September 4, 2012

Stone 16'th Anniversary

Stone 16'th Anniversary IPA (2012)
Limited Release (Brewed Once).
22 fl. oz. / $7.94 USD / 10% ABV

About: "This year our brewing team was inspired by some exotic-ish additions of the lemony persuasion. Yes, it's a Double IPA (can you really say you're surprised?), but as we strive to do with all our Stone Anniversary Ales of the let's-take-this-IPA-in-a-new-direction variety, we've brewed up a Stone-worthy divergence from tradition. The amount of rye malt we used isn't quite enough to warrant the appellation "Rye IPA," but it still adds hints of spiciness that contrast deliciously with the tropical fruit flavors and aromas of the Amarillo and Calypso hops. Add a few European specialty malts, some lemon verbena, and three more hop varieties to the mix, and you have a highly complex brew melding both bitter and fruity hop notes with rich toasted malt character punctuated by nuances of spicy rye and subtle lemon."

Thoughts: Poured a light golden yellow tone with a slightly off-white head bursting with various sized bubbles that later developed into a thick and snowy froth. The beer itself is pretty cloudy, there's no speckling on the first pour (half of the bottle) and there's some light to medium carbonation.

Well it smells very lemony that's for sure. It's plesant. I'm actually thirsty as fuck right now and a lemony IPA sounds just about right... espeically at 10%. It smells a bit spicy, but the mix of all these hops and that lemon it smells kinda like a weird kind of rubber that I can't identify. Smells like a good balance of malts in there with the hops though.

Taste is a sharp sting of lemon zest and oil, and a ton of rye backup. It's tingling, spicy, there's haze from the booze, it's slightly bitter and a little sweet and sour. There's also a little bit of grass in the background. It's definitely flavorful, there's no doubt about that. But is it "tasty"? I'm not quite sure. I'm sort of having a flashback to DFH's Hellhound My Ale which was brewed with lemons (and while I love hops, lemons and ale - for some reason this one isn't sitting well with me).

Alright, poured the rest of it and taking a look... now there's a massive amount of grain in there. Maybe I should have rolled the bottle, no matter... taking another gulp here and it's got a lot more of a peppery tone throughout. The brew is blended very well and there are a couple layers, and it's not really horrible at all, but I'm still not diggin' it.

Mouthfeel is wet - naturally I would suppose - don't know why I said that, very minimal coating, a little light, bubbly - not frothy, and drinkable.

This brew is bitter and sour, and could have been incredible if they didn't go with that rye malt and instead opted for something sweeter. Maybe that's just the bitch in me talking though. This one gets a solid "meh" from me. I wanted to like it more, especially as a connoisseur of all thing lemon, lemon shaped and sour. *wink* Thing is... too much yeast can put a damper on things.

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