It’s the last week of April, which means it’s the last IPA Head-to-Head. We’ll be pairing up Stone’s IPA against Laurelwood’s Workhorse IPA, both of which I’ve never had. I’ve had Stone’s Ruination IPA and many of their other brews, but this one has alluded me. This was also my first experience with Laurelwood. So, this IPA Head-to-Head was one of firsts, and because of that I was pretty excited. But, before we get into the Head-to-Head I’d like to announce that next month’s Head-to-Head will be with Pale Ales (thanks Mark from mustlovebeer.com for the input). Alright, let’s get into it.
Stone’s IPA comes in at an ABV of 6.9% with 77 IBUs. It pours a strong frothy white head that lingers. The color is golden and a very cloudy clarity, which I really like to see. The smell is strongly of hops with citrus hints. The overall aroma is strong and delicious. Look - 23, Smell - 24.5.
The flavor is big hops! The texture of this IPA is great, it expands on the tongue with good carbonation. The hops give a bit of an earthy flavor with citrus bitter notes. Will helped me out with this tasting and he felt it was clean, and that it wasn’t an overwhelming IPA, but for someone who isn’t real into IPAs that it was something he would like to have again. Overall, this IPA is a solid west coast representation of an IPA without being over the top hoppy. Flavor - 47.5.
Laurelwood Workhorse IPA has an ABV of 7.5% with 80 IBUs. The head pours somewhat creamy and dissipates quickly, but coats the glass well. The clarity is somewhat cloudy, but rather clear. The color is a bit darker than Stone’s IPA with a darker golden color and yellow hues. The smell is very light, and the hops come through with a “buttery” aroma, but the overall smell is very mellow/light. Look - 21, Smell - 19.
The flavor is bitter and has a stronger citrus flavor with light buttery hints. The 80 IBUs do a good job of leaving a nice fuzzy coat on the tongue. Orange zest finds its way into the aftertaste with an expected bitterness. Workhorse is much more bitter orientated, which I like, but Will didn’t like the lack of balance. The lack of aroma really made its way into the taste, which prevented this ale from being as good as it could be. The overall flavor of the Laurelwood Workhorse IPA is simple and bitterly hoppy. Flavor - 45.
Even though Stone wins by 10 points, this is a very close Head-to-Head. Stone barely won out on flavor, and it was Laurelwood’s clearer clarity and light smell that inevitably cost it the Head-to-Head. Both these beers are well worth your money and taste buds to pick-up, and I really recommend pairing these two up with a friend at see who comes on top. But, like all match-ups there needs to be a winner, so with that said, with an Overall Score of 95/100 the Beer Fusion declares...
Winner: Stone’s IPA