Stone’s 14th Anniversary ale is a huge 8.9% British-styled ale categorized as an Emperial IPA (as in a beer from the English “Empire”). Despite its English-heritage, this beer is distinctively “Stone” in nature. It includes two hop varieties; Target, East Kent Goldings and Boadicea (which we’re presuming must be old English jargon for “Big Booby” hops).
Bend Wild – Beer Scoring Scale
Nose/Appearance-Although we don’t normally assign too many bonus points for appearance, this beer is rather unique. It shines in the glass with a luminous, golden color and exhibits a fine, gauzy haze and puckering head that is rarely found in today’s craft beer industry. The initially effervescent nose settles over time to reveal subtle notes of grapefruit peal,apricot puree,dry fruity, and dry orange peal all laid up against a background of muscular european hops.
Body/Flavor-The artful brewing behind this beer provides a dry, but flavorful body that effectively shrouds the 8.9% ABV. While we hold no passion for english hops here in the Bend Wild Tasting Compound, perhaps this is a case of more is better. The hop flavor is aggressive, unique, and palatable. This big IPA can not be confused with a barleywine. It is an IPA through and through. Bountiful additions of what are allegedly English hops generate a earthy late flavor that finishes of dry citrus rinds.
Finish/Mouthfeel- A distinctively arid hop finish balances out this high alcohol IPA. Resinous pine notes reverberate against a dry lupulin dominated finish.
Overall/Drinkability- We’re going 10/10 for an unpredictable appeal and a strong beer “strange” factor. This very attractive beer is reminiscent of other great Imperial IPA’s that have washed over the Bend Wild palates, such as Bridgeport Brewery’s remarkable Hop Czar.
Beer Likeness- This is a tough one as this beer is so unique. As it has noticeable Stone background qualities, we’ll toss Stone’s Ruination into the ring, but imagine it has an English hop profile, and perhaps bad teeth!