Fruet & Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA

It’s time for another beer review.  This time it’s about The Bruery and Stone.

Fruet – This is brewed by The Bruery in Placentia, California.  It’s their 4th anniversary ale, and it just recently became available (the end of May).  The Bruery has only been in business four years, but it is already world renowned.  How were they able to become so well known and respected in such a short period of time?  If you have tasted any of their beers, you understand why.  It’s because they consistently brew unbelievably good beer.  Fruet is the latest example.

This is a beer brewed with Belgian yeast, but does not have the signature Belgian flavor profile.  It’s a cloudy, dark amber ale, very complex, 15.5% ABV, and aged in bourbon barrels.  The aroma is the oak/vanilla from the barrel.  The overwhelming flavor is also bourbon barrel, but there is a noticeable fruity flavor as well.  I was at The Bruery’s Provisions Store looking for a bottle of Melange 3.  They were out of it, and I inquired about the 2012 anniversary ale in stock (Fruet).  I was hesitant to purchase (at $30 per 750 ML bottle), because, even though I love bourbon barrel stouts, this was not a stout, and I was afraid I wouldn’t really love it (when you pay $30 for one bottle, you better love it).  The guy offered a small sample (less than a mouthful); I tasted it and had to buy it (I got bottle number 18610).  Was it worth it?  Definitely.  If I’ve piqued your curiosity, and you’re considering buying a bottle, I can only tell you it is worth the price. HOWEVER, I must offer this stern warning: FIZZY YELLOW BEER DRINKERS WILL  NOT LIKE FRUET.  It’s too different, too complex and too expensive (so, you Bud Light drinkers, go to Costco and buy a couple of cases of your favorite Budweiser for the price of one bottle of Fruet – you’ll be happy, and the bottle of Fruet that you didn’t purchase will be available to someone who truly appreciates quality craft beer).  I intend to purchase one more bottle of this beer and age it for a few years.

Stone’s Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA – This is Stone’s special edition of one of their popular staples.  Ruination was first released in June, 2002.  It is 100+ IBU’s, and a fantastic double IPA (the name “Ruination” comes from it’s hoppy, bitter ruinous effect on the palate).  In honor of 10 years of Ruination, Stone changed up the recipe a bit and brewed this huge IPA.

If you’ve had Ruination, you know it’s fairly dry and quite bitter.  This special Anniversary edition is bigger in alcohol (10.8% ABV; regular Ruination is 7.7% ABV) and flavor.  The significantly higher alcohol content is from a bigger grain bill (not sure if it’s more of the same, or if some other grain malt variety has been added).  The extra malt lends a sweeter character to the beer (not as dry), although I would not describe it as complex (it’s all about the hops).  I haven’t had regular Ruination in a couple of months, so I’m not sure if my recollection is right, but here I offer a comparison of the regular Ruination with the 10th Anniversary edition.  Anniversary definitely has a more malty flavor.  I would describe it as bittersweet.  It is more like Bootlegger’s Knuckle Sandwich.  The hoppy flavor is also stronger, with more of a piney than citrus aroma/flavor.  I prefer more citrus, but this is very good.  I highly recommend this beer, especially if you’re adventurous or an IPA lover.  I plan to buy several more bottles and enjoy this one for awhile.

Disclaimer – As stated above (for Fruet), FIZZY YELLOW BEER DRINKERS WILL NOT LIKE THIS BEER.  In fact, I would go so far as to say they would hate this beer.  It’s very strong, but, as the Arrogant Bastard says, “Fizzy yellow beer is for wussies.”  Also, I have to be in the mood to drink a double IPA like Ruination.  Extrapolate that sentiment out a little further for the Anniversary edition.

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