Stone Brewing Company has definitely embraced the limited release trend that has developed in craft beer over the last few years. Many of their collaborations are with persons other than brewers. Tonight I will be checking out the newest one to come across my radar; an American Double IPA with 9.3% ABV brewed with coriander and elderberries called Stone Collective Distortion IPA. This beer was conceived in partnership with the keyboardist for String Cheese Incident (excellent music if you are unfamiliar) and a guitarist that played with Alice Cooper.
Stone Collective Distortion IPA is a deep amber into orange colored beer, moderately hazy, with a small cream colored head topping briefly before turning into a film. Scattered bits of lacing cling to the glass.
Elderberries mingle with a variety of fruity hop notes in the notes, lots of tropical fruit, with some floral and citrus aroma as well.
Sweet malts start things off in the taste, some toasty accents, yeast providing just a bit of lighter fruity esters in the background, very faint coriander spice, background tart elderberry, with medium low hop bitterness and medium high hop flavor ranging from floral, citrus with tropical fruit as well. Alcohol provides just a bit of spice if looked for, but is unnoticed until searched for. Balance fairly even though favoring the hops. Mouth is medium bodied, smoothly carbonated, finish mainly dry with some lingering bitterness.
A lot of Stone beers start off with an aggressive hop profile and work backwards from there, but Collective Distortion allows all of its parts to balance out with nothing dominating. The special ingredients make their presence felt while remaining supporting players, while the malt and hops work together to form a tasty and balanced beer.
Stone Collective Distortion : B+
Beer Reviews by Prof Sudz