Thank you to the Crystal City Wine Shop for helping me obtain this beer. They don’t pay me to say that, and the store is the best craft beer provider in my neighborhood.
The India Pale Ale style is one storied in both British and modern American history. The IPA was born during the rise of Great Britain in the eighteenth century. As the British loved their pale ale, they wanted to drink it in the sweltering heats of India, then under the management of the East India Trading Company.
The journey to India by sea, however, took months. The ale sometimes went stale during the trips. Thus, some breweries, such as Bass, began fermenting their beers longer to remove all sugars, while also heavily “hopping” their beers.
Since that time, IPAs have become immensely successful in the United States. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, one of the first craft breweries, prides itself on creating uniquely Western American pale ales and IPAs which display the citrusy and resinous qualities of American hops.
This week, I reviewed the Stochasticity Project’s Grapefruit Slam Double IPA. Yes, it’s a mouthful to say and a mouthful to drink, but completely worth it. First, some notes about its story. Though it has no official branding, Stone Brewing Co. out of Escondido, Calif. brews the beer. Apparently, it's a bit of an R & D venture by the owners.
The Project tells story this way:
Much of what seemingly falls into place and seems so natural is a result of Stochasticity, a concept embraced and exalted by this special and unpredictable series of beers, where exotic notions, ingredients, and ideas coalesce…
Pretty cool, but the real story is in the bottle.
Type: Double IPA with grapefruit peel, 8.2 percent ABV. Drink at 50-55 degrees. If you drink it chilled, it will taste very bitter.
Color: Golden, but it is more amber than yellow.
Aroma: The brew smells of a more flavorful Fresca, a stiff floral scent at first, but also one of grapefruit and hard candies.
Mouthfeel: Heavy and hoppy
Taste: If you’ve ever tried Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA before, the initial taste will be familiar. The hops caress your tongue. However, after a few seconds, the adventure begins. The grapefruit sneaks up, then grabs you quickly before the swallow. The dry taste lingers for a few seconds afterwards.
Think of chewing a grapefruit peel, or even spraying the juice from the peel into your mouth. After the hops awaken the palate, the grapefruit flavor seductively ambles off.
I’ve never had anything like this before. This was a very unique beer experience. A drink usually doesn't place me in so many different settings at one time. Try this and savor it. It would make a fitting breakfast beer.