15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
2.78/5 rDev -34.1%
22 oz bottle poured into my DFH signature glass
Appearance: Dark, Black. Looks exactly like a stout. No light even around the edges of the glass. Two finger tan head, sticks to the sides of the glass nicely.
Smell: Not a strong smelling brew, really had to take a nice big whiff to get much. Some piny hops and something burnt. Odd combo.
Taste: Roasted malts, almost burnt taste mixed with pine needles. A Bitter and burnt taste coats the mouth, not pleasant. Alcohol isnt bad seeing that this is almost 11%. Something lightly sweet mid-taste.
Mouthfeel: Thick, almost creamy and sticky.
Overall: Stone I am disappointed! I dont know what to make of this. Trying to be and do too much at once? Would not buy this again, but not sorry that I tried it.
10-08-2011 02:47:15 | More by BullDurham
2.6/5 rDev -38.4%
Got a bomber of this on my visit to California; I'll be visiting Stone in two days.
My father and I split this. First off, wow, that's thick. And it's certainly black. My first whiff had me reeling. It's extremely potent... hops flood my nasal passages. A pungent soy sauce flavor overwhelms me. It's very sweet.
The first sip is incredibly bitter. Sweet as well. The ABV of this beer doesn't hide, in my opinion, like some Double IPAs can do. I don't look forward to the next sip of this beer. And that's just it--this is a sipping beer. It's incredibly flavorful. It stops everything, and forces me to focus on how bitter and overwhelming the flavor is.
The aftertaste is the best part, and quite possibly the only thing I enjoy about this beer. There's an incredible coffee aftertaste reminding me of a coffee stout. I also detect chocolate and toffee undertones. Someone else here on BA noted figs as well, which I also subtly taste. But coffee and soy sauce are two huge flavors here, and I'm not the most fond of those. I'm much more of an IPA guy.
Compared to other black IPAs, this is something else entirely. It is so pungent, so powerful, so overwhelming, that I would probably never choose to drink this again. The flavor kills my palate more than a double IPA and I'm here wishing I had bought a bottle of something else. I love a lot of Stone's brews, but this sure isn't one of them.
03-14-2012 05:18:48 | More by yokken
2.58/5 rDev -38.9%
I'm trying to be nice, but I wonder with a lot of these reviews how much of it is that everyone is a massive Stone fanboys rather than really being objective with the beer.
A - it's black, dark dark black. It looks like a stout, pours fairly thick with very little light brown head, under a finger that fizzled away quickly.
S - alcohol is by far the most predominant smell. A bit of chalk, stout-like roast. Almost no hop aroma.
T - Egh. It was overly boozy, and the taste reminded me of chalk, roast, and a very small amount of hops on the back end. It was dominated by the chalky flavor and the roast though. Not really sure what to think about it being a 'black IPA', I don't doubt it has a lot of hops but they're just completely overwhelmed.
M - it's thicker than I'd like an IPA to be, but in an 11%ish beer I'm not surprised. It was closer to a heavy porter than anything.
O - completely underwhelmed. I had some high hopes but got a boozy, overzealous beer that was more like a mediocre stout than any kind of Black IPA. Really this beer was a huge letdown.
09-03-2011 04:11:52 | More by PainkeepBrewing
2.45/5 rDev -41.9%
This is so sharply alcoholic. With the bitterness, it tastes like a Chinese medicinal wine. It also wins the prize for the weirdest, most unpleasant aroma for a non-spoiled beer. It's like a wet felt hat filled with the parsley silage from the back of the vegetable bin.
The stuff looks nice enough in the glass, though it's just black with a thin beige head. Not very drinkable overall. It just seems like some kind of hop joke. Mouthfeel is hard to tell. It makes my lips hurt.
Personally, I think they are toying with us. Or else it's a chemistry experiment from the Escondido High School science fair. At least Stone doesn't don't overcharge, so I sometimes lapse from better judgement to try one of their loopy brews. From the 22 oz bottle. Add a case of Olde English 800 for an excellent frat party. "Dude, see if you can keep this down!"
08-02-2012 05:42:15 | More by mactrail
2.38/5 rDev -43.6%
on-tap, reviewed from notes.
A- Brown... dark dark brown/black body and a sticky icky tan head.
S- Intense hops- I do a double-take after sniffing this one. Piny, a bit fruity, very pungent.
T- Too much. There's roasty malt and some coffee notes for a second, and they're completely obliterated from the zippy, minty, herbal, piny hops. Yes, that's a lot of descriptors. They're all there. Orange peel, pine resin, and mint leaves. The hops are pulling my tongue all over the place and don't give me a chance to sit back and explore the beer. After my tongue recovers from the assault, some ashy flavors peek through. Not doing the beer any favors.
M- Abrasively hoppy, too much, too confusing. Good carbonation, though.
O- Meh. SSR is a much better beer- this one is just disorganized and a tough nut to crack. I won't be revisiting this one, no chance no way.
10-07-2011 13:56:57 | More by ShogoKawada
2.2/5 rDev -47.9%
Just a retarded idea imo to have a black ipa as your 15th anniversary brew. I bought this cause I found it for 6 bucks which isn't a bad deal on a brew of this "rarity" i guess.
It pours a nice color, a thick, inky blackish brown with a creamy tan head that leaves a thick coating of lacing.
It smells like a package of the tropical starburst mixed with tootsie rolls. Some might like it but i think it reeks of a poorly thought out recipe.
The flavor is really well, all over the place. There is some coffee notes, some indecipherable hop notes, odd sweetness, moderate bitterness.
This beer is just a mish mash of junk really. Re-do you recipe and actually think before you brew.
10-12-2011 02:38:30 | More by crossovert
2.2/5 rDev -47.9%
Pitch black. 2 finger sticky, mud brown head. Lots of lacing.
Muddled blend of bitter hops, burnt cocoa, hazelnut and coffee. Not particularly inviting, an odd, unbalanced aroma that I found to be really off-putting.
Big hit of bittering hops forward, followed by dark roasty stout characteristics.
I really don't have much to say about this one. To me there's way too much going on, the hoppiness does not pair up well with the stout backbone, and it tastes like a mess. Stone always seems to want to take on huge hybrid beers, sometimes very successfully sometimes over-executed. This was honestly one of the worst beers I've had in a while.
Didn't finish the bottle.
I'm still scratching my head about this one; I thought I would've liked it.
09-07-2012 01:07:04 | More by dmatsui
1.98/5 rDev -53.1%
A: Pours a dark black, almost opaque color. A one finger tan head forms, and recedes to a ring. Nice lace is left behind.
S: Oh man, the aroma is pungent. Herbal and soapy hops, citrus, grassy hops. That all intermingles with burnt sugar, tar, molasses, ash, wood. Just unpleasant in the nose.
T: The same here, it is just off putting. At first the hops are strong. Herbal, grassy, soapy. Charred wood, ash, and rubber comes next. Burnt sugar with way to much residual sweetness. Molasses and soy sauce. A lingering bitterness lasts forever. Not to mention the alcohol. Over barring in every way.
M/D: A full body that is thick and viscous. Overly so with a sticky adhesive quality that I don't like. I think tar is a good descriptor. To much alcohol and to much of everything else. I could not finish a glass.
Wow, I thought Stone could not get any more crase and over barring. Just an unbalanced mess. I wish brewers would think before releasing beers like this. Though I guess everyone else seems to like it for some reason, and I don't get it? I would say avoid, but that looks like I am in the minority.
09-30-2011 00:01:06 | More by champ103
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.