1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,403 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time: on-tap at Cole's. A story in licorice and well integrated chocolate. good though understated roasting. Dry finish. Black as night with a little head. High a.b.v. well hidden.Above average mouthfeel. Smooth drinker.Unique and not just another black IPA. Receommended.

Sammy, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -5.2%

t0rin0, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch bubbly dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap. A nice latticework of lace forms all around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, charred meat, and some herbal and pine hops. The charred smell is a bit off-putting actually. Taste is of dark roasted malt, smoked/charred meat, coffee grounds, and quite a subdued herbal hop finish. A roasty bitterness sticks to the palate after every sip. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth with a medium body. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the charred smell takes away from everything.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

djrn2, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
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.

Thorpe429, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

zestar, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

nmann08, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a half finger high dark tan head that died down rather quickly, leaving lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of citrusy hops in the nose along with some notes of dark roasted malts.
T: A moderate to high amount of bitterness stands out in the overall taste, which also has notes of citrus and dark roasted malts.
M: It feels medium- to full bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are also some sticky hints of resin.
O: The bitterness in this beer is very bold and stands out in front of the other flavors. It’s not too difficult to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of deep roasted malt notes with lightly sweet undertones and some dominant bitter and loads of piney hops. Taste is a very nice mix between some smooth roasted malt with light lactose notes and some dry notes with some huge piney notes on top. Boyd is full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed and probably my favourite example of the style.

Phyl21ca, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Densely malted, absurdly hopped, and alcoholicly intimidating. Stone's got me just where they want me: in the fetal position and begging for more!

Deep and dark black, just a shade away from black, this beast pours with a viscous plop into the oversized wine glass and even exudes creaminess and density even to the eye. Medium tan foam rises with a thick coat but settles into an espresso-like creme across the surface. Initially lacing very well, the weight of the beer and its high alcohol seem to prohibit lacing after the carbonation subsides a bit.

Aromatic malt leads the way with a dense scent of whoppers candies, malty milk shakes, vanilla and cream. These all play an underpinning role to the chocolate, coffee, and roasty aromas. Hard to believe but all that is dwarfed by the immensity of citrus, pine, and resiny hop aromas.

All those malty rich aromas manifest in flavor as well. Dense milk shake-like maltiness offer a strong glimpse of espresso coffees, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa, and charred woods. Again, after the early malt influence, a building hop flavor begins citrusy with grapefruit and orange pith, but then grow into sharp grasses and pine, before resting on a dry charr bitterness that accompany the bitterness of roasted grains very well. Somewhat metallic and salty, the beer has a very flavorful spread of dark malts and hops with savory threads.

Very rich, creamy, and volumnous for an IPA of any color, pushing what many consider Imperial Stout territoroy. Because of the hop bitterness and sharpness, the malts are downplayed into a less desne mouthfeel than it probably is. Very dry, very warm, and slightly astringent and harsh, this Black IPA struggles to make the hop dryness and crispness shine over all that malty texture.

Delicous and resiny throughout, this is a very schizophrenic beer. Is it a Stout, is it an IPA? Like the Sublimely Self Righteous Ale or 11th Anniversary Ale but with heightened hop and malt character, this is one intriguing animal!

BEERchitect, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Texasfan549, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

black as night with a light colored head that rose up about an inch and a half before settling down into a nice broken crown that stayed throughout the session. The aroma was very bright, lots of citrus here, orange and tangerine mostly and a wonderfully bright lemon like aroma that rose up, not at all what you would have expected from something that looked so fark. Nice medium body with a smooth and mellow carbonation and a lightness to it that again was outside what I was expecting. Smooth flavor, clean, crisp, loaded with bitter citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple here. Such a tight and very hoppy big IPA.

mikesgroove, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 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 spycow
4/5  rDev -5.2%

spycow, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3 finger dark tan head with lots of lacing and some retention on a jet black body with a subtle hint of light getting through. lots of caramel and roasted malt aroma, fairly sweet with some coffee and hop hints. Flavor is excellent. I was worried from the smell that it would be too sweet but it was perfect. the roasted malt lingers nicely without too bad of an aftertaste. The hop bitterness is very pronunced for a black IPA. Drinkability is borderline but good enough. Moderate carbonation and full bodied. A very balanced roasted and hopped beer.

kylehay2004, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was poured at the Tavern on Liberty St. during their Stone Tap Takeover. The beer comes out solid black with a nice sticky brown head that laced the glass really well. The smell of the beer is bold and hoppy. The taste of the beer is big and citrusy with a delicate chocolate coffee like balance to it. The mouthfeel of the beer has a really nice thickness, a bit oily and creamy. Overall it s a really good brew. Stone strikes again with another winner.

Knapp85, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well for number #3000 I had to go with this,its worthy of such a lofty number.Poured into my Stone imperial nonic a jet black with a blooming mocha colored head that becomes a substantial frothy mass after leaving a few broken globs of lace as it kinda, sorta settled.Big resiny and herbal hops overtop of a dryer bitter chocolate base,a tinge of sweet boozy alcohol comes into play as it warms.Herbal hops really stand out on the palate along with unsweetened chocolate and light roast,there is a "meaty" element to the beer that I cant quite pinpoint.Full and creamy feel it glides down nicely.For my money this is the best Stone Anniversary beer that I have had,its as complex as all get out,hell of a job here.

oberon, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass.

Grabbed a bottle of his favorite style to share with a friend a few nights before his bachelor party. The festivities beginning real early, son. It pours a dark, ruby-tinted black-brown topped by a healthy bit of dirty tan foam. The nose comprises grapefruit zest, roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, orange peel, pine sap, and sharp mint. The taste doesn't really deviate too far from this plan of action, though the hops are definitely the dominant force here, with the roastier aspects forced behind them. The body is a sleek medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a more-than-solid black ale, though the spicily citrus hops don't completely meld with the darker aspects, rather the two camps constantly duke it out. This struggle doesn't torpedo things, though, a testament to the beer's strength.

TMoney2591, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black body with sheets of lace coating the tulip glass. Excellent head retention, lasts for the entire glass, and with each pour there's a nice reverse cascade effect.

Citric hop notes meld seamlessly with a smooth dark roast malt and chocolate layer.

Similar flavors, bitter piney hops with a slightly sweet citrus edge, up against smooth, rich roasted malt character. Lots of bittersweet chocolate, and hop bitterness. Medium bodied with little hint of the double digit abv. My second bomber in as many days...

emerge077, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a thick, dark, dark brown color with a two-finger, light brown head of long-lasting foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, grapefruit and strong pine notes. There was a burnt toast maltiness.

T - Good chocolate flavors with some burnt molasses. Very spicy with pine, citrus and grapefruit bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a sneaky alcohol presence.

O - Wow! This is another anniversary ale from Stone that needs to become a permanent brew. Best black ale, yet.

zeff80, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5.2%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone 15th Anniversary

So what can be said about this one? First off, it's Stone, so it's going to be balanced with a nice bit of malt to it, some alcohol, a rock solid bitterness, and a lot of hops in both the flavor and the aroma. It's an easy read. And it's not like it's the first hoppy dark beer they've done, so the only real question is what will the hops be like? Noting that it's an "Escondidian" Imperial Black IPA, that's kind of answered already as well... they've got to be Pacific Northwest hops, and a bit citrusy and piney (at least that's how I remember San Diego!). You can smell them in the nose, and they're brightly citrusy with a lot of pineapple and pine, as well as some grapefruit rind. In the flavor, however, there's more fruit... Amarillo? It's nice and juicy, and it's a nice balance really. And they're bright enough to ride over the coffee and chocolate roastiness. In fact, all of the components kind of stand out on their own, including the alcohol which is a bit of a problem. The alcohol, however, is its only fault as I see it, and a minimal one at that given the style. Well worth trying / might be worth seeking out.

NeroFiddled, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber, vintage date on bottle.

LOOK: Black as can be, thick brown head.

SMELL: Booze, dark chocolate, dank hop resin, dark fruit, burnt bread, orange zest.

TASTE: Roasty, dry toasted bread, hop bitterness, tobacco, earthy, smoky ash, brown bread, booze.

A solid brew, hits all the right buttons for what it is supposed to be. A bit too much alcohol and the hops seem to cloud ... Meaning the flavors don't mesh as well as I thought the would have.

Jason, Oct 04, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,403 ratings.