1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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: 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:
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:  Recent | Likes | 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 BlurryVisi0n
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of SteelCityHops89
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of jfstilling
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(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.

Photo of rajendra82
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of kbuff13
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of spkissane
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of TheSquire23
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of JTSbeerislife
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.
DELICIOUS!!!
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.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of rhino54
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of tjkinate
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of rtaps
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of SarahMackAttack
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of bkonk10
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of McLaughlin5350
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of plaid75
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a deep black hue with a two finger foamy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a molasses, dark chocolate and caramel.

The taste consisted of elements of dry dark chocolate, coffee, caramel and a healthy dose of booze.

The mouthfeel was certainly full for the style with a dry finish.

If this isn't an RIS, then I'm the Queen of England.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased in California, brought back to Sydney, Australia and opened with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a heavily dark black-brown, with an exceptional head of crackling yellow brown coffee crema. Lacing is intricate, solid, honeycombed. Really solid legs to it, too, staying sticky on the edge of the glass when tilted. Body is surprisingly light, but extremely suitable for the style. Very fine carbonation. Looks genuinely exceptional.

Nose is heavily hoppy, with earthy, rusty hops giving the main event. There's no bright, citric fruitiness here—more of a tea tannin, earth, bracken character. It melds very pleasantly with the dark notes from the malt, in a way that makes some sense in a weird style; instead of the bright, citric, whimsical hoppiness creating an amusing contrast to the darkness, this blends together into some odd symbiosis.

Taste is smooth and clean and bright. The roast gives a nice basis, more of a dark biscuity sweetness, but the hops really lift the palate, and here they do have a touch of the crisp, bright citric quality to them, more than the tannic earthiness suggested on the nose. Finish has lingering bitterness, partially due to the hops, partially due to the roast. It's a nice finish, and sums up what the beer is about.

Really nice beer. It's a very odd thing that Stone have seemed to make sense of this style in a way that's quite orthogonal to the regular interpretation. The darker, more earthy hops match it really nicely with the roast malt, giving a beer that is different, but in all the right ways.

Photo of dphillips
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of ryancorn
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of MrTopher
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of joelBfrasier
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of nh2032
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of TheBishopco
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

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