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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
Aubrey (3509) - 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 (7916) - 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 that’s 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 (7133) - 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 I’ll stick with the traditional ESB or American IIPA.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JoeTheYounger (1182) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JUN 28, 2010
Poured from a 22oz bottle, this hazy golden pour with a large white head kind of looks like a hefeweizen. The similarities end there. The earthy aroma along with a flavor that has a balance of citrusy hops along with graininess, makes this a very nicely drinking beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
bhightow (24) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 28, 2010
citrus, cloudy, golden, minimal head, medium sweetness, medium bitterness, bitter, medium body,

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JesusPooped (40) - Bay View, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 28, 2010
First off. For $6 this is was a hell of a deal for a bomber. Pour is the clearest and most yellow Stone brew I’ve seen, granted I haven’t tried their pale ale. Nose wasn’t too impressive, almost gives off a pilsner scent. Taste is something I haven’t experience from an IPA. Light but bitter and very resinous and spicy on the palate. Sweet white malts complimented with British yeast and rare hops I haven’t tasted before. Overall great beer, ranges between IPA and IIPA. Stone are definitely the pioneers for IPA’s.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
crackedmachine (479) - 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 (1940) - 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 (1599) - 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.

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