Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA Is So Close You Can Watch Other People Taste It

Jacob McKean

Our President & Brewmaster Steve Wagner and Head Brewer Mitch Steele took a minute out of their cluttered schedules to sample their British-inspired hop monster: Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA, set for release on June 21st (for those who missed it, Mitch and Steve explained the concept behind this most unusual beer a few weeks back.) So here’s Mitch and Steve doing the difficult work of sampling beer in our gardens:

For those who prefer the analog version, here are Mitch’s tasting notes:


This beer pours golden with a creamy head of foam. It is very pale in color, with a slight haze.

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.

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.

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 1800’s made their IPA’s 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 IPA’s fresh, this one may be interesting to age. Especially on a 6 month long ocean voyage…”

ABV: 8.9%

IBUs: 100


  1. terry

    Terry’s Tasting Notes:
    This beer should be called Ruination of Ruination. Why? After tasting this beer, I will never enjoy one of my favorites, Ruination IPA, the same. All you need to do is smell this beer and you’ll know what I mean. So sweet yet bold, bitter yet soft on the tongue. Robust with a slender finish. It’s a big beer. Bigger than the Ruination and well deserving of the title of my favorite stone beer ever!!!
    Damn, now all I need is some stinky cheese!

  2. Brandon

    I agree, Terry. I had a perfectly good 6 pack of Ruination in the refrigerator, but I went and bought 6 more of the Emperials. Please, Stone, keep this beer around.

  3. Kento Man of Jungle

    Magfreakinificent. Major fruit aromas up front, Muscat grapes, for me, with a lasting blend of sweet & dry through the middle, finishing out with that full (boadied) Signature Stone Hop Twang, but with a luscious jammy sweetness to the end.

    Humbly, I found Mitch’s li’l pop-a-bottle-video initial analysis of “bitter” to be misleading. There is SO much going on here, that I wouldn’t ward away the faint-hop-ped by so pigeonholing this one right off the bat. Many, Many thanks, from a long time stone appreciator. Definitely will share my thoughts on an aged version of this one.
    Peace, Kento.

  4. Chris

    Having spent a minute or two in England, sampling some of the fine Imperial Pale Ales or India Pale Ales that England has to offer, I must say… This maybe the most complex, yet the most simple pallet explosion, I have enjoyed yet! Every time I take a swirl into my mouth, I find something new! Great job! Keep on trucking! Maybe for next year you could blow my mind with a up grade to one of my favorites, Cali-Belgique! Maybe a Tripple style San Diego IPA with a trappist monk twist and a pallet twisting Belgian Hop / Malt explosion?! I am just saying… It could be a hit!

  5. Love it, Love it, Love it. I have enjoyed two cases, with only having to share one bottle. My order has gone to “get me all you can get”

  6. skowie

    First off what difference from the West Coast IPA’s. I’m only trying my first bottle, but I feel I’ve been transported to the UK! On Steroids! I have to admit I am lacking in the ability to taste/ smell, appreciate all the subtle flavors people are noting, because of allergies. But this is one hell of a beer! Thank you for contrasting the different hop flavors in this 14th Anniversary IPA!
    How great this beer will taste if/when you put it on the beer engine, hand pump!
    Cheers to all

  7. Dennis Hanks

    This Emperial IPA is one of the best I have tasted in many years and I am convinced if it became a year round release it would one your most popular brews. I have been a home brewer since I was 14 years old and I am 49 as of this date. Please don’t let this recipe go by the wayside or at the very least give it to me so I can brew more.

    PS….I was living in Massachusetts during the micro brew revival of the late 80′s and early 90′s and was one of the tasters for many of the new Sam Adams products amongst other small breweries of the time in Massachusetts. Emperial is better than any of those I tasted during that time. The other style of beer I would suggest is a non filtered ale….I don’t mean wheat beer. I mean a full bodied ale with yeast at the bottom of the bottle. I miss this style very much.



  8. wtlloyd

    I’m down to just two bottles.
    I really, REALLY think this needs to be a semi-regular release, just like “Sublimely Self-Righteous”, my other top favorite Stone product.

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