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KCM Spirit Reviews

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review 98: Stone 16 Year Anniversary IPA

Review 98
Stone Anniversary IPA 16 Years: 10% abv

Stone. We’ve been to Stone before. There is no doubt that Stone is an intense West-sider with a big flavor and huge punch. And apparently, for their 16th anniversary (now they can drive) they are producing an IPA for us. KCM didn’t know what to expect with this IPA, so instead of expecting, we just found out what the deal was with this, and hoped for the best. This is certainly a craft beer, at a hefty 10% abv and some interesting brewing additives. Like what you ask? Well...lemon verbena and lemon oils. You thought it would be pizza, didn’t you? It’s not. It’s lemon. This isn’t a mind-blowing combination, but enough to perk our ears up. So we poured a glass and took a deeper look. And look we did. And smelled. And here’s what we smelled. (It seems as if I’m trying to get as many periods in this review as possible...I’m not.)

 Onto the nose, my friends! The nose does introduce exactly what this beer is about. There are naturally some strong citrus notes to be found, including a bitter grapefruit with sweet lemon and clementine. The sweeter notes involved include honey, pineapple, honeydew, complimented by the sharp, refreshing pine notes and earthiness in the nose. And I’m sorry ladies and gents, but M insists that the earthy notes are actually notes of the left testicle of a fully grown ox OR moose (he’s not sure which one). In tasting the beer, there is a few sensations in the arrival, including a pleasant maltiness more common to a barleywine, perhaps, with some bitter pine, caramel and apple. 

The body has more detail to it, including caramel to it, malt and wheat adding graininess to the flavor, some pine wood and green grape, and then large lemon rind and lemon flavors jumping to the top. The finish gives out a little more to us, including big earthiness, which has nothing to do with moose or ox, and strange sweetness with sugarcane, agave and orange. There is some dry wheatiness is finish and some bitter grapefruit. Overall, this beer is not the typical bitter Stone beer that we’ve grown to know, but it does have a distinct and unique flavor to it. Unfortunately, it lacks the overall complexity of the barleywine and other IPAs, but looking at the intrinsic quality of this beer makes us think that we’re okay with that. This would be a nice enjoyable IPA for many occasions. Cue the ending credits.

Score: 9.0/10

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