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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

 (RETIRED)
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99
94
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RATINGS: 721   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 100   EST. CALORIES: 267   ABV: 8.9%
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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.


2.6
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
phaleslu (6430) - 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.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mcberko (6419) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 12, 2010
22 oz. bottle, pours hazy orange with a small white head. Aroma of orange zest, massive peppery and piney hops, and some earthiness. Flavour of huge, but balanced pine hops - orange zest at the beginning, followed by citrus, lemongrass, and more hops. Excellent lingering bitter finish.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DrSilverworm (6366) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
5000 (6300) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - OCT 16, 2010
Bottle:   Hazy light golden, moderate sudsy white head, fairly nice lacing, sediment floats about, light carbonation.   Piney aroma, slight car freshener, citrus, and of course some sort of hops.   Fairly piney on the tongue.   Otherwise its hoppy, slight citrus peel, with a powdery suger candyish aspect.   Not all that biting for a big IPA, or IIPA.   Body and mouthfeel are moderate.   Not real heavy, or at least not as heavy as I thought this would be.   Tiz alright, flavorful yes, but could have used a bit more malt backing.


2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Ernest (6216) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 16, 2010
Bottle. Head is initially large, frothy, white, mostly lasting. Body is hazy dark yellow. Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain), moderately to heavily hoppy (grapefruit, resin), moderately yeasty (dough), with a note of alcohol. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately to heavily bitter. Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic. Good head size and retention for a Stone beer. Very yeasty (raw vitamin B stink) in the nose. Sadly, there’s nothing British about the brutish/burning alcohol presence and the resin/grapefruit hop onslaught. Doesn’t Stone make enough US west coast styled IPAs that they could have, just once, made something that actually made you think it might have come from England? That would have been awfully cool. But this is just another average American DIPA.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
arminjewell (6173) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, 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!

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
olio (6166) - 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.
4626

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Svesse (6137) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - APR 22, 2011
(Bottle) Hazy golden colour with lasting, off-white head. Fruity nose with notes of orange, lemon, grapefruit, honey, tropical fruit and herbal, citric hops. Fruity, hoppy taste with citrus, peaches, pineapple, toffee, honey, grassy herbs and generous amounts of grassy, citrussy hops in a bitter finish. Some alcohol comes through at the end. More than medium body, fairly sweet. Tasty, refreshing and very drinkable for its strength. Stone delivers as expected. Lovely beer!

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Rastacouere (6128) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 30, 2010
Almost opaque pale golden hue covered by a more than fair white sheet that mostly lasts. Pretty herbal nose without the usual brash American hop nose. Instead, it heads towards herbal, orangey, green earthy notes (chives, cilantro, parsley...) and growing grapefruit as it warms up. In mouth, the malts feel pale and quaffable despite their relative thickness. At 8.9%, it boasts a fair amount of minerally biscuitiness, but remains moderate in terms of alcohol and stays drinkable enough. Still, this does not come across as a particularly characterful ale. It seems fine for hoppy food pairings, but the hops used are a weird mixed bag, not having the rustic charms of pure nobility nor the punch of straight American varietals. And I can’t quite call it the best of both worlds as it does not feel greater than the sum of its parts.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (6125) - Brier, Washington, USA - JUL 4, 2010
22. Pours a cloudy burnished medium bronze with a dense and creamy platinum blond head that really sticks around. Tons of densely webby lace. Big tangy tangerine, grapefruit, and orange rind nose--very marmalade-y. Creamy medium body, plenty of lively carb. Toasty caramel and biscuit on the mid-palate, along with tons of citrus preserves and sharp oily pine. Long piney resin finish. Great DIPA, as expected.


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