Tonight, while watching a show about pirates, I decided to pull out one of the bottles that I picked out last week. At the new awesome beer store I found in Wells, there was an array of big bottles – Brooklyn, Rogue, Unibroue and everything under the sun. In the middle of the colorful labels, interesting designs and funny names, stood this. The plain white label with simple red text, signed simply in the corner by the head brewer struck me as being just one notch up from being home brewed. Interesting. And a triple IPA? What the heck is a triple IPA?
It of course, came home with me.
That’s only half the story though. What I didn’t read in the store was the fine print. Stone Coast Brewing is not actually new. They’re a spin-off of the Sunday River Brewing Company, famous for their 420 IPA – named because they were officially allowed to brew beer on April 20th of 1995 (not, as usually believed, as a reference to marijuana.) Apparently ten years after that, in 2005, they came out with their double IPA – and named it their 840. (I want to get my hands on this, actually, and I’m going to look for it next time I go back to that store.)
The awesome thing that I didn’t realize is that this 1260 IPA is one of only 600 bottles that were put up for one year, to celebrate 12 years of brewing. So, it’s their 1,000th batch of beer, a one of aged brew, and I get to try it just because I made the mistake of thinking it was a new brewing company!
The taste is amazing. It’s in your face, alcoholic, sweet, and pleasantly smooth. It almost has a dark brown ale feel to it, like you took a darker brew and mixed it with a great IPA. It is quite strong and I would have loved to age this yet another year, and I might run back to the store to see if I can get another one to put away. I wish it was something that would be released again.
I don’t generally like to review brews that people probably wouldn’t get a chance to taste, but this one was accidental and well worth a taste. It’s beautifully balanced, warm and hoppy. It does have a bit of hop sting to it, which can dry out your taste buds, but you’re well towards the end of the glass before you notice it.
An awesome find – like buried treasure – that if you come across its innocent label you should definitely scoop up.