No wonder Meijer's was selling these for $1.49 per bottle - these expired on the 9th of this month, just a week before I cracked this open. But who cares, these dates are just suggestive...
The beer has a copper/light amber color and pours with a generous head and a huge hop aroma which can barely be contained. Moments after the first puff from prying the cap off my nose was hit by the pleasant aroma of hops...Cascade or Citra...Amarillo??? I cannot say for sure since they are all very similar and I am still not much of an experienced brewer.
Upon closer inspection the aroma also carries a lot of citrus and a bit of pine. The taste is astonishing and this expired bottle of Stone's IPA is better than most "excellent" IPA's you can get on tap around here. The taste is perfectly balanced and though is very hop heavy, it doesn't give you that grassiness that you sometimes get from other overly hopped IPAs. There are plenty of tropical fruits and malt sweetness to compliment the hops and this marriage carries through to the finish and then some. A moderate hop flavour with mild citrus lingers for a long time and just makes you want to drink another bottle until you are out or cannot stand straight.
The higher ABV is perfectly masked and at no point can you ever tell you are drinking something above 5.5%.
This is perfect...first 10?
Cost - $1.49 for a bottle at Meijer's (older batch)
Taste - 10/10
ABV - 6.9%
Overall - 10/10...the best IPA and probably the best beer you can buy today