Let’s get this out of the way up front. Stone Brewing is my beer spirit animal. There, it’s out there & we can move on. I recently took delivery of a few rather nice recent Stone Brewing beers, one of which was a few bottles of their recent seasonal specials, ‘Pataskala Red X IPA‘, which I’ve been dying to try as I’ve really wanted to try a heftily hopped Red IPA with this malt, as I’ve heard so many good things about it. And make no mistake, this is a Stone Beer where yes, the hopping is off the chain but it most definitely is all about that malt.
Description: A massively dry-hopped deep crimson IPA
If this beer were a comic character, it would most certainly be Harley Quinn. Maniacally loveable & utterly endearing. Pouring it into a glass is a wonderful experience; it’s thick, luscious, and the aroma is swinging a giant hammer with ‘Your Face Here’ on one end & a little Aceeeeeeeeeed face on the opposite side. Rightly or wrongly, even with its wonderful citrus aroma, I instantly get an almost wickedly sweet & incredible strawberry-shortcake smoosh in the face as it pours, & in the words of Bobby Roode, ‘It’s Glorious‘.
The initial taste is a wonderful just-the-right-amount-of sweet toffee with some great biscuit notes, that finishes on an epicly juicy citrus bitter. The body of the beer is insanely unctuous. It just screams ‘hit me baby one more time’. I’ve tried so many red IPA’s that have been not only disappointing, but downright uninspiring, boring, dull, desperate & clearly FoTM in their by-the-numbers approach. And honestly, it’s f**ked me right off.
If you’re going to do something like a red IPA, you need to move beyond the idea of a hopped up red ale & really do something ridiculously interesting with it. Otherwise, to me what’s the damn point?
Now the really shit news. This beer is not available in Ireland. I am hoping, crossing fingers, toes, eyes and unmentionables that Stone Brewing Berlin when everything settles with their mass invasion of European beer markets that they take some of these specials from the past, & rebrew them for the European market so they can experience what I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have experienced.
Not everyone is as tenacious as me when it comes to acquiring beers like this. The lengths I go to sometimes (I didn’t on this one) borders on batshit insane. If you can get a bottle of this, do. And buy lots of it. And I do mean lots of it. I am so happy I’ve a number of other bottles of this to get through over the coming week. I am one happy-hoppy S.O.B.