Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review: Stone Ales at The Chimes!

File this one under:
Beer!




I went by The Chimes (check out a food review here...) last Friday with a couple of friends, and had both of the Stone beers offered up, the Levitation Ale and the Arrogant Bastard Ale.  Both were superb so I made it a point to have another one of each (okay, two more of the Arrogant Bastard) when I ended up back at The Chimes last night after another Pirates kickball victory. 

I started off with another of the Levitation Ale, a weaker beer at 4.4% abv but still strong on taste.  It came out in an imperial pint about to overflow (bonus points for the strong pour) with a dark copper color and a small white head.  Looks good, that's for sure.

There is a hint of malt and caramel but the aroma is dominated mostly by the hops.  For an amber ale it has a lot of hop pressence, but that's not a bad thing at all.  In fact, for a California brew, it's pretty much expected.  This one's real easy to drink, goes down smooth and the taste is a well balanced concoction of caramel, spices, hops, and a little fruit.  I wouldn't go for this one (or any Stone beer) if you don't like the hops, but if you do, give it a try!  And at only $4 for a pint, can't beat that deal.

After the Levitation Ale, I ordered up another Arrogant Bastard Ale.  I love the name, reminds me of more than one person I know for sure.  At 7.2% abv and considered a 'stong ale' this one is basically a Levitation Ale on steroids, and it probably Stone's best known brew.  The coloration is very similar, and the taste profile overlaps a good bit.  You're still going to find a lot of the malt and caramel nicely blended with hops.  The hops aren't quite as strong on the front of each sip as the Levitation, but it's still a hoppy beer compared to most down here.  And just like the Levitation, this one clocks in as a cheap pint, only $3.75.  (Okay, I might have the two mixed up... but one was $4 and the other was $3.75... so... close enough.)

Now I'm really looking forward to a few other Stone beers on tap or in bottles.  I know several of their other beers have made their way to South LA, so I guess it's time to do some hunting. Cheers guys!

Taste: A-/A
Value: A+/A+
Avail.: B/B  (Waiting to see if the bottles make it into our market, but I think the draft is here to stay.)









Three random thoughts... the opening of the NBA season is on right now, and it just amazes me how much I'd rather be watching the World Series; I made a beer run to Marcello's today and picked up a few that I'd never tried, reviews coming soon I'm sure; and Chuchill's in BR is having a scotch tasting tomorrow evening, can't wait!