Ruination - What Happens After A Six Pack Of This

Brewery and Country of Origin: Stone Brewing Company of 1999 Citracado Pkwy, Escondido, San Diego, California 92029, USA

Date Reviewed: 3-29-12

Ruination. Not exactly what you want to read on the bottle of a craft beer. But then again, isn't it? Stone has rightfully earned a reputation for crafting bold and strong beers that... let's just say, people would be better without chugging them to say the least. Pounding this particular beer all night will in fact bring upon your own ruination so to speak. Yes, fun times. Stone gave this beer its forboding name due to their claims of what the extreme bitterness will do to your palate. This is an extremely hopped, mildly malted, and full flavored Imperial IPA that will literally take your breath away. And although this beer packs a serious hoppy and bitter punch with a greater-than-modest alcoholic strength, it doesn't give anyone a real challange when being enjoyed. Perhaps that's why this is, in its essence, particularly ruinous.
Date Sampled: 3-28-12 At: Russel House Tavern, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, USA
Beer Style: American Double IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 7.70%
Serving Type: Cask Conditioned, 12oz Snifter Glass
Rating: 3.99


The color is a rich, deep amber that lights the room gold when held up to the halogens. This is a clear and filtered beer that features a half inch foam head and beautiful lacing around the entire glass.


This Imperial IPA has a very hoppy aroma of course, but nothing too overpowering. Some subtle fruity and malty notes are present as well.


This medium bodied, top fermented beer contains moderate levels of carbonation, is mostly smooth (somewhat bitey and chewy) and finishes with a lingering aftertaste. This beer has a low viscosity.


As you would expect, this is a very hoppy and bitter beer with an IBU above 100. This is derived from the use of both Columbus and Centennial hops. The bittnerness ends when the lingering aftertaste goes away. This hoppy beer is balanced somewhat by a modestly malty base.

Our Take

This beer was first made available in June of 2002, and since then it has been changing the way people perceive American Doubles. Sure, this is a very bitter beer, and it may definitely change the way you taste beer, but you would be hard pressed to find someone that said it changed things for worse. This beer somehow manages to remain in seemingly perfect balance between mouth closing bitterness and bread like maltiness. This isn't going to deliver any knockout punch for anyone looking for a strong IPA that makes their eyes water. This is a beer for people looking to enjoy a very hoppy beer without it being overstated.

And that for some reason, doesn't sit well with us. Stone is all about rebellion and pushing the envelope, and with a name like Ruination, you'd think this would be almost unbearable. It is however, quite respectable; something that anyone can drink, albeit with a few people cringing. Were we disappointed with the outcome of this beer? Of course not, we thoroughly enjoyed what it had to offer. But for whatever reason that anyone can put their finger (or their whole hand) on, we were expecting more from this. Still, we'd highly recommend this to any IPA fan, especially if you are able to find it in a venue that serves it from the cask (such as Russel House). Your palate won't be obliterated, but you certainly will want more.