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:
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Ratings: 779 |  Reviews: 576
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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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 220z bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Clean light amber hue with a decent head that leaves some lacing in the glass.

S: Floral (jasmine-like) and grassy, some sweet & earthy citrus notes in there too.

T: Similar to the smell with a powerful hoppy bitterness that comes through real nicely. There's some matliness there but not much in comparison to the hop - not to say it's out of balance by any means, just that the hop dominates this brew (as should be expected with Stone). Big time peppery citrus at the end - very lemony and grassy. Some insanely delicious stuff here.

M: Very rich - medium/full bodied with light carbonation.

D: Man, as much as I dig this stuff, I can't imagine drinking more than one or two of these - the 8.9% will catch up with you quickly. Easy to drink though, just dangerous.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 7oz.snifter.

Appearance: Sits hazed and honey-colored in the glass, with a moderately thick layer of white froth on top. As the head descends, it drags a blanket of cobweb-like lace in its wake. Head retention isn't too impressive, nor is clarity, nor is the color or even carbonation. Other than the lacing, this really doesn't have much going for it.

Smell: Hop oils and flowery notes leap out of the glass! Sitting just beneath them are buttery malts, sea salt, lime, and a hint of grass. That's about all I can pull from this, but I'm diggin' the overall aroma. It highlights the English influence in a way that's both pungent and intriguing. That said, I've never had an English IPA like this before. (I suppose that's because I've never had an Emperial IPA.) As it warms, the hop aromas become more intense and alcohol enters the mix. Really enjoyable.

Taste: English IPA? Yes, I suppose. But this one is crafted in a manner that's decidedly Stone: loads of hops, followed by more loads of hops. There's no way one could argue that this doesn't deserve the "imperial" tag (or in this case, "Emperial"). Hops create the deep floral and grapefruit notes, trailed by long-lasting bitterness. Malts provide a buttery backbone, but other than that stay out of the way. Not as "English" as I was expecting, but certainly good.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, resinous, and lightly carbonated, which suits the style very well. Medium-bodied with a well-developed and long-lasting aftertaste. I dig.

Drinkability: This really grew on me throughout the session. I was a little unsure about it at first, but midway through the 22oz. bomber I was in the zone. Then again, I suppose I'm like that with every IPA from Stone. Damn good, let's leave it at that.

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Photo of merlin48
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber pours a hazy, light honey gold body with a large vanilla hued head that retains well and leaves attractive patchy lacing.

Lovely aroma boasts lemon and orange zest, honeyed biscuit, and an herbal mintiness.

Medium body has a zesty carbonation and prevailing dryness.

Taste has a lot of dry and bitter lemon zest hoppiness, with an edge of grapefruit. Honeyed biscuity malt sweetness balances well. There is a herbal mintiness throughout, the only English trait(if that can be called such) I can discern. Finishes clean and dry with a lasting lemonrind aftertaste.

Satisfying and highly drinkable. Another solid product from the folks at Stone. Happy Anniversary!

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy light golden, with orange dominating yellow.
Ample head, solid lacing.

Aroma is very pungent.
Immense amounts of grassy floral notes.
Dry, assertive, and lingering.
Citrus background with lemon zest, grapefruit, and ethanol.

Taste is familiar to the nose, with some primary differences.
The citrus stands out this time, with lots of lemon, and grapefruit leading the way.
Grapefruit dominated, leading to that familiar West Coast vibe.
Midway, seems to lean towards the dry hoppy side with lots of grass, hay, and robust earthiness.
Finishes with some bitterness, and zest, while remaining excellent drinkability.

Although, this wasn't near the top echelon of Stone Beers, it was indeed quite enjoyable, while remaining it's extreme drinkability. Quite nice.

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