Category Archives: Stone Brewing Co.

Stone 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 7.5%
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Other Notes: 2016 rerelease. 40 IBUs. Hops – Centennial. Special ingredients – Sweet orange peel, Curaçao orange peel, coriander & black pepper

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale is quite easily the rarest and most highly sought-after beer we have ever brewed – with winning bids at one time surpassing $1,200 on eBay. It was so rare that even at the time of its release our own team could barely get their hands on the first bottle of this millennium-inspired, sequentially released series. We produced just 300 cases and one of our delivery drivers at the time dropped and broke one (if calc’d @ $1,200/bottle, that was a $14,400 case!). This bumped-up, Stone-ized version of a Belgian witbier was our first Belgian-inspired beer. Featuring orange peel, wheat, coriander and black pepper, it was our first beer brewed with ingredients beyond the four beer-making essentials of malt, hops, water & yeast. The first time in which co-founder and original Brewmaster Steve Wagner gave former Head Brewer Lee Chase free rein. And, to really pile on the firsts, it was the first time a brewery created a series of different beers designed to be enjoyed together in an epic eleven-part vertical tasting so far into the future (10 years, to be exact…originally sometime after 12.12.12). The cache was more than just in the numbers. Boasting impressive high notes of citrus, spicy hops and honey-like character, Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale was a bright, if less-than-obvious, way to begin this eleven-movement symphony of flavor. Today, while it’s impossible for all but the most uber collector to experience the original, those who desire can once again taste what was the start of something truly epic.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.89
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.8

Intro: A 22 fl. oz. bomber, bottled on 22nd July 2016. Poured into a Holy Mountain tulip glass.
Appearance: A clear golden colour with a big three finger white head that had decent retention and left lots of nice sticky lacing.
Aroma: Orange peel, clove, banana, coriander, orange creamsicle, Belgian yeast, with some light funk.
Taste: Orange creamsicle, orange peel, clove, banana, coriander, Belgian yeast and a light but spicy pepper finish.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: I enjoyed the first glass and could see how it was ground breaking in 2002, but despite this, a whole bomber by myself might just have been a bit too much.

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Stone Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure Double IPA

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 8.9%
Style: American Double IPA
Other Notes: Limited. Double IPA w/ Loral & Dr. Rudi

Brewer Description: (from bottle) A pairing like this was bound to happen. Loral hops were released in 2016 and quickly became one of our favorite new varieties. It was highlighted in our Stone Hop Revolver single hop IPA series, and was the featured hop in our hugely popular 2017 summer seasonal beer: Stone Ghost Hammer IPA. Then there’s Dr. Rudi, which has been around since 1976. Originally known as Super Alpha, this hop brings classic resin and piney notes, which pair it perfectly with the floral, citrusy aroma of Loral. Traditionalist GenX meets adventurous Millennial. What do they talk about? Nothing. Hops don’t talk. Together however, they speak. It’s apparent that a pairing like this was bound to happen. At Stone, we call it inevitable.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.86
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: A 22 fl. oz. bomber with an enjoy by date of 11th April 2018. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: A nice clear copper amber colour with a three finger off white head that had great retention and left lots of nice sticky lacing.
Aroma: Mandarin, orange peel, grapefruit rind, pine, floral, herbal and some very light caramel.
Taste: Moderate bitterness, grapefruit, citrus rind and peel, pine resin, herbal with hints of sweetness from caramel malt and a touch of booze.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warming.
Overall: I’m generally not a huge fan of floral and herbal beers, but this was still quite good as it was balanced by the nice citrusy fruitiness and lasting bitterness.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout Chai-Spiced

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 10.6%
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Other Notes: 2015 odd year release. Ale with tea and spices added

Brewer Description: (from bottle) As it stands, the classic version of Stone Imperial Russian Stout is deep, dark , rich, roasty and perhaps even a bit sinful. The “Odd Beers for Odd Years” part of the journey means the coming of each odd-numbered year provides the opportunity to take this traditional beer to new and mysterious places, embarking on an exploratory odyssey enabled by strikingly flavorful elements applied to a lovely onyx canvas. This beer, the latest “Odd” transubstantiation, takes inspiration straight from the spice aisle, incorporating an array of ingredients assembled to emulate the flavors of authentic chai tea. Cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, a dash of black pepper and a dose of black tea combine with Stone Imperial Russian Stout’s incumbent flavors to take it deep into exotic, previously unfathomed territory. Expect a touch of earthiness in combination with a warm, tantalizing spiciness. As a one-time brew with enduring character, Stone CHAI-SPICED Imperial Russian Stout is crafted to be contemplated fresh or cellared under proper conditions for many years so that it may live on not only in one’s memory, but on his or her taste buds as well.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.84
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: A 22 fl. oz. bomber, 2015 odd year release, bottled on 23rd March 2015. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Black in colour with a thin half finger brown head that dissipated quickly to a ring around the glass, while leaving some sparse lacing.
Aroma: Strong cinnamon and cardamom with roasted malts, cocoa and chocolate in the background. There were also hints of ginger and clove.
Taste: Follows the aroma quite closely with lots of spices, cinnamon and cardamom, spicy ginger and clove with hints of roastiness, cocoa and chocolate in the background.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.
Overall: Almost three years on, and the “Chai” is still dominating the aroma and taste. Personally I would say it was still a bit too dominating while the nice flavours of the base Imperial Russian Stout were overpowered.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 10.8%
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Other Notes: 2016 release. 65 IBUs. Hops – Warrior

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Stone Imperial Russian Stout is so thick, rich and, well, sinful, you might feel certain that you will be doomed to the fiery pits just for thinking about taking a sip. It almost seems evil. Rest assured, however, that our ever-faithful gargoyle has done his job well by successfully warding off all evil spirits. In fact, we guarantee that no sin was committed in the production of this seemingly pernicious brew. We will admit to using copious doses of decadence in creating the viscous beauty you have before you, but no actual sin.., you’ll have to add that on your own. Brewed in the authentic, historical style of an imperial Russian stout, this beer is massive. Intensely aromatic (notes of anise, black currants, coffee, roastiness and alcohol) and heavy on the palate, this brew goes where few can-and fewer dare even try. The style originated from Czarist Russia’s demand for ever-thicker English stouts. Expect our version of this mysterious brew to pour like Siberian crude and taste even heavier!

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.23
My ratebeer.com rating: 4

Intro: A 22 fl. oz. bomber, 2016 release, bottled on 23rd March 2016. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Black in colour with a just under one finger brown head that dissipated fairly quickly to a ring around the glass while leaving only sparse lacing.
Aroma: Roasted malts, chocolate and coffee with some sweet dark fruit, plum, black currant and cherries.
Taste: Similar to the aroma with roasted malts, lightly burnt smokiness, dark chocolate and coffee, followed by dark fruit sweetness of plum and prunes.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, full bodied with light carbonation.
Overall: Great aroma and nice taste at the beginning, but perhaps feeling that it was a bit too sweet towards the end, after finishing a full bomber by myself. Alcohol is well hidden though, and it’s a great bottle to share.

Stone Vengeful Spirit IPA

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 7.3%
Style: American IPA
Other Notes: 57 IBUs. Hops – Herkules, Mosaic, Loral and Mandarina Bavaria. Special Ingredients – Pineapple and Mandarin orange

Brewer Description: (from can) We’ve often been inspired to brew beers on a theme. In 2007 it was black IPAs. 2008 saw Belgian-influenced IPAs and more than once it’s been Triple IPAs. It’s been fun to dive deep, and you’ve ridden those waves right along with us, But like you, we also crave new breaks to surf. Right now, it’s tropically-inspired IPAs as represented both by this flavoured ale, Stone Tangerine Express IPA and others we’ve got waiting in the wings… With Stone Vengeful Spirit IPA we employ a bit of tropical mythology to pay homage to our ever present gargoyle. Since 1996 he’s had our backs, and yours, by representing an aggressive intolerance for commoditized beer. He constantly inspires us to forge ahead with resolve-even with the omnipresent forces of forceful evil. Vengeful spirits can be awesome when they’re on your side.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.19
My ratebeer.com rating: 4

Intro: A 12 fl. oz. can, canned on 22nd September 2017, and an enjoy by date of 22nd September 2018 (which seems a bit long for an IPA from Stone… I thought it was supposed to be 3 months or something). Poured into a Holy Mountain tulip glass.
Appearance: A hazy golden orange colour with a one finger white head that had good retention and left nice lacing.
Aroma: Tropical and citrusy with mandarin, citrus pith, mango and pineapple along with a good dose of nice biscuit malt.
Taste: Quite similar to the aroma with mandarin, orange rind and pineapple. Sweet malt and fruitiness to begin while there is some light bitterness on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Nice and easy to drink with good fruit flavours and a nice balance between sweet and bitter.