Stone 8th Anniversary Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 8th Anniversary AleStone 8th Anniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

231 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 231
Hads: 264
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 8.96%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 08-10-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 231 | Hads: 264
Photo of merlin48
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A couple hundred words of verbal antics written on the bottle lead me to believe this is a reincarnation of a 1998, one-off called Lee's Mild. The 8th Anniversary pours a clear, chestnut brown body with a small, tan head that quickly falls into a persistent collar and film of lace. Patchy lace also decorates the sides of the glass.
Interesting nose begins with chocolate..and more chocolate. Caramel, prunes, smoked almonds, licorice, and vanilla also emerge to tease the nose.
Mouthfeel features some hops bitterness, and is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Feels good in the mouth.
Taste is complex for a "brown ale". Lots of chocolate malt, caramel, fresh bready malt, a hint of warming alcohol, dark fruits, and a solid almond nuttiness. Hops bitter well, and waver between grassy and floral. Finish is smooth and clean.
I ususally don't care for brown ales, but leave it to Stone to create an exception. At 7.8% abv, this could be considered an "imperial brown ale", but the abv is generally well hidden in the complexity of flavors. At times, I even detected a resemblance to a strong dark ale from Belgium, in this one. Very interesting. Very tasty. Very drinkable. I wish I had a case of these in my cellar. (1,228 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber: This one pours a caramel/reddish brown color. There was a small off white head that dissapated quickly. Biscuity caramel malt aroma, with a slight hint of hops. Maybe some fruits also to the nose. The taste has a roastiness to it that doesn’t come thru in the aroma. Hins of some nuttiness also. Some bitterness in the aftertaste. Very nice! (356 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a very dark amber pour, but when held to light becomes iced tea color. A good-sized head of a finger or more recedes forthwith, leaving bits and pieces of lace on the glass.

Aroma - an initial nose of Belgian-style sweetness. As the head falls down into the glass, aromas of cherry and chocolate emerge. A waft of booze is picked up now and then. Smells like a dessert beer. Fortunately for me, I ate *all* my supper so I am entitled... :-)

Taste - very malty...and sweet...and bitter...now *that's* a workout for the tastebuds! The sweetness is a base sugary feeling, not consistently connected to any particular food. At times it lends itself to some chocolate notes that occasionally peek through the thick veil of alcohol. For a 7.8 abv brew it comes across like a 10+. The sweet/bitter are both intense, I like the balance. The swallow brings out a full force moment of booziness and then the aftertaste hits bitter at the back of my tongue and throat. About 20 to 30 seconds after, there is a mild coffee flavor sneaking in that doesn't show up anywhere else in the flavor profile. Yummy stuff.

Mouthfeel - very average in all aspects;doesn't get in the way, just lets the flavor do its thing.

Drinkability - a most tasty bomber that I would surely have again. (1,291 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled: 2004
Consumed: 2009

220z bomber takin out of the cellar and poured into a Chimay Goblet.

Appearance: translucent brown with honey red corners. A decent 1 finger foam head with minimal retention and a touch of lacing.

Smell: loads of nutty malty notes that just entrace your nose. At times the smell borders boozy but never actually crosses the line. This smells delicate and declicious.

Taste: Oh my this is just a home run! The flavors are soft and well balanced, if not homogenized. Nutty goodness coupled with a touch of brown sugar and cola. But despite the notes mentioned, the sweetness is really down. This is delicious with the residual sugars consumed.

Mouthfeel: Very good considering this bottle is 5 years old. Still enough carbonation to make it a nice experience.

Drinkability: This is smooth and still has enough carbonation. Now is the time to enjoy this vintage people. I don't see it getting any better with additional time! (960 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the chalice (for some reason I thought it was gonna be a Belgian) a crystal clear deep amber brown. The head was low and tan, but lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was deeply nutty and malty with caramel most prevalent and chocolate not far behind. Slight roastiness was present in the aroma. As it warmed the aroma became slightly spicy which was most likely a result of the hidden alcohol in the beer making it's presence known through phenols.

The flavor was slightly metallic with chocolate and caramel and the same nutty characteristics. The flavor also had a earthiness and a hop bittering that restrained the everpresent maltiness.

The finish was just dry with lasting chocolate, caramel and slight lasting bittering. The body was medium full but seemed just a smidge thinner. The only indicator of the alcohol presence was in the warming after consumption and even that was slight.

22 ounce bottle. $6.25 in VA. (954 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decided to crack open one of my 8th Ann. Ales. This one might have peaked...

Looks really good, deep amber color, with a slight white head.

Also smells quite nice, similar to a barleywine, with fruity baked bread aromas.

Flavor seems a bit off. Has a nice bitter and sweet malty front, but fades on the finish. Might be do to age? Don't know... Mouthfeel is also lacking a bit.

It is certainly still drinkable, but I had one about 6 months ago and it was better. (474 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 700th beer review on BA, so I had to pick something somewhat special. According to Lee, this is a "Anniversary-ized" version Of Lee's mild from 1999 but with more hops, less water and some more roasty grains. Oak was used to the give the impression of bourbon barrel aging.
55 IBUs, 7.8% ABV, OG=18.5 plato, released Aug 16th, 2004.

Pours out to a beautifully sparkling clear dark mahogany, forming a sticky pancake-like light tan head with excellent retention and gorgeous lacing sticking to the sides of the glass in a reticular honeycomb fashion. The aroma is quite different for a Stone product...lots of prunes and plums with vinous barleywine traits, some delicately balanced hops kinda hanging in there which is quite mild for the Stone-style...reminds me of Batch 6000 or Dragon's Milk with a sweet malt nuance. Swirling produces that vinous "pang" that you get in a good barleywine. Cleanly fermented. Carbonation is somewhat mild to moderate. Mouthfeel is smooth with a light dryness in the finish and a chewy body. The taste begins with leather and tobacco, followed by herbaceous yellowing hops and a touch of alcohol in the middle. There is an odd soapiness towards the finish with more tobacco and leather in the aftertaste. Suggestions of easter-bunny faux-chocolate throughout. I'd be inclined to call this an Imperial Brown. When it warms up to room temperature, I get a peculiar green hop herbal/chocolate sourness and the alcohol begins to dry up the brew and lends a dryness to the finish. There is an odd "fishiness" to it that I detect in some Belgian brews like Abbaye des Rocs.

So, this is a pretty good beer. It doesn't blow me away like some of Stone's other brews, 'specially their Double Bastard and IPA. As a matter of fact, I'd be hard-pressed to call this a Stone product in a blind tasting, which I suppose is a good thing for them to be venturing out of their realm of expertise. I don't really feel pressed to buy another bottle of this, but I'm also getting more picky and selective as I have some really freakin' amazing beers at my disposal here in MI. (2,099 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Small pour of this at Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel today on my way into LA from the IE during their Stone 11th Anniversary celebration, this was the best tap offered topday, but it changes often

Only 4 bucks for this while a 22 ounce bottle was 23 dollars, not a hard choice

Left with a bottle of 9th Anniversary that I will review later when I decide to open it

Pour was a medium brown and smell nice and nutty

This beer was great with a roasted malt taste that stuck around for a long time

Had no head on it because keg is three years old, but still very very good

Could drink this all day, but it would get very expensive (633 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear mahogany with some brown highlights. No real head to speak of.
Aroma is chocolate, caramel and some resiny hops.
Flavor is bitter, milk chocolate front and a moderately toasted bready and grainy middle. Finishes with a soft, mild, almost floral finish.
Mouthfeel is smooth, malty start with a hint og bitterness. Slightly roasted nuttiness in the middle and finishes with a very nice, mildy hopped bittering.
Drinkability is very high. Nicely made brown or mild that could stand up to any mild from across the pond.
Thanks to Chilidog for this sample. (575 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.83/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Stone 8th Anniversary Ale

Appearance- looks like coca-cola, dark brownish black with a bubbly head.
Smell- creamy stout with malt and alcohol.
Taste- a stout Ale hybrid with a mix of rubbing alcohol to boot.

Overall- the alcohol is too present. Ruins the beer in my opinion. Beer has a nice stout creaminess and an ale malty cripness but it's ruined by the high alcohol content. (386 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a dark brown color with a finger of fluffy head. The nose is roasted malt and hops. The flavor is nice as well. The roasted/toasted flavor of the malt hits first followed by a huge blast of hops that stick with me for a few minutes. It gets even better as it warms. The flavors melt into each other more. This one is thick and fullbodied. I think drinkability takes a small hit because of the sheer size of the flavor, but just a little one. I'm glad I have a second bottle waiting for me. (504 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The 8th Anniversary pours a light reddish brown with a thin brown head that quickly goes to a small collar.

Its aroma is roasted nuttiness, coffee and chocolate.

The flavor is sweet, yet heavily roasted, caramel and chocolate malts with some nuts and a little smokiness. It has a dry bitter finish (grassy hops) that is at just the right level. The alcohol is well hidden. It is a little on the thin side and a little under-carbonated.

Overall, a fine brown ale with a kick. (483 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Was able to pick this up at the Pizza Port Carlsbad Stone Event. Always sad to drink a beer you know you'll never see again.

Gorgeous brownish-copper color. Small white head. The smell is pure caramel and malt. Not a lot of carbonation, settles into the glass rapidly.

The taste is lovely. Chocolate, caramel, and malt with a tinge of grapefruit hop aftertaste. I don't know if it's the aging, or what, but this beer tastes significantly better than the reviews would lead me to believe. This is particularly astonishing as I don't typically like brown ales.

I could drink this all day. But, sadly, never will get to. (621 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Managed to snag one of these while in Vegas for the trip back home. Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle, simple 8th Anniversary logo on front, both labels silk-screened on in silver grey (with "Anniversary Ale" in blue). The blurb on the back this time reads like someone dined on a Thesaurus and then projectile vomited it against a wall. An overindulgence of 3-dollar words.

The body is an elegant clear walnut colour, with a decent creamy tan head that settles to a thick ring. Nice lacing. The nose is beefy with dense toasted malt, nuts, coffee, mild chocolate, and flowery hops. The flavour is big for a brown, the alcohol can be immediately tasted. Burnt malt up front with a vinuous boozy undertone, settling into a roasted coffee character in the middle, moving towards the finish with a dry yet somewhat sweet chocolate, entwining with some leafy hops on the finish, leaving a smoldering earthy, charred wood aftertaste. Fairly complex for a brown, a lot going on, but it all doesn't come together in an overly balanced fashion, reminescent of the flow and style of the blurb on the back label. Not enough to boost it towards an exceptional rating in taste. Still quite a journey though, definitely the most challenging brown I've ever tried. I'd definitely be interested to see how this ages, and whether all the distinct elements that stand out so much on their own form a bit more unison in time. If anything can be said of Stone from my experience with them so far, they definitely don't do anything half-assed, and employ the "go hard or go home" mentality. (1,573 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice,deep chestnut brown color. Malty aroma-slight hoppiness to it. Malty flavor-theres a slight grainy flavor to it. Slight caramel notes. Good body. Quite smooth on the palate. A decent enough brown though not my favorite offering from Stone. (257 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle pulled from the cellar. Uncapped and poured into my shaker glass. The ale appears a murky medium chestnut color with about a finger or so of light tan foam. Nose and flavors consist of milk chocolate, caramel, mild molasses, bitter cocoa, still some lingering hoppy bitterness, nutty, raisins. The flavors have blended nicely. Amply carbonated with a decent body for the style. Give this one a go if you have it. (437 characters)

Photo of clvand0
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Pours a brown/red color with a small head that didn't stick around too long and left very little lacing on the glass. Smells of caramel malts with a little nuttiness and some hops. The flavor is very hoppy. Caramel malts for the backing as well as some bready malts, but hops dominate the flavor in my opinion. Finish is bitter. Seems a bit strong for a brown and a bit too hoppy. It's a good beer and very drinkable though. (437 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I have come across this already. And for only $4.99, what a steal! From the bomber pours a very deep ruby color with a shade of brown. Huge fluffy off white head. Great head retention, lasted for quite some time. Fair amount of lace on the glass. Smells are roasted, slight chocolate, and coffee. Taste is pretty much the same, a nice roasted malt base, combined with notes of chocolate and coffee. Being Stone, of course there are hops. There is a good amount of bitterness at the end, that seems to fit well. Medium body with low carbonation. This is a fantastic beer! I am a big fan of American Brown Ales, and this is a great example. I can't find much to criticize this beer on, other than not seeming like a session beer. Who cares? Enjoy while it lasts! I will certainly look for more. (808 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dug up a bottle from the cellar that came from God knows where while I was doin' God knows what to God knows whom.

Big double deucer pours out a russet dim amber yet light revealing pour, topped off by a frothy sticky tan beige head cap.

Vanilla ice cream and root beer float scents.

First swigs: Goey caramel candy like brown sugar and toffe flavors. Some cream and coffee notes met up with a hop wall of integrated citrous juices. Well balanced flavors disguise the hoppy profile all too well.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a sugar tacky residue. Quite the sweet brown ale.

Last swigs: STONE gets plenty of street cred in my wee little beer book fo making a bold brown. That is tantamount to the nerdy girl suddenly looking hot for the prom. Brown is usually bland. Not this. A hoppy blast of sugary goodness. Cool bottle cap that says "8 years, No compromises."

Beer is good. Happy Anniversary beering. (936 characters)

Photo of bashiba
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours into the glass a very dark ruby/brown combination with a thin layer of head that disappears quickly.

Smell is pretty light, small hints of caramel malts and some earthy hop aromas

Taste has a nice sweet honey, clove, and caramel taste up front and is followed by a very dry earthy hoppiness. Bitter, but not enough to overpower the malts.

Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy with a slight fuzzy warming to it.

Drinkability isn't bad, very enjoyable, but not something I could drink a lot of. (509 characters)

Photo of woemad
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big ass bomber purchased at Jim’s Homebrew in Spokane a few months back. It’s been hiding out in my stash. Brewed with “barley, hops, water, yeast and a rather harrowingly glorious habit of taking liberties with the English language.” Hmm.

Poured a dark cola brown color that became red when held up to light. Virtually no head or lace (what little there was had a mocha tan color). Kinda boring looking.

The smell was typical for a brown ale. Where this one differs is that it’s sweeter than most. Very strong brown sugar and molasses type smells. While there's a slight roasty malt scent, I can detect no hop scent of any kind, whatever the label says. If they are in the beer, they are in a quantity that prevents them from standing out from the barley and yeast whose presence was also trumpeted from the label.

This is a little more interesting in the taste than in the nose. The hops finally make themselves felt by adding a slight dryness to the heavy sweetness of this beer that is especially noteworthy at the swallow. Otherwise this is a sweet malt playground that is only slightly mitigated by a background flavor of raisins and figs. In a strange way this almost tastes like an ill-advised attempt to straddle the divide between brown ale and imperial stout, with the emphasis on the brown ale. This could be an interesting tasting beer, but it’s a little too insipidly sweet for that to happen.

Mouthfeel is about right for a brown ale. Thoroughly medium bodied. The carbonation is definitely lower than it should be. Perhaps this thing is so loaded up with sugar the yeast isn’t rising enough. I’ve heard of that happening with breweries with little or no quality control, but that’s not Stone, so I think this was actually meant to be this way. Regardless, this needs a little livening up.

I suppose this is drinkable if you really want a dark beer that is massively sweet. To me, this seems calculated to appeal to some netherworld between BMC drinkers who are starting to branch out (it's too bitter for them) and hardcore beer geeks (it's too sweet for them). One thing it does well is hide it’s abv of 7.8%. Not particularly impressed with this, but it is drinkable in limited quantities – the limit being this bomber. Once it’s gone, I’ll have no urge for another. (2,312 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the bomber a nice deep ruby brown with a small tan head. The hints of red shoot out when held up to the light. The smell is caramel/molasses upfront with some citrus hop tones in the background. A bit bready and roasty.

First sip is a huge blast of maltiness, caramel and chocolate tones dance on my tongue. They are juxtaposed by a citrus hop background that adds a nice amount of biterness to the brew. Some spiciness there as well. Leave it to Stone to take a nomally tame style and give it a good kick in the ass.

Mouthfeel is great...good body and excellent carbonation..a please to drink. As for drinkability....I'd have another...tasty and easy to drink. Almost 8% and I don't even notice it. Thanks to kmpitz2 for the opportunity to try yet another tasty Stone brew!! (792 characters)

Photo of marc77
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly hazed tawny bister hue. Steadfast, dense one fingered head yields rough lace. Twang of smokey roasted grain and burnt caramel upfront in aroma. Swirling releases fermented prune hints and rounded dark chocolate tones. Inviting aromawise. Incipient in flavor are notes of treacle and singed chestnut, which promptly yield to assertive, yet seemingly restrained hop bitterness. The flavor profile is left transiently minerally mid palate, until a combination of dark toffee, baker's chocolate and a sweet, woody hop flavor gently surface and persist. Moderate in body and suitably dextrinous considering the soft malt profile. Finishes mostly dry, with bittersweet dark cocoa and caramel hints overshadowed by satiating lingering, burly hop bitters. A surprisingly balanced and well rounded beverage. Tastefully crafted and superlative in drinkability. Alcohol flavors are aptly hidden. Excellent overall. (912 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Stone offering pours many shades of red with dark copper being the dominant color. Small frothy head sits atop. Moderately carbonated. Aroma is powerful with hints of bourbon and residual sugars along with a yeasty profile. There's a toasted grain element in there as well which rounds out the aroma. Flavor is strong but the body seems a tad thin for all the flavors going on. Lots of sweetness upfront which is soon cut short by the bourbon/vanilla characteristics. A roasted woody flavor comes in next along with a little peat. Not too much though. Yeasty flavors become more prevalent the further I go in the bottle and I'm getting more phenolics from the yeast towards the end. Finishes dry and woody (oak). Nice beer, easy to sip on and enjoy. I probably could have been satisfied after 12 oz but I wasn't complaining about finishing this bottle in one sitting. (872 characters)

Photo of mntlover
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown with light red highlights a tan head that is small and vanishes quick some spotty lace. Aroma is earthy toasted malt nutty caramel malt light chocolate lightly fruity with a dash of floral hops. Taste is pleasing lightly toasted malt, nuts, caramel, toffee even down to earth taste. Finishes with some fruit flavors with a lingering light hop bitterness. Malt feels so smooth low carbonation full bodied when then the carbonation picks up and lifts the fruity floral flavors onto the tounge. Best tasting brown ale I have sampled. Mouthfeel is right side of medium a smooth full bodied beer. Drinkability is good a great brown ale with a good complex full flavored taste, not my favorite style but this beer will make you a believer in brown ales. (761 characters)

Stone 8th Anniversary Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 231 ratings.