RuinTen a.k.a Ruination Tenth Anniversary (re-release) by Stone Brewing

954807_10101234318358080_479498419_n 1010280_10101234320199390_590801359_nRating: 5.25/5 *A triumphant fresh return to the golden standard.

RuinTen a.k.a Ruination Tenth Anniversary (re-release) by Stone Brewing is 10.8% ABV 110 IBU World Class Double India Pale Ale

Back in 2002, we first released out notoriously mega-hopped Double IPA, Stone Ruination PA, and in 2012 we celebrated its 10th anniversary with the release of a very special version that was even bigger and incredibly, even hoppier than the original. If Stone Ruination IPA is “A Liquid Poem to the Glory of the Hop,” then Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA was a “Stage dive into a mosh pit of hops.” Luckily for us, our fans love loud and aggressive brews, specifically when copious amounts of humulus lupulus are involved. The original release of this beer was so instantly beloved by those who dared try it [particularly us] that there was no way we could relegate in one-hit-wonder status. You are holding in your hands a veritable hop monster. We dropped the word “Tenth” but the decidedly indelicate recipe is the same as the one first unleashed in 2012. This belligerently delicious ale has the substantial malt backbone needed to stand up to the whopping five pounds of hops packed into each barrel. If all the hyperbole hasn’t frightened you away by now, we know you’ll love this audacious gem of hoppy splendor just as much as we do. Crank it up!

The IPA Gold standard is back with a vengeance. One release was not awesome enough. The second is enough to cause havoc with irreparable damage to the palette and I am sure you will love it. AS I remember correctly from last years beer, this not only was so bitter that it lingered, it actually started burning. Maybe not like a chile heat, but like a real hop plant bitter trip to Hell.

Aromas are just like I remember, a lot of hoppy aromas ranging from grassy, pine needles, grapefruit, herbal, dank, hop oil, tropics to the brim like mango, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, dragon fruit, citrus, lemon peel, oranges, tangerines and peaches. The flavor are in your face bitter with straight burning hop character, pine needles, dank hop oils, grapefruit, lemon grass, herbs and slight floral notes, some nice biscuit and caramel along with the in between tropics of the citrus, tangerine, peach, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, dragon fruit, kiwis, papaya, lychees and some nice peppery notes. The After taste just lingers in Hopmaterasu ([Unquenshable Black Flames]Naruto reference) burning to the untrained palette. However, if you are willing to continue drinking, on top of those green hellish flames will lie some nice tropical residue to keep you from fading into the oblivion (Leave that part to the alcohol  ). Very nice thing those hops do , ain’t that sweet of them. This beer is awesome. It is so awesome that I think it makes it the prime reason why they may only be able to release it one more time. Maybe even release it every year if not. I think that if they were to release it as a yearly, it may or may not detract from the original Ruination. However, it if they did do that, it would be nice to have a variety or Ruination to choose from. You know, Hard mode versus Expert mode sort of thing. Get this beer while you still can. Stop Reading this and go buy this beer before it is gone. As for the Brewery–exclusive-Camp-out-all-night-Black-Friday-style-for-only-enjoy-3-pints-Pliny-the-Younger…. eat it!!!!!!

Still need more convincing about the greatness of this beer? Read my past review 

2012 Original Review:

Threes Anniversary Ale by Eagle Rock Brewing

!294866_10101174691181420_2069728603_nRating: 5/5

Threes Anniversary Ale by Eagle Rock Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Rye American Strong Ale.

“Threes was brewed to commemorate our 3-year anniversary and, as good things come in threes, it embodies all the great things that have happened to us in the past 3 years. Comforting aromas of toasted bread and jasmine complement the peachy esters, toasted marshmallows and alcohol warmth on the palate. A substantial hop presence and dry finish balance out this delicious full-bodied strong rye ale. Cheers to an amazing 3 years, and many more to come!

Eagle Rock is one of the local breweries in my town of Los Angeles California. I have only had a couple of their beers, but when I saw they had an anniversary ale out, I had to see what was up.

The aromas of this beer are of caramel, rye toast bread toffee, biscuit, marshmallow, brown sugar, and a faint fruitiness. The flavors of this beer are of lots of toffee, caramel, rye toasted bread, slight roasty bitterness, barley wine notes, citrus, grapefruit, floral and piney hop notes, chocolate and coffee notes, brown sugar, hints crème brulee, butter scotch, honey and biscuits, rye whiskey notes and maple. This beer is nicely balanced having some sweet hop flavors along with more sweeter caramel and rye flavors. It goes down nice and smooth too. The level of booziness is minimal to moderate but nothing detracting from the the overall beer. This beer really hits a lot of nice sweet notes. Definitely a lot of rye and toffee in this beer. Eagle Rock is one of my local breweries here in LA so I think I will be trying even more of their stuff soon. Their Jubilee was an amazing beer and this one is just as awesome as this beer.

Columbus IPA by Hangar 24

603766_10101160624665830_1031701729_nRating: 3.9/5

Columbus IPA by Hangar 24 is a 7% American IPA brewed with Columbus Hops

Bitter and bold. This single hop American style IPA features 100 percent Columbus Hops for an intense citrus, floral and spicy aroma and flavor. Five different malts form the rich backbone that balances the hops’ 77 IBUs. The resinous mouthfeel is followed by a clean, dry hopped finish that refreshes and satisfies.

I’ve tried Hangar 24’s Double IPA but have never tried their regular IPA. So I got this one to give it a go. The aromas are definitely grassy, piney, floral and citrusy. Not tropical but definitely citrusy and grassy. The flavors are not as intense as they are with the double IPA but it is actually more towards the grassy, floral and herbal type of hop flavors. The citrus, orange and lemon peel are there but come later as you keep trying it. It is not as grapefruit bitter but more grassy bitter but crisp. The caramel and biscuit is there but subtle. Overall I think it is a pretty IPA. I have tried other worst ones and with this one I did not find nothing too bad, in fact I found some pretty dead on awesome stuff however, it is just that I like more tropics in my IPA is all :P. For those that love grassy, piney and more toward herbal or floral style of IPA, then this one is definitely a beer you may enjoy. West Coast awesome style here. Easy to find her in California. The place down the street has this. In fact, if it’s the only IPA I can find, then I will be getting this one most of the time now, unless I get Arrogant Bastard 😉

Quingenti Millilitre Series Stone Ruination IPA (Aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels) 2013 Series Batch #6

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Quingenti Millilitre Series Stone Ruination IPA (Aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels) 2013 Series Batch #6 is a 7.8%ABV Imperial India Pale Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels

Brewed September 17th, 2011
Our “Liquid poem to the glory of the hop,” Stone Ruination IPA has been assaulting palates for 11 years with over 100 IBUs of deliciously intense bitterness and vibrant hop flavors

In the mash
Pale & Crystal malt

In the boil 
Columbus Hops

In the whirlpool
Columbus hops

Unfiltered and aged
16 months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

IBUs 59 ABV: 7.8% 
Bottled February 2013 

Cellar Notes: Intense hop flavors still shine brightly despite the lengthy aging time. The barrels lend a pleasantly astringent aftertaste with plentiful walnut and almond tones. Despite an expected loss of IBUs from aging, a robust hop bitterness lingers to meld effortlessly with the oak tannins.

I first had the honer to try this with my friend Rich at the Stone Company Store in Pasadena California. We were able to pour a bottle at the cafe area to taste it. It was then that I realize this was something very special. Even if it was 500ml, which I wish they sold if for less than what I got this for or atleast had it on tap, regardless it was good, unique and quite the different Gold Ruination. I have tried the Gold IPA standard, Ruination IPA and the 10th Ruination IPA before and I realize that these beers are very good so I wanted to see how epic this beer was true to the original. Upon opening the beer, there was an aggressive yet tamed rush of grassy, piney, grapefruit hops which I am used to but then they were immediately followed by bourbon whiskey, vanilla, citrus, caramel, flan, herbs, wine grapes, flowers, honey, almost like an expensive wine cheese, apples, raspberries, peach, mango, oak, almost like a champagne and tamarind. The flavors are of rich oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, non-over-powering whiskey, expensive wine cheese, rich grassy and piney bitterness, grapefruit, coconuts, citrus, mango, tangerines, kumquats, Italian herbs, spices, Sweetened condensed milk, maple, crème brulee, flan, burnt sugar, hazelnut nectar, walnuts, pecan pie, mint, flowers, peppercorns, tamarind, raspberries, champagne, bready banana and vanilla cake. As the beer gets warmer that is where you start to get more like a berry taste. While yes it is not the the usual IPA that is best drunk fresh, this is is like taking that same Epic Gold standard and equipping it with golden armor ready to take on years of aging. Almost like sending a man to the moon, this beer explores for the first time (at least to my knowledge) the idea that India Pale Ales CAN be aged… give the right preparation… Go on golden hop warrior and evolve into a heavenly knight of justice ready to strike all the evil beers with less flavors… YES!!!! Just remember, I came into this beer with a very open mind considering the IPA loss vs the Bourbon gain. So if you go into this believing in pure IPA, it may not fit you really. Many IPA lovers might find this one a bit not right but those that love both IPAs and Bourbon beers will ascend into a new realm of nirvana. Enjoy this one if you find it…

Nugget Nectar by Tröegs Brewing

480270_10101095687470490_1642446342_n 388897_10101095687934560_144207266_nRating: 5.45/5

Nugget Nectar by Tröegs Brewing is a 7.5%ABV Imperial Amber/ Red Ale. Considered by many, the best Amber ale in the world

Squeeze those hops for all they’re worth and prepare to pucker up: Tröegs’ newest single batch brew, Nugget Nectar Ale, will take hopheads to nirvana with a heady collection of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops. Starting with the same base ingredients of our flagship HopBack Amber Ale, Nugget Nectar intensifies the malt and hop flavors to create an explosive hop experience.

Almost missed out on this piece of gold. If you are still looking for it, Witty’s wine ( still has some. This is not a west coast beer but something that comes close to this is the Ale smith Bloody Valentine and the Evil Dead Red. The aromas are very nice. Cherries, grassy hops, nutty walnuts, rich caramel, toffee, honey, peaches, mango, grapefruit, papaya, . The flavors are reminiscent of the 120 minute IPA with is extremely rich maple and honey flavor with bleeding piney, grassy and grapefruit flavors. Although this is not 18% ABV so it goes beyond. While it does not have the focus of rich cherry and fruit punch flavor like that of the Bloody Valentine, it’s emphasis on almost barley wine like aspect with tropical fruits like mango, papaya, peaches, apricots, dragon fruit almost coconut flavor, pecan pie, vanilla in walnuts, citrus, orange juice, Christmas tree, a very minor scotch note, biscuit bread with grapefruit marmalade and sweet rich pineapples. This was just.. epic!!.. The crazier part is that it has so much flavors that you would expect from a high ABV beer but lowered into the realms of refreshing and crisp drink ability. I can only describe it as taking all the flavors you would get from like lets say for example, a beer like Chocolate rain with its strong strong flavors and super high ABV then just removing almost all the alcohol but still maintaining an extremely rich flavor profile of complexity. The balance is awesome as well. I love the way Bloody Valentine tasted but this is just super amazing. Hard to find around in the West coast but if you can find it… DO NOT MISS OUT. Amber ale lover’s dream…

Alaskan Imperial Red by Alaskan Brewing

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Alaskan Imperial Red is Alaskan Brewing Limited Edition Pilot Series Imperial Red Ale at 8.5% ABV.

A full-bodied deep mahogany ale with ruby red highlights. Citrus notes of chamomile, grapefruit and Meyer lemon brighten the aroma. A zesty array of hop flavors from mango and bitter orange to green mint and hibiscus meld with the nutty, roasted caramel and subtle dried fruit flavors of the complex malt profile to create a surprisingly fresh, yet warming example of the style.

Aromas are of sweet caramel, rich grassy, piney and grapefruit hops, biscuit bread, peach, mango, pineapple, cherry juice and almond. The taste is truly where this beer outshines the aroma. The flavors are of Toffee, caramel, grapefruit, mango, citrus, cherries, honey biscuit bread, grassy and piney hops, chocolate, biscuit, tropical flavors like pineapple, peaches and melon as well as some nutty pecan and almond notes near the end. The aftertaste continues on with like a barleywine or cherry rye bread with only some minor bitterness that does not linger for too long and stays constantly sweet . The great thing about this beer is that it plays very strong in terms of the sweet and bitter flavors but combining both to make a very nice balance. So much balance and great flavor that each side compliments each other rather than detract. You get strong sweet and your tropical hoppy bitterness as well. Amber ales are usually not my style but ambers like these sure as hell make me rethink the style as more to them than what others may see them as. Amber lovers will love this one.

Tower 20 IIPA by Karl Strauss

Rating: 4.25/5

Tower 20 IIPA by Karl Strauss is a 9.5% ABV Imperial India Pale Ale. Had this one a couple times but never really sat down to review it. Had this for my friend Carlos Bachelor party as well. Our friend Eric brought it in a growler and even though some of my friends don’t like IPAs, this was definitely Gold


The saying “less is more” doesn’t apply to West Coast IPA’s. Less is a glass half empty and Tower 20 is a full glass of unrivaled hop character – a Double IPA where more is more. In brewing this hoppy offering, we took the best of Tower 10 IPA and added more. An abundance of high-alpha Centennial hops give T20 its resinous pine-like bitterness, while Oregon-grown Crystals and Chinooks lend zesty grapefruit and tangerine hop flavors. Don’t hoard this hop bomb, drink it fresh and we’ll brew more. 
So like other IPAs,DIPAS/IIPAS, that I have reviewed in the past, each with their own emphasis on certain flavors than others. This IIPA focus is more on tropical fruity flavors and piney hoppy bitterness. The fragrance is like a honey and tangerine marmalade smell. Some grapefruit and mango aromas. Possibly some Lime and Barley wine aromas as well. The flavors are of candy orange, tangerine, mango, peach, grapefruit, pineapple, caramel, toffee, biscuit bread and vanilla. The hoppy, pine and grassy bitterness is not as abundant. Then again I don’t know how long it has been on the shelf. Regardless, it bleeds of tropical IPA awesomeness but not too bitter. SO…for people that do not like IPAs, this might be something that you will like.