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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

 (RETIRED)
overall
99
95
style
Serve in Shaker, Snifter

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RATINGS: 726   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 100   EST. CALORIES: 267   ABV: 8.9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Scopey (9061) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 1, 2011
Bottle from Brewdog Bar, Aberdeen. It pours a hazy straw yellow colour with a foamy white head. The nose is hay, farmyard, floral notes, straw and citrus fruits. The taste is of farmyard, biscuit, bread, lots of lemon, grapefruit, passion fruit, pine and spicy ginger towards the decent bitter finish. Quite a bit lighter than I expected, especially with the % and IBU it boasts.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeMcPhee (9004) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 9, 2010
Deep amber pour with a thin white head. The nose is intensely aromatic. Bright and fruity with a heavy musky spiciness. Soft orange peel and orange marmalade. Herbal and resiny bitterness with a lot of chewy fresh herbal character. It’s quite British tasting but with even more of that herbal/spicy character. Long lingering bitterness. The nice malt character that I typically associate with British beer isn’t quite here, but the product is very unique and tasty product.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
gnoff (8746) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - DEC 16, 2010
UPDATED: SEP 20, 2011 First rating
650 ml (bomber) bottle, thanks to ekstedt!
BB 2011-04-30, sampled on December 15, 2010
Hazy hay colored yellow color, medium though lasting off-white head. Sweet, sugary, hoppy, berry, alcohol scent. Hoppy at first in the taste, though quickly move on to maltys weet mixed with sweet alcohol. Medium mouthfeel, warming alcohol. Medium hop bitterness, but a dry alcohol bitterness is very evident.
8/3/5/3/11=3.0

Rerate
Rated in a blind tasting
650 ml bottle thanks to Mats (not on Ratebeer)!
Sampled on December 17, 2010
BB date 2011-04-30.
Cloudy yellow color with yeast particles, smallish off-white head. Sweet, a bit of stable scent, also cheese. Hoppy, red berries, apricots, sweet, dry taste. Very dry aftertaste. Moussy mouthfeel, high dry bitterness.
6/2/7/3/12=3.0

Bottle is too big, even when shared with 3 the first time and 5 the second, most of it still got poured out.

Rerate
Bottle thanks to larsniclas! On February 4, 2011
Cloudy apricot color with floating stuff in it, white head. Sweet, caramel, hoppy scent. Malty, cream, bitter, hoppy, grainy taste. Warming alcohol. Medium mouthfeel, medium dry grainy aftertaste.
6/2/6/3/11=2.8

Draught at Moeder Lambic, Brussels, for Zwanze Day 2011 as well as the Moeder vs Stone beer festival. Sampled on September 17, 2011
Slight bit hazy yellow color, medium sized white head. Grainy, malty, some white pepper, sweet scent. Sweet, malty, bitter, grainy, hoppy, alcohol taste. Smooth mouthfeel, high bitterness. Grainy and alcohol aftertaste.
Like it better on draught and less fresh than the bottles I’ve tried in the past.
7/3/7/4/14=3.5

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
arminjewell (8626) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JUL 14, 2010
Pours nice orange with white head, aroma is sweet mango, pineapple, and more citrus with a touch of pine. Taste is big citrus and pine up front, with more tropical fruit, finishing nice and bitter after a small malt backbone. Stone never ceases to disappoint!

2.3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
3fourths (8603) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 6, 2011
draft. cloudy golden wheat body, small bubbled white head. musty cheese and BO nose, honey-tinged, green, raw and vegetal (onion, garlic, canned tomato sauce). similar flavor: musty, cheesy, stinky, almost putrid, with garlic, butter and onion thrown in for good measure. surprisingly soft texture, low sweetness, high bitterness, medium-high acid. but.... disgusting.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DrSilverworm (8567) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 27, 2014
22oz bottle, big thanks to Jay for this one. Shared with Alicia and Robby. Bottled June 2010. Totally hazy yellow orange yellow color. A lot more yeast and particles in the later pour. Thin off-white head. Dots and ropes of lace. Looks good. Some grapefruity, citrusy hop aroma in the nose. Light caramel malt. Kind of spicy malt. Surprisingly hoppy still, definitely not a malt bomb. English ingredients selected seem to have held up very well. This was kept in a cooler continuously while it aged, as far as I know. Metallic aroma in the nose is impossible to ignore, though. Medium to bigger body. Smooth, kind of crisp lighter carbonation. Lightly slick, just a very light bite. Moderate to bigger bitter taste. Light to moderate sweet, way less sweet than expected. Pretty decent stuff. A lot better and hoppier than expected, can’t believe how hoppy and bitter it is for 3.5 years old. Well done, Stone.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MartinT (8550) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 4, 2010
My Bottom Line:
Peppery, spicy hops proliferate atop and within this Double IPA’s lightly toasted cereals, before expanding into a vivacious bitterness.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-A veil of foam laces around the hazy pale blonde.
-Alcohol is present, but mostly hidden by the lengthy hop bitterness.
-Hops also develop coniferous angles, which I admit I haven’t gotten often from UK grown hops.
-Malts also offered some honeyed character, mostly supporting the hop display.

Bottle.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DocLock (8532) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 21, 2010
Bottles from Capone’s and Frank Smith’s. Pours hazy canary with 3 finger white sticky head. Nose is mangoey, spicy, floral, with malt, very fruity, with berry, and sweet. Very complex nose. Tastes malty, very assertively hoppy, reminds me a bit of a sweeter version of Southern Tier Hoppe mixed with Gemini. There’s a lot of hops here, a lot of fruit, some cloying notes, and a very earthy, spicy overall flavor. Very good, with minor late heat, and very unique. I’d love too stack this against some of Stone’s historically great IPAs/IIPAs. Well done, Greg.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jercraigs (8509) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 11, 2011
2011-01-08. Lightly hazy golden pastel body with a small fluffy white head. 3+ Pleasant bitterness throughout, light fruity character, lemon grass as it warms. 7+ Pleasant hoppy aroma, sweet lemon, dry lemon accents. Smooth average bodied palate. Very enjoyable, alcohol is barely noticed. Bottle from Premier Gourmet, Buffalo

"…But then it hit your gut… and ricocheted!"

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DSG (8448) - Tel Aviv, - OCT 30, 2011
Bottle sample at a tasting at Porter & Sons. Thanks Ariel. Cloudy golden. Fruity hoppy aroma with some oranges, flowers and some malty notes. Sweetish fruity flavor with a bit of somewhat honey-ish malt and a bitter hoppy finish. Medium-bodied.


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