16th Anniversary IPA | Stone Brewing

very good
1,395 Ratings
Read the review
16th Anniversary IPA16th Anniversary IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,395 |  Reviews: 393
Photo of Vonerichs
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange-red body with a tall white head. The lacing is brief.

Smells of orange, herbal, and slight lemon. The herbal aspect seems to cover up the pleasant citrus.

Ugh, not exactly what I was expecting. It's overly bitter and tastes like sucking on a stale tea bag. There's some redeeming orange flavor, but I keep coming back to the heavy herbal taste. The lemon is almost non-existant.

I don't like the mouthfeel much, either. It's dry and bitter, but in a cottonmouth kind of way. It almost leaves me parched.

Unfortunately, this one was a disappointment to me. I absolutely love Stone and this one was a detour from their usual path. It just didn't work.

 670 characters

Photo of rfbenavi80
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip. Bottle dated August 2012, it says Enjoy Fresh.

A- Stone 16 pours a clear deep orange color with 3 fingers of off white head that has incredible retention value. The head creates an amazingly thick cap that stays there the entire time and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

S- Huge heavy aromas of pine resin and grapefruit. Sweet sugared lemons, and a hefty sweet malt background.

T- Follows nose well. A huge punch in the palate of bitter, piney hops. Followed by an enormous malt bill that attempts to balance out the hops. Finishes with a sweet tropical fruits. The 10% ABV is well hidden in this one.

M- On the heavy side of medium body, and a moderate amount of carbonation.

O- Happy Birthday Stone. I enjoy anniversary beers because I think that's when the brewers decide to try something a little our of the ordinary. Adding the Lemon Verbena and lemon oil to this one adds a unique layer of citrus that is satisfying.

 965 characters

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of kuhndog
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of graz34
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of HoistinBrews
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark orange color with a large off-white head with decent retention. Thin lacing forms all around the glass.

S: Lots of lemon and pine, almost reminds me of lemon pine-sol. Some light citrus fruits, a little bit of spice, and faint alcohol. Overall there is a perfumy/soapy aroma that I don't really dig.

T: Interestingly, there is some candied sugar mixed in with lemon, lemon zest and a little bit of rye spice. On the finish there is a bit of grapefruit and pine.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The pine-sol aspect doesn't really do much for me.

O: Not bad, not really sure why they had to make the abv so high, I think at around 7% it would have been a little better.

 703 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass from a bomber.

Pours a nice golden copper color with some orange hues. There is a nice 1 inch head that forms with very dense bubbles. The head is nice and slightly creamy colored. There is some really good head retention and as it recedes leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma of strong citrus hop notes starts things off. Some mango and grapefruit and orange. Definitely some refreshing lemony notes can be perceived. There is some malt sweetness in the background with slight rye spice notes.

Flavor starts off interesting. There is some hop resin and citrus notes that quickly get offset a bit byt some nice spice and lemony hints. THe spice is distinctly Rye. I love Rye IPAs particularly really dank ones such as Red Rye and Bear Republic and this brew has some of those similar qualities. The hop juice notes are nicely citrusy with strong grapefruit rind and some lemony notes as well. Tons of dank resinous pine notes are perceived as well while some malty sweetness and rye spice pop in and out. I can see why some people are down on this brew. There is a slight boozyness to it, maybe the lemon doesn't help. Regardless I like it. Body is sticky and medium. A strong IPA.

Overall. Its not Stones best by no means but I still like it. I might be a bit jaded because I thought their 10th Anniv. Ruination was awesome and last years 15th Anniv. beer (Black IPA) was AMAZING. Still Stone does a good job with IPAs so no real complaints from me.

 1,491 characters

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

Bomber into a snifter

A: Clear amber/gold color with a small head retained throughout, minimal lacing after.

Smell: Sugary lemon, grapefruit and pine. Now that I think about it, a lot of sugary lemon, like candy almost.

Taste: Earthy, grassy piney citrus. Lemon is countered by some spicy rye on the back end. As others have noted, the rye is more prevalent than expected based off of the smell alone. I like how this one drinks; when you think it is almost too lemony, you taste some sweet malt to balance it out. Still a lemony after taste though.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, mouth is coated with a resiny-grapefruit/lemon taste. I like it.

Overall: I like this one a lot. Don't understand why some are bashing it--lemon oil is intense, so that's what you get when you throw it in a beer. Definitely worth buying a bomber and trying.

 840 characters

Photo of Archemedies
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of BeerLover99
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: shiny amber, trace off-white head, solid lacing

S: mild lemon, floral, grassy pine

T: lemon peel, grassy/pine hops, grain, oily/floral
bitter finish

M: med body, smooth/oily mouth

O: Love Stone + the style, but was hoping
to be floored. Still interesting brew,
would recommend to Stone fans only.


 335 characters

Photo of BoRaeCho
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of muletrane
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Brianito
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of GarbageMan
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of angrybabboon
2.86/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Consumed 8/28/12

Appearance: Clear, light amber - copper, gold when held to the light - little, white head that fades to a little ring - leaves a few specs of lacing

Smell: Lemon candy is center stage. but there are a lot of aromas in here - lemon, touches of other citrus (grapefruit), and some tropical notes (pineapple chunks), and some dry pine needles - some spiciness, slightly herbal, with a touch of grass - some booze - overall it kind of smells like tea, loaded with lemon, with a packet of sugar

Taste: Again, liquid lemon candy - hints of grapefruits, but it's mostly just lemon rinds - spicy rye, more spicy than the smell would suggest - earthy, herbal, grassy - some cooked, yet dry, bready malts - some tea-like flavors - kind of reminiscent of an Arnold Palmer, but with booze (apparently called a John Daly... hmmm)

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, oily, slick, adequately carbonated, a bit sticky

Overall: Ok, but weird

I like this, but it's not really what I was expecting. Maybe I just don't appreciate lemon enough. Honestly, I actually had to look up what "lemon verbena" was. Apparently it's a shrub (thank you, Wikipedia). That may explain the tea-like properties. Anyway, I love Stone, and I may revert to believing that the Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA was actually the 16th anniversary beer. Because that kicked ass. This does not.

Update: I grew tired of the taste quickly after starting to drink the second half of my bomber. And I woke up the next morning with a raging headache, sick to my stomach, and sweating uncontrollably. Either my body hates this beer or I got a 6-hour West Nile virus. Taste and overall scores have been reduced slightly from my previous scoring.

 1,720 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours your average amber, body has light bubbles on it with an off-white head that is about to a fingers length somewhat thick , so far not bad.

Smell: Hoppy smell, no complaints feels like the we are going in the right direction.

Taste: This beer has a hard grapefruit skin taste not to mention the citrus of lemon. It is complex but I honestly want more. You feel the density of what this beer is but you feel of what it is not.

Mouth: Satisfying after-taste, but still loose. It is sticking which like but not what you expect from Stone.

Overall: This beer is very good but not a gem, anyone reading that loves imperial IPAs knows what they are about. Stone mkes incredible brews but this one just isn't at the top. Salud!

 774 characters

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 axeman9182
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, left to warm slightly before being poured into my Bruery tulip.

Stone's 16th Anniversary IPA pours a translucent amber, with some nice orange highlights. A massive, near four finger bone colored head rises up to crown the beer. Head retention is pretty good, and some decent lacing is left behind, but neither really impress in particular. The nose has a little bit of rye spiciness and some tropical fruit aromas as well, but all that is fairly well trampled over by the lemon verbena. There's a nice bit of malty complexity at the front end of the flavor profile, as spicy rye and bready notes play off of each other well. The mid palate hop bitterness is big, but smooth for a high ABV double IPA. Again here what I'm sure would be some very nice mango and guava notes are largely boxed out by lemon. The body is just a little bit chewy, but not unreasonably so for a 10% beer (though I wish it was a little more dry like the Enjoy By IIPA I had from Stone last night). THe carbonation though is noticeably dull for the style, rendering the beer just a little bit dull. I always look forward to Stone's anniversary beers, and I think this one would have been excellent without the lemon verbena (or at least with it scaled back a good bit). As it is though, it's still a decent imperial IPA.

 1,309 characters

Photo of Jmac91
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of BostonHops
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a burnished medium amber / orange tone while yielding a finger of off-white head that lapses with above average haste into a collar around the glass. relatively fragrant nose offers citric hops (big dose of lemon) and some tropical notes before the malt backbone shows itself.

flavor follows the aroma with a strong hoppy/lemony presence, orange peel, and sweet malt along with secondary notes of tropical and maybe a hint of floral hops. booze is also a player. on the fuller side of medium bodied with average carbonation.

overall, while it's not one of their finer efforts it's certainly an enjoyable beer. maybe a victim-of-their-own-success type of deal going on with these guys where every time they put out a beer i half expect 15th anniversary or ruination-10th anniversary brilliance. that said, certainly worth a try.

 869 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 StPaulShredder
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

16th Anniversary IPA from Stone Brewing
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,395 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.