running out of things to say about Stone’s various IPAs. I don’t want
to sound like a mean-spirited cynic, but I am starting to find a lot of
these big double and imperial IPAs are starting to taste and drink
alike. In the case of their 19th Anniversary “Thunderstruck IPA,” which
was made with all Australian hops and an Australian base malt, it’s
eerily similar to the average West Coast-style IPA. Citrusy, flowery,
very bitter, and hefty – not that there’s anything wrong with that when
done correctly, of course.
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 8/5/15 and cost $8.99 ($0.41 per ounce).
Appearance: A pale shade of orange similar to peach or apricot skin.
Quite hazy, though some carbonation is visible. Pours to a large, white,
frothy head which retains and laces very well.
Smell: Citrus and flowers are prominent, though I detect a slight herbal scent as well. Alcohol seems to be apparent.
Taste: Reading the description of this beer, it says it’s brewed with a
bunch of Australian hop varietals that I’m not familiar with (the only
one I’ve heard of is Galaxy). Not surprisingly, when I taste the beer
these hops create for the same flavors the usual American varietals
offer: citrus, stone fruit, some candy flavors and a touch of herbal
taste on the finish. The base malt seems identical to traditional
two-row to me; I’m sure there’s plenty of specialty malt here as well
but it doesn’t have much distinctiveness. The bitterness is pretty
intense, which isn’t surprising considering the fact the beer is
measured at 95 IBUs. It’s a strong, assertive, dry bitterness from
beginning to end with just a touch of zesty spice rack seasoning on the
finish. The alcohol is a part of the palette as well; it’s strong enough
to affect it, but mild enough so as not to be completely distracting.
Drinkability: Any Stone beer that comes in a 22oz bottle I assume is not
going to be extremely quaffable. At 8.7% ABV, Stone 19th Anniversary
Thunderstruck IPA is pretty darn hefty. It’s not quite a sipper, as the
mouthfeel is rather intense. A big body to be sure, though not sticky
and chewy. There’s noticeable warmth from the booze, but just like the
taste – it’s easy to ignore. I could drink the bomber solo, but I
would’ve been content with a smaller serving.