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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,409 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,409
Reviews: 713
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 55
Gots: 140 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | 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 vma
5/5  rDev +18.5%

vma, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of roodie
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Flying Saucer, Houston

~8 oz pour into a snifter

A: pours a dark coffee black, with 2 fingers of espresso head. Low retention, light lacing. dark coloring belies the hoppy potential

S: mild citrus with a hoppy, bitter, pungent backbone like a spicerack. odd, but working for me

T: bitter and piney; roasty malts give off a muted sweetness, very good.

M: a bit chalky with lingering bitterness. leaves a velvety coating blending the best qualities of a stout and heavily hopped beer

O: A great beer, better than most Black IPAs, I think Stone does this style well. A strong beer for sure, but hides it's punch till the end!

roodie, Sep 25, 2011
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.

TommyW, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of swetsastonic
4/5  rDev -5.2%

swetsastonic, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of ineva
5/5  rDev +18.5%

ineva, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black into my snifter with a little over one finger of dense light brown head and has moderate retention and decent lacing.

S - Big hop aroma, very piny, resinous, and has grapefruit citrus. Once you get past the hops there are notes of toasted malts, bitter espresso and faint chocolate.

T - Follows the nose, grapefruit, pine, resinous hops that linger on the palate from start to finish, malt presence is there, bitter espresso is noticeable and dry cocoa with a slight alcohol burn.

M - Big and bold, full body with really well balanced carbonation.

O - I am not crazy about this style and this is not my favorite thing to come out of Stone, that's for sure. However, I get the concept and have had a few decent "Black IPA's" and although these roasted citrus combinations aren't that common we do find them in Africa/Arabia coffee bean varieties naturally. I am trying to keep this in mind when I start to think these flavors don't go together, because sometimes they can and do.

StoneBrewFanatic, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of mcorwin
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

mcorwin, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of flannelman808
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown with a reddish copper hint. Light brown head pours with a generous amount of cake batter head (typical stone protein). If it ever disappears Ill make a note about the lacing... Retention is fantastic.
Eventually this shows good lacing. Head retention is Duvel status
.
S: Smells interesting... Chocolate and hop pollen jump out first, but there are some underlying notes of orange peel, lime, pepper, and there is a kind of aroma which reminds me of salinity as well.

T: Milk chocolate (think Ovaltine), Black pepper (and lavender?!), Orange pith and rind, Lime pith, molasses, and pine needles finish it up. Sweet start and a bitter finish works for me! Typically I find this style a misnomer usually belonging in the Russian Imperial Stout category. This isn't very far from a RIS but it does separate its self with spicy and fruity notes. Lastly Ill mention that the 10.8% ABV is well incorporated into its flavors, not hidden parse but well received.

M: Very well done in this department. Its got a velvet fizz thing happening.

O: Pretty darn good beer. Not quite up there with the ranks of Uinta Dubhe IBIPA (In my not so humble opinion the very best of style) but its pretty darn good and one of the better more inventive beers I have tried within the style. Also per usual its only $5.95 for a bomber which makes for a retarded like value.

flannelman808, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of pburland23
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured from a 22 ounce bombed into my Great Divide tulip.

Pours a stout-like opaque dark black with two and half towering fingers of mocha colored head. Moderate head retention and a ridiculous draping of thick, clingy lacing.

Smell is underwhelming. I was expecting a real, quintessential Stone hop bomb. But, the preeminent aroma was more dark candied sugar and sweet malt. At the tale end of the nose, there's a whiff of dank, earthy hops. Wish there had been more.

Taste start off overly sweet and malty. Then, there's a huge wallop of biting hops bitterness in the middle of the sip which slips away to a slight touch of roastiness. The happiness mellowed as the beer warmed, but this one tasted more black ale and less IPA throughout.

Mouthfeel is mildly thick with a healthy dose of carbonation. High ABV but the booze is hidden quite well.

Overall, I'm not impressed. Stone is using spot on but this one misses the mark. The flavored are muddled and the beer suffers from an identity crisis.

pburland23, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of buffs9
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

buffs9, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of Sinewave
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Sinewave, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Leftofthedial
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Leftofthedial, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of DaveBlack
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

DaveBlack, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of readbaron
2.95/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served at Acre's stone tap takeover

Pours black with large tan head that laces up nicely and sticks around for a while.

Whew. I'm not sure what happened on the nose - smell is not to my liking. I get soy sauce and fermented broccoli. Blech. As I get used to it I can tell that it's a combination of piney hops mixed with roasty malts. The combo ends up pungent and not so tasty.

Tastes better than it smells. Very hoppy, with lots of roasty malts. Bitter and boozy with some of that unusual soy sauce flavor coming through.

Mouthfeel is quite nice - creamy and smooth. Medium bodied, and a bit sticky.

Overall, the nose just kills this one for me.

readbaron, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

FirstBrewsoon, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of yokken
2.6/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

yokken, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of irish01980
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

irish01980, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of Lerxst
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip

A-Pours black. No hints of light peeking through. 1/2" coffee colored head has good retention and leaves ample lace all the way down. Great looking beer.

S-Strong but not overwhelming nose. Very aromatic and pleasing. Pine resin and citrus are the star here with a nice dose of roasty malt, hints of chocolate and booze. Smells great too.

T-This is delicious. I can't quite give it a 5, but its close. A nice bitter hop bite of pine and citrus lead with a very pleasant roasted malt coming in just behind it. Got some booze in the nose, but none here. The alcohol is completely hidden to my palate. Just a hint of chocolate here. All of the flavors mingle together to provide an excellent drinking experience.

M-Medium body with slightly prickly carbonation that suits this beer well.

O-This style is hit or miss with me, but Stone hits this one out of the park. I'm a big fan of the SSR, but this one really takes the cake. I'd love to see this in the regular line up. I loved the entire experience from start to finish. Well done!

Lerxst, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Neorebel
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Neorebel, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of Jstark5150
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Jstark5150, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of depechemode1983
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a tulip. Color is pitch black with no light shining through. The head is a nice medium brown. Its thick, its frothy and has damn good retention. It seems to last forever. Lacing is ridiculous. Its everywhere. Drapes on the inside of the glass like a curtain.

S - Lots of hops in the nose. Mainly piny/citrus. The middle is comprised of interesting spicy and smokey notes mixed with pineapple and orange. Oak also comes into play. There is a lot going on. Alcohol is surprisingly toned down considering the abv. Barely apparent.

T - Sweet, toasty, smokey, bitter. You get our tropical fruit, bitter grapefruit, smokey oak and and hot spices. Alcohol is more apparent in the taste. Gives it a nice warm finish. Not too hot though.

M - Medium bodied feel. Carbonation is low making for a smooth, velvet, and silky finish. An alcohol warmth tops it off.

O - Very interesting. Lots of hops. Tons of smoke and roasted malts. Alcohol. Tropical fruit. Bitter pine. Sugar. Spiciness. You get everything with this beer. It all melds together pretty well.

depechemode1983, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of hawkmage
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

hawkmage, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of ATXRyan
5/5  rDev +18.5%

ATXRyan, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of WMEugene
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle to a tulip glass

A - Pours an almost "all-but" black (faint hints of brown) with a thick, excellent bubbly dark tan head and thick lacing.

S - Piny hops smells (some citrus as well) and very little malts. What I do smell of the malts is definitely on the sweeter and roasted end of it.

T - Nice hop flavors that balance with hints of pine, citrus, and other fruits. The malt shines through a little with sweet, roasted flavor (of a chocolate nature).

M - Medium bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Hops aftertaste that lingers. Alcohol is well hidden.

O - I enjoyed Stone's 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA. It has big hop flavor with a surprising creamyness. It's one of the better Black IPAs I have had and I hope to enjoy it again soon!

WMEugene, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of mater
4/5  rDev -5.2%

mater, Nov 14, 2011
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,409 ratings.