Stone Brewing Company, one of the bigger brewers in the craft beer industry, is well-known for its ability to make incredible beers of both common and left-field styles. If I'm feeling too indecisive at the beer store, grabbing six pack bearing the Stone name and devilish logo is a pretty safe bet.
So, when I began reading the buzz behind Stochasticity Project, a veiled side venture of Stone's that appears to be for experimental beer styles, I knew I'd be making a trip to the beer isle for its new Grapefruit Slam IPA.
Here's the low-down on the beers stats and my impressions:
Style: Double Imperial Pale Ale
Malt Varieties: North American Pale, Light Crystal
Hop Varieties: Centennial, Chinook and Magnum, dry-hopped with Centennial
Availability: 22oz. bottle or draft
Appearance: The Grapefruit Slam is crystal clear with a beautiful copper color. It's also very bubbly. About a quarter inch of head is present after the pour, and the carbonation and a small head stick it out to the end.
Smell: Citrus scents overwhelmed my nostrils on first whiff. Hints of lemon and orange can be detected, though the grapefruit scents dominates.
Taste: My first thought as it hit my palate: "WOAH." This IPA has a huge bite, and the presence of grapefruit dominates in flavor as well scent. In addition to the big, zesty and bitter grapefruit citrus flavor, it's very piney and pretty much smacked me in the face with its massive hop presence. The flavor presence of malt is next to nothing in comparison.
Mouthfeel: This one is a quite sharp and dry. It cuts across the tongue and leaves a long-lingering bitter aftertaste. Call it a palate wrecker for sure.
Verdict: As stated in the intro, I'm quite fond of Stone Brewing Company, but I'm feeling iffy on this brew. It's definitely not one for strangers or newbies to the IPA family of beers. I tend to lean toward IPAs with a nice malt balance, and this one so high on the bitter scale it's through the roof. It became a bit easier to drink after a few sips as my palate adjusted after the initial shock, but I don't think I'll seek a second round any time soon.
Honestly, after reading many positive reviews before I picked up the Grapefruit Slam IPA, I expected it to be more enjoyable than I found it. I'll never swear off Stone Brewing Company, but I'll approach whatever the Stochasticity Project releases next with caution.
Contact me at 330-298-1127 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Facebook: Kyle McDonald, Record-Courier; Twitter: KyleMcDonald_RC