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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 720   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 “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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
crackedmachine (469) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 27, 2010
Pours yellow-gold with a medium off-white head. Aroma of floral hops on top of a light touch of citrus. Flavor is very hoppy - floral, a bit peppery aand bitter with light malt presence. The English hop varieties have a big impact, but Stone managed to make an English-inspired IPA that appeals to this fan of west coast hop bombs. Pleasingly crisp and refreshing for so strong an ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
RSRIZZO (1850) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JUN 27, 2010
UPDATED: AUG 21, 2010 Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter at 45°. Color is a bright golden with very good carbonation and a small tight white head. Aroma is a fresh floral hop scent backed by light pine and citrus notes. It has a lighter medium body with a crisp easy mouth feel. Finish has a very brief sweet taste with a hint of pear, this is blow away by a floral hop flavor, a mild white pepper and a big bitterness that caries a very light citrus. After taste is very, very dry and leaves you clean with the bitterness hanging in the back of your tongue. This is a great brew, very well done, its strong and bitter but not overdone. This is a nice change when it seems everyone is trying to brew overpowering super concentrated grapefruit juice and call it an IPA.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
trevor211 (1298) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 27, 2010
I’ll take the words from the Double Bastard bottle - this is one lacerative mutha of a beer. On tap at Stone in Escondido. Pours a cloudy light honey amber, with a pillowy head. So much citrus hops on the nose it’s almost overwhelming. Lemon, grapefruit, and a bit of a more illegal herb. They really outdid themselves - this is packed with hops. Some malts on the tail end, constantly being beaten back by the hop overload. Tasty, and went so well with the soup at the brewery.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ratman197 (9454) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - JUN 27, 2010
Bomber poured a clear gold with a lasting off white head. Aromas of biscuit, earthiness, citrus and white pepper. Palate was medium bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Flavors of biscuit, earthiness, white pepper and lemon zest with a smooth dry lingering bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
robforbes (2055) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - JUN 27, 2010
pours a semi-clear yellow-orange with a very small egg-shell head, and very good lacing. smell is of orange, floral, lemon, some caramel, hops, and a touch of pine. taste is smooth, light grapefruit, hops, citrus, some caramel, pine, and a touch of pepper, ends very bitter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Rusty (1536) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JUN 27, 2010
Pours a hazy yellow orange with a large white foamy head. Aroma is fruit, citrus, malt, floral hop. Flavor is malt, citrus, grapefruit, fruit, bitter herbal spicy peppery hops, loads of bitterness and a bit of pepper and grass in the finish. Very good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hillfiiiiire (323) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 26, 2010
Pours hazy orange with thin white head. Aroma of fruity esters and a bit of spices. Flavor comes through with kind of onion pepper type thing presumably from the hop variance. Finishes with a hoppy bitter spice with solid carbonation. Pretty tasty.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Caskalefan (145) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JUN 26, 2010
This is what an Imperial IPA should be all about. It’s the perfect marriage of English ingredients with a San Diego hop intensive profile, except there’s no cattiness in this one, just plenty of peach, and pear esters to compliment the more typical grapefruit, mandarin orange, and tangerine. The malt provides a marmalade-like thickness to support all those hops, and the finish is positively endless, but never interferes with the craving for yet another intense sip. This stuff puts me in mind of my old standby, Youngs Special London Ale, only on major steroids! Kudos, Stone!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ManvsCity (180) - Redmond, Washington, USA - JUN 26, 2010
Bready, bitter, and maybe a little too strong IPA. Bomber pours clear yellow/orange with a thick warm white head that leaves plenty of lacing. Aroma is overwhelmingly floral hops. Taste is thick and chewy golden malts supporting intensely bitter hops. The bitterness almost burns your mouth, and carries all the way down to your stomach and up into your nose. Strong notes of grapefruit rind, pine sap, and grape seeds dominate. Dry, but hot finish lingers for several minutes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - JUN 25, 2010
Golden straw color. Nose is hoppy, but not a citrus hop. Flavor is incredibly hoppy, dank, woodsy, musty. This actually reminded me of Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner. Definitely another winner from Stone, but something I can only handle in small doses.

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