Sometimes, beer is more than just a beverage. Sometimes, it is a teaching tool. Today, we’re adding a word to your vocabulary. Stochasticity (sto-kas-TI-city) is the state of being statistically non-deterministic. In short, this means being random. So with random in mind, the Beer of the Week is Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA.
India pale ales harness the inherent flavor characteristics of hops to bring forward familiar flavors of pine, resin, spice and citrus. In some cases, those botanicals are so potent, they exactly mirror specific edibles. Such is the case with Centennial hops, which hail from the Great Northwest and come across on the palate like a mouthful of citrus fruit. The sensation is amplified with this, the first beer introduced via the Stochasticity Project, a double IPA brewed with Centennial, Chinook and Magnum hops as well as an immense dosing of fresh grapefruit peel. The result is over-the-top bittersweet grapefuit intensity that is at once refreshing and bracing in its citrusy bitterness.
Grapefruit Slam kciks off with a resinous pine aroma. The pour is golden with a white head. A gripping bitterness strikes then fades quickly with a subtly sweet body that stands up to hopping. Grapefruit pith resides in the bristly bitterness, surprisingly not present in rest of beer. The finish is clean with memories of the beer hiding in corners of the mouth. Smack your lips and bring back the honey sweetness mixed with resinous bitterness.
Grapefruit Slam is an interesting beer because, as the name implies, it carries with it a bit of randomness. A Double IPA that hits at 8.2%, the beer goes down like a smooth IPA. The ABV hides well but the bitterness is rough and eye popping at time. The name says Grapefruit Slam, but aside from a citrus pith bitterness, I feel the grapefruit pucker factor or even the sweet flavor of the flesh is lacking. Still, in the end, Grapefruit Slam is a very tasty beer and one that IPA lovers will approve of.
The Stochasticity Project is just kicking off and it will be interesting to see what Stone offers as the project moves forward. With the Enjoy By series of beers being a huge hit and new releases scheduled for 2014, Stone’s looking to continue it’s status as being relevant and ground-breaking even while CEO Greg Koch takes a brief sabbatical from the brewery.