Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA - Stone Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 750 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev +3.4%
For my 1000th review, I thought it would be, um, nice, to go back to what started it all for me - Stone Brewing. For those of us north of the 49th parallel, obtaining a Stone beer is a reason to celebrate, and that's what kicked off my BA reviewing experience - a bomber of Stone IPA. So now, with another Stone bomber, this time procured from a dash across the Waterton/Glacier International Peace Park last month, I close this particular millennial loop.
This beer pours a cloudy medium golden yellow hue, with two fingers of foamy, rocky white head, which leaves a thin wall of lace around the glass as it duly recedes. Looks pretty much like a hefeweizen. It smells of bitter orange citrus, lemon, pine needles, soft biscuity malt, and a mild soapiness. The taste is pretty in line with the aroma - bitter orange and pine, a soft underlying bready, biscuity maltiness, with some mild zippy spice, muted tropical fruits, and a bit of grassiness. There is only a soft warming from the close to 9 points of alcohol. The carbonation is average, the body a bit on the light side, smooth, and a tad creamy. It finishes dry, bitter, and uh, more bitter.
The ingredients may be as British as Stone could have practically made them, but this is still one of their West Coast hop Acme brand falling anvils for the palate. The edgy, sharp bitterness, that just persists, and overshadows otherwise worthy flavours, is here in spades. And I thought that they would wuss out or compromise when implementing this obvious (to hopheads, anyway) collision of worlds. Silly, silly me.
09-19-2010 05:01:01 | More by biboergosum
4.28/5 rDev +11.2%
I've had a bottle of Stone 14 sitting in my fridge for a while. Looking at it I could tell that it was totally hoppy because I could see the haze through the brown glass. I decided to open it tonight to find that it's not actually hop resins that are making it hazy (it's actually cloudy), it's just yeast! It looks like a Bavarian style hefeweizen in the glass (except for the quick rising bubbles of a higher carbonation). In fact I can see fairly large chunks of yeast suspended an inch or so above the base of the glass. There's also a lot of sediment, but I'm surprised that there's so much floating about. And this is the first pour!!!
It holds a good head though, continually maintaining a 1/4" thick lid of creamy white foam. Rings and sheets of lace are also left behind with each sip.
Surprisingly, it's not that hoppy in the nose. Ahh, I see. After a quick look at the label I understand that it's an English style IPA (although a bit strong), hence the title "Emperial". It's gently citrusy, leafy, mildly floral, a touch piney; and fruity from the yeast (apple, some pear). But does being an English style allow for a cloudy appearance? Hmmm?
In the mouth it's medium with a gently dextrinous edge, and a moderate carbonation that gently bristles the palate (I guess that's English-style as well).
The flavor is fairly basic, except that it is a bigger beer with more alcohol and a lot of bitterness. I find pale ale malt with perhaps a touch of light crystal; but this could simply be "Golden Promise" or some other UK malt. It's not Maris Otter. The hops are as the nose suggests, although a bit more grassy and spicy, and less leafy. They remain floral. The fruitiness of the yeast is present throughout, and it's reminiscent of other Stone beers, however, I think it's a different strain than they normally use. Is it just White Labs WLP023? I initially thought WLP002 but that's a little sharper than the "Bass"... ... could be, but who knows? I find it amazing how the same strains of yeast can taste different coming out of different breweries based on how their fermentation program.
As to drinkability, I enjoyed it. It's not an English IPA by any means, but it sits well as a west coast interpretation of an English IPA. Could it be described as anything else? No. That said, it's a bit bitter and the alcohol shows. Is it too bitter...? Nah, not really. As far as micros go it's still well within reason, especially for Stone. But should the alcohol be so apparent? Probably not. Is there enough complexity to keep it interesting? Ahh, not really. But that goes back to the style. On the other hand, the alcohol and bitterness throw off the balance a bit.
01-12-2011 23:00:52 | More by NeroFiddled
4.47/5 rDev +16.1%
Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.
A: The beer is a light yellow/gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, floral hops and light caramelized malts.
T: The taste starts out sweet and fruity with flavors of citrus along with some caramel. Then a strong grassy hops bitterness comes in but isn't over-powering. The malt character is a little on the thin side but it provides a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.
M: Crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style with a well-done twist, this is a very good beer that is worth drinking for a long time.
10-26-2010 02:36:16 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.33/5 rDev +12.5%
A - Pours with one and a half fingers of white head, resting on top of a hazy, dark copper colored body. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves nice, thick lace.
S - Strong citrus hop aromas of grapefruit and lemon, backed by resinous pine notes. Some light, bready malt in the background.
T - Lemony hops with moderate bitterness up front along with a note of pine and some bready malt. Orange begins to creep into the hop character in the middle with some herbal notes and increasingly sweet, biscuit like malt. Finishes with a sweet, candied orange character of hops and soft malt, which is balanced by moderately high bitterness. Lingering orange hops and lightly toasted malt imparts a savory, herbal note that lingers on the palate.
M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.
D - I love the hop character in this beer. The sweetness of the malt blends perfectly with the citrus and spice notes from the hops, especially in the finish. I am strongly reminded of Oscar Blues Gubna, though from the blurb on the bottle this is apparently made with entirely different hop varieties than that beer. Another great IPA from Stone!
09-30-2010 06:02:37 | More by nickfl
3.85/5 rDev 0%
22oz brown bomber.
While the head looks awesome and the retention is out of this world the cloudiness only goes away as things warm up. Pungent hoppy nose with orchard, citric and evergreen aromas. Very smooth, nice creamy back. West coast hopping style with English hops screams with pungent bitterness and a long linger of earthy rind and woody flavors. Maltiness stands there and say to the hops "What the he'll?!" Bit of grain and yeast but clearly the hops own this brewski. 8.9% ... Yeah it is there, clean and warming with some vague fruit.
Ok, so Stone goes the English way ... All the way with unforgiving handfuls of hops. I dig it ...
08-27-2010 03:12:18 | More by Jason
3.2/5 rDev -16.9%
Okay, sweet label awesome story of why the famous west coast Stone Brewery wants to go all English Imperial aka Emperial on us. But it's a hard sell from the notion of an aggessive English IPA, that's an oxymoron to me. Body pours a glowing slightly clouded bright yellow orange hue apricot I guess...head forms thick bright white head fine sticky lacing clings to the sides of my chalice.
Prickly citrus rinds hits the nares with a touch of alcohol and a spicy yeast component, pretty intense nose so far. Sweet melon and a touch of peppery funky yeast edges collide, this is a strange brew for me.
Flavor hits with so much bitterness the English hops in American doses cause much abrasive qualities on the palate. It's like a burning citrus hop tequila, it burns the back of the throat and the nares and earthy, grapefruit, harsh herbal hops hit the palate like a sledgehammer. I usually find some sense of finesse from brewers at Stone even when their concept is as intense as this. I want a bit of balance to go with the massive hop bill then I want some nice English malts to fight back to create some nice balanced acceptable flavors. Not until the last pour did I get more malt and breads with the spicy/grapefruit/herbal/earthy hop bomb, too little too late.
Mouthfeel I'm getting hop chunks in this one that I literally had to chew on towards the end of the bottle. Carbonation is agressive upfront but not overdone body is medium to full definitely an aggressive palate wrecker of a beer, I have this beer and the other Stone alternative IPAs right down the street from me.
Drinkability is a rough subject as the beer starts to get more approachable and your palate is ready for the onslaught of hops, it begins to feel like I'm chewing on this beer it's one of the hardest 22 ounce bottles from Stone I've ever consumed. It reminds me of te first year that Sam Adams made an Imperial Hallertau hopped pilsner, it was pure hop insanity in a German sense...well, this is it's English brethren.
08-07-2010 05:37:06 | More by WVbeergeek
4.18/5 rDev +8.6%
22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Pours a, at first hazy, golden copper that then clears up considerably as this sits, topped with about a finger of bright-white head. This stays put with VERY robust looking 1/2 finger that absolutely COATS the sides of the glass a cascade of soft creamy lacing. Great look here! The aroma is fresh, sharp, and bitter in the nose with grapefruit, rind, a spice, while some sweeter tropical fruit help soften things up some with notes of mango, apricot, and orange. Flat smelling bready biscuits combine with that higher ABV to give this a warming grainy presence in the back of the nostrils.
The taste is quite well balanced, with the malts giving up more sweetness than they did in the nose, helped along by the sticky twang of fruity citrus. The hops here are really more felt in the latter half of the profile, with tons of bitter fruit, pithy citrus rind, earth, and a deep spiciness all being felt, parching the palate after each sip with a heavy lingering dryness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied; with a nice creamy softness to the carbonation (although there is just the tiniest bit of sharpness here which delicately prickles the tongue) which helps offset most of the alcohol heft that is present. The ABV helps add some sharpness and intensity to the overall profile but is still VERY well hid here, as this possesses a pleasant smooth slickness that runs the whole way through the body and keeps this drinking great.
I have to admit, that when I first heard that Stone was going to attempt at West Coast versions of an Imperial English IPA I had some initial doubts but man, they really pulled this one off nicely! That juicy tropical fruit character was needed to battle the fierce pop of those fresh and biting earthy English hops, while this drank unbelievably smooth for nearly 9%. After being somewhat disappointed by later years Anniversary entry, I'm pleased to see Stone get things back on track with this one. Great stuff!
07-13-2010 19:34:46 | More by Kegatron
4/5 rDev +3.9%
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.
07-23-2010 17:29:24 | More by drabmuh
3.55/5 rDev -7.8%
I had this on tap at Shady McGrady's in Harrisburg - served chilled in a snifter.
A - A peachy colored ale w/ thick bone white cap which has a creamy appearance and holds well. The bead is very fine and the clarity is translucent. The lace sticks to glass in haphazard pattern
S - The smell while pleasant is also a little peculiar with hints of pear and musty pine esters the alcohol is evident and has a mild floral/herbal element
M - The feel is good, but the fruit and tang of yeast and subtle acidic tinged hop texture shifts midway to a warming and intensely bitter sharp aspect. It isn't that I didn't expect that considering Stone Imperial IPA's but it lacks subtlety the carbonation is moderate and sweetness is low with a moderate astringency level
T - The flavor is pleasant and mildly fruit w/ notes of golden apple and pear and mild herbal English hop flavors which seem slightly piney too. The flavor gets more peppery and the alcohol gradually comes forward with a very sharp bitterness which lingers into a very dry finish. The taste is like an English ipa pushed and molded to fit the American Imperial Ipa mold, it loses some of the English character and seems salty it is so bitter toward the end
D - The drinkability is average for me - the flavors start ok, but the intense bitterness doesn't help the overall character of the beer to me. I would say give it a try, but as I mentioned in the taste it is really lacking the English character and is an American Imperial IPA in English Ipa clothes - the bitterness seems to be more the focus than actual English hop flavor
07-11-2010 13:12:58 | More by Slatetank
3.63/5 rDev -5.7%
Pours a nice 1.5 finger frothy head in my tulip glass that is fades slowly, leaving a slight lacing. The beer is a hazy murky orange-yellow wheat color.
The nose emanates with musty fresh hops, dry hopped with some resinous hop oils, some floral, very light pine, and lots of earthy hops. There is also a slight malty sweet aroma coming behind all that hop presence, but enough of a malty sweetness that a hint of alcohol will probably make it's way out.
The taste is somewhat as expected, lots of fresh hops, almost like I'm chewing on hop pellets actually. It has that dry grainy feel to it that just sucks the water from my mouth like chewy on a hop pellet would do. Lots of grassy and herbal and super earthy hop flavors, pretty bitter and very dry. A touch of a malty backbone in there, somewhere. A hint of a warming booze also sticks its nose out.
The mouth is medium body with decent carbonation, and a really dry chewy kinda feel that really does give the feel like chewing on a dry hop pellet, and slightly grainy.
The finish is pretty bitter, but not overwhelming. Lots more dryness, again like it sucked the water from my mouth it was so dry. Still have that long lingering feel and taste like chewing on hops pellets. A slight malty presence, but not much. It's just pure earthy and herbal hops basically.
08-28-2010 03:24:51 | More by jlindros
4/5 rDev +3.9%
The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt scent along with a mildly aggressive hop nose. It's quite bitter with some excellent yeast esters. The taste is good. It has a very bitter hop bite that hits hard up front and resinates in the finish. The malt profile is pretty standard. It has a solid pale malt flavor with little else to speak of. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is an easy drinking DIPA. It's nothing too spectacular, but it's still better than most. I guess it's a bastardised version of an English IPA. That explains the hop profile and the overall feel of the beer.
10-08-2010 19:21:03 | More by WesWes
3.38/5 rDev -12.2%
Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.
The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is an unattractive mix of grassy hops and sweat. The flavor is orange citrus hops, grassy hops and bready malt. I also get some resiny hops and medium to high bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not near the beer I expected this to be. Not terrible, but still disappointing.
07-24-2010 05:34:36 | More by Mora2000
3.5/5 rDev -9.1%
From 7/2 notes. Had on tap at the Big Hunt in DC.
a - Pours an amber, murky-golden color with 2 inches of white head and light carbonation.
s - Smells very weird. Got some earthy malts and manure. Not enjoyable at all.
t - Tastes of tropical fruits, sweet fruity hops, citrus, and floral hops.
m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.
d - I thought this was a nice beer except for the smell, which was awful. I asked several other people who ordered it as well and they all agreed on the smell. Probably wouldn't seek out again.
07-10-2010 16:41:59 | More by mdfb79
3.98/5 rDev +3.4%
Sampled July 2010
A solid pour into my Oerbier tulip produces a fat, three-finger thick, lightly tanned, off-white head that is quite dense and leaves some pretty, layered lacing on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is a hazed gold / pale-honey color that shows orange notes when held up to the light. As the beer warms it becomes quite clear, showing that the initial haze was just a chill-haze. The aroma smells up front like a field of dried hay, sprinkled with some dried weeds. It picks up some soft pine-like notes as well as a citrus character that reminds me of Meyer lemons. Touches of menthol, hints of intriguing cinnamon, as well as a sometimes bright herbal note round out the hop aromatics. The malt character actually is fairly noticeable towards the finish with a hay like / dried grass grain character as well as some cracker like malt. The citrus character can at times be quite noticeable, in a soft manner, but at others it gets buried under the other hop aromatics.
The beer has a substantial herbal bitterness and even some hop astringency in the finish; both of which linger on in the palate after a sip. The hop character reminds me of dried grass up front but moves to a substantial herbal note and then a soft, but lingering citrus character that is a bit dirtier than lemon zest, with maybe a hint of tropical fruit character. As the beer warms more notes of meyer lemon and even some orange zest become a bit more noticeable. The malt character, despite its pale color, is quite substantial here; a nice cracker and pale-biscuit maltiness contributes a significant chewy grain character to this beer and there is also a soft pale malt sweetness that helps temper the herbal / grassy hop character. As the beer warms the biting bitterness and astringency softens quite a bit as it is tempered by the malt flavors. The body has some chew to it as it is fairly viscous and definitely coats the palate; the hops do a good job of scrubbing the palate in the finish though. This is a bit heavier than I prefer in my American Double IPA, though the hop character would likely be too harsh in this beer with out this body and malt heft.
While this is really not my ideal type of Double IPA, I always enjoy tasting over the top English hops in a beer because I get them so rarely and it is nice to experience the hops in an intense way from time to time. This point certainly makes this particular beer that much more enjoyable that it would otherwise be if this was a common thing.
10-07-2010 14:15:19 | More by Gueuzedude
4.13/5 rDev +7.3%
The thick, dense head settles in rocky fashion, leaving lots of stringy, clumpy lace. The liquid is very cloudy with a relatively unusual yellow-ish color.
Classic Stone fresh, floral hop aroma. Beautiful and inviting.
A very brief moment of paler malts that instantly bursts into a bitter hop explosion. This lasts throughout the taste into the finish and long after the swallow. It's not quite enough to be an extreme beer, but it's awfully close. Full body with ample carbonation for a richer mouthfeel.
Hopheads will find this very drinkable. Others may find it too bitter.
09-04-2010 19:11:16 | More by smcolw
3.05/5 rDev -20.8%
22 oz. bomber,
A: Pours orange with a full white head, very good retention, leaving nice lace.
S: Melon rind, hint of white pepper, green smelling.
T: Extremely bitter pine and grass flavours overall. Malt is very mild. Lots of bitter melon, white grapefruit, and pine.
M: Medium/full-bodied, sticky, resiny. Hoppy long aftertaste.
D: An OK DIPA, but for me it was just bitter without a complexity in the hop character which made me disinterested as I drank the beer. I always try the Stone Anniversaries, but I don't think I'll pick this up again, I like the overall idea though.
06-26-2010 02:09:43 | More by Halcyondays
3.43/5 rDev -10.9%
Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with some yellow highlights. Short 1/4" head breaks apart immediately.
Smell: lemon zest and a somewhat sharp bitterness. Some earthiness in the aroma too.
Taste: strong bready malt sweetness balanced with a sharp earthy bitterness. Golden apples, some pear, and a bit of grassiness shows up late. Alcohol is mildly noticable.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, less crisp and a touch dry at the finish. Aftertaste is short lived.
Drinkability: this beer wasn't as refreshing as I would have liked for the style. Slow sipping beer here.
07-31-2010 21:14:23 | More by Gavage
District of Columbia
3.33/5 rDev -13.5%
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.
08-08-2010 03:07:45 | More by yourefragile
3.43/5 rDev -10.9%
A: Poured an orangish color with good carbonation and a nice white head
S: Bitterness,light pepper English malts and grass
T: Bitterness and grass. Some English malt and perhaps some melon with light pepper
M: Medium to full bodied with plenty of hop bite
D: Wont go back to this and my least fav of the Stone Anny beers so far
06-29-2010 03:23:37 | More by barleywinefiend
3.93/5 rDev +2.1%
Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.
A - Pours hazy sunkist orange with a small half finger tall white head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving light lacing down the glass.
S - Smells of pungent grassy hops, lightly toasted malt, bright citric fruits; most notably grapefruit and orange peel; and some light booze. Very bright and refreshing nose.
T - Lots of bright grassy hops up front giving way slowly to a mix of light malt, citric fruits, and plenty of pine resin. The viscous resiny feel is very strong, wearing on the pallet quickly. Finish is mostly sticky resin with plenty of lingering hop bitterness. Not bad, good not great.
M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sticky, resiny, feel with plenty of it lingering throughout the finish. The booze is light at the beginning, getting a bit stronger as it warms.
O - Not too bad. This one is definitely a sipper. I enjoyed the strong hop presence but the lingering sticky pine resin feel really wore me down quickly. I could have one of these but that is it.
03-30-2011 18:41:22 | More by orangesol
4/5 rDev +3.9%
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.
07-23-2010 05:02:38 | More by Billolick
Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 750 ratings.