Stone Brewing: IPA (USA IPA: 6.9% ABV)

Visual: A hazy beer from sediment floating within gives the impression that maybe I was a tad too rough on the pouring.  Otherwise clear with an apricot skin colour.

Nose: Pine needles. Peaches. Shortbread. Slight hop character and bitterness. Cinnamon. Digestives. Toffee.

Body: Very bitter. Digestives and hops. Apricot. Quite resinous.

Finish: Bitter. Slightly granite style gritty. Digestives. Drying. Popcorn feel and hop oils.

Conclusion: Are you seriously telling me the only thing that has changed between this and Cali-Belgique is the yeast? Damn this shows exactly how much difference the yeast makes.

This thing is dry and intensely bitter. In fact it feels more bitter than my recollections of the so called Ruination IPA. Probably this can be explained by this beer having significantly less sweetness to counteract the bitterness. It chooses instead a dry biscuit like nature with some of those apricot American hops showing through.

It feels surprisingly single minded for a Stone Brewing beer with a lot less of the frilly side notes than I have come to expect from them. It’s a good beer, but not that showy What it does feel is heavy. Seriously so.  The flavour weighs upon you, lying on your taste buds father than dancing across them.

An enjoyable biscuity bitter IPA, but I wouldn’t say it is special in any element apart from its punch.  I much preferred the Belgium styled take which gave so much more,

A resolute but not exceptional beer.

Background: I drank the Belgium yeast version of this a while back and was very much looking forwards to trying the vanilla version as it where. Picked up from the Guest Beer Section of Brewdog’s site.  Stone have been a remarkable solid pick for me over the years.  It is worth noting that I am a massive fan of IPA’s and would consider them my standard go to style for a beer.