Stone Enjoy by 02.14.17 Chocolate and Coffee IPA

Stone Enjoy by 02.14.17 Chocolate and Coffee IPA
Stone IPA in a Tulip Glass

This chocolate & coffee IPA pours dark amber with lots of particulate bits floating around.  It starts with about a half inch head that settles pretty thin.

The first thing I’m getting in the nose is a pretty basic citrus hop aroma but over time a mild hint of chocolate milk is noticeable.

First sip is a sledge hammer of black coffee flavor right to the face. Up front, strong and unmistakable. As the tasting progresses the coffee flavor gives way and a spicy, floral, hoppy flavor takes it’s place.

It’s mild bodied and not nearly as sticky as other sweeter IPAs.

At 9.4% ABV you’d expect a bit of an alcoholic bite but a bitter hoppy-ness and dry finish round out this beer’s finish.

Ultimately, I might recommend this for a mix-six addition just to give it a shot.  Not sure I’d go out of my way looking for it, though.

Why That Glass?

The last IPA we reviewed was the FAT BOY Double IPA for which we chose a nonic pint glass.  At the time I mentioned that there was a toss-up ultimately decided by how big the can was.

For this Chocolate & Coffee IPA we’re going with a tulip glass.  This is kind of my go to whenever I know a beer is going to have moderate to heavy carbonation and any sweet flavors (like chocolate.)

You could also very easily go with a snifter glass for this beer.

More About this Specialty American IPA

This beer is part of Stone Brewing Company‘s Enjoy By Series.  Chances are that this is a limited run that won’t see a future batch (totally a guess on my part here).

It’s available in six packs of 12 ounce bottles or as 20 ounce bombers.

The Right Glass for a Kölsch Beer

Samuel Adams Escape Route (Kolsch) in a Stange
Samuel Adams Escape Route

When drinking a kölsch the first thing you should reach for is a stange. With it’s tall, narrow, body it shows off the beers refreshing clarity and light carbonation.  It also helps in maintaining the beer’s delicate head.

In the absence of a beer stange you can also reach for any type of flute glass or a narrow pokal (pilsner glass).  Even a tall champagne glass will do the job.

The idea is that you want a smaller surface area focusing those delicate aromas and flavors into a tight space.

About Kölsch Beer

This style is generally light in color and very clear.  The light color comes from the pilsner and vienna malts used for brewing.  They’re typically fermented with ale yeasts though they can be bottle conditioned with lager yeasts as well.  This eclectic mix can lead to a slightly hoppy beer with hints of orchard fruits some wine-like characteristics.

It’s an excellent style for spring / summer drinking!

Unless you make a trip to Germany you’re unlikely to have authentic kölsch anytime soon.  Like some other European products, a true kölsch beer must originate in a very specific place in order to garner that name.

There are plenty of other breweries crafting beers in the same style though – some do use the title but others may instead call them “german-style kolsch.”  Still others just refer to them as being “summer” beers.

Notable Kölsch Beers*

  1. Trillium Brewing Company: Sprang
  2. Harpoon Brewery: Harpoon Sweet Spot (Previously Harpoon Summer)
  3. Boston Brewing Company: Samuel Adams Escape Route
  4. Saranac Brewery: Saranac Kölsch
  5. Goose Island Beer Co: Summertime

*Due to the nature of this style, with its geographical restrictions, I’m mostly listing easy to find versions of the beer vs. more common or traditional versions.  Be sure to check out any liquor or wine stores with large import sections if you want something truly “authentic.”

The Beer Stange or Stick Glass

Beer Stange
Beer Stange at Amazon.com

The beer stange is a tall, thin, cylindrical glass that traditionally holds about 6.5 oz (200 mL).  The traditional version of the stange is very similar to a tasting glass or highball glass but without the tapering sides.

Newer versions of the beer stange come in 12- 13 oz sizes to facilitate holding full bottles of beer or for making serving easier.

Because these glasses are tall and narrow they can be difficult to transport from a bar to a table.  As a result, it’s not uncommon in Germany to see waiters carrying beers in a special tray called a kranz.  These serving trays can be branded metal trays with a particular beer or breweries logo or they can be simple wooden trays similar to a tasting paddle.

Kranz Beer Tray
Kranz Tray for holding Stange Glasses

Benefits of a Beer Stange

The tall thin glass is great for head retention in what are usually lower carbonation beers.  This also focuses the beer’s aroma right under your nose helping with enjoyment of the more mild flavors of the beer.  The beer stange’s shape also helps to showcase the clarity of styles like kölsch.

It’s shorter height and narrow body are also kind of practical.  Because the stange is favored for lighter crisper beers you’ll want to drink them quicker – especially on hot summer days.  The small glass, even the narrow tall glass, makes for quick drinking!

What Beer Goes with a Beer Stange?

Traditionally kölsch beers and altbiers favor the stange but any light crisp beer will benefit from it.  This includes Rye Beers and lighter pilsners.

You can also enjoy some darker, cloudier beers from a stange. Gose beers, rauchbier, and Lambics can also be enjoyed in a stange.  If you look at the Lindeman’s Flute Glass you’ll see it that it’s similar in style to both the stange and the straight sided pilsner glass.  Rauchbier is usually drunk from a becher (or willi becher) which is similar to the taller stange though usually a bit wider.

Where can I buy a Beer Stange?

Walking into a local box store or home goods store you won’t find anything listed as a stange.  Instead you should look for highball glass or “Tom Collins” glasses.  If you can only find the larger style of the glass don’t sweat it.  At the end of the day you’re not looking for the rapid fire service a 6.5 oz glass provides.  Expect to find something in the 10- 17oz range instead.  Even if the glass has a slight taper it’s not the end of the world.

KegWorks sells 200ml Stange glasses for about $11 a piece through Amazon.  You can also get 16oz Tom Collins Glasses at four for $15.  I’d also recommend checking the glassware section of your local Walmart or Target.

FAT BOY Double IPA by Big Elm Brewing

Big Elm Brewing Fat Boy Double IPA
FAT BOY Double IPA in a Nonic Pint

Hazy golden caramel in color with a thick creamy head, this Double IPA is a bit milder than other entries in the style. This beer pours with a thick, sticky, off-white head but is only lightly carbonated.

There’s a mild, citrusy aroma which leans towards grapefruit with hints of pine. It’s full yet smooth bodied with some up front bready malt flavor.  The finish has the bitter IPA tang which always reminds me of dandelions.

The more you drink the more that tang fades away to hints of tropical fruit that’s enjoyable in moderate proportions.  The FAT BOY clocks in at 8% ABV but is surprisingly smooth.  It doesn’t have the kick, or bite, that I expected.

Why That Glass?

Double IPAs (And Imperial IPAs) are stronger flavored beers and have a higher alcohol content.  Normally those factors would point me towards a tulip glass or a snifter.

Mostly out of convenience I went with a nonic pint.  The nonic pint is a larger vessel capable of handling the one pint can … sometimes it’s all about convenience.

More About this Double IPA

Big Elm Brewing brews FAT BOY Double IPA as a specialty beer.  I’m not sure if this means seasonal or just occasional.

You can buy it in four packs of one pint cans.

The Beer Chalice or Belgian Ale Glass

Chimay Beer Chalice
Chimay Chalice at Amazon.com

The Beer Chalice is a stocky, stemmed beer glass with a wide mouth and thick walls.  They’re often decorated with an ornate stem, gold or silver rim, and some type of etching in the base of the bowl.  These beer glasses are stable, sturdy glasses which are ideally suited for “sipping” beers.

Chalices are similar to beer goblets but different enough to get their own category.  Goblets are typically taller, thin walled, and thin stemmed.  They’re also less likely to have some of the decorative features common in goblets.  Things like gold plated rims, etching, or embossing on the stem and bowl.

Benefits of a Beer Chalice

With its ornate design the beer chalice has obvious visual appeal.  It’s thick walls provide some extra insulation and the thick stem helps make it more stable than other stemmed glasses.  The wide mouth and etching (when applicable) also help with head retention.

The wide mouth makes it easier to take larger sips of whatever you’re drinking.

Other Notes

Some people consider beer chalices and beer goblets to be interchangeable.  Personally I think there’s enough of a difference to keep them separate.  It’s also fair to say that there are several glasses out there that kind of fall in the middle.  Leffe’s goblet is kind of like a chalice and Westmalle’s chalice is kind of like a goblet.  There’s a lot of overlap between glassware and style so it’s not the end of the world.

There are also a few outliers.  Stella Artois, for example, calls it’s glass a chalice despite it being more like a tall tulip pokal.  Duvel’s glass is also occasionally called a chalice.  That’s basically marketing and branding though … which is totally OK.

What Beer Goes with a Beer Chalice

Beer Chalices are typically reserved for Belgian and French Ales.  Specifically Dubbels, Tripels, and Quadrupels (Quads).  It’s also popular for Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

This beer glass also works well with higher ABV highly carbonated beers.

Where can I buy a Beer Chalice

Most well stocked liquor stores will have occasionally have Chimay or Westmalle gift boxes which include a few beers and a chalice, especially around the holidays.  The Chimay set I see regularly includes three beers (a dubbel, tripel and quad) along with the glass so it’s a great opportunity to try a few new beers as well.

You can also buy Chimay Beer Chalices and Westmalle Chalices through Amazon.  If you’re looking for a beer chalice that’s not branded libbey offers a “Hoffman House Goblet” which fits the bill.  Expect to pay around $20- $25 per glass.

The best deal, in my opinion, is to watch for the gift sets at your local liquor store.  You may even be able to order them there directly.

The Nonic Pint Glass or English Pub Glass

Nonic Pint Glass
Nonic Pint Glasses on Amazon

The nonic Pint Glass is also known as a Nonik Pint Glass or English Pub Glass.  This glass is a staple in most breweries and pubs and sometimes turns up in restaurants with large beer selections.

Similar to the traditional pint glass the nonic pint has a narrow base which expands out to a wider mouth.  It’s defining feature is a bulge a few centimeters from the top of the glass.

Benefits of a nonic Pint Glass

Nonic Pint glasses are a general utility glass and will find a home in just about any bar setup or beer glass cabinet. Their wide mouths and bodies also make for easy drinking of most session beers

Typically these are 20 oz glasses so they’re especially good for larger bottles of beer, growlers, or kegs.  The nonic pint also just looks like a better pint glass helping to add a little style to your setup.

Other Notes / What’s with the Bulge?

Nonic or “no-nick” glasses have greater structural stability than their straight sided predecessors.  That bulge in the upper portion of the glass makes it less likely to chip or break when it’s stacked on other glasses.  This stacking method of storing glassware is very common behind bars and in storage areas.

What Beer Goes with a nonic Pint Glass?

Like the conical pint, the nonic is basically a utility glass.  You can enjoy just about any ale or lager from this glass.  Because these glasses tend to be higher volume vessels (typically 20 oz) I recommend sticking to ales, though.

Specifically you’ll be looking at lower alcohol beers that you enjoy drinking a lot of.  Think session beers that have a mild flavor profile.

Where Can I Buy Nonic Pint Glasses / English Pub Glasses?

This glass turns up frequently as an English pub glass in sets like the Libbey Craft Brew Sampler Beer Glass Set that we’ve reviewed previously.  They’re also pretty common on their own in sets like this one from Amazon.

Other than that you should be able to find these in most box stores like Target, Walmart or even Home Goods.

You can expect to pay between $7 and $10 per glass.

Libbey Craft Brew Sampler Clear Beer Glass Set

Libbey is a pretty familiar name in glassware.  Their products are seen just about anywhere where you can purchase home goods.  Around the holidays I see these beer glass gift boxes pop up everywhere from BJs to Wegman’s.  They make great starter sets and can also be used to fill out home bars with some excellent utility glasses.

About this Beer Glass Set

This is a pretty decent starter set for anyone looking to stock up a home bar or fill out their collection of beer glasses.  There are a few general utility glasses as well as a some beer specific utility glasses which means you’ll definitely get plenty of use out of it.

In this set you’ll get one of each of the following:

  • Classic Pilsner glass (15.25 oz/451 mL): Really more of a modern take on the pilsner glass.  I like this glass due to the weighted foot. There’s no chances of it breaking and it’s much more stable than some of my thinner pilsner glasses. Amazon has these for about $4 each.
  • English Pub glass (20 oz/591 mL): “English Pub glass” aka the nonic pint glass.  It’s large for an imperial pint (568 mL) but that’s just nit-picking.  Nonic pints are also great utility glasses as they fill major roles in serving beer and other beverages.  These can be found for around $7 a piece.
  • Belgian Ale glass (16.6 oz/490 mL): A tall version of the tulip beer glass, this will fill a few rolls for you.  This glass is great for lighter beers, especially highly carbonated ones which have brighter fruity aromas and flavors.  You can get these glasses for about $4 a piece.
  • Craft Pub glass (20 oz/591 mL):  A large Willi Becher Tumbler.  To be honest I don’t find a lot of occasion for this glass but it’s good to have handy as a utility glass.  Here’s another one you can get for about $4 a piece.
  • Porter/Stout glass (14.75 oz/436 mL):  While they’re billing this as a “Porter / Stout” glass I’ve always thought of the tulip pokal as kind of beer utility glass.  Porters, stouts, pilsners or lagers, you’ll enjoy them all out of a glass like this. You can get 4-packs of Porter Glasses for $5 a glass.
  • Wheat Beer glass (23 oz/680 mL): A pretty hefty wheat beer glass.  Not much more to say about this one.  Amazon has 4-packs of Wheat beer glasses that average $5 a glass.

Final Thoughts and Notes

Again, this is a great starter set.  The “English Pub” glass and the Wheat Beer glass will turn up in other collections (and are easy to come by) while the other glasses are a bit less common and worth picking up.  Based on the included glasses, other sets I’ve seen, and the quality of the glassware I’d recommend looking for it in the $25- $30 price range.

As of this posting, Amazon has this set for about  $30 which is pretty on par with the breakdown shown above.