It’s Friday and it’s time for another beer tasting with my wife, Danielle!
This week, we’re in the dog days of August. It’s hot outside and sticky…so we’re pairing this weather with the “Tiki Escape” pack from Napa’s Stone Brewing!
This pack contains three beers from last year’s tropical pack in “Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager”, “Tangerine Express IPA”, and “Scorpion Bowl IPA”. This year’s pack adds the brand-new “Vengeful Spirit IPA” which is a sweeter beer with some fruit notes.
Which beer was the best of the pack? Is the pack worth buying? Let’s find out!
We will do this flight going up the ABV ladder…so, our first beer is…
BEER: Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager
LOOK: Light gold, crystal clear…slightly foamy head that dissipates after a few moments.
SCENT: You get salt and lime right off the bat, some citrus if you try hard enough.
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Lots of salt and lime, just like the nose. Very nice mouthfeel with a thin(ner) Lager feel. Slightly malty. I didn’t think I’d like Buenaveza mainly because I usually like when a beer speaks for itself and I’m not fond of breweries tossing in additives you’d toss in a beer anyhow (eg: lime, orange slice, etc.) but this is fantastic and has been a beer that’s been one of our summer go-to drinks. It’s very easy-going, very crushable. You can drink about 6 of them and barely feel a thing.
BEER: Tangerine Express Hazy IPA
LOOK: Slightly hazy, but most clear, darker gold
SCENT: Hard orange right on the nose, nothing else
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: I don’t have a clue why Stone stuck the word “hazy” on the bottle. It’s almost clear with a touch of haze. Thicker mouthfeel than the Lager — but this is a great IPA. This isn’t just an orange-flavored beer. It’s more complex than that. The tangerine rind and flavor mixes beautifully with the hops. Yes, it’s bitter, but the flavor offsets that. It’s a very clever and bold take on an IPA.
BEER: Vengeful Spirit IPA
LOOK: Gold and hazy, hazier than the tangerine
SCENT: A lot fruit right on the nose. Getting guava and pineapple notes.
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Crisp with a LOT of fruit, which is great because it offsets some of the bitterness. This is reminiscent of their “Tiki Escape” they released in last year’s Tiki pack. I am not quite sure if this is the same beer with a different title but the Mosaic Hops they use in this beer make it taste the same as that one. Still, it’s such a good beer, you won’t care much. Nice finish with notes of fruit juice.
BEER: Scorpion Bowl IPA
LOOK: Copper color, crystal clear
SCENT: Fruit on the nose, same as the last beer
MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: You can actually taste the booze once you get past the fruit juice element of it. There IS bitterness but it’s more balanced than the Vengeful Spirit. Mouthfeel is about the same as the others in this pack. Lots of carbonation with an excellent finish. This is a great beer.
This is a great pack. One of my favorite flights thus far. Stone makes such good beer, that they could half-ass a pack and you’d STILL get good quality. This is a perfect pack for a summer party or BBQ, next to Kona’s Island Hopper pack. The flavors will wow your guests. If you bring it to a party, your guests might be unaware that they’re getting quality but they’ll know they’re drinking some good stuff. This is an easy 4/4.5 pack for me.
FINAL SCORE: 4.25
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