Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Double IPA
8.9%
100

We went to England this past spring as self-styled “IPA Hunters” on a mission to learn more about the confusing and often contradictory history of India Pale Ale—to look for some certainty where those before us have found mostly mystery and mercantilism. While our success in this pursuit is open to debate, there can be no question that we returned home inspired by the ghosts of Burton and by the experience of poring over 150-year-old brewer’s logs handwritten in (India?) ink. Stone Brewing Co., after all, traces its lineage back to the British Empire’s brewing history: We make ales, and all of our original offerings used traditional British styles as a jumping-off point. If this seems a roundabout way of letting you know that, yes, we are in fact brewing another IPA to mark our anniversary, well, so be it. 

This one, however, promises to be different! From the imported white malt to the “Burtonised” water to the rare yeast strain to the most pungent hops Kent has to offer, we used all British ingredients to brew our “Emperial” IPA.*  While we may have brewed Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA with our own distinctively modern, San Diego-style touch, what good is history if you can’t rewrite it to suit your tastes?

In this case, our tastes called for highly intemperate quantities of Target, East Kent Golding and Boadicea hops, bestowing upon this dry-bodied ale a powerfully spicy, earthy aroma. On the palate, peppery hops assert themselves early and often, with malt sweetness making a brief appearance before being beaten back by a long, complex, and decisively bitter finish. What better way to contemplate the fate of empires past, present, and future?

*Um, except for our filtered Colorado River water, of course.

June 21, 2010
Target
East Kent Golding & Boadicea

Tasting Notes

Provided by
Mitch Steele
,
Brewmaster
Appearance
This beer pours golden with a creamy head of foam. It is very pale in color, with a slight haze.
Aroma
The aroma is strongly hoppy, a blend of peaches, light citrus and earthy/herbal flavors. It’s a bit of a departure from the classic American citrusy and piney IPA hop profile, but it is unmistakably hoppy.
Taste
Upon tasting, the classic pale malt character becomes apparent with a touch of sweetness and a light biscuity flavor, yet this beer remains incredibly hop focused. Resiny, fruit-flavored hops dominate the palate upfront and through the middle. Yeast esters are blended into the flavor mix in the middle palate, and the beer finishes very bitter and dry, with just a tiny hint of sulfur.
Overall
Our Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA may defy today’s expectations of a British-inspired IPA. It’s not a "maltier" IPA, and no crystal malts were used in the brewing of this beer. British brewers in the 1800s made their IPAs as light in color and as dry as possible, and that was our inspiration. And though we still like to encourage everyone to drink our IPAs fresh, this one may be interesting to age. Especially on a 6-month-long ocean voyage…