It is fairly rare that I buy 22 oz bombers. For one, I don’t like to share. Two, I usually can’t handle one by myself (my college days are long behind me, it seems.), but when I found Stone’s 17th Anniversary Ale in my local store, I had to jump at the chance to try it!
Inscribed beautifully on the bottle, Stone has this to say about their Gotterdammerung:
“Inspired by new experimental German hops, our brewing team is celebrating our 17th Jahrestag by taking palates on an unconventional tour of Deutschland by way of Southern California. In doing so, we used a grain bill comprised exclusively of pilsner malts and German hops with crazy awesome names: Herkules, Hersbrucker, Magnum, Merkur, Opal, Smaragd & Strisselspalt. Dry-hopping with Sterling, a U.S. hop with Saaz parentage, lends a bit of familiarity, but be forewarned, this is a unique beer that takes the IPA–a style we’ve already pushed far beyond it’s previous limits over the years–to interesting new territory.”
With all of that being said, I knew I was about to experience something new. With hops that I have never heard of, and in typical over-the-top Stone fashion, I was not sure what to expect. Let’s see how it went.
Appearance: Gotterdammerung IPA is Golden yellow with a beautiful white head that slightly coats the glass as you drink. The beer is VERY well carbonated with little c02 bubbles floating to the top throughout, adding a lovely characteristic that is pleasing to the eye for sure.
Aroma: Immediately I am welcomed with a tremendously different aroma. Definitely hop driven, exactly what you’d hope you get with a strong IPA, however, there is something different. It is unlike other IPAs I’ve had. Yes, it does smell of the classic IPA hops aroma but very tropical and fruity. very inviting. The beer smells of grapefruit and other juicy fruits, possibly a pineapple or kiwi sweetness. The Aroma is so nice; Very pleasant and definitely is the winning characteristic of this beer.
Mouthfeel: Instant hop character and IPA bitterness. Very well carbonated but leaves the mouth a bit dry at the end.
Taste: WOW. Very interesting. The beer is not extremely in-your-face bitter like other IPAs, but, with such an interesting combination of hops, there is no shortage of that classic IPA bitterness you’d expect and look for. It is hard to pin down a particular hop profile, as there are many, but noble hops come through.
Grapefruit and pine needles dominate the taste and leaves you with a dry finish. Gotterdammerung is smooth yet bitter. There is definitely a grassy/wheat taste.
Unfortunately, the beer comes in a little boozy and you have a definite warmth (which may not be bad for some, but I tend to not enjoy it). In fact, I was possibly tasting the alcohol burn more than a hop bitterness.
The bitterness stays for a long time on the aftertaste. It Lingers and leaves behind a grassy taste.
Conclusion: Overall I would give Stone’s Gotterdammerung an 88 or a B+. It is definitely interesting and the aroma alone is worth purchasing it for. Where is falls short is the swallow and aftertaste. The warmth and burn from the alcohol is not what I look for in an IPA, and really detracted from the rest of the taste for me. I would definitely pick up this offering to try it, but would not be my go-to in a bar setting.