Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stillwater Stereo IPA

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1315) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 29, 2015
Stillwater is a gypsy brewer known for making eccentric recipes (though I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve tried thus far). It’s actually a bit odd to see a standard American-style IPA bearing the Stillwater Stereo IPA name as it’s pretty much exactly to spec. The only caveat? My bottle seems to be damaged or mishandled as there’s residue around the rim and it poured quite flat. I’m going to penalize it because of this, but otherwise I’d consider it a very good beer.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no decipherable freshness code. It cost $4.40 ($0.37 per ounce).

Appearance: Hazy shade of orange/gold. Pours to a small, white, soapy head that never completely dissipates but leaves little lacing.

Smell: Very grassy hop aroma; slightly spicy as well.

Taste: Orange in the first flavor I noticed. It’s actually on the sweeter, more dank side – like orange juice concentrate. A light pilsner malt base lays the foundation here, though I don’t really get any caramel as advertised. A nice crisp bitterness through the middle with a strong sensation of grassy hops on the backend. Additional citrus pith and other related flavors are noticeable as well. This beer doesn’t re-invent the IPA, but it certainly is a sold example of the style.

Drinkability: Since there seems to have been a bottling issue, it’s no surprise that Stillwater Stereo IPA has a noticeably flat and thin mouthfeel. It’s not completely tepid, but it’s lacking the bigger body it should have. I will say that it’s very smooth overall (and not just from the low carbonation). Some bitterness lingers on the tongue, but it’s easily tolerable. At 7% ABV it has a noticeable warmth to it, which is a tad annoying but doesn’t ruin the otherwise nice palette. 
Grade: 7/10

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