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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 726   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.77   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.

kmeves' rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kmeves (1098) - Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 10, 2010
Pours a cloudy blond with a small diminishing head. Aroma is very floral, light citrus and very grainy. Flavor is thick and very bitter although a nice malty carmally base adds balance. Medium to full bodied, creamy texture. Very bitter abrupt dry finish. This beer exceeded my expectations and is by far my favorite anniversary beer following the 11th.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Zita (5649) - Assentoft, DENMARK - APR 2, 2015
sweet hoppy aroma,pale, hazy, white foam, light sweetness, medium bitterness, medium body, creamy, soft carbonation, nice beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
snoworsummer (3509) - baltimore, Maryland, USA - FEB 1, 2015
Draft at Liberty Station. Pours opaque yellow gold. Tastes like dry booze, toasted malt, syrup, citrus, and dried fruit. Medium body and low carbonation. Smells like hops, astringent alcohol, lemony citrus, and dry toasted malt.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pyrmir (4353) - Uppsala, SWEDEN - JAN 10, 2015
650 ml bottle at Hasse. Slightly hazy golden with white head. Aroma sweet and malty, spice, herbs, marmalade, cheese and some foot sweat notes. Taste is sweet and spicy, Cedar wood, marmalade, apricot, caramel with a spicy finish

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Naka (717) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 8, 2014
Once again, I forgot I had this so it is old now. Pours golden peach with a slight foamy white head. Aroma is spicy citrus and malt with some slight pine notes. Hop flavor is a ton of apricot with some pine in the finish. Rich body and nice lingering bitter.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
slowrunner77 (7442) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 4, 2014
"nice beer for sure. a fusion between a west coast imperial and an english ipa. hops are big, but less floral and fruit, and more pepper. different yet familiar. quite frikkin tasty, though not quite as awesome as last years."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Butters (3983) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - SEP 11, 2014
Sampled with maniac. Hop profile has turned old and slightly stale. Sickly sweet, and without the burn that I recall from when it was fresh. Vaguely reminiscent of citrusy fruits and peppery spice. Not awful, but not great.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
orangesol (984) - Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 7, 2014
Served on-tap at Al’s of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours hazy sunkist orange with a small half finger tall white head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving light lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of pungent grassy hops, lightly toasted malt, bright citric fruits; most notably grapefruit and orange peel; and some light booze. Very bright and refreshing nose.

T - Lots of bright grassy hops up front giving way slowly to a mix of light malt, citric fruits, and plenty of pine resin. The viscous resiny feel is very strong, wearing on the pallet quickly. Finish is mostly sticky resin with plenty of lingering hop bitterness. Not bad, good not great.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sticky, resiny, feel with plenty of it lingering throughout the finish. The booze is light at the beginning, getting a bit stronger as it warms.

O - Not too bad. This one is definitely a sipper. I enjoyed the strong hop presence but the lingering sticky pine resin feel really wore me down quickly. I could have one of these but that is it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Travlr (16923) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 21, 2014
Draught at Churchkey. Aroma of pine, citrus, grapefruit, grass. Decent malt balance, but this one is all about the hops. Straightforward. Bitter.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
generallee08 (759) - New York, USA - JUL 5, 2014
The body has a pale orange-ish tan color. It is quite hazy but carbonation is still visible. From the pour it makes a tall bright white head of tightly packed creamy foam. This slowly fades to thin foam covering that hangs on well and makes nice lace rings on the glass. The aroma is full of bright leafy, floral/botanical (almost minty) and citrusy hops with a hint of pine as well. Under that are notes of clean pale malt and bready yeast. The flavor is in your face hops right from the start. It is complex and brings all hop aroma notes to the flavor. The malt is clean, biscuity and adds a bit of sweetness at the start which makes the hop notes pop. There is a lightly noticeable sweet alcohol as well that adds some warmth. In the finish dry bready yeast and strong hop bitterness come out and dry things right up. This bitterness lingers on the tongue for some time in a good way. The body is just on the full side with nice lively carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
boto (1969) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - MAY 29, 2014
22oz bomber: This one was hiding in the back of the fridge. It pours a fairly clear, straw golden yellow color. There was about a finger of white head on it that leaves a bit of lacing. Nice nose on this one! Floral and spicy hops are predominant. I get a little yeastiness too. The taste is good. Not much bitterness left, in fact a touch of sweetness poking through. Malts, perhaps a touch of orange, earthy, spice, a touch of breadiness. Very Nice!

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