So-named because it is so bitter it will ruin your palate. I can attest to this: one sip of Stone Ruination made the pizza sauce taste like raisin paste. Seriously, people, raisin paste. I suggest, then, that you do what I did and order this beer for dessert. Do not, repeat, DO NOT DRINK THIS WITH FOOD.
It looks so innocuous, doesn’t it? Lovely color, excellent lacing:
Don’t trust it. This beer is not that innocent.
Name: Ruination IPA
Origin: Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, CA
Style: American Imperial/Double IPA
I drank this: on tap at Waldo Pizza, KCMO
This beer, like I said, is aptly named. I cannot stress that enough.
The scent is amazing: it’s orange, grapefruit, and bergamot.** The scent is also inescapable if someone at the table has ordered this beer – I could actually smell it before the waiter even managed to get it on the table. It’s just. That. Strong.
Flavor-wise, it’s bitter orange, bergamot, and white or yellow grapefruit (I flipped back and forth on that for a while – I tend to lean more toward white than yellow, but you know. It’s not like there’s too big a difference). The bergamot note is my favorite – it’s strong, and I’ve never encountered anything quite like it outside of a cup of green Earl Grey tea. The flavor is clean and sharp and bright and slightly astringent without getting resinous.
There’s no malt flavor at all. Like, nothing. Really. Nothing at all. No sweetness, no caramel, no biscuit, nothing. Obviously this isn’t true: I mean, the beer isn’t just strained hop juice (which would never have enough sugar to ferment), but I can’t taste the malt. Or I should rephrase that to I cannot taste ANYTHING AT ALL. Except hops. With most beers, this would be a fault, because hops without a malty backbone tend to be watery, thin and blerk.*** The hops in a pint of Ruination are in the middle of a raucous party – they’re having far too much fun to bother with watery.
Upshot: this beer is dangerously unbalanced, but it’s excellent anyway.
I’d call this beer lovely except that it’d mock me for it (seriously – if ever a beer were capable of mocking someone, this would be that beer). It’s far too aggressive to be called anything so simpering as “lovely.” At the same time, “lovely” *did* pop into mind, so I’m posting it. I blame the bergamot.
Can I say again how excited I am that Stone is in town? [insert moment of bliss here]
*For those of you who don’t know what this means, I scribbled it out for you here. To sum up, if you don’t like hops, run away from this beer as fast as your footsies will carry you.
**Bergamot (you probably know this) flavors Earl Grey Tea. It’s a type of orange.
***”Blerk” means exactly what it sounds like it means when said out loud.