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:
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Reviews: 576 | Ratings: 773
Photo of klewis
3.22/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy yellow with a small frothy head. Moderate lacing.

S: Pineapple, grassy hops, slightly soapy.

T: Pungent hop taste with citrus up front followed by a heavy, spicy dose of pine.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Sticky.

D: Interesting and well-made, but I'm not in love with this one. Worth a try.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 picked up at the COOP..

Big SN goblet.. 2 finger head... pale golden.. okay retention..

Spicy and sorta floral weed hops.... reminds me of arugula... peppery with a nice smack of pale malts... skunky green weeds.. very fresh.

Bitterness is weird like dandelion greens.. Nice pale malt with hints of background biscuits... the bitterness plays for the whole sip... minerally.. floral hops finish it out with a lingering pale maltiness... bitterness just lingers forever.

Sticky yet medium bodied.. resinous without any of the customary citrus... interesting, I guess.. odd, for sure.. like it was dosed with too much brewer salts.. alot of things blossom and go no where.

Meh... This is my 4th bottle... I will probably buy it again, but really, only because I am having a hard time wrapping my palate around it and want to get it straight.

I get the "English" qualities, but wow are they a mess... This review, I am being probably a bit gentle...


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Photo of DovaliHops
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this beer has an immediately sharp aroma to it. It pours a very cloudy golden/orange color with a nice, medium-sized fluffy white head. I get some very bready scents along with a strong scense of fruit snacks! Weird huh? I get fruit snacks and some minor grassy and floral notes. A strong citrus backbone with the fruit snack smell. I really enjoy this smell. Immediately after tasting, I get hit with some malt sweetness, followed buy tons of citrus hops with an English twist on it. The aftertaste definitely reminds me of an English IPA...definitely not what I'm used to with my typical west coast style IPAs. A bit of alcohol in the finish as well. This actually makes me very happy Stone chose to do this, because I think they mashed the two styles quite nicely. The mouthfeel is very pleasant...not too chewy, and definitely not too light. Drinkability is fairly high on this one. I could see myself having a few pints of this at a bar.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pour with a big white head that dissipates quickly leaves a beautiful yellow goldeny look to it. Looks a bit thin.

Restrained yet unique smell, citrus, earth/grassy with some bread and alcohol heat mixed in, very pleasant.

Big hoppy taste in this beer. You'd expect it from Stone, but it this ones different. Candied malts leads to biting bitter grapefruit citrus then dry aftertaste which leaves your tongue and throat coated with hop resin.

It eventually beats up your tongue until you like the pain. Excellent beer, great West Coast Stone kick to an English tradition. Itd be hard to drink a lot of these though.

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Photo of beer2day
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale straw gold with 2-fingers worth of very thick light cream head. Nice retention and excellent thick lace. Wish the color was a bit stronger though.

Nose reminds me more of a Belgian than an English IPA. Faint whiff of malt and clove are all I get. Slightly flowery.

Quite a bite to it, though, despite the weak nose. A faint taste of dried fruit is quickly overpowered by intense flowery hop bitters. No looking back after that first hit. Slight biscuit taste at the back end. Intense hop burn. Hides the alcohol fairly well.

Feel is a little maltier than I would want, but this may be what they are going for.

Very nice IPA. I've got one laid away to compare in 6 months or so.

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3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: pretty light in color for a big IPA. Its a bright yellow. Sticking pretty good to the sides of the glass, with a white head.

S: straight up lemon grass. dang...big grassy nose. Pungent...little burn aswell.

T: grassy burn with strong citrus tones of lemon and orange peel.

M: pretty standard for this style. medium oily/sticky.

D: um...not that great on the drinkability...very harsh on the pallet. Not smooth at all. Its almost scrapping the back of my throat. I have definitely had smoother IIPA's.

Overall: Generally, I am a fan of stone. But I feel like this beer is a little bit under what I usually expect from them. Not a bad beer by any means. Just not there best offering.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

A: Hazy, golden body under a big white head. Good retention and lace.

S: Nice, clean citrus hops, slight hints of pepper, malt backbone is there is small quantities, overall pretty balanced.

T: Hops much more peppery in the taste, big bitterness, some clean citrus notes come out in the back end. Not really finding the malt, taste is much more hop focused than the aroma. Hops are really f'n big in this one.

M/D: I would say a medium to maybe heavy body, certainly lighter than I originally expected, alcohol is hidden, carbonation is low. Drinkability is pretty good. Taste department is no where near balanced, but the hop profile works well to make you forget about balance. Very solid beer.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lacking the seafaring vessel in which Stone recommends to age this, I decided to enjoy my stash fresh. This is my second one in as many days. According to the label text, this was brewed using all English ingredients, except for the "Burtonised" Colorado River water, of course.

Pours the color of a pear/pineapple juice mix, and it's as hazy as such a thing would be if unfiltered. The head is gleaming whiteness, with excellent stamina, leaving thick, clingy lace as it slowly thins and with each tilt of the glass.

Aroma is an airy, breezy, razor-sharp, ultra-clean hit of hops. The "white malt" this was brewed with surely aids in delivering such a bright smell, the kind of dryer-sheet intensity I also find in beers like 3Floyd's Gumballhead and Surly's SurlyFest.

This is obviously not brewed with a Belgian yeast strain, but Emperial IPA isn't that far from a Belgian IPA. It brings to mind the Cali/Belgique IPA Stone created not long ago. There's a pungent fruit essence that carries this beer--twisted pear, mutant white raisin and radiated pineapple. Intense herbal tea; salt; sugar cookie dough; shortbread. The hops are super-grassy and bright, while a sweetness lingers but never overtakes. Slight bit of soil/earth gives a dirty sort of edge here, but it's mostly the vivid hops and weirdo yellow/white fruits that hog the spotlight. Astringent/grassy hops mostly feature in the finish, and they linger a long, long time. Complex as fuck.

Slick, silky and creamy, yet somehow drying, with just the right amount of carbonation...a wonderful and complex texture for delivering the wild tropical/herbal intensities going on in the mouth.

Mega-refreshing. Leave it to Stone to say "we're brewing an English IPA using all English ingredients," and then have the final product taste nothing like anything ever brewed in England. This is more San Diego than Surrey, more Belgium than Birmingham, and brighter than any given day in the foggy English countryside. And ultimately, another unique creation from Stone, and I do mean "unique," as I've never tasted another beer quite like this. Well done.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

What a great beer. Big yellow haze, vibrant. Aroma was grassy hops.

Taste was mind blowing, this is the kind of English Ale I can get into. Super hoppy, but definitely they are amped up Euro hops. Nice to see this non traditional ingredients into the typical Stone uber hopping. Very light body, was great on a hot 4th of July weekend. The English hops are pungent, something I've never experienced. Unique. Mouthfeel rocks, more and more hops in a different vein than used to. Alcohol hidden, beer gets chewy but never heavy. I wouldn't age this beer. Great price.

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Photo of Spica66
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz poured into pint.

A: Light golden color. One-finger head. Medium carbonation.

S: Very strange smell. Earthy, grassy. Different than any beer I have ever smelled before.

T: Grassy continues. Long, lingering, bitter, earthy aftertaste. Unlike any beer I have ever had.

M: Smooth and properly carbonated.

D: Not for me. I ended up gulping my half down.

This beer seems like it didn't know what it was up to in life. I will not buy another one.

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Photo of coastiefish
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"a West Coast versions of an Imperial English IPA"
22 > pint glass

Foamy 1 finger head, pretty cloudy, peachy golden hue.

Wow. that smell pulls itself through my nose, I can feel it in my eyes. Fruity- very very very berry with a hint of peach.

Grassy, grapefruit peel, salty
Soapy, piney in the end through the long bitter finish.

smooth and slick.

drinkable? Its up to you. If you can handle bitter lingering for minutes upon minutes until the next sip washes it away briefly, bringing on a rush of salty grassy grapefruit pine, then YES. try this.

Im licking my lips enjoying the feel and taste as I say this was a fun one to review. There were a lot of new combinations I picked up from this brew. I dont think I would intentionally buy this again just for myself (though the 8.9% ABV can be desirable if I want a bold beer to back it up..this beer hides it well!) I would recommend this to certain beer geeks/lovers. <3

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Photo of abrand
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled in June 2010.

The 14th Anniversary IPA pours a cloudy orange color. Fluffy 2 finger off-white head and lots of lacing on the glass. No visible sediment but a lot of haze in the pour. Aroma is full of hops and citrus fruits. Some floral notes as well as bread dough. Taste is predominately hops. The 100 IBUs are very noticeable. I wonder how this would mellow out in the cellar and let some of the other flavors pop out. Some sweetness is noticeable up from the grapefruit and nectarines. Mouthfeel is dry and medium bodied. This is a pretty drinkable beer. The taste is spot on, but the dry finish may hurt the flavor profile somewhat.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I finally get around to drinking one of the most polarizing beers of our times, the Stone 14th Anniversary. I picked this up for $6.49 at the Village Pump today.

In my Duvel tulip, this beer is a brilliant golden orange with great clarity, a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and beautiful lacing. A gentle but steady stream of carbonation rises from the laser-etched D. With chunky lace, this really does look good. What's more impressive is that this beer was able to travel as far as it did (and made a short stop at the gym on campus) and was able to retain clarity despite being bottle-conditioned. Well done, Stone!

What a wonderfully hoppy nose! I recently had the Mikkeller Single Hop: EKG and that made me wonder if that hop is a wash when it comes to IPAs (I love it in a good bitter or ESB). Spicy, minty and rather pungent, this smells great. I can see where complaints of it being soapy come from, it does smell really green and herbal like some soap is. I can't really discern much malt character on the nose, and there's just a touch of fruitiness, probably from the yeast? As it warms up, a slight mineral character comes in, probably the water profile?

The palate opens intensely hoppy with plenty of earthy, herbal, minty, twig like hop bitterness, just absurdly strong. Bitterness is quite high, but the hop bouquet is excellent. Very herbal, I could almost see some dried rosemary in there, but for the most part, it's minty. Malt character is light, with a little toast, a little biscuit like. Drying on the finish with plenty of hop bitterness, there's a coating of resin on my palate. Moderate mineral character is present, and coupled with the rather huge hop character, it does maje this beer quite singularly unique. While light, this does have a very nice body, never feeling watery or too light. Alcohol also does appear on the finish. Carbonation is medium-light and quite appropriate. Very, very enjoyable stuff.

Stone had lost me with a lot of their experimental beers. The 12th and 13th Anniversary beers were decent, but not quite at the level that I felt compelled to drink them often (IIRC, I drank the 13th once, maybe twice). A lot of their collaborations were disappointing, but with this beer, they've won me back. I will pick up another bottle or two to drink soon, I can't see the point in aging this, on a ship or otherwise.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. June 2010.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden yellow with fluffy white head that leaves lots of lacing.

Nose: Muted citrus, like "fruit leather" almost, tangerine and nectarine, some earthy/tree mulch notes, tanned leather, sage maybe?

Palate: Bitterness attacks right away, but on the sides of the tongue not the whole thing. Some slick pale sugar malt manages to poke through before the flavors of herbs take over and a eucalyptus-like cooling sensation kicks in. The hop bitterness hangs on for dear life and won't let up, squeezing every drop of alpha acid all over the place making me salivate for another sip.

Notes: Definitely a unique brew! Reminds me a little of the BrewDog Punk, but bigger and with more body, but not biscuit-y at all. English ingredients, Stone essence. Love it.

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3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into Imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a thick two finger, white head that has good retention. foamy lacing is left on glass. Body is a orange haze, with light carbonation present.

S: A orange, clove aroma is present. A bit on the weak side for an IPA, but the subtle hop profiles express hints of grapefruit and citrus. A peach type of aroma is present as well.

T/M: A nice malt and hop balance on the front of this brew really yells English IPA. Although there is something that tastes funny. A kind of funny that I am not sure if I like, but the type of funny that has me interested in what is going on in this brew. A overload of orange, in the form of a hop bomb or a candy type is playing into this aggressive full body. A smooth peppery finish is played into this huge hop overload. With this hop bomb, the finish is pleasantly dry. A bold English creamy mouthfeel, also plays into the this high sensory beer.

D: For a brew that is limited, in quantity and availability, I would say that the drinkablity is quite low. Not an easy sipper, but the overly hoppy taste is a nice beer to return to sip after sip. I will enjoy the rest of my 14th anniversary, but not seek out more, unless we see how it ages.

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

Duvel tulip. Hazy creamsickle orange in color with a thick white head. Surprised by the appearance...lighter than I expected.
Aroma of pencil shavings and lots of citrus. Citric bitter up front. Navel orange rind, tangerine and pink grapefruit juice. Tart and tangy for sure. Fungal bitter in the middle with a pronounced minerality. Tons of citrus. Finishes bitter (a tad harsh and woody.) I would rate the mouthfeel and drinkability higher but the harsh bitterness stopped me. Overall, good IPA.

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Photo of aasher
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd been waiting to open this since it was released. It poured a lot like a Saison or Farmhouse ale, with less foaming. It pours a very murky golden, straw yellow with a slight cream colored head. The smell is an intricate mix of floral aromas, hoppiness, and even marijuana. It drinks very well. It's a dry hoppiness in the after taste and it is intensely hoppy. It's definitely a "lighter" take on the IPA, both in color and body. I'd even say it's more impressive than the Ruination. It drinks very crisp and fresh. Moderate carbonation leaves this one feeling perfect. This is an excellent beer. And as the bottle says, either drink fresh or drink just after a year.

Here is my review a full five months later:

I had this beer fresh and loved it so I wanted to try it again, some six months later. It still looks great. It's a fluorescent orange in color, very cloudy, and had a soapy half finger head to it with a good amount of sediment floating around. It kind of looks like FFF Apocalypse Cow, which I'm also a big fan of. The aromas are still floral but the sweetness has definitely inserted itself. It smells sticky sweet. The flavor is full of pine and citrus and seems dry hopped. After more and more I get some orange out of it along with the floral hops. It's leaving me with cotton mouth. Perhaps this was Stone's plan...force you to come back for more. Regardless, it works. It isn't as carbonated as it once was but still drinks moderately crisp and pretty smoothly. I still like this but it was much better fresh. I recommend this one. Drink it as soon as you can.

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Photo of ebin6
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a murky golden color with a thick, porous head

S - Very hoppy nose yet, paradoxically, smells more like a pale ale than expected. Rating this after having already had it a bit fresher; feel I may be shorting it a bit. I remember it smelling a LOT more hoppy a few months ago with it smelling more like a bag of weed

T - Earthy & herbal. Hop profile reminds me of Saison du Buff in this way. Gritty, in your face, and a good way!

M - Great for the style, in my opinion. A swirl really opens it up in your mouth, hitting the roof nicely

D - Pungent aspects detract from drinkability somewhat. Others have more alcohol, more variety, yet maintain more balance than this

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Photo of ccrida
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is pale gold with a big, fluffy white head that leaves chunks of foamy lace. I like the parchment background of the "label". Pale IPAs, love them.

Smell is big hops, lots of spicy herbal hops, some mint, a bit of cat pee. EKGs are the most prominent. The stemmy earthy component of the hops almost picks up a cocoa note.

Taste is also big earthy hops, very spicy, robust, a hint of peanut butter as well. The burtonized water accentuated the substantial bitterness, to which the base pale malts stand no chance. Which is fine, it's a good hop blast, as to be expected from Stone. The salts accentuate the alcohol, even though it's pretty clean.

Mouthfeel is medium light, a bit slick, decent carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good, a huge IPA, perhaps English ingredients, but clearly American DIPA style. Very good, a nice change of pace from typical west coast DIPAs.

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Photo of blakesell
2.81/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into an over sized English pint glass.

Noteworthy, the beer did gush upon opening.

Appearance- Beer pours clear and amber golden with a huge head of foam. Head is quite impressive, rises and coats the sides of the glass leaving ample lacing on the sides.

Smell- Something smells not English about this IPA, there's a Belgian smell here that seems a bit off. Strong English style noble hops which I'm sure is exactly what they were going for. Earthy and grassy. Malt is bready and may provide enough backbone for the aging that many are sure to do, me included.

Taste- This strange Belgian thing is going on still, it isn't entirely welcome in an English IPA. The noble hops are here, the stone yeast (if they even use a standard yeast strain) is there. The beer attempts to be solid but there is just something very off that I just can't pinpoint, and perhaps it's over hopping, perhaps the bottle is infected as it was a gusher.

Mouthfeel- Resiny, hoppy, overly bittering, not entirely warming which is a plus considering the gravity, highly carbonated, medium bodied.

Drinkability- Unfortunately I will have to drink my 2nd bottle at some time, I hope by then it is more drinkable. I can't recommend this fresh at all.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of beerbully
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from bomber

A-Hazy yellow with bright white head about 1/2 inch that slowly melts away leaving some thick lacing on glass

S-nothing too pungent coming through some very faint citrus and some bready aromas

T-hops, bitter, grapefruit. quite a bit of aftertaste

M-creamy and silky coats the inside of the mouth rather well

D-probably done after a bomber

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Photo of Parrotbeak
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden color, with an eighth-inch white head that fades slowly. Decent lacing.
Smell is bready malts and strong, fruity, grassy hops. Strong notes of pineapple, as well as some pickled mango and melon.
Taste is heavy, breaded malts, as well as more fruity, grassy hops. Heavy citrus notes, as well as some pineapple, mango, lemon peel, and melon. Stong, bitter rush near the finish. Finish is malty and hoppy, with the bitterness carrying through and lingering.
Mouthfeel is smooth up front, with the hops coming in to give it some bite halfway through. Finish is crisp. Medium body.
Drinkability is good. Very good, quite bitter IPA.

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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.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a large mug

Pours bright yellow, too cloudy to see through. Hefty, slowly fading white head. Smells bright, flowery, sweet, hoppy -- heavy duty citrus.

Taste is powerfully bitter. Concentrated grapefruit peel combined with pine needles, very long lasting bitter aftertaste, sweetness in the smell is barely detectable in the taste. Mostly, the other flavors are drowned out by the bitterness. Maybe it'll open up as it warms up.

Mouthfeel is nice and light, drinkability hampered by the puckering bitterness, but I suspect this is one of those beers that gets easier to drink the farther you get into it.

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