Just when you think Stone couldn’t get any better with its experimental IPA kick, it leaves you with a pleasant surprise.
If nothing else, Stone is known for its high profile collaborations with fellow breweries and celebrities. And their experimentation. Like, a LOT of experimentation. And they keep improving.
In the case of the Tangerine Express IPA, this ride on the citrus express train is one to remember.
HOT: It feels like biting into a juicy, fresh tangerine straight from the farmer’s market–infused with ethanol and filled with ichorous vitality.
NOT: Though it tastes like a tangerine, it is ironically sweeter than it is citrusy–perhaps sweeter than it needs to be.
Stone Tangerine Express IPA First Splash
This is a pleasant beer. It has an enticing fresh-squeezed citrus aroma that just beckons you to sip it. When it hits your tongue, you reasonably expect a tangerine essence, but as the body completes its course on your palate you start to sense some hidden tropical notes that simply add more interesting characteristics to the experience.
It’s like going to a store and planning to purchase only oranges/tangerines for some fresh juice, but you instead walk out with pineapples, mangoes papayas and passionfruit to make a fruit cocktail instead.
It’s simply bursting with flavor throughout the entire body. From sip to swallow, there is cabana lounge action going on in your mouth. Doesn’t possess a ton of carbonation, nor is it super hoppy and bitter at a 6.7% ABV rating. Definitely easy drinking.
As pleasant and drinkable as this brew is, it’s hard to review it from an IPA standpoint. It’s pretty up on there on the sweetness factor (probably because of the puree mixtures they use), and it has the tangerine flavor but not the citrus bite. I’m not sure if it is the amount of malt used, or maybe there isn’t enough of a hop presence (doubt it, Stone uses five varieties here), but it tastes more like a supercharged pale ale than an IPA.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It still tastes wonderful.
Mexican food comes to mind immediately. More specifically, seafood such as ceviche, tacos de cameron or pescador.I can also see a good pairing with golden (butternut squash) gazpacho.
Whatever you decide to pair it with, it should be a summer-type food, with sand in your toes and a bathing suit to match.
Is the Stone Tangerine Express IPA a Year-Round Drinker?
The irony of that is that though this beer was released in January, its best fit is in the summertime. Point being, I wouldn’t say it is something to enjoy at ALL times throughout the year, but for all places where it wouldn’t exactly deemed an appropriate choice, its drinkable for all others.
Hoptastic Rating: 4.2/5