Thursday, September 17, 2015

Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA Review

Name: Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.7%
IBUs: 95

It seems like only yesterday that I reviewed Stone Brewing's 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA.....well, not really but you get the idea. Yes, I think I'll mark the middle of September as Stone's Anniversary IPA time from now one.  Last year's offering, which was a brown IPA, didn't quite impress me as the previous offering so this year, Stone is going back to a more traditional approach with an all Australian Hop & Malt IPA called Thunderstruck.

Now before I start, I wanted to point out that the description of the beer on the label is.....weird. Don't take my word for it, it's clearly in the description:

Ella, Galaxy, Topaz, Vic Secret—no, these aren’t the names of the performers at your local “gentlemen’s club” (at least as far as we know). Rather, these are exotic, and admittedly rather sexy, Australian hop varietals that have been dancing on the minds and palates of the craft brewing intelligentsia around the world of late. We’ve been openly flirting with them via test batches, and they’ve become popular around our brewhouse thanks to their sensual flavors and aromas. So in developing our celebratory anniversary beer, we decided it was time to seal the deal and take these down-under-wonder beauties to the main stage at Stone. And what better way than allowing them to strut their stuff in the spotlight as the sole focus for the luscious tropical, peachy, citrus-like flavors and slightly resinous, aromatically dank earthiness of this special, all-Aussie consummation! 

Gentlemen's Club? Sexy? Flirting? Sensual? Strut their stuff? Stone, are you seriously trying to sexualize your beer ingredients? I don't know where your mind is at but the hop names you mentioned wouldn't make me think of stripper names in the least. You could've made an effort to throw in some more kickass AC/DC references but that's the route you chose to take instead?

You know what? Let's just see how the beer is....

Appearance - Hazy dark yellow color with no visible carbonation. The head is quite thin in appearance and the lacing is more on the spottier side.

Aroma - Rich citrus hops with some mango, kiwi, and apricot notes with some light strawberry sweetness. I'm also picking up some plentiful yeasts and some toffee maltiness. Contrary to what the description says, not getting any least not yet.

Taste - Not much of a difference compared to the nose. You've got that rich citrus hop sweetness with those mango, kiwi, and apricot sweetness. I am picking up on that bit of piney hop dankness towards the back end of the palate, along with some yeastiness & toffee malts. The aftertaste is mainly bitter hops with a very light hint of strawberries.

Thought I do find the sexualization of the ingredients a bit odd (and unnecessary), this is certainly a much better IPA than last year's offering in pretty much every way. It's a nice and robust, fruity flavored IPA that will manage to please anyone who is a seasoned IPA fan. Just ignore the seemingly strange description and we'll be good.

Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA - 9/10

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