ᾚᾁῇᾃῆ? ᾿ἜᾁΊᾃ ᾮἂῆἇ Ἠἲὀ Ἔầṹ? ᾚᾁῇᾃῆ? <click-click> Hello? Hello? Is this thing working, or not? Oh, there it is. Sorry about that. My “Universal Translator 3000® has been flaking out every since I got it tuned up last year at the Radio Shack on Orion III. Man, never trust a minimum-wage earning Orion with anything technical, sheesh!
Anyway, just wanted to jot down a note or three re: Stone’s latest IPA. You better sit down and take a load off — this is pretty shocking news: this IPA is *NOT* your typical Stone “eXtreme!!!1!” IPA that you power down while fist pumping and chest bumping your bros and bro’ettes before/during/after a sick-ass weekend bro-dozer run to Glamis and/or The River (dude!).
No, this is Stone’s first major release of a sub-5%ABV since they first unleashed the highly under-appreciated Levitation Ale way back in 2002 C.E. If the memory banks serve me correctly, this also the first new beer that they’ve released in six-packs in just as long.
Really, really love the aroma. Pine, pineapple, apple…, with lots of citrus going on, too. In fact, this is by-far this beer’s strongest suite. It’s just a shame that the rest of the beer just can’t keep up.
The first few innings of this beer live up to what the aroma promises, with again with the piney apple’y citrus’y goodness in the entire flavor profile — most notably the front and middle. Not as much going in the backend/finish, but that’s fine for a beer that has been designed to be quite slam’able and session’able.
And slam this down in hurry, you should indeed. As this gets about mid-glass, and maybe if allowed to warm up slightly, this falls apart faster than a very old comet running into a very new solar flare. The fruity/piney aspects degrade a bit, forming something of a mushy vegetal hop mélange that is not horrible, but just not especially interesting anymore. You’ll continue to power this down like there’s no tomorrow, but for not much reason more than to free up your beer glass for more interesting prospects from your fridge.
Bravo to Stone for finally breaking out of their mold and their “all-eXtreme/all-the-time!!” brewing profile. But this beer just doesn’t cut it IMO. Not when I’ve enjoyed other commercial beers with even less alcohol, but with far and away more flavor/character.
A beer that promised much from such a small package, and had me going for a little while. But in the end, this was just a small beer with small hopes and dreams, and even then only barely delivering in the final analysis. Utopia Banished, indeed.
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