesn't have a strong aroma and this one definitely is not strong; however, there is no discounting the drinkability, can definitely have a few each time.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed 3/22/12

L: Pours a pale goldish color. This beer is rather opaque.

S: Resinous and citrusy hop aroma with a bit of malt to back it up. Although faint, the smell is rather pleasant.

T Pretty hoppy and dry upfront, with a surprisingly malty finish. The hops are citrusy. Despite the lofty commercial description, this brew is pretty damn smooth; I could easily see myself drinking a few in one sitting. Stone’s website lists this as 77 IBUs; I wouldn’t have said more than 65 or 70.

F: Medium body and medium carbonation. Some warmth from the alcohol.

Overall Impression: A very solid IPA and with Stone’s freshness policy you can generally expect it to be real fresh. It’s really one of the best widely available American IPA’s though it's gotten pricey in recent years.

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Photo of kitch
3.64/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 fl oz bottle with a bottled date of 21th July 2015 and an enjoy by date of 19th October 2015. Poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear golden copper colour with a one finger white head that had good retention and leaves nice spotty lacing.

Aroma: Fainter than I expected but starts with tropical mango and pineapple before turning to pine, grass and citrus lemon zest.

Taste: There was none of the tropicalness from the smell, but strong lemon zest, hop bitterness, floral and grassiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

Overall: This was only just ok for me. It wasn’t bad and I would drink it again but for example I prefer Stone’s Go To IPA.

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Photo of 50wolves
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours golden straw, minimal head that does not retain. Lacing holds well along the sides. Extremely minimal bubbles. Aroma - floral. Taste - bitterness present however not overwhelmingly so. Mouthfeel - cool and refreshing, astringency almost completely absent. Overall - fairly basic beer with minimal other elements beyond the bitter element. Refreshing and simple.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 8-10-15, enjoy by 11-8-15. Tulip.

A: Pours a clear, orange-tinged gold with ample carbonation and a one finger foamy and rocky just off-white head. Nice spotting, but not much true lacing.

S: A bold, but vague citrusy tartness. Some ale yeast esters. Some mild resin. A little disappointed in this department, actually. Bottle's only 33 days old.

T: Dry, clean arrival, balancing malt across the middle with moderate bitter pine and resin; closing out to a dry, lingering medicinal hop finish.

M: Lighter side of midweight, less carbonation than the appearance suggests; quite slick on the finish.

O: Now THIS is what I consider a West Coast IPA. There is very little fruit on the nose, and very little sweetness on the palate. It is clearly imbalanced in favor of hops, but strangely, it works. Though so many try to do this and fail, Stone succeeds. Is it a go-to IPA for me? No, I was disappointed with the nose; I like more than just a little vague tartness; I also like more fruit-forward and sweeter/maltier IPAs. Not offputting at 70-some IBUs. But I could definitely see this being a regular buy in the summertime.

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Photo of Tom_Banjo
2.92/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My search for an IPA I like continues. Purchased a non-refrigerated 22 ounce bottle of this one from Whole Foods, chilled it to what I believe was a couple of degrees below 50 and poured it into a pint glass. Found the beer to be overwhelmingly hoppy. I see the beer is dry hopped. Maybe I need an IPA that's not dry hopped, if there is such a thing. Maybe it's California IPAs that I don't enjoy. I believe that's all I've tried so far. Maybe I ought to try a "session IPA". If I am anything, it is persistent. I will keep looking.

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Photo of basildog
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into IPA glass
A: Transparent orange with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Comples and pure with some stone fruit, tropical fruit, caramel and hints of citrus and pine
T: Tropical fruit, stone fruit, citrus, and a bit of earth
M: Medium-bodied, dry
O: Definitely a solid IPA. For being a CA beer this isn't the usual west-coast style but is complex, tasty and recommended

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Photo of LanceA
3.07/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a refrigerator-cold bottle into a pint glass. Light amber color with a foamy head. Intense carbonation. My nose is not the most sensitive, but the smell was faint for an IPA: a hint of citrus and pine. The taste was bitter in the beginning, middle, and all through the long finish. IPA is not my favorite style, so keep that in mind. Fans of bitter hops will love this beer. Personally, I like a more balanced IPA, with a bit more sweetness and less bitterness.

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Photo of LennyOvies
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L- Bright clear golden body, small white head. Not much even after vigorous pouring.
S- Very fresh hops, malts and some sweet citrus.
T- Hops, hops, hops. Floral bitter aftertaste. Balancing malts can be identified and some orange peel.
F- Full, solid, rich.
O- Very good powerfull and straightforward IPA, lacking a bit on smell.

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Photo of codekiln
4.84/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Purchased at Trader Joe's, poured into a 4-inch snifter

Look--
Bright, yellow, transparent, clear; very few bubbles, not much lace, barely any head

Smell--
sweet, resinous

Taste--
The hops throws you a curveball but it doesn't strike you out! Hops are more present on the tongue after the beer is downed... an incredible floral taste unlike anything... so flavorful you just want to keep drinking to reaffirm the experience

Feel--
Carbonation unzips your tongue

Overall--
An exemplary beer! Will go out of my way to have it again.

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Photo of Strat58cat
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've seen reviewers ragging on Stone IPA as not sufficiently extreme. Then they praise Firestone Union Jack which is way over the top. The point of an IPA is not to be extreme. It's not a double IPA. The point of an IPA is to be enjoyed to the maximum extent. Stone is working some sort of gargoyle magic on this brew. It's excellent.

The look is everything an IPA should be. It's nothing unusual. Nice color and plenty of head. The head retains well and laces down the glass, showing a quality malt.

The smell is everything an IPA should be, and nothing it shouldn't be. You don't have to vent excess pine to keep your eyes from watering from fumes (I'm looking at you Rebel) or to catch the underlying complex bouquet. It's got everything - spice, fruit, pine, but nothing is overwhelming. It's a righteous aroma and not at all too much.

Now, it's Stone and you can look up the IBU and see it's 70. You'd think it would be like trying to drink a pint of lime juice, but it isn't. The flavors of spice, fruit and hint of pine combine with the flavors to make it right. The taste is just what IPA should be. That's all.

The bitterness comes into play when it comes to feel and finish. It's clean. In the bad old days of my youth, you might drink a corn-laden Miller or Michelob, and after a few maybe they didn't want to stay down as that corny malt feeling set in. You could kill myriad of the relatively bitter watery-rice Budweiser's, though. It's like this: bitter makes it clean. Now, at Stone's brilliant level, the bitter makes it clean. It finishes clean. Stops on a dime. Time for another.

This is good stuff. It's also widely available, at least in California, although not cheap.

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Stone IPA (India Pale Ale) from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,943 ratings.