Nov 3, 2016

Stone Encore: 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

When Stone Brewing’s 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA was first released in 2010, it was a bit of a curveball from brewery. Yes, it was still hop forward, but not in the traditional sense that fans of the company have become used to. It carried a unique, peppery hop character as well as a nice bit of balancing malt character. Six years later, released as part of the company’s 20th Anniversary Encore Series, the big beer still presents that memorable flavor profile.

Those peppery, spicy hops. They dominate nicely while pungent pine and light citrus notes linger comfortably in the background with cereal, grain and soft caramel. The brew is listed at 100 IBU, but it’s not nearly as bitter as that number may indicate — more a gentle tingle that lasts a good long while in the lasting and lightly drying finish.

I’m glad the brewery decided to include this one in their celebratory re-release party. I enjoyed 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA when it was first released those many moons ago and, even now, it hits the mark wonderfully. The brew is a nice change of pace from its more fruit-forward siblings in the market place and one that I would love to see re-released more often.

This is a review of a promotional sample.