Sunday, September 23, 2007

Stone Brewery's 11th Anniversary Ale

Stone 11th Anniversary Ale

Stone does a lot of things right. They build their brand with style and harumph by giving their beers names like Arrogant Bastard Ale, Dead Guy Ale and Ruination IPA. They have masculine, cool labels on their beers so that even a frat boy's can be caught drinking a craft beer and he won't feel like his dick's been cut off. They're at the forefront of that whole "extreme beer" thing. Some people guffaw at the name of anything with extreme tagged at the front of it. Is this the kind of beer that snowboarders and bungee jumpers drink? But if you have interest in the beer arts it's a fun category to peruse. It's blending different styles, pushing the ABV% envelope, experimentation at it's finest. These are not "session beers", stuff you can sit on the couch all day drinking (though that Dead Guy can go down nice and easy). These are beers mostly found in 1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottles and should be treated with a different point of view than your PBR or High Life.

The Stone 11th Anniversary Ale is a pitch black IPA. You don't see that brought around very often. Malt, caramel, honey...? It's slightly dark head sticks around on the glass as the beer smoothly goes down the gullet. While this might be an 8.7 on the ABV scale -- it's not too syrupy sweet, bitter or hard to drink, though it would be a better dessert type beer. It certainly has a lot of body to it and fills you up. There's a sweet tang to it that would make for a helluva beer float. I would call this either a great night cap beer or the kind you serve before a meal as an appetizer. Good stuff. Very enjoyable and the kind of beer you might want to buy an extra one to keep for a special occasion.

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