14th Anniversary Emperial IPA | Stone Brewing

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14th Anniversary Emperial IPA14th Anniversary Emperial IPA
Very Good
779 Ratings
14th Anniversary Emperial IPA14th 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: 779 |  Reviews: 576
Photo of HosP
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured after a long day, helped get me through knowing it was waiting for me!

A - Poured nice golden color with slight haze to it. Nice white head that left some lacing on the glass.

S - Full of hops in the nose. Pretty sweet smelling with citrus and pine hops right up front! Seemed to get a hint of orange in the aroma as well.

T - Like the smell, lots of hops to this! Pretty bitter that stays with your mouth.

M - Medium body with small amount of carbonation. Goes down smooth with bitterness bite towards the end.

D - Good IIPA! Will have to hope they still have another bottle left at the store. Very nice solid IIPA!

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

The thick, dense head settles in rocky fashion, leaving lots of stringy, clumpy lace. The liquid is very cloudy with a relatively unusual yellow-ish color.

Classic Stone fresh, floral hop aroma. Beautiful and inviting.

A very brief moment of paler malts that instantly bursts into a bitter hop explosion. This lasts throughout the taste into the finish and long after the swallow. It's not quite enough to be an extreme beer, but it's awfully close. Full body with ample carbonation for a richer mouthfeel.

Hopheads will find this very drinkable. Others may find it too bitter.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As an English IPA brewed to Imperial IPA strength, Stone shows more refinement and elegance but still with the aggression that is unmistakably 'Stone'.

Spicy, earthy, and pungent hops set the tone of the nose while soft and light Pale Malts give structure to the hop scent while contributing light cracker and biscuit breadiness. Low on its ester profile for an English Ale, the beer boasts a clean scent while giving up a little on complexity.

The pale malts are truely evident in the lighter colored ale- deep golden to very light amber the beer remains on the lighter side of the style, color-wise. A significant haze hints toward the aggressive use of dry hops. Light but creamy carbonation leads to a froathy and stubborn head that laces and retains very well. The beer isn't over carbonated which may lead to a more pleasant mouthfeel. The beer is more timidly carbonated, obviously trying to imulate a cask ale appearance.

Unusual in English Ales, this one lead the flavors with aggressive hop flavor and bitterness. Very spicy, earthy, and pungent, the hops straddle flavors of pine and resin. Because of the lightly kilned malts, the sweetness and malt contributions remain subtle and only offer up a light bread biscuit vebal attempt to balance. Again, the fruity notes are low and are completely swamped by the hop taste and bitterness. As with American IPA's, the beer is a showcase for hop character with only supportive malt and yeast contributions. Balance is not on the agenda.

The mouthfeel is also heavy in favor of American IPA's. Medium weight and creaminess fades very quickly to a aggressively bitter bite and crisp fleeting sweetness. Hops and alcohols work in conjunction to ensure a clean but dry finish. Only a bitter linger remains, but sustains well into the next sip. The lower carbonation allows for a less bitey or stinging sensation and seems smoother which is a real plus- again working toward cask ale textures.

Stone 14th may use English ingredients (and they absolutely get the most out of them), but the brewing techniques and ingredient proportions and their introduction into the brewing process has the fingerprints of an American Double IPA all over it. This beer reminds me a lot of Hopback Summer Lightning, except with Double IPA proportions and strength.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a hazy golden color with a fingers width head that recedes fairly quickly leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S-Definitely Hoppy with only a faint malty sweet scent. I am also picking up something else something umm for lack of a better term earthy..

T-Nice and Bitter Hops up front mellowed only slightly by malts sweetness and a whole lot of spiciness, saison IPA mayhaps?

M-mouthfeel is good no stickiness just a nice residual Hop bitterness that as a "Hophead" i have come to know and love.

D-Nice Take on the English IPA style way to keep it fresh and creative,that being said my next beer will be an american IPA. back to where i feel safe and warm..lol.


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Photo of ncfranklin
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a big Free The Hops Snifter

A : Strong pour gives a finger high bubly off-white head. Strong orange color, very murky, can't see through it at all.

S : Fresh hops, a citrusy quality with spices, mild sweetness.

T : Rich bitter hops up front, with a powerful grassy flavor. Small sweet yeasty notes that dot the tongue. A dry, crisp finish.

M : Very pleasant tingling as the bitterness sets in. Medium body. A long aftertaste of hop.

D : I quite enjoyed it. As a English Emperial Ipa (er... imperial) it offers something unique.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
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 StephenRich
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Stone Brewing Co. releases an anniversary beer every single year - and it should be no surprise that their anniversary style of choice most of the time is something hoppy. Stone has by now become widely known for their self proclaimed and widely celebrated arrogant approach to brewing. The beer that began it all was an American IPA called the Arrogant Bastard. So Stone loves IPAs. They love hoppy bitter beers, and they love unique beer styles. Each IPA that they have produced as an Anniversary beer has been richly unique - this, th 14th, is a celebration of the origins of the IPA; England.

In February of 2010 Mitch Steeler (Head Brewer) and Steve Wagner (President and Brewmaster) went over to England to research India Pale Ales and how they are made in their home land. This inspired the guys to create fully English-influenced IPA called the Emperial IPA - one brewed only with English ingredients. The malts, hops and yeast are all sources straight from Great Brittan. They even treated their water to make it reflect the water of Burton on Trent (the famous English producing region of IPAs) appropriately. So we have a West Cost take here on a classic English IPA.

These Anniversary Beers are brewed only once and are available as long as they are on the shelves, and thats it! There have been exceptions though; Stone's 11th Anniversary beer was the Sublimely Self Righteous Black IPA, and because of its popularity it made its way into the permanent lineup. So there is some potential we may see this again. However the didstance that its ingredients must travel to get here would make me doubt it. This Emperial IPA comes in at 8.9% abv, and is reported to be over 100 IBUs bitter. Just for reference, the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA is 60 IBUs, so when you start to reach 100 the beer gets very, very bitter.

I opened the 14th cool around 10C (50F) and poured it into the Stone 14th Anniversary Glass that the guys at Stone were nice enough to send me (thanks guys!!). The pour was smooth and oily building huge rushes of bright white foam in an explosion of excitement right away. I eased my pour and created a remarkably pretty pale yellow and golden beer. The beer really did beam color in a golden state of sunshine. It was cloudy and deep in color showing copper oranges and a rich caramel amber gold. The head was lifted a good 2 or 3 inches above the beer and stood proudly with excellent retention. It was pure white with neatly packed bubbles and a soft foamy cap.

The nose is malty sweet with smooth fruity flavors that make me think of apricots, orange zest, peaches and apples. Right in behind the malt is a melange of spicy, herbal and earthy hops - a much difference rush of bitter than I am used to from Stone's beers. The English hop varieties bring more subtle aromas but Stone has managed to bring them right to the forefront of this beer. They rush into your nose with grassy bitterness that reaches light spice and pepper. Gently sweet aromas of pale malt match the sweetness of the hops perfectly - the 14th shows clean and smooth aromas that I expect will be reproduced very well in the beer's flavor.

Much to my delight, Stone has proven me right. The first gulp mimics the aroma well but its more hop focused with the malts playing the balancing act. Big rushes of clean bitterness and dry herbs stick to every inch of your palate. My tongue, cheeks, and the back of my throat have all just been engorged by a smoothly clean English hop sensation pounded at me by the arrogance of a west coast brewer.

Light white pepper and a hay field like grassy flavor flow in with hop aromas that add a great deal of complexity and earth to the beer. They stand firmly on a biscuit like malt backbone that is otherwise very simple and easy to understand. Only 1 single variety of English Malts were used in this brew, and it does a good job. Malt is not meant to be the front runner here - rather it plays the support role by holding up the hops enough to form a beer with easy drinkability and richly unique hop qualities.

Still though, I get hints of caramel and biscuit and a smooth and silky mouthfeel. The finish is bitter and dry with a spice and earth flavors again. Hints of hop sweetness and light fruit also make themselves known again. It ends perfectly with a smooth texture, medium carbonation and just the right snap. A very well done Imperial English Style IPA, one I don't think we will see again, and I feel privileged to have been able to enjoy.

Pics at: http://definitionale.com/2010/11/08/tasting-the-stone-14th-anniversary-emperial-ipa/

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just got this at Wally's in Westwood.

One finger white head. Hazy golden body with quick effervescent bubbles when inspected more closely. Head settles to a nice layer of foam on top that never goes away. Decent amount of lacing left behind.

The scent is spicy, earthy, and resin like with some orange rind/lemon citrus.

The flavor is a hop onslaught, but not the typical west coast hop onslaught you would expect from Stone. Floral, earthy, piney, spicy (pepper), dank, hints of grapefruit citrus, and tons of resin bitterness. REALLY BITTER!!! Don't mess with this stuff unless you like European hops and lots of them.

Full bodied, very well carbonated, and a massive hop bite on the end. Pretty dry finish. Totally ruins you palate. It coats your mouth in hop oils/resin. Almost like smoking a good cigar. Come to think of it, this might be a good cigar beer!

I don't know how much I could drink of this stuff mostly because of how much it ruins your palate, but it is very interesting and quite tasty. Making a high strength super hopped all english ingredient DIPA is a great idea, and it worked out quite well. I will definitely be buying more before it is gone.

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Photo of beersensei305
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This double IPA pours a hazy gold with lost of carbination. Pearl white head thats foamy and lacy with good retention. Has a grassy citrus (smells like lemon/grapefruit) scent. Sweet to the tip of the tongue followed by a hint of pepperiness- the beer actual has a slight burn to it if you let it mellow off your taste buds. Very bitter from the hops, dry and the taste lingers. I really like this, but this is a good Imperial IPA to sip to let all the flavors come out.

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Photo of Soonami
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a difficult beer to judge because of the drinker's expectations and the how this beer would be categorized based on the ingredients used and the description from the packaging. One wonders if this "Emperial IPA" is a British IPA as the ingredients would lead you to believe or if it's a double IPA as the 8.9% ABV and Stone's reputation would lead you to think.

This beer is a very pale in color with a billowy head, that is more reminiscent of a Saison than an IPA of any variety. The foam was finely knit, white, and persistent, providing very nice lacing. The aroma was intensely hoppy with tones of fresh cut pine boughs, savory herbs, and a floral perfume. The beer was very bitter with little body and not much malt character to speak of, not surprising considering the color of the beer. The beer finished dry with clean bitterness and was very pleasant even as it warmed up.

I would say that this beer is a bit one-noted, just hops and not much else. This is not a bad thing, but I feel that an English IPA should have much more biscuit and caramel flavors from the malt. Overall, the alcohol was well-hidden and the hop flavor was very good, but not as balanced as expected.

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Photo of Briken
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange amber with sunny edges and good retention but little lacing. Very earthy, cut weeds/grass aromas. Pure earthy hop taste up front, like I would imagine putting a hop flower in my mouth with a bit of the vine, too. Earthy and peppery with no malt flavor to speak of. However, once accustomed to the bitter, earthiness, an odd sweetness, not unlike wheatgrass comes through with a bit of alcohol and balances out the hops. Then, the peppery, earthy hops come back, more subdued but linger on a bit longer. Strong carbonation lends a semi-dry finish some help.

I for one am happy to have an IPA with some different hops for once. I can understand some people may not like the earthy flavors but I really like them. An absolute gem for those looking for a different IPA flavor but definitely not for everyone... like Gubna.

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nickadams2
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pale straw yellow with a sticky white head. Lacing coats the glass.

S_Earthy English hops,orange zest.

T_Grassy, earthy , English hops followed by citrus. Orange zest,honey,and a bit of lemon zest.

M_Thick and sticky.

D_ Pretty drinkable. Very differnt take on DIPAs.

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Photo of WickedBeer
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of cdizinno
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a fluffy white head and moderate lacing.

S: Hops, spices and mild smokiness. Not much on the nose, but it could be my allergies.

T&M: Definitely has the characteristic bitter hop taste of typical English IPA's. Very dry and full-bodied. Some citrus fruit and alcohol presence. Big, bitter, dry, earthy, spicy finish.

Very nice, different flavor that is completely hopped up. The bitter hops hang around forever, but don't rip your tongue apart. Nice.

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Photo of jmich24
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle

A: One finger head. Color resembles a unfiltered orangish colored wheat ale. Some sporadic lacing.
S: Holy Oranges. The citrus hops smell outstanding.
T: Starts a bit sweet and then the hops kick in. More hops than I expected from a English style IPA. Awesome citrus especially orange/tangerine.
M: Nice creaminess for an IPA. Crisp finish
D: Way too drinkable for a beer that tops out at almost 9% ABV.

This was outstanding for me. Im not sure if this well represents the "English IPA" because if is awfully hoppy and fruity, but outstanding any who!

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nose is fruity hoppy - candied orange and some lemon - with herbs & spices - fresh cut grass, lemongrass, and something akin to cinnamon. Smells good.

Pours clear medium gold with lots of head. Looks good.

Flavor follows nose with some heavy sweetness, lots of candied orange, deeper spices - clove, slight peppermint - and a moderate tea-like bitterness. Mild grassy/leafiness and raw hop oil. Tastes good. Feels good. Very good drinkability.

Nice IPA. Stone have outdone themselves.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: a mis-spelling on the Emperial on here.

Pours a light apricot, golden color. Clean and clear. Large white, fluffy head at about 2 fingers. Settles to a collar of white, quick swirl with bring back the head.

Sharp aroma of spice and floral, wet biscuit, white pepper.

Quick light malt up front, followed by faint herbal. The bite picks up at the end. Minerally with hints of floral and soft citrus. Dry dry dry. Very nice.

At 8.9% avbv, it's not an easy drinker, but darn tasty.

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Photo of livewire78
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a subdued lemony honey yellow. Nice head and pretty rings of wispy lace hang around my glass.

I'm smelling a little pale malts and a slight mustiness. There is a very nice lemon zest aroma that flows with the mustiness that smells a lot better than I'm making it seem.

Wow! Stone didn't try to overpower something for once. The flavors are all in balance with the lemon zest and pale malts complimenting each other rather than fighting for command. Flavors are flowing together really smoothly. I can't taste the freakin alcohol and I can't believe it.

I like the way this is going down. Carbonation is right in my wheelhouse. No peppery flavor and ZERO alcohol burn going on. A little full and I like it.

I drank this waaay to fast because it was so good. The only problem was the alcohol snuck up on me. For me one isn't enough and two is too many.

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Photo of Foxxypants
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stone has been, for me, one of those breweries that I have to be in the mood to have a beer from. I received my Emperial from my brother (liquor store manager) for my birthday. While I was very happy to get one because of what it is, I was iffy simply because I'm not a huge hophead. I've had a lot of IPA's that I do love, but I know how Stone likes take their brews to the extremes. But, I got in one of my Stone moods, so I cracked it open and poured the first half into a glass.

A: First thing I noticed was how brightly colored it was. It's the the most vibrant yellow/orange beer I've ever seen. Head was pretty standard for an IPA, quick to recede.

S: Strong hop smell as expected, but incredibly strong citrus aromas to accompany. It smelled liked its color: vibrant.

T: Huge rush of hops, bitter enough to kick your tongue back, but then fades into bright citrus flavors to match the color and smell. Very interesting to let sit on your tongue and analyze. Finished with bitterness comparable to most strong IPA's, and that unique Stone aftertaste (I'm sure some of you know what I mean)

M: Dries you right out, lots of carbonation. Not bad to start, but I personally don't like the finish.

D: I don't think I'd pick this up again, simply due to my personal tastes. Overall: harsh hitting, but one of the better IPA's I've had, and uniquely Stone. Perhaps I'm just not worthy for this one.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours golden honey in color with about two fingers of creamy head that lasts a bit and has very nice lacing.

S - Smells very sweet at first, full of citrus, hops, and a strange kind of pine aroma that I am not used to.

T - Nice balance of hops, pine, malt and bitterness that lingers for a while after it goes down.

M - Nicely carbonated, medium bodied, no alcohol burn, and a nice dry finish.

D - Awesome, glad this one made it into town and hope it's around for a little while to continue drinking it.

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Photo of philbertk
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Brewing Company--Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA--India Pale Ale--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 8.90% ABV. 100 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Dense lacy lasting rocky 1/2 inch head. Cloudy bright orange gold color. Fizzy! Sweet rich floral aromatic yet gentle hop front. Creamy rich resinous mild fruit citrus pine white malt dough hint body. Mellow smooth hop spice dangerously refreshing clean end. Sampled 3/20/2011. Purchased for $7.99 at The Ballard Market, Seattle on 6/1/2010.

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Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a bomber into a snifter. It pours a hazy peach with a moderate sticky white head. It has a grassy, sweet aroma. The flavor has a strong grass, hay like hop prescence. Slightly sweet with floral notes, it has a lingering bitter finish. It has a medium body and is nicely carbonated. A great enlish IPA.

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Photo of chumba526
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a light orange color with a sizeable head.

It smells like grapefruit, a bit of grassy and slightly of dry malt.

It tastes strongly of fresh citrusy, fruity and grassy hops. There is quite a complex hoppy flavor that is multilayered. There are just enough dry malts to balance the hops. The citrus flavor of the hops adds a slight sweetness to the beer which is balance by the ample bitterness of the beer.

The carbonation is moderate and provides a creamy texture to the ale. This is a sipping beer however I could easily drink a few of these no problem.

Overall a quite nice beer, I was expecting a slight more English taste but it is a very good beer that I would drink again.

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Photo of mjurney
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber.
Pour it in a generic tulip glass.

Bright golden color, very cloudy. Tons of fine bubbles. Head looks very nice, very nice lacing.

Tons of fresh hops, citrus-piney, hint of tropical fruit, mild sweet malts.

Juicy hops up front, citrus, slight piney-grassy, just a touch of earthly. Sweet malts, biscuity, maybe a little dash of honey. Slight tropical fruit in the middle, pineapple-mango. Finish off really crisp with slight dry peppery aftertaste. Body is light-medium. Carbonation feels nice.

It's really good.

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14th Anniversary Emperial IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 779 ratings