Review: Go To IPA, Stone Brewing Co.

Stone Brewing Co. — Escondido, CA

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  65 IBU
  • ABV:  4.5%
  • Malts:  2-Row Pale, Light Crystal, Vienna
  • Hops:  
    • First wort: Magnum
    • Bittering: none
    • Late kettle: El Dorado, Crystal, Cascade, Steiner 06300
    • Whirlpool: Mosaic, Crystal, Ahtanum,  and Sterling
    • Dry Hop: Mosaic, Citra, Cascade
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle (provided by brewery)

Description:  Since Day One, we've been abundantly forthright and fully transparent about our lust for hops. It's led us to craft many an IPA, most of them imperial—some intense for their time and all timeless in their intensity. For Stone Go To IPA, we are embracing our hop obsession in a new way, funneling an abundance of lupulin-borne bitterness into a "session" IPA delivering all the fruity, piney character of a much bigger IPA. To accomplish this, we employed "hop bursting," a new technique wherein an irrational amount of hops is added during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out extreme flavors and aromas while also imparting a burst of desirably pleasant bitterness. The result is an Alpha-acid-rich beer that fans can enjoy more of without missing out on the assertive hop character you, like us, crave. So, sit back and go two with your new everyday go-to IPA and bask along with us in the glory of the almighty hop. — Stone Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  2014 is shaping up to be the year of the session beer. Recently, I've noticed many breweries releasing low alcohol beers (mostly IPAs). Stone is joining the party with Go To IPA, a new year-round release. Go To IPA is unique because it uses no bittering hops, which are added early in the boil to extract bitterness. Instead, it loads up on hop aroma and flavor though extensive late addition, whirlpool, and dry hopping. 

The tasting:  Pale golden in color, slightly hazy, with an off-white head that dissipates slowly.  The aroma is strong and full of tropical fruit flavors. I noticed mango, guava, mandarin orange, as well as grapefruit. The taste starts with grapefruit and a bit of pine. In the middle, a biscuity malt flavor emerges. The tropical fruits that dominated the aroma are not present in taste. Overall hop bitterness is moderate. While it has lots of hop flavor, it avoids the overwhelming bitterness. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or taste. Go To IPA is light bodied, has an effervescent mouth feel, and finishes with lingering grapefruit hop bitterness.

4 star.  Really Good.  I want this again!  When I started writing this blog, I gravitated towards high alcohol and extreme beers.  More is better, right?  While big beers are fun, sometimes less is more. These days, if a lower alcohol beer option is available, I tend to chose it.  That said, I have no interest in light beer. I still expect all the flavor.  So I'm glad session beers are making a comeback. Stone may be well known for big IPAs, but this new little brother is a welcome addition to the family.

Have you tasted Stone's Go To IPA?  What do you think of it?

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1 comment:

  1. I'm right there with you in this review. Agree completely! I'm totally a fan of Go To!


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