As I mentioned in last week’s Afternoon Beer Break, while I tend towards darker beers for winter, there’s always a place in my fridge for a nice IPA. While the traditional IPA can be viewed as an assault on your taste buds (if you’re not accustomed to them), the more recent Hazy variety brings a softer, fruity flavor to the fore. One of the latest year-round offerings from Stone is just that, the aptly-named Stone Hazy IPA.
Now, a hazy IPA is not an IPA that was made in a vat that was not cleaned out. It’s an intentional process that results in this cloudiness (you can read more about it here). While you can find many hazies that will intentionally have citrus adjuncts added, many are able to get the fruit notes in there by nature of the brewing process, and the hops that get used. Small sidebar here – in the IPA world, the latest race seems to be in who can find the newest, most interesting hops. If you find an IPA that you particularly like the flavor of, take note of what hops were used, and then look for other brands using the same.
For the Stone Hazy IPA, we’ve got El Dorado, Azacca and Sabro bringing the flavor bomb. Poured out into a glass (here, my trusty Farr + Swit pint glass; purists would insist that a true IPA glass be used), your nose is greeted with a sweet, boozy scent. Taking that first cold sip, you’ve got a mild but very distinct citrus waking up those taste buds. Those citrus notes fade quickly (remember, no citrus adjuncts here), leaving you with a smooth finish.
The Stone Hazy IPA illustrates why hazies can be so engaging. For one, it’s nowhere near as bitter as a traditional (read: clear) IPA is – that’s reflected in the fact that it’s only got 35 IBUs. Past that, you’ve got that citrus up front that many folks (myself included) like in a brew. Once that fades, you’re left with a taste that’s not overly sweet, and presents a solid and very drinkable flavor profile that many will no doubt enjoy. Just enjoy responsibly, as at 6.7%, this is a beer that could sneak up on you if you’re not careful. As a year-round offering, this would be a solid one to have stocked in the fridge or cooler, no matter the event. stonebrewing.com
Details from Stone Brewing
- ABV: 6.7%
- IBUs: 35
- FEATURED HOPS: El Dorado, Azacca & Sabro
- FLAVOR PROFILE: Juicy and creamy with tons of orange, lemon, melon with mango and pineapple. Smooth overall and very easy to drink