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16th Anniversary IPA | Stone Brewing

very good
393 Reviews
Read the review
16th Anniversary IPA16th Anniversary IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
We've been loving creating Collaboration beers with great creative brewers from all over the world these last several years-unique beers that would never have existed without the free-flowing imagination and idea generation of the collaborative process. However, when it comes to the Stone Anniversary Ales, it's all us. Yet, it is indeed still a collaboration with great creative brewers (if we do say so ourselves). We're talking about our own brewing team, of course. And while some of our beers, anniversary and otherwise, have been designed by a single person, the Stone 16th Anniversary IPA was definitely a team effort.

This year our brewing team was inspired by some exotic-ish additions of the lemony persuasion. Yes, it's a Double IPA (can you really say you're surprised?), but as we strive to do with all our Stone Anniversary Ales of the let's-take-this-IPA-in-a-new-direction variety, we've brewed up a Stone-worthy divergence from tradition. The amount of rye malt we used isn't quite enough to warrant the appellation "Rye IPA," but it still adds hints of spiciness that contrast deliciously with the tropical fruit flavors and aromas of the Amarillo and Calypso hops. Add a few European specialty malts, some lemon verbena, and three more hop varieties to the mix, and you have a highly complex brew melding both bitter and fruity hop notes with rich toasted malt character punctuated by nuances of spicy rye and subtle lemon.

Added by CloudStrife on 08-10-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 393 | Ratings: 1,395
Reviews by Clowerweb:
Photo of Clowerweb
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Amber orange, cloudy but very clean looking without any visual sediment. Looks beautiful!

Solid white, three fingers of tight foamy head. Dissipated into two fingers after about 60 seconds, one finger 60 seconds after that, and mostly dissipated completely about 4-5 minutes after the pour - retention is great here. Leaves a nice sticky spiral lacing. 5/5

Aroma: The nose is of piney hops with a floral hint (the lemon grass coming through.) Fairly moderate, not overpowering. Smells a lot like the "Arrogant/Double Bastard" varieties, but maybe slightly weaker. Nothing offensive in the aroma though and it has great depth and pleasant appeal, I just wish it was ever so slightly more powerful because I had to really get my nose on it to pick up the full aroma. 4/5

Taste: Tastes a lot like it smells, but it's definitely got a more potent flavor than what the aroma would lead you to expect. Pine hops galore - tastes a lot like the beers that are continually hopped in stages. I'm not an overly huge fan of most IPAs in general because of the piney flavor, but I try not to deduct points on personal taste - this is what you're supposed to get with a beer in this category, and it does its job very well. It's a hop head's dream, but it's mostly solely piney and lacks the depth and subtle complexity that's present in the aroma.

I didn't pick up much, if any, of the lemon verbena. There is a light hint of sweet, earthy malts but not enough to counter the nearly overpowering pine hops which stand out much more than anything else. A perfectly layered flavor should have nothing in particular overshadowing anything else. It is possible to have a high EBU beer that's still nicely balanced and with amazing depth and complexity; this one misses the mark by unfortunately choosing to follow the trend of "hops, hops, pine, high EBU, more hops". While this trend does have a small cult following, it is not the hallmark of a good IPA in my opinion, and following trends is not typically Stone's style, so I found this a bit uncharacteristic. There is nothing wrong with high EBUs and excessive hopping as long as it's balanced and sports good depth and some complexity. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: The first thing that stands out for me is the gravity. This beer is nice and thick, heavy but not overly heavy. Leaves a very light tingle on the tip of the tongue. Goes down very smooth, but the carbonation is lacking. I would have liked just a touch more pop rather than a mostly flat feel. 4/5

Overall I'm giving this beer a 4/5. This is definitely a fine craft beer, and I would expect no less from Stone. However, for all the things that this beer gets right, it misses the mark in another area, albeit just barely, but there are enough small things to merit an overall loss of a full point.

To me, it seems like they are riding on the coat tails of beers like DFH 90 Minute IPA, Victory's Hopdevil and Troegs' Nugget Nectar with this one. Stone doesn't need to stand on the shoulders of giants - they have proven in the past that they can stand on their own, and I hope this isn't a sign of them resigning from uniqueness and innovation.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is light orange and clear in the body with a pure white, modest head.

Smell – The hops are large but very complex. Usually a big hop bomb like this is almost all pine at the nose but this one is a bouquet. It’s hard to pick everything out but the traditional West Coast collection has a hefty balance of Amarillos.

The malts are equally complex and although you have to hunt through the hops to find them it is well worth the effort. They are slightly carmeled and a little bit toasted.

Taste – The hops are equally impressive at the taste and the malts are a little more assertive. Together this is balanced towards hops of course but isn’t one-sided.

Mouthfeel – This isn’t super big like some DIPAs, I’d say medium-bodied, with a strong bitter bite and very light on the carbonation.

Drinkability – This will be too much for most but for those of us who have worshipped the brewery and are completely amazed at how they continue to find different iterations of their unique brewing style it won’t disappoint.

 1,054 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with some dark copper hints around the edges, mild clarity and a frothy, creamy off-white head - this is a Stone brew, so you can typically expect excellent lacing, and sure enough, the lacing is magnificent.

The aroma is heavily saturated with pine and resinous oils, somewhat grassy and herbal, along with a thick overcoat of citrus and fruit, but not the typical profile you'd expect to see in an IPA. This one includes some lemon and lemon zest, almost with a "Lemon Pledge" type aroma to it, along with faint tangerine, grapefruit rinds, and sugary sweetness.

The aroma leads into the taste pretty well, you get what you're expecting here. Lots of pines, oils, and grassy notes outline things while the lemon verbena, citrus, and orange peel come alive. The lemon flavors in conjunction with the hop profile yields an interesting, herbal, lemongrass tea flavor. Nice amount of bitterness from the pines while remaining sweet from the fruit.

Alcohol is not a problem here, especially considering the hefty 10% ABV tag. Malt flavor is subdued here, I'd like to say I taste some caramel malts, but it's just not prominent enough to really bother talking about. Medium body, maybe a little on the thicker side, slick and smooth. The rye actually provides a relaxing, somewhat dry finish and really shines in the aftertaste, along with a touch of grassy bitterness. Medium-high carbonation in this one.

Many people seem to be upset with this beer, but I thought it was pretty good. Nice fruity characteristics, which were a little different than most IPAs. It's always good to mix things up. I didn't think the fruitiness was too overdone, either. It was nice and refreshing and it works well with Stone's monster hop line-up. I guess when all is said and done, I'd still reach for a Ruination before this, but it was definitely a decent change of pace.

 1,885 characters

Photo of jono0101
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of hopivore
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of DWolf
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours clear light copper with a big creamy off white head that retains fairly well and laces the glass.

The aroma is piney, resiny hops and some lemon.

The flavor is sweet lemony honey fruits and toasted rye malts quickly followed by a big resiny piney hop bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a huge fun hop monster. The lemon is interesting but doesn't quite fit in.

 464 characters

Photo of generallee
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label lists the abv at 10 % and there is a nice discretion of the beer.

Appearance: The beer has a deep honey amber color with a slight haze. It builds a tall just off white head on top which hangs on well and clings to the glass making lots of cool lacing.

Smell: The aroma is full of loads of bright lemony citrus and well...hops. (Classic Stone IPA)

Taste / Palate: The flavor is full of hops from start to finish. First up are the citrus and tropical notes with a spicy malty bready base. This fades into herbal and pine like hop notes with slow fading bitterness in the finish.

Notes: Hang on to the hops roller coaster its going to be a bitter good ride.

 746 characters

Photo of nstroup
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of VernonKell
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle with a bottled on date on the label.

LOOK: Bright brassy hue, good amount of lacing down the glass

SMELL: Macerated lemons, earthy, herbal, bready, estery, black tea, mildly soapy, spicy, quince paste

TASTE: Herbal tea, very smooth, lemon oil, bitter grassiness, spicy, warming alcohol, fallen apples, ripe pears, bready, peppery, faint potpourri, powdered aspirin, mandarin oranges, passion fruit, bitter finish with some body

A muddled mess, somewhat tasty but way too many distractions and becomes almost too tea like or even soapy like I just walked through a The Body Shop. Over use of Amarillo with the addition of another high alpha acid hop does not work for me either. I can understand wanting to push to be different but if the pieces don't fall right then this is what you end up with.

 818 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, $7.99 at DeCicco’s in Ardsley, NY. August 2012 and Enjoy Fresh etched onto the bottle.

Pours near clear, copper amber, off white creamy head, large and staying, leaves some sheeting and smaller blobs of lacing

Sniff reveals resiny hops, honey malts and a back note of lemon.

Pine, pinapple and resins of hops. Healthy layer of caramel malting, and again some lemon.

Densely flavorful, tasty and enjoyable DIPA. Again Stone lives up to the hype, with this quality offering.

I just missed out on a growler fill, but glad to get to try a bottle of this one…gonna head out and get a few more bottles tomorrow…Go get some and enjoy

 652 characters

Photo of mctizzz
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Jovo
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Skye1024
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Lofreqwave
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Light amber with thick, off-white head and pretty good lacing.

Smell: Lemon, tropical notes, herbs, spicy bread and semi-sweet caramel.

Taste: Lemon, mango and grapefruit offset by caramel and toasted malts. Maybe there is a touch of spicy rye, but really not very noticeable. The beer is a little sweeter than I expected, but finished with some bitterness, herbalness and lingering lemon. The lemon straggles the line between being refreshing and solvent-like, but mostly stays on the right side of the divide.

Feel: Pretty smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finish is dry but just slightly astringent. Can't tell this is 10%; this is a sneaky sumbitch.

Overall: Another very good IPA from Stone. But I can see why the lemon turns some away.

 838 characters

Photo of Altenor
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden with a touch of copper. Great carbonation, providing a thick pale, white, head. Very clear and great looking beer.

Smell: Lemon, honey, spicy malt, and lots of hops. At first couldn't distinguish much, but after the head resided, all the aromas bloomed. So much going on. Got a little of the soapy aroma. Not bad. Definitely different from all IPA's I've had before.

Taste: Pretty good but after a while it gets a little too tiring. Lots of hop resin, lemon, citrus, spice, and sugar. I loved the malt profile but the perfume like flavor from the verbena are too overpowering. Not bad but too much lemon and perfume.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation gives it a creamy feeling. Very smooth and sticky feeling.

Overall: I am glad I tried it. I know what they where going after and appreciate the creativity involved rather than trying to recreate Pliny. It has too much of everything, which is good for me. Definitely a San Diego IPA. Maybe this is one of those beers that will be better pairing it with food. I think it is worth trying if you want to taste something different. Don't think you will regret it.


 1,138 characters

Photo of jaminjohnson
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of standardcherry
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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16th Anniversary IPA from Stone Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.
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