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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

1,409 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,409
Reviews: 713
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 55
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
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: 1,409 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OldIronLungs
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I actually laughed when I read Escondidian. Here's to excessive appellation!

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip a deep slick black with a solid finger of light coffee colored head.

Nice mellow hit of sweet flowery pine, bitter chocolate, and roasted coffee on the nose. Very appealing.

Bitter chocolate and dry espresso up front - really nice pine and citrus bitterness through the finish. Sticky but smooth body manages to beg another sip - solid carbonation and an abv that ever so delicately lingers with the bitter finish.

Great beer, really a defining example of the style in my opinion. Would buy again. Will buy again.

OldIronLungs, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of NEhophead
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown bottle, served in an oversized wine glass.

Syrupy, deep maple in color beneath a gorgeously creamy, coffee-colored head that fades to an intact sheet after a few moments. Spotted lacing with decent strength.

Bright, tropical fruit aromas whose sweetness is enhanced a bit by a mild, toasted malt and hints of vanilla. Notes of black pepper and clove spice.

The tropical fruit flavors seem to be dipped in simple syrup with notes of vanilla. The toasted malts have a bit of smoked caramel flavor that balances out the hop intensity. The 10%+ ABV is hot and certainly makes its presence known. Filling the aftertaste and accompanied by the bitterness is a clove-filled medicinal quality.

A full, medium in body. The texture is almost velvety it is so smooth despite the hefty ABV and hop presence.

I'm still trying to grasp the style, especially one of this strength. This offering certainly speaks well of the style.

NEhophead, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of jpro
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber from CBX...

A: Pours an abysmal black, with no light penetrating through; a nice inch of foamy, mocha head caps the darkness, manages some superb retention and leaves quite a bit of spotty / strandy lace; looks heavy!

S: Super heavy grapefruit rind; some other citrus notes and minty hops; pine sap and raw wood.

T: The slightest bit of roast malt and some chocolate, quickly followed by an intense hop party... grapefruit and some sweeter hops - then comes the big time herbal / resiny pine kicker. Wow! Gets a little boozier with some warmth.

M: Full-bodied; low-medium carbonation; this brew has a nice, luscious mouthfeel - almost velvety; although the hops are pretty big, there is a certain degree of smoothness to this beer (considering the large abv).

O: A pretty drinkable BIG brew; a nice adventure into one of Stone’s ultra-hoppy forays - and super fresh, at that; nice story on the bottle as well. Good job, Stone!

jpro, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of J0E
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle - 2 pours into a snifter last night

A: Dark black with a nice dark tan head which dissipated but left a nice ring of lace throughout the whole tasting.

S: Strong floral hops. Really smells like an IPA with some roasted malt in the background.

T: Again, very heavily hopped. Nice strong bitterness with some citrusy notes as well. The malt has a solid presence here as well. A roasted/toasted bread flavor with a bit of bitter chocolate. hardly a hint of the 10% abv.

M: Light to medium body with plenty of carbonation.

O: I've tried a handful of Black IPAs and a couple Imperial Black IPAs, and this one is the top (followed closely by Arcardia's B- Craft). Very enjoyable and a decent price tag.

J0E, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow this beer is black! Pours a dark motor oil opaque black with a small coffee colored head that died down to a thin layer with lacing.

Smells is very unique. Lots of good citrusy/piney hops but also a lot of roasted coffee as well. Very well balanced.

As far as tatse, there's the black again. Good citrus hops notes at the front, but in no time the roasted coffee flavor takes over finishing with a very rich coffee flavor and a little dry.

Mouthfeel is pretty heavy, but not as much as expected for the color. Carbonation level is lower than average.

Don't like it as much as the 14th, but another good annual from Stone. I've got a few of these and I'm looking forward to seeing how it ages.

jmarsh123, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Tyler's in Apex, NC.

A deep, dark, menacing beer with a nice beige head. It looks every bit like and Imperial Stout. The aroma is floral and citrusy with minimal contributions from the malt. The taste is big on hop flavor with lots of citrus and floral but only a moderate bitterness. The malts join in with a dark chocolate punch. The 10% alcohol is well hidden. The mouth feel brings back that Imperial Stout comparison with a thick and chewy finish.

This is a very interesting, flavorful beer with a lot more body and character than most black IPAs.

GJ40, Aug 23, 2011
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
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,409 ratings.