Well hello again avid readers. As I sit down today to write a review I do so with a smile (it’s rare that I don’t actually) I have one of the truly great Imperial (or Double) IPAs in my hands. Her name is Ruination, brewed by Stone, but there’s something special about this particular beauty. She has been ruining palates for ten years now and decided it was time to wear something bold like never before! The hop masters at Stone threw in twice as many hops for this version, and man does it show! Without further ado I present to you: Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA
Mmm, she wears a golden, maybe slightly amber color, with a very nice helping of head which immediately leaves lacing, and I mean immediately! I could make a joke about lacing, extra head, and immediacy right now… but for once I’m gonna take the high road. (Don’t get used to it) Man, she is looking extremely delicious right about now, and you can tell her strength by how opaque she is. I can’t even see my hand through the glass, it’s just a subtle movement that you see. With so many hops in this brew you’ve gotta have a lot of malt to balance it. Let’s see how she smells.
Ohhh yeah….dig those hops baby! Actually, I didn’t really say ohhhh yeah when I smelled it. It was more like oh-ho-ho-ho-hoooo. I felt guilty about the false ohhh, I had to come clean. Regardless of my false onamonapia I truly do dig those hops. Ultimately that’s the first thing I notice…it’s really quite difficult not to. It’s a pretty damn piney hop smell which I tend to prefer over the fruiter or citrus hop aromas, like I’m in the middle of a dense evergreen forest surrounded by beer. (That’s a reoccurring dream of mine actually) Some people tend to avoid the piney IPAs, but lately I’ve been really enjoying them. There’s really not much else to smell in this baby except those sweet, sweet hops. There is a malty hint to the end of the experience, but it’s a lone grain in a forest of pine. Well, let’s see if I can taste more than hops.
Man….(I really said that)…what a beer! It’s like three separate blasts of flavor. I guess you could say it’s like a party in my mouth and everyone’s invited…if you really had to say that. Frankly, I wouldn’t stoop to such levels as to state something so cliche’. Moving on…I gotta take this one slow to fully describe this all. Well let’s see…First there’s a definite sweetness which is overpowered pretty quickly, but then slides back into the mix towards the finish. Like in Matlock where they show you the villain at the beginning but then he disappears until the end.
But the sweetness is definitely not the main actor in this scene of a brew. No, the lead assuredly belongs to our good old friend Mr. Hop. He’s featured in so many IPAs already you can’t blame the casting director for picking such an experienced player. But that’s not to say he doesn’t let his supporting roles shine, no, there is quite a bit of balance to this scene. Ok…I’m done with the acting metaphors…moving on.
All fancy writing aside, this is a hoppy beast of a brew, and rightly so to pay homage to the normal Ruination. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s slightly more balanced and leaves a much less bitter finish. It’s amazing there’s 10.8% in this beauty but there’s so much hop flavor I can see how they hide it. But man…it’s pretty damn balanced for being so hoppy, the malts are right where they should be, providing a solid foundation for this massively hopped beer.
Overall, this is one of the best Double IPAs I’ve had. It’s not as balanced as Pliny but its much more bold and that says a lot IMAO. Sometimes you want an extra bold flavor… man does this deliver. If your a hop-head get one of these if you can, you won’t regret it!
Until next beer this is Brian G. signing out.