OhHoppyDay (9) - USA - AUG 21, 2009
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
APPEARANCE: A dark beautiful ruby red color that borders on a rusty red. A thick, two finger tan head, that dissipates into a beautiful lacing that hugs the side of the glass gently sliding down with each drink.
AROMA: Right off the bat you smell the hops in this big Imperial Double Red Ale. The first note is a very heavy citrus, nay grapefruit, scent. I am guessing this is from the Chinook Hops in the brew, but it could also be the Centennial that are used in the dry hopping. There is also just a hint of pine in there. The beer has a smell that can only be described as resiny, (forgive me) ‘dank’ and beautiful.
FLAVOR: BIG! This beer is all about the hops, and has just a touch of an alcohol heat. The first thing I notice is the wonderful hoppy grapefruit/grapefruit rind flavor of the hops come through. There is slightest malt finish to it that is, in my mind, almost as if it were an afterthought.
PALATE: There is no doubt that this is a full-bodied beer, and definitely not for the beginner, or those into ‘fizzy yellow beers’ as Stone would say. There is a good deal of carbonation to it, which I noticed from the pour, but it is not overly carbonated. It has a slight but very noticeable heat to it, which isn’t surprising to me at 9.5%. The heat does seem to become more noticeable the further I get into the second half of the bottle, and the closer it gets to room temperature.
NOTES: I am a total hop-head. A freak for the beautiful bitterness that can only come from Humulus lupulus, the hop plant. This definitely delivers. For this special release, Stone hopped the brew at four pounds of hops per barrel, more hops per barrel than any other beer they’ve produced. As mentioned it is a big 9.5%, which you can feel. I was getting a warmth from this beer half way through the 22 oz. bottle. It is available as a limited release in 22oz. bottles, and (very) limited tap. I would love to find this on tap somewhere just for the comparison. The 13th Anniversary Ale was released 06/29/2009, and is available while supplies last, so you have to get it when you see it. I was going to buy a few to cellar, but wrote Stone after seeing a note on the label, “Do not cellar. Enjoy in 2009.” When I received word back from Stone, this is apparently because the flavor profile cannot be guaranteed to last. They did not say it, but I am willing to throw out the guess that it is due to the amount of hops they are using in the beer, and the fact that the hop character is bound to mellow over time. All this said, I will be sad when I get the last drink of the final bottle of Stone 13th Anniversary. This was yet another great brew from the guys at Stone.
GregClow (2806) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 24, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from the depths of my stash that I *think* I got from HogTownHarry quite some time ago. Hazy reddish-brown with a tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is quite oxidized, but with a nice dried fruit character - figs and apricot most notably - along with some dried tobacco leaf, a bit of mint, and surprisingly still a fairly prominent resiny hop note. Flavour starts with the dark dried fruit promised in the aroma, along with some burnt toffee. The finish is a bit stale - the beer is nearly 5 years old, after all - but there’s still enough pine and citrus bitterness to satisfy. I can imagine this being a spectacular beer when it was fresh, but even in this inadvertently aged form, it’s still quite good.
burg326 (3086) - Florida, USA - DEC 23, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured an amber color with aromas of toffee, caramel, earth and some sugar. Flavors are the same light bozziness in the aftertaste a decent beer from stone.
hotstuff (3732) - Indiana, USA - NOV 11, 2013
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rated on 8-19-2009 (Bottle) This beer pours a fizzy tan head with a long retention, transparent reddish brown body, fizzy, fast rising carbonation, and a fair amount of lacing. The Aroma is caramel malt, alcohol, bitter, pine, and citrus hops. The Taste is bitter, caramel malt, earthy, pine, and citrus hops. This beer has a moderate dry finish. The Palate is sticky and this beer is medium bodied. Overall, there is definitely a hoppy presence in this beer. It is a beer for hop heads, too hoppy and bitter tasting for my liking, and worth trying.
larsga (5893) - Oslo, NORWAY - SEP 15, 2013
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Medium offwhite head. Hazy amber body. Spicy citric oily aroma with earthy notes. Bittersweet earthy spicy linoleum taste with resiny orangey notes. Mid-bodied. Sharp, hot mouthfeel. Dry-bitter resiny oily spicy aftertaste with earthy herbal notes. A bit too sharp and busy. (0.65l bottle shared by gr0ve.)
PhillyCraft (2771) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 20, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle in ’10, laid a bottle down for a few months. Poured amber brown with medium head and alright lacing. Aromas and taste of prune, oak, bitter hops, crystal malts, and cereal. A little smokey also, kind of porter-ish instead of American strong. Medium to fuller bodied. Alcohol was not hidden well, more tolerable as she warmed up tho.
Iphonephan (2609) - McLean, Virginia, USA - FEB 12, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
From a bottle shared at home. Pours a cloudy dark amber with an off white head. Caramel notes in the aroma. Sweet toffee flavors. Quite tasty despite the fact that the hops are pretty much aged out after 3 1/2 years of bottle age.
jmagnus87 (2183) - Rockford, Illinois, USA - JAN 29, 2013
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle from notes. I get bitter pine hops, burnt malt, caramel and loads of dark fermented fruits. I want more.
Steve_0 (2122) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 19, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle at home with my dad. Pour is deep, murky, copper with a small khaki head and great lacing. Earthy hops, figs, caramel, brown sugar, prune, light grapefruit, and cardboard in the aroma. A lot more citrus is present as it begins to warm. Taste is earth, dirt, caramel, roasted brown sugar, prunes, and grapefruit peel on the backend. Somewhat oxidized, but has really morphed into a semi-decent American barley wine. Creamy body with high carbonation. Pretty good for 3-years-old, slight cardboard flavors, but still pretty good. Not bad!
GarrettB (899) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 15, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: OCT 18, 2012 Oct. 25th, 2009 - I’m writing this review today as I sip Stone’s 16th Anniversary beer. I’ve been sitting on these notes for 3 years, and the waves of nostalgia are turning into nostalgia riptides. The Stone 13th anniversary beer (ahh, to be young again!) pours a dark, deep brown, and floats a thick and creamy light brown foam, like a life raft inflated and rushing to the surface. The lacing is thick and elaborate, and would make a Victorian lady blush. The aroma is predictably hoppy, dry and dusty and quite strong. I portend a bitter beer, and I brace myself for an army of IBU’s to apply a whip to my tongue. I flinch, but the strike never comes. It begins chocolatey and malty like a porter, and then goes full tilt with its hoppy dimension, but keeping that malted coffee flavor all the way through. So, basically a hoppy porter. It’s strange, and weird, and new, and exciting, but I don’t like it. It’s unique, but it also doesn’t agree with my palate. An adventurous brew, but an adventure I’m not suited to.
July 29th, 2010 - Updated tasting notes. Hoppy and malty nose. Deep honey sweetness, caramel, and thick too. Flavor is intense (a la Stone) and alcoholic, resembles smell, but deeper with more burnt toast and bread crust flavors. Again, strong, rakish with hops, and resembles an Imperial IPA. Enjoyed!
aleph (231) - - JUN 1, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle, 3 years after recommended drink by date. Dark brown with mocha foam. Earthy, nutty aroma. Medium bitter hops, caramel malts, yeast, dark fruits of some sort, licorice. Full bodied, decent carbonation, lasting wet finish.