This beer is being released as part of Stone’s Vertical Epic Ale series to celebrate their 20th year in business, as of 2016! They set out to brew a hoppy Belgian Style beer with ‘San Diego’ attitude. Combining lots of American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe) with a Belgian tripel style ale has resulted in a complex yet very satisfying taste experience. Delightfully fruity and refreshing, yet surprisingly dry and bitter. It’s an unusual combination, but one your taste buds will thank you for. If you can get your hands on this tasty brew, give it a whirl, and be grateful for Stone Brewing Co.’s presence in the craft beer industry, they are redefining great beer right here in San Diego. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY STONE and thanks for the great beer!
Appearance: Golden in color with good clarity, this beer poured with a small white head from the bottle. Over the course of a minute or so, the head completely disappeared apart from just a few bubbles clinging to the rim of the glass.
Aroma: Intense, very fruity and citrusy with notes of lemon peel, clove and banana and a strong piney hop aroma. Slight smell of alcohol and yeast.
Taste: Traditional flavors of a Belgian wheat beer, but with more upfront alcohol presence and the addition of strong citrusy hops. The flavors are surprisingly well balanced. Being a Belgian tripel, one would expect a heavier malt profile and sweeter finish. Yet, this beer is dry, crisp, and has a very bitter end. Notes of banana, cloves, bitter citrus fruits and some spice.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Some alcohol heat in the back of the throat. Medium-high carbonation.
Intensely bitter yet with strong banana flavors, this beer reminds me of the flesh of a banana peel. Yes, that bitter “white stuff” that you try hard not to eat. However, in a beer it is actually quite pleasant and refreshing. Even if you’re not a huge fan of Belgian-style beers, which I admittedly am not either, you might just take a liking to this one. I know for myself, there is nothing more satisfying than to taste a style of beer that is not my favorite and to land on one I truly love.
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