Stone Brewing Company has made its living brewing highly-hopped beers, and to commemorate their success they release a limited run IPA as an anniversary beer each year. The 18th Anniversary IPA is a “Golden-Brown” IPA featuring El Dorado hops, and is sporting a 8.5% Alcohol By Volume (ABV).
Stone 18th Anniversary IPA is a brown colored beer, which seems a bit murky until held up directly to a light. A medium sized, tan colored head tops it off, with a thick sheet of lacing clinging to the glass.
The nose has some toasty and caramel malts, with a whiff of alcohol along with a leafy and citrus hop backbone.
A fairly robust malt profile starts things off in the taste, with toasty and bready notes merging with some hints of caramel. Yeast profile is neutral, with a medium-low hop bitterness and high hop flavor, mainly lemony and citrusy, with some herbal notes in the background. Alcohol is well blended but provides just a hint of spice when searched for. Mouth is a touch fuller than medium bodied, smoothly carbonated, with low alcohol warming and a lingering hop citrus in the finish.
A lot of the beers flying under the IPA moniker brewed by Stone are pretty basic in their malt profile, but the 18th Anniversary IPA is nicely balanced between the malt and hop profiles. As is en vogue these days, most of the hops are late addition and dry hops, resulting in a low overall bitterness with plenty of hop flavor coming through.
I tend to enjoy most of Stone’s releases, and those who are in the same boat will certainly enjoy the celebration of their 18th year in the business.
Stone 18th Anniversary IPA : B+
Beer Reviews by Prof Sudz