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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

1,393 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,393
Reviews: 712
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 54
Gots: 139 | FT: 3
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,393 | Reviews: 712 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip. I don't understand the love for this...

Black with a creamy, khaki head with a long lasting finger thick head and clumpy lacing. Roast chocolate and malt dominate around with mild pine and resin hops. Much more malt forward than expected in the flavor, with roast and chocolate and a bitter finish without a particularly interesting hop flavor. Light pine and grapefruit rind linger. Medium thick body with average carbonation and a persistent bitterness. Not bad, balance is relative for a Stone beer and this ABV, but the malt is the only part that seems imperial here.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 19:52:07 | More by yourefragile
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased in California, brought back to Sydney, Australia and opened with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a heavily dark black-brown, with an exceptional head of crackling yellow brown coffee crema. Lacing is intricate, solid, honeycombed. Really solid legs to it, too, staying sticky on the edge of the glass when tilted. Body is surprisingly light, but extremely suitable for the style. Very fine carbonation. Looks genuinely exceptional.

Nose is heavily hoppy, with earthy, rusty hops giving the main event. There's no bright, citric fruitiness here—more of a tea tannin, earth, bracken character. It melds very pleasantly with the dark notes from the malt, in a way that makes some sense in a weird style; instead of the bright, citric, whimsical hoppiness creating an amusing contrast to the darkness, this blends together into some odd symbiosis.

Taste is smooth and clean and bright. The roast gives a nice basis, more of a dark biscuity sweetness, but the hops really lift the palate, and here they do have a touch of the crisp, bright citric quality to them, more than the tannic earthiness suggested on the nose. Finish has lingering bitterness, partially due to the hops, partially due to the roast. It's a nice finish, and sums up what the beer is about.

Really nice beer. It's a very odd thing that Stone have seemed to make sense of this style in a way that's quite orthogonal to the regular interpretation. The darker, more earthy hops match it really nicely with the roast malt, giving a beer that is different, but in all the right ways.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 05:14:46 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Holy mother of ...Poured a deep black color, like I changed my wifes motor oil after 10k miles or something. Big beautiful brown cap, loads of bubbles.

S: Huge and impressive. Sordove started off with a big grainy nose tht I tend to get from a lot of Stone and CDA's in general. Yes, I still call it a CDA. Citrus notes, big huge espresso, smoke and roasted notes. Booze lightl;y stings the nostrils.

T: Taste is about as Imperial as this style can get. Huge espresso, roasted malt, black malt lending overdone bitterness and that certain burnt bite. I got some cocoa, citrus, bittering hops on end and as the beer warmed it became almost a hint at a smoked beer, lending notes of meat, perhaps a liquid smoke note and that booze is constant.

M: Wow, big, bold and in your face, much more so that draft. Reminded to a double of Sublimely at first but then it just AWOL on that and kept it real. Deviated between creamy and dry depending upon the temp and how long it rolled on the palate

O: Super impressive and one hearty as beer but halfway through this on later Summer day I was ready to run for a good ol Pils. I may hold a few of these back for some Winter sipping and aging.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 19:53:32 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

07-19-2014 06:02:00 | More by zestar
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bomber from Al's.

A: Pours like a stout, thick and viscous like oily. Pitch black, the ale sports a thick tan colored head that further cements the stout assessment. Moderate lacing.

S: Ample graham and nuts, the stout side of this ale seems to be quite big. The hops, citrusy, are slow to get through the stout base. What does come through isn't that overpowering, just a resiny hop presence. Even at room temperature, the hoppiness struggles to get past the stout-like aromas.

T: There the hops are! Coming out with a vengeance, the hops even momentarily crowd out the darker malts. Oranges and grapefruit cut through in particular. As the stout re-asserts itself, chocolate, nuts, and vanilla quickly pick up strength. Save for a bit of heat after the initial wave of stout flavors, the ale is very drinkable and could pass for a top notch RIS on its own. The finish brings the hops, resiny and oily with plenty of citrus, and the malts, dark and forboding with a chocolate nuttiness, together for a big bang. Stone nailed it, again.

M: One of the easiest drinking 11% stouts out there. The hops aren't as strong as I'd like but that's a minor criticism. I may need to find another bottle before it disappears.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 23:20:56 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32 ounce growler pour ($10.99) @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

Pours BLACK, dark tan head, initially large, then going to a quick meraingue, then quickly again to a film and collar, quality lace left behind.

Rich nose of black coffee, dark chocolate and I get some hop cones...

Suprise-suprise a celebratory beer from Escondidian heavy weight Stone Brewery that is densly flavorful, hoppy, bold and kickin all sorts of ass...lots more coffee, more dark bitter chocolate, more hoppy goodness...thick, creamy and viscous...fine creation...get some..drink it fresh...

Serving type: growler

08-31-2011 03:41:50 | More by Billolick
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Brewhouse Grille during the Troegs / Stone Total Tap Takeover.

A - Pours nearly pitch black with a nice two finger tall tan head leaving small streaks of lace down the entire glass.

S - Smells of rich dark roasted chocolate malt, molasses sweetness, bright citric hops, tropical fruits, and some light pine needles.

T - Starts off with a big dose of dark roasted chocolate malt slowly giving way to a mix of pungent citric hops, light hints of tropical fruits; most notably grapefruit; pine, molasses, and the faintest hint of booze. The finish is a mix of hop bitterness and dark roast, lingering for some time.

M - Medium-Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. The feel has lots of hop bitterness and dark roast, lingering for some time after consumption.

O - Not too bad. The mix of dark roast and hops was fairly well balanced and it tasted pretty good. I have never been the biggest fan of Black IPA's but Stone really knows how to make them the right way.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2011 22:47:52 | More by orangesol
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for the share. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. This brew appears black in color with a rich frothy cap of brown that is 2 fingers strong.  A thick wall of webby lacing completely covers the glassware everywhere it touches.

The smell of this brew initially is fruity with hops, some citrus and a bit of veggie to earthy aspect. A little bit pine included as well as a catty aspect across the back. Roasty grain becomes more bold across the back with a hint of alcohol as the brew warms.

The taste is bold with a roasty bitterness of the grain that immediately gives way to a hoppy bitterness that is oily and includes catty and veggie hop flavoring. Alcohol has a hint of fruit like pear or cantaloupe and a warmth down the back of the throat. The taste of this brew really clashes for me and seems a bit dirty.

This is a medium bodied brew, somewhat smooth in the feel with a creamy texture and modest level of carbonation. It is quite bold and roasty but the flavor and aroma really clashes for me. Pear/cantaloupe meets bitter roasted grain and catty/veggies is just so strange. I wanted to like this brew but had a really hard time finishing my glass. If black ipas are your thing, you might love this but there are better offerings for the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 18:34:23 | More by stakem
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -5.2%

11-29-2011 21:07:00 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass) A- A jet black body supports a thick sticky cocoa-tan head that holds on the glass with each sip. There are some microbubbles that show up just at the base of the head. S- The green earthy pine hops are full with some nice pine resin character coming through as the beer opens. There is a hint of sweet black roasted malt in the background. T- The green herbal hops have a woody quality to them with a pungent pine bitterness and masks a roasted malt flavor a bit. The bitter hops linger nicely after each sip. M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a creamy texture with just a touch of alcohol warmth. O- The nice full hops are what you expect but there just isn't much depth to them nor is there any juicy bright character to the hops. Just a good solid earthy dark hops that compliment the trompe l'oeil body.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 20:49:08 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice beer, heavier on the hops than the roast. Pours jet black, with a very nice caramel covered head, 2 fingers probably. Even after sipping on this for awhile, the head is still there. Smells roastier than it tastes, but the hops still dominate. The taste particularly tastes strongly of herbal hops, with dill and citrus notes. Without looking at the color you wouldn't really even know this is a Black Ale. The aroma has a bit of chocolate and roasted grain along with those same citrusy and herbal hops. A little on the thick side, with real body, and with a nice lingering bitterness. Quite a nice package- the hops are the star here.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 02:12:08 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like Stone is going back to the well of its 11th Anniversary Ale and has formulated a stronger version with Citra hops. Excitement is in the air once again. On to the beer:

It's as rich black as an imperial stout. The head on top is a mix of bubbly suds and milky lace, whipping up strings to the glasss. That's the Stone I know about...the aroma is filled with Citra hops. It's very juicy and filled with passionfruit. Metallic at times, but in a good way. There's that underlying note of roasted malt I was hoping to find.

Normally with a color so black, your brain tells you to wait for an espersso assult. In this case, it's a tropical fruit assult. Rest assured, it is tasty. Passionfruit and tangerine galore with a little layer of roast. I do like this, though a little more with the malt bill wouldn't hurt. The 10.8% ABV listed seems like a misprint, because the alcohol is disguised extremely well, it feels lighter than anticipated (closer to medium-heavy than heavy), and its drinkability is very high for its size.

Much more delightful than I was expecting. It's approachable and not over the top. Behold the power of the Citra hop, and Stone's ability to hop beers.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 04:33:11 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a DFH glass a very nice black color, nice carbonation, with a one-finger creamy light tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is very very nice, hoppy, malty, lots of licorice, plums, raisins, figs, and chocolate. The taste is exceptional also, hoppy, with a nice touch of malts, chocolate, licorice, and some dark fruits. Medium body, kinda chewy, with a slight bitter finish. This is a very nice brew. It's been awhile since I've had a Stone beer, and this one is making me look for some more. Thanks Bill!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 20:47:08 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Thick head holds on strong, with leggy lace that also hangs around. Aroma is dark grain and green hops.

Taste starts with burnt malt sweetness, which blossoms into acrid bitterness in the middle, added onto by fresh piney hops toward the end. Flavors all seem to linger long after the swallow, along with some alcohol numbing. The hop burps could strip paint. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is very nice. Maybe a bit over the top, but all in all, a brew that is worth the time and effort.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 01:38:28 | More by ppoitras
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber split with oglmcdgl, poured into some glaases.

A- 15th was split between black liquid and a frothy tan foam, each taking up about half of the glass. It took over five minutes for the head to die down before becoming a nice sturdy cap. The liquid is black except with light some brownish red spots pop up, good lacing.

S- Very hoppy, almost reminded me of a Storm King nose when cold. Big pine and citrus. Maltier as it warms with roasted malt and some minimal coffee. Some dark fruit appeal as it warms even more. This has the nose of a black IPA.

T- And as expected the hops come forth strong and piney. Getting some citrus grapefruit as well. A bit too hoppy so with some time I let the malts come up more which made for a better balance. The malts give off some fruit such as plum with some roast and sweet candy on the low side. The coffee i was getting actually is more of a burnt roast. This is a strong ale though with hops ruling.

M- Bitter, bordering on being bitter but this strong is built with a nice malt base. This provides for an easier and smoother drink when it warms. This is not a hot beer but it is a strong beer with legs. A medium body with perfect carbonation.

D- A bit off putting at first and then I remind myself im drinking a fresh west coast strong so the hops dont bother me as much now. I could not finish a bomber now but back when I was a youngbuck, hell ya.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 22:13:54 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone 15th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA

22oz bomber. Pours a dark, viscious blackish brown. Oily mocha colored head forms and leaves superb lacing on the glass. Aroma is very hoppy upfront and bright, with citrus, floral and pine notes medling well to the lofty alcohol and roasted malt aromas. In the flavor, intensely bitter, big, and a roasted character to round everything out. Pine, hop resin, and grapefruit rind all chime in. Roasted malt is there with notes of bitter espresso. Alcohol remains big but contained well in all the other flavor. Mouthfeel comes off somewhat slick, oily and smooth. Overall, this is a big one, but still enjoyable. I drank the bomber myself, and led to my undoing.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 04:32:57 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4/5  rDev -5.2%

12-08-2013 05:18:25 | More by BillRoth
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is dark brown with a beige cap that measures about a half inch, leaving some decent lacing on the glass. The aroma is toasty, with some nice hop scents. The flavor blends the two, with a healthy bitterness. Also present is a nutty, burnt toffee character. The feel is medium bodied, with a lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Overall, a tasty beer, and a good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 01:59:33 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is intense and nearly over the top, with black cherry, espresso, vanilla and light chocolate. The flavor profile is more of the same, and I'm not sure why Stone just didn't call this a hoppy RIS. The beer is fairly sweet, and although there's considerable hoppy bitterness in the finish, I felt as if the beer was ultimately dominated by the sweetness and the black cherry. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, sweet, black cheery and bitter finish. The sweetness is a bit of a problem from a drinkability standpoint, as it makes the already noticeable alcohol all the more prominent.

This is a good beer, no doubt, but it's hard to imagine ever drinking more than one very small glass of this stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2011 22:46:40 | More by John_M
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled August 2011. Pours clear dark brown color with 1-2 fingers of a dense tan head with great retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Some nice thick lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big grapefruit, pine, orange, caramel, roasted malt, and orange. Very nice and hoppy aromas as I would have expected. Taste of big grapefruit, orange, pine, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, and some spices. Big amounts of bitterness present on the finish; with lingering notes of orange, pine, spices, roasted malt, and caramel. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is extremely well hidden, with only a slight warming after the finish noticed. Overall this is an excellent Black IPA that is quite smooth and nicely balanced.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 02:21:48 | More by superspak
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

11-20-2011 03:17:10 | More by brandoman63
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

5/5  rDev +18.5%

12-09-2011 04:17:52 | More by rab53
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a deep black hue with a two finger foamy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a molasses, dark chocolate and caramel.

The taste consisted of elements of dry dark chocolate, coffee, caramel and a healthy dose of booze.

The mouthfeel was certainly full for the style with a dry finish.

If this isn't an RIS, then I'm the Queen of England.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2011 22:10:16 | More by plaid75
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well, yeah...it's black. A very dark pour with rich brown edges, but they are hard to see because the off-brown head collars around. Soft lacing, somewhat splotchy. Looks really nice

Mostly hoppy aroma, but a nice foundation of roasted malt lingers. Pine, some citrus. Overall it's good, but a hint of fingernail polish remover is detected. I think it's from the combination of ingredients rather than a defect.

Tasting it, the polish stuff is just a by-product, but still off-putting a touch. It's not bad, but I keep focusing on it. Still, the hops and roastiness are quite nice. Soft baked caramel and smooth cocoa are topped with pineapple and pine. Lots more pine than pineapple though. Hints of tobacco, leather and almond.

Feels smooth, and that's quite an accomplishment since it does have a hell of bite.

Overall a good beer. A bit much to solo a bomber, but I managed quite well

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 08:22:30 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle cond. Aug. 11. Consumed Oct. 11.

A: Pitch black with a 2 finger, frothy mocha colored head that sits steadily atop. Lengthy retention on the head's part leaves a modest half glass coating for lace, patchy and splotchy.

S: Fresh wet pine, dry celery, and a herbaceous scent of fresh parsley is about. The hops are strong at first wind, but quiet there after, not sure if it’s the nature of the beast, or the 2 month shelf sitting.

T: Deep roasted malt flavor, dry parching citrus, with a strong level of hop presence. Dry pine, bittering grapefruit mingles with a dart roasted barley base with a burnt bitterness. A herbal hint of parsley and spicy zing of citrus is found in the middle. On the close is a lingering black licorice spicines as well a sharp wet citrus zing leaving a scorched fade of burnt grains behind.

M: fizzy at first, frothy, with a thick resistance from the heavy handed malt base. Bittering and dry hops with a licorice and citrus bite coming on the swallow.

O: Overall the hops are big and bitter on this one, as well the malting is equally big and roasted leaving a healthy dose of scorchness in its path. Worhty of an anniversary labeling. A bomber seems like a good level of drinkability, even before I noticed its 10.1% abv which kinda surprised me. Some alcohol warmth, but would of never guessed on this level. Gets progressively smoother and easier on the down once your tongue goes numb from the bitter roasted goodness found within. Very good in humble opinion.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 23:15:17 | More by beerthulhu
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,393 ratings.