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Pat Mulloy's picture

The Partner Ships Series: Stone Brewing Co.

January, 2017
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

This was evaluated as a BJCP style 21B Specialty IPA: Brown IPA, and I must say, I love this beer. It brings together a rich, creamy zaftig brown ale texture and body with a big, soft alcohol character and a balancing yet assertive hop bitterness. Hop resin and berry aromas blend with light chocolate, traces of dark sugar and nuts. It’s a stunningly beautiful, brilliant chestnut-colored beer blanketed by a two-inch rocky tan layer of foam. The palate settles in with dark chocolate, a hint of coffee and light fruit – primarily plum and a trace of cherry – and then moderately high bitterness comes forward in the middle providing balance and leading to a drying finish with bittersweet chocolate notes. A mild alcohol warming provides a perfect finish. The beer is big but well balanced with nothing harsh or out of place.