This special edition beer has been collaborated by the 2 bohemoths of IPAs – Stone brewing and Sierra Nevada. Two batches of an IPA were brewed and bittered with Magnum hops before providing a backdrop for a three way hop bursting of Chinook, Amarillo, and Cascade. The first batch was split down the middle, the first half being aged for months in gin infused bourbon barrels, and the remaining half finding its way into rye whiskey barrels. The aged beers were then blended with a new fresh batch of IPA to provide citrus, pine, woody and herbaceous flavours.
Holy crap. I don’t think we have seen such a complex brew for an IPA. We are salivating at the experience. Popping the cap delivers some tropical fruit, pine and a dank, deep aroma. Delish. As we pour the malt backbone, and booze content become evident. There is a clear amber body with a 10-20mm white head which sits like a cloud and slowly fades. Mild to moderate carbonation seen. First sip is complex. Strong bitterness and booze burn coats the tongue and lingers sharply. The pine hit is decent, mixed with a spirit like pungency from the barrel ageing. Definite gin hit here on back palate, and bitterness. Not a lot of spice detected, and the tropical flavours certainly drown out with the booze backbone. The citrus like grapefruit bitterness is dominant all the way. Body is full as its heavy in the mouth. This brew sits at 8.2% and we certainly understand why. It’s pungent. This drop reminds us a lot of the 777 by Riverside but more liqueur-like. What we are finding is as the beer warms up, the beer eases up in terms of astringency. The barrel aged properties chill out and the myriad of hops just shine. The rye-like spice comes in at the end of the glass now. This beer is a shape shifter. Different flavours at the end of the beer compared to the start. We suggest open and let it breath like a wine. Overall, very complex. This is craft brewing to a tee. We are all over the place. One thing for sure, just try this bad boy for the experience. It’s intense. It’s strangely satisfying and mysterious. We like it a lot.