Stone Enjoy by 09.05.2016 Unfiltered IPA by Stone brewing

14517466_10103586629487720_8438646594727963423_n 14519763_10103586629387920_1816045118082020789_n 14524383_10103586629377940_2050361353312363675_o 14500373_10103586629362970_3313936591322493138_oRating: 5.4/6

Stone Enjoy by 09.05.2016 Unfiltered IPA by Stone brewing is a 9.4% ABV Imperial India Pale Ale brewed.

Our all-important, hop-driven quest to deliver the most devastatingly fresh IPA on the planet facilitated a paradigm shift in 2012 with the launch of Stone Enjoy By IPA. Not only did we brew this beer with more than 10 different hops, we brewed it specifically NOT to last. For this version of Stone Enjoy By IPA, we thought: “We don’t always have to filter, so why should our beer?” By Skipping a step and letting this devastatingly fresh, golden-hued double IPA go unfiltered, the beer takes on a haze appearance and its peach and tropical fruit hop aromas are intensified. So though it may sound like it, this missed step was no misstep.

Acclaimed for its ground breakingly short shelf life, this intense double IPA brought forth a whole new concept of what constitutes “fresh”—guaranteeing fans the ultimate level of hoppiness. For Stone Enjoy By Tangerine IPA, we added the tangy zeal of a mandarin fruit’s juicy nectar. The result…freshness has never tasted as ripe for the picking as this does right now.


The review is late than when I first tried the beer which was back in August 6th 2016. Typically, I take notes on the beer as I try them and then compose my overall presentation at a later time. So as fresh as this beer was back when I tried it, it no longer is today according to Stone Freshness standards. Don’t worry though, there will be more releases of this one in the future. This release comes with the rise of an interesting trend in the East Coast where the “New England” or “Unfiltered” IPAs are setting a trend. Essentially those are the ones that are more tropical fruit forward than their west coast garlicky piney cousins. With the use of more modern hops and brewing processes, these beers have been like drinking juice. Let’s see how this one is, cheers!

Tropical fruits like papaya, mango, honey dew melon, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee, kiwi, citrus, grapefruit, floral, garlicky, oniony, herbal, piney and grassy hops biscuit bread, orange juice, honey, strawberry, cherry notes, oregano, stone fruit peaches, apricot, plums, kumquats, tangerines, citrus peels, grapefruit peels, lemon peel, starburst candy and sweetened condensed milk hints.

Rich dank hop flavors or citrus, grapefruit, floral, garlicky, oniony, herbal, piney and grassy hops, Rich tropical fruits like papaya, mango, honey dew melon, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee, coconut hints, stone fruit peaches, apricot, plums, kumquats, tangerines, citrus peels, grapefruit peels, lemon peel, starburst candy, sweetened condensed milk notes, honey, strawberry, cherry notes, oregano, basil, Italian herbs, orange juice, Mango tang, biscuit bread and kiwi hints.

Finishes with the dank oniony, floral, and garlicky hop notes tropical notes, stone fruits, honey, citrus and grapefruit peels linger. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink despite the ABV, Golden hazy medium body, silky, crisp, clean and refreshing mouth feel.

An exceptional brew. I am not sure if the appearance adds to the experience, but the flavors are definitely enhanced from the regular version. It seems more of the hop resins would appear keeping the beer more fulfilling than if it was filtered. This is true in homebrews as filtering processes for homebrew is difficult unless you are kegging but that yeast sediment will stay at the bottom of the bottle to carbonate. Professional brewers leaving the sediment to leave the beer cloud I feel actually makes it way better which in this case, it is what makes it damn delicious. Definitely pick it up when it comes out again.

Anime Corner:
Morrigan Aensland from Dark Stalkers Cosplaying as Cammy White from Street Fighter was used in this pairing as I have used Morrigan for past “Enjoy Bys.” However, this being a variant in terms of being unfiltered, I wanted to go with Morrigan being uncensored. Well, I need to keep it somewhat moderate so her being dressed up as Cammy exposes just a little more.


Beer #88 Ginormous by Gigantic brewing

12496410_10103031728927890_6820020971637519560_o 12573222_10103031730005730_1469326448666152459_n 12573913_10103031730639460_6423799836684526000_nRating: 4.85/5

Beer #88 Ginormous by Gigantic brewing is an 8.8% ABV Imperial IPA.

Developed in a secret testing facility deep in S.E. Portland Ginormous is powered by Seven Mighty Hops. His Mission is simple; To deliver a massive hop punch to those in need.


Mazinger!!!! Finally, an anime tribute beer. A tribute to the classic series Mazinger Z where the hero fights other aliens and robots using a super robot he commands from his ship that attaches to the head of the robot. Kinda how hops invade the brains of craftbeer lovers and make everyone hop heads. I see what ya did there Gigantic, Good Game… Good Game. Eitherway, I figure I bring it to the site being anime beer and all that. Let’s see what kind of beer this brew is exactly. Cheers!

Citrus, Oranges, caramel, toffee, tangerines, juicy fruit starburst, Grapefruit, piney, floral, citrus, herbal, grassy, hops, tropical hints of fruit kiwi, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee, guava, mango, biscuit bread, marzipan, cane sugar, wafflecone hints, stone fruit peach hints and brown sugar.

Grapefruit, piney, floral, citrus, herbal, grassy, hops, tangerines, juicy fruit starburst, tropical fruit notes of kiwi, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee, guava, mango, lemon grass, mandarin orange gummy bears, orange peel, raspberries, papaya, strawberries, honey, biscuit bread, marzipan, cane sugar, wafflecone hints, caramel, toffee, stone fruit peach hints and berry flavors.

Dank herbal, rich citrus, tangerines, coriander hints, tropical fruits, stone fruits and piney hop notes. No alcohol in the taste, Clear honey golden body, rich, crisp, refreshing and delicious mouthfeel with an easy to moderate drinkability.

A very good IPA leaning more toward the citrucy caramel side than the super grassy or super tropics. A very enjoyable double IPA that pays tribute to anime. It is awesome to know how many craftbrewers come from a range of passions ranging from video games, comics, anime, sports, music, fishing and other hobbies leading to infuse their passion with other things. Kinda like this website . Anyway, This one is very good and definitely recommended if you love IPAs and Anime.

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill and Mazinger Z were used in this pairing for the colors of the label but also the theme of the beer. Since this is a Mazinger beer, I wanted to with him but also since Ryuko has some colors to complement with Mazinger, I figured it was for the best. Ryuko’s design is based on old school anime, especially the hair. Frilly and psychedelic. Either way, a good tribute to the first cartoons of my childhood mixing with one of my favorite anime characters, Huzzah!!


Stone 18th Anniversary IPA by Stone Brewing

10552578_10101997012313280_1380475334386717132_n 10568790_10101997011699510_3105606976666758702_n 10624833_10101997011245420_9100824856778088106_nRating: 5.25/5

Stone 18th Anniversary IPA by Stone Brewing is an 8.5% ABV Golden Brown Double India Pale Ale.

The Hoppiest Golden-Brown IPA on Earth
The 18-year milestone is a significant one, affording us a brilliant apex from which to employ crystal clear hindsight. Looking back to who we were when we embarked on this humble yet noble journey to the craft the finest of ales, we see a company that, while much , much smaller, was every bit the sincere, bullish, determined entity it remains today. Since Day one, we’ve fostered grand-scale aspirations while stalwartly maintaining long-sightedness firmly fixed on a bevy of goals. From brews extending the idea and definition of what beer can be through their intensity , outlandishness, decadence and refinement; to venues and facilities harnessing and celebrating Earth’s elemental resources; to helping awaken collective consciousness to the great worth of authentically, consciously well-crafted artisanal items; to playing a major tole in bringing together and cementing the bonds of peers within our industry; we have accomplished a great many objectives. But we’re far from done!

As we compose the text for this celebratory beer—a golden-brown India pale ale dry-hopped exclusively and abundantly with El Dorado hops—we stand ready to leap from the precipice of all we know into a new era for our company, our beers and, most importantly, our fans. It’s one that will see us exploring new territory, both geographically and creatively, as we evolve from pacesetters for the American craft brewing movement to cross-planetary champions of the worldwide cause of craft, hoisting our banner to proclaim artisanal beers’ vast superiority over stripped-down, business-driven, industrialized, fizzy, yellow mediocrity. We thank you for shadowing us for the first 18 years of our journey, and welcome you to join us for next leg and all that follows.

Congratulations to Stone on their 18 year success making a difference and sticking it to the man (tasteless macro beers) and just basically making some really great beers over the years. While some beers have been more unique than others, Stone has bee one of those breweries that is a favorite of mine. Arrogant bastard was one of my first strong gate way ales that lead me to try stronger and stronger beers. While other craft beers like Fat Tire form New Belgium were my gateway, Stone showed me what true beers can really taste like when they are truly potent. Nevertheless, thanks for making the craft community a powerful force that it is today. You along with many others have paved the way to the Beerevolution and the consistent drive to find more rare, lost treasures of taste and experience. Cheers!!

Peaches in pilloncillo sugar cone, Tangerine candy, Cotton candy, mandarin herbal spices, flan hints, dulce de leche caramel, citrus, grassy, piney, floral, herbal and earthy hops, lemon peel, lemon heads,pecan pie, tropical fruits like dragon fruit, mango, stone fruits like apricots, chocolate hints, rock candy, mint, coffee notes, brown sugar and toffee hints.

Peaches in pilloncillo sugar cone, Citrus, grapefruit, grassy, floral, herbal, piney and mild earthy hops, dulce de leche caramel hints, cotton candy, pecan pie, hazelnut hints, Tangerine candy, mandarin herbal spice, orange, strawberry, rock candy, tropical fruits like mango, dragon fruit, passion fruit, honey dew melon, hints of papaya, pineapple, stone fruits like plum, apricot, clove spice, garlic, onion, lemon, rye bread, mint, flan hints, chocolate notes, lemon heads, honey, coffee, butterscotch hints, brown sugar hints and toffee hints.

Cotton candy, Tangerine and lemon candy, strawberry,hazelnut, citrus, grapefruit and lots of herbal dank notes linger. No alcohol in the aftertaste, easy to drink, crisp and refreshing, and light to medium golden-brown to amber body.

A perfectly delicious and unique IPA. Seems like stone keeps pushing the way toward IPA and hop monsters that truly can be unique in many aspects aside from just being bitter and Arrogant. This is still an IPA while still introducing some sweet unique flavors that are not just tropical or citrus caramel but more nutty, chocolatey, coffee and other fruity varieties. You definitively cannot age this and recommend getting this one for sure. I highly recommend it!

Anime Corner:
Yoshihime from Sengoku Saga by Yamada Rokkaku was used for the Stone 18th Anniversary since I wanted to show several aspects of stone. Let’s start with the label. You have the blue and grey colors that pair well with the the artwork. Second, the gargoyle has always been represented by either a devil like creature or demon but in this case not evil but mainly used to ward off bad flavors of beer. The third is the shogun/general attire. While I have shown Arrogant bastard as being a bushido code samurai and the fact that Stone is a revolutionary, I have given the general attire to many pictures in the past. If you look closely, Asmodeus and Astoroth have similar general attire. While although revealing, the sexyness is only a distraction because what lies within the sweetness is pretty deadly but awesome while taken responsibly of course. This Iron Maiden can be a formidable ally to fighting the war of great flavors but she can also be a double edge sword if taken lightly and not responsibly. Remember that….


Decadent (10th Anniversary Ale) by SKA Brewing

1969166_10101705267926370_751429334_n 69583_10101705267327570_1108879181_nRating: 5/5

Decadent (10th Anniversary Ale) by SKA Brewing is a 10% ABV Imperial India Pale Ale

Commercial Description: (
It’s a Celebration.

Imagine celebrating some huge, momentous occasion and then imagine drinking the liquid equivalent of that celebration every day.

Citrus aroma prevails. Mounds of fresh hops and caramel malts explode upon the palate. Originally produced to celebrate our tenth year in business, this Imperial IPA hides nothing of our tendency toward self-indulgent behavior.

Never have I seen an IPA with a wax covering. Most beers with wax I have seen involve some special reserve stuff. Damn, this must be special. Even more special, as my friend Aaron from hooked me up with this awesome brew exclusively from Durango Colorado. So basically, this review would not be here without his contribution and SKA Brewing for making this. This is my first SKA Brewing, and special release, beer for review and your reading pleasure.

Citrus, piney, grapefruit hops, honey, biscuit bread, caramel, floral notes, lavender hints, mango, passion fruit, pineapple hints, papaya, oranges, tangerine, prickly pears, toffee, peach notes and herbs.

Peach, caramel, oranges, piney, grassy, floral and grapefruit hops, mango, passion fruit, dragon fruit, prickly pear, oranges, tangerines, papaya, melon, pineapple, toffee, hints of rye, biscuit bread, herbal notes and coriander hints.

Caramel, peach, grapefruit, herbal, dragon fruit honey, piney and flora hop linger. No alcohol in the taste which makes this great. A sipping beer with a medium mouth feel and some refreshing aspect.

Damn, the best stuff I like from Imperial IPA, well, at least the tropical and caramel malted ones. This is perfect for those that like IPAs with a moderate amount of bite with some good hop profile and malty caramel support. The balance is simply great. If you are looking for a more herbal, garlicy, oniony type of IPA it has some minor elements to it. Still, Double IPAs are no joke. A 10% ABV awesome beer is no joke either. Great stuff from SKA and hope to try some of their other beers some day too. 

Anime Corner:
Stitches from Sengoku wars and Misaki Mei from the “Another” series were chosen to represent the Skeleton presenting himself and introducing himself to a beautiful lady bringing a bouquet of hop flowers. In this case, the artwork represents how much the skeleton cares for the lady and likewise as Stitches holds the the skeleton. This beer is a representative that love goes beyond the boundaries of death but also, good flavors like IPA that is past its prime can become a totally delicious beer. Not to say that this beer is not fresh, which it really is, but!! Good IPA sometimes end up becoming some good Barleywines. Remember that, beer is not about having the freshest as possible, but even if you don’t, having it now or a long time down the road, it means life is short, so enjoy the beer whenever you want regardless of time.

Endeavour IPA² (a.k.a Divine Reserve #11) by Saint Arnold Brewing of Texas

1922200_10101694364686550_1172912935_nRating: 5/5

Endeavour IPA² (a.k.a Divine Reserve #11) by Saint Arnold Brewing of Texas is a 8.9% ABV Double/Imperial India Pale Ale brewed with Simcoe, Centennial & Columbus hops.

The color is deep amber with a light, creamy head. The nose starts off with a touch of citrus but then turns decidedly into peaches. The taste starts off with creamy malt resulting from the pale 2 row and caramel malts and Saint Arnold yeast. The hop bitter starts low then builds to a crescendo, but always maintains a balance even in its big finish. The hop flavor continues to be peaches, an interesting manifestation of the Columbus, Simcoe and Centennial hops. This is the first Divine Reserve that we have filtered. This decision was made to make the hop flavors brighter, plus it would have been a bottling nightmare with all the hop bits in it. This beer is best enjoyed at 45° or even a little warmer. Though the recipe and style indicate this beer to be enjoyed fresh, we expect this beer to develop interestingly over the years.

Special thanks to my good friend Aaron of for proving me my second ever, Saint Arnold beer. This is truly a treat once again as this one is another fine example of a great brewery which we don’t get their beer here in California. The beer I had before from them was very awesome. So to that, I say cheers, thank you SA for making this and thank you Aaron for hooking up a brother Cheers!!

Caramel, toffee, mango, dragon fruit, candied oranges, lemon, citrus, honey, Grapefruit, piney and grassy hops, tangerine, melon, orange preserves and rye.

Grapefruit preserves, piney and grassy hops, tangerine, mango, lemon, orange peel, rye bread, biscuit bread, melon, honey, dragon fruit, caramel, pepper spice, toffee, pineapple, cherry, hop oils, gummy bears and orange marmalade on a toast.

Caramel, toffee, grapefruit preserves, tangerines and piney hops. No alcohol in the taste. Medium body and moderate drinkability.

Aside from the Tropical end of IPAs, my second love is the malty IPAs. This beer is great and it is a great example of the malty IPA variety. As a reserve series, this is something I would expect, higher ABV and more sweet delicious hop oils. Reminds me of 90 minute IPA almost. Very delicious IPA and definitely worth picking up, if you live in Texas that is. Hope maybe us Socal peeps will get it one day.

Anime Corner:
Original artwork by fangxian cuoluan is used in this pairing to represent the earth in the label of the beer. As the beer floats in space with its delicious flavors, it gazes at out existence to show the height of what delicious IPAs will go through. This beer reaches the height of IPA caramel and the rising sun so forth brings it delicious citrus and complexity. They say you can’t hear anything in space, but you can definitely taste it!!

New Crustacean Barleywineish Imperial IPA Sorta by Rogue brewing

537022_10101405105309660_1790197294_n 1236072_10101405104970340_1926772254_nRating: 4.75/5

New Crustacean Barleywineish Imperial IPA Sorta by Rogue brewing is a 10.8% ABV… umm well, they say it is Barleywine. You be the judge.

Dedicated to Crustaceans 
The name sort of says it all. John Maier, our Brewmaster, wanted to create a beer that defied traditional style definitions. The result was a remarkably hoppy yet balanced and malty ale that quickly became a cult favorite in our Newport brewpub. But what was it? It was not quite a barley wine and not quite a double or imperial IPA. Who really cares about putting beers into narrow categories? Great beer – just drink it and enjoy. 

8 ingredients: Weyermann & Bohemian Malts; Bravo, Ammarillo, Falconer’s Flight & Horizon Hops; Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast

This beer was supposed to be, well the beer that the infamous Beard Beer was supposed to be based out of ( Looks like they did this one with Pacman yeast instead. Well, this should be interesting, a beer that can’t make up it’s mind. Reminds me of the Arrogant Bastard but that one is just labeled as American Strong Ale.

Aromas are of caramel, honey, citrus, ripe orange juice with pulp, earthy and grapefruit hops, pineapple, banana, a bit tropical, toffee, salt bread, almost crab cake or crab meat like? (might be kidding about the crab, might be not)

The flavors are of ripe to matured blood oranges and cream, caramel, grapefruit hops, earthy hops, bananas, saltine cracker notes, pine, pineapple, lots of coconut as it warms up, citrus, toffee, molasses, licorice, crab and crab cake notes (has to be the matured bitter orange flavors, I swear!!), apricots, matured mango, herbs, spices and lemon candy

The aftertaste is like a orange and caramel sweetness followed by bitter grapefruit and earthy to hops. This beer hides alcohol well, it is a sipper though. Not as full bodied and syrupy mouth feel. 

Overall the beer is very good but indeed confusing. You want to say it is IPA tropical but the Barleywine side tells you NO! I love it because it is sweet and bitter but the more I think about crabs the more I think it taste like crabs. I like crabs. I love seafood. I love this beer. I think it would pair exceptionally. This beer reminds me of Surly SYX but not as harsh. I did a review a while back, that one was too harsh. This is what SYX should have been. Then again, I may have been hard on it as it may have needed some aging to bring up the rating. Maybe next time 

Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung (Ragnarok / Twilight of Gods) IPA

1235028_10101357010122800_818281747_nRating: 4.7/5

Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung (Ragnarok / Twilight of Gods) IPA is 9.5% ABV German Double India Pale Ale brewed mainly with German Hops and Pilsner malt

Life is never dull at Stone, but the last year has been one of the most eventful yet. We threw open the doors to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, our second decidedly eclectic brewery restaurant, installed in historic former Naval Training Center buildings (including their original mess hall). We outfitted it with a 10-barrel brewhouse, 40 taps serving Stone and guest beers, a huge outdoor garden area, and 650-plus seats. Hey, “small” is for other people. Well, come to think of it, we do have our own version of “small” in our brand-new-as-of-August craft beer-centric Stone bar and eatery in Terminal 2 of San Diego International Airport. At any rate, plan your trip accordingly. And we doubled the size and production capacity of our brewery, built the new Stone Packaging Hall and, oh yeah, found out we’re now the 10th largest craft brewing company in the country. We can hardly believe we fit that all into one paragraph, much less 12 months. Through all that growth, like hop bines rooted in fertile soil (see what we did there?), we kept our feet securely planted on terra firma, remembering that it’s all about the beer—we’d be nothing without it. And so, as we prepare to celebrate 17 years of straining the seams of the ale envelope, we again focus squarely on beer via our annual anniversary offering, while at the same time laying to waste long-held concepts of what German hops can and cannot do, as well as what the world has come to know about San Diego IPAs—thanks much in part to our family of beers.

Inspired by new experimental German hops, our brewing team is celebrating our 17ten Jahrestag by taking palates on an unconventional tour of Deutschland by way of Southern California. In doing so, we used a grain bill comprised exclusively of pilsner malts and German hops with crazy awesome names: Herkules, Hersbrucker, Magnum, Merkur, Opal, Smaragd & Strisselspalt. Dry-hopping with Sterling, a U.S. hop with Saaz parentage, lends a bit of familiarity, but be forewarned, this is a unique beer that takes the IPA—a style we’ve already pushed far beyond its previous limits over the years—to interesting new territory. Schumpeter chose economics; we chose beer. Our creative destruction has been aimed squarely at the previously-held-dear conventions of what beer can and should be. Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA is the latest in a long line of innovations, but nowhere near the last. Not by a long shot.

—Greg Koch & Steve Wagner, Co-Founders, Stone Brewing Co.

Cheers to another year of the Arrogant Bastards of Stone Brewing Co. This year they bring forth a German inspired IPA using mainly German ingredients such German hops and German Pilsner malts. As soon as I opened the beer I was not sure what to expect as when I think German I think sweet sweet banana Bavarian notes or deep caramel toffee from the doppel bocks. I don’t think I have ever had a bad beer from Germany really. Just like the Belgian beers, simply World Class

Aromas are of lemon grass, piney hops, citrus, grapefruit ,interesting tropical notes of banana, strawberry, peach notes, kiwis, mango, pineapple, light caramel, biscuit bread, slight peppery notes, light butterscotch, a bit of floral notes and mint.

The flavors are very hop forward with taste of Grapefruit, grassy, herbal and piney hops, caramel, biscuit bread, pineapple, apricot, peach, banana notes, hints strawberry, kiwi notes, mango, orange preserves or marmalade, piney, garlic, onion, Italian herbs, peppery spices, honey, toffee notes with a slight minty finish.

The aftertaste leaves hints of caramel and tropics but mainly bitter and herbal. A lot going on here to hide the alcohol. Making it refreshing and moderately drinkable

Overall better than last year but under the 15th.. What can I say, I love me that “Black IPA” complexity that hinted chocolate. I did not get the Bavarian Banana Caramel forward IPA I was thinking but that is actually fine. This is still a very good beer and is quite different from what I was expecting. In terms of IPAs, this covers almost every aspect I could think of in IPA flavors. The extent of hop varieties bring this beer to a deep complexity that would be like saying the opposite spectrum of let’s say a “super complex barrel aged quad” but mainly in terms of the hop spectrum. Meaning, of all the different types of complex flavors you can get from different amount of hops, you actually get that complexity here and way more. You got the whole range from piney, to tropical to herbal, to bready to malty, to fruity, to even the spicy and garlic side. An IPA Jack of all trades and more. Maybe something about the Pilsner malts helping it out 😛. Get this while you still can as I do not think they will release this again. It is a very awesome beer. Prost!

Café Racer 15 by Bear Republic

1010393_10101308962420780_820626949_n 643973_10101308962919780_1939417553_n 524311_10101308961263100_1438719848_nRating: 5.25/5

Café Racer 15 by Bear Republic is a 9.75% ABV Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone…

Just in time for IPA day, this version of their double IPA is supposed to be more west coast (more hoppier due to the greater variety of hops as stated above) than the Racer X which was more English tradition plus hops. This beer won the Great American Beer Festival Silver award in 2012.

Aromas are very hoppy and tropical. Grapefruit, mango, kiwi hints, citrus, prickly pear, pineapple, floral, dank, piney and grassy hops, lemon peel, biscuit bread, honey notes and caramel

The flavors are awesome as well. Lots of flowy, oily, dank, piney and floral hops, grapefruit, pineapple hints, mango, honey dew melon, kiwis, passion fruit, papaya, peach and apricot notes, dragon fruit, blood oranges, lemons, caramel and biscuit bread with tangy mandarin jelly

After taste lingers in the tropics. Almost like I just got drinking some type of hoppy bitter fruit punch. Kinda hard to find the alcohol in this one as well. It is also very refreshing, surprisingly smooth and well balanced both in the hop, malt and tropical aspects. 

Just like Racer X, definitely as close to Heady Topper, maybe closer. I honestly think the difference from the 2 IPAs is that Cafe 15 is way more tropical. Simply amazing and gets more tastier with every sip. Seems to be way better than Racer 5. I am sure this beer will soon be coveted, so if you find this savor it!! It really is an amazing IPA. Happy IPA day everyone 🙂

Knuckle Sandwich by Bootleggers

1515_10101218238961320_968552110_n969054_10101218225313670_1442045989_n 993771_10101218224001300_1008180281_n 935922_10101218225982330_1294493020_n972142_10101218224969360_1763847830_nRating: 5/5

Knuckle Sandwich by Bootleggers is a 10%ABV World Class Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

This is a beer that truly lives up to its name! Brewed with copious amounts of North American hops, this Double IPA has a colossal hop profile and an aggressive aroma. Helping round out the floral and citrus notes is a huge malt backbone that provides a great mouth feel to this heavyweight hitter.

First had this at King’ Row Gastropub in Pasadena California. Back then I wasn’t aware how great and very sought after this beer was. It is brewed locally here in Fullerton California but even the demand for this beer is insane. By the time I wanted a bottle to review, it was sold out pretty much everywhere. I went to the local liquor store in the street where I grew up since I knew back then they had some nice beers but had not been back there since 2011. To my surprise, there it was, the Elusive Knuckle Sandwich. Even so, there was not many left and I am sure they would be gone soon enough. Didn’t hesitate to get this one to be able to do a good review and bring this one forth in another one of my Art and Beer pairings.

Aromas are very tropical and grassy. Grassy, piney, citrus, floral and grapefruit hops, pineapple, mango, papaya, kumquats, lychees, peaches, guavas, dragon fruit, melon, a scent of plum, orange, lemon, biscuit bread, caramel, pepper notes and mint.

The Flavors are of Caramel, sweet bread, vanilla, rich grassy, herbal, piney and chewy hops, followed by very nice tropics of oranges, pineapple, mango, plum notes, cherry notes, papaya, kumquats, lychees, peaches, dragon fruit, apricots, guavas, very mild banana notes and honey dew melon. The aftertaste lingers with a lot of tropics and herbal hops. The alcohol is somewhat hidden does not detract from the beer’s flavor. In fact, it adds like a honey flavor as well. It is quite balanced for sure.

This beer is essentially what hop head dreams are made it. This beer does not disappoint and it is as awesome as the last time I remember it even though I had it fresher back in March. It a fist full of awesome IPA goodness. Dare I call this one, Heady Topper the 2nd? Yes, I just did. The balance is phenomenal and if you are mainly into more tropical IPAs, then this one is to try. I myself love Tropical IPAs as well as Super hop bitter ones as well. This would be in my top list of awesome Double IPAs along with Ruination, Pliny the Elder, Double Jack, Hop Stoopid, Hangar 24’s Double IPA and others I have reviewed so far. A great example in great west coast double IPAs


Ruby created by DawnBest


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

69490_10101119931405450_1421400816_n 10200_10101119931430400_386104468_nRating: 5.5/5

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…

Rampant by New Belgium brewing

24295_10101103619175290_1126130040_nRating: 3.8/5

Rampant by New Belgium brewing is an 8.5%ABV Double India Pale Ale

It starts to take over. That craving for hops. The hoppier the happier. The happier the higher the IBU. The higher the IBU the higher the ABV. The larger the ABV the more we’re going to have to keep an eye on this Rampant Imperial IPA proliferating with heavy peach notes, herbal sweetness and aromatic complexity.

Upon opening this beer, out came out the nice hoppy grassy fragrances with essence of tropical fruits like a peach or a mango. There was also some herbal, floral and almost like a basil or Italian spice coming out too. The flavors were more grassy and piney but there was an absence of strong tropical fruits. Peach and mango are very slight. It has some notes of citrus and some grapefruit. However, I think with this beer, it’s main focus is the hops. There are some herbal, spicy, flowery and plant like flavors. Almost like a green tea bitterness with honey and lemon. I can sense some lemon grass as well. This one ends pretty dry and leaves more of a grassy herbal and plant after taste. It is not a bad beer. The fragrance sure was nice with tropics thought. In fact it is the kind of hoppy beer that leans not into the realm of tropical fruits in terms of flavor but more into the deep zone of herbal, spicy and flowery hops. If you enjoy IPAs and are into mainly hop side without tropics, then give this one a shot and let me know what you think.

Double Dragonfly by Upland Brewing

Rating: 4.45/5

Double Dragonfly by Upland Brewing is a 9.1%AV Imperial India Pale Ale.

We took our award-winning Dragonfly IPA and cranked up the malt and hops, but managed to hold onto the the perfect balance our Dragonfly is known for. The result is a brew with a very powerful hop profile, matching malt character, and an enticing floral nose.

A very very elusive beer. I love IPAs but what really had me hooked on a mission to finding this beer is the label. It is very good artwork, mysterious, dark, lol but at the same time may be quite revealing. Yes that is 2 dragonflies….lol mating probably. Anyways, on to the beer review. There is is this aroma of flowers and honey that come along with the piney, grapefruit and grassy scent that comes natural to IPAs and DIPAs alike. I have reviewed many IPAs and always try to look for what is unique about each one. While some may taste similar or even similar in complexity, some may have certain rooted notes that are more recognizable or stronger than others. For this beer, it is the flowery notes more than tropical or hoppy bitter. Even the appearance is more crimson than some of the other IPAs I have had. The flavors range from cotton candy, caramel, honey, rose hips, hibiscus, cherry, grapefruit, peach, grassy and piney hops, tangerine citrus, herbs, notes of biscuit bread and strawberry jam. The bitterness gives way to the flavors but you can still tell it is an IPA. The alcohol comes as the beer becomes warmer but does not detract from the beer flavors. A pleasant and sweet IPA. Not too bitter, not too tropical in flavors. Not quite a Saison either. Yet, if you can find this give it a try. Unless you like more tropical and bitter beers, it may not be what you are looking for. Regardless, it was a win for me. One that took me almost a year to find :D.

Lake Eerie Monster by Great lakes

Rating: 4.25/5 

Lake Eerie Monster by Great lakes brewing is a 9.10% Imperial IPA. This DIPA’s concentration is mainly on caramel and vanilla sweetness. The pine, grassy and hop taste is not overwhelming so it is easy to drink. The floral and tropical fruit flavors seems to bleed through over the bitterness but the caramel and vanilla remain dominant. Mango, orange, pineapple and cane flavors are in there. It almost feels like chewing on sweet cane pulp with a mix of grapefruit and pine. This is quite the delicious beer. Hard as hell to find but certainly worth picking up. Sweet IPA lovers will like this one. It definitely masks the alcohol well….almost too well >.>…hmm…oh well. Very delicious and refreshing. All natural. Too bad they don’t sell it close by. Unless you find the special Magus shop of beers. Yes, finding beers is like finding treasure. Oh wait that’s right, I mentioned the whole beer as a lost treasure in my previous reviews. Well, just like the label on this beer saying there’s an American Lochness monster in Lake Eerie, so too it as a representative of true treasure in beer form.