Mrs TIW’s uncle and auntie are spending their retirement touring the US in a Fifth Wheel – or the world’s poshest caravan, as it’s also known. You can read about their escapades here. They’ve got an uncanny knack of bringing me over some superb and fairly hard-to-find American beers, like this Stone Ruination IPA, one of a brace that they got me for Christmas. I’ve only seen it for sale at Utobeer, and for about eight quid, though it might also be in those ur-fridges at the Euston Tap.
Stone claim that ‘Ruination’ is what’s going to happen to your taste buds after drinking this. Well, my mouth recovered after about an hour but it’s definitely not a beer for food matching. Unless you’re eating handfuls of hops. It’s massively, heftily, grandly, bitterly hoppy this beer. Despite that it was an easy drink once I’d got over that big hop punch, and settled into citrus and sort of walk-in-the woods pine notes, all somehow balanced with those intense, 100+ IBU shovelfuls of Columbus and Centennial. After swigging nothing but meh* beers over Christmas in Devon, this was like being plugged into the mains. Beer as a primary colour. And in the States you can get it on draught. Sorry – “draft”. Lucky Yanks.