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RATINGS: 685   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75   SEASONAL: Series   IBU: 85   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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We’ve been loving creating Collaboration beers with great creative brewers from all over the world these last several years-unique beers that would never have existed without the free-flowing imagination and idea generation of the collaborative process. However, when it comes to the Stone Anniversary Ales, it’s all us. Yet, it is indeed still a collaboration with great creative brewers (if we do say so ourselves). We’re talking about our own brewing team, of course. And while some of our beers, anniversary and otherwise, have been designed by a single person, the Stone 16th Anniversary IPA was definitely a team effort.

This year our brewing team was inspired by some exotic-ish additions of the lemony persuasion. Yes, it’s a Double IPA (can you really say you’re surprised?), but as we strive to do with all our Stone Anniversary Ales of the let’s-take-this-IPA-in-a-new-direction variety, we’ve brewed up a Stone-worthy divergence from tradition. The amount of rye malt we used isn’t quite enough to warrant the appellation "Rye IPA," but it still adds hints of spiciness that contrast deliciously with the tropical fruit flavors and aromas of the Amarillo and Calypso hops. Add a few European specialty malts, some lemon verbena, and three more hop varieties to the mix, and you have a highly complex brew melding both bitter and fruity hop notes with rich toasted malt character punctuated by nuances of spicy rye and subtle lemon.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 17, 2012
A steady pour into my Bruery tulip produces a three-finger thick, pale tan colored head that leaves lots of lacing stuck to the sides of my glass. The beer is a rich, red-amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, perfectly clear, bright copper hue that practically sparkles. The aroma is clearly hop dominated; notes of lychee, slightly washed out orange juice, a touch of herbaceous slightly vegetal character, tangelo zest, and floral peach / apricot notes. There is a noticeable, though clearly supporting malt character in the nose too, with notes of whole grain crackers, and a slight straw like character (which is also accentuated by the hop character).

Ample hop fruity character up front gives this a really juicy hop flavor up front, towards the finish this takes on a more herbal edge, even perhaps leaning a touch towards chive, the finish is nicely bitter with a lingering, peppery, herbal raw hop note. There is just enough sweetness to accentuate / bring-out the hop fruit character. This is quite clean in its focus on the hops and supporting malt character. This has a nice balance between vivid hop fruit notes and biting, herbal hop notes. The supporting malt contributes touches of chewy pale malt, pale wheat crackers, a definite spicy, whole grain character, and an almost hop accentuating malt spiciness / chewiness. Flavors of menthol, touches of rosemary, and a definite medicinal note (accentuated by some spicy alcohol flavors). The menthol note almost gets toothpaste like as It warms up. The body of this beer has a certain viscous character to it, it is not heavy though, and is in fact on the light side of medium, and it is dangerously quaffable given its strength.

The nose isn’t quite as expressive as I was hoping, though it is clearly hop dominated, but, this particular hophead, still is wishing for a bit more aromatic hop character. Definitely a good example of a Double IPA, still with the proliferation of these since the first of the Anniversary IPAs, this doesn’t quite hold the luster that this type of beer would have back then. Having said that, this is a beer that any hop head needs to make an attempt to have; it is quite tasty and certainly an enjoyable experience for those that love hops. I also like that the malt character has a complexity and spiciness to it, though it is a supporting character, it is quite a bit more expressive, though integrated, than one usually finds in a Double IPA. For those that are sensitive the menthol / toothpaste character can be a touch distracting, but I seem to get past it; and if you keep this on the cool side it shouldn’t distract too much. In the end, I think that the individual components don’t’ quite add up to the whole that this beer pulls off, but this beer, almost guiltily, is quite the pleasure.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheRealMGD (551) - Lakewood, Washington, USA - AUG 16, 2012
Tap @ Taphouse Grill. Clear gold pour with a short white head with excellent retention and leaving heavy lace. Nose is citrus and spicy herbs, with some pine. Medium body with moderate, fine carbonation. Mouth feel is quite smooth and pleasant. Spruce, rosemary, lavender, caramel, lemon zest and vodka. Finish is long, resin- and ethanol-bitter. A bit hot for me and a bit too herbal, but always interesting and worth a try.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
thetmaxx (732) - West Sacramento, California, USA - AUG 16, 2012
Poured from the bomber, color is copper, OK lacing. Aroma is piney and lemony. There is a bit of spiceiness. I did detect the hint of rye. Overall it is crazy, but not so amazing that it warrants a anniversary for stone.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
thome50 (984) - Boringville aka Irvine, California, USA - AUG 16, 2012
Bottle. Pours a nice orange with average white head. Aroma is lemon, sage, slight dank (most of pretty much any Stone beer I’ve had) and some sweetness. Taste is a full double IPA with definite lemon verbena from my days as a plant dork. This stuff is straight up southern California chaparral! The smells and tastes of summer in this one. Not sure that it really blends well with a DIPA but if I ever get off my ass again and homebrew this is the kind of garbage I would make. Overall, really nice in my homer opinion but I hate most stone stuff and will probably grow to hate this over the next month.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 19/20
BK7 (720) - Turner, Oregon, USA - AUG 16, 2012
Bomber. This is a big Double IPA. Strong bitterness, grapefruit and pine. Nice balance of malt in the background. Sticky and pungent. Solid finish. Tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MadDogMD (213) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - AUG 16, 2012
Bomber from Whole Foods Mayo. Nice, typical nose from Stone- sour grapefruit, lemon, pine. Big bitterness up front; more lemon & citrus, pine. As it warmed, I got more of the lemon verbena- which tasted a little too herbal/basil/vegetable for me. Overall, a good beer, tho. Will probably buy/try some more.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
portableparty (1909) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - AUG 16, 2012
Bottle. Pours clear bright orange with a sudsy white head that settles to a soapy film and lacing. Aroma is big resinous hops some pungent spice and strong lemon zest call me crazy, but I smell curry too. Taste is just the norm for Stone with big pungent bitter resinous hops and pine needles along with a spicy pepper note that brings me back to think of Asian food. Palate is fizzy slick /sticky and finishes chalky dry. Complex and pretty tasty!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JFURYCAT (1079) - East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 16, 2012
Lemon spruce is how I sum this beer up. The citrus character turns into that with the lemon oil which is a tad bit more prevalent. Nice dry character at the end of this beer. Perfume like with the malt bill which yields the high abv. A tad bit astringent for me but overall a nice beer. Think that might be the rye causing that effect.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nephilium (1307) - Ohio, USA - AUG 16, 2012
Interesting aroma with lemon and pine notes. Pours a clear amber, with a white head. This is a complex beer... there’s notes from the rye, a lingering bitterness from the hops, all gently wrapped in lemon. Slick on the palate, with a full mouthfeel. I will be getting more of this before it disappears into the past.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
dcschiller (2203) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - AUG 15, 2012
Bottle from AJs Arcadia. Pours a mostly clear copper color with a soapy off-white head. Nice carbonation. Aroma of caramel, pine, herbs, and lemon. Taste is sweet and bitter with plenty of herbal and lemony notes. A bit of spice as well. Medium bodied and somewhat sticky. The vegetal/herbal character of this beer is just overpowering. Still a good beer, but not great for my tastes.

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