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Stone Mocha IPA

Rating: 3.85

Stone is definitely my go-to American brewery and this one marks the nineteenth beer from the brewery that I’ll have reviewed here; it’s also another IPA from the Californian brewers. Introduced in its current form back in February, this Mocha IPA is a re-branding of a beer originally available as Liberty Station 2nd Anniversary Mocha IPA from Stone’s World Bistro & Gardens but now distributed under the Stone label. The beer is a summer seasonal that I ordered back in August this year from the Brewdog online shop and I thought I better get around to trying it before the summer is a distant memory here. Almost a cross between an IPA and a stout, this I’d forgotten how strong this one was before getting ready to crack it open only to remember that it’s a 9% abv. beer and one that should definitely prove to be interesting if nothing else. Stone are usually pretty good when it comes to all things IPA so I’m expecting a lot from them in what will be my first new beer from the brewery since trying their Sorry, Not Sorry IPA back in February; hopefully it’s just as good as that one was.

stone-mocha-ipa

Appearance (4/5): A slightly orange tinged amber colour, this one had a hazy body and was topped with a surprisingly good-looking head for such a strong beer; it sat just under a centimetre tall and was a cream looking white one. After about thirty seconds or so it started to recede slightly, settling as a thick looking lacing that covered the surface well and had the odd bubble sitting around the edges too.
Aroma (7/10): Quite an unusual nose for a double IPA, there was surprisingly few hops to open things up and instead I got a solid cocoa nose that was quickly followed by some white chocolate and coffee aromas. There was a little roasted malt and barely coming through as we got nearer the middle of the beer and only then did some background citrus, orange and faint pine come through. This wasn’t at all what I’d expecting going in but the smell was still pleasant enough with some earthy hops and a milky chocolate seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Somewhat of a change up from the nose, there was definitely a lot more hops and bitterness opening the taste up that the nose indicated there might be; I got some pine, faint grapefruit and a little orange in the early going before some citrus and apricot featured nearer the middle of proceedings. The beer was still had a lot of chocolate showing and came through as a stout/IPA hybrid that was unlike anything I’ve tried before; the hop bitterness and touches of alcohol were there but it definitely wasn’t an overpowering hop presence and there was some further coffee flavours to round things off as well; very interesting stuff.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied, maybe just slightly thinner than that but quite a well carbonated beer and one that came through with a nice hop presence once you got past the nose. There was a surprising amount of chocolate in the early going and this added a slight sweetness to the beer that gave it that sweet stout feel but it still seemed more of an IPA than anything else. There was touches of alcohol coming through in places but from the most part it was balanced and well hidden with it seeming quite easy to drink throughout too.

Overall (17/20): This one has got to be up there with the most unusual beers I’ve tried, particularly because this one is coming from a very well-known and respected brewery but it’s unlike anything I’ve tried before. A beautiful combination of stout and double IPA, the chocolate and roasted malt opening that was heavily laced with coffee was very nice and the nose had almost no fruits or hop bitterness showing. The IPA side of things definitely made itself more known with the taste, there was a lot of juicy fruits and tropical touches with a solid bitterness and this helped with the balance down the stretch too. The beer was interesting from the start and very enjoyable too; definitely one to look out for if you’re in the mood for something a little different.

Brewed In: Escondido, California, United States of America
Brewery: Stone Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 9.0%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £4.75

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