Friday, June 29, 2012

Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA (Stone Brewing, Escondido, CA)

I've been lusting after this beer since I heard about it and tonight I get to drink it.  According to Stone, Ruination was the first year-round Double IPA on the market (several qualifiers in there, but a first).  It's the same palate hammering beer, but kicked up 3% ABV with double the hop additions to five pounds per barrel.  Here's Stone's explanation video with some pretty good beer porn camera work.  I like Steve Wagner's thoughts on how this anniversary edition really flows from Stone's success: bigger, better equipment and a lot more expertise to be able to pull off this beer.   Ruination is not only one of my favorite beers, but the only beer for which I have a bicycle jersey.  I bought three bottles assuming I'm going to like it.

Just off white head piles high on the first pour, but my camera failed, so the second pour is to the right.  It's exactly as advertised: Ruination but bigger. Very recognizable big flowery, spice and pine nose.  Higher alcohol is apparent in nose and taste, and there's a very slick, resiny characteristic in the mouth.  Big hop bite that spreads across the tongue and overtakes everything else; again, as advertised.  Compared to the standard Ruination, the 10th is slightly darker with more amber swirling around and a heavier mouthfeel.  The full bodied but not heavy contrast of standard is one of my favorite parts of the Ruination, which the 10th falls short of some of that balance because of the increased sweetness and oiliness.

As it warms, the hops go from biting to sinus clearing and the beer develops an almost whiskey like character as the alcohol becomes domineering.  Still happy that I bought three bottles, but don't think the 10th will replace the "Liquid Poem to the Glory of the Hop" that is Ruination IPA.

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