When Stone Brewing announced that they were discontinuing production of Ruination, their flagship double IPA that is available year round, my initial reaction was one of disbelief. Thankfully shortly after the announcement that the beer would be discontinued came the announcement of Ruination 2.0, a new re-imagined version of the Double IPA that was said to be improved. To be fair I didn’t think this was necessary at first, Ruination was great! An always available quality double IPA that I didn’t have to hunt down, whats to fix? Not really needing to fix Ruination didn’t stop Stone from rebooting the beer, and it wasn’t going to stop me from drinking it either.
Ruination 2.0 pours nice and gold almost copper with a slight but crystal white head. Like most West Coast IPA’s the aroma is dank and citrusy while being pleasantly floral. The first thing you’ll taste from this beer is it’s imposing bitter characteristic, that’s quickly balanced out by by citrus and tropical fruits and finishes with a little bit of pine and pleasant level of malt to even out the hops. Ruination 2.0 is a medium bodied beer that doesn’t sit heavy in the stomach, it’s a wonderful beer for a summer day or to bring out and share at a summer barbecue. The beer is not over thought or loaded with unusual or rare ingredients, it’s a standard issue Double IPA, and I mean that as a compliment. Sometimes the best beer is a beer that simply nails the basics down and reminds you what you loved about that beer to begin with.
So is rebooting a beer necessary? I’m not sure, at the end of the day Ruination 2.0 is a beer that I definitely enjoyed. Truthfully it reminds me more of the annual release RuinTen than its predecessor, but I didn’t expect Ruination 2.0 to taste like 1.0, otherwise what would be the point? Stone has done a lot of unique things in brewing. They’ve popularized and emphasized freshness with the Enjoy By series and brought specialized rarities like Golden Stout to the masses with the Stochasticity Project. Is the rebooting of flagship beers going to be the next trend in craft brewing? I kind of doubt it, even Stones own reboot of Pale Ale 2.0 failed to impress me, but its a neat idea. There’s quite a few beers out there that might benefit from being re-examined and reborn by their makers so it will be interesting to see if anyone else gives this strategy a try. For Ruination 2.0 however, mark this up as another win for the big gargoyle. The brew is fresh and easy to enjoy and bound to quench the thirst for a nice double IPA, I for one know Ruination 2.0 is destined for my fridge again.
Overall Beer Rating: 4.25 out of 5 Stars
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