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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Formerly brewed at Stone Brewing
Style: Imperial IPA
Escondido, California USA
Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 727   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
GT (9982) - Oceanside, California, USA - JUN 30, 2010
22oz bomber. Pours a clear to barely hazy bright orange with a thin, semi-rocky, light yellow head with spotty lace. Extremely weird aroma of fruity, fresh EKG hops, cantaloupe, butternut squash. Taste is very bitter, super dry, lots of overripe cantaloupe, honey dew melon, some metallic notes that urge on vomit like flavors. Very unpleasant. Then 9% rolls in and just turns this into a difficult beer to enjoy: too dry, too boozy, too much butternut squash and super weird hop varietals. Boadicea hops???

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 20, 2010
Clear golden color beneath a thin white head. Toasty grain aroma with some flowery almost perfume like hops and underlying citrus. Crisp bitterness, some grassy and pine-like hops. Light malt flavors and a lingering bitterness. Meh...

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUL 24, 2010
Draft: Cloudy golden minimal head. Earthy, pale maltiness. Citrus as well. Citrus (lemon) and then an almost dusty breadiness that is unexpected by me. Pepper in the aftertaste. Medium bodied. An odd one. I am a fence-sitter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - JUL 26, 2010
Bottle.br>Pours a decent light American cheese yellow with a nose of peach, apricot, light pine, orange, and sugar-coated grapefruit. Flavor is straw grapefruit, barnyard peach, musty pine, and old. Light biscuit emerges as it warms. Tingly mouthfeel. Reminds me of a more balanced Arrogant Basard with a sour fruit infusion.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - AUG 24, 2010
Bomber from Foremost Liquors in Oak Forest, IL: This had a copper body with a decent enough head. The aroma had a sturdy purple grape aroma along with some herbal/earthy/grassy spiciness. The grapes faded sliightly as the beer warmed more. The flavor was kind of muddled between the hety malt bill and an overdose of English hop bitterness. This seems to be a case where less would have been more. The grapey-ness re-emerged in the finish anlong with a strong, prolonged bitterness. An interesting experiement, but even as an avowed hop-head, I think the hops that were used were overdone.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BrooHa (121) - New York, USA - OCT 5, 2010
POurs a cloudy, dark yellow. Like a dense hefe or a troubling urine sample. Frothy, off-white head. Lemon scent wallops you. Lemon rind. Lemon zest. Lemon, lemony. Maybe with a teensy hint of Jolly Rancher in the background. Lemon Jolly Rancher. Sharp and bitter (in a good way). Booziness. Sharp lemon. Pepper? Slight marmalade in finish. Tasty and interesting but I don’t think I would seek out more. (tastes better as it warms).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
edwardbass (789) - Illinois, USA - OCT 15, 2010
Has a hint of Belgian characteristics in its aroma, light color and taste. Interesting. Pours a cloudy yellow with a medium head. Bitter (someone said "peppery hops" earlier - spot on) at first with some malt sweetness sneaking in and then a great bitter finish (that Stone seems to be a master at) with an aftertaste of grassy bitterness. It’s very good, but not quite for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
OldGrowth (3238) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - JAN 30, 2011
Old note, bottle from Sam’s. Good aroma, sweet. Initial citrus gives way to perfumey, soapy, grassy scents. Tad hazed golden orange color, good head that faded quickly. Minor lace. Bitter flavor. Medium body, smooth, creamy oily mouthfeel. Bitter dry finish that lingers. Good, but I wasn’t enjoying the hop mix in the flavor.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
502Che (999) - @, CAMBODIA - JUN 30, 2010
I think you guys are crazy. I love hops and IIPAs, and this is just NOT a superior IIPA. Smells like a cereal wheat beer. NO hops in the aroma. Pours a murky orange/tangerine color. the flavor is all bittering hops without any flavor or aroma hops. This is just a weird beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
temporrari (397) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - JUL 3, 2010
I’m pretty disappointed in this one. It’s probably just the style it was brewed in, though. I can’t really get into English type IPA, so there you have it. It’s fairly bitter but I can’t help feeling that it reminds me of Ruination after it gets old. Just sort of blah.

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