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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,410 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,410
Reviews: 713
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 55
Gots: 139 | 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:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 08-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,410 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sobeleg
5/5  rDev +18.5%

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.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
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?

Photo of goalie33
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of brealbg
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of kevwcamp
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of yankeej13
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A must pick up. Anytime they put out a new release I will totally support it.

A- Dark as night. Has a medium head of a browish color foam. Very little carbonation.

S- Its very interesting because I thought the hops would expode out of the glass. In this case it has a nice hoppy smell but you get a good scent of a sweet malt flavor as well.

T- Has a fantastic taste. I get a nice coffee like malt as well as a really nice balance of hop to malt flavor but at the end your mouth is left with a nice hop taste.

M- This beer has a fantastic drinkability. Never would of thought it was 10.8. Has a great smooth but yet bold flavor.

Overall- Really impressed, fantastic beer. Never have been let down yet. Cheers

Photo of WeedKing4
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with caramal like foam. Smells like a citrus/fruity ipa, but the taste does not follow suit. Tastes quite rosty and full. Very stout like. This would not nornally be a probably, but the beer itself says its an IPA. Other then the smell, i'm picking up nothing that resembles an ipa. Its not a bad beer, just wrongfully named.

Photo of obywan59
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"August 2011, Bottle Conditioned, Enjoy fresh" on the bottle.

Pours an incredible very dark brown to almost black with a 1 1/2 finger thick, creamy, tan head in my oversize wine glass.

Amazing fresh grassy hops with chocolate, coffee, light over-ripe citrus, toasted malt, and spicy alcohol. Stone is famous for being "over the top", but this has to be their best aroma ever!

Sweet at first, but bitterness rises strongly. Dark roasted malts are coffee-like. Spice and alcohol.

Medium-thick and creamy with some bite. Warming alcohol in the throat.

Another winner from Stone. Stand up and embrace this revolution in beer. "Those that don't think they have been oppressed are already lost".

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

22oz bottle poured into shaker pint

This beer pours a viscous looking, inky black. Excellent cappuccino brown head, about 2 fingers with great full lacing. Smell is lots of roast coffee and chocolate with a pine hop bite. Taste is quite heavy on the roast, char and ash. The piny, grassy hops provide a nice addition on the back palate. Mouthfeel was a touch heavy on the booze, sticky, medium-heavy and slightly drying. Overall a good beer, definitely lives up to its "Imperial" label.

Photo of cynical1027
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.31/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ok, I don't usually like this style but I'm gonna try. Basically the appearance of this beer is it's best part. Black, two finger mocha head, nice looking. It smells like someone accidentally dumped way to many hops into a porter. Piney, pithy and roasty a combo I don't think works well. Not to mention it just isn't a complex aroma. The taste is similar, roasty, nutty, piney and dark. Again I keep trying to see how these are suppose to go together, but they just don't. Its thick like a porter, is it supposed to be? I can't even begin to detect the alcohol, is that good, probably given it's strength? I'm confused, and tired of beers that are a bunch of different things they shouldn't be. Usually I'm cool with experimenting but I think this beer was the straw that broke the camel's back. Black IPA, Black Saison, what is next Black Black Ale?

Photo of jfstilling
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Duvel
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of sjstraub
4/5  rDev -5.2%

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

For my 300th review, I chose something special; Stone's 15th Anniversary beer. From a bomber into a Samuel Smith nonic pint.

This beer pours black as an RIS, with a thick, soapy dark tan head of billowy, creamy foam. Moderate lacing is left behind, great head for a 10.8% ale. Smell is powerfully hoppy, massive grapefruit rind aromas, tangerines, peaches. Very mild black roasted malt in the background, nose dominated by citrusy hops. Taste is an initial flash of hop-fruitiness, then melds into a more balanced taste incorporating some coffee and roasted grain notes. Finish is moderately bitter.

A pretty decent beer. Hoppier than I expected, but I suppose they did warn me with "Imperial" on the label. Well-hopped but not aggressive, the 'black" part is subdued; I would've liked to see that end brought up a bit more.

Photo of Leftofthedial
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of swetsastonic
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of ibbjamin
3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber of this new Stone brew from Perry's in Livermore, CA. I pour into a large snifter to review. Black IPA over 10% with an A rating on here? Sounds interesting.

Pours thick like a stout with an inch of dark colored stout-esque head. Black in color. A thin layer of retention and great lacing.

Quite hoppy nose, but still on the balanced side with a healthy dose of lightly roasted malt. Hints of chocolate, cream and vanilla but the resinous hops continue to push through. I cannot detect the high ABV.

Taste is much more stout than IPA for me. Much roastier than I anticipated with the chocolate and molasses pushing the hops aside. That ABV is being more detectable, but still well contained.

Full body, thick and somewhat creamy. Good levels of carbonation make this one very drinkable for its size. Long finish of roasted malt. The bitterness I detected in the nose is seemingly non existent now.

A good beer I suppose, but I was hoping for more hops on this one and ended up being let down a little. For what it is, a hoppy stout, in my opinion, it is a good beer.

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

A: Pitch black, without the tiniest bit of light coming through. The head is large and creamy, maybe two fingers with good retention and a lot of lacing.

S: Really a bit disconcerting to smell a beer that looks like a stout and have it smell more like hops than anything else. Big hop aroma up front, and roasted malts underneath that. Not getting much else.

T: Malts come through much more strongly on the taste than they do on the nose. Big hit of darkly roasted malts up front. Chocolate, and caramel bring a nice sweetness. The hops balance it out really well, though, and break through the sweetness. It leaves me with the taste of chocolate malts in my mouth, but it is just a little too much.

M: Heavy body and moderate carbonation. Quite sticky, especially at the back of the throat.

O: A nice offering from Stone. Big, bold, in your face flavors. Certainly nothing subtle about this beer and I almost feel like nothing I eat or drink in the next 4 hours will have any flavor by comparison. I wouldn't drink it every day. It's a showoff beer, but it's well balanced and tasty, even if they could have toned it back a bit.

Photo of CSQ1111
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 10oz snifter...

A- Very stoutlike in appearance. Black with an inch of thick, dense, creamy, khaki colored head.

S- Incredibly balanced aroma, surprising from Stone. Quite a bit of everything from the hops- fruit, earthy, spice, grass, and a hefty dosing of pine. A bit of roast and pumpernickle bread from the malt to balance.

T/M- Not as over the top as everyone keeps saying. Slight roast to begin, with a smooth transition into dirty, earthy, piney hops. Ends with a little caramel and very boozy. Medium body, slick feel; well carbonated but it stays oily and doesn't get too bubbly.

O- Decent, not great. Definitely nothing like Devil Dancer as suggested on the forums. Nice balance compared to some others I've had from Stone *cough- I'm looking at you SSR-cough*

Photo of surlytheduff
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of greenmonstah
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Black in color with a finger of lovely brown head. No lacing, and retention is pretty ok for such a high ABV. The black color is brilliantly deep, though.

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, and bitter grassy hops. Some dark fruit sweetness that I wasn't expecting. More stout than IPA.

T - Wow. Chocolate in droves, with a sweetness that is balanced by hop bitterness. I liken it to a chocolate stout blended with an especially bitter Double IPA, like Ruination.

M - Full bodied and a bit sticky initially but ends up drying in the finish. In every way this has the body of an Imperial stout, but with the dry finish of many IPAs.

O - Overall this is a phenomenal beer, truly. A strong Imperial Stout-y flavor that then leads into the bitter hoppiness of an IPA, but without a sharp divided between the two. The flavor and body flow from one stage to the next and blend in the interim in a way that perfectly compliments the many aspects of this beers flavor.

Photo of NCbeerpirate
5/5  rDev +18.5%

15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,410 ratings.