This week’s Sip With Us Saturday led me to the corner of the beer aisle with Stone offerings.  Upon looking at the selection, I realized that I had tasted every offering available to me, from the Bashah, to the 09 09 09, to the California Belgique EXCEPT for the Ruination IPA.

Heresy, I know.

The bottom line is, while I enjoy a nice hoppy beer ocasionally, the “American Double IPA,” just isn’t my thing.  Sometimes when I am drinking one, I think to myself, “How many ways can my palate describe bitter, citrusy, hoppy, etc.”  While they all taste good, rarely do they taste great to me, and rarely do I find one even mildly unique.  When I do, I go out of my way to tell any and every one about it.  Also, when a beer’s bio emphasizes bone crushing hop content, it fetches a yawning reaction from so.

So that’s why I avoided the Ruination IPA till now, but have sought out many of Stone’s other brews that I have found delightful.

The Pour:

Ruination is an orangish golden color.  The brew looks a tad thinner than what I expect for a DIPA, but it leaves behind the tell tale sticky lacing from the remains of its two finger head.  What is notable is that the brew sports a bit of a haze,  which may be cool if it is indicative of wheat as an ingredient.  I love the the addition of wheat in hoppy brews.

The Nose:

How many ways can I describe, “whoah, this is one hoppy beer!”  Bitter.  It hasn’t touched my tongue and its already convulsing in my mouth in anticipation of the Pacific-Northwestern-in-origin hops.  The aromas of grapefruit and lemon zest occasionally allowed a glimmer of caramel malts.

The Taste:

Well, upon entering my mouth, I realize it is not as brutally bitter as I was anticipating, which is great.  I actually tasted the caramel and toffee malts.  I doubt wheat was used in this brew; the sweet, and delicately raw qualities of wheat seemed absent.  I’d guess a ton of 2 row and a bit of crystal malt were used.  The beer is actually balanced pretty well.  The medium body could have used a viscosity boost, and I’d preferred a bit more sweetness, especially in the swallow, but it was pretty good.  Fruity notes were limited to grapefruit, lemon/mine, and a slight cantaloupe flavor.  A bonus was the absence of astringent vodka flavors I frequently come across in DIPAs.

Overall Thoughts:

Ruination was quite good, and went down easy, but it was not very memorable to me.  There was no moment where I lost my head and sang love songs to the beer.   I’d definitely drink it again, but probably wouldn’t buy it again.  At $2.79 per 12oz. bottles, my palate guides me elsewhere.

Nate’ Rating:

Overall Satisfaction: ★★★☆☆ 

Among other Imperial India Pale Ales: ★★★¼☆