15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,397 | Reviews: 713 | Display Reviews Only:
4.4/5 rDev +4.3%
Enjoyed on tap at the wonderful Seven Saints in downtown Champaign, IL.
Two durable fingers of slightly tan foam top an impenetrably black body; excellent head duration and loads of lacing on the tulip impress me thoroughly. Good aromas, filled with hops as is Stone's wont, with healthy whiffs of chocolate, some roasted coffee, and biscuit malts. Well balanced nose.
Stone achieves a remarkable balance with 15th between the dense malt and the loads of hops. The first half or so is malt driven, to me, very smooth and filled with chocolate and toasted biscuit malt. Only later do the hops become so prominent, and when they do, it is somewhat surprising that they coexist so well with the malt. Often, the hops shine through at first, with the malt in tow in such blends. Here, and perhaps all the more impressively, it is the other way around. Initially the thought is that the malt tamped down on the hops, but not so. The second half of 15th is stridently an IPA in taste and texture, citrusy in taste (orange and grapefruit) while jet black in color. Shards of hop grit meld with a largely smooth, malty texture for an oh-so-pleasant mouthfeel experience.
Stone delivers a genuine gem with Escondidian Imperial Black IPA, a complex treat that merges styles masterfully. Recommended with pleasure and gusto.
11-30-2011 02:03:05 | More by Gehrig
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
Presentation- Nice dark bottle. Like the gargoyle on the label holding up a stien glass. Good info and story on the back.
Appearence-Boy is this really a "black" IPA. Pours thick with a nice solid finger and a half of head that retains semi well and has a mocha look. Beer looks like a stout but smells like an IPA, pretty cool.
Smell-Im getting the usual smell of hops in this one but also chocalate notes as well. Blends into together quite nicely. Small amounts of oak and mocha in there as well. Little bit of coffee beans and toast in the mix also. Really nice smell. Black raisan, some plum. Crazy.
Taste-Oh wow! This really is like drinking a stout and an IPA side by side. Get a lot of malts when i drink this. Hops seems to subdue a little bit as the strong heavy chocalate and toaste flavors smoothen out across my mouth. Some smoked flavors in there also.
Mouthfeel-Feels like a Stout! Does not drink like an IPA at all but sure does taste like one to some degree. Definitely a mouthful which is nice. A heavier beer with full body and a dry finish.
Overall-A really nice beer man. I must say. If you want to enjoy a stout and an IPA at the same time this is definitely a beer to drink. Glad i let it sit in the celler for a month or two. Seems to have done it some well. Very tasty. Nice balance. Smooth and thick at the same time. Nice.
11-29-2011 23:13:11 | More by ales4baldo
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass.
A= Deep black color with a nice head
S= Nice roasted aroma with chocolate notes, piney hoppy smell came through the chocolate.
T= The chocolate notes come through here then at the nose.
O= My 1st Black IPA. Not a huge fan of the style but this brew makes me want to explore in it more.
11-29-2011 21:23:51 | More by Sheepdog
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
Poured into tulip.
Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a 1/2" dark tan head.
Smell: I would say floral, cocoa. I honestly can't get enough og the aroma this beer gives. It's not the type your going to smell from five feet from the glass but just smelling it is a tease of what greatness is to come.
Taste: Yes it's bitter but yes it's f'n great. Any IPA fan will appreciate with they are indulging in. Slight pine, you can taste the feel of floral slight bitter dark chocolate feel.
Mouth: Medium carbonation doesn't go down easy for everyone maybe not even the most "advanced" beer drinker. I say this because most black IPA's I have had haven't stepped up the way Stone has done.
Overall: Tell you this NOT my first black IPA but definitely the best one I have had. It meets the demand of what IPA stands for, true hops with the perfect mixture of bitter dark chocolate. Cheers to all and enjoy!
11-29-2011 04:49:27 | More by BlurryVisi0n
4.08/5 rDev -3.3%
(Served in a tulip glass) A- A jet black body supports a thick sticky cocoa-tan head that holds on the glass with each sip. There are some microbubbles that show up just at the base of the head. S- The green earthy pine hops are full with some nice pine resin character coming through as the beer opens. There is a hint of sweet black roasted malt in the background. T- The green herbal hops have a woody quality to them with a pungent pine bitterness and masks a roasted malt flavor a bit. The bitter hops linger nicely after each sip. M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a creamy texture with just a touch of alcohol warmth. O- The nice full hops are what you expect but there just isn't much depth to them nor is there any juicy bright character to the hops. Just a good solid earthy dark hops that compliment the trompe l'oeil body.
11-28-2011 20:49:08 | More by rhoadsrage
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
Of all the self described black IPAs I have ever had, this had to be the darkest. The pour was pitch black an opaque, and the head atop was two finger thick, and khaki in color. The aroma on the other hand was lot closer to a typical IPA, with citric hops. There was a hint of the roasted malts if I inhaled deeply. The taste was very unique, as the bitterness of the hops and coffee flavor of the malts were both immediately and distinctly detectable. There was some molasses flavor in the finish as well. The body was creamy and on the thicker side of medium. The overall impression this beer left me was that of a dark coffee with crea.
11-28-2011 04:29:49 | More by rajendra82
4.4/5 rDev +4.3%
22 oz bottle, purchased 9/2011
Poured into a British Imp Nonic.
This glass did not “work” and I switched to a Dogfish Head Signature Snifter, the right choice I believe.
Pours a beautiful two finger head, thick looking, which rather rapidly reduces to an 1/8” cap, which is “sticky” if not lacey.
Very deep, black/brown color, you cannot see thru it. Tan colored head.
Surprisingly yeasty aroma when first poured (this fades with time), black malt, vanilla, and some hops trying to surpass the powerful smell of roasted malt and yeast.
After the ale warms, the hops, surprisingly become much more pronounced and you can detect distinct pine cone. Very, very good.
Exceptionally rich entry on the palate of black malt, yeast, and a very nice hop bite. Delicious!
Good crisp acidity, full mouth feel, and perfect carbonation lend balance to this ale. After a few sips you notice the complex flavors hidden by the initial blast of rich malt/yeast/hops, such as hints of vanilla, dark unsweetened chocolate, roasted malt (slightly sweetened), and even more piney hops. Wow!
Long lingering finish of black malt and bitter hops (here they really come forward).
This is an ale of almost unbelievable richness, rivaling the best Russian Imp Stouts I have had. Add to that a nice distinct bite of bitter hops and that leaves you with an exceptionally delicious ale.
This ale impressed me with its complexity, lots of flavors and aromas coming at you from all directions. As a long time wine drinker, I look and smell any libation with great scrutiny, and let me say IMO this ale has what it takes. Seems at its best around 55 degrees.
One of the best I have tried. Very Highly Recommended!!
FYI I really recommend a different glass than listed here on BA. This ale has more in common with a RIS or American Strong Ale than an Imperial IPA. IMO a Snifter or Tulip would be a wiser choice.
11-27-2011 23:41:06 | More by JTSbeerislife
4.05/5 rDev -4%
Thanks stone for another great beer!
A: Beer poured black as night allowing no light to penetrate. It was beautifully topped by a 2 fingered, frothy cocoa colored head with great retention and loads of lacing.
S: Dark semi-sweet chocolate malts accompanied with a solid hop profile. Molasses is also detectable, hides the ABV well.
T: Malts and hops work well with one another, but as the tasting goes on the hops do flaunt their bitterness a bit too much.
M: Medium bodied, smooth and creamy.
O: Not a replacement for the SSR, but is a very good addition to one of my favorite styles.
11-27-2011 17:44:23 | More by tjkinate
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
pours pitch black. good sized dark tan head, great retention leaving lacing all around the glass.
has a nice aroma to it. oats chocolate, nutty.
taste great dark chocolate, oats, nutty, some coffee. seems like a black IPA at first then finishes like a stout.
mud-full bodied. medium carbonation, creamy but not as smooth as expected
overall nice beer, the more i drank to more i enjoyed and appreciated this beer.
11-27-2011 17:17:17 | More by rtaps
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,397 ratings.