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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPAStone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

752 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 752
Reviews: 575
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 10
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jeffthecheff on 06-19-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 752 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of errantnight
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It seems pretty clear that if you don't like noble hops you're just not going to dig on this beer. It's an odd duck, no doubt, but aside from it being a new challenge to one's tastebuds I'm not sure I understand the effusive response by some more veteran tasters. It's the equivalent of going to a Korean Taco Truck and then freaking out because the Tacos have Korean Spices instead of Mexican and claiming it's awful and it doesn't work because of it.

This beer looks great. Faintly hazed, brilliant gold, awesome lacing and superb retention following a foamy, nigh excessive head.

On the nose this is herbaceous, floral, and earthy. Maybe even a hint of spice.

On the palate this is intensely bitter all the way through, it starts on the mid-front palate and builds to a closing crescendo of resiny bitterness. This is NOT for the faint of heart. There is actually a reasonable degree of up front sweetness that is carried along the fringe, primarily coming through as a pale caramel or light toffee note. Herbal notes predominate with a floral (almost lavendar) finish (which I suspect is where the "soap-y" reviews are coming from).

This is almost precisely, in body, how I'd like my DIPAs to be. Full and round through the middle, tapering off with a smoothness in the back and snapping off with a brace of bitterness.

I don't love this beer, another bottle or two, or a taste on tap, will be more than enough. But it's the best huge noble hop beer I've had since the 06 (I think that was the year) Imperial Pilsner from Sam Adams. It's unique, exciting, and worth trying.

errantnight, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Churchkey. Served in a nonic pint glass. Beer is yellow with a little haze and a broke white head of medium to big bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is minimal.

Mild citrusy / fruit hop aroma. Not much going on here.

Very dry beer. Thin to medium in body. Lots of hops, no sweetness, very citrusy and bitter in the back. Almost chewy in the mouth. It is pretty good but not my favorite IPA.

drabmuh, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with a white head. In the aroma, a small hop, but actually quite mild. In the taste, a nice bitter hop and quite malty. A bitter and medium bodied mouthfeel and a small bite and dry maltiness in the aftertaste. Very English like, kind of lame for Stone, OK nonetheless.

OWSLEY069, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of Foxtrot
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Loved the 13th Aniv. Imperial Red last year. Heard this was in my neck of the woods and couldn't resist picking it up.

Pours a very light blonde body with yellow hues. Foam was superb, as well as lacing and retention. I really love Stone beers due to the fact that most of the beers I've reviewed have long lasting heads and big lacing. A feast for the eyes.

Aroma was a touch dry. Hops where present but where more herbal. I don't think I've found a hop aroma quite like this. Its interesting and pleasing at the same time. Seems to be a multitude of different scents, but all cascade and disappear as soon as they appear. I must of sniffed this sucker for at least 5 minutes to figure it out.

I thought I was prepared for what was in store from the aroma, but was sorely mistaken. Beautifully floral hops take center stage with hints of lemon and grapefruit undertones. A bit peppery in the finish, not what I was expecting but pleasantly surprised.

Mouthfeel was modestly lush, medium is the name of the game here.

Drinkability is ok. The ABV is quite high for a English IPA, but once you get past that initial bitter aftertaste, it has a lot to offer.

I thought this was gonna be a big malty mess of a IPA, but was surprised at its lightness. I think Stone is getting onto something with the direction they took in this brew. Cheers!

Foxtrot, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from Bierkraft in Bklyn, NY, "June 2010" etched on the side of the bottle. Pours moderately clouded, dull and soft tangerine. The off white head is large and lasting, slowly going to moon craters, leaves thicker blobs of stuck on lacing and then nice looking low sheeting sticking around. Moderate hop nose, leafy and floral at least to my nose. So smooth, so tasty, so much depth of the flavors, what else is to be expected from the quality brewers of Stone?? Moderate (relatively speaking) hop presence, mostly leafy and with tea like qualities, malty base providing the under support. Enjoyable DEIPA.

Billolick, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of BretSikkink
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy gold near the bottom of the glass, darkening into an orange-tinted color up top. White head is frothy and sticky. Nice look. Nose is spicy and pungent with hops. Pretty earthy, with peppercorn and lemongrass. Malts are bready and a little toasted.

Dry hopped to the hilt, this one keeps the traditional English style flavor profile but ramps up the bitterness. Pale malts, relatively sweet but fairly dry. Hops fall into a resinous pine territory, with background notes of citrus and bubblegum. White pepper is in there as well, with a sweet-spiciness that I can't quite place - the brewing salts in the "Burtonised water" are probably contributing to the floral component.

Dramatically unbalanced - which is fine for me. Finishes highly bitter and peppery, with some booze warming the stomach. Lightly carbonated for an homage, which would be considered under-done here, but I happen to enjoy the silky mouthfeel and the bitter aftertaste that sinks deep into the palate. Those terrific brewers down at Stone have done it again, wrenching every last drop of flavor out of their chosen ingredients. Not quite up my personal alley, but an extremely well-made Anniversary.

BretSikkink, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of stewart124
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a haxy pale yellow with just a note fo golden hues.

Nice head that goes from a finger of white and turns into a pretty lace.

Smells of spicy/noble hops with a trace of fruitiness. Very interesting so far and I cannot wait to taste it.

Wow! What is this? There is an initial bitterness follow by a white pepper spice that I wasn't anticipating. This is backed up by a noble spice and just noticable earthy/fruity bitterness. There are some fruity esters but it is hard to overcome the pepper in the taste. This really overcomes everything in that beer and the malt profile falls by the wayside.

Pleasant enough but I am amazed at how much the hop spice takes over the beer. I'd like to see more of a fusion between malt and hop bill.

Still a tasty English IPA but this really leans towards the spice.

stewart124, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of bifrojm
2/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours a beautiful rich hazy gold with a solid head.

Aroma is... what the eff is that? Dirty dishwater? Moldy lemons? Stinky cheese? There's some good things in there somewhere but they are masked by the moldy smell.

Taste, not much better, though it grows on you a bit. The first half a beer was actually kind of hard to take down. Eased up a tad over time, but only a tad. The moldy taste overpowers anything pleasant. The only thing nice I can really say about the flavor is it isn't as bad as the smell.

I hate to do this because I love Stone, but this doesn't live up to their reputation.

P.S. Warmed up a little better, but I still don't want to drink it.

bifrojm, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of begforme4484
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting read on the back of the bottle, per usual.

This beer pours an opaque golden amber with a decent amount of carbonation. It has a nice finger width white head that lasts for a short time.

It smells sweet. Not a doughy/bready malt sweet scent though. You can smell a nice hint of grassy hops, but it almost seems as if there is a fragrance added to the beer. I'm sure I'm just not used to taking in these variances of hops from England. I'll open my mind and just describe it as it happens.. it's like a sweet grass hop scent. Interesting. Intriguing.

Wow. I honestly didn't know what I was tasting during the first sip. It is a very 'earthy' flavor. It tastes like.. herbs. There is a very faint flash of a sweetness.. but overidden by a blast of 'dirty' hops. The hop flavor is like nothing I've tasted before. They are noticeably bitter but very raw. The alcohol notes are strong in this brew. The alcohol flavor combined with the strong earthy hops create almost a herbal remedy flavor, lol. It's VERY different, but that's not a bad thing in my eyes.

The mouthfeel is very clean. The bitterness lingers for a long time.. but that can be expected from a Stone IPA.

Drinkability is limited for me. I like the different direction the beer is taking.. but maybe I'd just like 1 or 2.

begforme4484, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of omnigrits
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a straight pint glass gives a very pale golden brew, slightly hazy with a good head with retention and lacing.

The smell is immediately hops, naturally, with a hint of malt and yeastiness. There's also a hint of sweet perfume.

Very hoppy, very bitter in the taste. Not enough malt, in my opinion, for an English IPA, but very tasty all the same. Slightly peppery, and the taste lingers. Earthy.

Decent enough mouthfeel.

My mouth feels like it's been... well, I was going to say assaulted, but it actually feels dry, like it's been dusted with talcum powder. Very weird. I don't think that's what a beer should do to me. As far as Emperial is concerned, I'm glad I did it but I don't feel a need to do it again.

omnigrits, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of alexgash
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle.

Golden lemon yellow body. Tall, thick, mushroom cloud of beige-white head. Good lacing and retention. Lots of herbal, spicy, minty hops on the nose. Some sea air mixes in. Sugar cookie malt and tropical fruit aromas fill out the rest.

Big, aggressive hop bitterness up front. Minty, herbal, grassy, and even a little cat pee. Boozy tropical fruit malts fill out underneath. Sweet, creamy, and fruity, with a little honey. Malt can't quite balance the big raw hoppiness though. Full-bodied with a creamy, soft feel. Big time lingering bitterness with a touch of residual fruit sweetness. Abrasive and interesting. Not something I would drink everyday though. Happy 14th!

alexgash, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of cokes
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazed, saffron colored with a thick puff of slate suds. The stack dwindles with time, but leaves smears of lace all around.
Mowed weeds and wildflower aroma, with sizable backup from wet cement and aged cheddar. One part fresh-cut vacant lot, one part fresh-laid sidewalk, and one part artisan cheese-maker. All squeezed with lemon juice. I like it. And it works together, in its own weird way. Though, I have some questions as to how these same things would work in the mouth.

And now they get answered.

It eddies between the teeth, coating everything with a layer of shortbread primer. Here and there are dabs of caramel and honey. There's an out-there burst of fruitcake, then the talc-y, mineral-rich yeast/hard water takes over. Metallic, with pangs of chewed vitamins and calcium deposits. This seamlessly segues into the milkweed, wet grass, and cut clover sense of pulpy chlorophyll bitterness and astringency. A big, gin-fueled, booze-wave adds crescendo.
The body is big, but lightened with the persistent carbonation. Fleecy, full, rotund, but fully aerated.
They were going for different, and they absolutely got there. There is a lot of fascinating nuance here, but most of that gets usurped by the bludgeoning bitterness and booze. A slightly scaled-down version could be a revelation.

cokes, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of thetomG
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden yellow with very nice, large, and fluffy white head that leaves really nice lacing all around the glass. Aroma has a subtle lemony/citrusy note to it with just a bit of sourness coming through along with some hoppy scents.

The flavor has a much more defined tartness from the citrus along with just enough malty sweetness to at least attempt a bit of balance. Also present is a bit of a spicy note (possibly from the hops?)

Mouthfeel feels right for the style with the carbonation and textures feeling how the should.

I'm glad I tried this but not sure that I'd really seek it out again.

thetomG, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of dogfishandi
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle at cellar temp poured into an imperial pint glass. june 2010 on the side of the bottle.

pours a slightly cloudy pale yellow/golden color. big 2-3 fingers of white head, great retention leaving a nice half inch of head the whole glass. very nice sticky lace too.

definatly a different aroma than i was expecting. quite perfumey, spicy hops. lemony citrus as well. pepper. a little bit of yeastiness.

i enjoy the taste more than the aroma, not to say the aroma is terrible or anything, it just doesnt live up to the taste. you get the perfumy, spicy, and lemon citrus hops in the taste as well. also some american like hops detectable, almost tropical fruity like. some pepper is noticable. a little bit of pale pilsner malt. maybe a little of that rare british yeast strain apparent,(as mentioned in the description on the bottle) but its slight. and holy bitterness, very bitter exspecially off the first few sips. finishs with a whole lot of lingering bitterness and citrus hop flavors.

nice mouthfeel, maybe a touch heavy for the style, but nice. resinous hops on the palate. good carbonation.

drinks good for the fairly high abv. one bomber would prolly be enough in a session, but i could definatly revisit this again. a good beer, but doesnt really live up to some of the other anniversary ales by stone. definatly worth a try though. what i like most about this ipa is that it is still really hoppy, but so much different than the majority of ipas, even english ipas out there.

this went very nicely with some jalapeno cheddar cheese, or any spicy cheese for that matter.

dogfishandi, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of TheHungryHiker
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glass: Chimay beer glass
A= Poured a bright, cloudy orange. One finger of light, tan head.

S= Somewhat malty. A touch of pine.

T= Malt sweetness giving way to a bitter hop finish. Some floral and pepper notes.

M= Smooth and sweet, with a dry hoppy finish.

D= An easy drinking IPA. As their 14th anniversary IPA, I was anticipating a big flavored, complex beer, but was left with a drinkable, but not exceptional IPA.

TheHungryHiker, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: golden, frothy and creamy looking

smell: more earhty hop aroma

taste: The most bitter english IPA I have ever had. Drank well cold, but as it warmed up the flavors were an unarrtactive bittterness.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: nice brew, but not my favorite.

CampusCrew, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of PCmofo
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After pouring this beer I wasnt very excited about drinking it. It had a cloudy yellow/orange color to it almost like a wheat beer. It did have a pleasant, citrus aroma. The bitterness of the Imperial style was apparent on the first sip and almost overwhelming.

The beer was not very carbonated yet had a thick mouthfeel. The citrus, almost lemony bitterness had a slightly sweet after taste.

The citrus flavors were a refreshing change for an Imperial and overall a fun beer to try.

PCmofo, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of GordonQuid
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bomber to english pub mug.

A: Straw colored with a slight chill haze, nice "farmhouse-like" two inch rocky head with ample lace.

S: Holy noble hop! Spicey-perfume, mulled citrus rinds, and some funky yeasty wiff of goodness amongst fresh cut hay. Reminiscent of the Vertical Epic 8. Very Saison like in the nose.

T: Smooth and blended melting pot of noble hops and funky yeast strain. Dynamic as all hell; I can detect some pilsner malts which add to the crispness and cara-munich which adds to the body and mouth feel with just a touch of swetness. The finish is nice and dry, appetizing, refreshing and dangerously quaffable. To me this is very much like a hopped up saison

M: Medium bodied and satisfying.

D: Extreme drinkability. Be very careful....8.9% ABV, OUCH! hurts so good...

GordonQuid, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of orsulacp
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice slightly cloudy orange/golden body with a small quickly dissolving white head that was poured in to a small brandy snifter. Spicy nose, some pine, mostly white pepper a little caramel, fresh cut grass and a little citrus. The taste is awesome, the spicy pepper hits hard and then is washed away with a sweet malt and then the earthy not quite bitter hop flavor takes over. The finish is a little bitter but there is enough malt to keep it down. The thing that impresses me is that you can taste all the individual parts and they don't step on each other. It has a slick/oily mouthfeel with small biting carbonation. I can feel the alcohol burn, but it is so tasty I have to drink more.

orsulacp, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of whoneeds8
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice hazy yellow, almost like a belgian triple, with a one finger white foamy head. Great lacing all the way down.

Strong floral hops scent to this beer with some sugars present.

The taste is a great one. Lots of hop bite with a great sugary malt presence. Very well balanced and well done.

The mouthfeel is good with a very noticeable alchol presence.

Overall, another homer for Stone.

whoneeds8, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of DaveWhite
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It poured a hazy gold with a thin head. The first sip is very smooth, almost sweet, with a hint of... apricot maybe. Very bitter on the back of the tongue as it goes down. A good bottle to try, not sure I'd buy another. I prefer their PALE ALE and regular IPA to this Emprerical, feel like they might be trying to do too much. A good, but not great, beer.

DaveWhite, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of aggiearcher13
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden with a thin but resilient white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Dank and spicy. Grassy, a little bit of lemon, comes out more floral as it warms.

T: Interesting. Cracker type flavors stand out up front to me just before the hops overwhelm it. Pine, nice bitterness to it. Finishes quite clean but bitter.

M: Surprisingly creamy, moderate carbonation. Well done.

D: Certainly different, but not in a bad way at all. I will have this again.

aggiearcher13, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of jeffjeff1
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My wife picked this up for me the other day.

Appearance- golden color, nice looking head, nice lacing

Smell- hops, citrus, light spice

Taste- malt, hops, spice, citrus, nice bitter flavor on the finish

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. I would like to grab a few more while I still can.

jeffjeff1, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of kels
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice hazy gold color with some bright apricot highlights. The initial 2 finger head of smooth, thick white foam retains excellently at a solid finger and leaves behind tremendous amounts of lace. The foam holds so well that it continues to lend nicely to the overall feel of the beer throughout the drink.

Not as much aroma as I expected out of this one, especially with the overwhelming flavors in the taste. I just get hints of the grainy malt and a bit of the citrusy, grassy hops. Overall it smells really dry, if dry can be a smell.

Wow...taste in this beer was not really what I was expecting at all. I typically find English IPAs a little more mild and balanced than American, but that is certainly not the case in this one. It is Stone, so perhaps I should have expected that more. When first held in the mouth, not much flavor comes out. I get a nice foundation of crispy grain and a hint of the hops. The burst of hop bitterness really explodes when I start to swallow the beer and it hits the back and upper parts of the palate. There's huge bitter citrus and some grassy hops as well. The hop concentration is so high that I feel a thick layer of sticky film all through my mouth and across my lips. The well-retained head really helps cut the stickiness, giving the beer a smooth and creamy dimension to match. End of the drink is crisp, probably in part due to the sharpness of the finish, and the aftertaste holds for quite some time.

Not very high drinkability on this one. I do like the taste, but the overall sharpness might mean the second half of the bomber gets left behind.

kels, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a small thumb sized whites head that falls to a ring with some sparse lace.

Aroma is hops citrus fruits some light spice notes also blended in with a good caramel base supporting it all.

Taste is big on malts caramel, with lots of zip or zing from hops and what seems like spice. Coriander like pepper notes, minty notes along with bitter citrus orange peel, tangerines along with some pine resins.

Mouthfeel is good big full medium with nice almost peppy carbonation.

Drinkability is good, doesn't seem like English to me more like American with some spice and mint. Know some people haven't liked this one. But seems like a nice twist for an IPA for me

mntlover, Jul 20, 2010
Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 752 ratings.