Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stone R & R Coconut IPA

Stone R&R Coconut IPa, India Pale Ale brewed and flavored with coconut. 7.7% Alc. by Vol. Robert & Ryan, Stone, Rip Current. Collaboration 2013.

Bright golden hue, stable and sizable head, looking good.

Coconut flavor hits the nose first, with hop bitterness crawling out from underneath. Citrus and tropical fruit notes are loudest, though still muffled under the coconut.

Taste: Hops take over the stage, spilling forth flavors of pine, citrus fruit, pineapple, and the coconut has switched places and now lays on the bottom. Medium bodied, with a long finish. Bitterness is in for the long haul, and has stolen the spotlight. Cocowho? It's only a glimmer of a ghost of a whisper in the memory of the palate. Still there, but way in the background, which is fine by me.

When I first heard this, I thought "what?", like the notion of a coffee IPA, which I still haven't wrapped my head around. "Coconut IPA? What?" There's just little enough where there's no real clash, and you get all the IPA flavors you're looking for.

The R&R relates not only to the names of the homebrewers who created this recipe, but also, I assume to the notion of rest & relaxation that tropical flavors suggest. One of the brewers involved, Paul Sangster of Rip Current Brewing, has a blurb on the back that concludes, "…you feel like you're drinking a tropical drink on the beach." Lord, I hope you don't. No, it's a beer, with hints of tropical fruit flavors, that never lets you forget it's an IPA. If there were more fruit sweetness to  compete with hop bitterness, you might think you were having a Sex on the Beach, sure, but, gladly, that isn't happening.

A fun little experiment that I enjoyed drinking, but won't return to, not if there's Ruination around.

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