Attention beer lovers! No longer is grapefruit reserved for Rastall brunch to cure the previous night’s hangover. Now we have the best of both worlds in The Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA.
The Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA is a product of the Stone Brewing Company located in Escondido, California. Stone Brewing Co. was founded by Steve Wagner and Greg Koch, two beer-loving business men who, between the two of them, have visited over 140 different breweries and more than 30 beer-tasting festivals.
The pair originally met in L.A. in the late 1980s and then again at a beer evaluation event class taught at the University of California Davis. From there, they continued to keep in touch and ended up opening the Stone Brewing Company in 1996. The company was awarded the title “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine in ‘08 and ‘09 as well as being rated one of the most popular breweries in the states.
Wagner and Koch are looking into opening breweries in Europe as well as expanding locally around the states. It is the tenth largest craft brewery in the U.S. as of 2013 and currently distributes to 37 different states. Clearly, these men know what to do to create a high quality brew that is popular with such a wide variety of consumers.
Now back to the Slam: The Grapefruit Slam is one of the more unique tastes that I’ve experienced. It is basically a double IPA, described as an American Double/Imperial IPA. The color resembles a clear orange with a golden haze along with about a finger’s width of foam at the top with a strong retention. The smell embodies a zesty-citrus, malt, and a slight caramel aroma, finished with a powerful grapefruit nose. It is a crisp nose with each aspect distinct from the next, which lets you take in each nose separately and equally appreciate its diversity.
The taste is very similar to its smell. With the initial moment of the beer passing over your taste buds, a combination of grapefruit, orange, and citrus zest lingers for just a few moments. This experience is then followed by the caramel and malt relationship mentioned in the nose. It sits slightly on the tongue afterwards, but it helps to reduce the sharpness that normally follows a malt beer. It is very dry and hoppy, but not so bitter that the aftertaste overpowers the grapefruit. There is a smooth balance between all of these aromas that mix the nose and the taste without having one scent overthrow the other aspects of the beer.
The difference between this beer and other crafty beers that I’ve tried is that it doesn’t lose its appeal towards the bottom fourth of the bottle. Especially because the bottle I drank was larger than an average bottle, it was sold in pints. It was also stronger than most beers sitting at 8.20 percent ABV. With a strong beer served in large quantities, it can be difficult to put down without it either losing its flavor or you losing your ability to stand up while consuming it. This is both good and bad, but overall, I’m okay with it.
The most unique aspect of the beer is the grapefruit peel. It is certainly the most potent of the smells and tastes, which is appropriate considering that it’s the advertised aspect of the beer. Normally with fruity beers, I’m used to the experience of other fruits added in order to have a nice combination rather than just one strong citrus flavor. I would recommend adding other fruits such as lemons or apricots to the beer to add some variety to the mix.
In my opinion, one downside to this beer is that you have to be a fan of grapefruit to enjoy it. I am not suggesting that it shouldn’t be tried, but it is certainly an out-of-the-box beer whose bottle looks like it came out of a chemistry lab rather than a brewery in Southern California.