Ruined the right way
A Review of Ruination IPA by Stone Brewing Co.
Posted on 7/5/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
Maybe its the little gargoyle on the bottle. Maybe its all the stories one hears about Stone. Maybe its just the voices in my head. Whatever it is, any beer that proudly proclaims itself as ''Ruination'' scares me. If you drink a beer with a name like this and you DON'T expect it to demolish your mouth, then I can only assume you play cards with guys who are named ''Texas Jim'', ''Mississippi Mud Mike'', ''Full House Floyd'', and ''Straight Flush Slim'' and fully expect to win. I mean, let's look at a best case/worst case scenario. Best case, this beer is gonna destroy your tongue with a hops explosion that is so bitter your grandchildren won't be able to taste candy. Worst case, well, see best case.

As soon as you start to pour it into the glass, you notice two things. One, its a very crisp and clear golden color. The best way I can describe it is apple juice. Really. And it has a lot of head on it. A good two fingers worth that sticks around for quite some time. Two, the hops assault is on. I mean its no holds barred and right in your face. Citrus notes associated with grapefruit and even oranges can be found without even having to look. Large amounts of pine are present as well. Strangely enough though, I could easily pick out some nice caramel malts in there pretty easily. Do I detect the possibility of good balance in this one? I think I do!

As far as that first sip goes, make sure no one can see your face when you take it. Its quite an oral annihilation. Its like the little hops all have tiny knives and they are stabbing every part of your mouth and tongue with the repeating quickness of rabbits on speed. Oddly enough, its not the citrus hops that I picked up on. Its the florals that I tasted more than anything. They carried through for the majority of the flavor train, and then another odd thing happens. Slightly past midway, the hops give way to a slightly sweet and malty taste. It does a good job of calming down the bite of the hops, and makes the beer end up with a deceptively smooth finish.

I think that one of my favorite parts of this beer has to be the mouthfeel. Between its oily finish, medium(read perfect) carbonation, and the bonus of the physical bite of the hops, you really do get the chance to experience how an IPA is supposed to feel. While the hops bite might be too much for some, I find it actually entertaining to see how it works so well in tandem with the carbonation, as opposed to against it and trying to dominate it.

I can't believe that I am actually doing what I am about to do. I am going to tell everyone that reads this, beginners and experts, to try it. I'll say that again. I recommend Ruination to everyone. All you beginners out there need to take this one for the team and the experience. It is definitely more aggressive than what I would normally suggest you try, but if you can get past the initial shock of the first taste, you most likely really enjoy it. It has a great balance to it, and is a good study in flavors, aromas, and mouthfeel. The experts and hopheads can rejoice as well. There is an underlying complexity to this beer that needs to be experienced to be understood. There are crisp layers, along with blended lines, and they all work well here. Let this label be a lesson to us all. Looks, and names can be deceiving. While Stone claims they are ruining everyone, they are actually spoiling us all.

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Ruination IPA by Stone Brewing Co.
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