First brewed in August 1997 Stone IPA has been wreaking havoc on Americans palates for over 15 years. Showcasing Magnum, Chinook and Centennial hops this is truly a staple and a favorite of the American hophead. Stone is one of the most consistent and innovative breweries in America and certainly one of my favorite breweries because of their affinity for hop forward beers. Though this is certainly not the hoppiest and most brutal beer on the market, although there is a good chance it was in 1997, lets see how it rates in 2014. Stone IPA comes in at 6.9% ABV and 77 IBUs.
Appearance: Pours a really nice, deep, slightly hazy golden color with a thick, creamy 1-2 finger head that turns to sticky beautiful lacing down the entire glass.
Nose: Lots of pine, some grapefruit and earthy notes as well. Smells like fresh Centennial and Chinook hops. Stone really always showcases the hops they use so well in the nose of their beers.
Taste/Mouth: Real piney and resinous, bit earthy as well. Stone loves their piney IPAs. Finishes slightly dry and definitely bitter. Has a great mouthfeel you can definitely crush these.
Availability/Price: Basically everywhere in the US at this point, Stone has a pretty huge reach. The tricky thing about Stone as well as any other popular brewery making primarily hop forward beers (Lagunitas is another good example) is making sure the beer is fresh and hasn’t been sitting on the shelf for 6 months turning into orange juice. The price isn’t great but it’s not terrible either, six pack of this will probably run you over $12 with tax in NJ.
Overall: I can only imagine the general reaction to this beer in 1997, people’s minds were for sure melted. Stone are truly innovators and helped push hop forward beers to where they are today, IPAs probably being the biggest craft style. This definitely stands the test of time as well, after 15 years this can still stand up to most American IPAs. This is one of, if not the standard West Coast IPA. Bravo Stone.