Beer review: Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA

If you read yesterday’s review of Founders reDANKulous Imperial Red IPA, you may have noticed that I’m not a big fan of red IPAs. Today’s beer is an example of an IPA that I really gravitate toward. But with my expectations being pretty high, how will Stone’s 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA live up? Read on to find out.

Stone releases a different anniversary beer each August, and here’s what they have to say about this year’s release:

19th Anniversary IPA brewed with Australian hops, namely Ella, Galaxy, Topaz and Vic Secret.

Ella, Galaxy, Topaz, Vic Secret—no, these aren’t the names of the performers at your local “gentlemen’s club” (at least as far as we know). Rather, these are exotic, and admittedly rather sexy, Australian hop varietals that have been dancing on the minds and palates of the craft brewing intelligentsia around the world of late. We’ve been openly flirting with them via test batches, and they’ve become popular around our brewhouse thanks to their sensual flavors and aromas. So in developing our celebratory anniversary beer, we decided it was time to seal the deal and take these down-under-wonder beauties to the main stage at Stone. And what better way than allowing them to strut their stuff in the spotlight as the sole focus for the luscious tropical, peachy, citrus-like flavors and slightly resinous, aromatically dank earthiness of this special, all-Aussie consummation!

As you’ll discover, this beer brings the boom, delivering it to the palate in a voluminous thunderclap backed by the power of our 19 years of brewing passion and intensity. All told, a great kickoff to the veritable beer storm that will be our 20th year of brewing. We have many special beers planned for release to celebrate, so let this serve as the first course to what will be an undoubtedly epic feast for craft beer enthusiasts, with particular thanks to those who’ve been with us for the long haul and helped us attain such longevity.

Thunderstruck IPA pours a beautiful hazy orange color, and is what an IPA should look like. The aroma is dank, dank, dank. That’s what I like in an IPA. It’s got apricot, resin and tropical goodness. And did I mention it was dank? The flavor follows suit. The malt stays out of the way and lets the hops shine. These down under hops help create a juicy tropical flavor with a touch of pine to finish. The ABV is 8.7%, but this beer doesn’t come off as boozy at all. In fact, I’ve enjoyed this Stone beer more than I have the last few batches of their widely acclaimed Enjoy By series of double IPAs, which I’ve found a bit boozy of late. I wouldn’t be mad if they would base the next Enjoy By on this recipe. Or even better, just make this Ruination 3.0 and package in 12 ounce bottles.

Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA
Stone 19th Anniversary Thunderstruck IPA

Bombers of this beer seemed to fly off the shelves from the usual craft beer places in Baton Rouge, and with good reason. This is a great example of the kind of double IPA that I enjoy. If you see it, make sure to grab it and enjoy this beautiful hop bomb.



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