Ruination from Stone in my humble opinion (okay, so maybe my opinions aren’t very humble) is still one of the best DIPA’s in the world. But Stone being Stone, like Spinal Tap know where eleven is on the dial, & like to amp up Ruination to a tripel in the form of RuinTen as their tenth anniversary of Ruination. It has since made a few returns , each a full-on sensory assault of hops & barrels in double digits ABV. Orange peel? Vanilla bean? Are Stone going soft?
When Stone rock out beers like this, & I put my hands on a bottle, I have a child-like sense of mischievous excitement come over me. One part of me is giggling maniacally, another has a sense that they’ve stuck a whoopy cushion on the teacher’s chair & the final part feels like I’m playing with fireworks. And it’s an incredible feeling. That is the power of Stone & how I’ve felt about them since I first discovered them.
But as I picked up bottles of this, I looked at the words ‘Orange Peel’ & ‘Vanilla Bean’, & honestly for the first time I felt nervous I was buying this. In my head I was thinking to myself “Fuck, Mitch wouldn’t do this to a Stone Ruin-Tripel. What the fuck are they thinking? Who the fuck sticks vanilla in a hop-bomb tripel?” But, I’ve learned to trust Stone. So, to hell with it, I was buying a few bottles of this.
Driving home with the bottles, there was a part of me still wondering if I’d done the right thing buying more than one bottle. What if this was the first beer by Stone I didn’t like? What was I gonna do with two more bottles of this if I didn’t like the one I opened? I was actually getting anxious about this as these weren’t cheap. And when you suffer from anxiety in the first place, this isn’t ideal to have something like ‘beer’ try play that fiddle.
A few days passed until I cracked it open. Almost instantly I’m blasted in the face with citrus orange, hop resin, and caramel. Pouring, it’s a copper-colored affair with a generous head. There’s no mistaking that thick pour though. And it’s like re-watching Karate Kid, seeing Daniel line up that crane-kick on Johnny Lawrence. You know something epic is coming.
I love the intensity of the aromas on beers like this from Stone. It’s easily one of the reasons I both love & admire this brewery. So much of what you taste is reliant on your smell receptors. And this does a great job of unleashing its full fury on mine in the most wonderful way possible.
The first taste is heavyweight, with a Kaiju class-5 size, loaded to the rafters with orange, vanilla sweetness & that roaring bitterness RuinTen is famed for. This beer is not taking any prisoners & I was so damned happy I bought a few more bottles of it. RuinTen is not for sinking like a session beer. This is to be enjoyed. Savoured. Sat over with a big ass smile on your face. It has a hardcore, grown-up’s ‘super-split’ feel about it, which just adds to the enjoyment further.
RuinTen serves as an ample, if yet unnecessary reminder that Stone Brewing is still the best at making even seasoned beer drinkers like me question how beer flavours could work in their stylings only to have those doubts erased in a big way. RuinTen with Orange Peel & Vanilla Beans is a perfect ten.