Stone – 18th Anniversary IPA: Celebrating 18 years of brewing, Stone bottled this Double IPA on August 21st, 2014 so it was still in it’s recommended drinking window which is about 3 months from bottle for an IPA. This year’s release was brewed at a strength of 8.5% abv with 75 IBUs and went through an extensive El Dorado dry hopping according to the bottle and their website description. I just bought this on a road trip to Portland, Oregon where it was well stocked in many establishments.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a bit darker than most IPA’s, sort of a dark copper colour with three fingers of light tan foam and some small carbonation bubbles in the glass. The aroma was citrusy with lots of grapefruit, tangerine, and a bit of lemon followed by bread and tropical mango.
Flavour: It is very intense with pine, herbs and caramel up front, toffee and bread sneak in there in the middle and finally it finishes with more herbs, lots of grapefruit rind and a hint of lemon.
Overall Impression: If anything this was intriguing, another example on how to push the limits on IPA styles of beer with different malt profiles and interesting hops. Stone beers are always a bit on the intense side of things and this one is no different, however the flavours complement each other nicely.
Rating: Solid 8/10, would buy another and will if I see it in the next month in some of the border towns.
Food Pairing: I like their suggestion of Pad Thai on their site, especially Pad Thai with some sauteed pork.
If you are visiting the USA anytime, or simply if you live there, be sure to grab one of these bottles in the next 6 weeks.