It has been a great week for local hopheads! We no longer have to run for the border in order to get Stoned. Stone Brewing Company finally brought their beautiful bitterness to town. The week has been highlighted by launch parties and special events throughout. The free beer at the initial launch definitely made this past Monday much better than usual.
One of the beers that dropped this week is Stone’s Delicious IPA. The beer pours a dazzling golden yellow with a contrasting white head and an aroma that leaps from the glass. The carbonation level keeps the beer quite active and sustains the head. The pour releases heavy aromas of lemon-lime and a general floral bouquet with some notes of delicate pineapple sweetness. The nose is reminded of a Lemon Warhead with only a slight sweetness in an aroma that promises heavy bitterness.
The first sip of this medium bodied beer is a reveille to the taste buds. The burn on the front of the tongue is initially attributed to carbonation, but it is soon obvious that the hops are also contributing some peppery spice. It’s a bit of a chore, but the slight sweetness can be detected if you search early. The beer is West Coast with little concern for malt support. The hops are front-and-center from the beginning. As the beer washes to the back of the tongue, the bright, floral hop characteristics morph into a dankness with an increasing piney profile that continues to rise after you swallow. In an impressive display of both flavor shifting and taste bud dominance, the pine profile both erases the early hints of sweetness and floral characteristics, while also making them less noticeable in subsequent sips.
Delicious IPA clocks in at 7.7% and is available in 6 packs of bottles for about 10 to 12 bucks. It is also available in bombers and on draft. Finding it on draft and getting a Crowler or stainless growler filled is a great way to take this bitterness bikepacking. If you want to pair it with food at home, it takes some rather bold dishes to compliment this hop onslaught. That said, it would pair perfectly with the spicy crab boils common here this time of year.
Grab a Delicious IPA and toast the gargoyle guarding your glass from flavorless beer. Yes, you Arrogant Bastard, we’re not worthy, but thanks for the privilege.
Bikepacker Friendliness (on-draft allows a Crowler option)…7/10
Aroma (fresh, bright, and floral hops excite the nose)…9/10
Flavor (bold and clean, hop-centric with only a slight initial malt sweetness)… 9/10
Style-Appropriateness (a fine example of a West Coast American IPA)…8/10
Alex writes a beer review every other Friday. Two weeks ago he reviewed the Founders Brewing’s Project PAM