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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Formerly brewed at Stone Brewing
Style: Imperial IPA
Escondido, California USA
Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 727   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 100   EST. CALORIES: 267   ABV: 8.9%
We went to England this past spring as self-styled “IPA Hunters” on a mission to learn more about the confusing and often contradictory history of India Pale Ale – to look for some certainty where those before us have found mostly mystery and mercantilism. While our success in this pursuit is open to debate, there can be no question that we returned home inspired by the ghosts of Burton and by the experience of poring over 150-year old brewer’s logs handwritten in (India?) ink. Stone Brewing Co., after all, traces its lineage back to the British Empire’s brewing history: we make ales, and all of our original offerings used traditional British styles as a jumping-off point. If this seems a roundabout way of letting you know that, yes, we are in fact brewing another IPA to mark our Anniversary, well, so be it.

This one however, promises to be different! From the imported white malt to the “Burtonised” water to the rare yeast strain to the most pungent hops Kent has to offer, we used all British ingredients to brew our “Emperial” IPA.* While we may have brewed Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA with our own distinctively modern, San Diego-style touch, what good is history if you can’t rewrite it to suit your tastes?

In this case, our tastes called for highly intemperate quantities of Target, East Kent Goldings, and Boadicea hops, bestowing upon this dry-bodied ale a powerfully spicy, earthy aroma. On the palate, peppery hops assert themselves early and often, with malt sweetness making a brief appearance before being beaten back by a long, complex, and decisively bitter finish. What better way to contemplate the fate of empires past, present, and future?

*Um, except for our filtered Colorado River water, of course.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beergeek23322 (2602) - Chester, Virginia, USA - OCT 4, 2013
7/31/2010. 22 oz. bottle. Light amber color with a white head. Aromas of citrus, tropical fruit, yeast, malt, and floral notes. Caramel flavors with hops and fruit showing through. Very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hapjydeuce (996) - Carlsbad, California, USA - SEP 11, 2013
Bottled. I bought two back in 2010 and drank one the same day I brought it home, but with no rating. Now over three years later... Poured into my classic English Ale-style Pizza Port 11th Annual Real Ale Fest commemorative glass. Color is hazy light toasted gold with a fat head. I’m glad to see the carbonation held up over the last few years. The aroma is smattered with a character of orange peel, white peach, fresh cut grass, pear, banana and clove. Very, very nice. I thought the aroma would have toned down a bit by now. The flavor is sweet at first then leans dry and peppery. A slight bit of oxidation on the back end but I find it rather nice. Still has a complex finish that remains pretty damn balanced between sweet, spicy and dry. To be honest I wasn’t expecting it to be this good when I pulled it out of the ol’ cellar. I really enjoyed this one...maybe I should have let it sit longer....

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chaneybr (52) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 20, 2013
Reviewed 9-3-10 I just spent 5 minutes reading the bottle. Those cats over at Stone are a trip. Poured into my trusty Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale pint glass. Ap: Poured a cloudy, yet bright orange, with about 1/4 inch head and lots of carbonation. Ar: This is not just your average Stone: IPA, Arrogant Bastard, or Ruination fare .... this one is just straight up orange .... the hull, meat, peel .... the whole friggin’ 9 yards! T: Surprisingly, this one is not nearly as hoppy as most of their other IPAs. It doesn’t bite you and is very much like carbonated orange juice. Very strong malt backbone, as opposed to the Ruination (which I still kind of like in a sadistic way). Emperial doesn’t wage war on your taste buds like Ruination. P: Even though I had this in the fridge for several days, it stayed surprisingly warm. After a while, the bitterness starts to hit, but the [orange] citrus (and also maybe honey?) mutes that bitterness. Very pleasant. O: I’m halfway through the bottle and I’m not having any problems. To be honest, I’m not the biggest Stone fan in the world. I get tired of the same type of beers over and over again. But this one is different.... and it may actually be my favorite.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
shigadeyo (3633) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 1, 2013

7/07/2010: Stone 14th Anniversary Emperical Ale... Aroma: Mandarin orange peel; spicy; just a touch moldy. Appearance: Pale orange in color; cloudy; small off-white head. Flavor: Bright citrus up front and plenty of bitter citrus peel in the finish; spicy, earthy, slightly herbal/leafy hops; alcohol shows throughout; high bitterness level. Palate: Medium body; average mouthfeel. Overall: Good; different; kind of like a Belgian IPA in way... looking forward to trying a full bottle at proper temperature; an oaked version would be nice (it would help meld everything a bit better)...

Sample from 22 fl. oz. bottle (8.9% ABV) at Marty’s Hops and Vines in North College Hill (Cincinnati, Ohio). Rating #705 for this beer. Score: 7/3/8/3/15=3.6
. . . . . . . . . .

June 2010 - CONSUME FRESH or age in the hull of a seafaring vessel for a year or moew.

1/11/2011: Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA... Aroma: Spicy pineapple and other citrus, hints of Hawaiian bread. Appearance: Cloudy golden color with flurries of carbonation; ample, lasting, dense pale ivory-colored foam on the top; perfect pour into my Samual Adams "Perfect Pint" glass! Flavor: Sweet bread and hints of toffee malt; lots of nice bitterness (sharp); resin, spice, and herbal hop flavors; grapefruit peel bitterness dominates the finish. Palate: Medium-full body; soft and smooth mouthfeel. Overall: Sufficiently bitter and quite a welcomed difference from the typical juicy citrus hop flavors; it has a heavy-handed bitterness that sneaks up from the initial drink and forces another sip; truly English flavors amped up in the West Coast style... Well executed!

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottle (8.9% Alc/Vol) from The Party Source in Bellevue, KY. Score: 7/4/8/4=3.8

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kathouse (1608) - Nevada, USA - MAY 31, 2013
Cloudy yellow from the tap. Aroma is light fruit, orange, and lemongrass. Light/medium body with some malt sweetness and a pineapple finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
travita (4841) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAY 18, 2013
Bottle. The look is golden, in color, clear, and has a whitish head. The smell is pine, citrus, fruits, and fresh hoppiness. The taste is bitterness, hoppiness, fruitineess, and pininess.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
OKplus (787) - Oklahoma, USA - MAR 13, 2013
A - Pours a hazy golden straw with a 2 finger mounded head with outstanding retention. Big cliffs of frothy lacing left behind. S - Earthy lemongrass hops over pale malt. T - Lemon and orange citrus hits up front. Slightly burnt biscuity malt adds a balanced sweetness. The hops remain pungent from start to finish. Mouthfeel is prickly at first but turns creamy. Bright strawberries. The aftertaste is grassy grapefruit rind. I like that this IIPA drives in a different direction. It’s hop forward but not unbalanced. The malt holds up against the assertive hops. It provides a smooth and clean finish. Serving type: bottle 10-05-2010

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
maekchu (3400) - Hirakata, JAPAN - FEB 22, 2013
Bomber at Mark’s place. From notes. Aroma is earthy, grassy, and bitter with very little malt character. Initial flavors of caramel and ripe peaches / Mid goes somewhat strangely sulfurous and quite peppery / Final has some harsh bitterness. An unusually unpleasant one from this brewery, whose beers I generally like. Or, not really bad -- but just not as good as I had expected.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
PhillyCraft (5609) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 20, 2013
Bottle shared with Pat, pours hazy gold with medium to large head, nice lacing that stuck on the glass for a good bit. Aromas of orange zest, doughy yeast, bread malt, and light spices. Flavor the same. Finished very dry with long lasting flavor. Mild bitterness, would drink a few pints of this if I had the choice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
b3shine (8054) - Indiana, USA - FEB 14, 2013
Draft to taster. Looks solid; a hazy light light orange with sticky white lacing. Smells a little oxidized, but still sweet, hoppy (grapefruit), and malty. Tastes like it smells with an average (at best) mouthfeel. Decent, but definitely past it’s prime.

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