“Inspired by new experimental German hops, our brewing team is celebrating our 17th Jahrestag by taking palates on an unconventional tour of Deutschland by way of Southern California. In doing so, we used a grain bill comprised exclusively of pilsner malts and German hops with crazy awesome names: Herkules, Hersbrucker, Magnum, Merkur, Opal, Smaragd & Strisselspalt. Dry-hopping with Sterling, a U.S. hop with Saaz parentage, lends a bit of familiarity, but be forewarned, this is a unique beer that takes the IPA–a style we’ve already pushed far beyond it’s previous limits over the years–to interesting new territory.” 9.5% ABV Imperial IPA
Purchased from BevMo in Fresno, California
Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a nonic glass. The body is mostly clear, with just a small amount of haziness, yellowish orange in color. Ample carbonation is visible in the glass. The head is off-white with a yellow hue, and leaves good lacing throughout.
It definitely smells like a big hoppy beer, but it is slightly different from the standard big IPA’s I’ve had. A large amount of lemon and orange citrus hops, earthy/grassy aromas, sweet bready pilsener malts, and the faintest touch of alcohol.
The mouthfeel is rich and surprisingly smooth for such a large IPA, finishing with an expected dash of hop bitterness. The flavors blend incredibly well, following the aromas pretty much spot on; citrus peel, earthy spice, and smooth sweet caramel-like bread malts. The 9.5% ABV is hidden well, just barely sneaking in the taste. The finish is moderately dry, with a two-tiered aftertaste that matches the bitter and sweetness remarkably well.
Stone’s 17th Anniversary is a very interesting beer. It has a very smooth sweet pilsener malt profile, but doesn’t sacrifice hop flavor or bitterness you’d expect from a double dry hopped IPA to achieve it. It seems that both aspects are just pumped up to match each others level of prominence. The use of all German pilsener malts and mostly all German hops lend a unique flavor that I haven’t encountered in such a big beer. The flavors and aromas are just slightly off from the status quo in the style, but that isn’t a bad thing. Big hoppy beers just aren’t made in Germany, and especially with German malts/hops, so any IPA fan would definitely appreciate the subtle uniqueness from Götterdämmerung IPA. (Gert – er – dam – uh – roong) 9/10.
Stone Brewing Co. – Escondido, California