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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 725   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 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
swenocha (81) - Franklin, Tennessee, USA - JUL 28, 2010
Golden pour with a very small white head. Aroma is of earthy hops, with a bit of floral and malt. Very bitter (in a good way), balanced piney and citrus hops, as well as caramel malt. Very good... Nicely done.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hoppyhampy (73) - , California, USA - AUG 3, 2010
22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No freshness info. Kind of odd seeing how they recommend you drink it fresh. Nice, frothy two inches of head forms over a cloudy yellow liquid that reminds me of watered down orange juice. Good lacing evident as the head slowly dissipates. Smell is surprisingly sweet. This is a bit of a change for Stone. The malt is up front and the hops form the back bone giving it a very floral quality almost like a triple. The amount of carbonation you can see looks kind of like a triple, too. The hops are there and still seem fresh. It’s not like the beer is old and the malt has taken over, its just the hops are very subdued on the nose. Good amount of carbonation (not too much) and a very resiny mouthfeel. This definitely coats your whole mouth with a hefty dose of IBUs. Still the hops don’t quite dominate the taste. The yeast and malt combine with the hops to give the beer a citrus-y, tangy, baked, spicy quality. I guess I would say its like biting into a piece of orange peel in your orange-cranberry scone. Maybe its because I am enjoying something entirely new but I think this beer is remarkably drinkable for 8.9% abv. Again I would compare it to a triple instead of most DIPAs in that regard. I wish I had a nice cigar to go with this. Overall, unique and impressive. I am glad my favorite brewer can still surprise me after all these years.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
NateBarnett (69) - Augusta, Georgia, USA - NOV 7, 2010
22oz bottle. Pours a cloudy light orange. Smells of oranges, spice, and apricots. Taste is bitter with lively carbonation. Quite good!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
MikeyMalts (64) - Davis, California, USA - FEB 22, 2011
22oz btl from Nugget Market. Bought in late summer of 10’, been cold in cellar since. Poured into tulip glass. Pours a nicely yellow tinted haziness, looks close to a Hefe. Good amount of white foam at first but dissipates soon after. Big notes of fruit aromas: pineapple, orange, lemon, perhaps banana also. Lots of carbonation on taste, adds a deliciousness to the beer. Flavors much like the aromas with the accompaniment of bold hops. Smooth on the palate but hop bitterness lingers much too after. Good beer for what it is...glad I tried it to have the bottle (pretty much the main reason why I did), but I wouldn’t really buy again if there was ever going to be a chance to. (Yes, there are also big pieces of yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle.)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mataichi (63) - Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA - JUL 2, 2010
Growler from CBX. Pours a cloudy, very light orange/copper with medium amount of head. Smells of grass, resin, maybe a very tiny citrus in the end. Very distinct bitter taste, not the kind I’m used to in most IPAs. Its more sharp, if that makes sense, its a dry bitterness. Get the same kind of feeling after a grapefruit bite, but without the grapefruit taste. Rather interesting beverage.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jseifer (62) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 26, 2010
It’s hard to classify this beer. It kind of tastes like a gumball. Smells hoppy and very fruity. All around an interesting beer but too much for a session.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
exparte (59) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 18, 2010
Robust aroma of resiny pine and citrus hops with a quite earthy yeast and a touch of spice. Light and glowing amber, cloudy with a thick, fluffy white head that fades fairly quickly with minimal lacing. Slight residual sweetness in the beginning with a significant bitterness towards the end. Fairly light bodied with an oily texture and soft carbonation. Very enjoyable. The earthy yeast brings a unique quality that separates it from other IPAs.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
swong17 (58) - USA - SEP 30, 2010
Bottle. Poured a hazy orange with a very airy white head. Hops dominated the nose with a backdrop of citrus, grassy, and floral notes, along with some pepper. Tastes like an imperial IPA should taste--bitter with the hops up front. Though the hops are dominant, they’re not overbearing like in some; instead it’s nicely balanced and peppery. Tasty and solid, but I prefer some of Stone’s other IPA offerings.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
squigs46 (55) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - APR 21, 2011
good beer...flying saucer had their stone kick off party celebrating its arrival in missouri and i tried a few beers brewed by stone.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rahmdog (55) - Durham, New Hampshire, USA - AUG 2, 2010
Pours a cloudy organge-golden color with a light creamy head that is fluffy and persistent. Leaves tons of foam on the glass. Nose is of pine, similar to rosin for a violin. Taste is complex with a fleeting sweet malt paired with a strange sour. There is a banana taste in there, I through that was a made up taste haha. The bitter at the end is not overdone, I have felt much more in standard IPAs, but this is a good thing and lends the the balanced feel of the beer, stone can do no wrong, and this is a big right. Good Brew!

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