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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.

1,391 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,391
Reviews: 712
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 54
Gots: 138 | FT: 3
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,391 | Reviews: 712 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBuckeye


3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
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?

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 00:41:05 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of hpthebull


4/5  rDev -5.2%

11-20-2011 00:11:16 | More by hpthebull
Photo of mattboyer182


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - pitch black in color with a thick dark brown head.

S - smells of piney hops. And then a little more hops.

T - taste is hoppy up front with a subtley sweet after taste. It doesn't linger long.

M - mouth feel is thin and carbonated.

O - good beer but sublimely self righteous is much better

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 23:18:15 | More by mattboyer182
Photo of Snellgg5

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

04-23-2012 22:02:29 | More by Snellgg5
Photo of brealbg


5/5  rDev +18.5%

12-10-2011 14:17:10 | More by brealbg
Photo of WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -10%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 04:20:45 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

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

A- A nice looking brew, pitch black with a nice two finger head at the top that was nice and frothy, the stickyness surrounded lacing around the glass.

S- A nice hop scent throughout, with hints of some dark fruits and bits of chocolate, a nice scent to this Stone brew.

T- A nice roasted coffee taste up front with hints of chocolates and hops. The boldness of the beer is nice, perfect balance in flavor throughout.Slight taste of whiskey and oak as well, tastes better as it warms.

M- Nice creamy and thick brew, not to much carbonation on this one.

O- This beer is perfect for the winter months, had this one by the fire at night. Great balance on this beer

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 18:32:37 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of cynical1027


5/5  rDev +18.5%

02-21-2012 00:59:08 | More by cynical1027
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 01:51:38 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of atr2605

New York

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours completely black with a massive tan head that lasts forever. leaves a nice lace around the glass
S-tons of citrus and grapefruit, very subtle caramel and chocolate undertones
T-big smokey coffee flavor with the the citrus hop flavor afterwards. Very interesting flavor. It starts out pretty sweet but has alot of balance with the hops leaving the toasted flavor on the finish
M-full bodied.
O-Keeps you sipping just so you can continue to discover all the flavors in this beer. I wouldn't drink this all the time but definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 01:29:53 | More by atr2605
Photo of Duvel

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

03-09-2013 19:15:22 | More by Duvel
Photo of sjstraub


4/5  rDev -5.2%

11-14-2011 06:43:45 | More by sjstraub
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

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?

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 01:49:02 | More by pmlondrigan
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*

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2011 05:35:07 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of surlytheduff


3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

01-03-2012 03:54:03 | More by surlytheduff
Photo of greenmonstah

New Hampshire

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 23:04:53 | More by greenmonstah
Photo of NCbeerpirate

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +18.5%

11-14-2011 22:42:47 | More by NCbeerpirate
Photo of Listers


4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

04-19-2012 01:34:56 | More by Listers
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 02:18:57 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of loupap

Rhode Island

5/5  rDev +18.5%

11-15-2011 02:03:25 | More by loupap
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 21:31:36 | More by alkemy
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2011 15:23:26 | More by jamescain
Photo of KGarrett

New York

5/5  rDev +18.5%

11-16-2011 01:12:57 | More by KGarrett
Photo of Davit


4/5  rDev -5.2%

09-17-2012 15:27:43 | More by Davit
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 22:01:40 | More by TommyW
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,391 ratings.