Stone IPA

6.9% ABV on draught

Decided to turn Friday night happy hour into an orgy of IPA tastings as I joined my friends at the great Lansdowne Road. To set my bearings, I began with my favorite, and perhaps the best single IPA on the market, Dogfish Head 60 Minute. A brew I had previously awarded a solid A to. Delicious. Next, I went with the single IPA from my favorite American brewery, Stone out of California. Stone’s “schtick” is to make big and bold beers that will kick your ass and leave you begging for mercy, and at 6.9% for their single IPA, they aren’t joking. It clocks in at 0.9% more manly than the 60 Minute. (Stone also makes a double, or “Imperial,” IPA known as Ruination which is outstanding.)

I’ve had the Stone IPA countless times but compared side-by-side and minutes apart with the 60 Minute a stark difference is easily apparent. I hate to denigrate the great Stone, but their IPA is simply not as good as Dogfish Head’s. It’s not as flavorful, I don’t believe it’s as complex, and it’s a little too sour. Incredibly hoppy with tastes of citrus and the outdoors.

It’s almost surprising that I like Stone less than 60 Minute because I’m usually the guy that likes big beers, the more potent the better. Just not in this case. Having said that, the Stone IPA is incredibly drinkable and I am certainly not displeased to ever have one in my hand. It’s just, if I have to choose between this and the 60 Minute, I’m going with the latter.

All told, it’s still an outstanding IPA, maybe even my overall second favorite. I will even be so bold as to say that it is Stone’s worst regular bottling. And, when you still score an A- on that, you know you’re doing something right and making some truly memorable beers. That’s why Stone is the best brewery in America.

A-

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