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.
NJDevilz69 (28) - Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, USA - JUL 20, 2010
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Pours a cloudy golden/orange, nice head that fades quickly. Leaves a nice lacing on my glass. Aroma is very pungent and funky. Very vicious mouth feel. Big citrus and fruit essences. Very long finish that seems to linger there for awhile.
pollardjt (27) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - OCT 11, 2010
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
22 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy orange/yellow color, with a bit of sediment, and a foamy pale head. Aroma of lemongrass and spice. Pungent first taste. Strong hop flavor/bitterness with the slightest touch of malt that the description mentions. Overall another great beer from the guys at Stone.
bhightow (24) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 28, 2010
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
citrus, cloudy, golden, minimal head, medium sweetness, medium bitterness, bitter, medium body,
falschfreiheit (22) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - NOV 10, 2010
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
bomber. cloudy golden. white head with good retention. lime. bit of pine. honey. bitter undercurrents. slightly bristly. medium body. long finish.
Chenzo (20) - Berkeley, California, USA - JUL 25, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A bit cloudy, decent head. Smells of hops and yeast. Malty taste and nice hop taste. A slightly harsh finish.
angolajones (17) - Angola, Indiana, USA - AUG 10, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Great beer. Got this on at Jungle Jim’s also. Poured nice with a big head. The most remarkable thing about this beer is the flavor that doesn’t stop once you have a drink. There is a lingering that is unique to IPA’s and this one is a supreme bitter taste with hints of fruit. I highly recommend this one to anyone wanting to try a great IPA.
hankchinaski (14) - Florida, USA - SEP 17, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Not a big fan of British IPA’s to begin with but Stone is one of my favorite brewery and I wanted to like it. Graperfruity and grassy hops with a hint of funk. Very bitter, herby and slightly medicinal. A miss for me.
nustang70 (12) - USA - SEP 19, 2010
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Wow, what a great IPA. The high ABV is masked by strong flavors. Drink slowly and share with a friend.
tim13 (11) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 10, 2010
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
21 ouncer, Old Philadelphia Ale House at 20th & Green (support your local beer dealer).
Nice concept. I was psyched when I read the description on the bottle and it didn’t disappoint. Succulent floral smell with a taste to match. Typically awesome offering from Stone.
Captain_Cab (10) - Wisconsin, USA - OCT 22, 2010
2.6 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
medium bitterness, not overly impressed with this ipa. I usually want a face full of hops but was disappointed with aroma and taste.
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