Stone Sanctimonious IPA

Ah, Stone. These guys have been on the short list of reliable brewers for a while now. Aside from a time that they tried to combine their efforts with other breweries, they have managed to stay on my good side. This is fortunate for them, as these tend to be very expensive beers, as beers go.

Pale gold and clear are not the two things I associate with an IPA these days, but that might be my choices having an influence on my expectations. After all, not every beer is going to be like what Bearded Iris brings with the juice-like orangeness. The head on this is also not what I expect (or want) from an IPA; it's hard to bring out and becomes little more than a mote of dust across the top. The aroma is pretty darn good, though, with citrus and tropical fruit meat on top of a very weak bread malt.

First sip is a little weaker in taste than I anticipated, but that's only at first. it's like biting a really hot pepper where you don't really have it hit you right at the beginning, and then it builds to a crescendo. Instead of heat, this is mixed fruits and that malt blossoming into a thick dust of bitterness. So, no, I won't be sipping this one.

Tip-in is significant carbonation burn with dusty tangerines, grapefruit, and pine. I hadn't expected the pine, but it grows as the middle turns into pine, pineapple, the other fruits, some stone fruits (yes, I know I mentioned a stone fruit already) and the carbonation surge. The finish is a solid hit of dusty bitterness trailing off into a bitter cloud.

Bottom Line: Not something I usually say about Stone beers - it's unbalanced.



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