Friday, August 13, 2010

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial Ale

Stone's 14th Anniversary Emperial Ale was released about six weeks ago.  I have had several and am starting to get a better handle on it.  I have been waiting for the "wow" moment before I posting my thoughts, thinking I was missing something about the beer, but it's not going to happen.  This is not to say this isn't a good beer, it is, I just had a hard time figuring it out, which sounds strange when I type it but not when I taste 14th. 

Emperial is a cloudy, yellow beer with big white foam.  It looks like a wheat beer.  The beer is Stone's interpretation of a classic English IPA, which Stone brewed using English ingredients including treated water.  The first taste I noticed was the beer's minerals, which were quite prominent on the front.  The minerals gave a tangy zip to the tip of the tongue.  This taste confused me as I usually look for a pine or citrus flavor in an IPA.  Emperial's pine profile became noticeable once I got past my initial taste confusion.  Its 8.90% abv was well masked, but the beer left a film in the mouth.  Emperial finished with a classic Stone bitter hop wave.

While I was not overwhelmed by this beer like some previous Stone Anniversary Ales, I did enjoy it and will get some more before it disappears.   Check out the glass in the picture.  It is a 22 oz Portland beer glass from Crate & Barrel that I received for my birthday.  This monster glass is perfect for drinking bombers.

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