Grocery Store Frenzy (Stone Ruination IPA)

Hello! My first few reviews will focus on beer from my local grocery store. Total Wine & More is a fantastic establishment, but a lot of folks might never find a Sierra Nevada Hoptimum or Dogfish Head 120 at their local dispensary. So tonight we feature a selection from Albertson’s. Also, as this is my first review, I’m pretty much setting it up on a tee with beers I already enjoy.

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My purchase included Stone IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, Stone Arrogant Bastard and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. Now that may sound like a lot of beer, but before we crack the first bottle the wife-toll costs me the Arrogant Bastard. I’ll use the Ruination for my beer review christening so lets get critical!

Appearance – I don’t know it’s in a dark bottle and I’m not pouring it into a glass. Waste of a glass and another god damn dish to wash. Furthermore, when drinking with the wife it’s always prudent to consider weaponry. A glass makes for a decent projectile, but in a pinch I always prefer a blunt object. Fuck it, I’ll pour a shot for the dog – don’t get bent out of shape. Seriously, I realize alcohol is not great for dogs but at this point a little drink now and then is the only thing between her and a tragic crack cocaine relapse. It’s surprisingly yellow for the flavor I know it packs. Can’t really comment on head/lacing as it’s in a shot glass with an inch and a half diameter that my dog is about to annihilate.

Smell – Dank. Have you ever grown psychotropic mushrooms? (Of course you have) It’s similar. These words might not make sense together, but it is the odor of sweet decay. A rain forest floor after a sprinkle. Very pleasant and hoppy.

Taste – Big, persistent and balanced. This is, I think, one of the best big IPAs money can buy. I get a bit of carmel sweetness, which is weird considering the light color of the brew. The sweetness of the alcohol is present and really supurbly blended with the hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel – It’s not light or crispy, but it’s far from the syrup that some double IPAs become. Don’t misunderstand – I’m a glutton for punishment and some of those syrup hop bombs are my favorites. But the Ruination is right where it ought to be. A little bit of ‘weight’ in the mouth, without feeling like it’s still there after the gulp.

Overall – I mostly just wish it wasn’t $7 for the damn bomber. Ruination ranks a 49 out of 52 on the Gary Busey scale of awesomeness.

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