The anniversaries of many of our favorite breweries mark our calendars with exclamation points and smiley faces. There are some annual milestones that sneak up on us in wonderful ways. Finding the latest special release from Unibroue par example always makes us smile collectively, whereas the yearly release of Hopsickle (equivocally as the birthday celebration of Moyans might someday be…) makes us start towards beer coolers with gimmie-gimmie eyes and accompanying yelps of glee.
Stone’s birthday is something that we relish in almost as dearly as that of a bff-type cousin, or a super cool uncle who used to sneak us sips of scotch when we were eleven. Even if its been almost a year since we played hooky from work and made our first pilgrimage to Escondido, we exchanged hurried gushes of delight at the first tastes of this year’s liquid notch on the proverbial gun. We’ve drunk five bombers of this brew since its recent release in both social circles and isolated tasting during varied hours of the day and night. We experienced this nectar o’grain in every conceivable position we utilize for our fermented contemplations. The results have been positive.
As the froth subsided, this Black IPA immediately impressed us. The color, a brown muted true black lulls the drinker into reminiscences of a first Kostritzer, or a dressed up Bock that seemed all the rage in 2006. The second this beer strikes chords with your nervous system, the world changes. Utter harmony explodes out of what a local comrade calls the “Ruined Bastard.” The heavy handed alcohol and deep dark malts teleport you to a surreal plane where rows of giant headed Greg Kochs hand out glass after glass of black ale garnished with a fistful of fresh hops and soy sauce flowers. You wipe the fragrant resin off your nose, and ask short breathed where the hell you are. The multitude of grinning Esconditans echoes back: the future.
Dairy Pairy: Idiazabal, a smoked raw sheeps milk from northern Spain.
Soundtrack: The Clash, “In Hammersmith Palais”
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