It looks like Stone Brewing Company is back on my map, and in a big way. They had kinda fallen off of my radar with some releases I was a bit bored with, but in recent years, that is no longer the case. With releases like W00tstout imperial stout, Enjoy By IPA, and now Thunderstruck, I am keeping a close eye on what Stone is doing.
I have to admit, I had drank this a few times before this review. It’s not that I wanted to get a few samples before reviewing, the simple fact is, that I forgot to write down notes each time I drank it the the first few times. I recall it being very memorable, so I thought I’d buy a bottle and really sit down and analyze the beer. So I poured it into a Samuel Smiths pint glass and gave it a shot
Appearance: hazy, golden with a 1 finger head. In the sun it had a slightly green tinge, but barely noticeable. The suds were uneven, with a few big bubbles along with some little bubbles. Once the pour settled down, there was a very light stream of rising bubbles. The carbonation seemed to die off pretty quickly.
Smell: Not a huge aromatic beer but there were some distinguishable notes of mango, lemon, peach, and pineapple at the start. The more the beer warmed up, it seemed to display a lot of earthy and resin notes.
Taste: Bursting lemon rind, peach, and pineapple up front. This is followed by honey, sweet malt and flaked corn tastes. Once the beer warms up a bit, I tasted a bit of orange peel in the after taste. The taste really is incredible! As with all hoppy beers, this should be consumed fresh. This particular bottle was about 4 weeks old and it did not taste as great as when I first tried it over 3 weeks ago. The citrus flavor really is the most predominant flavor, but the peach and melon notes are what really made it unique.
Mouthfeel: Smooth with light carbonation. I really didn’t get any warmth from the alcohol. The 8.7% was well hidden among the strong Australian hops.
Overall, Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA is probably the best IPA that Stone has ever bottled. I really enjoy the Enjoy By, Ruination 2.0, Ruin 10, and many other IPAs they have bottled, but I have to say, Thunderstruck takes the cake. This beer is so enjoyable, and I am really sad that is going away. I am not sure what role the Australian malts add to the Thunderstruck experience, but I think this is a recipe for success. I really hope they revisit this recipe sometime soon. I hope you have the opportunity to try it before it’s gone.
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