Soaring Dragon
Stone Brewing

Soaring DragonSoaring Dragon
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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #3,503
Ranked #20,344
3.88 | pDev: 5.93%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Very Good
Soaring DragonSoaring Dragon
Notes: A few of our brewers took a side trip to the famous Tianshan Tea City market to experience the legend themselves. They were blown away. Inspired, they began experimenting back home, learning how well the delicate, floral qualities of these teas worked in combination with certain hop varieties. This imperial IPA loaded with White Tea is the result of that bountiful trip and the resulting experimentation. The amazing aromas and flavor profile of this beer are witness to the joy of experimentation and a testament to making time for side trips.
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 53 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of zeff80
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a large, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of tea, herbal notes and caramel. Earthy and herbal tasting with a subtle citrus bite and sweet caramel backbone.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into goblet: color is gold, transparent, head is bright white with fine bubbles and presents 1 finger thick and dissipates to thin top with lacing on the glass sides.

Smell is light malt, hops with notes of spruce or maybe cedar, herbal but nothing really 'tea' like, but still enticing.

Taste follows with great spruce/cedar, herbal, woodsy like character - the tea like note presents as you go from drinking to swallowing - very subtle but just a different presence than the clean ipa base.

Mouthfeel is moderate carbonation, solid bitterness, light sweetness, then drying.

Overall a very good DIPA with pleasant hop aromas and flavor, tea qualities seem limited.

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Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Golden with a frothy white head that dissipates somewhat quickly leaving behind some head and lacing - crystal clear clarity.
S - Notes of tea and piney hops as well as floral notes - smell is somewhat faint
T - Clean and crisp throughout - floral notes up front as well as some herbal tea followed by piney, bitter hops
F - Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Light, crisp, refreshing
O - A nice clean, crisp, refreshing, hoppy IPA

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Photo of VoodooBear
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. can with the canning and enjoy by dates printed on the bottom. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: The dense, one finger, bone white head stays around for a while and leaves behind a lot of lacing that covers the whole glass beautifully. It's a hazy gold color.

Smell: It's a beautiful aroma that starts off with a strong, herbal tea note. That's followed by some fruity peach and lemon. It finishes with a pleasant floral scent.

Taste: The strong tea note translates into the palate where it's the first thing that comes up. The fruity and floral flavors are there too with grapefruit, papaya and a touch of honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel: It's medium bodied, pillowy and moderately creamy with medium carbonation.

Overall: A beautiful beer in both aroma and flavor that's a pleasure to drink. Very delicate and easy going but with a lot of character and complexity. it's great to see big names in the craft beer world like Stone still bringing out interesting and "out there" offerings that don't rely con crazy adjuncts or anything weird.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. can
Reviewed as: American Double / Imperial IPA
Glass: Clear 16-oz. Bruges beer glass
Price: $2.50
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa, Calif.
Purchased: April 24, 2020
Consumed: April 29, 2020
Misc.: Canned on April 1, 2020; Enjoy by July 30, 2020

Had Rachel pick this for me on a recent Coronvirus trip to Trader Joe’s. Online description read, “A few of our brewers took a side trip to the famous Tianshan Tea City market to experience the legend themselves. They were blown away. Inspired, they began experimenting back home, learning how well the delicate, floral qualities of these teas worked in combination with certain hop varieties. This imperial IPA loaded with White Tea is the result of that bountiful trip and the resulting experimentation. The amazing aromas and flavor profile of this beer are witness to the joy of experimentation and a testament to making time for side trips.” Mentioned hops were Citra and Loral.

Poured a dark gold-to-light amber semi-clear color with two fingers of frothy off-white head. Plenty of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass - fast up the center and slower up the sides. World-class uneven foamy lacing. Excellent retention. (Sight - 4.50)

Smelled tea, herbal, lemon, menthol cough drops, honey, stone fruit, peach, apricot, floral, sappy pine and mango. Much of the same from the can, but got some Citra too. Very interesting. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste was about the same as the nose, maybe not quite as good. In order got herbal, tea, lemon, honey, black pepper, cinnamon, bitter grapefruit rind, papaya, mango, stone fruit, peach, apricot, sappy pine, mint and grass. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Bitter, dry finish. (Feel - 3.75)

Maybe overrated this just a bit, but very good overall. Glad I got to try this. (Overall - 3.75)

3.80 | 86 | B+

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Photo of stevoj
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can from Hops and Bottles. Cloudy golden with small foamy head, streaky lacing. Aroma is citrus, grassy, floral. Not getting any dank notes mentioned by other reviewers, a bit of a funky edge though. Taste is mildly sweet, malty, floral and a dry tea presence. Does not come across as a DIPA.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canned April 1st 2020.

It pours a clear pale gold with heaps of foam, lacing is fine.

Smells dank as hell. Tropical fruit, grapefruit, onions. Bitter nose overall.

Dank taste as well though the onion factor is somewhat dialed down. Grapefruit, tropical fruit, some sweetness, actually not that bitter.

High end of medium bodied, pretty good mouthfeel.

Oops, more of that onion flavour coming through the more sips I take.

Not the easiest beer to drink for me.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Nice clarity with dark gold and bright white creamy dense lacing.

S - Lemon, citrus, and tea leaves on the nose.

T - Juicy lemon, citrus, and melon from start to finish.

M - Big medium body.

O - Very juicy, resiny, and unique.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Stone Brewing "Soaring Dragon"
12 fl. oz. can coded "RVA 04/02/20 EJBY 07/31/20 13:14" and sampled on 05/14/20
$3.79 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: So what do we have here? It appears to be made with white tea. Hmmm. I've never found white tea to have that much flavor at all so that seems a bit weird to me, but OK. It's poured a mostly clear deep golden colored body beneath an inch and a quarter of fluffy off-white foam. The aroma is floral, slightly woody like cedar, herbal like dull eucalyptus, and subtly citrusy. The taste brings a fair amount of grainy malt into play, and there's a much stronger lemony note to it as well as a dusting of white pepper. As noted, being familiar with white tea I don't believe anyone can pick that out but maybe I'm wrong. The head has dropped at this point but there's still a pretty good surface covering and the lacing is made up of broken sheets. Back to the taste, I'm finding a lot of the cedar-eucalyptus- pepper upfront although everything else is still there, and it continues straight through to the long-lingering finish where the lemon pops up again. It's a really interesting beer. I'm even getting some dark fruit from it with some dark berries and plum. Some sage as well. Oddly, it's not that bitter although it kind of seems like it is because of the woodiness and spice. Ahh, and let's not forget the alcohol! It's only 8% but that must be helping it to dry in the finish. Perhaps the tea has left us some tannins as well. Yeah, I'm liking this. There's a whole lot to it and it seems to change as you progress through it. In the mouth it's medium bodied and gently effervescent and crisp. So what to say about this beer? Who knows? I can only judge it hedonistically as it's quite original. I think it's very well made with a great mouthfeel that matches the spiciness, and very good head retention and lacing. The aroma isn't its strong point but it's good enough, and the flavor more than makes up for that - if it's something you enjoy. I have a feeling that this might be a "love it or hate it" beer.
Review #7,012

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The bold hop aggression meets a delicate and floral whimsy in an Imperial status IPA that celebrates the uniqueness of Japanese white tea. Let's see if that tea actually stands a change against Stone Brewing's hop regimen.

Hazy goldenrod with intrepid carbonation, Soaring Dragon rises with a tall column of froth. A highly aromatic blend of floral arrangements aligns with the grassy, sprucy scent of hops for a potent combination of fruit, flower and earth as its scent graces the nose. Wafer-thin with malt flavor, hints of honeysuckle, agave and lychee offers a mild mannered rebuttal from the mounting hops.

As the flavors flood the middle palate, the taste swiftly turns hoppy with the sharpness of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon and guava before turning decidedly "west-coat" bitter. Sprucy, grassy and pleasantly vegetal, the peppery bite of hops latch onto the throat and is slow to relax. Meanwhile, the remnants of malt offer a subtle balance and support the to hops while subtle hints of tea, herb and chamomile swirl gently about.

Medium bodied and trending dry, the Imperial IPA tries to become a drinkable, refreshing and easy drinking beer, much like a standard strength IPA. The alcohol bite, and bitter resins are a persistent reminder that the beer has got some kick, leaving a gin-like spruciness and a vodkat-like spice to dominate the finish. Although the tea presence lingers, they could have easily been chalked up to hops if the label hadn't told me otherwise. Much of the finer nuances of the tea are largely lost in the beer.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - great yellow copper color with a nice white head and sticky lacing
Smell - grainy herbal citrus
Taste - a lot like the scents, less citrus, def has the tea taste to it
Feel - medium body and carb
Overall - I like the adventures take, they did a good job

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Photo of EdHinPasadena
3.22/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So many folks I know had told me this was enjoyable. I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver.
The color was a nice, light golden brew with a slight head. The tea in this was the noticeable aroma when I held it to my nose. But the taste? The tea dominates the rest of the beer. Couldn't really tell much of anything else other than the hoppiness afterwards. The tea flavor was OK, but I expected more, that somehow it would mesh with the hops to deliver a better result. It did not. Overall, this one disappointed me greatly, as Stone has usually reached the high standards they set for IPAs all those many years ago (for me, sampled my first one in 2006).

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I’ve been a fan of Stone’s brews since my first sip of Arrogant Bastard back in ‘06. Cut my IPA teeth on original Ruination, and Enjoy By is the standard by which all others are judged...that said, I seek out every new Stone IIPA release. Having high hopes for this when Greg teases me during his AMA after my comment on wanting another green tea variant...not quite as good. Soaring Dragon is a solid IIPA; dank, dry, hoppy, and piney, but not sold on the herbal-ness (lack of words) of the white tea. The green tea was be better Greg!!!

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Photo of EMV
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Crystal clear light golden pour with massive fluffy white head. Lasts awhile... great lacing.

S: Crackery grains, herbal hops, tea leaves, and citrus.

T.F: Semi-sweet... honey with lightly toasted malts/grains to start. Herbs and citrus hops. Tea leaves, grapefruit, and melon. Light spice... very modest bitterness, especially for a Stone offering. Hides its ABV. Medium bodied.

O: Decent... and the tea works well with the hops. It's not going to be one of my favorite Stone IPAs, but it made for a nice change of pace.

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Photo of colts9016
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Review #1402

It has been a while since I have quaffed on a Stone Beer. I remember a while back where I sought them out to drink. Arrogant Bastard is still one of my go-to beer for something to drink. I thought that this beer would be an interesting take with tea. The last tea beer I drunk was from the Brurey, that beer was enjoyable. The beer is 46 degrees and served in a tulip glass. The can once open emitted a fragrant hop profile. A two-fingered off-white head formed in the glass. The foam of the beer resembles the foam of a wave after it washed off the beach. The retention of the head is excellent, leaving chunky lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is SR5, amber yellow with golden hues. Carbonation bubbles are dancing from the bottom on its way towards the top of the glass. The beer has a pleasant appearance.

The first whiff of the beer I smell grapefruit, green herbal leaves, pine, and toasted crackers. Next, I smell oranges, papaya, bready, lemons, hay, and subtle floral esters.

The flavors in the beer are honey, melons, grassy, bay leaves, pine, grapefruit, toasted bread, yeasty, oranges, lemons, floral esters, resin, vanilla, and dankness.

The mouthfeel of the beer is astringent and dry.

The body of the beer is medium-plus, medium carbonation, and full finish.

The amount of tea in the is beer is ridiculous. It is overpowering, for me hiding the hops. The tea and hops are having a disagreement. The first sip, I get these wonderful hop flavors followed by the tea notes. Next sip, I get an aggressive tea flavor. The flavors jump back and forth from hops to tea. The thing I noticed as I was drinking this beer was the harmony was amiss. Vibrant and flavorful hops and malt profile is a standout in the beer. I am not sure how to dial this beer in to make it enjoyable. I am glad I was able to enjoy this beer, but I will pass on anymore. A solid beer, but needs to be dialed in. I would give this beer a B to B-.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone has been knocking it out of the park lately with some of their latest offerings. I'm not a huge tea in beer guy but I wanted to give this a shot.

I get the white tea strongest on the finish. It's sort of kills the hoppy lingering taste and I'm not necessarily crazy about that? It hits all of the right marks for a Stone Imperial IPA... but the white tea finish sort of kills the experience for me... that being said...I will finish the sixer and be glad I tried it...

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Photo of ichorNet
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I haven't checked out some of Stone's recent fun IPA ideas, but this one seemed too interesting to pass up. I really enjoy the use of tea in IPAs (Baxter's Ceremony has been really good to me before, and Stone's own Green Tea IPA collaboration was awesome), but I've never had one with white tea. I'm not an expert on tea, but it seems that white leaves are younger than the green ones used in matcha, etc. To make things even cooler here, it's hopped with Citra and Loral, with the latter being an unusual varietal that I feel will probably play very well with the additional tannic flavors.

The pour here is clear and golden-yellow with only slight carbonation activity present throughout the body. As I pour from the can into my glass, I notice the head builds up steadily and in a rather reserved way, climbing up to about a finger-and-a-half at its highest point before it quickly recedes, leaving behind some nice lacing and good legs, eventually retaining at a half-finger of long-lasting, tight suds. Obviously, Stone is no stranger to brewing IPAs, and this is definitely a good-looking one with a rather typical (for them) appearance, so let's move on to the more important aspects.

The nose is just about what I expected; floral, lightly grassy, and full of complex fruit notes ranging from honeydew melon to apricot to grapefruit, with some tropical avenues explored throughout as well (though those elements are definitely pushed to the back behind more "orchard fruit"-like scents). I don't honestly think I could determine whether this used "white" or "green" tea just from the nose alone, but it's probable that there are noses out there more keen to the differences than my own. I like the clean aroma here... it seems focused on the tea without going too far in that direction; it's well-balanced, in other words. Nice stuff.

The flavor is a little on the thinner side for an 8% IPA. It's chock-full of hoppy flavors but the body itself is rather weak and ineffectual, without much of the bruising malt backbone Stone typically puts in its DIPAs. That said, I guess I understand why they were going for a lighter, crisper profile here to work with the tea addition, but it feels like it kind of loses steam here. I enjoy the flavors of pithy grapefruit, lemon verbena, light crackery malt, and apricot/plum undertones that come out toward the finish, but the finished product seems slightly under what I expected from the nose. It's close to being great, but the body really hurts the drinking experience here. Pity, because this had potential to be one of the better recent Stone offerings. Hope they re-brew the Green Tea Double IPA again soon, because that felt more like a proper tea-driven IPA to me.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can poured into a small stemless wine glass.

Really nice clear orange color with a 2 finger head that leaves great lacing.

Smells of faint herbal tea notes and not much else.

Taste is somewhat sweet grapefruit, faint pine and ever more faint tea. Not sure why they went so light on the tea. I really have to look for it to find it.

Mouthfeel is medium and fairly soft.

I had high hopes for this one as I generally enjoy beers that feature tea but this is just too weak. Pass.

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Photo of Jacob_Hargis
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a local six pack canned on 4/1/20 in Encinitas, CA. Poured into a tulip glass I purchased from Bent Paddle Brewing Co in Duluth, MN.

A: Generous pour resulting in an egg white colored foamy head with fairly large bubbles that dissipated in half within 30 seconds. Fairly minimal lacing. Dark golden brown, nucleation bubbles rising from the center of the bottom of the glass
S: sweet, floral, almost chamomile like, bits of peach and piney aroma.
T: More floral and hop bitterness throughout. I'm getting some grapefruit and again a bit of sweet pine. Malt body that holds the hops. You can taste the tea, but it is fairly complementary and I am getting more hop flavor from the loral and citra hops. Slightly boozy, but I wouldn't have guessed at 8% ABV this would be an Imperial IPA.
M: Light, lingering hop bitterness on the tongue, and the sweet, hay, and floral taste stays on the palette. Finishes dry.

Overall, it's an interesting beer and right up Stones Alley. I know they have experimented with tea before, and personally I've been wanting to try this beer since I heard it was coming out. It's pretty tasty, and I am almost wanting more of the tea to come through as advertised. However, I am certainly not disappointed. I think the more you drink and let the beer warm, the more you can pick up on the flavors and subtleties. This isn't a top beer from Stone (in my opinion) but it's a unique and experimental brew that pushes the traditional boundaries combining new ingredients and getting inspiration from far off places.

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Photo of BB1313
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 3/23/20. 12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours golden with great clarity and transparency with bubbles racing upwards; fluffy white head that falls leaving great retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are floral along with some citrus. Lots of crackers and fresh bread. Malts are there. The flavors basically follow the nose. The white tea comes through without dominating. Some peach along with some grapefruit. Lots of fresh grass. More bread and crackers. Malts do their thing. Moderate bitterness. Finishes dry. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's sharp, fluffy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a solid DIPA. The white tea aspects are balanced and doesn't really come off as the star. It's clean and refreshing. This one might not be anything too crazy, but it's still enjoyable. Not bad.

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Photo of DDiFran
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Light for an imperial
Crisp pine aroma
Taste is surprisingly good. Full Hoppy but dry not dank.
Body is on the light side but the full flavor makes up for it
Doesn’t look taste or feel like an 8% IIPA but a refreshing beer for such high ABV

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Photo of travolta
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Crystal clear golden color with a tangerine colored glow. Head retention was minimal and lacing is decent and spotted.

Nose: A little bit of green pine and juicy citrus, but the rest is subtle. There is some pineapple in the middle.

Taste: This is dry and crisp upfront with a hoppy bitterness throughout. There is a new type of dry finish with this and I attribute that to the white tea. White tea is delicate and I don't think it can compete with the hops here. This is quite dry for an "Imperial".....very little malt is present. If i had not read tea on the label I would not have found any of it on my own.

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Photo of teromous
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The date code is printed on the edge of the can, but it appears to read: "RVA 03/23/20 EJBY 007/21/20 10:30"

Appearance: The body has sparkling clarity in a nice gold body. The head is large, white, fluffy, and pock-marked with various sized craters from bubbles. It has amazing retention and lacing. It's a picture perfect beer.

Aroma: There is a light bit of grapefruit scent with a hint of pine. There is a light floral scent to the beer as well. It smells nice.

Taste: Up front there is tangerine and mango. Towards the middle there is a pleasant grain flavor with a hint of earthy wood-like flavor. It finishes clean with a slightly herbal taper, which is a bit like thyme and spruce.

Mouthfeel: It drinks clean with a pleasant bitterness. The middle of the beer is very clean. Flavor delivery is great. Carbonation feels great. It is a pleasant drinking experience when enjoying this beer.

Overall: The back of the can states that this is an "imperial IPA loaded with White Tea." While there were some herbal notes to the beer, it didn't stand out as tea-like. The hops largely dominate the flavor profile, and the grain comes in second. Anything left after that is indiscernible. Disregarding the lack of tea flavor, the beer itself is nice. It's another quality beer from Stone and I'd certainly drink it again. I would recommend as a whole.

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Photo of ReDave
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Just got this today, shipped from Stone, delivered to my door by UPS.

Pale golden color with a slightly off white nice head, with some sticky lace lingering.

Smell, very delicate hop aroma, maybe a hint of tea?

It does not taste like an imperial IPA. But a dry IPA. Nice, and will require another visit soon [Thanks 6-Pak]. There is that tea back taste, i'm not describing it right, but i can definitely feel tea, in fact i'm getting that back of the throat feel i get from dark tea [which is not this, right?]

I just knocked back the feel score, for that back tea taste.... I will revisit this again tho. This is not a full thick imperial or double ipa in that sense... but it does have a refreshing quality to it.

Having been a Stone fan for many many years, i surely lean into it, and will give this a bump for that. As i sipped through this beer, it really had a very different feel and finish to it.

This is another good and interesting Stone Experiment.

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Soaring Dragon from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 53 ratings