Delicious IPA is a bit of an odd duck. It’s not exactly a gluten-free
beer, but rather a gluten-reduced one. Instead of being brewed from
sorghum, this was brewed as a normal beer with barley, but through the
use of an enzyme that both clarifies the body and reduces the final
gluten proteins. Whether this is completely safe for a person with
Celiac disease to drink I cannot say. However, for regular beer drinkers
like me it most definitely is. It drinks exactly how you’d expect a
high-end craft brew IPA to taste: huge hops notes, distinct malt
presence, and high drinkability.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It had an enjoy by date of 3/19/15 and was sent to me by the brewery (thanks, guys!).
Appearance: Crystal-clear beautiful golden/copper color; oddly no
carbonation visible. Pours to a large, white, frothy head which laces
and retains quite well.
Smell: Hop-forward nose of spicy/earthy notes as well as citrus pith.
Taste: I hate to be blunt, but this is an IPA from Stone friggin’
Brewing Company – how do you THINK it’s going to taste, honestly?
Hop-dominated? Check. Citrusy? Check. Spicy? Check. Malt presence, but
not to the point of being a truly balanced IPA? Check. This beer was
brewed with Calypso, El Dorado, Lemondrop and Nugget hops, so it’s
definitely a combination of raw bitterness and actual hop flavor. I
really enjoy that almost oregano or pesto-like taste from the first two
hops and the lemon candy flavor from the Lemondrop hops (I agree with
Mitch Steele – it DOES taste like Starbust candy). Even the malt imparts
some yellow lollipop flavor with a touch of vanilla on the finish.
While it’s not their best IPA, this is definitely the type of brew I
expect from Stone. A cynic might call it predictable but an optimist
might appreciate it for the great brew that it is.
Drinkability: It’s rare that I notice the alcohol in beers below 9% ABV
anymore, but in the case of Stone Delicious IPA it’s actually a vital
component. Though the mouthfeel is more of a medium body with a
consistent crispness, there’s a warmth from the alcohol from start to
finish. It does impart a hint of vanilla flavor, though it does give the
beer considerable weight. Proceed with caution.