One of my favorite breweries is Stone Brewing Company out California. They have a lot of special releases that make it all the way to the St. Louis area. One of the latest was their 18th Anniversary IPA, an Imperial India Pale Ale; how does it stack up to their other IPA offerings?
Offering: 22 oz “bomber” bottle poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: The beer pours clear and has a copper brown color. It left about a good inch and a half of ivory head. It also left a thick lacing on the glass.
Smell: The malt is the primary smell here, which give off an earthy, herbal essence. It goes well with the citrus hop smell, which comes off as a mixture of orange and grapefruit. There is also hints of spices.
Taste: The taste is close to the smell. The toasted malt and caramel are blended together for a sweet taste. It goes well with the citrus finish. It’s not overly hoppy like most IPAs, but it definitely has a little bitterness.
Mouth: The beer has a medium body. The carbonation is perfect for the taste. The finish is dry and slightly bitter.
Overall: One of my favorite beers from the brewery; it appears to be something they perfected over the last 18 years. The combination of smell and taste set up a good finish. I recommend tracking down this beer.
The Beer Advocate score is 88 Very Good; the Bros. give it a 90 Outstanding.