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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

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on tap

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RATINGS: 723   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 100   EST. CALORIES: 267   ABV: 8.9%
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We went to England this past spring as self-styled ďIPA HuntersĒ on a mission to learn more about the confusing and often contradictory history of India Pale Ale Ė 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 brewerís logs handwritten in (India?) ink. Stone Brewing Co., after all, traces its lineage back to the British Empireís 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 ďBurtonisedĒ water to the rare yeast strain to the most pungent hops Kent has to offer, we used all British ingredients to brew our ďEmperialĒ 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 canít 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CheersMate (1312) - Fremont (Seattle), Washington, USA - JUN 30, 2010
22 oz. bottle from Macís on West Peachtree. Hazy appearance that is - translucent appearance. This beer has a nice gold/peach/orange color to it. It actually looks pretty good despite not having any head whatsoever. Not much hop assertiveness, but a very pungent mango, peach, and other light fruits are dominating the aroma. Quite different in terms of its use of hops. Iím not really smelling any type of expected bitterness, in terms of flavor. Iím only getting that very fruity aroma. There is a very hot and caustic citrus hop flavor. The flavor eventually phases into a nice fruit flavor, but that lingering and spicy bitterness provides a lovely flavor. Seems to add a bittering quality that is more caustic and unnecessary more than anything else. Iím liking the bitterness, but it doesnít seem to flow well with the fruity aroma. I donít like certain aspects of this, but overall, I wish the fruit and hop flavors would blend a little bit better. The fruit aroma is overshadowed by the hops and the hop flavor overshadows the fruit flavor. Pretty good, but I may have to try this again to get a better opinion of it.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
502Che (999) - @, CAMBODIA - JUN 30, 2010
I think you guys are crazy. I love hops and IIPAs, and this is just NOT a superior IIPA. Smells like a cereal wheat beer. NO hops in the aroma. Pours a murky orange/tangerine color. the flavor is all bittering hops without any flavor or aroma hops. This is just a weird beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ruskiimperial (308) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JUN 30, 2010
Poured a very hazy orange with a half finger of head with very good head retention. Aroma is rather pungent with spice and green vegetables. Up front the taste is very heavy on the spice and an almost carrot like sweetness which lingers on the palate for a very very long time. With the sweetness of course, comes a rather strong earthy bitterness as well. The alcohol is barely noticeable as well. Damn this beer has some attitude to it! If you like a good olí fashioned crazy anything goes double ipa then go for it!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
potbeerjob (1343) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUN 30, 2010
Bomber. My mood... I must admit Iím excited for another Stone IPA...expectations are high as I open the bottle. Yellow orange yellow lightly hazed with big fizzy bubbly white head that mostly disappears but some lingers... Iím not too impressed by appearance but Iím still excited. Aroma is more delicate than most Stone IPAs. I get some sweet salty caramel and citrus in the nose. As it warms, maybe more just grass and citrus and a touch spiced. Good but tame. Flavor follows starting spiced and sweet but then slowly turning very very dry Boozy... real Boozy in the back of your throat. Finish is super long never leaving. I dig I dig!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
J_man (734) - Tustin, California, USA - JUN 29, 2010
I had a good laugh when I poured this beer out and the first thing I saw was how yellow it was. Stoneís long-time saying "Fizzy yellow beer is for wussies" went through my mind. Of course, the only part of this beer that fits that description is "yellow". And slightly hazy yellow at that with a nice firm white head that hangs in there almost to the end. Strong hop aroma (of course) with what I can only describe as salt water coming off the pour. Despite itís appearance, this is an almost creamy beer that tricks you into thinking itís smooth until the bittering hops lacerate your tongue as only Stone beers can do. The bracing, resinous piney hops are actually quite nicely balanced with the slightly sweet English malt with a little hemp and vanilla mixed in. Another great anniversary ale for Stone, may there be many more!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Fatalstrike (130) - Cerritos, California, USA - JUN 29, 2010
22oz. Bomber purchased from BevMo Long Beach. Pours a hazy golden orange with a strong creamy white foam head. Aroma is full of hoppy goodness, with lighter malt and yeast aromas in the background. Upfront is a nice sweetness which morphs into a nice peppery, floral hop bouquet, and finishes with a very nice complex hop finish. This beer feels nice and full on the palate without becoming syrupy. For the amount of hops in this beer it finishes surprisingly well. Overall a very nice offering from Stone and my favorite anniversary beer since the 10th. Definitely recommended.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Aubrey (3452) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JUN 29, 2010
Liquid gold in appearance. Smells yeasty, spicy, peppery. Smooth up front; chalky and rich in the middle; dryish toward the finish. Flower-petal-like bitterness in the aftertaste. Yeast has some funkiness, in a good way. Earthy. Malts are cracker-like, with hints of cocoa and dry dough. Hops are very floral and somewhat perfume-like. Healthy amount of bitterness, along with a nip of warming alcohol. Curiously different and new, even in a sea of similar IPAs. Definitely has an imperial English-style IPA taste to it, which is actually an untapped domain. Tasty stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMan1113VR (7874) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUN 29, 2010
June 2010 bottle. Pours with a nearly clear pale straw colored body with a medium to large white head. Great lace! Aroma is grassy, earthy, peppery, bready with notes of melon and ripening fruit. A touch salty. Taste is fruity, very dry, grassy and bitter finish. Some orchard fruit mid palate. Long duration. Lots of straw and grain astringency in the finish. Definitely a unique IIPA. Very dry, lovely mouthfeel. I was looking forward to this one, and it is well done, but I am not loving the hop bill and there is a pronounced tannic bitterness imparted by the malt (at least thatís what my taste buds leave me to believe). It is not my favorite sadly.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JUN 29, 2010
Bottle: Pours a clear golden bronze with a stringy-lacing froth of white head. Has a sweet pale malty nose with some grassy grapefruity hoppy notes and earthy undertones. Starts with pretty good fullness and sticky pale malty sweetness with a resiny lemongrass hop flavor before a drier, lightly bready and bittersweet finish. A pretty unique concept, but Iíll stick with the traditional ESB or American IIPA.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JoeTheYounger (1153) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - JUN 29, 2010
Hazy yellow color with bubbly white head. Aroma was citrus fruits, hops, grapefruit. Taste tons of sharp bitterness with some faint caramel notes. Great body. Overall another awesome Stone Anniversary brew.

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