Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

'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
Goldings, 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?' -Stone Site

'Consume fresh or age in the hull of a seafaring vessel for a year or more' -The label

That is certainly one verbose description, which will definitely be longer than anything I have to say. I am a lazy blogger these days, as you can tell.

My coworker Emily purchased a bottle of this for me when we had finished a pretty tough project, so we had a 'meeting' at the end of the week to try it out. This brew has a huge, yeasty head which compliments this thick and vibrant IPA very well. I tasted strong citrus (lemon and orange zest) and some of the pepper that the description goes on and on about. Nice and tart, with a bit of that 'tongue shock' I am always seeking in an IPA. The aftertaste is clean but lingering and the overall experience was very robust and well, tasty. The craftsmanship of the Emperial IPA actually surpasses the high standards I have for Stone, which surprised me quite a bit. I kind of hate when a limited edition beer is as excellent as the Emperial, as this will probably be a one time experience for me unless I pick some more up relatively soon. Maybe I should add that to my Google calendar while I am thinking about it....

1 comment:

Let's Find H-Man A Wife said...

For whatever reason, I don't care for the Stone brews. Sorry.