I have to say, I like the anniversary brews. I had Stone's eighth anniversary brew, a 7.8% mild ale that I reviewed back in 2005. And I think this last year's edition uses font half the size compared to two years ago and I suspect there are over 1,000 words in the personal essay by brewer Dave Dyer painted on the back of the bottle.
Poured into a round Grottenbier goblet, the nose is full of orange peel, candy and maybe a little mosquito repellent. The beer pours a neon bright orange-amber with white frothy foam and rim. Smooth and creamy heat in the mouth, but less heat maybe than you should get with 10%. Far more restrained than I expected - passion fruit, orange, apple, pineapple pear juiciness - with a nice boost of grain in the late middle surrounded by a layer of hop and heat. The hop is green weed and mild pine, the smell of building a deck in June at the cottage. For a California bomb, not as overwhelmingly hoppy as it could be - which is nice. The finish is gently astringent candy, peppery green and some boozy heat. All very nice. Here are the brewer's notes and the BAers pretty much all have the love.