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

15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,373 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1373
Reviews: 711
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.8%


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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 08-16-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,373 | Reviews: 711 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 21:23:55 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 01:55:27 | More by nhindian
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 19:39:02 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of gregb13
gregb13

California

3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 02:31:16 | More by gregb13
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 00:26:00 | More by scottfrie
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 00:39:11 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 02:57:14 | More by katan
Photo of BeardedRiker
BeardedRiker

Texas

3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let me say first off that I was very much anticipating this beer after I first heard about it. When I tried Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale it blew my mind. I loved it. Then when I heard of another Black IPA by Stone it got me very excited.

The Escondidian is a good-looking brew. It's black as midnight. You can't see through it at all although I will say if you hold the bottle up the right way to a light source you can see sediment swirling around in it. The head doesn't get too big and it takes a little while to form into its lovely tan and creamy self. It has good retention and a bit of the head remains on top throughout drinking.

The smell is dominated by hops and booze. Tropical fruits and roastiness lay underneath. I couldn't get much more than that.

The taste is very much like the smell. Hops hit you really hard immediately with bitterness. Mango tropical fruit sweetness adds more complexity but it's quickly dominated by alcohol burn. I could get a bit of roasted malt (cocoa and coffee) in there but the hops and alcohol were too strong. Some molasses sweetness in there too like an RIS.

Mouthfeel is very syrupy throughout after a hoppy dry beginning. Medium carbonation and a medium-full body.

I'll be honest. I was disappointed in the Escondidian. I had high hopes for it, and why not? Stone routinely makes excellent beers and I love their SSR. All signs pointed to an awesome beer, however, the hops and alcohol in this are simply too strong and aren't balanced with the rest. I love hoppy beers and I tend to like high ABV beers too but in this case it's all too dominating. It's hard to taste awesome stout-like flavors when my taste buds are first bombarded by hops and then numbed by alcohol. I thought it might have just been my opinion but my brother who was drinking his own bottle with me agreed with everything I said. This isn't a bad beer. It tastes fine but it's not balanced. I'd choose the SSR over this any day.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 21:49:54 | More by BeardedRiker
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip. I don't understand the love for this...

Black with a creamy, khaki head with a long lasting finger thick head and clumpy lacing. Roast chocolate and malt dominate around with mild pine and resin hops. Much more malt forward than expected in the flavor, with roast and chocolate and a bitter finish without a particularly interesting hop flavor. Light pine and grapefruit rind linger. Medium thick body with average carbonation and a persistent bitterness. Not bad, balance is relative for a Stone beer and this ABV, but the malt is the only part that seems imperial here.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 19:52:07 | More by yourefragile
Photo of Wadsey
Wadsey

Indiana

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stone 15th Anniversary 

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours black with tan, fluffy head that persists for a few moments. Haphazard lacing sticks to glass. No light penetrates the beer, so it is impossible to determine clarity and effervescence. 

S: Citrus hops and chocolate, roasted malts duke it on nose, alternating between contradictory and complimentary. Peat-like smokey character watches from the audience. Alcohol and earth or tobacco leave notes, too. 

T:  Juicy piney hops and sweetness touch palate and are slapped aside by rough toasted malts. Tobacco leaves, chocolate, roast, and earth are accurate descriptors. Solid bitterness that segues into roasty and sticky weed finish. 

M: Medium-heavy body and medium carbonation. Sticky body. 

O: I'm not sure why Stone decided to release another American Dark Ale (my term), when it already has Sublimely Self Righteous. Perhaps the answer lies in the overly wordy label. I will never know. 

There is an interesting tension in 15th Anniversary, but the roasted malts definitely win out. A little unbalanced. Still, it's a fun beer. 

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 12:30:28 | More by Wadsey
Photo of ibbjamin
ibbjamin

California

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber of this new Stone brew from Perry's in Livermore, CA. I pour into a large snifter to review. Black IPA over 10% with an A rating on here? Sounds interesting.

Pours thick like a stout with an inch of dark colored stout-esque head. Black in color. A thin layer of retention and great lacing.

Quite hoppy nose, but still on the balanced side with a healthy dose of lightly roasted malt. Hints of chocolate, cream and vanilla but the resinous hops continue to push through. I cannot detect the high ABV.

Taste is much more stout than IPA for me. Much roastier than I anticipated with the chocolate and molasses pushing the hops aside. That ABV is being more detectable, but still well contained.

Full body, thick and somewhat creamy. Good levels of carbonation make this one very drinkable for its size. Long finish of roasted malt. The bitterness I detected in the nose is seemingly non existent now.

A good beer I suppose, but I was hoping for more hops on this one and ended up being let down a little. For what it is, a hoppy stout, in my opinion, it is a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 02:18:57 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of TheGordianKnot
TheGordianKnot

Tennessee

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 10oz snifter...

A- Very stoutlike in appearance. Black with an inch of thick, dense, creamy, khaki colored head.

S- Incredibly balanced aroma, surprising from Stone. Quite a bit of everything from the hops- fruit, earthy, spice, grass, and a hefty dosing of pine. A bit of roast and pumpernickle bread from the malt to balance.

T/M- Not as over the top as everyone keeps saying. Slight roast to begin, with a smooth transition into dirty, earthy, piney hops. Ends with a little caramel and very boozy. Medium body, slick feel; well carbonated but it stays oily and doesn't get too bubbly.

O- Decent, not great. Definitely nothing like Devil Dancer as suggested on the forums. Nice balance compared to some others I've had from Stone *cough- I'm looking at you SSR-cough*

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2011 05:35:07 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of phichifiji00
phichifiji00

California

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Black, pours two fingers of thick, creamy, tan head. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Hoppy, piney, citrus.

Taste: predominately hoppy, lots of pine, citrus, malty, subtle smoky/roasted malt taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium - Full bodied, good carbonation.

Overall; A good black IPA, very hoppy. I'd expect nothing less from Stone.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 21:07:24 | More by phichifiji00
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber.

A- Pours a deep brown/black color with a thick coffee colored head that leaves nice lacing.

S- Spicy pine hop aroma with a touch of smoke. Earth and malt but a bit muted overall.

T- This drinks like one hell of a hoppy stout. Huge hop bitterness and flavor initially with pine and hop resin. Smoked malt and charred flavor in the finish with a wallop of alcohol. Dank and smoky at the same time. It feels like more of a competition between hops and sweet malt then a melding together of flavors.

M- Full bodied with good carbonation.

O- Overall a very interesting brew. I think I prefer SSR over this one, but a few years in the cellar and the hops should fade to leave a pretty nice stout behind.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 22:25:29 | More by projectflam86
Photo of BeerNutz324
BeerNutz324

Minnesota

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into an oversized wine glass, split with the wifey.

Ap- Dark, Dark brown, pretty much black. Small tan head that vanished pretty quick.

Ar- roasted, burnt malts with a some piney hops, oh and alcohol.

T- coffee, roasted, burnt malts. piney hops come through at the end. After holding this beer in my mouth for a while I can finally feel the oily hops.

M- medium body, decent carbo for this style.

O- not as good as I was hoping, but it was still a good beer. I honestly don't know if I would buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 00:39:45 | More by BeerNutz324
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours pitch black with one and a half fingers of creamy brown head. Head has nice retention and leaves spotty lacing.

S - Lots of chocolate malt and citrus hops, with some floral aromas as well. Definitely some alcohol in the nose. Good, but doesn't really grab me.

T - Still a good bitter hop presence after four months. Never had it fresh, so don't know how this compares. Significant chocolate malt and roasted malt presence throughout, a bit ashy. Citrus and grassy hops. Finish is dry and lingering bitterness.

M - Nice, creamy mouthfeel with a very bitter finish.

O - Good black ale, which is a style I have a hard time getting excited about. Nice bitterness, but a little too much ash from the malt component.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 18:19:05 | More by warnerry
Photo of BrewtifulMind
BrewtifulMind

California

3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Bottle Room, Whittier, CA

This brew pours a pitch black color, looks exactly like spent motor oil. Has an inch of brown head, good retention, and decent lacing. It has more of a hoppy scent to it than i had expected, also smells of roasted coffee beans, and heavy on the malts. This one tasted pretty chocolaty and coffee-like, not very much hops in the flavor, although it smelled of them. Pretty thick mouthfeel, just like i would expect motor oil to feel. Overall, this was a decent brew, but not one I would go out of my way to get again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2011 21:04:15 | More by BrewtifulMind
Photo of gdrydenc
gdrydenc

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep black with a substantial amount of thick, tight head that you could cut with a knife. The head lasts around for a long time and almost feels like the head on a nitro'd stout.

S - Dark roasted coffee, hints of fruitiness from the hops, but it's overwhelmed by the roasted malts. I don't like that about this beer, frankly. I like my Black IPAs to have a good match of hops and malts, this isn't a great representation of the style, in my opinion.

T - Taste is very similar. As a beer, this is great. As a Black IPA, I don't like this beer. It's too much black and not nearly enough IPA. The hops are present, just not well matched with the malts.

M - This feels a bit like, as I mentioned before, a stout on nitro. It's fairly creamy, which I would expect out of a beer with this alcohol content. Good mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a great beer. However, it isn't a great Black IPA. I'd drink it again and recommend it to a friend, but it's not going to get a great review because it's not a good fit for the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 02:09:34 | More by gdrydenc
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Poured into a snifter, an oily brownish black with a small cap of tan head that retained decently and left some streaky lacing behind. Big aroma full of pine, with a sweet maltiness just peeking through in the background. A blast of pine and resin on the tongue, on the border of being a palate killer. Notes of coffee bitterness and bottom-of-the-barrel molasses. Heavy, greasy mouthfeel and definitely boozy.

I like Cascadian dark ales, I like Stone's brews a lot, and I know they're all about being extreme. But I think this one was too much even for me. It wasn't bad by any means, just a little over the top and one-sided with the pine taking almost complete dominance. I'd really have to be in the mood to try this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2011 11:04:51 | More by Rifugium
Photo of dedrinker
dedrinker

Kansas

3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with a tan head - all pumped out in my glass, foamed up and puffy.

Aromas of dark chocolate, bourbon/licorice combo that is faint edge on the dark choco roasted malts or something.

Bitter chocolate all the way through with alcohol notes and hop bitterness.

This is more like a hoppy RIS rather than an Imperial Black IPA - the hop profile is all bittering hops and no hop flavor or aroma.

Bitter chocolate and hop finish. This beer is good but I was disappointed in not finding this as the imperial version of their sublimely self righteous ale, which hey man, I'll just go buy that instead and stop hating.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 01:57:27 | More by dedrinker
Photo of bundy462
bundy462

Texas

3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a cream colored head.

S: Dark chocolate and burnt malts. Earthy and grassy. Dark fruits and fig. Hops over all of it. Lots going on.

T: Maltier and fruitier that I had expected. Definite Stone character. The hops are somewhat lost in the body. Boozy overtones.

M: Syrupy and prickly.

O: Very complex and different, maybe a little too much going on.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 17:20:42 | More by bundy462
Photo of Hopstamon
Hopstamon

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a imperial pint glass.

A - Poured a pitch black with a tan creamy head. Decent lacing.

S - Lots of in-your-face hoppiness dominate.

T - Taste doesn’t stray too far from the aroma. I get a lot of piney hops up front with some chocolatey malts on the backside. The bitterness grabs a hold of your palate and doesn't let go. A rather large amount of alcohol creeps up.

M - Medium-thick bodied with moderate carbonation. Thicker and creamier than expected. The bitterness is a little harsh. I can definitely feel the alcohol’s presence in this beer.

O - Not one of my favorites from Stone. I had bigger expectations on this one. I am a huge Stone fan... always have some on hand... I dig BIPA's...but I I didn't fall in love with this anniversary version as much as I have in the past.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 15:25:07 | More by Hopstamon
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm always up for trying a new CascAmerEscoBlackPA. Poured this imperial version into an oversized snifter, an appropriate vessel for enjoying the thick, long lasting tan head and plentiful lacing. Near black body.

Tropical fruit and pine hop aromas claw thru substantial roast and brownie batter. A touch of yeastiness. No sign of the booze in the nose, but as the beer warms, the alcohol becomes progressively stronger. Thanks in no small part to the tongue-thrashing bitterness, it never overwhelms, but distracts at times. The tropical hop and pine flavors can't gain as firm a foothold as the bitterness, taking a backseat to sharp burnt and tangy chocolate malts. Finish is dryish/roasty, yet boozy at the same time.

Overall impression: Good stuff, but much like a regular DIPA, it seems like there's a certain ABV point beyond which it's hard to have the hops be the unquestioned feature ingredient. May or may not revisit this. I'd love to see it dialed down to 7-8%, losing some malt along the way.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 11:13:29 | More by PDXHops
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a stout with a deep black color, brown hues in the light, and a huge, thick mocha colored head that fades very slowly and leaves huge soapy rings of lace. Very stout-like with thick, rich, brown head.

The aroma is roast, odd earthy notes, chocolate and toffee dominated with pine and floral notes.

The taste is full of tropical and citrus flavors. Pineapple and grapefruit with strong pine tones. Roasted qualities underneath. Chocolate in the nose is lost, but slight hint of bitter cocoa is in the lingering aftertaste. Balance lends toward bitter hops with sweet orange in the middle and less on dark malts. Nice balance but a medicinal, aspirin like aftertaste lingers a bit. Grapefruit pith stands out and throws the balance off to dominate over any chocolate profile.

A tad bit off balance and bitter finish, but nice middle and overall an interesting, complex and nicely done black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 01:42:29 | More by JayS2629
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Rick's in Alexandria. Served in a Stone IRS tulip.

Pours black with a large, creamy tan head that lasts for a long time before falling into a thin cap with excellent lacing.

The nose brings forward plenty of chocolate and roast, backed up with some earthy hops and pine resin. A bit of booze in the nose, which becomes more prevalent in the flavor. Hops are fairly light compared to the malt, though neither is particularly heavy. Moderate-to-strong bitterness with average carbonation. Medium body. Decent enough, but not what I expected given the rave reviews.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 10:20:15 | More by Thorpe429
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,373 ratings.