It is no secret that The Beer Wench loves Stone Brewing Company. (Stone’s Ruination is one of my go-to IPAs.)
In June 2008, Stone will release its 12th Anniversary beer entitled “Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout,” a 9.2% ale brewed with bitter chocolate. Little is known about the beer other than that it will presumably be similar to Hoppin Frog’s B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher and Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Choklat. Stone is in partnership with Chuao Chocolatier for this project.
The ingredients are Barley, Oatmeal, Chocolate, Hops, Water and Yeast.
Quite possibly a result of the recent hops shortage, this beer appears to be a strategic move away from the big hoppy ales that Stone brewed for its 10th and 11th anniversaries. Although the anniversary release dates tend to change every year, the last few took place in August. This summer, however, Stone is planning on releasing its Vertical Epic Ale (which deserves an entirely different post at a later date) on 08.08.08 – and thus will be releasing the anniversary stout early this summer.
Eventually, Stone will reveal the details around its 12th Anniversary Ale at the website: http://www.stonebrew.com/12th. As of yet, this link does not work. Most of what is really known about this beer can be found on the (future) label below – click on the image for better readability:
And so … I shall wait until June – anxiously. Until then, we have Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout – which hit the shelves on March 17th 2008 and is ready to drink now … as well as Stone’s Old Guardian Barley Wine – which hit the shelves this January and can be drank now or cellared to enjoy in the future.
I know for a fact that Grapes of Mirth in the North Market has the latest 2008 release of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine. I was there when he was putting the first round on the shelf – and made sure to grab a bottle, which I have chosen to “cellar”. I recommend picking up a bottle as soon as possible, since it is a limited release.
And … when in doubt, Stone Ruination IPA will satisfy your hop cravings any day!