While perusing a local beer store I came across Stone’s 16th Anniversary IPA so of course I had to grab a bottle. My week at work had been long and tiresome so when I first poured the beer and gave it a taste my buds were at first in a bit of shock. After a few minutes I grew to like this slightly murky brew and found it quite tasty. I’ll have to grab another and give it a closer inspection, but regardless I found it tasty and interesting. The description from Stone mentions lemon herbs, rye and an interesting hop blend.
This year our brewing team was inspired by some exotic-ish additions of the lemony persuasion. Yes, it’s a Double IPA (can you really say you’re surprised?), but as we strive to do with all our Stone Anniversary Ales of the let’s-take-this-IPA-in-a-new-direction variety, we’ve brewed up a Stone-worthy divergence from tradition. The amount of rye malt we used isn’t quite enough to warrant the appellation “Rye IPA,” but it still adds hints of spiciness that contrast deliciously with the tropical fruit flavors and aromas of the Amarillo and Calypso hops. Add a few European specialty malts, some lemon verbena, and three more hop varieties to the mix, and you have a highly complex brew melding both bitter and fruity hop notes with rich toasted malt character punctuated by nuances of spicy rye and subtle lemon.
In the end I did not find it to be blow your socks off kind of brew, but all things considered it was pretty tasty. So if you see it in the store, grab a bottle to celebrate Stone’s Sweet 16!