Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA | Stone Brewing

very good
576 Reviews
Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPAStone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jeffthecheff on 06-19-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 576 | Ratings: 773
Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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

 500 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A deep clear yellow brew with a fair sized head and a ton of visible carbonation. A lot of thick rings of lacing line the glass. The bottom of the bottle has some lumpy sediment.

S - Hops! Grapefruit pith, pineapple, gum ball, white pepper and mango.

T - Hops galore! Pomelo pith, grapefruit flesh, white pepper, only a hint of malt. Aftertaste is bitter grasses and white pepper.

M - Medium body and pretty refreshing. The bitterness is a little tough, but not too bad.

D - Pretty good. I'd have it again, but not at this price.

 538 characters

Photo of taxguyjase
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
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

 678 characters

Photo of jbphoto88
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 22oz brown bottle pours a hazed fizzy yellow color with a touch of apricot. The head is fluffy and white and sticks to the glass. I have to say this beer isn't really doing it for me in the looks department. Not really sure why but it just looks mediocre.

The smell is muted and plain. Light malts, hops and a touch of cantaloup and pineapple. It's not bad scented just nothing stellar.

The taste is slightly better then everything else but still not worth a 4.0 It has a touch of sweet grains and a solid bitterness to it. The background has a light tropical fruit sweetness which compliments the malts. Simple, tasty but just above the boring.

Great mouthfeel with a nice sharp bitterness and delicate sizzle. This is an ok beer. Not much more then boring and I guess thats what to expect from an English style. I just don't find it any more interesting then slightly above average. Worth a try but I'm glad it's not a year round offering.

 951 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright yellow gold with a thin white head. Lots of floaties in this one as well.

Some citrus and earthy hops with not much malt bill.

Starts off with a slight citrus flavor. Ends up with pungeant earthy hops. Very little malt to be found.

Mouthfeel and carbonation are both solid.

The aftertaste limits drinkability a touch. I liked this one slightly better when fresh, but still an ok beer a year later.

 416 characters

Photo of NewGeneric
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to brew3crew for hooking it up.
Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy, golden straw color with 2 fingers of white head that fades medium-quick, leaving strips of lacing around the side of the glass.

S: Smells of light citrus, pine, and spicy hops. Mild fruity esters from the yeast as well.

T: Tastes of spicy hops and fruity esters.

M: Quite bitter, but smooth otherwise. Alcohol is unnoticeable.

D: I could take it or leave it.

 445 characters

Photo of cavedave
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours a finely cloudy golden topped by a thin off white head which relaxes to a lively cap and leaves some spotty lace.

Not a strong smell, but full of vegetal, citrus, and some herbal bitter hop notes, nice light tart and neutral sweet behind it.

Taste is a medium/full flavor. It starts surprisingly bitter, even for Stone, wends its way through citrus pith, vegetal, hints of tart yeast, neutral sweet, picks up some floral, and ends very citrus bitter with dark herbosity accompaniment. As it warms, the sweet almost disappears in this, and a hint of drying pine enters the scene. Sounds pretty good to read this, but it isn't the best flavor profile for an IPA, not even the best flavor profile for a Stone IPA.

Mouthfeel is not all that great, even for a IIPA wannabe. It is low carb., good, but could be even lower, highly viscous, but would benefit by being lighter in mouth, and a dry finish that isn't complex nor clean enough, and way too astringent. Good? Yes. Stone usual quality good? No.

Drinkability is average, and that is being kind. In a land of fine IPA I can instantly think of ten easier drinkers I would rather be drinking right now.

Impression: Where is the crazy complex hop artsitry Stone usually achieves? At this price think I'll stick to better, more affordable alternatives.

 1,314 characters

Photo of birchstick
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a straw yellow with a one finger head

S - nose is citrusy hops with cookie malts and a potpourri bouquet

T - Very interesting taste. Starts off with a a little bit of the cookie malt backbone that is then dominated by a soapy, hoppy taste that is complemented by a lot of citrus. Finishes with the bitter dryness similar to an orange peel. Not bad - very overpowering hop flavors.

M - really smooth mouthfeel that is perfectly carbonated

D - This is a good IPA. Filled with citrus bitter hops that dominate the palate, leaving little room for the malts to show. Not a bad IPA, definitely different, but different isn't a bad thing.

 646 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a gargoyle emblazoned 22 oz. bottle into a large wine glass. Shows a hazy goldenrod in color with a frothy inch of bubbly off white foam. Offers very nice retention and lacing. A bit lighter than expected but pretty solid.

Nose is soapy through the foam with a hint of melon when first poured. Warming and exposure helps add a nice hop presence along with a light wheat sense and some subdued lemon. Becomes more intriguing as you delve into it, and offering a subtle yeast character later, working well with the hop notes. Still at odds for an IPA, English or otherwise.

Flavor offers a myriad of complexities as the beer warms and morphs. Initially an orange citric grain presence dominates. A light lemon sweetness follows and accompanies an expanding hop nose. Pretty smooth on the palate, neither bitter nor sweet. A bit dry perhaps nonetheless, yet that is an illusion as for the true nature of the beer.

Full bodied with a good feel of carbonation. Somewhat dry and chalky on the finish. A robust and interesting brew.

 1,041 characters

Photo of kels
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

 1,609 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

 861 characters

Photo of sunkistxsudafed
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a Sam Adams' perfect pint

A- a beautiful gold with a haze of white and silver. retained a white head through the whole drink.

S- a slight letdown. somewhat hot and sterile.

T- not bad at all. can tell the water used is mineral (salt?) heavy. also surprisingly dry and spicy. reminded me of Saison du Buff.

M- dry and thin.

D- not very drinkable. the combination of the spice, heat, and hop (not to mention the added imperial depth.) makes this beer a good one, but not a session brew.

 501 characters

Photo of Night
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours hazy peach-gold with yeast floating in suspension. Chunky, foamy, glowing pearlescent-white head dies down fairly quickly, leaves almost a full ring of medium-sized lacing, with a few spots really sticking around. Aroma is immediate pineapple hops, with notes of cane sugar and a strong, raw, boozy kick. Distant hints of golden apple and walnut, and a bit of pepper and caramel. Mouthfeel is thick, juicy, and bitingly fizzy. The booze in this one is very hasty; feels more like an 11% than a 9%. Flavor is a full frontal assault of black pepper, bell pepper, jalapeño, undisguised alcohol, and extremely resiny, piney hops. A tiny bit of orange zest. Sneaking in somewhere is the faintest tone of honeyish malts. Overwhelmingly sharp and bitter. Very warming, very dry. True to the beer's intent, hop bitterness is very English in style - though very American in magnitude. Aftertaste is hot, boozy, dry, and extremely bitter.

 936 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.58/5  rDev -7%
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.

 2,099 characters

Photo of vkv822
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle into pint.

Pours a fairly cloudy golden with a thick frothy white head that leaves wonderful lacing and nice carbonation visible through the haziness.
Has pleasant citric hops and faint floral hops in the aroma with a light biscuit malt backing and perhaps some light wheat notes as well. The flavor has a bit more hops than I was expecting, and in only the best way. They are of more citrus and floral, with some herbal notes and a faint malty backing as in the nose, but as it warms the herbal notes really take over a bit too much for my liking.
The mouthfeel is a smooth, buttery medium body, though does start to pleasantly finish a bit more dry towards the end.
This is a very pleasant beer, and though I was expecting to detect a little more difference for an English IPA, it was still an enjoyable beer though the herbal notes really do make this a bit of a slow drinker.

 893 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a hazy golden straw color with a dense white head on it.

S: The nose is quite inviting (at first). Initially there is plenty of fruitiness to it--pineapple and grapefruit, especially. Then some lightly floral and spicy hops come into the picture along with a very distinct grassiness.

T: Initially I really liked the flavor of this as it matched the nose nearly perfectly. As the beer warmed up a little bit, the hop flavor became grassy and very spicy. A good bitterness to it without much in the way of malt (typical Stone beer).

M: The body is perhaps on the light end of medium with a moderate and tingling carbonation.

D: I usually like Stone's anniversary beers, but this one just didn't quite do it for me. I guess if I'm going to have any more of these, I'll have to drink them quickly.

 813 characters

Photo of ypsifly
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Apple juice copper under a thick white head that is a bit noisy. Good staying power as it slowly drops leaving thickly arched globs.

The nose is floral and citric with tropical fruit, grapes, and zesty lemon and orange aromas. Strong suggestion of flowers with some underlying pine. Great nose!

Some earthy malt upfront that oddly switches to under ripe grapefruit then into a grassy hop bitterness that sets the course straight and is followed by a mildly acidic dry hoppy finish.

The mouth is decent as it does leave a bit of oil on my tongue and could finish a little cleaner. Carbonation is where it should be but that only helps so much.

This beer starts out with so much promise yet falls so short of the mark. I'm a huge fan of Stone's approach to bold beers, but this beer could have done with a bit more finesse.

 852 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here's a refreshing twist: Stone making a Double IPA with English ingredients. Nuff said. On to the beer:

It's grapefruit juice colored, much paler looking than expected. No complaints about the head and retention, they're good. The most is mostly bitter. Bitter citrus, with no maltiness coming through. It's a white grapefruit I'm smelling, and one that's not overly aromic.

I don't know what to make of this. White grapefruit isn't a bad flavor to have, and it's even a little fruity. I'm tasting salt now, and this flavor especially shows up in the aftertaste. It's interesting overall...I guess I was expecting something different from what I got. It does a well conditioned mouthfeel, one that isn't too hevay, light on it's feet for the ABV. Solid drinkability.

I must give Stone some credit for doing something different, even if it's something I only kind of like. In that respect, it's worth a try.

 913 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a perfect pint glass.

A - Hazy pale straw color, nice two finger head. Minimal head retention, but lacing is good, leaving rings around the glass.

S - Very interesting. At various times I get spiciness and bitterness of the hops, and an almost cotton candy-like sweetness. Probably one of the more unique smelling beers I've had to date.

T - Pretty damned bitter. It's bitter in the front, bitter in the middle, and bitter in the long, dry finish. Bready and maybe a little funk in there, but only hints. Maybe just a bit of alcohol.

M - Similar to many Stone beers, medium body, good carbonation. Not oily, pretty light.

D - Okay, so I wasn't sure at first. But after the first third, I found myself reaching for this one over and over. The ~9% abv hurts it a little, but not much.

O - After having their Saison Du BUFF, this isn't a complete shock to me. I honestly don't get the ugliness directed at this beer in the forums. I think a lot of people don't really understand the style, especially using hops that many Americans aren't familiar with (not that I really am either). At any rate I enjoyed it, and will be buying a few more.

 1,164 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a straw yellow gold with a white head

Smell of grass, citrus, hay and malt

I wasnt a big fan of this, I like many English beers, just not so much on the English IPA side. Felt similarly with 400 lb monkey although a completely different style. Not for me.

Medium mouthfeel and good carbonation, just mild tasting albeit strong IPA for "English IPA" and slightly boring with some grass.

 395 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

 1,597 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear light gold with some white head.
S: It smelled like earthy citrus and unripe grapefruit, with some herbal and pine hops and a bit of honey.
T: It tasted like strong earthy citrus with pine and herbal hops, and a little honey malt. It had a strong and harsh bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation.
D: This was an interesting blend of English and American IPAs, but the result was not really a great flavor to me. The alcohol was well hidden, but the harsh bitterness made it not as easy to drink. Maybe some sweeter malts to help balance out all the bitterness of the hops would have helped?

 644 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 696 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A pale straw color with big sticky white head. The nose is hoppy, but earthy, skunky, and weedy. Not sure I'm a huge fan. Do I smell piss? Taste, though, recovers a bit, with some spicy hops laid over a sweet biscuity malt. It's nicely balanced for what it is, though "balanced" in a more American way. Smooth and full-bodied, the feel was spot-on. A good drink, the spiciness of some of the hops in the brew did slow me down and kind of put me off a bit.

 455 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Down to my last 2 of a case of this one a realized i've reviewed yet so even though it's a little old here it goes.

Cloudy light gold appearance tha is actually somewhat blah for a stone brew. Big bubbled head that trails a few clumps of lace behind but nothing really special.

Faint citrus smells but maybe more like mango than strong grapefruit. Some honey sweetness appears also. Some musty earthyness also.

Taste is cloying sweetness upfront tha shows the bite of the alcohol. No fruitiness in the taste, i get more of earthy, slightly piney bitterness.

Full body on this one gives it some real meat. This is a big heavy beer.

Overall not the best of the Stone Anniversary beers but still better than most that you can get your hands on. Even the worst Stone is a treat that i will never turn down.

 808 characters

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA from Stone Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 773 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.