IPA | Stone Brewing

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11,178 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 11,178 |  Reviews: 3,061
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Stone IPA may set the standard for American Indian Pale Ales, which are renown (or notorious, depending on whom you ask) for their in-your-face hoppy characteristics and higher-than-average ABVs.

A delicate pour produces a thin head of white foam atop a translucent light amber body. The head does not stick around, but does leave a delicate and beautiful lacy pattern floating on top of the beer's body. I'm reminded of the flavorful oil that sits atop a cup of good, unfiltered coffee. I expect to be overwhelmed by flavor.

The nose brings a smile to my face. A bold bouquet of aromatic hops dominates, but is complemented by understated notes of biscuity malt and the faint, warming smell of alcohol.

The first sip of a glass of Stone IPA is an experience I'd like to have again. Resinous and aromatic hoppy flavors dance around the palate, supported by a fine balance of light malty sweetness and a powerful lingering bitterness. The bitter hang of this beer is not to be missed: It both sustains the piney, resinous hoppy aromas that appeared at the front of the sip and plays counterpoint to them as they continue to develop in depth and complexity. The hoppy complexity is accentuated by the warmth and bite of alcohol.

One of the difficulties in reviewing a beer this complex is that its flavor profile changes with each sip. Once the palate grows accustomed to the bitter hang and resinous, piney hops, it discovers the subtle fruity characteristics of the yeast. The malt is a bit overwhelmed at first, but begins to reveal its subdued sweetness as one comes to the end of the bottle. As the beer warms, the character of the alcohol becomes more pronounced and integrated, producing still more complexity by introducing warmth and a floral quality that adds complementary and sometimes contrasting aromas to the bouquet of hops that has been developing on the palate.

The mouthfeel of this otherwise stellar brew leaves something to be desired. On the first sip I felt the carbonation to be a bit harsh. The harshness did wear off with subsequent drafts and swirls; I found the proportion of fizz to malty body the most satisfying just after I had finished half of the bottle.

Stone IPA is not to be missed. I found it to be like unto cubist art, in which a single, clear perspective is abandoned in order that the object be viewed from multiple viewpoints simultaneously. There is too much happening on the palate to appreciate all of the flavors of this beer at once. Your perspective must be flexible, mobile, and willing to focus on particular aspects of the experience, perhaps at the expense of comprehending the beer's flavor in its entirety. Expect to be overwhelmed, challenged, enthralled and enchanted. Cheers!

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IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 11,178 ratings