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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 718   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 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
1FastSTi (3334) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 1, 2011
Pours to a strange colored hazy yellow body with a very foamy (big bubbles) white head. The aroma is grassy candied pineapple and orange juice. The taste is extremely bitter grass and some sort of doughy grain. There’s a quite nasty bitter aftertaste that lingers and lingers. This beer is extremely unbalanced and hugely overrated. BLAH!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 5/20
ADawg (1) - USA - JUL 15, 2010 does not count
Another triumph from stone citrus nose nice malt backbone bitter finish notes of caramel good lacing

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
zach8270 (3423) - Henrietta, New York, USA - OCT 28, 2010
(draft @ The Old Toad - Rochester, NY) Clear yellow with a soapy white head. Bitter and slightly sour aroma with dry hope and a mild sweetness. Dry and bitter middle with an unpleasant bitter and plasticy malt taste. Dry and lingering finish. Not a fan.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 9/20
beerbill (3367) - Laurel, New York, USA - AUG 21, 2011
22 oz. bottle. Pours a cloudy straw yellow with lots of tan and white chunks floating about. Looks like somebody’s pond water experiment. The chunks stay suspended in the beer throughout and never settle. The aroma thankfully is pleasant despite this beer’s disturbing appearance. There is ample grapefruit with a bit of spiciness to it along with some alcohol vapors. The flavor begins with some malt, but that is quickly overrun by grapefruit pith hops bitterness that is quite assertive and lingers annoyingly on the palate. That combined with some jet-fuel heat from the alcohol make this beer generally an unpleasant experience. Avoid.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
3fourths (7976) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUN 6, 2011
draft. cloudy golden wheat body, small bubbled white head. musty cheese and BO nose, honey-tinged, green, raw and vegetal (onion, garlic, canned tomato sauce). similar flavor: musty, cheesy, stinky, almost putrid, with garlic, butter and onion thrown in for good measure. surprisingly soft texture, low sweetness, high bitterness, medium-high acid. but.... disgusting.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
blazingspiral (170) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JUL 22, 2010
As a long-time Stone fan, I really wanted to like this beer. However, I was deeply disappointed. This is the lightest-colored IIPA I’ve ever seen. Aroma was the best part, mixing bubblegum and spice in an intriguing way. The taste is a disaster, with the bubblegum flavor providing a sickly sweetness and chemical/synthetic essence, blending horribly with the herbal, spicy hops. Weak light malt does not balance the astringent hops. Alcohol is well hidden at least, allowing quick consumption so you can move on to something better. Sorry Stone, it can suck to be a teenager, eh?

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
mmmbeer (1239) - Austin, Texas, USA - AUG 16, 2010
22 oz. bottle served in shaker- poured a somewhat transparent dull yellow/orange color, very foamy white head formed and laced very nicely. Aroma of straw, old gym socks that haven’t been washed in a month, and grape Flavor-Aide. Hits the mouth with a medium body, malt is there but has a lemon twist to it, middle has a sweet yeast taste to it that churns my stomach, finish is dry and not even as acidic as a regular IPA. FAIL. If you guys wanna go and explore- cool- do at and on your own damn time and make a beer worthy of an anniversary next year- not something very experimental and only appeals to a small, and dissident, market of beer lovers.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 5/20
afireinside96 (923) - Mountville, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 26, 2010
Bottle served in a tulip glass. I don’t know where to begin on this one. One one hand it almost feels like the first time I had a sour beer and palate was simply not ready. On the other hand I just don’t think it was very good. Started alright, it poured hazy gold with a thin sticky head. Then came the sniff. Smelled oxidized, woody, sweet, medicinal. Not exactly what I think of when the letters I, P, and A come together. The flavor was very similar to that of cheap uncoated aspirin tablets with a stale woody quality to them. It was bitter with a thin and very dry body. Sorry Stone, just not digging this one.

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