When it comes to your beer, you no doubt have settle on favorites. It could be a favorite style, or a favorite brand, or even specific releases from that brand. Whatever it is, it’s the one you always go for. You know what you’re getting, and you recognize the art on the box and can (or bottle) right away. Well, what if you wanted to mix it up some, and still get the flavors you want and know? That’s where the Stone Brewing Artist Series comes in to play.

In many ways, the Stone Brewing Artist Series is just like when comics books would release alternate covers, or collectible card games have standard and “foil” versions of a card. The contents are entirely the same, it’s just you get a changed up, refreshed picture up front. Here, it serves a two-fold purpose. First, it allows the brand to feature some not as well known artists, giving them a broader platform. Secondly, it’s also a way to do a risk-free test of some changed label artwork. Buyers don’t like it? No worries, it was just temporary! The fans really love a particular design? Well, now you’ve got an option to change into down the line if you want.

This time around, the Stone Brewing Artist Series features four different brews. The first is a staple of their line, and one that’s quite aptly (and simply) named – the Stone IPA. This is a beer that Stone brewed to celebrate their first anniversary way back in 1997, and it’s been going strong ever since. For me, this tastes like what I’d call a “clean” IPA. By this, I mean it’s not overly piney or citrusy. You just get that sharp hop bite up front, and get the smooth clean flavor coming on through. Just watch out – it comes in at 6.9%, and you do not pick up that higher ABV in the flavor at all.

The Stone Delicious IPA, well, we wrote all about that one right here. This one is a solid, “basic” IPA that brings more of a piney punch, which is something I rather like. Here, of course, it’s wrapped in artwork that looks like a gargoyle ran into a classic hotrod-era cartoon.

That brings us, then, to the Stone Fear Movie Lions. This particular IPA is a blend of east and west coast styles, and delivers with some big floral and citrus notes on the nose. Once it hits your tongue, you get a touch of sweetness up front (thank the 8.5% for that). That quickly fades to what I think of as a “bready” sort of flavor, which then gives way to a sharp, metallic finish. In other words, there’s a lot of complexity here in the flavor, which is something a higher-ABV beer can really bring out. Of the four in the series, I found this one to be the most interesting in terms of flavor profile.

Then last, but not least, we’ve got the Stone Tangerine Express. This one capitalizes on a flavor theme that I’ve seen in a number of IPAs, with featuring citrus. When Citra hops are in the mix, those flavors just come along for the ride, but here they’re also adding pineapple and tangerine puree when they’re brewing it up, with gives you a bit more of that citrusy kick. This one, once in the glass, definitely hits you with citrus on the nose. Drinking it down, those flavors continue on, wrapped in what my tongue felt was a very crisp beer. Not the deepest of the hazy bois, but I think it’s one that folks who like Citra will enjoy.

And there you have it – a quick lightning roundup of four of Stone Brewing’s more popular options. The artwork on them doesn’t change the contents in the bottles, so they’ll taste just the same as your “regular” versions. However, if you want to see some interesting takes on things, it’s worth seeking these out just to enjoy the change in art. On the other hand, if you’re just concerned about the taste, find whatever version of these you can (if the writeups above) caught your fancy. stonebrewing.com

Details from Stone Brewing

Stone IPA

  • ABV: 6.9%
  • IBUs: 71
  • FEATURED HOPS: Magnum, Chinook, Centennial, Azacca, Calypso, Motueka, Ella & Vic Secret™
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: Citrusy, tropical, piney
  • PALATE: Medium body with no perceivable sweetness and a clean lingering bitterness
  • APPEARANCE: Pours clear golden with a white head
  • AROMA: Intense lemon rind, fruity cereal and piney hop flavors

Stone Delicious IPA

  • ABV: 7.7%
  • IBUs: 75
  • FEATURED HOPS: Nugget, Calypso, Lemondrop & El Dorado
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: Hoppy, citrus, lemongrass
  • PALATE: Medium body with a bitter, dry finish
  • APPEARANCE: Pours deep gold with a white-colored head
  • AROMA: Spicy, herbal and citrusy hop aromatics balanced with light-toasted malt. The spiciness is reminiscent of lemongrass.

Stone Fear Movie Lions

  • STYLE: Double IPA
  • ABV: 8.5%
  • IBUs: 60
  • FEATURED HOPS: Loral & Mosaic
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: Fresh-squeezed fruit juice, strawberry, blueberry, grapes and a hint of white sage.
  • PALATE: Juicy and leading to a short, moderately bitter finish.
  • APPEARANCE: Opaque, murky gold with a fluffy white head.
  • AROMA: A medley of fresh fruit with juicy, fresh hops and a hint of pineapple.

Stone Tangerine Express

  • ABV: 6.7%
  • IBUs: 75
  • FEATURED HOPS: Citra®, Centennial, Sterling, Azacca, Mosaic®
  • FLAVOR PROFILE: Citrusy, Fruity, Hoppy
  • PALATE: Crisp, clean, and refreshingly bitter.
  • SPECIAL INGREDIENTS: Tangerine & pineapple puree
  • APPEARANCE: Light golden with slight haze.
  • AROMA: Bright, fresh fruit aromas of pineapple and tangerine combine with citrus and tropical aromas from the hops.

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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