16th Anniversary IPA: 10.0% ABV. This is Stone’s annual anniversary brew, and will be a limited release beer. It is brewed with Lemon Verbena and Lemon oil. There is also a small amount of rye malt in the mash. I tasted / reviewed this on August 30, 2012 from a 22 oz bottle.
The ale pours a dark golden to a light amber color, with an nice foamy head (with good retention). It is crystal clear, which is not always the case with an IPA. The aroma is hoppy with a slight sweetness.
The flavor is just like the aroma (not the case with a lot of beers). It’s bitter, but much more than that. It has a VERY nice hoppy flavor; malt sweetness is also evident, but the citrus flavors prevail. There is a nice bitterness when swallowed, but then it sweetens back up. I didn’t notice the lemon (lemon oil and Lemon Verbena) in the flavor, but it’s not a typical IPA either (hmm, maybe it’s the lemon).
This beer has a lot of body, especially for an IPA, so I am describing it as an Imperial IPA (ok, I just read the label after writing this, and Stone says it’s a double IPA – same thing). At any rate, this is a REALLY good IPA, and I highly recommend it. In fact, I have purchased several bottles since I initially tasted it, and intend to purchase more as long as it’s available. If you like IPA’s, don’t let this brew become obsolete and unavailable before you have some. It’s not expensive ($5.99 for a 22 oz bomber at Total Wine), so buy a few bottles and reward yourself.