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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
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 1, 2010
22oz bottle from BevMo. Pours a hazy golden orange with a frothy off white head that left some spotty lacing. Nose held great aromas of earthy, spicy hops, some roasted malts. Off dry on the palate, nice bitterness. A damn tasty one!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tmoney99 (13469) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 1, 2010
Bottle. Poured hazy golden color with an average frothy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate earthy hop, yeast and alcohol aroma. Medium body with slick texture and soft carbonation and thin particles. Medium to heavy smooth yeast bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration. This is a very good beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
GT (9982) - Oceanside, California, USA - JUN 30, 2010
22oz bomber. Pours a clear to barely hazy bright orange with a thin, semi-rocky, light yellow head with spotty lace. Extremely weird aroma of fruity, fresh EKG hops, cantaloupe, butternut squash. Taste is very bitter, super dry, lots of overripe cantaloupe, honey dew melon, some metallic notes that urge on vomit like flavors. Very unpleasant. Then 9% rolls in and just turns this into a difficult beer to enjoy: too dry, too boozy, too much butternut squash and super weird hop varietals. Boadicea hops???

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
daleharshman (1043) - Escondido, California, USA - JUN 30, 2010
Bomber from Mesa Liquor ($6.99). Pours a clear light orange-amber with a finger and a half of off-white foam with pretty good retention. Aroma of spicy and earthy hops which include some interesting notes: watered down citrus, unwashed feet, must basement, and even salt water...as if this really has just completed the long voyage to India. Flavor is more of the spicy and earthy hops; grapefruit, pepper, salt, bitter under-ripe fruit, herbs. Though there’s certainly a healthy amount of earthy bitterness, it actually came off quite a bit sweeter (in the middle) than I might have thought. Bitter finish and notably dry for an IPA...not "juicy" like many other West Coast IPA’s including Stone’s. Another unique and very good one from Stone. I appreciate their desire to re-create what an original IPA might have tasted like. (45, 330)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CheersMate (1340) - Portland (Sellhood), Oregon, USA - JUN 30, 2010
22 oz. bottle from Mac’s 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. I’m not really smelling any type of expected bitterness, in terms of flavor. I’m 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. I’m liking the bitterness, but it doesn’t seem to flow well with the fruity aroma. I don’t 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 ol’ 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 I’m 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... I’m not too impressed by appearance but I’m 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 (924) - 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. Stone’s 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 it’s appearance, this is an almost creamy beer that tricks you into thinking it’s 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.

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