Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

I'm always excited when Stone releases a brew for their anniversary series. Throw in the fact that the style is an IPA with an aim at its English roots, I'm pretty pumped.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden color that's crisp and clear with a ton of head with great lacing. Very inviting, I hope the pic does it justice.

Smell: Great pine aroma with a hint of citrus, maybe lemon spice, but predominantly pine from the English hops (per the bottle: Target, East Kent Goldings, and Boadicea hops were used). Very faint hints of malt, but I could be imagining it. Definitely different than your typical IPA which usually blasts you with strong floral scents.

Taste: Heavy cream and dry malt is offset with pine hops and a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. Side note: I hope I'm not being sucked in by what I'm reading, but I can legitimately say it reminds me of some of the local brews I had at pubs while I was in England. The beverage can't be less than 50 deg. and it works perfectly for the style.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, bolstered by the breadiness the yeast seems to give it. Seems to be a little hop resin that feels like it coats the palate. Bitterness outweighs the alcohol in the aftertaste. Perfectly carbonated, present but not overpowering.

Drinkability: Easily enjoyable for one bomber bottle, and if I had a second on me I would drink that too. Be careful though, you'll be surprised to find out it punches at 8.9% abv. This is not your Grandpa's West Coast IPA, this is a well done English IPA that has subtlety, style, and class. Kudos to the fellas at Stone for putting so much effort into crafting this masterpiece. It's recommended to drink this beer fresh or age it for over a year, unfortunately I just bought it last week and it had a bottle date of June 2010. I knew I was taking a risk, but it was worth it. I'm going to buy a few next time and review them a year from now to see the differences, but I don't know how it can get any better. 9.5/10

Glass type: DFH bullet glass
Serving type: Bottle, 22 oz.

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

Oh man, this is my first time trying this release and I am heavily impressed! The citrus orange/lemon nose with an amazing bitter aftertaste that stands out to me the most. It is not an overpowering west coast Stone style but a blend of the English ale characteristics. Wonderful creation :)