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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA | Stone Brewing

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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPAStone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA
Very Good
776 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 776 |  Reviews: 576
Photo of phishgator
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Medium head with good carbonation. Dark golden hue with no visible light (hazed). The nose is of strong citrusy hops and pepper. The taste upfront is almost too bitter, but that subsides once your taste buds are numbed. The flavor is big bittering hops followed by a grassy crisp finish. Not a session beer, but one that is good to have from time to time this year.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a good but quick dying head on top of an orange-tinted gold body. Smell is extremely hoppy with citric and grape notes yet a strong sugary malt smell like maple for some reason. A really hoppy and bread/biscuit taste but is really balanced with a citric, juicy taste and finishes dry and crisp. Lemony and sour apple like taste flavors yet not sour or tart; sweetness is minimal but there and there's a tad bit of huskiness in the finish from some roasted malts. A good beer, although I found hops and dryness a little overpowering. Still a good beer.

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Photo of charlzm
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Consumed July 26th, 2010 in a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

This "Emperial" pale ale is a mostly-clear deep yellow, sort of like morning urine. Right, anyway... there is a verrrry smooooth creamy head atop this beer, almost a cask/nitro texture due to the uniformly fine off-white bubbles that rise throughout the session with this beer.

Aroma: hoppy in the English style. Medicinal herbs, white pepper, vague dash of floral character. Not as strong as I had expected.

Flavor starts off with toffee and toasty malt which segues swiftly to a medicinal, earthy hop assault. The bitterness is there in the form of a lemon rind flavor, though it doesn't come out fully until after the somewhat tea-like finish (literally a few seconds after the swallow). There is almost an English barleywine character to the flavor, due perhaps to the copious English hops used in the brewing? While I didn't especially care for it, I'm sure it's exactly what Stone intended.

Texture is creamy with the slightest carbonation bite.

I found this one overbearing; if it had been hopped a bit less, it would have been more enjoyable but probably considered less "Stone".

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy, golden orange color with minimal head and a moderate amount of carbonation.

S - Moderate grapefruit and pine aroma make up the majority of the nose with biscuity malt in the background.

T - Some phenolic biscuit malt sets a foundation for a blend of sweet and bitter hop onslaught to the tongue. Mild orange citrus and a hefty dose of grapefruit and pine needles. Intertwined among the bitter fruit is some sweet pineapple. About half way through the glass the pineapple becomes more noticeable. Finishes dry and practically sucks the spit off your tongue.

M - There's some warming on the way down and the mouth is left with a cotton-like feel counterbalanced with a citrus and pine. Medium bodied, mild carbonation on the tongue.

D - Very good.

My first reaction to this beer was, "Meh". However, realizing this is an English style IPA on steroids, it's a total hop bomb for the style.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.28/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter on 7/24/10

Brightly colored tangerine with swaths of gold highlights. Quite cloudy & dense, held to the light it has an almost neon glow. Poured one finger of white foam that held for a few minutes then dropped to an island of bubbles amid a skim of foam. Ok lacing thus far. Minimal retention throughout with sporadic blobs & splotches of lacing.

The aroma is rather unconventional, if not downright odd. It's a mixed bag of good & bad qualities, in my opinion. The Good: bright citrusy notes of lemon zest, orange peel & a hint of grapefruit; juicy & floral overtones & a suitable toasty malt backdrop that doesn't seem overpowering. The Bad: said citrus notes are way past ripe; very, very soapy; a touch of solvent & though seemingly not boozy, my nose is left with a harsh chemical-like agitation after lofty sniffs.

I wish I had purchased a hazmat suit along with this beer. I was hoping the chemical burn of the aroma was quarantined in the aroma. No such luck. From the very first sip this tastes of brutal solvency. Not as bad as, say, GUBNA, but this isn't at all pleasant. Some of the citric aspects carry over from the nose, but are muddled by the solvency & bordering on rotten. The citrus zestiness doesn't last long either, as the finish is engulfed in aspirin-like bitterness. Malts are far in the background. Seems like some toasted bread notes, but the potency of the hops dominates. Starts to taste medicinal as it warms.

Emperial IPA is basically medium bodied, maybe even a few clicks toward full bodied. Carbonation starts out at the mid-point of the spectrum (though it gets low by the end). A little grittiness is to be had. Alcohol heat is pretty well-hidden; warming with a very slight slickness. Finishes with the astringent aspirin bitterness mentioned above.

I would be inclined to go outside & fling this into the air but I'm afraid it would fuel the chemtrail conspiracy theorists & kill the grass, vegetation & any neighborhood animals that came across it. I will say it's less painful whilst cold, as well as the second pour (which is probably just a desensitization from the first pour). I will likely check this one out as time goes by, however; it's strangely alluring despite its flaws.

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Photo of cavedave
3.55/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really, really liked this beer.
In a tulip glass the beer was a gold color with a copious white head that was very sticky.
Peppery aroma, floral, sweet malt.
The taste was peppery up front, followed by some very sweet malt, with a late hops finish.
Incredibly smooth and balanced, great to drink.
Hope it likes my cellar.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a standard pint. Pours a hazy golden yellow with a one finger white head. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of fruit, hops, and malt. The flavor was of massive hops, grapefruit upon sitting on the palate and swallowing. It was medium on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a very interesting brew. Usually I will get the hops on the followthrough but they came upfront in this one and were balanced/counteracted nicely with the refreshing fruit followthrough. Very nice touch for a very good beer.

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Photo of Brent
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

To describe a Stone beer as "heavy handed" could easily mean the drinker is not a hophead and unaccustomed to Stone's embrace of the power of the hops. I happily list myself among the ranks of hop devotees, but, even for me, the heavy-handed description of this beer applies. Big malt body to carry the hops and abv. Assertive hopping that seemed brash and unrefined, with rough edges that rasp the tongue. Finish is a bit hot as the hops join force with the ETOH for a discordant finish.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle drank from my stone ruination pint glass. picked this one up and drank it as soon as it landed in chicago.

A- this one pours out a lighter than expected golden yellow colored body with a pretty large and thick bright white head on top. the head has excellent retention and leaves large spots of lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- my initial thought is that this is very hoppy, and just what id expect from stone. lots of earthy and spicy hops. some pine and grapefruit as well. a faint odor of pale and caramel malts. a little bit of bread.

T- the caramel and bready malts i could smell are barely evident in the taste. the earthy and spicy hops come through strong. theres more grapefruit and pine than i could smell. a little bit of pineapple too. some alcohol is detectable.

M- medium bodied and highly carbonated. slight warming from the booze.

D- definitely not my favorite stone beer. something i probably wont be having again. i think they should stick to the american styled IPAs that theyre so great at.

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Photo of JustinA1
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Gorgeous wheat gold color, Ivory white lacing. I'd look more but the aroma is everywhere.

S - This beer is all about the smell. Once the bottle is opened: Candy. It's everywhere. Floral, Light, Sugary, like a sweet scented candle or incense. It's nothing like any Stone beer you've had before, yet it still retains that bright hoppy characteristic of a solid IPA.

T - Good, dominated by spicy/peppery hops for sure, but with hints of sweet caramel deep within. The taste parallels the aroma, a feature so often missing in a good IPA.

M - Couldn't ask for more, light yet smooth body. Perfect condition, slightly more bubbly than one expects for an IPA but it works.

D - More, please. I hope, I beg, Stone's exercise in the 'Emperial' is a sign of more to come and not just that: an exercise. This beer shows refinement, care, and class. Rock on.

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Photo of sunkistxsudafed
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a stemmed glass.

The color is a cloudy light orange with two fingers of foamy white head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is hoppy, big surprise, but there seems to be a fruity flavor that seems to be a little like lettuce. There are some citrus fruit flavor in the nose but no grapefruit like expected but more toward a tangerine.

The taste is full of surprises, there is some grapefruit for just a moment that goes into nice malt flavor and establishes the balance of this beer. Toward the end there is a real pop of bitter hop flavor that stays for a short moment then disappears.

This beer was a real surprise, still a west coast IPA but was a bit more balanced than hopped till you fall over. The feel is a little more balanced than most Stone IPA's but was still hoped quite well. This beer goes down with a nice crisp feel and is pretty smooth. It goes down well and is a really drinkable.

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Photo of Gosox8787
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: Split a bomber of this with a friend. My half was poured into a pint glass and served slightly chilled.

Appearance: Really light, straw yellow in color. Clear with absolutely no haze. I'm not used to an IPA with less little color. Two finger pillowy head head with good retention saves this from resembling an adjunct lager.

Aroma: Really heavy pine pitch. Not balanced pine, but really heavy, bitter pine pitch. So much herb and medicinal flavor. Not much in the way of malt to speak of.

Taste: The pine here is overwhelming and, frankly, unpleasant. I usually enjoy IPA's with some citrus rind and pine flavor, but this is more medicinal and woodsy. I would equate this to licking pine sap, and I don't find that pleasant.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice medium bodied mouthfeel and some good crispness, but I don't find it easy to sip on for some reason.

Drinkability: The ABV really is not that noticable, but the flavor is unrelenting. I had trouble finishing my half of the bottle and I know my friend had similar trouble.

Overall, this is was lackluster showing from Stone in my opinion. I almost always love their beers, but this was borderline undrinkable. Just consider me completely and utterly unimpressed by this. I hope they take a different direction for the next anniversary ale.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass with a decent head on top of a light orange color. Smells very herbal; almost no sweetness detected; very excited by the smell. The taste is very dry and spicy. Orange zest dominates the taste. Yum. This is a very nice take on an "emperial IPA" and is quite drinkable. I like it.

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Photo of zeff80
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a hazy, orange-gold color with a two-finger, white head of pillowy foa,. It left sudsy sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of grapefruit, orange and other citrus fruits. There were mild bubblegum notes, too.

T - It tasted of sweet citrusy hops - grapefruit and orange mostly. There was a sweet caramel maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a tasty beer but seems a little sloppy. I really couldn't get a feel for what it was.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 8.9% abv. Pours a slightly hazy golden color, maybe a slight peach tint. Great looking rocky white head. Excellent head retention and lace.

Nose is full of juicy malt, floral, herbal, and peppery hops. A nice amount of fruity notes.

Malt character is on the lighter side, but very nice and clean, which allows the hops to shine through. Herbal and peppery, with some lingering bitterness that coats the tongue. A few random fruity notes. A bit of a mineral-like flavor as well.

Medium body, good carbonation. Alcohol is there, but not as strong. I like this. I would really love a smaller version of this beer, but this will do. Happy anniversary Stone!

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Photo of pinkwheels
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up two bottles of the 14th anniversary from the brewery store in San Diego to take home with me. Color is a bright golden color; not a ton of head. Flavor is initially sweet and crisp with some nice hoppyness. It reminds a lot of Oskar Blues Gubna.

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Photo of cdeem
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Stone has always been producing amazing IPA's! This one however has been different from them all! The standard west coast hoppy flavor can be found in most of their IPA's, but this one was very different which makes it a new favorite! 10th anniversary IPA from them is still my favorite ,but the 14th is surprising in all categories! Buy one or two to try and buy 2 more to cellar and save for a special occasion!

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Photo of TommyW
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear gold with a white head that sticks in nice rings down glass.

S- Lots of hops but not the usual Stone hop profile, this is herbal, grassy and floral.

T- The hops dominate over the pale and clean grainy malt base. The hops follow the nose pretty well; herbal, grassy and floral. The alcohol lends a little bite, but is not too noticeable overall.

M- Medium body with a nice carbonation.

D- A really nice IPA, but I don't think it really fits the English IPA style too well; just a little to hop-forward. That said, it's still a very nice beer.

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

Poured into a Sam Adams Pint Glass.

A - Pours a dark yellow with some brown highlights and produces about 2 fingers of fluffy white head and really nice carbonation.

S - Lemons, spices, and floral and bitter hops.

T - Tastes like spice laden lemon candy, the spices are complex and hard to put my finger on what they are I get a little pepper though. The hops come through more throughout drinking, but there is a little taste that reminds me of dish soap, kinda weird.

M - Light bodied, crisp and refreshing, and lots of carbonation.

D - This is pretty good but the more I drink the spice and hops come out. This is definitely one of the most different IPA's I have had, it is worth a try.

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Photo of Naugros
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have been waiting to try this one and tonight's the night. I've found this in two places now: the Oak Tree Buy Rite in South Plainfield, NJ and the Boonton Liquor Oultet in Boonton, NJ.

I poured this into a nonix and was rewarded with an apricot-colored, hazy brew topped with some white foam that left some lace on the sides. The head subsided into a layer of floaters and bubbles that persisted through to the end of the glass.

As expected, the nose is mostly hops giving off some beautiful pine tones and a citrus smell that's somewhere between oranges and pink grapefruits. Some spice also joins the fray. Not sure if I'm getting cloves or black pepper.

Drink slowly, but be quick to taste. This one moves fast across the tongue and palate, changing as it goes. Two senses immediately on the tongue are biscuity malts and pine resin bitterness. Then it moves back and pepper assaults the palate, but quickly gives way to a white grapefruit bitterness that really lingers.

The aftertaste of white grapefruit is more of the pith than the flesh and is not my favorite sensation in this brew, but I know many hop heads who live for that. For me, I keep drinking in an effort to wash it out and re-experience the first seconds of the sip, but it returns of course and will not go away. I must mention that the alcohol is exceptionally well masked, so be careful!

This is another solid effort out of Escondido and it sort of reminds me of a mix between an IPA and an ESB. This baby is bitter and most of the balancing sweetness is supplanted by some earthy spice. Definitely a departure from Ruination and their core IPA in the hops profile. Still, the aftertaste requires drinking something different to disperse it once and for all.

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Photo of DwnTwnBwn
3.39/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Very pale, straw almost clear liquid. Nice large 2 finger fluffy head. Lots of lacing. Plenty of carbonation visible. Appealing to the eyes.

S- Light on the smell. Flowery herbal hops. Some spicy notes. A bit subdued.

T- Decent spicy bitterness. The malt seems to be hidden for something trying to be an Imperial IPA, which is expected in my book for an IIPA. But this is swinging at something different. ITs much closer to a bid ESB, but lacks the finer points of that beer. Good amounts of a pine hop flavor, its not bad at all just needs more.

M - Good mouth feel. Body is creamy, plenty of carbonation.

O - I might be missing the point of this beer. It says imperial right? it a very tasty ESB essentially. More of an IPA. Its very good. I like it. Its just not what the packages says it is.

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Photo of Axic10
3.14/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a light golden color with a finger of fluffy foam.

Smell: Floral hops at first followed by a blue cheese aroma.

Taste: Bitter hops and grapefruit. Very bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a bitey finish.

Drinkability: I usually enjoy Stone beers and their Anniversary beers. I might try this on draft, but I'm thinking I might pass on it in the bottle again.

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Photo of akorsak
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle from Al's of Hampden. Tried it on tap but didn't take notes.

A: The EIPA is a golden yellow color, bright with a residual cold temperature haze. A two and a half finger head left fingers of lace all around my glass.

S: Lots of hops, flowery herbs, running throughout the ale. Grasses drive the herbal element, the aromas are intense with a resiny thickness. No word from the biscuity malts.

T: Sharp and bitter. An English IPA? The Queen would be pissed. The ale has an all-American hop profile, big and strong just with different flavors. The grassy hops, with a floral bouquet, strike the right note above a biscuity, pale grain base. They bite without being too boozy, although the strength does sneak up on you.

M: Floral, herbal, nuanced. These hops are strong but different from most DIPAs (I consider this an EDIPA, take that traditionalists!).

D: Slow and steady wins this race. The hoppiness, intensely strong, is unusual. I like it in smaller quantities.

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Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 776 ratings
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