Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stone R&R Coconut IPA

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (946) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 18, 2013
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. It had an "enjoy by" date of 10/23/13 and cost $8.99 ($0.41 per ounce).

Appearance: Nearly clear shade of light orange/dark gold. Plenty of visible carbonation. Forms an average-sized, eggshell, frothy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Massive aromas of grapefruit, orange, passion fruit, mango, peach, etc.

Taste: One of my biggest pet peeves is when a beer doesn’t deliver on its advertised niche. So I probably should be annoyed by Stone R&R Coconut IPA since it seems to have an overt lack of coconut character. That being said, the beer itself is exactly what I love in an IPA: big, flavorful, juicy-type hops that don’t fatigue my palate. This a well-balanced, highly drinkable and deliciously flavorful beer.

Just like the nose, the palette begins with the aforementioned combination of tropical and stone fruits. They’re sweet, but genuine and authentically-flavored. Nothing artificial or candy-like here. There’s a consistent bitterness throughout; thoguh slightly dry, but I would not consider the beer to be dry per se. Supposedly 90 IBUs, but this drinks like something much more tame (60-70ish), with no dank, syrupy or arid character. I searched high and low for the coconut but really couldn’t find it. Perhaps it accounts for the smooth texture, not unlike lactose sugar, but actual coconut flavor seems to be either missing or just obscured by the base palate (and is the only reason I wouldn’t rate it a full 10). Regardless, this is exactly the kind of strong IPA I love to drink and is something I’d buy all the time if it were available.

Drinkability: The numbers would indicate that this is a beastly brew, but in fact, Stone R&R Coconut IPA is remarkably drinkable. Bold in flavor for sure, but in no way aggressive. The mouthfeel is slightly crisp, but not spastic, and it finishes smooth with a highly tolerable aftertaste. It takes full advantage of its 7.7% ABV weight, but at no point does it feel obese. Congratulations to my friend Ryan on co-brewing the homebrew that lead to this nationally-distributed beer! 
Grade: 9/10