“First brewed in 2007 as Stone 11th Anniversary Ale, this beer was an instant hit. With us. Other folks with great taste loved it too, but we were focused on how much we liked it, and we felt it was truly sublime. That euphoria didnt last long though, as it was soon replaced with the grim reality that when we sold out of it there wouldnt be any more. For Us. And that was simply unacceptable. So, we are now blessing ourselves, and you the enlightened, with this beer on a full time basis.. Thusly, you may now revel in your own self righteousness as you see fit with this glorious example of ours. You are genuinely welcome, as it is our pleasure.”
Here we have another top shelf brewery to come out of America’s craft beer pioneering west coast. Served in an IPA glass the mat black appearance is capped off by a one and a half finger tan head with good retention. Thick, webbed lacing is strewn all the way down the glass. The first thing we love about the aroma is the perfect balance between the bitter hops and the dark, roasted malts working in complete harmony. The second is the sheer complexity, this aroma boasts everything from fruity grapefruit, floral pine, chewy caramel, roasted coffee and chocolate. Not to mention the woody oak and creamy hints of vanilla. This aroma encompasses all ranges of the spectrum. Absolutely brilliant. Mouthfeel is dry with medium carbonation. Full bodied with an IBU rating of 90 that really dominates hard upfront. Lashings of grapefruit and spruce adds extra bitterness to the initial flavour as well. The mid-palate reflects a solid tussle between hoppy bitterness and roasted coffee and finishes with neither winning, again showing brilliant balance. A long drawn out back end displays good length. 8.7% ABV is very well hidden in this quality BIPA. True brewing prowess on show here. Impressive stuff.