When I think of an American strong ale, this is what immediately comes to mind. Perhaps because this is the first I one I had. It’s one of stone’s bigger beers, and quite deserving of its title, with the phrase “you’re not worthy” printed below. Malt and hops are wonderfully proportionate in bitter and sweet. Malt and hops don’t even compete, they’re just bonded together perfectly. The malt body is rich with caramel, equally balanced by strong Stone style pine and citrus hops. Orange hops and caramel merge with grapefruit rind in a spectacular way. Alongside the citric notes, a nutty and earthy, pecan flavor can be found after the beer warms.
The mouth feel is a wave that begins mellow, then runs sharp as the hops come in, and falls back to mellow for the finish. It’s a nice juicy, smooth, full bodied, sticky mouth coating experience. It’s obviously ultra-hopped, but you should know to anticipate aggressive bitterness if you know Stone. I think it comes off tasting like a highly malted double IPA, but definitely big and complex. Everything is in its right place and it drinks surprisingly easily. Stone has found a great recipe, and I recommend this and all of its brothers in the Bastard series.