REVIEW: Stone 24 Carrot Golden Ale

I just reviewed an ice-cream flavored beer, so why not follow it up with a cake-flavored beer? I’m pleased as punch about all these dessert drinks, though I’m gonna need a pretty intense vegetable-flavored beer to get back on track with my diet after this.

Stone Brewing is a brewery based out of California that consistently creates some solid ales. Their 24 Carrot Golden Ale is the result of a homebrew competition gone terribly, terribly right: Stone Brewery hosted the latest American Homebrewer’s Association competition, and they were so impressed with the winner that they brought the brewer onboard for a special collaboration release. And, on behalf of Drunk Females everywhere, I’m happy to report that it was a lady who created this! (Obligatory joke: It figures that a woman would try to bake a cake for a beer competition.)

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So what’s so gold-medal great about the 24 Carrot Golden Ale ? It’s brewed with 20 lbs of carrots and raisins, cinnamon, and vanilla. Personally I’m a little disappointed that she didn’t go for the full 24 lbs to match the name of the beer, but apparently the judges were willing to overlook this shameful inattention to detail. Anyway, this Stone version is reportedly very similar to the original recipe, though ostensibly “better” in various small ways since Stone has some of the best brewing equipment in the business.

It’s tough to fairly review beers that have won stuff, because I’m already expecting this to taste like liquid carrot cake. That said, the pour and first smell are a crushing disappointment. It seriously smells exactly like PBR: thin, light, and slightly malty. Definitely not the rich sweet notes I was expecting. The color is fine, though stupidly I was hoping for more carrot color like this adorable fellow:

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The taste is nothing special. I get zero raisin flavor, a tiny bit of cinnamon, and something that smooths all the flavors together that I’m guessing is vanilla. The carrot flavor is…somewhere? I guess? I mean, I trust that they put carrot into this beer, but this is taking subtlety to a whole new level. It mostly tastes like a mix between a traditional Belgian golden and a PBR. As the beer warms up (which it does, because I have no desire to drink this very quickly), the cinnamon gets more noticeable and it tastes less like something that should be poured into a beer pong cup. As usual, though, I can’t quite discern if the beer is getting better or if I’m just getting drunker and lowering my standards (#thatswhatshesaid). In general, I can’t help but feel crushed. I wanted carrots and raisins. I wanted vanilla frosting. I WANTED CAKE, DAMMIT.

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Whatever. It’s fine. It’s a fine beer. I mean, I’m gonna drink the whole thing. But it ain’t carrot cake. This may have been “inspired” by carrot cake, but that’s like saying  Sharknado was “inspired” by true events just because both sharks and tornadoes exist. I’m no expert in brewing beer, but here’s a tip: next time, put a healthy dollop of real frosting in every bottle. It will either be an overwhelming success, or people will get so sick that they will be too busy at the hospital to write a bad review. Now THAT’S a gold-medal idea.

Also I just realized that the carrot cartoon is drinking carrot beer like some sort of carrot cannibal.

Unintended Disturbingness of That Carrot Cartoon Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Sharknado Rating: 7 out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 out of 10

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