Ten years ago, Stone Brewing launched Ruination IPA with the mission statement of destroying people’s palettes one bottle at a time. 10 years later, they’ve decided to up the ante. They’ve taken their already big IPA and made it BIGGER! They’ve brought the alcohol up to 10.8% (standard Ruination is 7.7%). They’ve also doubled the hops to 5 pounds per barrel (a barrel being 31 gallons). Within that 5 pounds, they used 1 pound of Citra and 1 pound of Centennial hops. In fact, they used their entire allotment of Citra hops (one of the hot new varietals) on this one beer. Stone has long been a pioneer of aggressive and hoppy beers. Well, this certainly continues the tradition with a vengeance.
Appearance: Burnished gold, with a fluffy off-white head and excellent retention.
Aroma: Big citrus, pine, resin, juniper, some tropical notes. It also has that green nose you get from fresh hops or beers that use a ton of hops that can only be described as “hop funk.”
Taste: A touch of caramel malt, with enough balancing malt sweetness to keep the hops from totally pillaging your mouth. Sweet hop kick, acidic hop finish (mouth watering). Big hoppy, bitter finish. It lingers for a long time, but in a very enjoyable way. The mouth-feel of this beer is quite robust.
Overall Impression: This is a hop monster at its most beautiful. It’s beers like this that almost make me want to convert to being a hop-head. The malt is pretty neutral because the hops are the star of this beer, and boy do they shine! Get this beer while you can, or you’ll regret it.
Availability: Nationally at better beer stores.
(Check out my review of the standard Stone Brewing Ruination IPA)