Now this is more like it. I was sorely disappointed in the bottle of Stone Levitation Ale I had a few weeks back. It flat out sucked, and Stone usually does wonderful things with beer. The Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale restores my faith in Stone, the universe, and everything. This poured a deep mahogany brown, almost black, with a minimal tan head. It had a very nice pine and grapefruit hop flavor, backed up by some toasted malt with a dark chocolate aftertaste. Clocks in at 8.7% ABV, but you do not notice the alcohol at all. I don’t know whether to call this a dark IPA or a hoppy porter, but I am calling it a 7/10.
Normally I am a fan of Stone Brewing’s beer, and I heard good things about the Levitation Ale, but Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, this was awful. It was astringent and bitter, not in the good way, and was just plain nasty. It was so bad and so off the mark for Stone that I wonder if I got a bad bottle. I finished it, because I am a cheap bastard and don’t like wasting beer, but I will not be going back anytime soon. 3/10.
The 2010 Old Guardian Barleywine from Stone Brewing is a top notch beer. It clocks in at over 11% ABV, but is smooth and very drinkable. It pours a burnt orange color with a decent head that lasts to the bottom of the glass. A nice fruity aroma with some hops floweriness and a malty backbone. The caramel maltiness really came through in the flavor. I had this a few weeks ago when I was snowed in one night and it was the perfect cold weather beer. 8/10.