15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
3.95/5 rDev -6.4%
22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.
Appearance - Very dark body, but not pitch black. Some transparency at the edges. It has a nice chocolate head to start, but it's gone in a flash and it diminishes to lacing. Spots of lacing remain and some sticks to the glass.
Smell - Strong citrus flavors and a plentiful roasted malt character behind it. These black ales always throw me off. The aromas just don't seem like they would complement each other, but they seem to work out in the end.
Taste - Hops at the front, much like the aroma. It fades very smoothly into the chocolate and coffee flavors in the end, but finishes just so slightly bitter. It never seems to fully materialize the chocolate and coffee flavors. They are muted by the hops, which dominate throughout.
Mouthfeel - There's a lot of booze in the flavor, it has to be said. It's heavy for an IPA and light for a stout. It's in between. I like it, but it leaves me questioning which it would like to be. Clearly more the IPA, but heavy and boozy for the style.
Overall - I like how the flavors meld in the taste, but I still feel like it wants to be either an IPA or a stout, but not both. It's surprisingly drinkable, though, just not great.
09-23-2011 02:20:08 | More by Alieniloquium
4.68/5 rDev +10.9%
Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black. One finger fine medium brown head with good retention and excellent lacing. Attractive. Aroma of critrus and aromatic hops. Flavor starts as a stout, dark and roasted malts followed quickly by aromatic hops and roast, burnt coffee. Finishes hoppy and somewhat dry. Taste goes through a rapid and complex series of flavors. Very different and interesting. Surprisingly smooth and mellow while presenting interesting components. The finish skates on the edge of being too dry and burnt, but somehow pulls off the whole thing. I really enjoyed this unusual ale.
03-09-2012 03:37:32 | More by LiquidAmber
4.55/5 rDev +7.8%
22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip.
August 2011, Bottle conditioned, Enjoy Fresh. 10.8% ABV.
A - Blacker than used motor oil, Stone's 15th Anniversary floods the glass with sinfully roasted malt as the dense head shrouds the glass with a veil of dark tan foam.
S - Notes of cold coffee and bittersweet chocolate from roasted malt blend surprisingly well with the over-the-top bitter hop resin found in the aroma. This takes me back a week to my hop (specifically Chinook) harvest; bitter grapefruit, sticky resin, and pine needle. An American-hop head's dream. Bold and unrelenting, the aroma has very little alcohol heat to it.
T - A hop smack in the teeth, this supremely bitter beer carries with it abounding pine resin, juicy grapefruit bitterness, and a splash of mango sweetness. The load of hops is generously offset by caramel and roasted malt. Hoppiness pushes forward but the chocolate and coffee-infused roasted malt pulls through the finish nicely.
M - Bitter as sin, Stone's 15th Anniversary displays a supreme level of balance throughout the mouthfeel. Hoppy and dry at first, it changes to acrid roast and then to a balancing sweetness before finally resolving itself at a dry, resiny bitter finish. Full-bodied and smooth, an inherent warming from alcohol is active in the stomach and retro-nasal breathing.
O - Aaah, fresh Stone. They're at the forefront of extreme hop usage, but this beer remains balanced regardless. Quality roast character works very well with the chosen American hops to give the Escondidian Imperial Black IPA one hell of a delicious punch to the face.
09-06-2011 18:09:36 | More by BeerFMAndy
4.03/5 rDev -4.5%
Poured in to Duvel tulip.
A - Poured jet black, completely opaque, with two fingers of thick, foamy espresso coloured head.
S - Citrus and pine come through initially from the hops with some sweet chocolate and roasted malt notes present as well.
T - Bitterness up front with some pine and muted citrus notes. The roasted malts are a nice compliment, providing chocolate, a hint of coffee and some nutty flavours to balance out the bitter hops. The overall balance is very good. The finish is somewhat dry and bitter.
M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.
09-23-2011 13:00:57 | More by TheSevenDuffs
4.4/5 rDev +4.3%
A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, opaque texture. There was a half inch of creamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.
S: Not as robust an aroma as would have thought, but you still get a big bouquet of hops, coffee, chocolate, and pine.
T: Tasted of very sharp hops up front, with hints of coffee, chocolate, pine, and a little malt in the finish. This is a big, bold, and complex flavor.
M: A well-carbonated beer with a lively, crisp finish. Medium-bodied.
O: An extremely focused and well made beer.
08-29-2011 12:10:21 | More by avalon07
4.45/5 rDev +5.5%
Having a Stone Imperial Black IPA...WOW!!! The beer pours a black/opaque with finger thick tan head that is lacing like a...The smell includes citrus and malty tones. The taste is amazing...and a sipping beer. There is a fresh hop bitter grapefruit zing that is mixed with caramel roast malt. The mouthfeel is a full body with good carbonation. Overall it is a great beer for sipping....sessioning this one would lead to big problems.
12-04-2011 04:02:52 | More by WoodBrew
4.4/5 rDev +4.3%
Grabbed this up last weekend and wanted to try this as fresh as I could (regardless of PA getting it one month later than release)
A - Poured it a bit too aggressive and almost overflowed the glass, man that's carbonated! Color of the head is a deep dark mocha and the beer itself couldn't get any darker. Liquid is pretty thick too.
S - Fresh grapefruit hops to the max, yet its pretty subtle than I expected. I also get some toffee, roast, and some butterscotch but you really have to dig deep behind the hops to smell it.
T - As I wait for the head to settle I read the label and find it kind of funny that some would blow these words out of proportion. Then I sip. My goodness I expected a tongue buckling effect of hops but got a strong bit of roast and toffee with a nice bit of hop bitterness. As I dig it seems to be every other sip a little something different, roast, then bittering hops, then chocolate, more hops, and even some toffee and butterscotch candies.
M - It does feel a bit thin but that does make it very drinkable. Aside from bitterness of the hops I detect no ABV burn or flavors. Where is that almost 11 percent hiding???
Overall Stone does it again and I seem to like this just as much as the 11th anniversary ale (Sublimely Self-Righteous) if not more since it delivers with a bigger punch. Makes the 9 dollars I paid for my bottle completely worth it
10-07-2011 02:10:00 | More by DrDemento456
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
22 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head that stays around a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is roasted malt, milk chocolate, grassy and citrusy hops, and some coffee. I think the taste pretty much follows the aroma, but with the hop flavors being stronger than the malty ones. There's also a lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating, and is well carbonated. I think it's a good overall brew, Stone did a nice job with this one! $7.99 a bottle.
09-24-2011 21:48:44 | More by bluejacket74
3.53/5 rDev -16.4%
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.
10-18-2011 19:39:02 | More by OWSLEY069
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
A: Pour is motor-oil-black with a massive brown compact and creamy head. Dissipation is meidum-slow and leaves nice lacings.
S: The smell is awsome; lots of American floral and bitter hops; grapefruit and pine, together with moderatly roasted malts, some chocolate- some caramell- makes this very well balanced. The high ABV is not noticable - this smell is near perfection!
T: Bitter hops up front followed by roasted malts, chocolate with notes of coffee-beans - dry. Syrupy sweetness. Some burnt notes. And in the back; dark dried fruits. The alcohol is more present in taste compared to smell.
M: Short aftertaste, bitter and burned. Body is full while carbonation weak. Smooth but high ABV-presance.
O: A very complex and nice ABA. I hate myself for not buying a whole case...
01-02-2012 19:53:22 | More by Evil_Pidde
4.15/5 rDev -1.7%
A - Licorice black beer with a fine bubble foam tan head that had great retention. Some nice fine lacing and sheets left on the sides. Not really sure how you could make this beer look better.
S - Nice pine and floral hop notes. Its a very resinous IPA with a little bit of chocolate and crystal malt, but its very hop forward.
T - Taste is initially not as good as the smell. Some big resin and bitter herbal hops. There is a lot of dark and burnt malts in here that leave their own kind of bitterness. Leaves a distinctive cocoa taste on the tongue after swallowing. Actually a little bit of orange that comes through mid-palate. I really started to like this a lot the more I drank it, as some of the more subtle flavors became more noticeable. Little bit of alcohol burn, and very warming on the stomach.
M - Very creamy, soft carbonation, pretty full bodied.
O - Great look and smell, taste grows on you. It's a very filling and big beer, one was plenty, but not hard to get through, although its pretty burnt and bitter.
08-26-2011 18:02:18 | More by AgentZero
4.43/5 rDev +5%
Dark stout-like pour of dark brown, settling a solid ebon chunk capped with a boldly tanned brown foam that lifts to about two fingers high and keeps its seat for a good length. Some stringy spongey lacing is stuck abput the glass.
Aroma is of a buzzing orangey citrusy hoppyness capped well with a soft milky chocolate bitterness roasted with a bit of char.
Taste is totally Stone; something I've come to enjoy about their brews...balance. And this has plenty of it. Nothing overwhelming as usaul with most of their stuff; taken in first is a slender tang of dark orange marmalade and dark sappy pine, quickly forwardring itself is a moderate chocolate waft of sweet smooth chocolate that underlays the hops dancing upfront with a very solid balance. A bit more pine and smoothly softened roast build across the palate just after the midway point. Where it levels off with an ease of bitter orange and chocolate mixing.
If you've ever had a dark chocolate truffle with an orange creme center, this is a very close represtation of that taste. Nummy!
Slimming yet bold medium body with a smoooth tender tone and even smoother carbonation that allows for a nice sessionable ale. It does seem to build a girthyness as it closes into the finish where the roasty twang and chocolate sweetness stick on the palate with a bit of the orangey hoppyness popping about.
Happy 15th Stone! Thanks for the yummyness over the years and keep em coming! This stuff is yummytrific!
11-08-2011 01:04:14 | More by tavernjef
4.47/5 rDev +5.9%
Pours a luscious opaque sable that is barely a whisker above black and has a thick, fine-bubbled tan head. Interesting aroma is smoky like a porter or stout yet hoppy like an IPA and has hints of licorice and coffee. Delightful flavor is fairly hoppy and just scarcely bitter, with malty, coffee and chocolate notes and just a hint of licorice. It seems to combine the best of a good stout and a good IPA, and I love both styles of beer! Full-bodied texture has a firm tingle and an occasional needle-like jab as if there are some hot peppers in the mix. Finish is tingly and just slightly sweet.
09-30-2011 20:13:22 | More by Cyberkedi
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
Bottle for $6.49 from The Village Pump, into my Aecht tulip. Even before I pop it open, I'm kicking myself for not grabbing a SSRA for a comparison.
Black with reddish brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, dark brown head with excellent retention and lacing. A gorgeous ABA. The nose has a beautifully pungent hop character, intense with fresh pine needles, grapefruit, a mild grassy, green hop character. The malt character is almost an afterthought here, there's a little roast noticeable, making this significantly distinct from a hoppy porter or stout. The alcohol is fairly well hidden as well.
The palate is a surprise given the nose. Plenty of juicy pine and grapefruit hop character is present, with a medium-low level of bitterness. Next, the mildly herbal, minty come through. These bright flavors lead into a moderately roasty malt backbone, with a little caramel, brown sugar and moderate roast. A touch of smoke is present as well. Moderately dry on the finish with a lingering grapefruit pith bitterness, roasted grain bitterness and juicy hop flavors. Medium in body with a wonderful, creamy carbonation, this beer feels awesome on the palate. This beer is pretty awesome.
09-14-2011 00:53:10 | More by DefenCorps
4.1/5 rDev -2.8%
A – Toasted head has great retention and lace. Solid black body has almost no highlights.
S – Pine and green leaves. Caramel latte.
T – Round malt into a quick ramp-up of bitter roast alpha oil. Sharply acidic, black roast center with a raisiny sweetness. Lingering pine bitterness and cocoa on the backend.
M –Medium body. Low carbonation. Sweet finish.
O – A solid, complex BIPA
11-03-2011 02:15:19 | More by vfgccp
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
Bomber from Bristol Farms Palm Desert CA for 6.99
Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size frothy light brown coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fantastic lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.
Smell - Malts, hops, chocolate, grapefruit/oranges
Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops mixed with malts, chocolate, and hops. There is also quite a bit of a roasted/burnt nut flavour. It ends with a hoppy bittersweet chocolate aftertaste.
Overall - Lots of imperial stout qualities mixed with a good dose of hops. For an black ale I think I preferred the The Alchemist / Ninkasi / Stone - More Brown Than Black IPA, but this is still a fantastic beer. The alcohol is very well hidden and to me it's a beefed up Self Righteous.
04-08-2012 02:15:36 | More by spinrsx
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
A: Black color; no light coming through. Poured a 2 finger dense light-brown head with excellent retention to finger. Laced the glass in sheets at the top then wide rings.
S: Big wollop of hops; pine and grapefruit. Another wollop of toasted malts; bitter espresso and chocolate. Aromas are raw and big.
T: Consistent with the nose though the malt is just as prominent up front. Resinous hops cut through the bitter/sweet malt. Finish is sharply bitter with an alcohol burn that work in tandem to scrub the palate.
M: Full body; big and sticky. Moderate carbonation; almost not noticed between the bitter and alcohol in the finish. Big and rich then warm and dry.
O: Lots of malt and hop character. Remarkable balance; it is a monster
09-28-2011 17:37:39 | More by Haybeerman
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
Pours deep, deep brown, maybe not quite black with a small creamy tan head that recedes to a thin cap with some bubbles feeding it from underneath.
Aroma is excellent and headlined by a big citrus presence including grapefruit rinds and oranges. But there is also a hefty chocolate malt presence as well. There is also a little herbal note in the nose.
The taste starts with the citrus, grapefruit and pineapple, but has a huge chocolate malt backbone that underpins everything else. The finish is bitter and roasty, with more pine resin than I got in the nose.
The mouthfeel is fantastic, full bodied and creamy but with a nice hoppy bitterness.
I'm a huge fan of this beer which is a great combination of hops and dark roasted malts with a thick, almost chewy mouthfeel. Substantial and super tasty.
09-03-2011 03:56:49 | More by gford217
1.98/5 rDev -53.1%
A: Pours a dark black, almost opaque color. A one finger tan head forms, and recedes to a ring. Nice lace is left behind.
S: Oh man, the aroma is pungent. Herbal and soapy hops, citrus, grassy hops. That all intermingles with burnt sugar, tar, molasses, ash, wood. Just unpleasant in the nose.
T: The same here, it is just off putting. At first the hops are strong. Herbal, grassy, soapy. Charred wood, ash, and rubber comes next. Burnt sugar with way to much residual sweetness. Molasses and soy sauce. A lingering bitterness lasts forever. Not to mention the alcohol. Over barring in every way.
M/D: A full body that is thick and viscous. Overly so with a sticky adhesive quality that I don't like. I think tar is a good descriptor. To much alcohol and to much of everything else. I could not finish a glass.
Wow, I thought Stone could not get any more crase and over barring. Just an unbalanced mess. I wish brewers would think before releasing beers like this. Though I guess everyone else seems to like it for some reason, and I don't get it? I would say avoid, but that looks like I am in the minority.
09-30-2011 00:01:06 | More by champ103
3.85/5 rDev -8.8%
A: poured pretty much a dark as night black in color with a thin brown head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass.
S: you can definitely tell that the hops were there on the first whiff with a good amount of roastiness from the chocolate malts but it did have a little coffee aroma to it as well.
T: black hoppy heaven on the first sip alongside chocolate roasty malt flavor, coffee accents, hints of smoke and a touch of brown sugar and molasses.
M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a hoppy, roasty, mild sweet, and slight smokey finish.
D: it was a really good cascadian brew but because of the hop punch it wasn't the easiest to take down but a solid black beer.
09-08-2011 06:18:56 | More by Gobzilla
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.