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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 231 | Hads: 264
Photo of Foxman
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a crisply clear ruby amber, rich and garnet. A finger of pithy yellowish tan head, the color of a nubuck boot, drops soon to the merest pricks of foam. Rings of lacing circle the glass.

The aroma twists a thick toasted malt sweetness, lofting tones of dark cherry, currants, and berries, all with a touch of port; Very understated vague hops toy with a broader swath of alcohol.

The first sip rumbles a crush of toasty malt sweetness carting fruity cherry and berry notes, along with touches of dry sherry and figs. A central current of homey baked bread crust soon gives sway to a sinewy tendon of alcohol, which then parts to allow a general but still poignant hops bitterness to make a strong appearance. The finish is lingeringly dry and bitter. It's balanced in a progressive way, though a bit halting.

Medium bodied, the elements of sweet and bitter coat and linger on the palate, leaving a warm glow.

It's a good sized beer that comes off even bigger, as the ABV is quite apparent. The play of flavors steps more than flows, and si not so much blended as coexistent, but it certainly gives each peice a nice moment on stage. The final presentation may be a bit bitter for some, but I find it a nice touch. That ABV certainly makes this a one per sitting beer but I'll have no problem drinking more of these at future sittings, assuming I can find anymore of course. Overall a very good anniversary, perhaps a glimpse of future acts of greatness. (1,477 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz., limited August 2004 release. Pours a brownish red that is bright red in the light and sediments are visible in the second pour. It has a one finger tan/yellow head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Smells of chocolate and viney malts along with sweetness, dark fruits, and green/piney/soapy hops. The taste is the same but with additional flavors of caramel malts and a medium bitterness with some noticeable alcohol. Very sweet for a brown but the hops do their damnedest to balance. The body is very thick with a carbonation that sticks around for a surprising amount of time. By the time it warms to room temperature it is quite smooth. Good now, but I'd like to see what aging would to do it. (708 characters)

Photo of Ahhdball
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I picked this up in great anticipation becuase I loved #7 so much but I was sadly disappointed when I found it to be a brown ale.
The color was very dark brown with little lacing from a very small crown.
Smelled molasses, some nuts, and a hint of malt. I couldn't detect any presence of hops but after all this is a brown ale and rather lacks in that department.
Very sweet at first (not bad) molasses and raisens, followed buy roasted nuts and smooth clean hop to finish.
All in all I could try this again even though it's a brown ale. Nothing to complex and it went down very easy. (592 characters)

Photo of LucaBrasi
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this one up the other day on sale for $6.44
A small tan head rest upon a large mahogany base. When held up to the light a reddish hue will come though.
Smell is sweet wood-ish...lets say nutty.
The taste is sweet, and again could be some nuts in there with a hint of an alcohol aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is on the thicker side, leaning towards a light syrup.
Drinkability is average or even below average. I could have one of these. The bomber was a little too much. (474 characters)

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sample from August 2004. Pours Dark mahogany, slightly hazy. A dense, three finger head is off-white and holds well, leaving some sticky lacing. Sweet crystal malt and english hops dominate the nose, with a slight dark fruit aroma in the background. The taste is a very sweet caramel and honey upfront, with bitter english hops present in the aftertaste. Balanced well, slightly dry, with a bit of honey residual sweetness. Light-medium carbonation and a medium body. The dark fruits come out as it warms, and some fusel alcohol flavors break up what would otherwise be a smooth finish. (586 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 mattcrill
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours dark amber and cloudy with a tight tan head. Not nearly as carbonated as the 7th.

Smell: Roasted, some dark fruits, walnuts, a slight yeasty must smell, and brown sugar.

Taste: Molasses, brown sugar, honey first. Then roast, coffee bitterness in the middle and finishing with a mild hop bite.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and the carbonation remains lively on the palate.

Drinkability: Highly slammable. Reminds me of a porter in some respects. I can't say that I've ever had a bad beer from Stone. These Anniversary beers deserve all the hype they can garner. (589 characters)

Photo of lou91
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer looked and smelled great which is hard to believe for a brown. Big malty nose with subdued but clear hops right there with the malts. I took a big sip cold and it was so tasty. Everything about it is big and bold- the malt, hops, body, and the long beautiful bitter aftertaste. As it warmed, there are caramel, chocolate and some sweet citrus flavors that make for a truly excellent beer. I’m sure I tried this fresh but if I did it didn’t taste like this or I would have bought many more. (501 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep red mahogany color at first pour with a small tan head of small bubbles. The head was gone pretty quickly to leave a small thin brown ring on top of the beer.

Aroma: Now there's some Chinook! This beer reminds me a good bit of their Arrogant Bastard from the aroma. This beer has more of a chocolaty presence that makes it seem tamer than the bastard. As the beer warms, surprisingly, the hops take a back seat to the malt, and it ends up smelling like an English style Porter. Nice!

Taste: Yea, it tastes like a twisted version of the Bastard to me too. There is a bit more body here, and a definite roasty presence that sets it apart. The hops are still the driving force behind this beer pretty much the entire profile. As it warms, however, the profile changes greatly. The hops are still very present in the bittering, but the taste and aroma subside to let the roastiness come through. Ultimately this makes it finish pretty acidic.

Opinion: The beer fell short of my expectations a bit, but I am not a hop head. This limits me a bit with some of these west coast guys. It mellowed to be a more palatable, but I am just as happy drinking the bastard.

I feel very fortunate to have gotten to try this beer. A good friend of mine won a very enthusiastic bid on e-bay, which he ultimately ended up sharing with myself and a few others...Thanks Comrade Robb! (Proud to be KGB!) (1,416 characters)

Photo of hyuga
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown with a hint of red, small off-white head that stays pretty well.

Nutty chocolate-caramel aroma, subtly hopped with a hint of toffee and a suggestion of wood. Maybe a little raisin?

Almost cola-like sweetness, chocolatey with a subdued bitterness. Big caramel throughout. Hops come through not so assertively, but add a good complexity. An almost fruity bourbon-ish alcoholic character is pretty big on the palate. A bit woody and overall sweet, but well-balanced.

Great carbonation which is also cola-like, makes for a very good mouthfeel. Tingly on the tongue during and after sips.

A very interesting beer. This one is holding up very well after a year, in fact I think it could stick around for a good while longer. (741 characters)

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purcahsed during Bauer's tasting for the release of the 9th Anniversary Ale and sampled 13 months to the day after its innitial release.

Poured from the 22oz. black bomber into a toulip glass the beer struggled to form a nice head but in the end yielded only a sliver of a white film. (As an aside, a second more aggressive pour yielded a two-finger, slightly off-white, fluffy head). The beer itself was a light ruby red color with significant carbonation bubbles running up the sides of the glass. Very little lace during the sample (attributed to the little amount of head on the first pour).

The smell is nutty, malty, and fruitty. A slight caramel and chocolate scent as well and a slight hop character in the nose.

The taste is innitially very malty in character that gives way to an only slightly bitter nutty taste. Some darker fruits as well and a well balanced battle between hop and malt. As the beer warms, a slight chocolate taste develops that although slightly unexpected, seems to fit the character of the beer well.

Medium body, with a good amount of carbonation.

Enjoyable at a slightly warmer temperature, the beer seems to have aged out well developing a slight roasted/chocolate flavor. Enjoyable, and very drinkable. The 7+% ABV is subtle in the taste, but kicks in to the body following the sample. (1,336 characters)

Photo of hero27
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. Beautiful Rogue etching all the way around..they've got to have the coolest looking in the industry, as far as I'm concerned.

Looks great in the oversized tulip...Poured damn near the whole bomber into it before the head rose to the top. Leaves nice sheets of lacing all the way down as well.
Smell is full of chocolate, roasted malts. No hops, just a sweet, delicious roasty aroma.
Ok, I spoke too soon..the hops were just hiding..and they come out in full-force on the first swig. Definitely has some "brown ale" qualities to it, but I'm almost thinking it tastes a bit like a barleywine. I, personally, have never tasted a brown ale with quite this much hops (or even flavor, for that matter).
Tastes surprisingly well-balanced and the 7.8% abv is a nice boost to this gem as well. Even with the added alcohol, this slides down the hatch as well as anything.

I really thought this was an exceptional beer. Unexpected roasted character from a Stone brew.
Acquired via Px2GrafX in BIF trade. Thanks again! (1,030 characters)

Photo of coasterfreak75
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was a dark copper red with a one finger head that quickly dissapated to a fine white lace that held on throughout the drink.

The smell was very heavy in malt sweetness with a strong mix of spicy hops and alcohol.

The taste was where this beer got strange. The smell was totaly decieving. The front was heavy syrupy malt sweetness with a slight kick of hop bite in the middle. The finish was a slight bit of water and a lingering hop bitter.

This beer played out quite nicely across the palate. All and all I was quite impressed. Very refreshing and very drinkable. (582 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium ruby/brown colour and pretty clear. Cream coloured head that's a little thin, but is made up of fine bubbles and leaves lots of lacing. Malty aroma with just a bit of floral hoppiness. Mostly it's all about chocolate and nutty smells, with a hint of alcohol lurking in the background. Moderate bitterness throughout, but this seems to be more about malt (is this really a Stone brew?). Sweet, malty start, some nuttiness and floral hops at the mid-point, and it finishes with more chocolatey malt and some increasing bitterness. Creamy texture aided by well-incorporated carbonation. Full mouthfeel with just a bit of alcohol warmth. Great balance here in an excellent (strong) American brown ale.

April 7, 2006: Tried my last bottle of this great beer. It had a bit of oxidation that manifested as kind of an "aged barleywine nose", but this didn't detract from the quality of the aroma. The flavour had mellowed out a bit, but there was still some bitterness and everything held together well. The body seemed a little thinner than last time, but that could just be poor memory. Still enjoyable after all this time, but it has lost a little of its original character. (1,179 characters)

Photo of danadeny
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this bottle is 1 year old. pours a dark amber / brown body with a nice lasting, frothy head. smells bready, a little hopy, light roasted malt. mmm nice soft roasted malt front, not too sweet. ballanced breadyness in the middle, and a hops finish that is not over done, perfect amount for ballance. alcohol is hidden very well. best brown ale i have had for sure. mouthfeel is oily and slick, full body. drinkability is amazing because of the remarkable ballance, not too sweet front, no crazy bitter hop finish, and no alcohol kick. dare i say perfect? (552 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear ruby red with some brown traces, small off white head, lace. Smell is rich malt, some chocolate, nice grassy floral hops. Taste is very rich, chocolate malt, complex floral hops, little bit of alcohol. Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation, smooth and dry. Very tasty, I really enjoyed it. Thanks DrJay. (316 characters)

Photo of rowew
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber with the usual verbose stone story on the back. August 2004. Has been kept refrigerated since purchase.

Appearance: Poured into a globe - thin head that fades relatively quickly.

Smell: Sweet with a hint of fruit. Hops and some other spices also come through. As it warms some chocolate is evident.

Taste: Lots of roasted flavor, with chocolate showing up here too. Coffee and toffee also round out the flavor, with a bit of alcohol as well.

Overall impression: Suprising drinkable and smooth for the ABV. This tastes sort of like a Porter/Brown hybrid to me. Very enjoyable. (615 characters)

Photo of deejaydan
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Toledo on the way home from my honeymoon. Pours a deep amber color. Moderate head, but good lacing. Aroma is faint to me, but a slight hint of cocoa and coffee. Taste is just explosive. Chocolate malt, carmel tones, but yet with a firm enough hop presense to keep it all in balance. Mouthfeel is full, rich and lush. I almost wonder if they added some maltodextrine to beef up the mouthfeel. This one is a winner, great overall beer. (451 characters)

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

The beer after its disinterment from the 22-ounce brown bottle lies ever so inviting in the glass a translucent burnished copper with a persistent light tan and somewhat frothy head, after its demise the residual lace is an encircling sheet of fine lace. Nose is sweet with malt, hints of caramel and the mouth-watering aroma of the hop flower, start is delectable in its grain presence, lightly sweet with the top moderate in its feel. Finish is annoying in its acidity with the hops determined and the aftertaste desert dry, ah what a treat to the palate and the other senses. (578 characters)

Photo of ithacabaron
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled one year after bottling. Apparently presented as an "imperial mild." So...in my mind, I'm looking for something resembling an American Brown Ale, but with that little something extra. Let's see how the Stoners do.

The bomber pours a nice healthy tan head over a brown, but not opaque body. Not bad, and certainly mild like.

Smell is toasted pecans...hell, the whole pie, with light chocolate malt notes, and Roastaroma barley tea. If this seems all too sweet for you, don't worry, it's not -- a brisk crack of hops keeps everything in balance, and reminds you this is a SoCal brew.

Taste is delightful, with notes of nutmeg, hazelnut and more pecan, and more depth of chocolate. Maybe a little lactose. The hops are less aggressive here, but balance everything out very well. Malt wins, however. Very good.

Mouthfeel is just a touch thin, but there is creaminess, which promotes the lactose note. Not bad.

Drinkability, the key to a mild, is fufilled here...somewhat. I certainly could drink more of this, and I very much enjoyed the experience, but I'm not impressed enough to go trading away my beer cellar for another bottle.

A very nice offering from Stone, and just about what it promised to be -- an Imperial Mild. (1,246 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 BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A spectacular shade of crimson-bronze with bright orange highlights. The cap of foam is at least as impressive as the beer on which it sits. It's orange-influenced light caramel in color with a creamy density that promotes persistence and the deposition of a dramatic display of thick, tacky lace. Stone 8th doesn't look like any other brown ale that I can recall. In a word... fabulous.

The nose isn't quite the equal of the appearance, but it's still damn good. It smells like heavily toasted black bread sprinkled with cocoa powder and a small pinch of cinnamon. There's no pumpernickel spiciness and very little in the way of hops. Even though I'd like it to be a little more complex and a shade more forceful, it's better than good as is.

This is oddly flavor-deficient beer. There's a ghost of a brown ale here somewhere, but it never really materializes on the palate. The flavor profile follows the nose, more or less. It's toasted bready with a significant caramel maltiness and meager cocoa and molasses notes. Mildly spicy, not very sweet.

Things becomes increasingly bitter and dry within the course of each mouthful and the beer finishes a little hot and harsh, as if it was still young rather than being almost a year old. Like another beer that I had recently, the flavor sensations (sweet, bitter and dry) are much more apparent than the actual flavor. To be fair, there was more flavor with warming.

A thready dark fruitiness appears on the finish and a pleasant bitterness lingers. The beer may have been aged in oak, but it doesn't appear to have learned much from the experience. The mouthfeel is par for the brown ale course: medium with active carbonation.

I have a feeling that Stone 8th suffers from having been in the bottle for a year. I had hoped to hold onto each year's Anniversary Ale and review them on the following August 5th for personal reasons, but I now realize that that isn't being fair to beer that was never meant to be at its best at so advanced an age.

At this point in time, 8th Anniversary Ale is a slightly better than average brown ale that is drinkable and enjoyable for the most part, but doesn't stand out in any way (except for its appearance). My assumption is that the ghost-like flavor that I experienced today was significantly more corporeal in 2004. If this is a dweller in your cellar, open it now. (2,376 characters)

Photo of battlekow
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy, medium-dark brown. No head or lacing. Smells of prunes, raisins, anise, and chocolate. No roasted aromas detected. Smell is offensively sweet. Tastes is also of prunes and raisins, no "brown" characteristics until the end, when it finishes with a slight malt-husk bitterness. No hoppiness detected (that makes it sounds like a landmine). Mouthfeel is thick but dead. I have no idea why this beer is classified as an American Brown Ale; it definitely sems like a brother of English Browns like Samuel Smith, Riggwelter Yorkshire, Hobgoblin, etc. The sickening sweetness reminds me of Thomas Hardy's Ale. This is not at all what I am looking for in a brown.

Thanks to RealityDeviant for the bottle. (715 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, August 2004. Sticker on bottle says $5.99 bought somewhere in Norfolk, VA.

appearance: dark with a very dark red tint. slight dark head

smell: wonderful! Hints of chocolate, coffee, and smoke

taste: Chocolately, nice smoke flavors that are not overpowering. Alcohol definately present, but in a very good fashion.

mouthfeel: A little thicker than the typical american brown ale. Fairly sticky.

drinkability: Probably did not need more than a 22oz bottle but it went down smooth and easy.

I was really impressed with the brown, more so than the DFH and Rogue that it is typically compared to. (622 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)

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