Tomorrow’s the big 3-0. Knowing birthday night will be filled with libations, it seems appropriate to enjoy a rare, special beer – Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA – in thoughtful repose. An early gift of sorts. Late afternoon light beckons from the back patio. Time to enjoy both quickly fading summer and hops.
Outside is magical. Quiet, save for the wind through the trees and the occasional animal in the distance. Air is cool and wet, carrying smells of harvest and cooling barbecues. Glad to be out enjoying the sweet spot that is the tail-end of summer.
Although relaxed, energy and excitement flow. Tenth Anniversary Ruination looks as special on the outside as the brew inside. Stone’s printed-on-bottle designs are always neat, but this one’s fascinating. Crest emblazoned with mascot gargoyle looks menacing, while friendly, floral filigree neatly encapsulates this bottled monster.
Monstrous as ever, Tenth Anniversary Ruination reeks of citrusy, resinous hop goodness. So far impressed. The pour just floods the surrounding air with more dank-yet-sweet hop fragrance. Excited to taste is an understatement. Bottoms up.
Holy hop heaven, jackpot! Hit that statement with a bang, indeed. Tenth is insane. Bitter happens further back in the palate, but this brew bites at the tip of the tongue. Almost puckering in bitterness, great care is taken to keep nostrils open to taste all the way through the drink.
Sweet, fruity hoppiness easily bullies its way over the 10.8% ABV. Body is there but isn’t syrupy as happens with many other over-the-hop brews. Back of the mouth, body sparkles and fades cleanly, leaving a burst of lemony sweetness. But this beast ain’t done yet. Hop bitterness comes back for a final crescendo playing bass to the bright, citrusy soprano. Pleasant, biscuit malt plays the middle, rounding out the orchestra. What a finale.
Although enjoying summer’s end in relative silence is sublime, Ruination Tenth Anniversary calls for a faithful rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812, replete with cannons, as accompaniment. Bring out the fireworks – what a way to finish out decade three. A toast, raised to the next ten. Thank you, Stone.