Category Archives: Stone Brewing Co.

Stone Old Guardian Dry-Hopped with Pekko Hops

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 11%
Style: American Barleywine
Other Notes: 75 IBUs. Hops – Warrior, Cascade, Chinook and Pekko

Brewer Description: (from bottle) 16 November. That’s how they write it here. It was just shy of an hour bike ride from (the future) @StoneBerlin to central Berlin for a special beer dinner tonight. Berlin is a total melting pot. Illustrated by the fact that I was invited by my Aussie friend Adie, who owns Monterey Bar, to a beer dinner featuring Scottish brewers at Salt n Bone – my favorite Berlin gastropub, owned by Becky & Andy, an Irish couple. A Punk IPA is in my glass. Andrei, my Russian friend who lives between Cali, Belize and Berlin (and owner of Belyzium, a phenomenal chocolate producer in Berlin), just joined us. The Chef is announcing the first course, paired with Hello My Name Is Holy Moose, a beer made specifically for the Scandinavian market. “Can I ask you a question when you have a moment?” asks Adie as I was typing just now. “Sure,” I reply. “The Arrogant Bastard…the text on the back of the bottle…were you the guy that wrote that?” “Yeah,” I reply. “Why do you ask?” “When I got my first bottle of Arrogant Bastard about five years ago, I thought, ‘What the F!?’ and I loved it. Never figured I’d meet the guy that wrote it, let alone know him.” I laugh. The room is starting to get a lot louder. Not surprising, since we’re now on the second beer. // Too funny. Ben Lee at Stone just sent me a perfectly timed email. I screencapped it. Ben’s role is to make sure beer gets done. All facets. All the way down to making sure I get the label written. Julie, who’s studying abroad from San Diego, is a couple of seats over. She has no idea who I am (which is fine considering that more than 7 billion people don’t either). // “So you finally stopped writing?” asks Larissa, another American. She works for BrewDog, but I first met her years ago in Munich shortly after she’d graduated from brewing school. “When is Sara coming?” That’s my beautiful spouse. “I want to take you guys to the Christmas Markt and drink glϋhwein.” Drink wha? It’s this odd German tradition around the holidays to take mediocre red wine, heat it up and Christmas-spice the bejeebus out of it, and serve it for tourist prices in outdoor clapboard markets. Xocoveza is more my speed honestly, but as a once-a-year thing standing in the snow in the middle of a German city in a large platz surrounded by well-dressed Europeans and fake old-timey booths hawking every kind of gift trinket (from cheap imported stuff to authentic-ish handmade stuff), it’s kinda fun, I s’pose…if you know you eventually get to retire to a great pub with awesome beer. // Now an hour later. It’s dessert time. A pumpkin tart. Perfect time to bring out the 2015 Old Guardian to share around the table. #Brilliantpairing. Things are changing here in Berlin. Exciting to be a part of it. Artisans, chefs, artists, chocolate makers, artisanal sausage makers and craft brewers are plying their trades. Moving from the commodified world back to a new version of old world. “This is quite lovely, thank you,” says Adie about the OG…the scruffy, 6” goateed, gold-chain-wearing Aussie owner of a heavy metal-themed bar in Prenzlauer Berg (on Danziger Strasse, no less) in the Dio T-shirt. Lovely indeed. No better times than great beer w/ good friends. Glad the bike ride back to my flat is a relatively short one.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.79
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.7

Intro: A 22 fl. oz. bomber, 2016 release, bottled on 4th February 2016. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: A hazy rusty orange brown colour with a nice one finger orangey beige head that had pretty good retention while leaving lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Caramel, toffee, citrus zest, orange, pineapple, bread, maltiness, booze.
Taste: Sweet, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, citrus zest, pineapple, grape, plum, herbal and boozy.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: The combination of sweet, citrus and boozy generally doesn’t work well for me, and it could be because of a terrible experience with mandarin vodka way back during my university years, but I can’t change that, and in this case, probably affected my view on this beer. The slight dark fruit notes probably saved it a bit for me, but in the end, not one of my favourite barleywines.

Stone Stygian Descent

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 11.6%
Style: American Black IPA
Other Notes: 90 IBUs. Small Batch Series. 2016 Series, Batch No.02. Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA Ale aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels & Bourbon Barrels. Brewed May 3, 2016, Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA practically named itself. The perfect melding of dark malts with a downright indecent amount of hops forges a complex flavor profile of assertive dark roastiness and big, bright hop notes for a singularly sublime experience. Malts – Pale, Caramel and Carafa III. Hops – Chinook, Amarillo and Simcoe. Unfiltered and aged 5 months in American Oak Templeton Rye Whiskey Barrels and Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Small Batch Brewer Cecil Menasco thought it would be an ingenious experiment to age our dark and deeply hopped Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA in rye whiskey barrels…and he was right. This time our small batch crew, never a self-satisfied bunch, added bourbon barrels. The result is transcendent: perfectly balanced dark chocolate, oak, dried fruit and citrus tones. As it warms, the spicy rye and sweet bourbon barrel notes complete this masterful transformation.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.19
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.1

Intro: A 500ml corked and caged bottle, 2016 Series, Batch No.02, bottled in October 2016. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.
Appearance: Dark brown to black in colour with a two finger tanned head that had great retention and left lots of nice lacing.
Aroma: Hoppy with some light roast, pine, chocolate, coffee and a touch boozy.
Taste: Roasty, chocolate, coffee, oak, bourbon, hoppy, pine, orange zest.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: Despite the high ABV%, this was pretty easy to drink as there was good balance between the roast and hops, and although there was some booziness in the aroma, it was well hidden in the taste.

Stone Fyodor

– aka Stone Imperial Russian Stout – Bourbon Barrel (ratebeer)
– aka Stone Fyodor’s Classic (2017) (untappd)

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 13.5%
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Other Notes: 43 IBUs. Small Batch Series. 2017 Series, Batch No.02. Stone Imperial Russian Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels. Brewed July 17, 2016, Stone Imperial Russian Stout is a thick, rich and sinful beer that’s heavy on the palate and massively aromatic with notes of anise, black currants, coffee and roastiness. Malts – Roasted Barley, Pale Malt, Amber Malt and Black Malt. Hops – Warrior. Unfiltered and aged 14 months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

Brewer Description: (from bottle) This profoundly complexed beer will overwhelm all but the most stalwart beer fanatics with its level of intensity. Rich coffee, bitter and milk chocolate characteristics abound, while dark charred oak, rich vanilla and caramel from the bourbon barrels synergistically elevate and further enhance the ultra-intense taste of the original beer. The name we chose for this heady creation “Fyodor”, is a tip of the hat to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, one of the greatest, most influential novelists of Russia’s Golden Age.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.69
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.6

Intro: A 500ml corked and caged bottle, 2017 Series, Batch No.02, bottled in October 2017. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: It poured black in colour with a thin brown head that dissipated almost immediately and left only sparse to no lacing.
Aroma: Roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, prunes, raisins, molasses, oak, with touches of bourbon and vanilla.
Taste: Sweet, boozy, bourbon, light roast, chocolate, coffee, molasses, dark fruit, plum, prunes, raisins.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: Sweet and boozy, which is not a preferable combination for me as I find it too rich, and not easy to drink, even if just sipping. I preferred Stone Mikhail a lot more as I felt that was much more balanced.

Stone Mikhail

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 13.5%
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Other Notes: 43 IBUs. Small Batch Series. 2017 Series, Batch No.03. Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels. Brewed July 17, 2016, Stone Imperial Russian Stout is a thick, rich and sinful beer that’s heavy on the palate and massively aromatic with notes of anise, black currants, coffee and roastiness. Malts – Roasted Barley, Pale Malt, Amber Malt and Black Malt. Hops – Warrior. Adjunct – Ryan Brother’s Espresso Roast Coffee. Unfiltered and aged 14 months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Intense coffee characteristics abound from both the dark malts and the espresso, while rich caramel-like and vanilla notes from the bourbon barrel aging adds layers of complexity, a touch of sweetness and a vibrant dark fruit finish. Since this is an unusual take on our traditional imperial Russian stout, “Mikhail” pays homage to Mikhail Bulgakov, whose novel The Master and Margarita is considered the foremost of Soviet satires.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.39
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.3

Intro: A 500ml corked and caged bottle, 2017 Series, Batch No.03, bottled in October 2017. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: It was black in colour with a half finger brown head that dissipated quickly and left only sparse to no lacing.
Aroma: Light roast, milk chocolate, damp coffee grounds, espresso, oak and vanilla.
Taste: Moderate roastiness, milk chocolate, coffee, espresso, oak, bourbon, vanilla and a lightly herbal bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, full bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: Really enjoyable drinking, as its rich and smooth with velvety chocolate, and nice barrel notes expressing bourbon and vanilla.

Stone Espresso Totalitarian

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Country: USA
ABV: 10.6%
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Other Notes: Imperial Stout brewed w/ Espresso

Brewer Description: (from can) Bespoke totalitarianism for the proletariat diaspora. Imperial Russian stouts don’t actually get their name from being brewed in Russia. In fact, the style originated in England, initially brewed to suit the discerning tastes fo the nobles of the mid-18th century Russian court. Flash forward about 250 years, and here we find ourselves in a world populated by the diaspora of craft beer enthusiasts that also have a finely tuned palate for this richly intense style. Fortunately, you neither need to be Russian nor of noble birth to enjoy this intensely rich, deeply complex stout. To further bespoke the bejesus out of this, we brewed with a beautiful espresso roast coffee. It’s as fit for savouring fresh on a warm spring afternoon as it is for aging deep in a Muscovite cellar.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.37
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.2

Intro: A 12 fl. oz. can, canned on 23rd February 2019. Poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: It poured black in colour with a two finger brown head that had pretty good retention and left nice lacing.
Aroma: Roasted malts, espresso, coffee bean and dark chocolate.
Taste: Bittersweet, roasty, dark chocolate, cacao, espresso and coffee beans.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, rich, smooth, full bodied with soft carbonation.
Overall: Really nice and smooth with great roast, chocolate and espresso notes.