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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,412 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,412
Reviews: 713
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 56
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:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 08-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,412 | Reviews: 713
Photo of celticfutblclub
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of CanisMajor
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature glass.

A: Pitch black, stout-like color. Aggressive pour leads to a thick mocha colored 2-fingered head that takes a few minutes to disappear leaving a nice ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing is average and coats the glass nicely.

S: Hops and toasted chocolate malts are the first thing that hits followed by smoke and alcohol.

T: Taste follows the nose with piney and citrus hop presence hitting first followed closely by toasted chocolate malts. Solid bitter finish. One that I just can't quite understand coming from this color.

M: Creamy and bitter. Perfect carbonation, lingering bitter aftertaste leaves me constantly reaching for my glass to quench but I just can't get enough.

O: Really interesting and really good beer. It will be interesting to see how well this one ages. It's really good fresh but the abv leads me to believe it would settle and pull the malts out a bit more. Well done, Stone.

Photo of whallgren
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of sobeleg
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Trio2shine
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of SamN
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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

Glass - Tulip

A - Super pitch black brew with a sticky 2-finger tan head, retention seems to be decent. I'm not getting any light through this one. Surprisingly I only got a few spots left on my glass.

S - Right upfront I get an explosion of sticky, resinous hops! Tree sap, pine, grapefruit, pineapple, fruit rinds. Beneath the punch of hops I get deep dark chocolate characteristics, toffee, buttery notes, and a general sweet, cereal like malt character. Smells pretty sweet.

T - Wow! Upfront is such an intense punch of hop resins, pine, tree sap, rind. In the middle the hop flavors are just about intense with added bitterness, woody smokey notes, molasses, and dark chocolate. The finish consists of more hop resins, dark chocolate, smoke and a cloying bitterness that just wont let go. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, I can feel it down my throat to my stomach.

M - One of the most oily brews Iv had! Thick, viscous, and full bodied with soft crispness.

O - Wow, I gotta say that I would only really want to drink about 6-12oz of this brew in one sitting, after that it would become sickening to me. Overall I really like this beer, from it's super resinous flavor profile, to it's velvety mouthfeel. I definitely recommend it, although it's more like a break the bottle open and share with friends brew. I think I'd probably just buy the Sublimely Self Riotous over this in the future.

Photo of obywan59
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
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".

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
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?

Photo of goalie33
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of kevwcamp
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of yankeej13
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A must pick up. Anytime they put out a new release I will totally support it.

A- Dark as night. Has a medium head of a browish color foam. Very little carbonation.

S- Its very interesting because I thought the hops would expode out of the glass. In this case it has a nice hoppy smell but you get a good scent of a sweet malt flavor as well.

T- Has a fantastic taste. I get a nice coffee like malt as well as a really nice balance of hop to malt flavor but at the end your mouth is left with a nice hop taste.

M- This beer has a fantastic drinkability. Never would of thought it was 10.8. Has a great smooth but yet bold flavor.

Overall- Really impressed, fantastic beer. Never have been let down yet. Cheers

Photo of brealbg
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of WeedKing4
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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.

Photo of cynical1027
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.31/5  rDev -21.6%
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?

Photo of Neorebel
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is black as night in color with a thin brown head that sticks around. The nose on this reminds me of a grassy field and also has traces of oak and burnt coffee. -Yet it is still pleasant and hoppy. When quaffing The first thing I notice is a very thick, chewy mouthfeel. It's got the flavor of a porter with a soft, fruity hop flavor making a brief appearance in the middle, with a coffee finish. Heavy, warming - but not 'boozy' so to speak. I like when a brewer sneaks a high ABV in there without the drinker noticing. Very, very delicious, just not one you can drink a ton of in one night! I had this alongside the Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale - two totally different beers of the same style, both great.

Photo of Duvel
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of AleHunter805
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of swetsastonic
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of sjstraub
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of DaveBlack
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black, without the tiniest bit of light coming through. The head is large and creamy, maybe two fingers with good retention and a lot of lacing.

S: Really a bit disconcerting to smell a beer that looks like a stout and have it smell more like hops than anything else. Big hop aroma up front, and roasted malts underneath that. Not getting much else.

T: Malts come through much more strongly on the taste than they do on the nose. Big hit of darkly roasted malts up front. Chocolate, and caramel bring a nice sweetness. The hops balance it out really well, though, and break through the sweetness. It leaves me with the taste of chocolate malts in my mouth, but it is just a little too much.

M: Heavy body and moderate carbonation. Quite sticky, especially at the back of the throat.

O: A nice offering from Stone. Big, bold, in your face flavors. Certainly nothing subtle about this beer and I almost feel like nothing I eat or drink in the next 4 hours will have any flavor by comparison. I wouldn't drink it every day. It's a showoff beer, but it's well balanced and tasty, even if they could have toned it back a bit.

Photo of CSQ1111
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

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15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,412 ratings.