I’D TAP THAT: Happily Ruined

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First Posted: 6/3/2013

Beer: Ruination IPA
Brewer: Stone Brewing Company
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
ABV: 7.70%
Description: Stone’s Ruination IPA pours a deep amber golden color with a thin white head that doesn’t last too long, but does leave a nice lacing on the glass. The nose of this beer is a true display of elegant West Coast hops, displaying notes of grapefruit, orange, mango, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, pine, hints of pale malts, caramel, and toffee as well; simply said, it’s very complex and inviting. The taste certainly has a strong hop bite, but is surprisingly approachable and a wonderful bouquet of flavors. The hops flavors match the aroma perfectly in the citrus and tropical fruit arena, and are followed by the malt sweetness before one final bitter bite from the hops as you swallow. Ruination has a wonderful balance of mouth feel and mild carbonation. The beer finishes mildly dry, but leaves a long lasting hop flavor left on the palate. Ruination could certainly ruin anyone’s palate with its strong hop bite and lasting flavors, but I for one am happy to let this beer ruin my palate!
Food pairing: This is not as easy to match up with a lot of food as the strong hop presence can easily subdue a lot of dishes. However, a truly wonderful pairing with Ruination is Indian food. The hop bite holds up against the spiciest of Indian dishes and the citrus characteristics from the hops meld with the spices to subdue them and add extra depth to the flavor profile. Feeling a little more in the mood for some Mexican food? A delicious dish of carne asada tacos is a pleasing union with Ruination. What you need to remember with this beer is to match the hop bite with spiciness in a way that achieves a nice balance on the palate without overwhelming or, pardon the pun, ruining it. Another wonderful dish to try with this beer is Stone’s personal recipe for Ruination garlic cheddar soup; the hop bite combined with smooth cheddar and garlic is just amazing. You can find the recipe online and I HIGHLY recommend it!
Is it worth trying? Of course. After all, it is a beer from Stone so that should go without saying. Ruination was first introduced to the market in 2002 and is still one of the best double IPAs available, which is a testament to how great this beer is, as it seems that every brewery is making double or imperial IPAs these days. However, if you are new to the IPA, I would recommend starting off something with not as much of a hop bite. I do think newbies can appreciate this beer, but for some it just may be too much too fast. Be sure to grab a bottle or two and enjoy this wonderful beer and allow yourself to be ruined!
Rating: W W W W W
Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: Backyard Ale House, Scranton; Arena Bar and Grill, Wilkes-Barre; Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City; Krugel’s Georgetown Deli, Wilkes-Barre. It’s also being poured at the Stone booth at the Steamtown Beer and Music Festival June 15.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be reached at [email protected]