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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

1,406 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,406
Reviews: 713
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 54
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:
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: 1,406 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kevwcamp
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

kevwcamp, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of kdown
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

kdown, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of jfstilling
4/5  rDev -5.2%

jfstilling, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Duvel
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Duvel, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of pmlondrigan
3.28/5  rDev -22.3%
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?

pmlondrigan, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of sjstraub
4/5  rDev -5.2%

sjstraub, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TWStandley
3.4/5  rDev -19.4%

TWStandley, Sunday at 09:51 PM
Photo of kb2250
4/5  rDev -5.2%

kb2250, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
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*

TheGordianKnot, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of surlytheduff
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

surlytheduff, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of greenmonstah
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

greenmonstah, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of NCbeerpirate
5/5  rDev +18.5%

NCbeerpirate, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Listers
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Listers, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of ibbjamin
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

ibbjamin, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of alkemy
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Out of the bomber…

A- To call it dark brown would be a misnomer. It’s so dark, let’s just call it black. There is some ruby highlighting around the edges of the glass when held to light. More than an inch of smoky taupe head that shrinks to about a quarter inch and then has plenty of staying power.

S- Very strong pine in the nose. Has a wet, swampy quality to it. There’s also a faint smoky molasses in the background.

T- Taste is complex. A bit like a barleywine right off the bat. Then some dark fruit quickly followed by the strong hop character. Smokiness intermingles, but really lingers in the finish. This sh*t’s good. It’s got a hint of the taste characteristics of a barleywine, with the strong pine goodness and some smokiness.

M- It’s silky smooth, but also has quite a bit of bite from the carbonation…silk at first and pine needles directly thereafter.

D- High. Smoky, pine finish leaves me wanting drink after drink. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

alkemy, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of jamescain
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a thick black with a brown head about two fingers thick that clings to the side of the glass and slowly fades into a lacing over the top.

Aroma: Strong citrus and pine notes mixed with chocolate and roasted aromas. Pungent.

Taste: Piney bitterness mixed with bitter chocolate and roasted grains with a touch of coffee.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy with a lingering bitter finish. I see why they call it an Imperial black IPA.

Overall: If I didn't know any better from looking at the beer I would assume it was and RIS. Once you smell it you know it is not though. Of the three Stone anniversary beers I've had, this is my favorite so far.

jamescain, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of SamN
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

SamN, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of CSQ1111
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

CSQ1111, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of KGarrett
5/5  rDev +18.5%

KGarrett, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of obywan59
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
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".

obywan59, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of TommyW
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very stout-like appearance. Black body with a tan head that starting at about 2 fingers and faded to a thin layer.

S- Smell was very full of fruity hops with a notes of burnt/toasted malts towards the finish.

T- Followed the nose very well. Big IPA-like hop presence up-front (very fruity hop profile). Slight notes of toasted and burnt malts make a quick appearance toward the finish.

M - Medium carb. smooth feel.

D- The first few sips of this beer were awesome, but it became a little much on the palate towards the end of the bottle. A solid beer though, that i'm becoming a bigger fan of.

TommyW, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of roodie
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Flying Saucer, Houston

~8 oz pour into a snifter

A: pours a dark coffee black, with 2 fingers of espresso head. Low retention, light lacing. dark coloring belies the hoppy potential

S: mild citrus with a hoppy, bitter, pungent backbone like a spicerack. odd, but working for me

T: bitter and piney; roasty malts give off a muted sweetness, very good.

M: a bit chalky with lingering bitterness. leaves a velvety coating blending the best qualities of a stout and heavily hopped beer

O: A great beer, better than most Black IPAs, I think Stone does this style well. A strong beer for sure, but hides it's punch till the end!

roodie, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of ineva
5/5  rDev +18.5%

ineva, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black into my snifter with a little over one finger of dense light brown head and has moderate retention and decent lacing.

S - Big hop aroma, very piny, resinous, and has grapefruit citrus. Once you get past the hops there are notes of toasted malts, bitter espresso and faint chocolate.

T - Follows the nose, grapefruit, pine, resinous hops that linger on the palate from start to finish, malt presence is there, bitter espresso is noticeable and dry cocoa with a slight alcohol burn.

M - Big and bold, full body with really well balanced carbonation.

O - I am not crazy about this style and this is not my favorite thing to come out of Stone, that's for sure. However, I get the concept and have had a few decent "Black IPA's" and although these roasted citrus combinations aren't that common we do find them in Africa/Arabia coffee bean varieties naturally. I am trying to keep this in mind when I start to think these flavors don't go together, because sometimes they can and do.

StoneBrewFanatic, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of mcorwin
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

mcorwin, Nov 18, 2011
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,406 ratings.