It's been a while since I threw out a straight up simple beer review, so when I recently finally got to try the Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA from Stone Brewing (facebook - twitter) I thought it would be the perfect beer to mention here! Unlike my last two of my last three beer reviews, the Dogfish Head 120 Minute and the Bell's Hopslam, this Stone offering IS available in Louisiana! Like those two, though, the Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA is a palate destroying hop bomb of a beer.
It poured a copper color... no haze to it and a finger or so of off-white head. A very nice looking beer, and I went with the Spiegelau tulip for this one. In all reality I find that the tulip works with just about any beer style. It's nice to have a pilsner or hefeweizen glass on the shelf for those styles but the majority of the time a tulip will do the trick.
The aroma on this one is the first thing that really grabs your attention, and it's outstanding. A grapefruit and pine hop assault on the nose and a hint at things to come, the description of the beer reads that they amount of hops used in this beer versus the regular Ruination went from 2.5 pounds to 5 pounds per barrel. And two of those pounds of hops are in the dry-hop variety which is just killer on the nose, and leaves me excited about that first sip.
And that first sip does not disappoint, as the pine hops come out even more on top of a substantial caramel malt base. Even though the hops used were increased by 100% the malt used in this one only increased the alcohol content from 7.7% (regular Ruination) to 10.8% in this anniversary batch. The result is a definite hop-forward beer but it doesn't lose the malt required to finish out a beer this hoppy. They could have just doubled the amount of hops and left the grain bill alone, but the result would have probably been overly bitter and tough to swallow. Instead, Stone put together one hell of a nice beer, and I'll be looking forward to trying another bottle soon.
As I said before, this one is available in Baton Rouge, but it's a one-time release and it will go fast, so if you see it on the shelves and you like hoppy beers... do yourself a favor and get one. Or two. These aren't meant to be aged but I bet you'll want another.