Stone Go To IPA

Stone has been good, and they've been great. What they haven't been is spectacular enough to dazzle me like Lagunitas or Chimay. I'm thinking the Go To IPA might be the best chance - I mean, it's their go-to, after all. I like when a brewer puts a beer out there and says that it's the best they offer. It makes life easier in general.

The beer is lighter than I expected. It's a light gold like a macrobrew that was trying really hard to not suck. The head is just about perfect - a fluffy white pillow of big, lazy bubbles that leave a doily of lacing down the sides unrelentingly. The aroma is pungent. I mean, it's hit you in the face strong with its grapefruit, pine, bread, and apricot. It certainly let's you know that it's not messing around even though the 4.5% ABV is a bit timid.

First sip is like biting on a hop that has been soaked in grapefruit for a week. Normally, a beer with this low of an ABV doesn't have enough hops, and that is definitely not the issue here. The problem, at least in a sip, is that there is too much trying to happen all at once. The flavors are bold, and the boldness means that they are like circus barkers in a small room - too much of them in too little space. The need the room of a swig to breathe.

Tip-in is pine hops and grapefruit. Pretty much everything that the sip was with some added carbonation burn. The middle relaxes quite a bit into a nice, relaxed hoppy slushy of contentment. The middle of this beer is downright good. Then the finish starts, and it kind of ruins everything. The bitter pine bite gets a bit better as the beer warms up, but it just runs into that middle and stomps around with its muddy boots. The earth and even slight bread tastes are buried in more of the tropical fruit and pine.

Bottom Line: It's not going to be my go-to anytime soon.



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