I love Stone Brewing‘s beers. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a bad one; I only wish I could get more of them around here. Even so, I get by.
The thing with Stone is they make big, strong beers, and their 9th Anniversary Ale is no exception. This was a limited edition brew, released in September of 2005, and clocks in at 7.8% alcohol. It was an excellent beer, one I enjoyed quite a bit.
And I don’t quite know why, but the labeling reminds me of billiards.
Appearance: Nice light golden straw colored… a good two fingers of off-white head. Slightly murky.
Smell: Light, but pungent with the fruity/citrusy aroma reminiscent of Cascade hops. Malty and sweet, kind of flossy like Belgian candi sugar.
Taste: Bitter/hoppy with light malt—biscuity—with strong alcohol notes all rolled into one. Kind of fruity, maybe from the hops, but also its strength? Belgian-y for sure, but with that Northwest American hop profile.
Mouthfeel: Light but with a kick. Dry and hoppy bitter, but body from alcohol.
Being a limited edition "retired" ale, its BeerAdvocate score is no longer tallied and overall score (the out-of-100 figure) is unavailable. Reviews are still coming in, though; it averages 3.87 out of 5 and has a 94% thumbs-up rate. On RateBeer it has a strong showing with 3.66 out of 5 and landing in their 91st percentile.
I don’t know if you’ll be able to find this anymore, since it was released a year ago. If by some chance you do, I recommend stocking up.