Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA
From the Stone press release:
“We took the unapologetically hoppy Stone Ruination IPA—so named for its ruinous effect on the palate—and hopped it to high hell,” explains Stone CEO & Co-Founder Greg Koch.
“We actually amped up everything,” continues Brewmaster Mitch Steele. “We added more malt to bring the abv up to 10.8%, and the amount of hops we used almost defies reason,” he jokes. “Stone Ruination IPA already uses 2.5 pounds of hops per barrel, which is more than double the amount we use in any other core beer. For this anniversary version, we went double again, and used a most impressive 5 pounds of hops per barrel!”
Hops: Columbus and Centennial; dry-hopped with Citra™ and Centennial
Malts: Pale Malt, Crystal 15
Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft. One-time release on June 11 in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA
Appearance: Rocky off-white head; deep ruby-gold body
Aroma: Whoa hops. When I cracked open the bottle, the sticky, resinous bouquet immediately leapt out. After pouring this beast into my glass, the citrusy notes shifted to tropical fruit, like that of a pineapple. To some, this beer may smell aggressive and astringent, but after letting the beer open up for a few moments, the strong, bitter nose fades.
Flavor: As with most double IPAs, ramped up hops are balanced with an equally increased malt bill. This usually comes through for me as very sweet. I enjoy Ruination Tenth because it balances the sweetness of the malt with the bitterness of the hops. Yes, it’s a double IPA, and you’d expect it to be an alcoholic wollop. However, Stone nailed this one; Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA doesn’t easily let on that it’s nearly 11% ABV. Lingering hop bitterness quickly fades, and I’m left with the fruity aroma, suggesting I take another sip.
Mouthfeel: Whereas some IPAs are thin and boozy, this double IPA has a thicker, juicier mouthfeel, carrying the flavor across my palette. It’s neither syrupy nor cloyingly sweet.
Overall: When I sit down to review a beer, I try to remember that to some people, it’s all about statistics and technical terms. However, for myself, my friends, and my family, I need to think of a beer in terms of what foods it pairs with, and would this beer be something to sip, or to quench one’s thirst. Happily, I have been able to educate my friends and family enough to tell them that when a beer has a certain varietal of hop, they might know what to expect, flavor-wise. Stone’s Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA is a great dinner pairing with a spicy Italian marinara or Puttanesca pasta, or even an aggressive Thai fried rice with holy basil. I’m a big fan of aged cheddars (especially Hook’s ten-year), and hoppy beers are no stranger to pungent, sticky cheeses. The resinous body of the hops help to cleanse the cheese from one’s tongue. This beer would likely also pair well with a caramel ice cream. It’s a great addition to the summer craft beer lineup.
Consider snagging one and taking it to share with your loved ones this Fourth of July week!
Thanks to Randy Clemens of Stone Brewing for providing this sample.