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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 576 | Ratings: 773
Photo of scottyb88
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 14th Anniversary glass. Quite sexy looking.

A- pours a cloudy medium yellow/gold color; huge two finger fluffy head with great lacing

S- a really nice sharp citrus aromas of lemon and grapefruit with some mild toasted flavors; has a nice earthy musty type smell as described on the bottle

T- bite of grapefruit and lemon up front but followed by a toasted malt earthy flavor at the end; its fairly bitter all around with not much malt sweetness, but really just adding a light caramel nuttiness

M-full mouthfeel with a nice bitter punch; the "Burton" salts can bruise your tongue a bit at first, but it starts to settle down as it warms; has a really dry and bitter finish with very little lingering sweetness

D-a decent IPA or DIPA...probably more of a strong IPA than DIPA style because of the lack of malt backbone; it's a tongue bruiser, yet still drinkable; this style of an IPA/DIPA I tend to only drink one bottle of and move on to something else

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Photo of hopheadjuice
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, says june 2010 on the bottle also says "CONSUME FRESH: or age in the hull of a seafaring vessel for a year or more"

Poured into my Sierra Nevada hop tulip, cloudy sunset yellow in color with a huge head and ridiculous retention and rigs of lacing (took like 5 minutes to go down!) with with visible carbonation.

Extremely floral on the nose, literally smells like grass and flowers in an olde English garden. Hops are huge, citrus and grassy with a hint of peppery lemon and mint. grainy biscuit like Malts are present but pushed back by the English hop onslaught.

Taste is wicked bitter and hop forward. Hop flavours vary from lemon citrus to earthy mint and extreme astringent. Malts are way in the back and hiding as much as possible. This beer is bitter and if you don't like bitter, get out of my house.

Medium to full mouthfeel with ample carbonation, a bone dry finish. Hop flavor lasts in your mouth for close to 10 minutes.

Being as bitter as this ale is it would be hard and greedy to drink to much of it. 8.9% and it comes back to bite. Overall i enjoyed this beer a lot, the aroma is really what took me by surprise though Amazing!

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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 taxguyjase
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Lighter than your average IPA with cloudiness that is remenscent of a hefeweizen. Frothy and sticky white head. Definitely gets points for uniqueness. 4.5/5.0

Smell - Sour citrus with a focus on grapefruit. 3.0/5.0

Taste - Sweet malt with a prominent hoppy bitterness at the end. Earthy, piney hops. Lighter bodied with a solid flavor. The use of the British hops (mostly Kent) isn't my cup of tea. 4.0/5.0

Feel - Good mouth coverage, aftertaste is primarily in the back of your mouth and very tart. 3.5/5.0

Drinkability - Not sure if I'd get this one again, given my preference for American style IPAs. Good flavor and not bad after a long day, though. 3.0/5.0

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

Poured from the bomber into a nondescript goblet.

A: Pours a very hazy golden straw color. Nice fluffy white head that slowly fades to a thin layer leaving spotty lacing behind.

S: Aromas are overpoweringly of hops, but it's almost a sweet hoppy smell. Odors of pineapple, tangerines are prevelant. I've never smelled an IPA like this one, and I'm really digging it.

T: I would have loved to have tried this fresh, but as it is it tastes past its prime. Hops are present, but badly faded.

M: Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Just about perfect.

D: Quite drinkable considering the ABV.

As I said, I feel this beer is past its prime, but I don't know how it was kept so I can't say if it might age well under better conditions.

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Photo of bosox941827
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomb bottle in Great Dane Pub & Brewing imperial pint glass; poured cold, tasted as it warmed
A - A surprisingly light color; on the yellow side of orange, pours a bit cloudy with bits of yeast floating about. Cloudiness dissipates as beer warms.
S - Earthy hops, with a bit of sweetness in the background.
T - First, it's simply amazing that this is 8.9% ABV; get just the *slightest* hint of it at the end. Now then, candy-like sweetness dominates up front, giving way to a pleasant, more earthy-peppery hop flavor than one usually gets from Stone. Actually almost feel a bit of soil-grittiness toward the end of the palate as well as the tongue is drying out. It really takes a while for the sweetness to wash out, but it does leave a lingering, hoppy dryness, as one would expect from the style (and Stone).
M - Very smooth; carbonation is almost non-existent.
D - Surprisingly high given the ABV; could kick your ass if you tried sessioning this, I suspect.
Another success from a brewery that seems to do no wrong...

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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


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Photo of Kbogac
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Minimal foam with some lacing. The glass maintained a light layer of foam. Color is cloudy orangish yellow.

S - Smells wonderful. Hoppy with slight citrus scent.

T - Hops! Hops, hops and more hops. First sip is a little shocking. Not too complex with a little malt. Slightly bitter finish.

M - A little heavier mouth feel but it's an Imperial. No surprises here.

D - One 24 oz. is it for me. I split this one but could have drank the whole thing. Not sure I need another. It was an experience and a good one but I think that's it.

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Photo of Jaynuze
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This must have been a monster when it was fresh. I've decided to open mine up after 8 months of storage at about 40 degrees. The hop nose and pungent snap of hops have mellowed a bit, but a tasty, surprisingly well balanced (esp. for a DIPA) taste resides with an absolutely beautiful appearance. A cloudy, orange hue with hints of golden yellow and a nice thin lacy head.

I'm very surprised as most of Stone's beers are right up in your face, the aging, though brief, really has brought out the subtleties of this beer, very pleasing and shockingly smooth and easy sipping for an 8.9% beer.

Would have loved to try this right off the shelf as I'm sure there would have been a hop explosion ... that being said, only after 8 months, this beer is still incredible. Well done Stone!

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Photo of Spiekerbox
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Hazy orange with a decent sized orange-ish head, Decent lacing with big bubbles as head dissipates.

S- Sweet hoppyness, citrusy with a mix of other hops as well.

T- Hops, and hops. Citrusy hops are definately the biggest player but a good mix of hop flavors thoughout the drink. Nice bitter finish with a warmth of alcohol involved.

M- Sticky, medium body and low-moderate carbonation. Alcohol definately noticable in the finish (as mentioned above) not sure if the warmth helps the finish or not.

O- Decent DIPA but nothing spectacular, could probably only have one of these in a night but this 22 will take a while to finish as it is.

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

22oz bomber poured into a dogfish head pint glass.

A- Hazy, cloudy, honey/burnt yellow, four fingers of white head that slowly dissipates to 1cm, lots of lacing, medium bubbling.

S- Floral, hoppy, lemon, pepper, grapefruit, some faint pine.

T/M- Pepper, lemon, hops, creamy, airy like whip cream, smooth, bitter.

D- I love IPAs and this is the first Empirial/English I have had. I am sold and I wish that Stone would make this regularly. If you can get your hands on it, do so in large enough supply to keep a couple around to age. I know I will.

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Photo of livewire78
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
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 xraided81
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- pours a nice yellow-orange color, thin off white head that leaves lots of lacing/legs.
Smell- smell is eathy herbal, a hint of brett is present, i am getting the sweaty horse blanket aromas that are present in belgians, i havent had too many english ipas i am not sure if this fits the profile
T- is not what you would expect from a stone beer, im getting a strong grapefruit bitterness, with a lingering sour note in the back of the palate.
M- effervesent light body, lighter than expected for an imperial beer.
D- i would be able to drink 2 pints of this max, i am a bit of a hop head and this beer only teases my palate, i get an aggresive bittering hop/ grapefruit taste but not much hop presence in the aroma

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Photo of nerdrocker101
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I actually do like the English IPA style, so I looked forward to trying an imperial version of it.

Pours what I can only describe as a burned golden color with a solid finger of foam that dissipates much like when someone has peed in the snow.

Wafting aromas of sweeter British malts and earthy hops.

The taste consists of some biscuit, lightly sweetened malts and piny hops that leave a lingering bitterness.

It certainly differentiates itself from standard American Double IPAs. It might not be my favorite, but maybe with a little age it'll round out some.

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Photo of dhartogs
2.33/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a nice orangish color, with a decent head. Nice smell, not too hoppy, well balanced citruis smell.

Now the taste. The first sip was OK, but then I let it linger and the after taste of strong grapfruit rind lingered and lingered to the point where it was un appealing. The more I drank the more bitter and dry my mouth got. I like hops but this was a bit too much, to the point where I could not finish this beer. Seems like it needed a litte more malt to balance this attack of grapefruit rind.

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

A - 3.5 Dark golden orange, hazy color. Minimal whitish head on the pour. There's yeast sediment present that slowly nestles to the bottom of the glass. Relatively sticky lacing.

S - 4 The aroma is nice. There is a definite citrus and hop presence, and it also smells a little strong (boozy). It's not overbearing by any means.

T - 4 The flavors really open up as this one warms. A hoppiness up front turns to a citrus/grapefruit bomb in the middle of the drink. There's a malty syrup-like taste to balance this fairly well, and I get a bit of yeast in there also.

M - 3.5 This is medium in body, maybe just above, but is somewhat syrupy and leaves a dry finish. Carbonation is sufficient.

D - 3.5 This is more of a sipper than a drinker for me. It is a nice, tasty brew, but not one that I could pound. One of the bombers would be perfect for a slow, easy-going afternoon or evening out on the deck. It sits heavy for me, so that is why I'd leave it at that. Very nice effort all-around, though. I'd probably be just as happy, if not happier, with Ruination for example... Glad I picked it up nonetheless.

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Photo of detlefchef
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Attractive orange color with creamy off-white head.

Smells of honey and spice with apricot jam. Really a pretty nose.

The taste is somewhat surprising. Based on what they described they were trying to do, they seemed to have totally missed the mark. If they were trying for a truly English IPA, they still went for it too much with the hops. I mean, it's tasty, but it seems like a quasi-Cali-belgian gig without the banana.

Super ripe, malty and fruit profile with tons of mango and assertive bitter finish. Somewhat cloying though and that sort of casts a bit of a pallor on things. Makes me not entirely fired up about a second.

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

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No freshness info. Kind of odd seeing how they recommend you drink it fresh. Nice, frothy two inches of head forms over a cloudy yellow liquid that reminds me of watered down orange juice. Good lacing evident as the head slowly dissipates. Smell is surprisingly sweet. This is a bit of a change for Stone. The malt is up front and the hops form the back bone giving it a very floral quality almost like a triple. The amount of carbonation you can see looks kind of like a triple, too. The hops are there and still seem fresh. It's not like the beer is old and the malt has taken over, its just the hops are very subdued on the nose. Good amount of carbonation (not too much) and a very resiny mouthfeel. This definitely coats your whole mouth with a hefty dose of IBUs. Still the hops don't quite dominate the taste. The yeast and malt combine with the hops to give the beer a citrus-y, tangy, baked, spicy quality. I guess I would say its like biting into a piece of orange peel in your orange-cranberry scone. Maybe its because I am enjoying something entirely new but I think this beer is remarkably drinkable for 8.9% abv. Again I would compare it to a triple instead of most DIPAs in that regard. I wish I had a nice cigar to go with this. Overall, unique and impressive. I am glad my favorite brewer can still surprise me after all these years.

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Photo of Thiestru
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into my lucky-as-hell Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: Pale, hazy golden with a nearly two-finger white head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Strong, bitter, floral hops. My first thought was, 'This reminds me of Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner', my most-missed beer of all time.

Taste: Holy shit. I don't like to swear much in my reviews, but I can't help it here. This reminds me so much of Imperial Pilsner I got goosebumps, I'm not kidding. That overwhelming and delicious hop flavor is paramount here. It's not AS strong as Imperial Pilsner, but my God is it a close call. There is a faint malt presence, but it just provides a little balance, and is not at all the focus.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full, to the degree expected of the style. Crisp, too.

Drinkability: Yes, yes, yes! HIGHLY drinkable. I'm so stupidly happy right now; thank God for this beer. Stone just cemented their place high in my list of favorite breweries, based on this one beer alone. Get it.

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Photo of yesferro
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got a bottle of this at Natalie's in Cordova TN

Poured a rather murky orange, almost thick towards the end of the bottle, almost got me worried for a second there.
Smells great, not strong but refreshing and full of citrus.
First sip bummed me out, this is a Stone brew? Kinda underwelming and just hop bitter. Then I got the citrus aftertaste, I like it, but still expected more.

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

A: Clear, Golden yellow, thin white head w/ quick dissipation.

A: Orange peel, strong citrus hop aroma, light pale malt in the background but not apparent. No yeast or other aromatics.

F: herbal and bitter hops from start to finish. The malt gives a little backbone, enough to support the body, but not discernable from this hop bomb.

M: light-med body and mouthfeel, w/ light carbonation. Light cream and drinks smooth. Dry finish.

O: Happy 14th to Stone. This was a great hoppy treat and a great way to celebrate 14 years of great craft beer. A little more malt and head retention would have been nice, but I love hops, and more than makes up for the lackings. The aroma is deceptive to what lies in wait in the taste and finish. Phew!!

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

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

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Photo of cwc
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on draft in Tokyo Japan at Beer Saurus, a bar in Ikebukuro with 50% off happy hour on all draft beers.

A very golden yellow color, maybe more golden than yellow. It came with a substantial head and I liked that the head stuck to the side of the glass as I drank it.

It smelled rather sweet to me. Taste was a citrusy, grapefruit like flavor, and when I smelled it again this came out in the smell. A very refreshing beer that masks the alcohol content rather disturbingly well, at least on draft. Unfortunately, that this beer could hide that 8.9% ABV made it appear to be sessionable. Let's just say that alcohol sneaks up on you if you have more than one of these!

I probably won't drink this again, as I'll likely never see it again in Japan, but I was pleased to have the opportunity to enjoy this beer. Recommended, particularly on tap.

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

poured into a Sam Adams' perfect pint

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

S- a slight letdown. somewhat hot and sterile.

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

M- dry and thin.

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

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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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