The Stone brewing company has been around since 1996 and is lead by one of its co-founders, Greg Koch. I had the chance to meet Greg at the 2010 GABF, I must say he is very passionate about what he does for a living. Stone currently has the capacity of 70,000 US barrels per year, with capacity expandable up to 250,000 barrels. They are located in Escondido, CA and they actually distribute their beers to CT. I came across their 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA at the store and decided quickly that I needed to try this beer.
This brew poured a hazy orange-like color with a good size foamy head up top. I smelt grapefruits,pine, and mangos when I stuck my nose in the glass. It had a pleasant citrusy aroma and the hop scent was front and center. This IPA tasted amazing for a beer that is packed with a ABV level of 8.9%. I tasted juicy hoppy grapefruits right away and it finished with a well balance malty flavor. I loved the level of bitterness present in this beer and enjoyed the dry finish that it left in my mouth. I was very impressed with the drink-ability of this beer and I hope Stone makes this beer available year round. If you see this beer on your local liquor stores shelf, purchase it before you miss out on a fantastic limited release beer by the guys at Stone.