Tuesday, September 30, 2008

TBG Drinks: StoneWall Ale (Stone Brewing Company)

12.80% ABV

In June 2006, I attended a VIP event at the Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, CA. OK, truth be told, I was an invited guest of the guy who was actually invited to the shindig. The celebration was being held in advance of the brewery's new restaurant and included menu samples, beer tastings and an ultra-limited release of StoneWall Ale.

Every invitee was handed a 22 oz. bottle of the secret suds. Conversely, invited guests of the invitees received nothing. More than two years later, I thought my lasting memory of the event would be the god-awful fried Brussels sprouts and thick-as-a-brick over-battered onion rings. So, it was quite the surprise when m'man invited me over on Monday night to watch the game(s), eat his wife's cooking and drink his aged alcohol.

Mr. S poured the brownish-orange nectar into a pair of pint glasses and, admittedly, I was a little leery. If you order a bad beer in public, you can trade it out for something else. Here, I was stuck. The whole evening revolved around the epic unveiling – after 27 months! – of this heavily-hyped brew.

What if it had aged too long?

What if it hadn't aged long enough?

What if it tasted like ass?

Turns out this beer was the absolute antithesis of "ass", my friends.

Shockingly smooth, with sweet (but not too sweet) notes of caramel and toffee, it finished with a sharply contrasting climax. Each sip was the equivalent of oral sex followed by a glancing kick to the crotch at the end – you feel it the first time, but once you know it's coming, it's not so bad.

Sadly, this was a one-time brewing, but it might've been enough to convince me to join the fraternity of beer aficionados who snobbishly turn their noses up at [in British accent] convenience store beer, yet can't appreciate the irony of walking past the Bud Light to get to the tin of self-serve jerky.

Grade: 500 (out of 5)


that mexican guy said...

I look forward to see what number (starting with 5) you'll make up to overly praise Fat Tire and Sam Adams.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Don't blame me because Corona and Dos Equis are the only beers associated with your homeland, son.

Do y'all claim "Modelo", too? I didn't wanna just assume...

JPinAZ said...

If you ever make it out to AZ, I'll split a bottle of one of the tasty treats you picked up for me at Alesmith last year. Or maybe I'll just give you a bottle of Rolling Rock and drink the good stuff myself.

That Bootleg Guy said...

JP, we're all but guaranteed to be making a spring training trip out there next year. I'll prepare my pallette(sp?)

Oddly enough, although he'd never admit it today, one of our mutual friends turn me on to the corn-brewed skankness of Rolling Rock back in our college days.

I pretty much put myself thru school so I could (1) afford to pay someone to wash my car and (2) buy better beer.

Beer said...

I prefer Lite Ice and Bud Ice. Anyone remember those little slices of hell?

acctg.sean said...

I remember actually liking Bud Ice in college. That "chisled" bottle that it came in always killed me, as if the bottle was made of ice.

These days my fat ass is forced to only drink lite beer, which is fine since you can buy 36 cans for $9.99. Sold!

That Bootleg Guy said...

...and, that's why no one comes to your WWE PPV parties, Sean.