Tuesday, September 30, 2008
TBG Drinks: StoneWall Ale (Stone Brewing Company)
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)