Maybe I just don’t get it, but why does Stone need to collaborate with so many fucking people on each collaboration brew? Three breweries at once? Four? What did Ishii do for this one? Select the Tea in the online cart? Anyway, so here’s another crazy Stone threesome. Their standard IPA offerings are decent and a gentle hand of reprieve at B.J.’s so let’s see if this ups the ante into an axis of tea meets hops domination.
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States
American Double / Imperial IPA | 9.20% ABV
A: Bright orange huges with gold tones at the edges. There is minimal lacing and moderate carbonation. No middle carbonation. The legs aren’t broken, but they hobble along with an antalgic limp. This literally looks almost identical to Ruination, not that it’s a bad thing, but you figure with three entire breweries on deck, shit would get mixed up a little bit.
S: Big hop nose to it with citra and Amarillo, grapefruit rind and lemon zest. Lots of herbal backing but predominately Pliny/Sculpin-esque juiciness. Really great smell to this. It is akin to a refined Ruination, man, really wearing out that analogy here aren’t we? I don’t get much tea and I drank this crazy fresh.
T: There is a slight juiciness but a sharp crispness to it on the herbal note. It isn’t quite pine but it has a distinct grassiness to it. The tea notes are very faint but present. If the taste stuck to the aromatic lines it would have been exceptional, however, it is a bit divergent once you actually taste it. I imagine the board meeting being something like Stone letting them know that they had plans to put tea in a Stone IPA/Ruination cuvee and Baird and Ishii would be allowed to toss some tea in the boil.
M: The mouthfeel is thin and crisp, on point with the style and very reminiscent of the regular Stone IPA with less maltiness. Hardly any coating is present but that is a good thing given the juicy and herbal notes. If a huge malt backbone were present it would be distracting, but then maybe this would be that hipster darjeeling treat that I was anticipating.
D: This is an exceptionally drinkable beer, with the proviso that you must enjoy the herbal notes going on. If the grassy bite does not turn you away, this could easily become your session beer. The high abv is not noticeable at all and leaves nothing to be desired for back to back drinking. Easily the best part of this beer, but I drank this like 9 months ago or something so it WOULD PRLY BE A SHELL OF ITS FERMER SELF.
Narrative: The rocking of the vessel in the Atlantic was rhythmic at times, and maddening at others. Cameron Brackish wondered if his profession was a bit out of place in this modern bustling economy, however, that blast of crisp ocean spray in his face won him over more so than any woman ever could. “Sir! The cargo of Darjeeling has come unfastened, I-” Mr. Brackish threw up a single threadbare palm and deftly gripped the thick rope and descended into the galley to inspect the tea shipment. There was the stank odor of sopping wet tea leaves, mixing with the misty air, creating a chokingly herbal intoxicating air. “Calibrate the GPS to embrace all headwinds!” He called to his first mate. Life was hard when you refused to embrace modern technology and embraced antiquated professions. “WE NEED TO GET THIS EARL GREY TO INDIAN PORTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!” It certainly was no tea party.