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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

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

1,397 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,397
Reviews: 713
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 54
Gots: 138 | 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:
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Retsinis
Retsinis

California

3.38/5  rDev -19.9%

Being Stone's 15th, I had to try this one, even though I don't buy Stone's beers nearly as much as I use to a few years back. There WAS a TON of this at the local Total wines when it was first released, and now this was the only bottle I saw this past weekend, so it must be decent to be going so fast. Anyhow, on to the review.

Review from notes.

A: Poured from the 22oz bomber into a Bruery tulip glass. A solid half inch of medium tan brown colored head rose, and slowly settled, leaving a smooth coating film at first, and then some sticky spotty lace. Settled to just a ring of bubbles, and some film on top of this Black beer, that no light penetrates.

S: Scents of light espresso, light mint hops, light chocolate, medium roasted malt, more bitter hops, with notes of pine, hay, light smoke and that distinct stone yeast strain. A bit muddled actually.

T: Mirrors the nose, intense bitter hops aroma, medium roasted malt, light chocolate, and a touch of coffee. Some rye grain notes in there as well, and the ABV is well hidden. As it warmed, I started to get very subtle taste of burnt cinnamon, mixed with light pepper or even ginger? Might not be describing that just right, but it's there.

M: Medium carbonation, bitter bite.

O: Good, way better than 14. Glad I got to try it, but no plans to revisit. Still pretty intense, even though it was released nearly two months ago.

Black IPA's for me are either closer to porters, or DIPA's with some in between. It's a tricky balance to make a great one from the dozens+ I've tried. This definitely favored the hops, but it's an odd mix. While the hops may be what makes this beer great, some time might improve it even more for me, though not the brewers intention I imagine to age it,.

Not sure if it's the in house yeast strain, or the choice of hops, both, or something I can't put my finger on, but this beer is a bit TOO bitter for me, and not in a good way, and I love DIPA's, IIPA, IPA's etc, so I'm left that it may just not be a choice of hops that agrees with me.

Nevertheless, Congrats Stone on 15 years, Cheers!

10-11-2011 23:44:33 | More by Retsinis
Photo of slentz
slentz

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -19.9%

Bottle to Deschutes tulip at about 50 degrees.

A: Moderate pour leads to about 1.5 finger of creamy pillowy head that recedes to a nice ring that stays forever. Nice lacing and legs...very black 4.0

S: A little bit of smoke and oniony hops, dark chocolate malts, but overall smell is very muted on this one. 3.0

T: Smoky, spicy beef jerky like almost. Again the onions come out from the hops. Completely different than anything I have ever tasted. 3.5

M: Good carbonation, nice and viscous, definitely leaving an oily residue on the teeth and gums. 4.0

O: Overall this beer is not that great. Pretty disappointing and tough to get through 3.0

09-25-2011 19:32:48 | More by slentz
Photo of TBoneJones
TBoneJones

Texas

3.4/5  rDev -19.4%

Pours like a black beauty. Thick deep black, great two finger-width off -white/ light caramel-colored head.
Smells like a liquory funky type of beverage, with some light mocha notes, and with some hop aroma as well. Interesting but not powerful.
This is an interesting take, I normally wouldn't go for a black IPA and don't recall ever having done so. But i feel Stone balanced this brew quite well. It's like a DIPA and an RIS seamlessly combined. It works somehow. It has burnt lingering bitterness with a smooth, thick creamy mouthfeel. Still not a favorite style of mine, but this one is a good sipper. But then this just feels very dry at the finish.
Overall I thought this was easy to drink for such a big beer, but the abrupt drying finish held this back for me. A good combo of big ipa and darkness, but the impression left is strong, and then a chalky, metallic taste. Looks much better than everything else about it. Worth a try nonetheless.

12-22-2012 23:47:22 | More by TBoneJones
Photo of NCSUdo
NCSUdo

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -19.4%

22 oz bottle

A: Dark black body under a good sized brown head. Nice retention and lace.

S: Mix of roasted and chocolate malt with a background of citrus hops. Nice balance in the aroma.

T: Very roasted taste, with some hints of chocolate. Unfortunately, there is a hint of "burnt" there also. Not getting a lot of hop taste, but certainly a big bitterness in the finish. Alcohol apparent in a decent warmth on the way down. Fairly unbalanced.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is not too high. Drinkability is fair. A big beer that is a bit out of balanced in the taste depart.

11-14-2011 01:36:48 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -19.4%

Bottle shared by Jason - thanks man! Served in a Hill Farmstead glass.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a partial cap, leaving behind spotty lace and a thick collar. A dark brown body reveals no transparency.

S - Pine, grapefruit, black malt, dark chocolate, and caramel. The hops give off a little bit of that cheesy stale hop aroma that I get from aged hoppy beers, but this was only bottled in August - weird.

T - Taste is unfortunately much less enjoyable. There's a blend of astringency, chalk, char, black malts, bitter grapefruit rinds, and pine. The bitterness is oppressive and fatiguing, and more sweetness is needed for balance. I'm alright with palate-bruising beers, but there needs to be a reward equal to the punishment, and this isn't the case here.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, extremely dry finish, and tons of resinous hop oils that linger well into the aftertaste. There's some light alcohol warmth, but nothing out-of-place for a 10.8% beer. The feel is by far my favorite element of this brew.

D - I'm starting to really dislike this style, particularly efforts like this one that mix my least favorite elements of IPAs and stouts yielding excessively bitter beers that evoke such delicious flavors as char, aspirin, and unripe grapefruits. While these types of flavors have their place, they just aren't very appealing on their own.

09-18-2011 23:18:25 | More by MasterSki
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe

New York

3.43/5  rDev -18.7%

Stone Escondidian, bomber into tall cocktail glass.

Appearance: Classic Black IPA, super dark and thick, with a very solid cafe-con-leche head that lasts and lasts. Beautiful lacing, retention. Good carbonation.

Smell: Not too enticing here. Dry roastiness, some coffee, a tad of toasted hops. Bitter, acrid. Unexpected citrus, boiling orange juice. Weird!

Taste: Coffee, some chocolate powder. Bitter hops. Dry hay, barnyard and roughness. At the end, it is like getting hit by pine needles on the throat. Sublimely Redux, minus the passion and the balance.

Mouthfeel: Creamy enough, full body and flavor, good carbonation. Very, very dry finish. Boozy ma non troppo. Not too pleasant around the mouth.

Overall: I don't dig this. It is like an unimproved version of Sublimely. Why? Sure, it is better than any other Anniversary I have tried, but still... no need for this. I'll go for Sublimely. It eventually became a chore to drink, even though it is not terribly alcoholic.

EDIT: Much better on tap.

09-03-2011 06:36:34 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of pburland23
pburland23

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -18.7%

Reviewed from notes.

Poured from a 22 ounce bombed into my Great Divide tulip.

Pours a stout-like opaque dark black with two and half towering fingers of mocha colored head. Moderate head retention and a ridiculous draping of thick, clingy lacing.

Smell is underwhelming. I was expecting a real, quintessential Stone hop bomb. But, the preeminent aroma was more dark candied sugar and sweet malt. At the tale end of the nose, there's a whiff of dank, earthy hops. Wish there had been more.

Taste start off overly sweet and malty. Then, there's a huge wallop of biting hops bitterness in the middle of the sip which slips away to a slight touch of roastiness. The happiness mellowed as the beer warmed, but this one tasted more black ale and less IPA throughout.

Mouthfeel is mildly thick with a healthy dose of carbonation. High ABV but the booze is hidden quite well.

Overall, I'm not impressed. Stone is using spot on but this one misses the mark. The flavored are muddled and the beer suffers from an identity crisis.

12-04-2011 19:18:32 | More by pburland23
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4

Tennessee

3.43/5  rDev -18.7%

I'm usually wacky about these anniversary brews from Stone but this one was a little bit of a downer for me... The beer looked great in the glass... It smelled big and mean and loaded with piney hops and dark chocolate malts...and then came the booze... Lots of it...

I know it was almost 11% but it tasted more like 17-18% to me... This thing was hot and boozy and drowned out what the beer was trying to be...the hops were juicy and delicious for sure and the big malt bill brought the bitter chocolate aspects to the beer but both got slammed by a strong fusel flavor that sort of turned me off to it...

I had trouble finishing this... I will probably pick a bottle up to age for a while and revisit this in 6 months or so but as for now, this wasn't my thing... Not horrible, but the ABV was very prevalent here...

11-01-2011 19:25:00 | More by Tilley4
Photo of Mahlik
Mahlik

Oregon

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%

Bomber poured into a shaker pint glass. Reviewed from notes (9/15/11).

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

S - Lots of in-your-face hoppiness dominate. Pine, resin and citrus are all present in the aroma. An underlying fruitiness.

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. A touch of citrus. 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. I'm usually torn on black IPAs. I probably won't seek this one out again. I like the hop profile but this beer borders on being too harsh. It's a little too unbalanced for my liking.

01-06-2012 04:02:16 | More by Mahlik
Photo of schlimenhaumer
schlimenhaumer

New York

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%

Poured from the standard pressure cap bottle into a nonic pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours pitch black with a 1-2 finger mocha colored head of decent retention. Nice lacing here.

S: Dark chocolate, caramel malts, fairly prominent bittering hops. Like a stout, this one definitely smells dark. I feel I may have waited too long to buy this one as the hops smell a bit less prevalent than expected for a black IPA.

T: Dark chocolate and a sweet caramel malt body up front with and bitterness throughout that really takes over on the finish. I'm sure the hop character would have been stronger and more pleasant if I bought this one a bit fresher.

M: Full-bodied and slick with a little bit of carbonation. I feel that this one could have done with some more carbonation.

D: From the taste, I never would have guessed this one is 10.8% ABV -- it conceals the alcohol content very well. The dark chocolate and sweet malt notes were a bit overpowering, but the balance may have been better if I had this fresh. While it was pretty good, I don't think I would buy it again.

01-18-2012 01:55:41 | More by schlimenhaumer
Photo of olimpia84
olimpia84

Florida

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%

On-tap served on a Pint glass.

A: black body with a two finger tanned head, wall light brown lacing present.

S: strong oak wood smell with hoppy herbal tones. Presents the beer fairly well.

T: strong earthy tones, strong hop flavor, very herbal and passion fruit/orange feel. There is a big bitter kick in the palate at the end. A bit too strong for my liking.

M: medium to full body with low to medium carbonation. Best enjoyed slowly.

O: I found this beer to be a bit too strong and aggressive for my taste. The bitterness at the end gets in the way of fully enjoying this beer in my opinion. Hops fans should be pleased though.

10-31-2011 16:20:33 | More by olimpia84
Photo of Bfarr
Bfarr

Washington

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%

Dark brown and good brown head with poor retention. More of a roasted malt aroma with a touch of pine. The roasted malts are more pronounced with good balance in sweetness and good pine and chocolate notes. Fairly thin feel.

Oddly it was not as enjoyable as it was out of the bottle which I felt was true of it on tap as well. It seemed thin and almost unfinished. It didn’t have the strong pine hop content of the bottle. A good beer, but I’d rather buy another bottle.

10-26-2011 01:33:45 | More by Bfarr
Photo of ricksrealm
ricksrealm

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

01-19-2012 13:03:36 | More by ricksrealm
Photo of BeerHownd
BeerHownd

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

01-29-2012 17:55:11 | More by BeerHownd
Photo of buffs9
buffs9

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

03-06-2012 19:38:40 | More by buffs9
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
HaveUSeenMyCellar

California

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

01-18-2014 06:17:29 | More by HaveUSeenMyCellar
Photo of derekfilcoff
derekfilcoff

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

02-29-2012 00:59:20 | More by derekfilcoff
Photo of TrustOneSip
TrustOneSip

California

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

07-14-2012 02:58:45 | More by TrustOneSip
Photo of rbrefbeerman
rbrefbeerman

California

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

01-04-2012 22:07:53 | More by rbrefbeerman
Photo of slimntubbs
slimntubbs

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

01-30-2012 06:29:25 | More by slimntubbs
Photo of ryendavid
ryendavid

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

12-05-2011 20:56:08 | More by ryendavid
Photo of MKanaga
MKanaga

New York

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

01-27-2012 23:01:36 | More by MKanaga
Photo of sparx1100
sparx1100

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

02-16-2012 02:58:35 | More by sparx1100
Photo of mikemoeller112
mikemoeller112

California

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

02-09-2012 03:32:17 | More by mikemoeller112
Photo of jk3
jk3

New York

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

01-17-2012 19:25:16 | More by jk3
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.