When Devil’s Peak first released their cans of Stoned Pale Ale last week, a fellow beer fan expressed mild bafflement at the branding on the new can and how it’s not quite in line with the rest of the brewery’s range. And for me, the beer within is also somewhat baffling.
I’m not entirely sure what Stoned is meant to be. As a pale ale it misses the mark. It’s not quite crisp enough, not quite refreshing enough, not clear enough (is it a “New England” version of a pale ale??) and certainly not bitter enough. The addition of apricot pulp has overridden the bitterness, so what I got was more sourness than the upfront hops and background malt you would expect (assuming it’s an APA?)
There is hop nose to be found. Under the aroma of dried apricots I definitely detected a whiff of citrus. But the aroma was the star here for me, for flavourwise it fell a bit flat. I couldn’t help thinking that pale ale was the wrong choice of base beer here. The mouthfeel is too heavy and it lacks the crispness of a pale ale – maybe a weiss would work well?
That’s not to say, of course, that apricot wouldn’t work well in a pale ale. Perhaps it was the addition of wheat and oats that didn’t work for me. Stoned seems to be a beer designed along the lines of Juicy Lucy – for maximum haze and mouthfeel, but alas it pales (gettit?) in comparison to DP’s excellent New England IPA.