"...this is an aggressive beer. You probably won't like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory - maybe something with a multi million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it's made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi million dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this..."
And so Stone Brewing Co. introduce you to their most infamous beer. I like this bit of blurb because it's undeniably true. If you are a macro beer drinker this beer will smack you about the face and call your mother a very rude name. I can't say it is a very complex beer; the intense bitterness swamps a lot of the flavour, but the malt is heavy and sweet and holds its own rather well. It's a big hitter at 7.2% and tastes it too. The foam is rich and here to stay, lacing the glass all the way, marking the tentative sips that this intoxicating beer persuades you to take.
Worth the hype? Perhaps. It undeniably does what it suggests on the bottle, but the marketing approach taken is strange to pushers of craft beer in Ireland and the UK. Here craft brewers want a small share of the macro market and attempt to lure in the more adventurous drinker who might want to try something new with promises of a rewarding experience. Stone, with this beer at least, are using some form of reverse psychology to goad drinkers into trying their beer. In reality we all know that this beer will almost never fall into the hands of committed light lager drinkers and it won't get the chance to hurt the feelings of too many people.