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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 innuendobrewskiman63
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

innuendobrewskiman63, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of chodinheaven
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.

chodinheaven, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of Teleweizen2
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.

Teleweizen2, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of beerhan
3/5  rDev -28.9%

beerhan, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of wingman14
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.

wingman14, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Philousa
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.

Philousa, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of uziangis
5/5  rDev +18.5%

uziangis, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of GuisseppeFranco
4/5  rDev -5.2%

GuisseppeFranco, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Retsinis
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!

Retsinis, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of TexAggie011
4/5  rDev -5.2%

TexAggie011, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of atr2605
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours completely black with a massive tan head that lasts forever. leaves a nice lace around the glass
S-tons of citrus and grapefruit, very subtle caramel and chocolate undertones
T-big smokey coffee flavor with the the citrus hop flavor afterwards. Very interesting flavor. It starts out pretty sweet but has alot of balance with the hops leaving the toasted flavor on the finish
M-full bodied.
O-Keeps you sipping just so you can continue to discover all the flavors in this beer. I wouldn't drink this all the time but definitely worth a try.

atr2605, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of BBP
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.

BBP, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of Axic10
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.

Axic10, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of kdown
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

kdown, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of Azrael
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Azrael, Feb 07, 2013
Photo of celticfutblclub
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

celticfutblclub, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of CanisMajor
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

CanisMajor, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of suspect
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.

suspect, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of whallgren
5/5  rDev +18.5%

whallgren, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Snellgg5
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Snellgg5, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of loupap
5/5  rDev +18.5%

loupap, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of PintOHops
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass - Tulip

A - Super pitch black brew with a sticky 2-finger tan head, retention seems to be decent. I'm not getting any light through this one. Surprisingly I only got a few spots left on my glass.

S - Right upfront I get an explosion of sticky, resinous hops! Tree sap, pine, grapefruit, pineapple, fruit rinds. Beneath the punch of hops I get deep dark chocolate characteristics, toffee, buttery notes, and a general sweet, cereal like malt character. Smells pretty sweet.

T - Wow! Upfront is such an intense punch of hop resins, pine, tree sap, rind. In the middle the hop flavors are just about intense with added bitterness, woody smokey notes, molasses, and dark chocolate. The finish consists of more hop resins, dark chocolate, smoke and a cloying bitterness that just wont let go. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, I can feel it down my throat to my stomach.

M - One of the most oily brews Iv had! Thick, viscous, and full bodied with soft crispness.

O - Wow, I gotta say that I would only really want to drink about 6-12oz of this brew in one sitting, after that it would become sickening to me. Overall I really like this beer, from it's super resinous flavor profile, to it's velvety mouthfeel. I definitely recommend it, although it's more like a break the bottle open and share with friends brew. I think I'd probably just buy the Sublimely Self Riotous over this in the future.

PintOHops, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very viscous, used motor oil black with mocha colored head.

S - Wow, not what I was expecting from the pour, lots of floral hops, mixed with roasted malt, a tinge of zest, some notes of dark fruits. Good--and interesting--smelling beer.

T - I'm working through this one. On first draw, you get some of those full stout properties, coffee bitterness, but a lot of floral hops as well. Not so much the taste, but the "feel" of them. It fades into some dark fruits like plum, and finishes with that baker's bitter chocolate taste. I wasn't aware a beer could taste like this.

M - Again, it's viscousy like an imperial stout, , but it has that dryingness of piney, floral hops. Mild burn from the alcohol as it warms

Overall - Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what to say. It has a lot of things working here, and I feel like in doing that, it got a little muddled. I can feel the properties of what's in the beer, but I can't necessarily taste them. I feel the coffee bitterness, but I don't really taste coffee. I can feel the bitterness from the hops, but I can't really taste them. But at the same time, I liked it?

BeerBuckeye, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of goalie33
5/5  rDev +18.5%

goalie33, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of sobeleg
5/5  rDev +18.5%

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