Stone Hail to the Hop Thief Double IPA

I have a newfound affinity for DIPAs, and I have an old love of Stone, so this should really be a fantastic beer for me. Well, I say for me, but I'm really meaning that this should be a good beer for Stone, as most of them are. But, I'm really kind of self-centered on my blog.

The blissfully calm amber-gold beer has a very nice and sticky head that leaves lacing like a good IPA should. The aroma has a lot more malty biscuit in it than I would have expected, but it is offset swiftly by the bitterness of the hops bringing their pine scent to the whole thing.

First sip is bold and carbonation-heavy. Tropical fruits, pine, and the sweet bready malt all hit pretty hard right in the middle of the mouth and explode out with the effect of a more dour brown liquor or something like it. It's a bit intimidating, and I'm not one to be intimidated by a beer. Trouble is - this is only a sip. And I have to go deeper.

Tip-in is moderate carbonation burn with an unexpected toffee and floral hop. The middle opens into a wood-lined barrel of pine, citrus, and tropical fruit with more bitterness that I would expect in the middle of a DIPA. The finish is a wave of bitterness with caramel and biscuits underneath, but the trail-off is more intense bitterness with oak and flowers.

Bottom Line: That's a spicy bowl of hops right there.



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