If you couldn't tell from my previous reviews of Arrogant Bastard and Belgo Anise Russian Imperial Stout, I love the Hell out of Stone Brewing. Somehow they manage to make every freaking beer taste amazingly dynamic and flavorful beyond belief. While there are several other breweries that come close and have a couple amazing brews, Stone maintains the number one slot in my mental ranking of breweries.
So, today I am reviewing another in Stone Brewing's line-up, the Ruination IPA. It pours the color of dark hay and smells of hops, hops, and more hops, with a small bite of grapefruit and pine. I was totally expecting this to just ruin my mouth and destroy my tastebuds with a hoppy overkill. BUT, it did not. For as hoppy as it smelled, the hop taste was actually very well-rounded and dynamic. Don't get me wrong, this is one extremely hoppy beer and is clearly not intended for anyone except hopheads and those venturing into extreme IPA territory, but this beer isn't just a one-note hop bomb. The taste is mostly hops, yes, but there is a sweet maltiness and some clear citrus peel flavors going on, too, making it very, very drinkable and delicious beyond belief. The mouthfeel is perfectly creamy and oh so fitting. It leaves a long-lasting, pleasant hop taste in your mouth that urges you to take another sip.
Stone Ruination IPA is one damn good India Pale Ale. It may be tied for my favorite IPA at the moment.
Drink This: if you love to fill your mouth with creamy, hoppy, liquid deliciousness of the Gods.
Don't Drink This: if you aren't into hops. If the hoppiest thing you've ever tried is Samuel Adams Boston Lager (like many people), this will destroy your palette and make you cry for mommy. If that happens, send me an email and I will come finish the rest of your drink. :)