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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA - Stone Brewing Co.

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPAStone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

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BA SCORE
87
very good

741 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 741
Reviews: 574
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 14.25%


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
Ratings: 741 | Reviews: 574 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a hazy golden yellow color. One finger white head shows medium retention. Left some spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Piney hops right off the get go with this nose. A little citrus thrown in there too to offset the bitter earthy hops. Toffee forward malt base. There is a hint of alcohol toward the ending of this beer. Hmmm...seems to have held up a little bit.

T- Bitter piney hop bite right off the get go. Citrusy hops also in the front end of the beer off set once again the bitterness. There is also some light spicey hops in there as well to add the extra element. Middle of this beer shows off the toffee malt backbone along with some sweet raisins. Backend of this beershows more of a bready malt with stronger alcohol notes and citrus hops blowing through the backend.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Hops and more hops left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly citrus hops, bready malt, and alcohol. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors were hop forward and secondly malts which off set the hops a little but not much. Clean flavors except the medicinal alcohol flavor was a bit much at itmes when it warmed.

D- This beer was above average but not great with this year on it. The hops held up really well but there was something I didn't like about it. ABV was a little higher which might have helped to taste it a little more. Overall a drinkable beer but as far as buying it...a one and done for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 17:19:49 | More by alleykatking
Photo of MNJR
MNJR

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I taste mainly citrus/berry/peach flavors up front: raspberry and lemon dominate. Next the minty hops and some light candy apple or rock candy notes. Amazingly, this is all accomplished without being "too sweet," which is great. There is sweetness, but not overdone. The color is OK, like a cloudy lager. The smell is apple, peach and citrus. Mouthfeel is very smooth with the real burst of flavor coming out of the fine carbonation releasing in the back of the mouth. The hops are underplayed for the style. The fruit washes away very cleanly in minty spice. No residuals or aftertastes come forward. It's good up front and going down. Excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 00:47:49 | More by MNJR
Photo of afrokaze
afrokaze

California

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first review for my first beer of 2011! 22oz bomber shared with a fellow hop-head. Bottle dated June 2010*. Poured into a tulip. Writing this as I drink it to give impressions as it warms.

A: Pours a hazy golden-orange with a bit more body than a normal DIPA, and a finger of off-white creamy head that quickly dissapears, leaving some nice oily lacing. Haze settles some as the beer warms, but still looks like a gorgeous dirty-blonde under light.

S: Tons of floral notes, citrus, grassy/leafy, but with a nice malt backbone that grows as it warms, along with the alcohol. Pretty unique in this style, for some reason that's hard to name.

T: Plenty of hops and citrus, plus spice up front, despite the age. Nice crisp leaf/floral notes are balanced by malt presence that grows in the aftertaste. Grapefruit and lime/tangerine really shine through, followed by raisin honey, bready malt, and alcohol that grows as it warms. Good balance, not quite the hop assault you might expect from Stone.

M: Maybe my favorite part of the beer - it had a nice creaminess from the English yeast that I've never gotten in a DIPA. Really nice.

D: Really pretty good considering the ABV, but you'll feel it in the end.

Overall, I liked the effort. I think the unique ingredients really brought something new to the table, and it's nice to see even Stone moving towards more balance in their hoppy beers. Unfortunately, the dank bitterness comes out a little too much at the end when it warms. This will be a style to watch when it matures!

*As far as the age goes, I was holding onto this beer for a little over 2 months inadvertently before I uncapped it. However it's about 6 months or more by the bottle date, meaning it was a bit old by the time I got it (should have checked.) Despite what some might say, I thought the age added a nice dimension to this beer - the mellowing suited the malt & creaminess that I liked. That said, I wouldn't let it sit any longer really, and I wish I could have had it fresh.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 02:29:32 | More by afrokaze
Photo of bosox941827
bosox941827

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomb bottle in Great Dane Pub & Brewing imperial pint glass; poured cold, tasted as it warmed
A - A surprisingly light color; on the yellow side of orange, pours a bit cloudy with bits of yeast floating about. Cloudiness dissipates as beer warms.
S - Earthy hops, with a bit of sweetness in the background.
T - First, it's simply amazing that this is 8.9% ABV; get just the *slightest* hint of it at the end. Now then, candy-like sweetness dominates up front, giving way to a pleasant, more earthy-peppery hop flavor than one usually gets from Stone. Actually almost feel a bit of soil-grittiness toward the end of the palate as well as the tongue is drying out. It really takes a while for the sweetness to wash out, but it does leave a lingering, hoppy dryness, as one would expect from the style (and Stone).
M - Very smooth; carbonation is almost non-existent.
D - Surprisingly high given the ABV; could kick your ass if you tried sessioning this, I suspect.
Another success from a brewery that seems to do no wrong...

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 23:16:30 | More by bosox941827
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GarthDanielson

North Carolina

2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass. The beer is a cloudy golden color, with no head. The beer has aromas of hops and flora. Initial hop forward bitter flavor, with sharp citrus undertone. There are bits of spice hidden underneath the heavy initial flavors, but very subtle. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, with a sour citrus finish. Aftertaste is mostly sour, with slight bitter hops blend. The beer is a bit unbalanced, and the strong flavors make this a "one and done."

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 01:02:44 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a hazy orange-gold with a thin creamy ivory head. Nice retention, leaves spotty lacing.
S - Pungent hops of pine resin and grapefruit with a sweet toffee malt backbone. Slightly subdued.
T - Begins with pungent herbal and citrus hops followed by the sweet cracker malt. Very intense bitter finish that's not entirely pleasant to me. Not my favorite hop profile.
M - Sticky with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Alcohol really makes it's presence known as this one warms.
D - Not my favorite Stone offering, but it's a cool concept that I respect. Glad I tried it, had to struggle through the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2010 17:15:27 | More by jsanford
Photo of spartanfan
spartanfan

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a nondescript goblet.

A: Pours a very hazy golden straw color. Nice fluffy white head that slowly fades to a thin layer leaving spotty lacing behind.

S: Aromas are overpoweringly of hops, but it's almost a sweet hoppy smell. Odors of pineapple, tangerines are prevelant. I've never smelled an IPA like this one, and I'm really digging it.

T: I would have loved to have tried this fresh, but as it is it tastes past its prime. Hops are present, but badly faded.

M: Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Just about perfect.

D: Quite drinkable considering the ABV.

As I said, I feel this beer is past its prime, but I don't know how it was kept so I can't say if it might age well under better conditions.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 19:47:34 | More by spartanfan
Photo of BeanBone
BeanBone

Texas

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nicely hazy golden-orange body capped by a finger and a half of creamy white head that burns off quickly and leaves patchy lacing.

Aroma: Lots of juicy, floral, and herbal hops over a pale malt body; this is a unique blend. A little bit of booze as it warms.

Flavor: Up front, a blast of herbal, citrusy, peppery, and nicely bitter hops take center stage. Underneath, the malt is pale and a little sweet, but pretty much stays out of the way. It's not terribly unbalanced, but certainly leans heavily on the malt side (which is appropriate for the style). Nice spice from the alcohol throughout. Herbals hops and crackery malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied and a little oily with medium carbonation and a dry finish. Burn from the booze throughout.

Drinkability: Drinks just a little quicker than the alcohol content would suggest and much faster than the average Double IPA.

Verdict: As I had hoped, Stone 14 is a thoroughly unique and totally enjoyable brew. It has a lot of the impact and punch of an American IPA, but a totally different set of flavors. Mission accomplished, Greg.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 23:54:42 | More by BeanBone
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazed but fairly clear apricot colored with an inch high head of dimpled moguls of foam.

Low aroma of citrus and pine and some honey malt. Flavors of citrus, though somewhat muted, ripe fruits, grainy light brown sugar, butterscotch, notes of pine, some toffe. Alcohol strength does not detract.

Full and rich mouthfeel, very creamy, finishes slightly tingly and sends warmth up the cheeks. Tasty and drinkable, but would be better if the hops tasted fresh and bright.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 23:38:25 | More by far333
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy yellow amber color with a solid white cover and very nice lacing. The aroma brings a buttery nut pine hop. Very nice! The taste offers a frisky citrus-pine hop blend with butterscotch toffey with a leafy bite. It's medium bodied with a crisp feel. It's fairly drinkable for the style and a pretty refreshing brew with nice hop personality.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 05:53:57 | More by Durge
Photo of stingrayvr6
stingrayvr6

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Local 44. Poured into a tulip, showed a clear yellow gold with a frothy white head. Good retention. Smell grassy and dry with hop bitterness, some light bready malts. Taste light and dry up front with typically stone finish in the back. Good but somehow not as good an IPA as their standard IPA or Ruination.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2010 17:31:12 | More by stingrayvr6
Photo of RichScherle
RichScherle

Florida

4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional on all fronts.

Appearance - Beautiful gold/pale with lots of floaties. Wonderful dense and frothy head.

Nose - deliciously hoppy nose! As soon as i popped the cap you could smell the citrusy hops. Mind blowingly intense nose.

Taste - Fascinating! Very bright and fresh malty notes combine with an aggressive tropical hop profile. Some tropical fruit notes - possibly pineapple with some passion fruit? The brightness of this beer is wonderful. Really glides across the palette and sparks the wonder factor hugely. Malty notes are sparkly and refreshing with a bitter finish that is very refined and appreciated.

mouthfeel - exceptional. perfect mouthfeel - bright and hoppy with a fullbodied but not cloying in any way.

drinkability - excellent. potent brew though.

conclusion: one of the most exceptional IPAs i've had the pleasure of drinking. Absolutely spot on for the style and my favorite of all the stone brews. Three thumbs up!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 21:41:22 | More by RichScherle
Photo of WildTurkey
WildTurkey

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber to snifter.

A: Light orange. Very light for an IPA. Thick frothy head, very small bubbles -- lots of lacing. Hazy - no direct light is passing through. Can't really see any carbonation.

S: Strong citrus fruit smell. Along with pineapple, pear, and a bready smell.

T: Upfront hops -- citrus tanginess, a little tart. There's plenty of bitterness but it doesn't come across as too dry (IMO). Pretty juicy. Malts have some sweetness. Also getting a little alcohol - more than I prefer. And I'm also getting sort of a slight peppery flavor at the back.

M: Medium body. Not loose at all. I might even be a medium to fuller body - maybe. I cant see the carbonation but I can feel it. Not too dry.

D: Not bad. I love the smell. But the flavor didn't keep up. The alcohol is a bit more noticeable than I would have liked. Solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 02:28:13 | More by WildTurkey
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy, bright tangerine color with an elegant 3 cm white head. Pretty good retention, and some nice lace sticking on the glass. Pretty much what I expect out of a Stone IPA. Lots of yeast particles float around toward the bottom of the glass.

Smell: A nice bouquet of floral, grapefruit citrus, and a little bit of piney hops. Some sweet biscuity malt in the background.

Taste: Definitely a ton of hop goodness in this one. Stone knows that's what I love and provides it for me. There is some sweetness up front, but the bready malt is really light. The flavor quickly moves to a floral bouquet, some grapefruit hop goodness, and some bitter sticky pine to close it out. Finishes bitter on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Wet and juicy feel, with bubbly tingly carbonation on the tongue. A little bit fuller than medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Actually just a little disappointed in how this turned out. Having a ton of floral, citrus, and pine hops in the mix is a good start, but the malt is really lacking. It was pretty good, but it will get lost among the better beers in the category.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 06:50:59 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of bark
bark

Sweden

2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hops dominate the smell: Grape fruits, resin, fruity lemon sourness, pineapples. Some chemical solvents and a touch of garlic. It is not as sweet/malty as some DIPAs are.

The colour is bright yellow/orange. The liquid is cloudy, some yeast particles floats in the liquid (the beer was carefully decanted) The three finger head is compact and white with a tint of yellow. Some lacing and a ring occurs when the foam slowly sinks down.

The taste is dry and very bitter. Notes of fresh fruits (apples, pineapples, lemon, lime, apricots) and some vegetables. Hints of spices; mainly pepper and garlic. The body is low. The aftertaste is short and a bit sour with some growing bitter citric flavours.

The carbonation is medium; the small bubbles are strong. The liquid is a bit creamy.

Probably the driest and least malty DIPA I have had so far. I am quite disappointed, I had expected more from this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 20:33:06 | More by bark
Photo of dgfair
dgfair

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into Corsendonk tulip.

Appearance - pours a very cloudy, hazy light orange color with a thick white head that leaves lacing over every portion of the glass. Notice a decent amount of floaters in the glass.

Smell - Nice citrus hop aroma, tons of ruby red grapefruit with an undertone of pepper and biscuit underneath.

Taste - nice bittering hop upfront with a hard dose of citrus flavor...lemon, grapefruit, and a little bit of pine. A slight bit of fruity malt sweetness on the back that gives just enough balance.

Mouthfeel - Nice smooth fullness in the body with an ample amount of carbonation. Very easy going down with a finish that coats but keeps some level of dryness.

Drinkability - great drinkability for a big IPA. I keep wanting to go back for another sip and feel like I could take these down much more easily than many IPAs with similar ABV and bitterness. Very balanced and very nice interpretation by Stone.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 03:13:29 | More by dgfair
Photo of JizackFH
JizackFH

New York

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a hazy golden-yellow color. It has a medium white head that left decent lacing behind. There is some carbonation present.

S - The smell is hoppy and citrusy. There are also some fruity notes to it, and a slight peppery scent as well. It doesn't smell as strong as Stone beers normally do.

T - The taste is hoppy up front, just as you would expect. The hoppiness is balanced pretty well by the malts. There are also some light fruity and floral notes. The finish is dry and hoppy. There is also some citrus present.

M - It has a medium body and good carbonation. The hop bitterness sticks to the mouth and slowly fades.

D - The drinkability is good. It goes down easy, and it is nicely balanced. I think this is a good beer, but I kind of wish they would have done something more special for their anniversary release. All in all it is a good beer, and I'm glad I had the chance to pick it up. I would definitely try it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 22:10:21 | More by JizackFH
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a thin white film and a cloudy dark yellow with particles gathering at the bottom. Resin, cat piss, and waxy orange skin on the nose - crazy but not bad. Golden Crunch biscuit and lemon cake malts with citrus and clove hops and a big IBU punch. White pepper finish, long lemony linger. Medium, chewy, burns long after swallowing.

OK, you made a harsh SDPA using English hops. But do I want that?

Way out of balance, and some funky flavors, too. (What are Boadicea hops?) Not one to chase down.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 23:44:56 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of chicagobeerriot
chicagobeerriot

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours gold with a light veil. Two inches of semi-rocky head that settles in with some nice lacing. A lot of yeast or other particulate matter floating around in there which detracts a bit from the appearance.

14 hits your nose with emphasis on the veggies: lemongrass and onion / garlic, is complemented by a bit of light flan and mango.

Mouthfeel is appropriately sprightly, with lively carbonation bringing the hop flavors to the tip of your tongue.

Anyone looking for the slightest malt balance to their DIPAs will be left behind. Bold grass, lemon peel, onion and pine flavors take the lead and don't let go. A slight mango flavor just before the finish keeps it from being too overpowering, but no one will accuse this brew of being subtlety complex. The finish dries out your tonsils with a fresh hop punch while the prolonged bitter finish lingers on the tongue with a bit more alcohol than I ordinarily like. Worth a try if this gets bottled again, but the grass forward profile and lack of a malt structure brings the drinkability down a peg or two.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 02:06:12 | More by chicagobeerriot
Photo of taxguyjase
taxguyjase

New Mexico

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Lighter than your average IPA with cloudiness that is remenscent of a hefeweizen. Frothy and sticky white head. Definitely gets points for uniqueness. 4.5/5.0

Smell - Sour citrus with a focus on grapefruit. 3.0/5.0

Taste - Sweet malt with a prominent hoppy bitterness at the end. Earthy, piney hops. Lighter bodied with a solid flavor. The use of the British hops (mostly Kent) isn't my cup of tea. 4.0/5.0

Feel - Good mouth coverage, aftertaste is primarily in the back of your mouth and very tart. 3.5/5.0

Drinkability - Not sure if I'd get this one again, given my preference for American style IPAs. Good flavor and not bad after a long day, though. 3.0/5.0

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 20:46:35 | More by taxguyjase
Photo of yesferro
yesferro

Mississippi

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got a bottle of this at Natalie's in Cordova TN

Poured a rather murky orange, almost thick towards the end of the bottle, almost got me worried for a second there.
Smells great, not strong but refreshing and full of citrus.
First sip bummed me out, this is a Stone brew? Kinda underwelming and just hop bitter. Then I got the citrus aftertaste, I like it, but still expected more.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 03:49:38 | More by yesferro
Photo of bierguru
bierguru

Florida

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -
cloudy orange head pours thick and stay very well

S -
pungent hoppy nose along with exotic fruit, floral, pepperiness

T -
coriander lingering hop taste and some mild sweetness along with some pepperness

M -
light smooth pepperiness dries the mouth out a but but overall pretty good

D -
was good but wasnt impressed or shall i really say isnt my favorite

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 02:07:43 | More by bierguru
Photo of micmillon18
micmillon18

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass. Brewed June 2010.

A - Pale yellow color. Two finger head that dissipates slowly. Lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Lots of floral scents here, like lilac. Lavender, fresh laundry (or atleast the floral smells that are sometimes associated with it). Lemon or some kind of similar citrus is also present. Smells really good, rather impressed with the types of scents. I've smelled flowers in lots of other beers but not this profound.

T - Very sweet, hoppy tones. I'm definitely tasting lemon or citrus of some sort, something sour is roaming around in here. More floral tastes as well, though more subtle in comparison to what I was smelling. The alcohol is present but its the hops that really hit the pallet (obviously considering the style). Lots and lots of hops, thats all I can say.

M - Long lasting after taste that I wouldn't exactly call pleasant. Smooth though.

D - Certainly something you'd want to sip and at 8.9 you'd be smart to. I kinda wish I let this chill a little longer as it was a little too warm at the beginning, which made the alcohol too overly prevalent. Overall a good beer, smells great and of course lays down the hops with an imperial passion!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 04:46:45 | More by micmillon18
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber from the lovely, lovely folks at Kingdom Spirits in Brandon, FL. Served in a 14 oz. tulip.

Appearance: Pours a hazy-as-all-get-out tangerine, a really gorgeous sunset hue. It's actually not entirely opaque around the edges, but mere microns under the surface it transforms completely in to a turgid, murky mass. The head - ecru, foamy, meringue-like - has great stick around the edges of the glass but not in the middle, resulting in a caldera-like effect. The above suggests two things, both true: 1) the retention leaves a little to be desired, and the head fades pretty quickly in the center to a creamy, disuniform surface blob; and 2) the stick on the sides of the glass is much better, with the initial head recession leaving nice sheets of rocky, crystalline snow and successive sips leaving nice patches of the same.

Aroma: This beer's weakest aspect. It's not terribly robust or complex, with the main notes being the astringent, chemically hop acids, some faintly sweet tropical fruits, and tobacco biscuits. What? You've never had a tobacco biscuit? Well, neither have I, but if I were to have one, it would likely taste like this.

Taste: I suppose if there was ever intended to be an imperial (emperial?) English IPA, this is what it would taste like. First, the obvious - this is a pretty bitter beer, and the quenching dryness and mineral-like qualities of the water do definitely play a part here, in precisely the same way they do in any good English IPA - amplifying bitterness and dryness. The bitterness would likely have been intense and forward even without this amplifying characteristic, but it does help either way. The hop profile also augments the bitterness - very piney and herbal, with a slew of leafy and tobacco-like notes mingling with freshly cut grass and hay. There's also a good amount of lighter citrus and tropical fruits, too, which seem - if not entirely out of place in an English-esque IPA - a little odd. They don't taste bad - they do lend a nice amount of freshly squeezed orange juice, pithy tangerine, and peach puree - but they're not strictly what I would expect from this one. The malt base is much more faithful, though - simply sweet, with just a kiss of roast, but mostly crackery, biscuity, and actually fairly perfectly balanced between dryness and residual sugars.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation in a very well-balanced body (w/ re: to attenuation) makes for a fluffy, ethereal, and even and eminently velvety mouthfeel. It's an interesting juxtaposition with what is essentially a fairly bitter, abrasive flavor profile, though I think it works pretty well (and, of course, it's very well made).

Drinkability: People seem to be pretty down on both of Stone's latest releases in their two longest running series (the 14th Anniversary and the VE 10.10.10), and I think the pessimism is a little more deserving in the case of this beer. On the one hand, both series suffer from pretty high expectations and very wide availability (a variable directly related to the supply of criticism). But, on the other, this beer just simply isn't as good as, say, Stone X or Stone XI (or even Stone XII, the difficulty of such a cross-style comparison notwithstanding). That's not to say it's bad or poorly made - it's good, and is well made. But it's not as good, as complex, as flavorful as either of two DIPAs were (and both are among my all time favorites). The 8.9% keeps this one drinkable (for the style), but give me the X or XI any day of the week. Keep pushing the envelope, though, Stone - your hits far, far outweigh your misses, and your misses are hardly even that.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 02:46:00 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy bright hay color ale with a huge pure white frothy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of floral and bitter hops is quite singular and enjoyable. Taste is also a good mix between some floral malt notes with bitterness and astringent notes well complementing the malt base. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation. This one is a lot more complex then your standard IIPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 17:48:17 | More by Phyl21ca
Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 741 ratings.