Stone has really been on an IPA kick lately. In past year, or so, they’ve released 6 new IPAs that I can think of. 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA, Japanese Green Tea IPA, More Brown Than Black IPA, TBA (not labeled an IPA, but it’s a “hopppy, bitter, brown ale), Enjoy By IPA, and now 16th Anniversary IPA. This is a double IPA brewed with rye, lemon verbana, and lemon oil. Here are some of my tasting notes:
The beer has a bright crystal clear golden hue. It has a strong lemon rind smell, along with a wet grass and flowery aroma. Despite having lemon oil in the beer, the hops don’t veer too much in the citrusy direction. Instead the hops have more of a clean bitterness with more of an herbal flavor . The finish is a sweet, sugary lemon finish, with the rye spiciness balancing it out.
This definitely a different take on an IPA. Whereas Dogfish Head used Hellhound On My Ale to make a lemon IPA bursting with citrus flavors, Stone goes a different direction and instead uses the lemon flavor to accent more of a grassy, flowery, earthy IPA.
The one aspect of this beer that threw me off a bit was the mouthfeel. This beer seems to have a bit of a heavy body. In addition to this, there isn’t too much carbonation either, giving this beer an almost syrupy consistency. At 10% alcohol, it is in the high end for beer, but the mouthfeel is almost comparable to the beers that have more than 14% alcohol. This still is a great beer, and it hides it’s alcohol well, but the consistency of this beer makes it difficult to want to drink more than a small glass. I think a lighter body, and stronger carbonation would make this beer a bit more refreshing to have in the current 100+ degree weather. Once the temperatures drop, this will make a nice cold weather beer.
Prior to this writing, I had some difficulty finding where this beer was available. It didn’t seem like it was immediately available like last years 15th Anniversary beer. I grabbed the only bottle I saw at Whole Foods in Town Square. However, it has been confirmed on Facebook and Twitter that the beer can also be found at Aces and Ales and both Total Wine locations. Also, despite only seeing one bottle at Whole Foods, I can confirm that they have 13 cases left.