Let’s skip all of the small talk and get to the website, stonebrew.com, and see what they have to say about this years Anniversary Ale.
We’ve been loving creating Collaboration beers with great creative brewers from all over the world these last several years-unique beers that would never have existed without the free-flowing imagination and idea generation of the collaborative process. However, when it comes to the Stone Anniversary Ales, it’s all us. Yet, it is indeed still a collaboration with great creative brewers (if we do say so ourselves). We’re talking about our own brewing team, of course. And while some of our beers, anniversary and otherwise, have been designed by a single person, the Stone 16th Anniversary IPA was definitely a team effort.
This year our brewing team was inspired by some exotic-ish additions of the lemony persuasion. Yes, it’s a Double IPA (can you really say you’re surprised?), but as we strive to do with all our Stone Anniversary Ales of the let’s-take-this-IPA-in-a-new-direction variety, we’ve brewed up a Stone-worthy divergence from tradition. The amount of rye malt we used isn’t quite enough to warrant the appellation “Rye IPA,” but it still adds hints of spiciness that contrast deliciously with the tropical fruit flavors and aromas of the Amarillo and Calypso hops. Add a few European specialty malts, some lemon verbena, and three more hop varieties to the mix, and you have a highly complex brew melding both bitter and fruity hop notes with rich toasted malt character punctuated by nuances of spicy rye and subtle lemon.
I’m ready to drink after that description. How ’bout you?
This brew came in a 22 oz. bottle with an ABV of 10.0%.
It poured a clear, deep orange color with some deep red/ruby tints. The crown was very soft, fluffy, smooth and off white. It was sized very well with a really nice retention time and the lacing looked decent enough.
The aroma was very fresh and juicy smelling with hints of tropical fruits. Mango, tangerines and lemon. Once past that, I got a lot of rye breadiness. I even got a slight whiff or two of cinnamon. It kind of began to smell like a scented candle or something The longer it stayed in the glass it became more prevalent and the hops started to get overtaken and pushed to the side.
The taste opened with the tropical fruits of mango, oranges, tangerines and grapefruit. A little bit of bite was found from the spicy rye bread as well as a little bit of alcohol. Again, the hops really began to fade and let the breads jump out. After that, more cinnamon and something like ginger really started to dominate. Hmm. I don’t really know how to feel about it. It was very pleasing at the beginning though.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Mostly smooth, a touch chewy and dry with a good deal of warmth. The carbonation was suitable and a plentiful amount of flavor was left behind after each sip.
Well…. This beer was just “ok” for me. I finished it with no problem, however I found it to be a bit unique with all of the different stages it goes through as it warms. From juicy and hoppy… to bready… and finishing robustly spiced. I don’t know that I’ve had a brew quite like this before. Not really my preferred style, but it’s alright. I definitely think the Stone 16th Anniversary Ale was worth a try, but it wasn’t a beer that I wanted to get another of after I finished this bottle. I tried it when it was first released, so it wasn’t like I had an old bottle or something. Did you guys get to try this brew? What was your experience like? Leave a comment and let me know if you’d like.
Thanks for reading everyone. I really appreciate it.
Until next time. Cheers.
Score: 3.65 out of 5