For this week’s installment of Tasting Notes, we track down some tropical fruit refreshment in a tall pour of Scorpion Bowl IPA from Stone Brewing (Escondido, California).
Released as the newest Year-Round offering to join the brewery’s respected lineup of IPAs, Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA is Stone Brewing’s take on those trendy, fruit-forward beers that are so popular right now but “with absolutely no addition of fruit.” Relying solely on Mosaic, Loral and Mandarina Bavaria hops, Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA (7.5% ABV, 76 IBUs) offers a tiki-like experience that possesses “hints of passion fruit, pineapple, tangerine, guava and mango . . . as well as strawberry, blueberry and subtle herbal notes.”
Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA is out now and available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft. You can expect to find this new Year-Round at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia, and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution area.
With all that background information now out of the way, let’s stretch the weekend out into this Monday and get into some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA from Stone Brewing
Appearance: This IPA pours a deep golden in color and is capped with almost two fingers of chunky, white foam. Held to direct light, its appearance brightens and radiates with light orange and brilliant yellow hues. The beer is impeccably clear and alive with a steady carbonation presence. Head retention is decent, but the foam does end up reducing down to a thin ring that draws intricate lines of lace across the glass.
Aroma: Tropical notes abound as mango, cantaloupe, papaya, guava, and pineapple are all eager to greet the nose. In addition to those fruity tones, the hops also offer a subtle musty and earthy quality that hangs out in the background. This dynamic hop character dominates the profile, but there is just a hint of lightly sweet, bready malt that works its way in to lend some support.
Taste: Just like the nose, this brew’s flavor is all about that tropical hop goodness. It starts with a sweet tangerine/orange character (almost candied orange at times) that opens up to welcome notes of pineapple, passionfruit and mango. Mixed berries then surface and bring with them some subtle floral and herbal tones. The malts supply some nondescript but balancing sweetness, but this beer is pretty much just straight hoppy fruit punch.
Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium in body with a lighter carbonation, this beer comes across as smooth and slightly creamy. Although it is more on the hoppy than bitter side, this IPA is still allowed to retain some West Coast bite that lingers a bit in the finish. The ABV is well hidden and does not influence the experience really at all. The aftertaste is a satisfying mix of various tropical fruits.
Final Thoughts: From the first sip to the last drop of this bomber, Stone Scorpion Bowl IPA definitely lives up to its name by conjuring up memories of tiki-themed, fruity drink-fueled good times. The amount of fruit flavor that Stone Brewing coaxed out of these hops is absolutely staggering and impressive. With that said, it was refreshing to see that the brewers did buck the low IBU trend by keeping this IPA both hoppy and bitter. This results in a ridiculously enjoyable combination of fruitiness and hoppiness that is innovative, playful and in your face. In other words, it’s everything that an IPA from Stone Brewing should be. Prost!