Monday, April 7, 2014

Stone Go To IPA

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1078) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 7, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. It had a best before date of 5/28/14 and cost $3.15 ($0.26).

Appearance: Lemon-skin yellow hue over a clear body with visible carbonation. Pours to a small, white, frothy head which laces and retains well.

Smell: Interesting combination of various hops, with notes of lemon, cat pee and cannabis.

Taste: Stone Brewing is known for their huge hoppy beers. Though they do make a light beer called “Levitation Ale,” it never really caught on. With their new “Go To IPA,” Stone seems to have re-invented the so-called “session IPA” style. This beer is exactly what it sets out to be: a light bodied brew with the hop taste and bitterness you want in an IPA.

Obviously, the hops are the stars of the show here. But this beer opts for hop flavor rather than raw bitterness. An interesting combination of hops as well. There’s notes of herbal or skunky/earthy character that gives it a saison-like spiciness. Lemon citrus comes through the middle, which is to be expecting considering which coast this comes from. Dry bitterness on the back end with a slightly starchy/pasty aftertaste, though it fades quickly. Overall, a genuinely flavorful beer that I’ll bet would fool a lot of judges in a blind tasting as it can hold its own with any other standard IPA.

Drinkability: The problem with session IPAs is they can often drink like blondes with lots of hops. Stone Go To IPA, though light in weight at only 4.5% ABV, is not a light-bodied beer. There’s genuine body to the brew. The mouthfeel is crisp, but not thin or watery. It’s refreshing for a moment as it crosses the tongue, though the bitterness does linger but it’s easily tolerable. I could see this being ideal for summer. The only problem: it’s not available in cans! 
Grade: 8/10

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