Stone IPA (India Pale Ale) | Stone Brewing

3,000 Reviews
Stone IPA (India Pale Ale)Stone IPA (India Pale Ale)

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 3,000 | Ratings: 10,863
Photo of Litterbean
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a great looking orange, with a one finger head and visible carbonation. Slightly cloudy, but still vibrant.

Candy-like smell. Sweet, sugary, and very hoppy. It’s as if this brew was malted and hopped to the extreme, and it shows in the aroma.

Taste like sweet plums. I envision a nice box of raisins as well as I drink this. There is also some bready notes deep down, giving a hidden malt component behind the apparent maltiness. Hints of confectioners sugar pull through with a tart, biting, citric hop splash at the end. Probably my favorite hop-bomb of all.

Good mouthfeel, carbonation tickles a bit but adds to the flavor. A bit gunky on the intake, due to the amazing amount of hops put into this brew.

Drinkable, to be sure.

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Photo of pikemark
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single at St. Mark's Market.

First thing I noticed was the tart grapefruit smell coming off, never smelled anything like it, esp. from an IPA, I knew this one was going to be special. The smell was almost phenolic. The head was very thick and chunky and the lacing was pretty good. It was a clear blonde color.

The taste was huge. Good on many different levels. The alcohol was well covered and the balance was nice. Hops were apparent but not overpowering. The mouthfeel was great,very smooth going down. Crisp finish. Only problem was the aftertaste stuck with me all night.

Shouldve def bought a sixpack, Probably my favorite IPA right now.

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

Pours a golden orange with a frothy white head, streaming bubbles and a very nice lace pattern. Smells of floral and citric hops, grapefruit, lemon zest, toasted malts underneath, and an earthy banana yeasty quality. Initial citric hop blast on the tongue, piney, good malt balance. Bitterness is not overwhelming, but does leave a lingering aftertaste. Slightly oily, moderate cabonation. Goes down pretty easily, but keep a palate cleanser handy if making this a session.

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

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz.
6.9% Alc. Vol.

Appearance –clear orange/yellow body with carbonation that drops instantly; massive and rather sturdy, billowy white head that comes forth in a big pour; fabulous lace

Smell – bitter and more bitter; big fat hops; a bit spicy; and a light dose of alcohol; this is what I want from an IPA

Taste – models the nose with more malts (caramel, bread crust) coming through midway but the citrus hops still run the show; pink grapefruit and grain aftertaste

Mouthfeel – moderate body for an IPA; smooth base and a crisp edge; very light hop sting balanced with a light oily sensation

Drinkability – damn that’s a boatload of hops; there’s easy turnover; the hop stick smacks hard but if you're the hophead, it'll spin you back around easily so you’re ready to roll again

High Hop Tide Warning! Be the bitter! Get ready for a hop kick. This one’s good from 50 yards.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably my favorite IPA. Not for the faint of heart, this beer has some serious hops. All balanced with a nice maltiness and caramel characteristic. Pours a golden amber. Aroma his very hoppy, kinda oily in a good way. Very floral. Tons of hops present in the taste, all very well balanced. Very drinkable beer. Excellent after a bunch of sweet beers to cleanse the pallete.

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Photo of BeerFink
4.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Decanting this bomber reveals a pale golden colored brew with a thriving frothy white head. Some patchy lacing is left as this ale is greedily consumed. Aroma is nice and strong. Probably the best nose to any IPA I've ever experienced. The prerequisite hops are present to a large degree - citrous and pine notes are tantalizing, dancing with an herbal quality. What sets this aroma apart is a sweet, estery, floral aroma - quite wonderful really. There is also some caramel and pale malt smell present. Do they sell air fresheners like this?? The taste does not disappoint that which the smell put forth. The lovely product of dry hopping is immediately evident. Lots of clean citrous, grapefruit, and some pine nip at the tongue. Assertive hops? Yes sir. However there is a wonderful balance by smooth malt and sweet caramel. True to the IPA style, the malt holds back and allows the beautiful hop character to shine. A little spice and herbal notes dance around as well. Although the malts take the back seat, they never leave entirely. The flavor is exceptional in the fact that it is all about the overall flavor - not just a kick-in-the-nuts blast of hops. The hops are diverse, and the malt character is expertly contrived. Finish is a great blend of dryly bitter hop oils and the faintest of sweet malt. A little alcohol warmth in the finish drives this brew home. Mouthfeel is smooth, but a little thin. Overall, this IPA is so good, its probably sinful. Who cares - not me. I'll have another (and another).

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Photo of nicechalice
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer, I always get it because I am lucky enough to have a Vons a block away that carries it in sixers for 7 something. It looks nice, rich dark golden yellow, with a nice head if poured hard. The head doesnt stay but the lace does. Strong pine and spice aromas. The taste is smooth with the perfect bitterness for me. I can drink a lot of these.

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

nice brew. i felt the hops were not so completely balanced out by the malts. not to say that i didn't taste the fine caramel sweetness, but i could have used some more

fine piney bitterness (though it didn't linger) and a beautiful brew. i don't often hand out 5s but there was something striking about a bomber of this stuff poured into a nice huge mug. brillirantly translucent golden amber with a fine head

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Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn I wish Michigan could get Stone! I had to go down to Ohio before I could ever experience the Stone IPA. Beautiful pour. Copper color with auburn in the middle and an almost golden color around the sides. Huge fluffy white head. Tons of lacing. I love it! Aroma hits me upon opening the cap. Lots of floral hops, almost like walking through a garden. I get a slight pine sensation in the aroma as well. The body in this beer is rather thick for an IPA and holds the flavors of the hops very well. The hop flavor is very floral and that is the showcase here but a nice little hop bitterness comes through in a citric way. Juicy orange and grapefruit bitterness provide an excellent compliment to the floral flavors. Malt also is detectable. It seems rather bready, almost biscuity, with a honeyish sweet compliment. Finish is medium and lingers with a pure hop flavor but is not really too intense. Very drinkable beer here and it seems like there is no way this beer is 6.9% abv. Another excellent Stone offering.

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Photo of froggyfrog
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first time venturing into the Stone brew experience.

Picked up a 12 oz. bottle and decanted into my standard pint glass.

Appearance: Cloudy yellow/orange. Lookin' good.

Smell: Amazing. I can almost taste that hoppy goodness.

Taste: Wow, that's good. Not what I was expecting. This beer has a great hop character without being as harsh as most IPA's I've tried. This brew comes in all smooth malt and quickly gives over to a wonderful piney middle and a kick-ass centralized bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Why the hell did I only buy one bottle of this. I'll be right back.

Conclusion: Less typing, more Stone IPA.

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Photo of LiquidBreadMan
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone IPA pours a cloudy copper/gold, with very little head. Beautiful. It's aroma is one of the most pleasing in my experience --reminiscent of lush grapefruit and spiced strawberries. Thank goodness the flavor isn't nearly as sweet as the smell. This one starts out with a sharp hoppy bite -- then it mellows with notes of peach and pineapple, with mandarin undertones -- and it finishes dry and hoppy. This is an excellent IPA with many pleasant surprises.

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Photo of Chadbrew
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cool looking gargoyle.
Not much of a head on this but a beautiful golden color.
Super smell, really sweet... honey? Floral but not overwhelming hops.
Taste is hoppy, malty, and citrus. Good balance and not as sweet as it smells.
Mouthfeel is medium with good bitterness. Finishes crisp and dry.
Drinkability is excellent! Really nice balance and drinks like a much lower abv.
Wish I could get this one locally.

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

Appearance: Clear medium golden color with a profuse and lingering head, lots of broken lace, and fine streams of carbonation.

Aroma: Lots of mild floral hops noted, a considerable presence that is, dominant, but not overpowering. The hops dominate the aroma, but beneath them there is a strong note of sweet, honey-like light malt.

Taste: Opens with slightly sweet malts with notes of honey, this carries through much of the taste, the finish is dominated by a strong grapefruit hop presence.

Mouth feel: Quite full, almost syrupy, smooth and very full.

Drinkability/notes: A superb example of a style that is not a favorite of mine, as I prefer an emphasis upon malt rather than hops. But excellent, nonetheless.

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Photo of Kookiekwan
3.26/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy orange has a 1/2 finger head with decent retention and thick webs of lacing. The aroma was of grassy hops and not much else. The taste was spicy, bitter, roasted malt and it finished leaving a grassy hop taste. This beer was medium bodied and easy to drink.

Reflection: This is a pretty good beer but not what I was expecting from Stone. The hops never took over the beer it was very well balanced. Again great beer but not a great IPA in my opinion.

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Photo of DrJay
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear medium amber colour topped by a white lacing of head from the pour. Excellent retention. Foam seemed happy to stick to the sides of the glass all the way to the finish.

Smell: Light malty sweet aroma with some biscuit and a little doughy. Lots of hops happening, with orange citrus, grapefruit, spice and some herbal/perfumy character.

Taste: Hops. Orange and grapefruit citrus, slightly resinous, assertive bitterness all the way through. Malt is present (biscuity and caramel sweetness), but takes a back seat. Piney at the finish. Brilliant.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation with some crispness to start, but becomes very smooth part way through. Some alcohol warming at the finish.

Drinkability: This stuff is great. Lots of flavour, nice balance (I guess you could say it's on the hoppy side), and exceptional finish. This is what I've always imagined an American IPA should be.

22 oz. brown bomber with no apparent best before date.

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Photo of karst
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1st of 6 half liter Stones. Rare for these parts. Thanks OstrungT.

A rich amber pour with nitrous like fine fomy persistant head and lace.
Aroma Pine - taking it outdoors to admire its beauty its aroma seemed more predominatly that of pears. Alcoholic aroma noticable. Other aromas similar to its taste.
Strong beading of "silent bubbles" -those microscopic enough to move through a capilary as easily as a red blood cell.

Taste starting clean and crisp with sweetness offset by easily roused CO2 in middle ending in warming sweet caramel and perfect hops.

AFTERTASTE! I can only describe as a happy bee returning to is hive and doing an excited "waggle dance" on my tongue shedding hop resin and oils as it completes its figure 8s.

Reaching the end of this bottle is like loosing an old friend.

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

Growler filled at the brewery. Despite a day in the growler it still poured with a great head, and nice retention. Left a nice lace down the glass. Aroma and taste are predominately hops, but there is enough malt to make this a nicely balanced beer. Amazingly smooth for a 6.9 % ABV beer. If you are a hop-head, this should be a staple .. otherwise avoid it.

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Photo of foXXtail
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer looks terrific. Fluffy dollops of white with excellent retention sit majestically on top of a hazy golden amber liquid. The head is so thick and clingy that the lacing it leaves form circles where the beer sat between pulls. The nose has heavy hits of spice and bubblegum with plum backing up.

This isn’t quite as hoppy as I would have expected, and I was a bit disappointed by that. The hit at the front is mild and spicy. The taste ramps up though out the trip through the mouth, and lingers strongly in the aftertaste. There is a slight grassiness most prevalent in the aftertaste. Despite lacking mouth-punching hops: it is a very well balanced brew.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
2.74/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The brew pours a pale straw-yellow color with only a minimal head. Very quickly the foam dies down to a small ring leaving no real lacing to speak of.

The smell was interesting, plenty of IPA notes of hops with a predominance of floral and grassy notes.

The taste was quite disappointing for a Stone brew. While there was a balance of malt and hops, the hops notes were anything but attractive. Instead of a bold, active hops note there was some light, lavendar floral taste. Not at all what I'd expect from an American IPA. I usually praise beers that are balanced and this one certainly has a good bready malt body to balance the hops but there's really no hops to balance.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, it's a medium bodied brew with enough carbonation to clean the palate between sips. There are no oily or astringent aftertaste to detract from the experience.

As for drinkability, I think it speaks volumes that I regret having bought a six pack of this before trying one. I'm about halfway through and my opinion hasn't changed - this just isn't an interesting IPA.

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Photo of beersarang
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden just short of copper with a slightly off white head that leaves sexy, sticky lacing down the glass. The bubbles are big, and the head stays at 2mm forever. Bubbles cascade up through the beer, and it has a deceptive clarity.

Aroma, HOPS! and more Hops. After smelling a second and third time I detect some hops too.

Tasting time reveals: malts for about 1/2 a second then comes the piney, citrucy and oily hops that leave a resin on my tongue. Finish is of a mild alcohol warmth that is attacking my brain as I type. Leaves a lingering hop taste.

Mouthfeel, just thick enough for an IPA, and it is quite creamy.
Way more drinkable than it should be.
Thanks again Stone! You are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Note: As good as this is, I prefer ruination.

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Photo of mynie
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There are hoppy IPAs and APAs everywhere nowadays. Even AB has introduced a Michelob PA, and every craft brewery worth its salt (and plenty that aren't), feature a hoppy pale ale.

Why, after all these years, do so many people still regard Stone as the very best? I don't know. Not completely, at least. I wasn't there when this was fresh and unique. I've tasted far too many copycats before this one. My palette’s already been raped by Celebration Ale, Alpha King, and half of Rogue's lineup. I don't approach this beer with the same kind of reverence or fear that many do.

But I still love it.

Pours like a pretty PA. Nice head, dark orange.

Smells hoppy. Floral hops against a toffee malt backbone. Excellent.

Tastes very much like it smells. Big hops up front. Not the strongest you'll ever drink, but good. Floral and fruity--a huge, complex variation. But what really works for this beer, and what most of its imitators are lacking, is the perfect backbone of sweet malt that leaves a wonderful, rich taste your mouth.

Great mouthfeel, too. Thick but not slimy. And I could see myself drinking far too much of this beer, if I had easier access to it. Goes down as smooth as silk.

Wonderful. A classic in every sense.

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Photo of JLShepard
2.94/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: Slightly spicy, slightly sweet, but with no hop to it.

Appearance: Pours a translucent orange-yellow with a 1/4" head that quickly fades, leaving excellent lacing.

Taste: A slightly sweet start fades into a grassy hop taste that doesn't stick around long.

Mouthfeel: Thin, without being watery, with a nice crispness to it.

Overall, a decent IPA. There is some hop in the taste, though it's not as strong as I like and disappears too quickly. I was also disappointed by the lack of any hop in the nose. The mouthfeel isn't bad, though I think it could be a bit less thin.

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Photo of charlatan
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Came in a 22 oz bottle. Decent head retention around the rim for this type of beer. Pleasant amber colour. Leaves rather impressive lacing.

Sweet citrus smell, but also yeasty on the nose.

Certainly doesn't taste as citrusy as the smell indicated. This has real body. Isn't particularly sweet either. Instead a very full, hoppiness ensues, with sufficient malt to make the beer feel heavy on the stomach. I have the feeling I am drinking some thing very substantial here. As the description on the bottle implies this is not for lovers of subtle, floral hopped IPA's. I like it, but 22 ounces is more than sufficient. There will be no more beer for me tonight.

I am left with a befuddling gingery taste in my mouth.

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Photo of dgallina
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber and orange with a significant and slightly chunky off-white head. The head slowly dissolves, but leaves a very persistent thick foam and a good bit of white lace. Smells of fresh piney and rosiny hops with slightly fruity edge. The aroma from my sample was slightly subdued, perhaps due to age. Excellent complex flavor profile. Begins with spicy hops, develops into a chewy and malty middle, and finishes with a swift kick of drying hop bitterness. As it warms, the beer also highlights a tantalizing creamy orange sherbet quality. Medium-strong carbonation, nicely creamy, and very easy drinking.

A fabulous strong IPA. Heavily hopped but well-balanced. Probably the best IPA I've had to-date. Too bad Stone isn't distributed in Georgia. At least Tennessee isn't too far for the occasional road trip...

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Photo of bceaglejoe
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 12oz bottle at Sunset Grill & Tap, Allston, Mass., on 4 February 2005. Poured into a 16oz pint glass.

Presentation: This poured an amber color with strong orange hues. The head was about an inch or so thick, and it kept pretty well in the glass. The beer definitely had a floral aroma suggesting hops. It reminded me of another Stone product, but this was somewhat more muted.

Tasting: This is one of the best-balanced IPAs I've ever had. The hop bitterness hits the front of the tongue along with citrus flavors. But this beer also goes down very smoothly across the back of the tongue. It had a sweetness to it that made the beer highly drinkable, and the mouthfeel is rather pleasant. Hop flavors don't overwhelm the palate.

This may or may not be a "session beer" due to the higher alcohol content. But it goes very well by itself or with some appetizers at the bar. I definitely would recommend this beer to anyone interested in IPAs.

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Stone IPA (India Pale Ale) from Stone Brewing
4.23 out of 5 based on 10,863 ratings.
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