Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA

Stone has (in this blog) had two slightly better than average beers and one very good one. I expected more from the Arrogant Bastards that run the place, but my taste buds don't lie (to me at least). I want them to be better than they have been. They aren't as far out there as Magic Hat or anything, but they need to get their stuff together.

The color is a golden wheat with a full and stubborn head. The aroma brings familiar spiky hops and a hint of citrus. This smell is very reminiscent of the RuinTen IPA that I had before, and that bodes particularly well for this beverage, as that one was quite delicious.

First sip is much harsher than I expected. The bitter hops aren't balanced with anything at all. Instead, we get the bitterness of grapefruit and pine hops. The whole sip is just a big bite of unbalanced bitterness. This is clearly not the result that was intended with the brewing of this special beer. Instead, this beer with be imbibed with gusto.

Tip-in is carbonation burn, a bit of sweet orange, pine hops, and a smidge of grapefruit. The middle is bread and grains with all those delicious hops - their bitterness kept at bay, and the flavor just dripping down the throat with an unexpected sweet molasses. Then the storm clouds of bitterness gather in the distance. They approach and overtake the sweet molasses with a thump. The harsh pine and grapefruit slap the tongue with a glove and then storm out of the room, leaving an after thought of bitterness in their wake.

Bottom Line: A very good beer, but not Stone's best.

3.5/5

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