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Stone IPA (India Pale Ale) | Stone Brewing

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
2,989 Reviews
Stone IPA (India Pale Ale)Stone IPA (India Pale Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,989
Ratings:
10,818
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
20.09%
 
 
Wants:
446
Gots:
2,908
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 2,989 | Ratings: 10,818
Reviews by Wtbrooks:
Photo of Wtbrooks
5/5  rDev +18.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of mick92627
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Outstanding everyday go-to beer. Hoppy and bitter. GF hates it.

65 characters

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

Stone IPA is a real looker. Gauzy medium amber with a large, eggshell colored, slightly lumpy head that has good retention and leaves copious rings and sheets of lace.

This is the most amazingly fragrant beer that I've ever smelled; it hit with both barrels as soon as I popped the cap. Its room-filling bouquet even elicited a comment from my wife. The nose is abundantly citrusy, with grapefruit zest leading the charge. So this is what hops smell like!

The flavor is out of this world. Is this what people mean by a 'wow' beer? Grapefruit, lemon and pine, with a tantalizing hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is ultra-smooth and is full and rich without being heavy. Drinkability is superb. Oh how I wish that I had easier access to this amazing IPA.

It was with some trepidation that I popped the cap on this bomber of Stone IPA today. I've been reading on this site about how it's an incredibly hoppy, bitter beer and that beginners (namely me) should tread carefully, perhaps starting with more gentle, less hoppy styles. I think of bitterness as something unpleasant. Well if this is bitterness, give me all you've got.

Far from being unpleasant, this is the best beer of any style that I've had yet. I struggled with whether to assign such high scores since there aren't too many craft beers under my belt at this stage of the game. In the end, though, I have to go with what I feel. I can't imagine that anyone brews a better IPA, or that there are many other beers (of any style) that are better than this. And so.... a hophead is born.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm not going to re-review, but I am going to re-score now that I have quite a bit of IPA experience to reference. The taste score--I really hate to do this--falls to 4.5. (5/21/04)

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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 VegasBrewer1
3.26/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this thinking it was considered a great IPA. I didn't get that at all. Extremely bitter, no hop aroma and very little flavor. As if all they added were the bittering hops. Consumed about 1 month after being bottled, perhaps that explains the loss of hop aroma and taste. Not for me, despite the rave reviews.

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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 Todd
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Fancy painted label with loads of definitions and the usual (nice bottle), but no freshness date. Poured into an Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, but thick looking, brillian amber with a good 2-3 finger clumpy, fluffy, creamy, sticky white foam lace. Excellent head retention! I recommend that you pour this beer hard, but controlled for max. eye candy.

Smell: Hop aromas are off the hook! Wonderfully aromatic, a bit pungent, with strong herbal / spice characters. Loads of thick fruity esters join the fun, too. I think Stone should bottle this scent and market it as a beergeek cologne.

Taste: First thing that hits the palate is hop spice. It's herbally and there's lot of it -- a bit piney, too. There's a background peak of grassy hop flavours, and a near puckering effect -- I know George Carlin hates this word (screw him), but this beer is "zesty!" and one hoppy-ass beer, to say the least. (drink this beer and burp ... gotta love that)

Mouthfeel is so damn smooth, very creamy, a bit syrupy and big all around.

Malt-wise, things get nicely balanced with a very full and rich body and moderate sweetness, in comparison to the hops. Middle fruity flavour, akin to pineapple. Big bready and yeast-like finish (a tad too much, but forgivable), going dry with residual hop flavours still kicking ass all over your palate.

Notes: Simply put ... this is one insane IPA, and not for the weak palate. To compare it to other IPAs would be silly, however I think this sums it up ... Once Stone comes into a new market it's like a challenge to other brewers in the area: "I know my big beers are bigger and better than yours, but let's see yours anyway. I promise not to laugh." Oh ... and this is just their standard IPA doing the speaking.

 1,798 characters

Photo of Jason
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a silk screen painted label of the "Stone Brewing Gargoyle" which wards off impurities that would otherwise taint the sanctity of the brew.

Appearance: Rich golden hued brew that has a very frothy white lace which sticks all over the glass.

Smell: Very aromatic ... raw hop and hints of fruity ester. Nice dry-hopping!

Taste: Intense hop character, both flavour and bitterness. A bit smooth and a bit crisp with some malt flavour ... a little biscuit and grain, some malt sweetness and fruity ester. Though the hops are very dominant and push their sweet and bitter oils onto the palate. Amazingly the after taste cleans up a little leaving some grain and hop leaf flavour in the finish. Gulp after gulp this brew seems to warm the body more and more.

Notes: Wow now this is an IPA! Well attenuated and very bitter, yet still a little malt character to balance. Seriously ... if you don't like hoppy beers than this one might not be a good pick. If you are a hophead ... than buy a case! There was only one thing this beer said to me "Don't be a whimp, drink a hoppy beer!" Also this a quite deceiving brew topping out at 6.9% abv.

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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 NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The body is a hazy deep peach in color, topped by a frothy white head that holds well and leaves some excellent "sticky" lace. The aroma is of a fruity, sweet (almost sugary) malt, and bold floral & citrus hops (that combine with the sweetness to offer alot of pineapple - but also some lemon). The body is medium/full with a very fine, moderate carbonation that gives a light zest on the tongue and then becomes quite creamy in the mouth. The flavor offers a blend of rich, sweet, fruity, and lightly caramel & bready malt, and loads of citrusy, floral, piney & grassy hops backed by a solid bitterness. It finishes with a lingering combination of sweet floral malt flavor and dry bitterness. Although the bitterness is hefty, it's not overwhelming, and the sweet malt remains evident throughout the glass. The alcohol is beautifully cloaked, revealing only a light touch of "spiciness" in the flavor. This is a really unique and exceptional beer that's well worth seeking out. Well brewed. Outstanding.

 1,004 characters

Photo of clingy
5/5  rDev +18.2%

One of my favorite go-to beers.

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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 JDaV
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So I got this at a gas station and totally thought I was getting ripped off at first but went with it anyway to take a chance on this beer (i had already paid and they weren't going to give me money back). Anyway I checked it out on here and saw there was some pretty good hype about it so I got pretty excited. Spoiler alert; the hype is real. Considering the style of beer this is it is pretty much as close to perfect as everyone makes it out to be.

I poured hard from bottle into the trusty weapon that is my pint glass and poured one of the most gorgeous beers to ever sit in front of me. Frothy, white-ish head. The color was an ambiguously solid gold. The beer stands and looks clear but hazy in a way that you feel it could also nearly be opaque. I held it up to light and saw yeast particles nearly microscopic in size that helped give the beer its perfectly clear/solid complexion.

The smell is perfect. Strong and hoppy. Somewhat fruity but not in a "fruity beer" way.

The taste is full. And when I say full I mean FULL. It's bittersweet. it starts with a flip flopping of bitter and sweet hop notes. Very strong hop character. Then you also get a touch of the fruit similar to the nose with a very yeasty finish. An interesting thing I noticed, and quite enjoy, is that if you take a minute between gulps, a lingering aftertaste of pineapple subtly resides on the pallets as the hop bitterness settles. I also would like to note that one of the Alström brothers said to burp after taking a gulp. I tried this and it was pretty awesome, really helps to kickstart the pineapple lingering effect.

Mouthfeel is thick and wholesome. The beer is about as heavy as you will assume it to be in both mouthfeel and alcohol content. 3 of these honestly kind of does the job for me.

I have never been sure about when or not I am having a (almost) perfect beer, but I was sure this time. It was way good. Perfect for any hop head and anyone who likes to get the funny feels off a few deliscious brews. I am savoring the last few sips of my last unit out of the sixer and can say I will definitely be getting this again.

 2,130 characters

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 JBraz
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Tawny-yellow, straw like. Thin lacing, that fades quickly.

S: Oily hops on the nose. Not much else.

T & M: Moderate body with a bitter hop bite. Very well balanced.

O: What I consider a true representation of the style. A solid offering and go to beer for me.

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Photo of Buck89
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Very clear golden amber color with a frothy off-white head. Good lacing and retention. On the first whiff, I sensed onion, pine, grapefruit, and bread. Complex taste with resin, onion, pine, citrus, and sharp bitterness. Nice clean finish.

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Photo of Beeeeeerman
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 Sexmortus
1/5  rDev -76.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is the worst beer I have ever had. It nearly made me throw up because it just tasted like shit. Not smooth, just awful. Stay away! Not good tasting at all. Not smooth, doesn't smell good either. The taste is dreaful.

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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.

 537 characters

Photo of jribeiro025
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dank smell to it. Definitely floral notes and citrusy. Great 1 inch head that returns when agitated. Great IPA.

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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.

 362 characters

Photo of ElJacobian
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Grapefruit, pine and dank. Just a tad bitter on the aftertaste for me, but an incredible beer nonetheless.

106 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Pours medium bright golden color, finger white head lasts leaving coating lace. Toasted malt aroma with some piney n grapefruit hop notes. Taste starts with lightly toasted malt sweetness which is met immediately by big bitter hops. Pine and grapefruit peel dominate, some floral notes in there. While bitter overall, the flavor is not harsh. Medium crisp mouthfeel. Been awhile since I'd had this one and it's just as good as remembered.

 459 characters

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Almost hard to believe I've never said anything on this beer until now.
I've always had this in a pint glass and for today once again, yes in a pint glass.
The appearance was a nice looking hazy orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. Light foamy lacing clings but trickles after a while.
The smell had a sharp pine assault of bitter hops with a light spice intertwining in and out on the aroma.
The taste copied the smell and carried a nice bitter pine into the spice of this beer. Light pine to spicy aftertaste lead to a dry finish.
The mouthfeel had a light to medium bodied sessionable dry spiciness rolling over my tongue.
Overall, I say this has and always will be a go to for me as an AIPA. Its hard not to find practically anywhere.

 792 characters

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Stone IPA (India Pale Ale) from Stone Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 10,818 ratings.
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