Stone Ruination IPA
Every couple of weeks I host a combination NFL/Grilling/Beer party at our house. NFL plays all day, some friends come over, we grill some foodstuffs(veggie for me, meat for almost everyone else), and then we fill the 2nd shelf of the fridge with beer for everyone(the top shelf beers are reserved for my wife and I).
So, yesterday I shopped for a couple of hot dog buns, some vegetables and then the beer hunt. I like to get something good for my friends, but something that is readily available. This is a beer that has to be enjoyable but drinkable. I opted just to simplify the process and got two things. the Hacker-Pschorr Weisse 6 pack and the Stone Brewing Mixed 12 Pack.
This 12 pack comes with 4 different brews. 3 Runinations(you’ll see…), 3 Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ales, 3 Levitation Ales and 3 Stone IPAs.
The first thing I notice upon opening this mixed pack is a bumper sticker of Ruination IPA. The back of it informs us that, yes, there was a typo on the box. Please “accept the apology” and take this sticker in return. (Did you go back and check the above picture yet? Did you find it?)
Regardless, I figure these will be good for the guys.
Of course, being that this industry we all work in is crazy, it turns out one of my friends has to work on a webseries today, another worked a split midnight-12 noon shift, and I am here alone. My wife left town for a job of her own… so, here I am trying my own beer. Might as well blog about it.
The Ruination is a heavily hopped west coast IPA style beer. Truth is, I have had many in my lifetime. For 5 years of my 20’s I lived practically next door to Stone Brewing in Escondido, Ca. In fact, Stone practically defines the West coast IPA style as far as I am concerned.
My Ruination IPA is poured into an English style pint glass. I would have poured it into a tulip style except it jumped out of the cupboard and shattered on the ground moments before uncapping this bottle.
It pours a nice golden copper color. The head is nice and light. The flavor is hoppy and Kellogs Fruit Loops. Specifially, the yellow rings. I’m going to attribute this to a citrus-y hopping and of great quantity. This is, afterall a perfected style from Stone. This is what they do. Guessing it is centennial hops, but who knows. The description from Stone is: “Hoppy. Hoppy. Hoppy and Hoppy.” I believe it. ABV is %8.2. Expected for this beer, honestly.
Ruination is one of my favorite IPAs. It’s big, its hoppy, its smooth and very fruity. If you want a better than average West coast style IPA, this is the beer for you.
The Middle Ground
At 8+ % ABV, you can really only have a couple of these before the complex flavor no longer matters. A great price and readily available in SoCal though. Yay!
The biggest con for me is the ABV. It is a wonderful beer, but 2 or 3 in and you are toast, guaranteed. I would be willing to bet that if I asked Stone what the con would be, they would say: “It’s Ruination. The palate wrecker.” They might be right. If you havent had or arent used to the varying styles of strong beers available, this quite readily available beer might destroy your taste buds for the rest of the night.
As of November 17th, 2013, I declare this beer:
A 5 of 6 for me. For an W.C. style IPA, it is just incredible. The bar upon which all West Coast IPA’s should be measured. Why not 6 of 6? Because 6 of 6 is pretentious and nothing has reached that yet. Stone might even appreciate that. And, when a 6 of 6 is possible for this Style, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Stone that reached it. I’m almost reserving it for that.
If Ruination is available and you love a deviously hopped, yet flavorful IPA, this is the beer for you. There is a balance of fruity citrus aroma, but overall the hops, the style, the jeu de vivre of this type of beer are what make this THE India Pale Ale to have. I recommend: Buy it now!
Extraneous Factors for this Review:
- My team is currently tied with the Dolphins in the 3rd quarter
- My wife got on a plane for Spokane, WA this morning. Boo hoo.
- I had a Veggie Sausage for lunch. Twas amazing.
- I have work at 6am tomorrow…blech.