Stone’s Ruination IPA
The Stone Brewing Company – Escondido, San Diego, CA
Information: From the site – “So called because of the ‘ruinous’ effect on your palate. This massive hop monster has a wonderfully delicious and intensely bitter flavor on a refreshing malt base. one taste and you can easily see why we call this brew a, ‘liquid poem to the glory of the hop’. Those who seek, crave, and rejoice in beers with big, bold, bitter character will find true nirvana in Stone’s Ruination IPA.“
This time it was all about the bitterest, hoppiest beer I could conceivably get my hands on. I was tempted to jump at another three or four stouts and porters I had yet to try, but something on my tongue and nestled deep in my brain craved something ridiculously bitter and terrifyingly hoppy. Well, it didn’t take long to locate my prey: a seventeen-dollar six pack of Ruination IPA touting its ability to punish those unworthy and make them shun those lesser India Pales only to come crawling back for more. I’m game.
The pour is a bright, heady yellowish-brown positively crackling with the requisite scents and aromas of a bitter IPA: harsh hops and that telltale tinge of grapefruit rind. The foam hangs on for a long time as it positively blooms with enough angry, hoppy goodness to make anyone unfamiliar with the genre cringe. But, even behind all that citrusy snap, there is a shy sweetness ready to burst out even in the nose.
Ah, but it’s the taste that truly gets knocked awake by the sip. It is absolutely brutal in its floral bitterness, but not the kind of subversive violence to your tongue that would go with something like hot wings, no, it’s much sneakier than that. It’s definitely assaulting, but almost as though you were being brutally whipped with a feather. It’s the kind of angry that’s coated with a saccharine love that gives as few quarters as it requests. If you like the rindy, bitter, hoppy, mouth-punch of an amazing IPA but secretly long for a soothing sweetness that just barely finds a foothold enough to make you nod in agreement, this is the India Pale for you. And, coincidentally, for me. Excellent. I would drink this with ocean fare like crab legs or lobster.
Rating: * * * * 1/2
An IPA like none other; powerful punch with an apologetic hug.