It’s finally that time of year, the time when Stone Brewing comes out with their seasonal release of Double Bastard. Such an amazing beer!! This year’s batch weighs in at a hefty 10.5% ABV. It’s got characteristics somewhat like that of a Quadrupel, although it’s considered a Strong Ale. Amazing in every way, so malty, yet so hoppy at the same time, with incredible complexity and an overload of deliciousness!! The body and feel are amazing!!
Stone is possibly America’s best overall brewery, although this is of course arguable. But if I had to choose one brand as the only brand I could ever have for the rest of my life on a desert island … you know the scenario, it would probably be Stone. A review of their regular offerings is a tour of the definition of great beer.
Their flagship Pale Ale is just amazing. Smoked porter is delicious. Levitation is the hoppiest session beer I’ve ever had, and I try to always have at least one bottle on hand at all times.
Stone’s IPAs really shine. Their standard India Pale Ale is THE beer that made me start liking IPAs, and realizing the amazing complexity of the style. Cali-Belgique is amazing too, an excellent example of the Belgian version of the IPA. But Ruination blows virtually every IPA out there completely out of the water, it’s just insanely good, and available year round.
Seasonally, I am always waiting for December, when Double Bastard comes out. I can’t stop raving about how good this incredible Strong Ale really is. I’ve got a bottle aging now, and I intend to open it on my last day in the army. Yeah!!
The Epic Vertical series has been interesting, at least the ones I’ve been able to try, which are the 09.09.09 and 10.10.10. Absolutely delicious. I could drink the 10.10.10 all the time! I will post a reply to this post when I get the 11.11.11 (which will be very soon). Maybe I’ll get to try some of the earlier Epic Vertical series, depending on the trade winds and whether they age well.
And the actual Brewery and Gardens… an absolute must see if you’re anywhere near San Diego. I recommend getting a hotel nearby (there are a couple reasonably priced, plenty nice ones), then taking a cab to and from. This made for a fantastic session with my long time friend Linda and myself! The gardens are great, the service is great, the takeout is great, the food is great, just do it already!!
Stone. I salute you.