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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 726   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 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DocLock (8797) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MartinT (8736) - 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.


   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DuffMan (8318) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 20, 2010
Bottle. Very hazy gold, enormous frothy gold-tinted head leaving clingy lace. Intensely piney, slightly vegetal hop aroma and flavour. Sweet, slightly creamy mouthfeel. Intensely bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
olio (8206) - Tampere, FINLAND - DEC 29, 2011
65 cl bottle.
Originally rated on 20110312.
Pale yellow colour with medium head. Aroma of hoppy fruits, mild malts and caramel notes. Flavour of exotic fruits, some caramel, grass and sweetish malts.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
KyotoLefty (8141) - Kyoto, JAPAN - SEP 19, 2010
Bomber. Grassy hop aroma, alcohol there, dryinsh. Big grassy and wededy flavor, light citrus and other fruit, and a slight sweetness followed by an amazing, harsh, bitterness. Hop tea? Some turpentine? Dry and peppery, with an unfriendly finish. I don’t dig this kind of absolutely balance-less hop bomb.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
sebletitje (8124) - Enghien, BELGIUM - AUG 12, 2010
hay color, silky white head. aroma, nose was on the weak side, light yeast, pine hops. flavors, spicy hops, tropical fruits, warming abv, with a mild bitter finish, grapefruit and citrus aplenty along with other tropical flavors. Mouthfeel is thick, light malts that tend to be overtaken by the hops and strong bitter citrus and spices in the finish

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Hansen (8092) - Assentoft, DENMARK - SEP 25, 2011
Draught at Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas. Golden coloured and faint hazy. Has a white head, medium duration. Aroma of cerials, citrus, hops, crisp too. Flavor is moderate sweet and finish heavy bitter. Dry, creamy texture and soft carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
j12601 (8050) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - AUG 4, 2010
On tap at Buckeye on our way to RBSG. Pours a hazed grey to brown with a medium sized beige head. Toasty and nutty, hoppy citrus and toast. Spicy, subtle and complex. Does have a bit of a strawberry flavor, the very seedy ones. Nutty and juicy. Light alcohol, long tannins and grapefruit bitterness.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
marcus (8010) - Sacramento, California, USA - AUG 11, 2010
On tap at Monk’s Kettle. Pours cloudy golden with an attractive white head and a marvelous spice and yeast aroma. This is a well-balanced beer that combines sweet light malt, citrus, yeast, pine, and spice into an amalgamation of flavor. Well-done, Stone.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
phaleslu (8006) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 22, 2010
200th rating for this beer and it won’t be as high as the others. 22 oz. bottle from Jungle Jim’s. Pours a cloudy yellow-gold color with an initially large eggshell white head that fades. Stinky aroma of pine hops, sour milk, sweaty socks, grass, straw, and pale English malts. Flavor isn’t as bad, with a ton of malty sweetness, piney hops, straw, and grass. Overly sweet, and finishes bitter. Medium-bodied, with light carbonation. This seems like a misfire to me, and easily the worst Stone beer I’ve ever tried.

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