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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 Viciousknishs
Viciousknishs

Virginia

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

A- pours pitch black with two fingers of tan head. Good head retention.

S- obnoxious punch of woody pine hop aromas with slight notes of bitter citrus peel. Roasty malt and dark chocolate. Finishes with some booze and mulchy forest floor hops.

T- big pine and woody hop flavor that transitions into some citrus peel. Roasty malt and booze mingles in the middle. Finishes with bakers chocolate, a hint of coffee and hop bitterness/flavor that lingers on the palate.

MF- thick chewy mouthfeel with a big body and soft carbonation.

D- quite a big beer here. Drinkability is low on it's own. Had mine with some food and the drinkability became much higher.

Overall a pretty tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 01:08:12 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of AlexM
AlexM

California

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 07:11:01 | More by AlexM
Photo of Jmamay22
Jmamay22

New York

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

This beer pours a jet black thats nearly as imposing as an Imperial stout. The head is a thin mocha cap. Smells of piney hop resin with a hint of caramel sweetness in the background.

The taste is similar to the smell, but with greater complexity. The hops build slowly, muted as the malts provide balance, finally taking over with a sharp hop bite that acts as a resounding finish. It is surely a West Coast styled ale that is intense, but very enjoyable. Not your typical beer, but Stone loves to go its own way. The mouthfeel is medium bodied yet rich. Overall very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 01:19:28 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of WhitmansNiece
WhitmansNiece

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

01-07-2012 23:37:46 | More by WhitmansNiece
Photo of RyanGoodman
RyanGoodman

Bolivia

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

11-15-2011 19:10:46 | More by RyanGoodman
Photo of innuendobrewskiman63
innuendobrewskiman63

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

04-05-2012 17:01:23 | More by innuendobrewskiman63
Photo of wingman14
wingman14

Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with brown highlights and a frothy mocha head. The smell is dominated by the hops with some citrus fruit notes and obvious alcohol from the high ABV. The taste starts out slightly bitter with the citrus notes coming on right away. There is a hint of sweet that moves into the bitter hop and finishing with a strong dose of alcohol. The mouthfeel is heavy with a nice creamy body, definitely a sipping beer due to the huge flavor and ABV. It was good to split this bomber, because I couldn't see having more than a snifter full. Overall a good beer, different flavors that what you get with an IPA due to the dark malt, but mostly tasty. By the end of the glass I was glad I tried it, but wouldn't choose this as a regular beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 01:53:30 | More by wingman14
Photo of Philousa
Philousa

California

3.25/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black with about 1/4" dark brown head and good lacing. Earthy, citrus hops in the nose, followed by bitter malt, and a hint of caramel. Taste is chocolatey, smokey malt up front, followed by earthy, bitter hops. Bitterness feels more alcoholic with time, in the nose. Mouthfeel is middling, good carbonation for a dark, high ABV beer, but taste is a bit fleeting. Clean, crisp taste up front with lingering bitterness.

Don't know how I feel about this beer. The nose says IPA, but the taste is bitter RIS, which kinda turns me off. If the malt was more sweet, I would be a much bigger fan. I think a little balance is in order here. Then again, this is the same brewery that tries to kill your palate with bitterness, so what else should I expect? Good experiment, not something I'd drink often.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2011 04:43:09 | More by Philousa
Photo of uziangis
uziangis

Ohio

5/5  rDev +18.5%

12-11-2011 18:49:57 | More by uziangis
Photo of Teleweizen2
Teleweizen2

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a deep inky black with a frothy tan head. leaves spotty lacing. stays at about a fingers worth.

S - a vibrant hop aroma dominates the nose. notes of bitter orange peel and pine are the most prominate while the malt hangs back with just a touch of coffee and char.

T - bitter chocolate on the front of the tongue which turns into an onslaught of bitter citrus. notes of pine needles in the center of the tongue which carry over with the citrus flavors for a nearly endless finish.

M - soft creamy texture with a medium body. the bubbly carbonation is light giving the body a bit more weight on the tongue.

O - an interesting beer. I really do like the hop profile. Its bright and flavorful and just the right amount of piney-ness. but the malt profile is a bit lacking and almost nondescript which was a bit of a disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 01:15:18 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of GuisseppeFranco
GuisseppeFranco

New York

4/5  rDev -5.2%

02-11-2012 01:39:26 | More by GuisseppeFranco
Photo of andthevolcano
andthevolcano

Delaware

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

11-07-2012 02:29:48 | More by andthevolcano
Photo of TexAggie011
TexAggie011

Texas

4/5  rDev -5.2%

12-26-2011 05:10:54 | More by TexAggie011
Photo of Retsinis
Retsinis

California

3.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Being Stone's 15th, I had to try this one, even though I don't buy Stone's beers nearly as much as I use to a few years back. There WAS a TON of this at the local Total wines when it was first released, and now this was the only bottle I saw this past weekend, so it must be decent to be going so fast. Anyhow, on to the review.

Review from notes.

A: Poured from the 22oz bomber into a Bruery tulip glass. A solid half inch of medium tan brown colored head rose, and slowly settled, leaving a smooth coating film at first, and then some sticky spotty lace. Settled to just a ring of bubbles, and some film on top of this Black beer, that no light penetrates.

S: Scents of light espresso, light mint hops, light chocolate, medium roasted malt, more bitter hops, with notes of pine, hay, light smoke and that distinct stone yeast strain. A bit muddled actually.

T: Mirrors the nose, intense bitter hops aroma, medium roasted malt, light chocolate, and a touch of coffee. Some rye grain notes in there as well, and the ABV is well hidden. As it warmed, I started to get very subtle taste of burnt cinnamon, mixed with light pepper or even ginger? Might not be describing that just right, but it's there.

M: Medium carbonation, bitter bite.

O: Good, way better than 14. Glad I got to try it, but no plans to revisit. Still pretty intense, even though it was released nearly two months ago.

Black IPA's for me are either closer to porters, or DIPA's with some in between. It's a tricky balance to make a great one from the dozens+ I've tried. This definitely favored the hops, but it's an odd mix. While the hops may be what makes this beer great, some time might improve it even more for me, though not the brewers intention I imagine to age it,.

Not sure if it's the in house yeast strain, or the choice of hops, both, or something I can't put my finger on, but this beer is a bit TOO bitter for me, and not in a good way, and I love DIPA's, IIPA, IPA's etc, so I'm left that it may just not be a choice of hops that agrees with me.

Nevertheless, Congrats Stone on 15 years, Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 23:44:33 | More by Retsinis
Photo of beerhan
beerhan

Ohio

3/5  rDev -28.9%

01-22-2012 19:12:13 | More by beerhan
Photo of chodinheaven
chodinheaven

Maryland

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very well said paragraph on the back of the bottle by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner. The beer pours out pitch black and is completely opaque. A tan head forms slowly and dissapates even slower, leaving behind nice rings of lacing. Retention is excellent. The aroma is bursting with pine hops backed by dark roasted, almost burnt, malts, intensely aromatic from the opening of the bottle to the end.

Rich in flavor, full in body, and it certainly packs a punch on the taste buds. Full of a perfect combination of bitter dark roasted malts and piney hops, this beer takes your palate for a ride. The combination leads to a taste that isn't quite coffee, but is reminiscent of it. Definitely has the hoppy qualities of a big Imperial IPA, but the dark roasted malts add a very different character than any IIPAs, much less other black IPAs that I've tried. The bitterness lingers all the way from the beginning of the taste to the long and lingering finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, quite an accomplishment for such a big beer. The high ABV is hidden so nicely that it will sneak up on you. Definitely detectable, but the pine and roastiness are so pronounced that the boozy qualities are only noticed as an afterthought. A touch of biscuit brings it all around into a balanced Imperial beer. This is definitely the most distinctive black IPA I've had, and easily the most delicious. This beer is hearty. As I said, the richness and ABV make this one a good one to share with friends and sip on, talking about the paragraph on the back. If any beer were to live up to what their world philosophies described on the back are, this one does so with its unique qualities. Gotta love what Stone can do.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 05:26:28 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of BBP
BBP

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- somewhat stout-like, but a thinner head and less lacing.

S- roastiness and slight bitterness. Slight pine hops. Slight caramel malt but mostly roasted malts.

T- reminds me a bit of sublimely but a but stronger. Slightly more depth. More like an ris than a black dipa. It's slighly lacking in character but maintains balance quite well.

M- medium full. Very dry. Sticky finish.

O- a good anniversary ale and very respectable, but it seemed a little lacking in character. All is good but it seems lacking in the ris sense but being beyond the black iipa.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 01:17:42 | More by BBP
Photo of Azrael
Azrael


4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

02-07-2013 05:37:48 | More by Azrael
Photo of celticfutblclub
celticfutblclub

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

11-14-2011 18:09:47 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of Digimaika2
Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Wow. Pours a noticeably rich and thick dark brown (near black) colour with a two-finger mocha coloured creamy head. Good lacing and decent retention.

S: Earthy pine, tart and slightly sour grapefruit, some faint dark chocolate and espresso. Quite a bit of earthy aromas coming through.

T: Bold pine and tart grapefruit (to a lesser extent) taste upfront quickly gives way to a roasted flavour that includes black licorice, molasses, burnt cocoa, and faint espresso. Alcohol well hidden as this doesn't taste like the stated ABV. Quite an earthy taste in this (especially towards the finish) with very nice overall flavours.

M: Good viscosity (not too thick, not too thin) and a healthy and pleasing dose of carbonation.

O: Everything comes together very well in this Black IPA. With the alcohol well hidden, this is surprisingly quite easy-to-drink. One of the best Stone offerings I've had yet.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 23:06:27 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of CanisMajor
CanisMajor

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

01-14-2013 00:38:07 | More by CanisMajor
Photo of Axic10
Axic10

New Jersey

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a thick deep black with a two finger fluffy mocha head that took some time to settle down.

Smell: Earthy and floral hops with a subtle hint of chocolaty malt. Slight hints of booze come through as well.

Taste: Piney and floral hops mixed with some chocolate and roasted (burnt) malt.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, very smooth and creamy.

Overall: I enjoyed this one slight more than I did the 11th Anniversary (Sublimely Self-Righteous). Will get more while it's available and wouldn't mind if Stone makes this a seasonal offering.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 00:01:04 | More by Axic10
Photo of hpthebull
hpthebull

California

4/5  rDev -5.2%

11-20-2011 00:11:16 | More by hpthebull
Photo of suspect
suspect

New York

4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature glass.

A: Pitch black, stout-like color. Aggressive pour leads to a thick mocha colored 2-fingered head that takes a few minutes to disappear leaving a nice ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing is average and coats the glass nicely.

S: Hops and toasted chocolate malts are the first thing that hits followed by smoke and alcohol.

T: Taste follows the nose with piney and citrus hop presence hitting first followed closely by toasted chocolate malts. Solid bitter finish. One that I just can't quite understand coming from this color.

M: Creamy and bitter. Perfect carbonation, lingering bitter aftertaste leaves me constantly reaching for my glass to quench but I just can't get enough.

O: Really interesting and really good beer. It will be interesting to see how well this one ages. It's really good fresh but the abv leads me to believe it would settle and pull the malts out a bit more. Well done, Stone.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 01:29:27 | More by suspect
Photo of whallgren
whallgren

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +18.5%

12-04-2011 18:13:56 | More by whallgren
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,393 ratings.