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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 chicagoabbot
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from notes...22 oz. chug into a pint glass...aroma is definitely different than the regular "Stone IPA" wheel (a great wheel nonetheless). Big malt tempered by hops, but as they say on the bottle, it's more of an English type of bitterness than a classic West Coast IPA like many of their brews. Strong beer...the alcohol isn't masked quite as well as it could be. It's its own beer though, and I dig it. Great mouthfeel. Unique beer. Recommended.

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

22 ounce bottle into a Brooklyn tulip.

Bright golden and slightly hazy with a bright white head, lots of lace as it drinks.

Very crisp spicy hop character, some mint and tree sap (birch, cedar, faint pine) malt profile is baked bread, biscuit and pie crust with slight sugary note. Alcohol is well masked.

Flavor is very hop forward, spicy more mint and herbal character. Nice firm bitterness, crisp and what a true IPA should present

one of my favorite anniversary beers that Stone has put out. Might not have the wow factor found in 10, 12 or 13 from a hopheads perspective, but the balance and hop bitterness make it an IPA that would be a welcome year round brew. Reminds me a great deal of Youngs Special London Ale in character and profile.

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Photo of bigbelcher
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really looking forward to trying this beer after all I've heard about it. Totally unimpressed by it though once I had it. Aroma was extremely floral, almost prfume like. Flavor was pretty well balanced but it tasted more like an IPA than a Double IPA. The hop bitterness may have been there but the alcohol was really missing. Give me a Ruination over this beer anyday.

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Photo of magnj
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy orange body with a white frothy head that subsides quickly but still hangs around enough to leave some lacing on my snifter.

S - Awesome. IPA but not American (not that they are bad). Hops are very aggressive but not the typical "C" hops that give off pine and tropical fruits. These are more grassy and herbal, still some citrus but that may also be attributed to the English yeast a bit. Aside from the hops which are the main show you get a sugary sweet character.

T - Just like it smells this thing is all business with a ton of hops up front, grassy but pungent. There is a mildly fruity thing in there, not sure again if it's yeast driven or hops or both. Malts really don't come through much except towards the end and even then it seems to be a simple recipe, clean but nothing fancy. Overall really enjoyable and I'm just starting the bomber. ABV so far is not an issue though I suspect as it warms it will pop up.

M/D - Full body but backed up by the huge hops additions and strong ABV it seems appropriate. Dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of Coltron23
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Poured into a straight pint glass gives a very pale golden brew, slightly hazy with a good head with retention and lacing.

The smell is immediately hops, naturally, with a hint of malt and yeastiness. There's also a hint of sweet perfume.

Very hoppy, very bitter in the taste. Not enough malt, in my opinion, for an English IPA, but very tasty all the same. Slightly peppery, and the taste lingers. Earthy.

Decent enough mouthfeel.

My mouth feels like it's been... well, I was going to say assaulted, but it actually feels dry, like it's been dusted with talcum powder. Very weird. I don't think that's what a beer should do to me. As far as Emperial is concerned, I'm glad I did it but I don't feel a need to do it again.

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Photo of fastsrt
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured 22 ounce bottle in pint

A: amber, decent head

S: pineapple, fresh hops,

T: spicy hops, has the malt character, i was expecting something more mild but am pleasantly surprised,

M: carbonation feels spot on with british ipa

D: smooth drinker, refreshing summer beer.

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Photo of doof116
4/5  rDev +3.6%

3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of regspeir
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle at Wegman's in Collegeville, Pa. Pours a lemon yellow with a small head which dissaptes to an irregular coating. Lacing is thin and transient. Nose is earthy and grassy with only hints of citrus and pale malt. Taste is sweet malts, lemon, some spice. Bitterness is there for sure but especially in the finish. Good thing because this starts very sweet. Mouthfeel is lighter than medium and medium carbonation. The ABV is not noticed. This is a decent beer but not one I would go out of my way for.

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Photo of Lolli1315
2.21/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- A hazy orange color with about a finger of white bubbly head that holds on with a thin layer left. Ring of lacing around the edge of the glass, but don't see much after that.

S- A hint of grapefruit and maybe some lemon as the smell takes off into an untamed hop sensation that is quickly overpowered by a weird acidic chemical smell that is very unpleasant. Some malt available in the background but falls victim to the chemical smell as well.

T- Taste is something else. Starts with a sort of herbal taste that changes towards an earthy piney hop taste, but unpleasantly harsh. Alcohol is more than apparent towards the end of the beer almost to the point of drowning out all other tastes. One of the only things to make it through is that earthy bitterness that lasts into the after taste.... and lasts... and lasts. Seems like some of the tastes got out of control as the citrus I was expecting made little to no appearance.

M- Medium bodied, but aggressive with how dry it is in the mouth. Carbonation is alright, nothing to brag about.

D- A bomber of this stuff? A 12 oz bottle would be a chore in itself...

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Photo of jminsc76
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a tulip, pours a large white head atop a murky golden body. Thick legs as I tilt the glass, not too much lacing though.

Aromas of orange peel, orange itself, orange peel, and, oh wait, more orange peel. Also some tangerine, a little bit of coriander, and some floral notes. Refreshing, quite complex, and just the right temperate on the citrus.

The taste carries a lot of characteristics similar to the smell, with some significant hop bitterness hitting the mid-point of the palate, and unfortunately, not in the way I prefer. A bit rough and overpowering. It may be the pepper, which for me has little place in a beer with an 8.9% ABV. However, the front and finish exhibit a good amount of fruity complexity, which differs slightly from the label claiming the hop bitterness lasts throughout the finish. Not quite.

A thinner mouthfeel, with a charge of grapefruit washing over the palate like a freight train. Wowza.

Overall, the dirty hop bitterness on the mid-point is not making for a smooth drinking experience here, and I don't know if it has more to do with the high ABV or the hop quality. It is Stone, after all, where EVERYTHING must be BAH! IN YOUR FACE with the hops. Time will tell with this one. Perhaps bottle sharing with one or two others will temper this English-style bad boy, as there are some great qualities here.

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

Served in a tall pilsner glass. This beer is hazy golden with a thick white head. The head gets rocky and thins to a thick film while leaving some nice lacing.

The aroma is strong of earthy and floral hop character, but still smells like a stone brew. A little bit of the malt sweetness shows through in the aroma. Flavor is largely standard DIPA. Bitterness is well balanced with the malt flavor. The sweetness reminds me of strawberry and green apple. There is some faint biscuit and bread flavor. And of course there's hop flavor, grassy and earthy with an assertive but pleasant bitterness. Alcohol flavors begin to present them selves as the beer warms.

Moderate carbonation and a slightly dry finish suit the beer well. Overall very nice, but not as great a diversion from the standard stone offering as I was hoping for.

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Photo of ectomorph
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber into a tall flared pils glass. Bottle reads June 2010 and I'm told to consume fresh.

A - Deep golden body is really hazy but the bright white head builds and sticks like there's no tomorrow.

S - Wow, not at all what I was expecting. Citrus, pine, and a great floral hoppiness dominate the nose. There is next to zero malt character here.

T - Solid but not overpowering bitterness. There is an earthy quality in the hops. A woody interpretation of Ruination. The high ABV is masked under multiple layers of hops. Grassy hops, earthy hops, citrus hops, MY GOD THE HOPS! All this would be astringent without a substantial malt backbone, so it's there. Somewhere...

M - Great dryness without being light, the carbonation helps scrub the weary taste buds for the next sip.

D - This is no session beer, but for what it is, it goes down REALLY well.

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Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is what an Imperial IPA should be all about. It's the perfect marriage of English ingredients with a San Diego hop intensive profile, except there's no cattiness in this one, just plenty of peach, and pear esters to compliment the more typical grapefruit, mandarin orange, and tangerine. The malt provides a marmalade-like thickness to support all those hops, and the finish is positively endless, but never interferes with the craving for yet another intense sip. This stuff puts me in mind of my old standby, Youngs Special London Ale, only on major steroids! Kudos, Stone!

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a bomber.

A: Orange hued with spotty lacing
S: Earthy, lemony, bready
T: loads of lemon, peppery, and caramel malt balancing
M: Decent, leaves a bit of a dry sensation in the back
D: This is my highest rated score, but I didn't even know the alcohol was at 8.9% in this one. It was went down easy and was rather refreshing.

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Photo of gregmoscetti
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pretty stoked to try this beer but unfortunately, Stone has swung on and missed big. The beer goes in a three step process: Aggressive hop bitter (surprise surprise)...2...1.. hmmm that tastes interesting and not too bad...2...1... ugh gross, is that a sweaty sock?

so for those of you at home, it will taste "ok", then "not bad", then "ugh, gross."

Die hard stone fans and people who don't get to drink great IPAs whenever they want will say its good. But it isnt. Way better stuff down here in so-cal to be wasting a penny on this beer.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice white thin head. Awsome orange cloudy color! Some yeast floaties. Smell is citrus fruits. Some rose floral elements. Yeast and "dank" come through.
Taste is good with peppery fruits and bitter hops. Bitterness lingers for a long time. Seems dry. Bitter but smooth makes for great drinkabality for this style.
Great job stone!

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Photo of MNJR
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I taste mainly citrus/berry/peach flavors up front: raspberry and lemon dominate. Next the minty hops and some light candy apple or rock candy notes. Amazingly, this is all accomplished without being "too sweet," which is great. There is sweetness, but not overdone. The color is OK, like a cloudy lager. The smell is apple, peach and citrus. Mouthfeel is very smooth with the real burst of flavor coming out of the fine carbonation releasing in the back of the mouth. The hops are underplayed for the style. The fruit washes away very cleanly in minty spice. No residuals or aftertastes come forward. It's good up front and going down. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Nickfellow007
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of trevorjn06
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a bright orange/straw color with about 2 fingers of head that is foamy and dissipates to a thin layer on the surface and leaves some lacing on the glass.

As soon as I pour the beer I can smell grassy hops. I can pick up pepper, light floral, earthy aromas, a hint of pineapple and some sweet malt.

Taste is light malt, peppery hop flavor and some sweet fruity flavors. Starts with a lightly sweet malt and some mild, clean hop bitterness that transitions into a more hop focused flavor with more bitterness and some lightly sweet floral and fruit flavors. Toward the finish it is a clean hop bitterness with notes of pepper, herbal qualities and mild sweetness in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation and it coats the mouth well without being sticky or cloying.

Overall this IPA is different than many American versions (as it was intended) and I find it quite nice. It strikes a nice balance between light, sweet malt and a pleasant hop bitterness while hiding it's alcohol well for being so strong.

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

It's a little hazy on the pour which indicates a good ale to me. Golden in color with white head and lacing.

Aroma is strong of citrus hops and that distinct Stone hop/yeast combo. It's also got a bright, almost summery aroma - hard to be in a bad mood after a sniff.

I've read the info on this beer being almost all British ingredients including water treated to match Burton mineral qualities. To my palate, that means very bitter and astringent up front while smoothing out and mellowing in the finish. Also, wow is there a lot of hops in here. If you've ever had an English IPA you know hops aren't as aggressive as they are here.

Mouthfeel-wise, I'd say it's a little to intense upfront to be a regular drinker, but as a one-timer it's a nice change.

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Photo of thegrimone
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of JamisonM
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in Stone IPA glass

A: cloudy golden color nice bright white head with good lace and head retention

S: Orange peach tangerine and apricot tangy citrus no grapefruit in here however.

T: Peach apricot tangerine a juicy hop flavor

M: I am shocked but this has a light Mouth

D: very tasty and drinkable

overall: as usual stone hit this one out of the park all English hop and malt beer that is damn good, Incredible!

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