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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
aaronbr (170) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 17, 2010
Lots of fruit on the nose, this one pours a hazy straw gold. Very pleasant, and the taste is great. Tons of pine flavor, with a touch of lemony freshness. An exceptional brew by Stone. Cheers to their anniversary!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
cfrancis (3136) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 19, 2010
Pours a gorgeous cloudy light yellow with a beautiful frothy white head. Great lacing. Aroma is golding hops and ginger. Taste is a warming bitterness of hops that builds through the tasting. Slightly citrus and slightly floral. This is one beer that I wish wasn’t a one-off.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ibrew2or3 (8159) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - AUG 21, 2010
Bomber pours deep clear gold with copper hues and nice bright white head. The aroma is bold with pine sap drenched apricot wedges, spicy grapefruit, floral hops and orange hard candy at the end of the draw. The taste is rich full yum with pineapple, tangelo, resiny pine-apricot, spicy hops and floral hops. It gets a bit more citrusy midway and then moves toward floral and spicy hops into the finish. It has plenty of citrus and pine hop bitterness bite to balance out the firm floral notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
HighWine (959) - Whalezbro, Illinois, USA - AUG 22, 2010
22 oz bomber poured in a shaker glass. A lot lighter color than I was expecting but a real beauty in the glass. Cloudy dark straw color with a bright white head. The head laced perfectly around the top half of the glass. Aroma was like a fruit basket: pear, nectarine, pineapple, and both citrus and grassy hops. I love the taste, especially contrasted to Stone’s traditional IPA which is one of my favorites. Fresh fruit hit the palate, then some light malt, and tons of English hop bitterness. Pineapple flavors stand out to me. It’s like a bright ESB, served with a pineapple ring. Sounds weird but the layers of flavor are what make it great. Perfect amount of malt to hold all of the delicate flavors together without making it too heavy. The variety and combination of hops really steal the show. I bought a bottle to age and had to drink this one fresh. I’m glad I did. Not sure how long the other bottle will last...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DKS4011 (8) - Black Earth, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 27, 2010 does not count
bottle: gentle hop smell, beautiful orange color and stiff white head. Taste was oily and heavy (dense) but in a good way. this is a smooth IPA perhaps because of the English hops not the tannin-like twang of American IPAs. I loved this.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Brigadier (3535) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - SEP 7, 2010
650 ml bottle
From the moment I opened this I wished it were a regular release rather than a one-off anniversary beer. This is one of the best balanced imperial IPAs that I have tried. If it were any more aggressive it would have actually lost points for being over the top. Did I mention the price is not too bad either for the results?

Aroma / Appearance - A creamy orange body and powdery soft head started with the illusion of near perfection. Glowing and bright this was like looking at the sun as it begins to set on a cloudy autumn afternoon. Strong orange, grapefruit, and other citrus notes pack a potent punch. Malt is evident but only as a foundation for the hoppy bite.

Flavor / Palate - Very bitter without being intense this has struck the near perfect balance between a dry finish and fluid palate. Resin, creamsicle, and malt drive the point home quite effectively. Less fruity than its kin like Dreadnaught it manages to leave a memory that has me salivating more than two weeks later.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Goblincat (399) - Petersburg, Michigan, USA - SEP 26, 2010
Nice pine, citrus, and floral aroma... Very smooth taste, strong alcohol presence, with less hop kick than I expected, though I’m not complaining as it was quite nice. Yet another fine offering from Stone.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
QuezXLV (415) - Virginia, USA - OCT 3, 2010
Wow! The first thing I noticed was the cloudy orange body and creamy head. Very attractive. Strong citrus and hoppy aroma. Citrus and hops are strong in the flavor as well and the aftertaste is nice and sweet.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mrhoppy (1288) - Santa Clara, California, USA - OCT 3, 2010
Usually not a big fan of Stone stuff. This one I really enjoyed. Awesome aroma. Bitter to the hilt. Big big malt. Reminds me of a Firestone Walker beer. Light golden yellow and astringent while staying away from the dark orange syrupy, flowery style of a double. Interesting dry woody finish on the tongue.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
harrisoni (17278) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - OCT 23, 2010
Cask gravity at GBBF 2010. Haze gold, thin bubbly beige head. Piney resiny hop. Wow. Lots of hoop. That’s a proper US IPA. Huge grapefruit. Not too syrupy, alcohol doesn’t come thru. Just this huge biting hop. Just sheer hoop joy in a glass. Lovely.

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