1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA - Stone Brewing Co.

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPAStone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 741 | Reviews: 574 | Show All Ratings:
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 prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

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

14th Anniversary Ale is gold in color. It's hazy, and has a copper tint when held to light. A foamy white head tops it off. It stands over two fingers tall, and is very slow to disappear. Thick waves of sticky lace cling to the glass as it descends. Not bad at all.

The nose is intriguing. Hops are very strong in the mix and greet the nose first. It's an interesting hop profile to say the least. It certainly smells like some form of English hops. They're grassy, floral, earthy, and even a little spicy smelling. Interesting. There's a slight citrusy scent to it. Mostly lemon. Pale malts are easily noted and give it a bit of a sweet smell. I'll go above average on this one. It's pretty good, but I'm skeptical about the hop selection for this one.

The flavor is likewise above average. It has a nice, sweet pale malt base that anchors things down pretty well. There's a hint of toasted malt, and a very slight caramel flavor. The hops have a really interesting flavor, but I'm not crazy about it. It's definitely a mix of English hop varieties that have a very earthy, floral, and grassy flavor. There's a little citrus lemon, and a bit of spiciness. It's very bitter. But, the hop flavor is not that great. Definitely could've been better. It almost has an astringent-like flavor to it. Alcohol is masked pretty well. It finishes bitter, grassy, and very dry.

The body is medium. Carbonation is mid-range. It has a smooth feel overall and goes down nicely. Drinkability is just above average. The flavor's okay, but not great. The hop flavor grows tiring pretty quick. I'll finish the bomber, but that's enough for me.

14th Anniversary Emperial IPA is probably my least favorite Stone anniversary release (of the ones I've tried). It's alright, but isn't a great effort. The hop profile is its biggest shortcoming. The end flavor just isn't that great. I'm also not sure the "English IPA" label is appropriate. It seems far too big and brash to be a real English IPA. It's alright. Definitely worth a try. But, I'm already looking forward to 15th Anniversary getting things back on track.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 03:08:45 | More by prototypic
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

2.78/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Rose & Crown. Now I gave the bottled version a B+, but the tap version I had here was much wose.

Pours a very cloudy yellowish-greenish color, not too appealing-looking, with a small whitish head.

On the aroma, I get the same earthy and spicy English hops, but they're drowned out by the smells of soap and wet dog. Not great.

Sweet doughy malt on the flavor, with very earthy English hops and some wet leaves. Fairly hoppy.

Palate is a bit syrupy for my tastes. Medium-full body and medium-low carbonation.

Now I see why others didn't think highly of this beer. I did not enjoy this experience all that much. This is way better out of the bottle in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2010 02:10:00 | More by nickd717
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled June 2010.

(A)- Pours a clear golden hue that produced a good fluffy white head with good retention behind it. Some tiny bits of lacing left behind.

(S)- A big resin-like pine dryness up front with plenty of lime citrus with a twist of pineapple. A light honey sweetness.

(T)- Pretty much just like the smell. A big resin-like pine dryness up front with lime and pineapple.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Very very much a hop forward beer with massive pine resin and citrus. This actually gets rather bitter as it goes on; very very bitter!

(D)- A fun beer that I enjoyed in a style often overlooked by the more popular American DIPA. Fits the style it is in well, but gets really bitter the more I have of it, but its still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 00:01:34 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a couple of fingers of white head that stay on the scene for a while. The beer is a hazy yellow/orange color and distinctly lighter than I had imagined. Not that this comment means anything. Some light lacing.

Pretty fruity and citrus like in the nose.

Hop forward and back, lots of black pepper and lemon. Lots of citrus and a light malt profile that plays second fiddle. Very sweet.

Medium/Light body w/appropriate carbonation.

Interesting beer, but not among my favorite. Seemed to be fine, not memorable.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 21:44:37 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer has a hazy brass yellow color, a white head that is huge, recedes slowly, and leaves tons of lacing.

The smell has a honey and nectar sweetness, grape-fruit peel, pine, raisin, old cheese, fresh hay, glue.

The taste also has loads of nuances, sweet caramel, dark rye bread, pine resin, dew sprinkled herbs and fresh grass, resin and wood. Marzipan.

Medium low carbonation, small soft bubbles, a smooth texture and full body, slightly oily and alcoholic. A long dry finsih.

I can't help liking this kind of beer, if searching for anything there could be a notch more sour freshness.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 16:27:09 | More by rarbring
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

2.93/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Third time having this one, was the best by far on-tap about a month ago. This bottle is a bit better than the last one I had, which tasted like peas and urinal cakes.

A- Hazy golden yellow with a fizzy white cap that has low retention and leaves a small cloud and ring behind. Very small amount of lace.

S- A lot going on here, not a huge fan. Upon opening I got some nice tropical, citrus and earthy hop notes. Then it went all over. I do soapy, grassy and light sweet-caramel malt notes. There is also an odd, musty chessy hint hidden in there, it becomes distracting.

T- The foremost thing I get is a mix of overly earthy-grassy-spicy hops with sweet light malt. Too much hop flavor, getting sick of this trend. It just gets messy. Citrus-zest also blasts the palate. The end product is an overly bitter, almost soapy beer. I understand what is English here but it is Americanized, I see why the English keep their hops in check for the most part.

MF- Huge bitterness. Light body with nice creaminess. High, smooth carbonation. Slightly warm.

DB- I am sick of this trend but I can still drink this one decently, I am too forgiving to food and drink. Sadly this is the first Stone beer I have to say I didn't enjoy a lot. A blast of hops that feels messy and unbalanced, probably gonna get me some Ruination to make me forget this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 01:33:18 | More by cbutova
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just spent 5 minutes reading the bottle. Those cats over at Stone are a trip.

Poured into my trusty Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale pint glass.

A: Poured a cloudy, yet bright orange, with about 1/4 inch head and lots of carbonation.

S: This is not just your average Stone: IPA, Arrogant Bastard, or Ruination fare .... this one is just straight up orange .... the hull, meat, peel .... the whole friggin' 9 yards!

T: Surprisingly, this one is not nearly as hoppy as most of their other IPAs. It doesn't bite you and is very much like carbonated orange juice. Very strong malt backbone, as opposed to the Ruination (which I still kind of like in a sadistic way). Emperial doesn't wage war on your taste buds like Ruination.

M: Even though I had this in the fridge for several days, it stayed surprisingly warm. After a while, the bitterness starts to hit, but the [orange] citrus (and also maybe honey?) mutes that bitterness. Very pleasant.

D: I'm halfway through the bottle and I'm not having any problems.

Overall: To be honest, I'm not the biggest Stone fan in the world. I get tired of the same type of beers over and over again. But this one is different.... and it may actually be my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2010 01:19:36 | More by Chaney
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

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

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a 22oz weizen glass a slightly hazy orange with a decent khaki slowly diminishing head. Aroma is Earthy hops and biscuity malts. The taste is loads of grassy earthy hops in front of biscuity malts with slight alcohol presence. The beer is a bit on the heavy side, but not too much, there is a slight dryness that smooths things out nicely. I must say, this beer was much more enjoyable on-tap than if was from the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2010 00:03:07 | More by atsprings
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale orange-tinted gold. Pours with a sizable head. Good retention and lots of lacing.

S: Fish, citrus, and skunky hops.

T: Heavy grainy, bready malts. Burnt plastic off-flavor and a bit of smoke aftertaste. Some earthy hops.

M: Dry, almost chalky. Medium viscosity with appropriate carbonation.

D: Jesus, this is more like a Double English IPA. Over the top and unnecessary, this one just doesn't work for me. Not a drain pour by any means and I'll admit my descriptions are probably a bit harsh, but I won't be seeking this beer out anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 01:42:43 | More by Florida9
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, grapefruit yellow. Frothy white head that vanishes surprisingly quickly leaving one giant lace ring - the alpha ring. Some other retention slips and slides down the glass but doesn't stick.

Smells exactly like Yikes Strips grapefruit bubblegum. Some herbal tones there as well, so maybe not exactly. Bready focaccia malt. Taste is more grapefruit, more herbal, and maybe some white pepper. Baguette malt with some sourdough character in back.

I think the herbal character of this beer would get to me after awhile but for 22oz it rocks my socks.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 22:12:48 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

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

The aroma is straight citrus hops, slight hints of other fruits but also a decent amount of earthiness and herbal hops follow. Slight hints of pine as well.

The taste is initially not amazing, but this beer grows on you with every sip. The malt body is not as thick as I expected (but upon research according to Stone, classic English IPAs weren't as malt dominated as today's examples). The lack of caramel malts is apparent; just straight English pale ale malt. Hops start the taste profile, citrus, then earthy, then floral, then piney resiny hops. Delicious. Really improves as it warms up. The English malts although subtle are now detectable and you can tell how much better they are then traditional American 2 or 6-row; light biscuity notes are also detectable.

Not your "traditional" malty English IPA but I really appreciate this style because I love English hops and American IPAs make me nauseous now because they all taste like the C hops and this is a great change of pace. Alcohol isn't detectable at all which is dangerous and why it took my about a half an hour to type this w/o making any typos and I still probably made a few.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 21:43:03 | More by claspada
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 04:29:42 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

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

Got this at Binny's Downtown on our recent trip baseball trip to Chicago.

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking fluffy white head with good retention. Perfectly clear amber yellow in color with zero carbonation. Head slowly fades to a good foam cap and leaves some immediate lacing. A slight wisp remains and leaves some decent lacing down the glass. The second pour is slightly cloudy as well.

SMELL: Some pale malts and melon notes, along with some hints of citrus and floral aromas in the background. A little mild, but nice enough.

TASTE: Some pale malt up front and some piney grapefruit notes. Relatively piney through the middle as well, into a piney and bitter hop finish. Mild but lingering bitter, piney aftertaste is quite nice. A little one dimensional with all those piney flavors, but it's tasty and definitely bolder than the nose indicated.

PALATE: Medium body but quite light on the palate. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with a bit of a scratch at the back, and finishes slightly oily and mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Not sure how English this is at almost 9% ABV, but regardless, this is a pretty tasty beer and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's definitely a "pine-bomb," but if you're into that, then this will do the trick. Other than that, this is not out of the ordinary, and is simply a decent beer by a more-than-decent brewery. I'd take a Ruination over this, and over a lot of other beers actually, but give this one a go if you're into piney hop flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 11:30:50 | More by Jeffo
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a orangish tan with a silky beige head. Excellent lace and retention.

Nose has fresh earthy and floral hops, spicy alcohol, caramel and bready malts.

Taste has really herbal hops up front followed by a lush candy malt body with a long finish of bitter, resiny hops and peppery alcohol.

Clean, crisp body. Delicate carbonation and a great finish.

Simply fantastic IPA from stone.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 01:57:52 | More by rye726
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin

Texas

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

Poured into an English pint glass, this beer is a very bright, crystal clear golden color with about a half-inch of foam on top, leaving sticky trails along the glass. I had to do a triple-take on the aroma... there's just almost nothing there... light floral hops, but that's crazy for any Stone beer, let alone an Imperial IPA. There's just hardly any hoppy nose on this beer.

Fortunately, they come through more clearly on the taste. There's a clear zesty lemon, spicy hop flavor, together with a moderately high bitterness. Malt does not make much of an appearance here, and yeast character is pretty clean. The body is pretty light for a nearly 9% beer, and there's no hint of alcohol.

An odd beer. It tastes like no English IPA I've ever had. It's drinkable, but not worth the $8 price tag at the store. Ultimately, a very forgettable anniversary beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 03:29:36 | More by allengarvin
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow body that I can barely see my fingers through. Four fingers of rocky white froth. Highly appealing stretchy lace.

Big citrus aroma, heavy on the lemon in the front, backed by orange, than grapefruit further behind.

Quick splash of sweetness at first sip, not much of a foundation. Quickly overpowered by juicy fruit everywhere. Plenty of citrus, by hard to identify individual flavors. Fruity, not heavily bitter.

Mouthfeel is a bit wishy washy, could use a firmer feel across the tongue.

Good drinkability, well hidden alcohol.

Interesting beer, but instead of another of these, I have a real craving for Ruination.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 22:25:50 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, meet Corsendonk tulip.

Pleasantries exchanged, Stone's Emperial IPA fills the glass with a glowing, goldenrod-peach body. Sticky lace clings to the edge as the soapy white head slowly recedes to a fat cap of foam. Tropical-smelling hops, very familiar to Stone's highly hopped beers, but Emperial has just enough variability to keep it unique. Pineapple and mango with a good dose of spicy booze. Pale malts and a hint of medicine. Not much "English-ness" to the aroma, but I'm not complaining.

The hops hit the palate with a spicy, piny blast that congeals with the alcohol mid-sip and finishes with a phenolic, wooden bitterness. Liiinnngggeeerriiinnnggg hoppiness, so much so that the tastebuds never fully recover. But unlike the sheer joy I experience when getting my palate smashed by Ruination, Emperial just doesn't have a comparable supporting cast. Mouthfeel is well-carbonated, but on the thicker side of medium and too cumbersome for the style. I've come to expect a lot from Stone's Anniversary releases, and perhaps that influenced my opinion of their 14th, but that's the nature of the beast (or gargoyle). One-and-done for me, but definitely give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 03:44:01 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

1.3/5  rDev -66.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Chilled bomber into a glass. Shared by alfrantzell at a weekend tasting. Thanks, Arne.

A: Pours a cloudy apricot body with a finger of short-lived beige head. No lace. The lack of clarity is really unsettling -- it makes the beer look like turbid pond water.

S: Old towels and urinals. There were four of us seated around the table, and I purposely took the last pour and made the last comment so that people wouldn't be influenced by what I had to say. But when I did, that became the consensus of the tasting. There's a peppery, salty, organic note to this that distinctly reminds me of urine and old towels. It's unpleasant.

T: Toasted malt and biscuit, I can pick out. But that weird organic smell I noticed is back, here. It presents the flavors of mildew, decay, and salty pee. I don't think the beer is infected, exactly -- I just have this reaction to certain flavor / aroma combinations (see Nugget Nectar and Tongue Buckler, which smell like urinal cakes to me). This beer goes a step beyond that and carries the unpleasantness into the flavor. And this time, I had 3 witnesses to agree with me.

M: Some alcohol to this, an astringent (tea-like) finish, and a semi-dry body. Nothing about this works at all: it needs more sugar to cover up the booze and bitterness.

D: A complete misfire. Terrible. Between 4 hopheads, we drainpoured half the bottle. And I'm very forgiving toward Stone products, so I'm sad to give this the score I am.

I'm actually half-wondering if they made this to mock Ding. Not cool, Stone.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2010 06:30:20 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy orange. Stark white fluffy head, with bubbly lacing. This really just looks like a mimosa sitting in my glass. I'd give it a 4 if it were a hefe.

S - The smell is not very forward. It's fairly pleasant, with slight citrus notes and a sort of lingering bitterness.

T - Rather bitter throughout. It's not TOO bitter, it's just a hair off balanced. Mostly bitter, piney and acid, but not quite enough malts to combat the extremities of the hops.

M - Crisp and medium bodied. Works well enough for the style.

D - Easy to put the bomber away. It's interesting, and since it's a one time thing, nothing to get hung up on. Maybe with some age, or mock vertical it might be much better.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 02:15:26 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of armock
armock

New York

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

A - Poured a hazy yellow color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is a nose full of citrus hops with some malt

T - Like the nose starts with lots of citrus hops upfront then the malt comes out a little and finishes with a hint of alcohol

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Overall this was a pretty enjoyable beer that tastes good but not really a beer that I want to drink more than one of in a sitting worth grabbing to try if you still see it around

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2011 21:15:45 | More by armock
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

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

22 oz bottle. Pours a hazy yellow orange with a medium creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a little sweet bready fruit with a lot of pungent resiny hops and a little pepper.

The flavor is a little sweet fruit and bready malts followed by a big resiny, peppery hop finish that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a huge one sided hop bomb. It's fun though, and surprising that the British hops can taste so American.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 05:14:14 | More by Beaver13
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 yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Pale clear golden with a dense creamy white head; thick clumpy sheets of lacing. Pungent, floral hops balanced by a strong pale malt aroma. Mouthfeel is medium thick and lightly carbonated. Flavor is oddly for style dominated from the start by floral, earthy hops (but I guess not unusual for Stone). Flavor is also very sweet and loaded with a strong pale malt body. Overall this certainly has a unique flavor profile, not really comparing to any English IPA or American DIPA I've had, but it's lacking any subtlety and balance. Oh well, at least it's different and worth one try, but not something to seek out.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 03:07:45 | More by yourefragile
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple bombers straight off the distributors dolly. Chilled it and served it to me-self!

Appearance is similar to a filtered hefe or Kristalweizen. Lots of racing, fine carbonation supports the head throughout.

Its most definitely extreme for anything English in the beer world. Sharp, Drying towards the middle, Spicy as hell towards the end. Lingering aftertaste changes and is complex. This is an amazing beer. Price is well within the range to seek out.

Notes: Loved it. Another winner from Stone.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2010 05:44:31 | More by DogFood11
Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 741 ratings.