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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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - JUL 5, 2010
Clear golden yellow with a fluffy white head. Strong citrus and grassy hops aroma with a good malty presence. Nice buttery palate. Good bitterness with tastes of caramel, vanilla, lemon grass, grapefruit, and an earthy grassy finish with long lingering floral hops perfume on the back of the throat. Excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (7620) - Brier, Washington, USA - JUL 4, 2010
22. Pours a cloudy burnished medium bronze with a dense and creamy platinum blond head that really sticks around. Tons of densely webby lace. Big tangy tangerine, grapefruit, and orange rind nose--very marmalade-y. Creamy medium body, plenty of lively carb. Toasty caramel and biscuit on the mid-palate, along with tons of citrus preserves and sharp oily pine. Long piney resin finish. Great DIPA, as expected.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
highibus (798) - Vail, Arizona, USA - JUL 4, 2010
Pours a fairly pale straw wth nice white head. Aroma of hops that are sure different than the standard c’s. Really nice earthiness on the nose. Tingly with hops nice and bitter. A bit of malt comes through. But this is all about the hops. And they are glorious. Long bitter finish. Really a nice change of pace for a dipa.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bluejacket74 (1848) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - JUL 4, 2010
22 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a golden/orange color with an inch and a half frothy white head. Head retention is very good, and there’s also a lot of lacing left behind on the glass. Aroma is nice but a bit light, I can smell lemon peel, citrusy hops, bready malt and also some pine hops. Luckily the taste is stronger than the aroma. It tastes like citrusy, spicy and grassy hops, peppery spice, lemon peel and some bready malt. This brew is definitely more hoppy than malty, but that’s not much of a surprise. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it’s a bit coating, finishes dry and it’s well carbonated. Drinkability is good, it’s certainly easy and enjoyable to drink. I think it’s a good overall brew, not bad at all.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
carl4beer (522) - Fairfax Station, Virginia, USA - JUL 4, 2010
22oz. pours a hazy gold with sizable head. aroma is a modest floral hop note with a touch of malt goodness. mouthful is full of bitter hops in the earthy note. this brings a grounding from the east coast or even further to the east. this is a very nice ipa, but i am not a big fan of the west coast trying to be what they are not... no pine, no citrus, no ameryka in this ipa.... i will enjoy this as i would enjoy a great cover tune, but i like a cover with a big flavor that belongs to the covering artist... why try to sound just like the original??? make the original your own... and this seems to be the prior??

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
ExpendableHero (854) - Florida, USA - JUL 4, 2010
Hazy orange colored beer, of-white head, with nice lacing effects. Immense aromas of bitter hops, pine, and spruces. Overwhelming, in a good way. The taste follows the nose with massive hops, spruce, pine, and peppery notes. Strong bitter aftertaste, this one is a winner. Smooth mouth feel, a sipper. I recommend this beer if you are a fan of big IBUs.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
tjthresh (1867) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - JUL 4, 2010
22 ounce bottle from Crown 17. Pour murky yellow-orange with a bit of off white head. Earthy nose of herbs, mushrooms, and fresh mowed grass. The flavor reminds me of an herb rub I might put on a pork tenderloin or something. Very fresh. Bitter as an old English teacher, and basically bone dry. I would certainly prefer the traditional American West Coast IIPA, but this is always welcome in my glass.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JUL 4, 2010
Bottle from Midtown. Pours golden amber with a slight haze and a one finger white head. Aroma of fruity ale esters and piney hops. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Malt backbone is extremely pale with notes of honey and toffee, but the hop flavors of grapefruit rind and herbs really takes center stage. More attenuation that Stone’s usual offerings which gives this some dryness. Pretty solid effort here.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
caralkaline87 (435) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 3, 2010
Pours blonde with a fairly small white head. Nose is very bitter and hoppy (this is a Stone IPA, duh), but with a good dose of sweet malt and a hint of yeast as well. The flavor plays out similarly; the initial taste is a big malt with a hopped background, but it quickly switches over to some very intense and almost exclusively bitter hops. Finish is surprisingly short and bitter as well. A good IPA but not all that different from Ruination....it seems a little less balanced, actually.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
2004st4s (33) - Arizona, USA - JUL 3, 2010
Wow, aroma hits you as soon as you open the bottle! Sweet earthy aroma that is amazing. Pours a hazy honey color with a large white lumpy head with plenty of lace. Taste is over-the-top hops, just as it should be! Really unique flavor profile that’s hard to break-down. Very spicy. Leaves a hop residue that just lingers forever. Another great year for Stone! Don’t drink if you’re not a hop-head, it just might kill you. Plus that might leave more for me.

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