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15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

713 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 713
Hads: 1,420
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 59
Gots: 137 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 08-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 713 | Hads: 1,420
Photo of yemenmocha
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sexy black body with dark tan head. Nose has plenty of fresh pine, dark bitter chocolate, and a hint of candied fruit. Palate offers a delicious balance of rich chocolate/espresso, and ample piney hops. Creamy body, silky, sexy, smooth.. makes me want to consider other uses for the beer. Surprisingly easy drinking, considering how rich this is. (346 characters)

Photo of fsvan
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe.

A- Jet black. Very, very light red hues right at the edges. Two fingers of loose, sticy head.

S- Smells a lot like Sublimely Self Righteous as far as the hops are concerned. Very hoppy pine up front, accompanying that easily recognizable black ale maltiness.

T- Wow. Very hoppy. Some pine like in the nose, but a good punch of grapefruit which is more prominent. The malt is in line with other black ales, but definitely takes a backseat to the hops, which are beautifully balanced. This is fantastic.

M- Fairly thick. Very creamy. Carbonated perfectly. Leaves a beautiful coating of balanced hop bitterness on the tongue. A 5. Really couldn't ask for much more here.

O- This is a fabulous beer. My favorite of the Stone anniversary series, and I think my favorite offering from the stalwart yet. If this isn't re-released, at least periodically, I will be a sad man. (911 characters)

Photo of Sumdeus
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at Congregation Ale House's Stone week on 3/26/2014. Poured into an 8oz tulip.

A: Black with half a finger of tan head, looks like a stout. Good staying power on the head.

S: the aromas are pretty faint, but I can somewhat pick out some hoppy bitterness.

T: wow, this IPA is how old? It's not super hoppy as expected and I never had the original fresh but it's still super tasty. Taste like bitter chocolate with liquorice. I don't usually like liquorice, but I'm really digging this beer. And by that I mean I love it. Taste is very richand creamy, decently sweet too.

M: This is a stout right? No... Oh, because it feels like motor oil. Has wonderful mouth feel like surprisingly thick and full. From mouth feel alone I would think thisisa stout.

O: I really wish I had the beer fresh to compare it to, but I don't. However, it's still fantastic. It's almost like a stout now, this beer had probably changed allot fromit's days as an IPA but it had become something still fantastic.. (1,003 characters)

Photo of Beerlover
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing brew! Stone you Great glorious bastards! I love porters and i love ipas, especially imperial ones! this is not a porter but the blackness and roasty malts reminded me a bit of a porter with less coffee and or smokiness.

It looks dark and beautiful like a nice glass of porter or a mug of delish coffee. the smell for me was just average i didn't get much nose off the beer which is kinda sad but beer is for DRINKIN not SMELLIN !!

the taste is GLORIOUS! and i only use that word for my favs, i gave this beer a perfect 10 in my personal notes meaning i will buy it without hesitation if i ever find another bottle and I LOVE IT! flavors of roasted malts and hops perfectly balanced (im my own humble opinion)

i think my fav about this beer is the fact that it is an imperial brew, meaning it doesnt exactly have more hops in it or a higher i.b.u. but just that the alchohol content is higher than a normal brew of this type (when does Stone EVER have a "normal" brew with the exception of "arrogent bastard") the alchohol % on this beautiful beast of a brew is 10.5 %! AWE.SOME. and and normally anything over 9 I usually start to pick up at least slight booziness or tasting the "kick" but this, THIS is sooo smooth with no "booziness" apparent. PERFECT BALANCE!

ahh i wish i cud find another bottle to age a year or maybe two more. i think the fact that i aged this a bit in my fridge (6 months) really helped perfect this beer. i had split one with a buddy of mine a while ago (about 8 months) and do not rembember it being this great (maybe for lack of palate experiance... i suck at spelling sorry!) but yeah if u like dark ales and you happen to find this gem BUY IT or send it my way please!

this should be an all year relese. kinda like they did with "sublimely self righteous ale" maybe this should be called "sublimely self righteous 2" or how about "Super Sexy Swingin' Sublimely self righteous radical ass ale" idk maybe thats a bit overboard but to describe this ale, its just... undescribable! (again sorry about the spelling)

ohh and one more thig... IT GETS BETTER AS YOU DRINK IT, let it warm a bit i just got a hint of bittersweet chocolate! WHAT!??!

aaaand its done. no more left... SAD!! a tear is welling up in my eye. love this beer! "beerlover" LOVERS IT! done. d.u.n. (2,323 characters)

Photo of Dlish
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a syrupy blackness out of the bottle. good dark brown head. Looks very much like a Imperial stout.

S- GREAT great Imperial IPA smell... lots of citrus grapefruit, almost a sour grape smell with the sweet malts backing it up. There are some floral smelling hops but I think the malts are making them sweeter.

T- I like the amount of hops, a bitter coco taste at the end. There is a toasted like mashmellow at the end. This taste is what I like a Strong Hop flavor with a Strong malt profile, its like self-righteous but double the ingredients.

M- Thick Malty and Taste

O- Tops off Stone on 15 years of arrogance. This 15 did not disappoint at all, creative, big, bold and robust. To another 15 years and all the creative beer that will follow with it. (765 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into a tulip.
August 2011, Enjoy fresh.
Four months late on this one but...

A- Pitch black, a quarter finger of a khaki brown head with little retention. Nice lacing.
S- A nice hoppy aroma up front, would have been better if I did have this fresh but still, Im not disappointed. A slight bit of coffee malts, and some burnt caramel. A little alcohol but I wouldnt have guessed it was over 10%. Hops are very piney with some overly ripened citrus.
T- A lot of hop bitterness up front followed by a good heap of coffee and caramel and possibly even chocolate malts. Piney hops and some astringency to it, traces of what this beer once was. But the bitterness is perfectly balanced. I really cant taste the alcohol surprisingly.
M- This beer is way too easy to drink. Leaves behind an appropriate ammount of bitterness and a coating mouth feel. a creamy aftertaste. Awesome stuff.
O- This beer is awesome, I think it is as good as their self richeous ale just a little different (and bigger). I cant help but think that if I had this beer fresh it would have scored a perfect 5 but unless they re-release it I may never know. (1,139 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Williamsburg Winery wine glass.

A: Pours an unbelievably black body along with a light tan colored head. This has an insane head for 10.8%, with incredible retention and lacing. Aesthetically, an amazing beer.

S: The best descriptor of the smell is chocolate-glazed grapefruit. Not the smoothest blend of flavors to me, but it does smell nice.

T: Starts with some subtle, roasty chocolate and coffee, while it finishes with a textbook grapefruit hop/slight booze finish. Not much in the way of pine notes, and in terms of booziness, it comes across like it's 9%, rather than almost 11%. I was worried that the roast/chocolate wouldn't mix with the hop character, but my fears were assuaged. Excellent.

M: This doesn't have the sticky, palate killing finish like SOME Stone beers (cough Arrogant Bastard cough), which in this situation, is good. Nicely heavy-bodied, with high carbonation and a warming alcohol finish.

O: It was worth getting too drunk after drinking 2/3rds of this, throwing up half of my dinner an hour later, waking up with a solid hangover at 5:00 AM, and being completely sick of anything alcoholic for a couple days after having this. That is all. (1,188 characters)

Photo of divineaudio
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

bomber shared with my girlfriend, poured into a tulip.

a - pours a thick, greasy black with a thick, 3 finger, light brown head that won't back down. lots of webby lacing in this glass.

s - caramel, molasses, herbal hop character (sage maybe?), hint of grapefruit.

t - a bitter thwack of roasted malt followed by espresso notes and brown sugar. another bitter thwack of pine resin hits the tongue with some herbal notes that i can't quite place. bitterness lingers as does the malt.

m - full bodied with just the right amount of co2. slightly chewy.

o - a damn fine beer. stone really raised the bar with this one. i would place this in the dangerously drinkable category, it's so good that you don't notice the 10% until it's too late. recommended for all beer lovers. (774 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. Enjoyed at Muddy Waters. It is very creamy black and hoppy with a hop and dark roast bitterness on both the nose and the palate with very faint malt sweetness in the background and a bitter chocolate note. Some hop and grain astringency on the finish. (271 characters)

Photo of mondegreen
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz into a Stone IRS Tulip.

Pours pitch black with a frothy tan head. Leaves sparse lacing as it recede into the darkness.

Nose is huge on the Citra hops. There is an earthy element, possibly from the dark malts. Not roasty by any means, but an interesting balance.

Taste is heavy on the Citra hops as well. They always come off as slightly funky to me, but I dig it. The dark malts come off as a smoothing factor. Maybe it's just my sense of sight playing tricks on me.

Mouth is medium and very smooth. Excellent.

Overall, a fantastic brew. Almost makes up for the disappointment of the 14th. (604 characters)

Photo of aval89
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: poured into Stone IRS glass. big 3 finger head. tan colored.. body is black.. couldnt get any light coming through.. wow, this looks like stone irs but the smell is so off..

s: ripe pink grapefruit with sugar coating.. citrus peels, minty pine needles.. small booziness.. couldnt detect any malts..

t: upfront is roasty, chocolatey malts.. along with some heat from the alcohol.. as it goes back you get the bitterness! aggressive citrus peel bitterness along with sticky pine.. almost like biting on a lemon peel. very resiny, like taking the last hit of weed.. you know, the ones where it shits on you (with ash).. finish is a combo of burnt malts, coffee like bitterness, teamed up with very bitter citrus rinds.. booze lingers..

mf: thick mouthfeel.. does have that chewy element.. right amount of carbonation.. any less or more & it would ruin it for me.. lots of warmth from the alcohol..

o: wow, this is a big beer! and it lets you know.. another great job by Stone! (980 characters)

Photo of Gobigvt7
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into stone glassware.

Black coffee black with vigorously thick milk chocolate head. Fluffy and sticky foam, stubborn and steadfast. Caking the sides of the glass from now until I wash it off. Beerstache in full effect.

wet hops, black chocolate, smells bitter and sweet at the same time.

bitterness, sticky hops, black coffee and black chocolate. heat on the finish. I am a black IPA firebreather. Hints of dark fruits hide around the edges, pine, resin, grapefruit, the whole 9 yards and a few extras.

thick and chewy. without all the hop bitterness, I'm sure the sweetness would be cloying. As it is, it just feels big and fat and round. The proportions are all in order, it is just one mother of a black IPA.

This style is not my bread and butter, but I can appreciate mastery when I see it. This beer is in perfect harmony with itself, typical stone bitterness with a chocolatey malt backbone. One. and done. (934 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch-black body, with a dark tan colored head. Tons of spongy lace left behind, dissipating to a creamy pool atop the murky liquid. The aroma is a full-on assault of fresh pine and flowery hops, with a nice deep roasted note in the back and a subtle chocolate sweetness. Upon sipping, your hit with a very intense bitterness, lot's of piney hops and a nice backing chocolate and burnt roast quality that cut the bitterness nicely. Not surprising, the feel is thick and full bodied. Nice linger on the tongue.

The day before I picked this up, I attempted to make an extreme BIPA with 11' IRS and Stone IPA...didn't work out as planned. Then I try this, and this is nearly exactly what I wanted to accomplish. It's a beautiful thing. (742 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

black as night with a light colored head that rose up about an inch and a half before settling down into a nice broken crown that stayed throughout the session. The aroma was very bright, lots of citrus here, orange and tangerine mostly and a wonderfully bright lemon like aroma that rose up, not at all what you would have expected from something that looked so fark. Nice medium body with a smooth and mellow carbonation and a lightness to it that again was outside what I was expecting. Smooth flavor, clean, crisp, loaded with bitter citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple here. Such a tight and very hoppy big IPA. (626 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet back with a thick, rocky head that stays around quite a bit of time, leaving lacing.

The smell is very robust. Chocolate and coffee backed by aromatic hops. Smells inviting.

The taste is strong delicious. Chocolate and coffee intertwines with plenty of citrusy, resiny hops. Alcohol is certainly noticeable, but adds to the flavor and complexity by giving a palatable spiciness without overwhelming. Too often, this style clashes for me. But, here it works very well. A hoppy, bittersweet, complex, rich brew here!

The feel is silky smooth and full-bodied.

This is a wonderfully hoppy black ale that it very enjoyable! Another winner from Stone! Happy 15th! (671 characters)

Photo of velosuds
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Saw this for the first time at 99 Bottles in Federal Way, WA and paid $6.99. Didn't bother looking for a freshness date since I knew been out for less than a month.

A-pours a beautiful dark brown, nearly black hue with a two finger dark tan head with decent retention. Lacing leaves even rings all the way down the glass.

S-Aroma is fantastic. Ripe, juicy grapefruit (like when peeling the fruit and it squirts ya in the face) pine, and earthy notes. Some roastiness and the slightest alcohol.

T-The juicy hops scintillate the taste buds. The roastiness is more evident in the taste than the aroma. The warming alcohol is also noted. But, the hops dominate.

M-Incredibly smooth and not nearly as filling as I expected. Except for the color and slight roastiness, this is more like a DIPA than many other black ales.

O-This is very good. I like the label on this suggesting the craft beer "revolution" is part of the broader artisan food movement. I wholeheartedly embrace Stone's world view. I no more care for shitty, tasteless food substitutes than yellow fizzy swill. Thank you Stone for your fine contributions to the craft beer movement.

P.S. "Escondidian?" I still prefer the PNW Cascadian moniker. (1,257 characters)

Photo of Swim424
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this on tap at 100 proof/ liquor loft in tallahassee. It was poured into a stella chalice.
I am reviewing this from memory.

A-poured a deep dark black. At first I thought this was a stout I was about to drink. Nice head. It was dark at the bar but appeared to have a brownish tint to the head. But very nice looking.

S-Very nice. Smells of hops. maybe some coffee there. very much like an ipa as well as a stout. Definitly some fruits but dont recall exactly. But got me very excited to take a sip.

T-Damn. tasted of some coffee and roasted malt. as well as some slight fruityness to it. finishes with a very well balanced hop kick. I love my hops and this was pretty good. Not a ton. But again well balanced. Dont remeber much else, except that it was incredible.

MF- very smooth. slight creamyness to it. very pleasant. Good aftertaste.

O-basically this ranks in my top 5 or 10 best. I very much enjoyed this. As soon as I left i went over to the liquor store they have and bought a bomber of it as well. This is an incredible beer and one of my favorites at this point. (1,087 characters)

Photo of ales4baldo
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation- Nice dark bottle. Like the gargoyle on the label holding up a stien glass. Good info and story on the back.

Appearence-Boy is this really a "black" IPA. Pours thick with a nice solid finger and a half of head that retains semi well and has a mocha look. Beer looks like a stout but smells like an IPA, pretty cool.

Smell-Im getting the usual smell of hops in this one but also chocalate notes as well. Blends into together quite nicely. Small amounts of oak and mocha in there as well. Little bit of coffee beans and toast in the mix also. Really nice smell. Black raisan, some plum. Crazy.

Taste-Oh wow! This really is like drinking a stout and an IPA side by side. Get a lot of malts when i drink this. Hops seems to subdue a little bit as the strong heavy chocalate and toaste flavors smoothen out across my mouth. Some smoked flavors in there also.

Mouthfeel-Feels like a Stout! Does not drink like an IPA at all but sure does taste like one to some degree. Definitely a mouthful which is nice. A heavier beer with full body and a dry finish.

Overall-A really nice beer man. I must say. If you want to enjoy a stout and an IPA at the same time this is definitely a beer to drink. Glad i let it sit in the celler for a month or two. Seems to have done it some well. Very tasty. Nice balance. Smooth and thick at the same time. Nice. (1,358 characters)

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber
A - pitch black with a big fine bubbled head that leaves more of a coating than just outright lacing.
S - hops and more hops. A bit of malt in the back but the hops are powerful.
T - now I get the malts in a big way, but not without chewing through the hops first. Malts improve with warming. Dark malty flavor lingers along side the hops.
M - creamy thick with moderate carbonation.
D - at 10+abv you won't be getting through more than one bomber by yourself even if you'd like to!
A quite good black IPA with an emphasis on the IPA. Stone scores again.

revisit: 2-2-12
This is still the best Black IPA I can find that is easily available. (657 characters)

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Goblet at the Bronx Alehouse.

A: 1 1/4 head of dark tan w/tightly jumbled bubbles lacing in wide crescents throughout the glass.

S: Hops hit the nose first & foremost w/chocolate malty undertones.

T: Initial sweet malt start is replaced immediately w/bitter & citric layers of hops. Cali Hop Bomb infused into yet another beer.

M: Thick & viscous as I had hoped for & was not disappointed.

O: Another version of an expanding style with 21st Amndt, Southern Tier, Blue Point & many others brewing their interpretation. Stone did a spot on job w/this beer to combine sweet & spicy & to leave you with a cheek cloying & hop burps for over an hour. (663 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After enjoying a Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale last night, I wanted to see how Stone took this style to the next level.

22oz bottled (August 2011) poured into a tulip. Color is rich oily black with a thick mocha head that sits there forever, leaves nice sticky lacing on the glass.

Aroma is grapefruit and pine with some dark roasty malt in the background. Smells a lot like a standard IPA. A good swirl brings up some rich cocoa and bitter chocolate aroma, along with more delightful hops.

Taste is really complex: rich dark malts and chocolate contrasting with the bright citrus hops. Super smooth, decadent mouthfeel. There's two kinds of bitterness going on here: one from the dark roasted malts and another from the hops.

Basically this is an amped-up version of Sublimely Self-Righteous. Really great brew. A cross between an American Imperial IPA and an American Imperial Stout. Until your 16th anniversary, Stone! (924 characters)

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date: August 2011. 22oz bottle poured into a white wine glass.

Appearance- Porter like. Black with a medium tan head. Lots of lacing 4.5/5

Smell- Chocolate, pine hops, and deeply roasted malts. Some muted Earthiness. Also a b urnt popcorn aroma. 4.5/5

Taste- Big bitterness covers whole mouth from top to bottom. Chocolate turns to bitter chocolate as it warms. Muted earthiness. Hints of Smoke. The alcohol comes out in the end. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Sweet. Thicker than it should be, in a good way. 4.5/5

Overall- This is probably my favorite Black IPA to date. Very interesting and complex. Wouldn't mind another if it was a sat night. Score one for stone. 4.5/5 (673 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Vendome. Into a NB Globe.

A: Inky black, every much the color of the Stone IRS I had last night. Dense, tan head of about 1/2 an inch with gobs and gobs of lacing. The head will not disappear. Completely opaque. Man, this is one good looking beer.

S: Incredibly "herbal". Dank, resinous hops, tons of hops, which I completely expected from Stone. Under that there are some definite caramel and toffee notes, and just a hint of coffee. No booze at all. Doesn't get much better than this.

T: Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Tons of hops, strong resinous hops, citrus and pine with a hearty bitterness that never reaches that annoying soapiness that was in the Stone 13th. Great malt presence here, caramel, and toffee, with a decent amount of roast and coffee in here as well. A faint hint of booze at the end, but it is by no means overpowering. Awesome.

M: Medium mouthfeel, slight bit of warmth, but not what I would expect for a nearly 11% beer. Fairly sticky on the lips, with a medium dry finish.

O: Very enjoyable beer, definitely worthy of the 'A' average on the site after 100+ reviews. I would love to see this worked into the year round or seasonal line up like Sublimely Self Righteous, because this is a beer that if I knew was fresh I would drink quite regularly. Cheers to Stone on 15, keep up the great work! (1,355 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black, so very black. Pours with some viscosity, but nowhere near stout consistency, obviously. Head is a slightly-red-tinged tan. Creamy, bubbly, and crazy lacing abound. Thin layer of foam on top of the beer lingers throughout.

Smell: Fresh pine needles. Roasted malts, tons of roasted malts. Coffee, cocoa, and even more roasted malts. touches of tropical fruit linger in the back, but quickly give way to the malts. Anise and some toasted malts as well. Touches of citrus as well. It's one of the more complex noses I've ever pulled off a Stone beer.

Taste: Cocoa dipped pine needles. Big hit of pine assaults the tongue. I'm pretty sure I just sipped baker's chocolate. Grapefruit comes through once you make it through the pine. touches of anise and coffee beans round out the back of the flavor. A touch of alcohol heat comes through and lets you know the beer isn't messing around. Loads of roasted malts on top of everything. A healthy dose of hops and malts make for tons of flavor, without either really gaining an edge.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full with a solid carbonation. It's the perfect blend of stout and IPA characteristics. Smooth, creamy, and a touch dry. Drinks like a champ. Alcohol adds a drying bite as well.

Overall: I'm hoping this works it's way in to a seasonal rotation. It's a solid blend of intense hop and intense malt profiles. Lots of flavor, but it never gets exhausting. Surprisingly drinkable for such a big beer, but putting one of these down will leave you feeling it. (1,520 characters)

Photo of JCaweinstein
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 10/7/11
Black with a dark tan head with lots of bubbles, about two fingers thick
Grapefruit, floral aromas that are very nice
Dark fruit, malty sweetness followed by a nice hop presence
Smooth, medium to thick bodied, Coates the mouth and leaves a nice warming feel along with a little hop bitterness
I was initially surprised by how smooth this was as I was expecting a hop bomb. This beer however, was far from it! (428 characters)

15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 713 ratings.