Sunday, August 19, 2012

San Diego Beer Review: Stone 16th Anniversary IPA

Stone Brewing
1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029

Stone was one of the first San Diego microbreweries I tried back in the late 90's. I loved it back then, and that still holds true today. Stone is renowned for coming up with great collaboration beers, as well as beers with interesting combinations of ingredients. Every year their Anniversary ales push the limits in one or both of these categories. This year is no different.

 The Double IPA they brewed was made with a little bit of rye malt, Amarillo and Calypso hops, as well as lemon verbena and lemon oil....How's that for a "combination" beer?

Double IPA (10% ABV)

Pours a clear light caramel. Medium bubbles that form a 2-3cm head on first pour and will reform easily with agitation. Light lacing.

Super herbal notes here with a hint of lemon and citrus. I know they used rye malt, but I smell fresh cut basil...

There is a great flavor of lemon zest mixed with malt sweetness and hop bitterness. This is not the "sour lemon" of a Hef, but the subtle lemon bitterness of lemon rind. This flavor really pops at the front. Basically it is like you took a great IPA and added a little twist of lemon rind. The herbal aroma carries over to the taste...I get a hint of rye spiciness but it still screams basil to me...(maybe I am crazy).

Bold! Slams and fills the pallette quickly.

In my opinion, this is one of Stone's better experiments. I love this combination and all of the subtle flavors it hints at and the fact that it forces you to really dive into the profile. I just bought another bottle to enjoy, with the goal of not thinking too hard about it... ;)

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