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Stone Double Bastard is for masochists. Even at an arm’s length away, I can pick up on the obscene hops and substantial malt. It’s just so big. Complex doesn’t even begin to describe the flavor. Pine, toffee, coffee, citrus, toasted rye bread. And that’s all before the hops make you pucker. As expected from Stone, the 11% ABV makes you sit up and notice, too.
Just go get one. Or several.
Stone is not shy about their use of hops. In fact, it’s almost like they see how much hops flavor they can get into every beer and that is no exception with the 100+ IBU Ruination IPA.
Pours a hazy yellow, but the symphony of bold hops in the smell tell you to prepare for an assault. Starts out with a bit of orange marmalade before the hops attack. Tons of pine and grapefruit, but just enough lightly toasted malt to give it some backbone. So bitter you’ll pucker and might even get goosebumps.
A punisher, this. But there is enough complexity here that it’s not just a one note hops bludgeoning. But it’s a 100+ IBU from Stone. What else would you expect?
When I first started drinking craft beer, Stone Arrogant Bastard is one of the first I had. A truly memorable experience. I bought it because of the name and the gargoyle, but I was hooked very quickly.
Unrelenting, sticky beige head, real hop power in the nose with some malt breadiness behind it. A big kick from the hops up front followed by spicy black pepper, sweet bread, and a dry, grassy, excessively bitter finish.
It’s so aggressive, but I can’t stop drinking it. All around, it’s an outstanding beer with bold, complex flavors and Stone, as always, provides the perfect attitude.
I feel it gets overlooked sometimes by some of the rarer and seasonal beers, but it’s one of the best out there. Perhaps it’s becoming ubiquitous in the craft beer world. However, you can’t go wrong with Arrogant Bastard.
When you get something from Stone, you know it’s never going to be common or tame. The Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout lives up to that expectation.
Big, bold, black, and very aggressive. You’ll need a few pours to fit all this in one glass. The smell is nearly all anise, with some wood. It’s quite creamy with a lot of that black licorice flavor, dry wood, roasted malt, spicy hops. Outstanding lacing lures you in to try to find more flavors, the ones more common in a Russian Imperial Stout. If you hunt, you will pick up some of the currants, chocolate, coffee, but the anise is the real star here. I could see where some say it’s overpowering, but I love the flavor, so it’s working for me. The 10.5% ABV warms through the finish, along with a fun bitter bite.
There are some people who say you shouldn’t drink stouts, and especially Russian Imperial Stouts, in summer. I like to call those people “wrong”.
Another unique, tasty brew from Stone. But you have to love anise to love this. If you don’t, you will hate it.
One of the country’s best breweries celebrating 15 years of brewing excellence with a growing, and still developing style. Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA.
The pour is smooth and creamy and leaves a tight beige head. The aroma is mostly piney and citrus hops. Supremely bitter, this one takes hold quickly. Once the bitterness from the hops mellows, there’s chocolate, figs, sweet citrus, coffee, oak, and lots of booze.
It’s very good, but kind of tough to get through. What else would you expect from Stone? There’s no attempt to hide the nearly 11% ABV.
There is nothing else out there like this. Worth trying just to say you’ve had it.
Part of the fun with Stone is reading the bottles. It’s true. The Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is just that. The messages are always arrogant, sanctimonious, with a bit of a “we love this beer, and if you don’t, go screw yourself, but we don’t care.” I usually don’t go for holier-than-thou attitudes, but they always pull it off. Quite deliciously so, too.
As far as the Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale goes, I’d put this in the Black IPA category, even though they don’t call it one. Pours dark as a stout with a slightly off-white creamy, rocky head. Several different hops in the nose. Lots of hops in the flavor with the charred and roasted flavors finally in the finish. Lemon and grapefruit start, then the roast, followed with a familiar hop pummeling. It’s definitely more hoppy than Heavy Seas Black Cannon, but that one has more of the “black” than the “IPA”.
Plus, with the 8.7% ABV, you’ll likely notice it after a 22 oz bomber.
If you’re curious about Black IPAs, a great place to start. If you’re not a hop head, something like the Black Cannon is probably more your choice. Can’t go wrong with either, though!
Levitation is a red ale. As expected, it pours a rich amber color. The hops are evident the second it’s poured. At first, there is a high citrus note but that goes away as the hops kick in. It doesn’t have the most bite of any beer I’ve had, but the bite is there for sure! Surprisingly low ABV at 4.4.
Great color, great flavor, aggressive but not overwhelming bite, very good lacing. Excellent brew from one of the best breweries in the country.