Stone: Mocha IPA (USA: IIPA: 9% ABV)
Visual: Pale caramel. Inch of browned bubbles and froth. Clear main body and good carbonation.
Nose: Distinctly milky mocha coffee. Crushed hazelnuts. Cocoa dust. Crushed coffee beans. Choc orange.
Body: Chocolate toffee malt drink. Vanilla toffee backing. A hop feel but little hop flavour. Pine needles and resin. Chocolate limes.
Finish: Big fudge and big chocolate. Choc orange. Hop prickle and popcorn hop feel. Light neutral hop flavour. Hop oils and resin. Chocolate limes.
Conclusion: This actually reminds me of Brewdog’s blond stout Abstrakt they did, number … AB 08 I think it was. Similar concept, only, oddly, this one – despite being a self declared IPA – actually feels closer to archiving the bright coloured yet imperial stout tasting goal. Albeit this is a roasted, hopped up stout, but , since hopped stouts is a familiar enough style these days that shouldn’t disqualify it.
Very big on the coffee, very big on the chocolate on the nose – The amazingly well expressed sheer clarity and complexity of the coffee on that first contact damn near blew my socks off. The level of toffee chocolate on first sip then burned those socks to ash so I could never put them on again. Wow.
Early on it is very stout, so much so that, while I enjoyed it, a small nagging part of me felt that it did not match its declared IPA name. As time passed that worry also passed. It was still very coffee, very stout, but the hop character rose, especially in the long lasting finish. It enters life as a stout, but it leaves as an IPA.
The only flaw then is that the flavours don’t really reflect the range of an IPA, just the hop character. Ok, it does make some concessions – the character of the chocolate can tend choc orange and choc lime, which I guess may be the hops. Generally though the flavour is stout, the feel is IPA.
A minor nitpick though. In concept, in how it matches its concept, and in general quality this is amazing. I can’t recommend it enough. A mind-blowing creation.
Background: Stone Brewing. IPA. Stone Brewing. IPA. I was fairly sure we were onto a good one here. This is an odd one though, an IPA (Or in this case IIPA) made with cocoa and coffee beans. Not your standard IPA addition. Anyway this was grabbed from Brewdog’s guest beer selection. Drunk while listening to Killswitch Engage: Alive or Just Breathing. It seemed a nice blend of melodic and heavy metal for the time