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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 721   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BillWyce (723) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 18, 2011
From notes: poured a very cloudy straw color with a small white head. Aroma was surprisingly mild-piney hops mixed with yeast. Very deep palate, with a notable thickness. Found it to be mildly hoppy with a lot of biscuity yeast mixed in. I usually really like Stone’s brews, and reading the other desscriptions in the reviews leaves me wondering if I got a bad bottle...

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
nick76 (4221) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JUL 9, 2010
The aroma is very hoppy with floral hops and bread like malts. The appearance is hazy gold with a medium head. The taste is like the aroma with an astringent finish. The palate is smooth. Overall this is OK.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
coldbrewky (1423) - Hippetown East, New York, USA - JUL 18, 2010
Bomber: Pours a thick and hazy honey golden. Thin white head with drippy lacing. Nose of whole hop with a light under tone of caramel malt. Hop resin tone is elevated at start and plateaus for duration. Their own definition shows the single dimension of this brew.... HIED or Hop Infused Explosive Device. Fairly one dimensional. It is brewed with British ingredients but lacks the reserve to be anything other than a one off anniversary brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
xmarcnolanx (929) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - JUL 18, 2010
Aroma is intensely pine hops, very sweet, some fartiness, but mostly pine and dank hops. Taste is woah! way too sweet, pine, dankness, lots of milky pine, and more bitterness. Finish is cloying and slightly bitter. Way too sweet.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
dagimp (718) - Philly, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 30, 2010
From a bomber into a plastic cup. Pours with a good amount of head that doesn’t stick around too long. Not much lacing but that could just be the cup. Pretty decent aroma, very grassy and bananaey...almost Hefe like. Mouthfeel is medium for an IIPA. Taste is bready, cloves, light lemon and citrus hops... and that banana flavor again. Interesting, but not very. An OK IPA. Not that impressed but at least it wasn’t a total hop bomb like the rest of Stone’s IPAs.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Ernest (6217) - 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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
bu11zeye (11942) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - AUG 19, 2010
(22oz bottle) Pours a clear yellow body with a medium off-white head. Aroma of sweaty socks, pine resin, grass, earth, and some citrus. Flavor of peach up front with pine, grass, metal, and grapefruit. Finishes dry and bitter.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
madvike (2729) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 15, 2010
Pours hazy yellow with a foamy white head. A bit of harsh alcohol on the nose, with lots of herbal and grassy hops and some lightly sweet tropical fruit. A decent amount of sweet, caramelly malt, light yeast, dark chocolate, and a bitter, grassy finish. Really resiny in the mouth. Really sharp and not super pleasant.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 18, 2010
UPDATED: AUG 2, 2010 Bottle from Binny’s on Marcey. Pours a mostly clear pale copper with lasting sticky white head. Nose is all EKG, sweet and orangey. Distinctly English, which is what I’d expect. Taste is a bit too sweet with grapey notes (likely from the Boadicea hops) and again throws the fact that I don’t care for EKG back at me. Meh.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
AndyReynolds (886) - Dayton, Kentucky, USA - JUL 16, 2010
Bottle. Aroma is odd for an ipa, even an english ipa. I pick up sweet malts, noble hops, and spices. Notes of mint and pine stand out. Palate is smooth. Flavor brings out cheese? Something is off.... I am a little dissappointed compared to last year.

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