15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
3.5/5 rDev -17.1%
Served on tap in a snifter at the Stone Tap Takeover at Acre.
Appearance: The appearance of every Stone beer shows their care and devotion to the craft. Black in color with brown edges and a tan cap, this big American Black Ale retains remarkably well for the ABV and leaves some nice lace down the glass.
Smell: The aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, soy sauce, and some piney hops with a touch of ethyl alcohol.
Taste: Unfortunately, the taste cannot shed the soy sauce aroma that I got in the nose. Roast coffee and malt go well together with some light sweetness, with a mostly pine hop bill at the end. The salty soy sauce flavor just throws this off too much to give it a good score though. The booze is there the whole time, but it manifests itself in its purest form at the end of the sip.
Mouthfeel: Moderately creamy and smooth, with a good amount of carbonation. Fuller than medium bodied, with an ABV that warms the throat and stomach. Not too sticky or resiny, although both sensations are there.
Overall: Not the best I have had. Where that soy sauce flavor came from, I don't know, but it really distracts from what would otherwise be a pretty good beer.
08-22-2011 21:23:55 | More by KickInTheChalice
3.53/5 rDev -16.4%
Pours almost black with a fluffy, mocha-tinted head of varying bubble structure. Sort of like a thick root beer float. Moderate alcohol legs.
Nose is dominated by bitter hop and citrus fruit, and some sharp citrus rind. Not much else present.
Taste follows the nose. Very bitter up front, in the middle and on the back of the palate. Hops and bitter citrus galore. There is a mild alcohol warming sensation in the finish, and possibly some espresso notes throughout. Some dark roasted character as well.
Mouthfeel is medium, very effervescent. Moderate carbonation, bitter aftertaste.
Overall a solid brew. A little bitter for my palate, but if you are a fan of huge west coast IPAs you would probably enjoy this.
10-31-2011 02:31:16 | More by gregb13
3.53/5 rDev -16.4%
Pours jet black with a light brown head. In the aroma, chocolate roast and a citrus hop. In the taste, a small citrus and a dry coffee and chocolate roast. A small hop and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry chocolate and coffee like aftertaste. More a hoppy porter, nice, but porter like.
10-18-2011 19:39:02 | More by OWSLEY069
3.53/5 rDev -16.4%
22oz bottle poured into a Stone Imperial Russian Stout tulip.
A - Pours a midnight black with a bit of dark chocolate brown creeping in around the edges. Completely opaque with no hint of any activity within the glass. A huge, 3-finger head begins forming slowly at first, but then quickly gains steam before finally ending in a mushroom-shaped cloud, with a multitude of small bubbles giving it some additional creaminess. Some pretty nice retention and when it's gone, it leaves a little circular cap of foam in the middle of the glass. Great lacing as well, draping the sides with thick slabs of foam.
S - My first smell is full of hops and almost only hops. It is much more bright and vibrant than I was expecting given the style and color, but it is also quite refreshing. A decent amount of citrus, but for the most part the hops are mainly giving off wet, sticky pine resin. I don't think I've ever had a Black IPA that was as fresh as this and imparts so much hop presence. In fact, I'm getting very little malt in the form of roast, and just a touch of chocolate that belays the hops. Is that brown sugar as well?
T - After the impressive nose, I have myself pumped for the taste. I'm going to say right away that it is definitely a few notches lower than the aroma. In fact, at first, I wasn't a fan at all. It was too muddled, too frantic and didn't have any personality to it. It jumped from malt to hop and back again constantly and didn't allow the palate to get a firm grip on it. It does, however, settle down a bit as it rests. When it's a bit colder, the malts steal the show, bringing bold roast, rich cocoa, and again, I'm getting that sweet brown sugar characteristic from the nose. The hops start coming through in the mid-palate, here in the form of more earthy, spicy hops rather than the pine sap in the aroma. It's kind of a two-headed monster in that regard; I would've loved for the pine to continue in the taste, but I feel that these more gritty, earthy hops complement the malts and roast. The grapefruit and pine do resurge late, but even when it warms, it still doesn't seem to be entirely cohesive, unfortunately.
M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with high carbonation. The finish is doubly bitter, both because of the roast and the hops, and it's a bit on the drier side. The head lends it some creaminess.
D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I can't say I wasn't expecting a bit more from this, especially after the amazing appearance and nose. But it definitely does have a unique flavor that is worth experiencing. Thankfully as it warms it does come together more succinctly, so if you have this, plan on drinking it over an extended session.
10-12-2011 01:55:27 | More by nhindian
3.55/5 rDev -15.9%
22oz bottle into Gulden Draak tulip.
A: Pours a very very dark brown with a huge mocha colored dense head that took forever and a day to slowly fade into fuzzy film that left thick streaks of lacing down the glass.
S: In typical Stone fashion I get a huge blast of pine and grapefruit citrus hops, but this ipa is ‘black’ because I get equally as strong notes of roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate. There is also a bit of volatile alcohol.
T: Follows the nose with a great balance between fresh pine resin and grapefruit hops and rich dark chocolate, roasted malt and acidic coffee. The finish is bitter and a fairly acidic, and the aftertaste is a bit rough and boozy. Flavors are rich and powerful overall.
M: Thick body, greasy slick mouthfeel that’s actually a bit rough. The carbonation is fine, but there is a bit too much solventy alcohol and acid for me to really want to finish the bottle.
O: Good, maybe a bit rough around the edges, but definitely not as good as Sublimely Self-Righteous. I wish it was just a bit smoother.
09-02-2011 00:26:00 | More by scottfrie
3.55/5 rDev -15.9%
This pours a dark brown/black color with a mocha-colored foam. It smells exactly as you'd expect, citrusy hops + roasted malts and a hit of ethanol. Some cocoa too (which wasn't expected).
Way too much roasty flavor for me to like this, big malt bill filled with heavily roasted grains. Chocolaty and toasty, with the hops giving more counterpoint than counterbalance. Basically this is a hoppy stout.
A little bit of burn at the end of each sip, strong stuff. Just not my style I guess.
10-14-2011 00:39:11 | More by TurdFurgison
3.55/5 rDev -15.9%
22oz into a pint
A - Pours deep, dark, thick black color. Very viscous. Head formation is mocha colored, well retained at a thick film. Incredible lacing.
S - Starts off lightly sweet, some dark chocolate malts. Getting a little more hopping character in the mid-stream. Lots of bittersweet chocolate, a little bit of roast. Certainly on the sweeter side. Hopping is fairly well restrained, doesn't show itself to carry much IPA character.
T - Finishes with the most roast, the most bitterness, almost coming off burnt.
M - Thick and full bodied, tongue grabbing bitterness at times. A little bit of alcohol warmth, but certainly below what you would think for this style.
O/D - A little bit hard to drink, a really over the top attack of harsher malts. Hopping isn't really the most defining attribute. The ABV on this beer puts it above a more sessionable winter beer. I'd like to go compare it to the RIS just to see how they tried to vary up the ingredients.
11-08-2011 02:57:14 | More by katan
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.