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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

1,403 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,403
Reviews: 713
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 54
Gots: 140 | 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
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Ratings: 1,403 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MarkVegas
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours black and opaque. A tan head a little less than a finger appears and dissipates quickly. Lacing clings to the glass as I drink.

S: First impression on the nose: hop bomb! After the hops you definitely some of that roasted malt goodness. Smells great!

T: Tastes awesome, hop bomb up front, roasty in the middle and hop bitter in the back. Well balanced. For a 10%+ abv beer you don't get much alcohol burn at all. So Good!

M: Good body with just the right amount of carbonation. Not too heavy, lively on the tongue but finishes so smooth.

O: Seem like I'm gushing a bit? Yea, I am. This beer is most certainly my favorite for the style. Stone does not disappoint at all with this offering. With Sublimely Self-Righteous as the wingman to this beer its easy to say that Stone has the American Black Ale/Black IPS down to a science. Well played Stone, well played.

MarkVegas, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of DovaliHops
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, black liquid with a medium tan/brown head that diminishes slowly. Scent is a lovely aroma of hops, citrus, pine, chocolate, and coffee. It really is amazing how all those distinct aromas can mesh so well. Taste is just as lovely. Initially I get a hint of chocolate, immediately followed by BIG hop flavor and citrus notes. Finishes with a bit of booze and strong espresso flavors. A lot of espresso. Mouthfeel is full bodied and velvety, yet drinks rather smoothly. Drinkability is high for such a big beer. Overall, this is an up and coming style that Stone knocked right on the tip of the nose. Outstanding beer.

DovaliHops, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of jomo
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with noted high viscocity. Brown, sticky head on glass and surface. Looks BIG!

S: Excellent, fresh hops scent. Pine and citrus coming through. Sweet malt notes as well.

T: An interesting combination of hops, grapefruit and roasted malt. The grapefruit is quite prominant, which I like. I think is a bit overly sweet.

M: Like a thick, syrupy stout. Speedway comes to mind. Carbonation is fine and appropriate for this heavy brew.

O: I'm liking it. Certainly no session beer here and quite a bit over the top. A solid ass kicker. I only wish they would tone down the sweetness a notch.

jomo, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of Dlish
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Dlish, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of RandyV
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer that seems to me to have an identity crisis. The pour is nice, dark as night color with a two finger head. The smell is classic IPA, predominantly pine, with maybe some molasses in the background.

The identity crisis I referred to is in the taste and mouthfeel. There is hop bitterness up front, but it shares the stage with dark chocolate and espresso. This had a creamy mouthfeel and the alcohol is prevalent but not at all overwhelming. I felt like I was drinking a Russian Imperial Stout with an extra hop kick.

For me, it is simply a competition between two of my favorite styles, and I don't mind being the referee.

RandyV, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of charlzm
3.05/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Consumed at Lucky Baldwin's Trappist Pub and Cafe on Sunday, August 21st, 2011. Beer served in a small stemmed goblet.

Extremely dark brown (might as well just call it black) with a one finger cocoa-colored head composed of EXTREMELY fine and uniform bubbles.

Nose: hoppy as heck. Pine and grapefruit. Pleasing.

Up front, there is a nice malt chocolate flavor which is followed by resiny grapefruit. Not as bitter an affair as the hopping might have led one to believe, but the two flavors do not work well with each other. Noticeable alcohol as both flavor and heat.

Finish is unexpectedly clean; the palate is spared a stripping. Mouthfeel is creamy and a little thick.

This is like a black and tan made with a stout that gets overpowered by a double IPA. It just doesn't work for me. Chalk it up as an interesting failure; chocolate and grapefruit flavors do not complement each other here.

I'm going to age a couple of bottles of this to see what happens.

charlzm, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
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.

KickInTheChalice, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of HalfFull
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. etched bomber into a tulip glass. Pours jet black even in the light and shows half an inch of mocha foam. Decent retention and light lacing follow.

Nose is rich with muddled earthy hops and a notable though light roast and dark chocolate presence. Cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar add complexity to a heavy bodied nose. Touch of alcohol drifts by here and there.

Taste is smooth and creamy, rich and with dark fruit and chocolate on the palate. Roast notes on the aroma don't reveal themselves here. A bit of dark chocolate bitterness tries to wend its way through the stout like body but just doesn't make it to the finish line, surrendering instead to the sweet malt body of cherried chocolate. Mouthfeel as a result doesn't resemble an IPA too well, Escondidian or otherwise.

In the end you may have your Escondidian IPA, or perhaps a Cascadian IPA or some future 'ian' IPA. But alas it's such a waste of hops, if they're actually there, to bury them behind the heavy handed and manipulative dark malts.

So, what makes an IPA? For I would not call this one, Black, Belgian or otherwise. A yummy brew, best perhaps enjoyed with chocolate cake, but an IPA??

HalfFull, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of felipe2toes
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've not had a black IPA before. With that said...

Poured dark black out of the bottle with sticky brown lace. Great head retention.

Smelled of pine resin and hops, lots of hops. Maybe some sort of chocolate on the nose, as well as coffee and roasted malt.

Tastes sweet and hoppy at once, but fairly well-balance. Also some roasted malt and coffee flavors, with lots of hop bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel wasn't what I expected, thick and viscous. But as I said, I've never had an black IPA before. Maybe this is something I should get used to.

felipe2toes, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of kflorence
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a rich, deep, opaque black in color with a half inch of thick, creamy tan head. Tons of lacing as you drink. On the pour, carbonation levels seem good, if a bit on the low side. If anything, that will help drinkability.

S: Tons of hops on the nose; lots of pine and maybe a hint of citrus. The backbone of this one is clearly the burnt, roasted malt character which brings notes of molasses, coffee and maybe some dark fruit.

T: Taste follows the nose pretty well. Hop-dominant on the front end with the roasted notes peaking through towards the middle and quickly subsiding back into a dry, bitter hop finish. There are notes of dark chocolate and a bit of coffee hiding in the roast. As with all Stone brews, the pine hops really burst out on the tongue, almost overwhelmingly. Unlike a traditional IPA, this one packs a lot of roast, much like a porter. Perhaps a bit simplistic in the flavor department, what is there is solid. The alcohol is masked quite nicely.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, this one turns to cream as it hits the tongue and goes down smooth and easy. Really enjoyed the feeling of this one on the tongue as it packs a good amount of substance without becoming heavy.

O: Stone never disappoints, and this one is no exception. However, I found this to be a bit on the acidic side and I've never been a huge fan of the pine-hop variety. Drinkability here is obviously not high, but I can't see why anyone would want to drink more than one of these. Definitely worth a try, and it's sure to please the Stone-faithful, but I would probably wouldn't seek this one out again.

kflorence, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
bottled august 2011.

pours a dark cola brown, sits an opaque black; yields a 1" frothy tan head that demonstrates great retention and leaves respectable lacing.

nose offers some citric hoppiness - a touch of pine - with subtle roasty notes... maybe a hint of chocolate.

taste follows and exceeds the nose. flavorful and tasty with citrus (notably grapefruit), pine, roasted malts, and secondary notes of chocolate and even a hint of smoke. alcohol presence noted but not overpowering considering the north of 10% ABV... medium bodied in the mouth with average carbonation.

overall a damn impressive beer. thoroughly enjoying this one.

perrymarcus, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of DrJay
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night, though there may have been an smidgeon of a dark brown edge when held up to the light. Thick mocha cap of fine bubbles, clumpy sheets of lacing. I expected the aroma to be citrusy, and I wasn't disappointed - grapefruit pith was dominent at first, but gave way to some malty chocolate character as it warmed. Notes of cocoa and pine resin, alcohol and herbal hops, plus roasted malts, all floated in and out of focus. Big bittersweet chocolate flavour, more citrusy grapefruit and tangerine, peppery alcohol, bready and roasted malts. Full bodied with a silky texture, carbonation was a bit creamy. Mild warmth and astringency. Overall, quite enjoyable. It's a big beer packing a lot of flavour and I thought the brewers at Stone did a good job getting everything to work together.

DrJay, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of snaotheus
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a giant mug

Pours with a frothy brown head, thick and dark like a porter, totally opaque. Small amount of active carbonation visible around the edges. Smells grapefruity, citrus florals. Fair amount of booze.

Taste is overwhelming. Very bitter, chocolatey, black liquorice, lots of that grapefruit rind flavor. Darkly roasted malts. Alcohol. This is strange to me, but strangely appealing. I don't know a lot of "American Black Ales" to compare this against.

Mouthfeel is thick, chalky, heavy, sticky, chewy. It's a mouthful. Overall, this is pretty good. More like a heavily hopped stout than a dark IPA.

snaotheus, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of aval89
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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!

aval89, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of silentjay
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deeeep black with a huge light mocha head that sticks around a while and laces in chunks.

lots of pine a bit of grapefruit, not much in terms of roasted dark aromas, though.

a bit of roasted malts are interlaced with an abundance of piney hops and some grapefruit and bitter hops that you would expect in a Stone brew. a bit of a tobacco leaf/menthol flavor.

medium bodied with a carbonation that fills the mouth with tiny prickles.

I actually like the Sublimely Self Righteous more. Its a very decent brew, but the hops overpower the roasted malts. I love my hops, though, so I do thoroughly enjoy this beer.

silentjay, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of popery
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly, this is a rather different beer than SSR/11, and even more surprisingly, I prefer this beer. That said, I bet it goes downhill fast, so drink it fresh. Anyway, on to the review...

A: The beer is wall to wall black with a thick and creamy light brown head. Even after ten minutes or so, there's still a mocha foam cover on the black liquid and bubbles cling all over the sides of my glass.

S: I'm getting pineapple, tangerines and grapefruit rind up front. It's more sweetly citric than Stone's normal hop profile probably due to large amounts of Citra. Lurking beneath the hops, there's a foundation of fudge with touches of roast and smoke. On the downside, there's also a little paint thinner and booze at the edges, but it wouldn't be a Stone beer without some rough edges.

T: The taste has a lot of sweetness followed up by a good bitter bite. It starts out with fudgy chocolate cake mixed with pineapple-citric hop oil. Some roast and smoke chimes in, filling out the malt flavor, and it ends with mild smoke and hop bitterness. The bitterness is strong but fairly smooth. However, there's some more booze pushing through, as well. It's an undercooked chocolate rum cake with tangerine pith icing. Very fun to drink.

M: It's creamy and smooth even as it smolders with pleasant bitterness and unpleasant booze. To be fair, it's getting away with some harshness by throwing in a whole bunch of lovely dry-hop delicacy.

O: It's tasty stuff. Of course, I would kill to have this beer as a low hop, English-style stout, but even as a general detractor of Black IPAs, I'm still thoroughly enjoying this beer. I'm beginning to suspect that I'm a sucker for Citra. Whatever the cause of my enjoyment, I'm a fan.

popery, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of magictacosinus
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Stone is one of my favorite breweries, and I'm happy to make my first review on this website of their 15th anniversary beer - which celebrates Stone's ability to numb and overwhelm my senses like nothing else! Poured into a pint glass from a bomber.

Appearance: Dark as oil slick, and with a beautiful brown-reddish head that makes this look like an equally intimidating and welcoming ale.

Smell: Smokey malts, strong hops and a delicious aroma that resembles coffee, extra dark chocolate and vanilla beans with spices. The smell is extremely strong, and not for the faint of heart. It must be difficult to balance ales like these, so I'm looking forward to the flavor.

Taste: It's like the roasted malts and extra hops are at a civil war with each other! Where to start with this? Roasted bready notes with citrus tones in compliment, juicy flavors resembling dark, dried fruits, and a maltiness so thick that is coated in sweetness due to the alcohol. I have no idea how to further describe this beer - it's a mind warp beyond belief.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and super easy to drink. The alcohol definitely burns and warms the back of the throat. It's an extraordinarily well balanced beer considering the mashup of roasted malts and bitter hops, and is one that requires respect and sipping all night long.

Overall: Stone proves again that they know how to celebrate their birthday! I cellered another bottle of this and am looking forward to opening it later this year. It's a very intense beer, but for huge fans of stouts and IPAs like myself, it's a dream come true. I really wish this was a year-round release, as it's amazing.

NYE extra note: Opened up a near 5-month old bottle of this - while the hops pretty much recede during cellaring, it immediately has the aroma and flavor of a barleywine. It is more sweetened as a result, far more alcoholic, and filled with honey aromas. I absolutely recommend that others age this if they are interested.

magictacosinus, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of aknight
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I believe I'm on record stating that I'm not much of a fan of Black IPAs but this one is different. This isn't anything that is going to convert me to the style but it is easily the best I have ever had.

On first pour there is just massive hop aroma, before even trying to smell the beer, while I was still pouring it into a glass I just got massive hop scent. The beer pours a pretty pitch black. The head is super frothy and has great retention. The beer is awfully sweet, about what you would expect from a 10.8% beer, but the sweetness never over powers the hops. They live in harmony.

I dig this beer. It's no 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout but it is a damn fine beer.

aknight, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of SFGuy187
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a great new offering from Stone. I never buy into "new style" hype and, as this beer is a play on the Black IPA debate, was unsure what to expect. I was, however, very pleased to find that this takes elements from what I love about a great imperial stout (roasty-toasty goodness coupled with rich mouthfeel) and combines it with what I love about a great DIPA (incredible resin and pine in the nose with well-rounded, strong citrus in the mouth).

It pour jet black, tastes like an impy stout up-front, yet somehow manages to smell and finish like a DIPA. I drank my bomber mighty fast and methinks I need to score a few more.

Solid offering from Stone, and the best beer from them in some time. Also, the cartoon artwork on some bottles is pretty hilarious too!

SFGuy187, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours almost black in color with two fingers of tan head that has great retention and lacing.

S: Smells like a classic hoppy Stone beer. Tons of grapefruit peel and pine with some intense herbal and woody hop notes. There is a fair amount of roast to it. A hint of fruit on the finish.

T: The roast flavor is a bit more powerful than I expected. There is a touch of chocolate followed by lots of grapefruit and a little bit of pineapple. Herbal and piney hops on the back end with a lot of bitterness.

M: The body is quite full with a medium carbonation with a lingering bitterness.

O: Not as good as Stone 11 or SoCal Hop Salute, but not bad. A bit boozy as it warms in the glass.

womencantsail, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of flannelman808
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown with a reddish copper hint. Light brown head pours with a generous amount of cake batter head (typical stone protein). If it ever disappears Ill make a note about the lacing... Retention is fantastic.
Eventually this shows good lacing. Head retention is Duvel status
.
S: Smells interesting... Chocolate and hop pollen jump out first, but there are some underlying notes of orange peel, lime, pepper, and there is a kind of aroma which reminds me of salinity as well.

T: Milk chocolate (think Ovaltine), Black pepper (and lavender?!), Orange pith and rind, Lime pith, molasses, and pine needles finish it up. Sweet start and a bitter finish works for me! Typically I find this style a misnomer usually belonging in the Russian Imperial Stout category. This isn't very far from a RIS but it does separate its self with spicy and fruity notes. Lastly Ill mention that the 10.8% ABV is well incorporated into its flavors, not hidden parse but well received.

M: Very well done in this department. Its got a velvet fizz thing happening.

O: Pretty darn good beer. Not quite up there with the ranks of Uinta Dubhe IBIPA (In my not so humble opinion the very best of style) but its pretty darn good and one of the better more inventive beers I have tried within the style. Also per usual its only $5.95 for a bomber which makes for a retarded like value.

flannelman808, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of snpub540
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bad boy pours out a opaque black that you cannot see through at all. Serious black hole here. It has a light brown head that leaves some nice lace on the glass.

The smell is a bbq, smokey aroma tempered with great citrus and piney hops. It also smells of brown sugar and caramel with a touch of some tropical fruit notes as well. Very complex, very enticing.

The roasted malt and coffee flagvors hit you upfront with a nice sweet malt flavor in the middle and a super nice resiny hop finish. This has a lot goin on for it and a hint of alcohol warmth at the end let you know its here to pack a punch.

What can I say about this 15th Anniversary offering from Stone. I didn't have one single complaint about it. Creamy body on it, easily quaffable. The best qualities of a stout and the best qualities of an IPA combined to make something great.

snpub540, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of Klym
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours pitch black with a creamy, light brown head. Massive blanket lacing that dissipates very slowly. Looks like a heavy stout.

S: Refried beans with well-cooked barbecue and hickory, with a nice big hop river running through the smell. Really unusual and well put together.

T: Dark beef jerkey and hickory keep a slightly chocolate sweetend mellow tone with hops dancing on top. You get the mega hoppy IPA world but a lot of the flavor is dominated by stout-esque tastes.

M: Heavy bodied with creamy carbonation, but some hop aromatics that spread throughout the mouth. Mostly a stoutish mouthfeel.

O: This is interesting, different, and honestly quite good. I have enjoyed drinking this and would enjoy drinking it again, though I don't know if I'd bother shelling out the money for another bottle (not that it's expensive). Worth a shot if you can get this.

Klym, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of bennetj17
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark black in color. No light getting through this one. Looks like a stout with nice tan foam atop. The smell strikes a unique balance of twangy citrus hops and chocolatey malts. The high alcohol seems well hidden in the aroma, though smell it long enough and the fumes begin to add up.

The first part of the sip yields a piney, spicy hoppiness that gives way to the semi-sweet chocolate and lighly roasty malts toward the finish. The giant bitterness is slow to creep in after the finish, but then lingers nicely. The alcohol is again well disguised, though I can certainly feel it after finishing a glass. High marks for the mouthfeel on this beer, as it is silky smooth. It's not too heavy, nor syrupy, just perfect with an appropriate amount of carbonation.

Overall I am pleased with this beer, though it didn't amaze me. It has the right characteristics for an excellent stout, and it's also a real hop monster, but together it didn't add up to the same greatness as the 11th Anniversary beer. Perhaps we now know the limit of how much roasty malt can go into one of these Black IPA's before it's really just a hoppy Imperial Stout. The one thing I am curious about is whether this could age nicely, but I'm leaning toward no. It's already very drinkable considering the the strength, and once the hops fade it will probably start to taste a bit odd. I think I will drink my other bottle soon...

bennetj17, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of ManuelHerrera
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me open this review by saying, happy birthday Stone! I remember that first Arrogant Bastard punching me in the mouth back in college, and you've been challenging my palate ever since.

Stone 15 comes in a typically badass bottle with a celebratory ripped gargoyle threatening all who think they're worthy of this beer. It pours dark black with a lovely burnt chocolate head. Looks like a stout, but don't be fooled, the Escondidians don't let the drinker off that easy.

The hops tingle the nose from the very first whiff, and that's when you know, you're in for a special night. The aroma blossoms with mild floral alongside creamy malt that had behind the wall of hops. The flavor lays on thick on the palate like a chocolate stout, yet quickly opens up to a vibrant hoppy dream. Creamy chocolate notes are cut in my bitter tangy hop flavor in order to create a truly challenging flavor. The beer has that wonderful chew of a thick stout, yet doesn't rest too heavily.

Thanks again Stone, here's to the next 15 years.

ManuelHerrera, Aug 20, 2011
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,403 ratings.