Monday, August 19, 2013

Stone RuinTen IPA collaborative review

Stone RuinTen IPAThis beer review is the 2nd in a series of collaborative beer reviews between Dave Butler of Fermentedly Challenged and Mark Robinson of Brewtally Insane. Today's collaborative beer review is of a recent California beer - Stone Brewing Company RuinTen IPA, an annual re-issue of their Tenth Anniversary Ruination IPA. This beer was sampled in late July 2013.

This is another of Stone Brewing's big IPAs. It was released on June 17th, 2013 in 22oz bottles and distributed to several states including Colorado. Stone RuinTen IPA weighs in at 10.8% ABV and a massive 110 IBUs. The bottle suggests that this beer be consumed before September 11, 2013. IPA's tend to be best when at their freshest.

This beer is described on the label as follows: "A Stage Dive Into a Mosh Pit of Hops - We first released this decidedly indelicate beer in 2012, as Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our belovedly bitter Stone Ruination IPA. Stone RuinTen IPA uses the same recklessly hoppy recipe as the 2012 release; only the name has changed, as we plan to unleash this belligerently delicious hop monster upon the public annually from now on. We packed a whopping five pounds of hops into each barrel, and cranked up the ABV to stand up to the hop onslaught. The results are glorious, and we know you'll rejoice in tasting this audacious gem of hoppy splendor once again."

Mark Robinson and Dave Butler got together via a Facebook interactive chat session and simultaneously sampled and reviewed this beer. The following is a mini-transcript of their beer review session.

Dave Butler - I think we picked a good one to review.

Mark Robinson - Looking forward to trying this one. I actually missed the 10th Anniversary Ruination release last year. We were traveling and it sold out quickly.

Dave Butler - Yes I missed this as well. But ever since Stone came out with beers like Enjoy By IPA I have been paying more attention.

Appearance: This beer poured a deep gold color with a BIG fluffy white head. The beer was mostly transparent - the beer temperature have have hazed it a bit. No sediment in first pour. Excellent lacing. Carbonation on this beer seemed on the moderate side.

Mark Robinson - Poured RuinTen into one of those DFH / Sierra Nevada IPA glasses.

Dave Butler - I'm using a globe-like Spiegelau glass. This beer looks a dark gold with a monster billowy white head.

Mark Robinson - 4-finger tall, creamy, off-white head.

Dave Butler - Yes very active head. Nice sticky lacing initially.

Mark Robinson - Big-time, champagne-like carbonation. Beer's a clear orange, dark golden color. Lots of chunky lacing around the glass as the head fades away.

Dave Butler - Carbonation in mine is about average, not overly done. My beer isn't exactly cloudy, but it's not clear either. No sediment in the 1st pour anyway. Hardly any sediment in the bottle either.

Aroma: Dank? Perhaps. Big citrus nose, like grapefruit or bitter pineapple. Hops very dominant here. Pine scent, some spice like pepper. Mint? Not really.

Mark Robinson - Really nice aroma. Big smack of bitter hops. Pine, some citrus, tiny bit of bread, a balancing touch of sweet caramel.

Dave Butler - I'm getting a big grapefruit-like aroma - tons of citrus, fruit, also a hit of pine and spice. Yes, getting some caramel in this as well. Classic Stone big hop indulgence. It's not much like Stone Enjoy IPA. This is more powerful the huge on the hops. Less clean smelling but still very inviting for a hop lover.

Mark Robinson - It's got this resinous pine thing going on. I get more tropical fruit in Enjoy By, but it still plays a role in RuinTen too.

Dave Butler - This is either grapefruit or a "bitter pineapple" for me. Not at all like Stone's Enjoy By IPA. Also getting hot spice in this - not chili but more hint of ground pepper.

Mark Robinson - Mmmm Bitter Pineapple. I get that somewhat. Pepper for sure. Not overly done, but it's in there.

Stone RuinTen close-upTaste: Slams you with hop bitterness right up front. Like an unexpected wake-up from a deep sleep. Big citrus taste. Sticky, resiny, full of hops. Slight underlying malt sweetness, but the hops dominate and lead the taste parade. There's a noticeable heat to this beer. It's very bitter despite them adding a sweet underlying malt base. The bitterness is sharp and penetrating.

Dave Butler - Wow. Classic. Hit-sup-side-da-head hop hit.

Mark Robinson - BOOM! "Stage dive into a most pit of hops" is right!

Dave Butler - Ya love that label. Describes it well. Seems medium to full bodied. Nothing watery about this. It's very drying.

Mark Robinson - Delicious. Man I dig this. Heavy medium bodied beer. Slap of hops to the grill. Big bitter notes.
Citrus more noticeable in the aftertaste.

Dave Butler - It's a hop taste that hits you and won't let go. The bitterness lasts after the sip is done.

Mark Robinson - Yeah, that bitterness hangs on forever. I'll still be tasting that tomorrow morning over a cup of coffee.

Dave Butler - There's an underlying sweet malt base that is pleasant. I'm getting a lot of citrus in this. Like they say - Ruining palates for over 10 years. If I had this at a beer fest I'd want to try this last as it would completely overtake my taste buds.

Mark Robinson - This is the first beer I've had today and I don't think I'll be able to taste anything after this one.

Dave Butler - The alcohol is also noticeable right away. Not like other beers, this one lets you know it's a Double IPA from the start. 110 IBUs - I believe it.

Mark Robinson - Alcohol doesn't try to hide. This is a boozy beast. Still, at 10.8%, it goes down pretty well. Has this cotton-like feel that's drying my mouth out. I like it in some sort of twisted way.

Overall: While this beer was amazing, I'm not sure that I'd want more than 12oz at a time of this as it is mighty powerful. Stone RuinTen was well made, enjoyable, but just the intensity made me back off a bit from wanting too much of this. Good as a one-timer brew, but not for multiples.

It's a chewy, sticky DIPA. Loving the flavor of it. I think this screams to be paired with food because just by itself it seems to be taking over my mouth, but in a good way. It slightly coats the tongue but not completely like some beers. The taste just lingers on and on. Areas for improvement: this beer needs to have a slightly sweeter base, otherwise the bitterness could probably be too much. I have the feeling that finishing an entire 22oz bottle would be enough to be all I want in an entire evening. ABV's are not to be underestimated. Not for the beginning IPA drinker by any means.

Thanks to Mark Robinson for agreeing to collaborate on this beer review. To read his review of this beer visit his blog: Brewtally Insane.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer at my local liquor store.

Related articles:
- Left Coast Hop Juice Double India Pale Ale review.
- Stone Enjoy By 04.20.13 IPA review.
- Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale review. (2008)

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