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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 depechemode1983
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of hawkmage
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of ATXRyan
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of WMEugene
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

Photo of mater
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of PSUDREW
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: darker then ink, truely a wonderful pitch black. wonderful tan head
s: nice grassy smell. fresh cut even
t: wonderful a grass malt combo. honestly a wonderful mix. the hops stand out, but there is that solid malt feel
m" overall, a medium
O: pretty referesishing..I dig this

Photo of ThirdEyePA
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of abrand
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

23 ounce bottled August 2011 poured into pint glass

This pours a deep brown to almost black color with a tan 1 finger head that quickly fades. Smell is fairly sweet with chocolate with a nice malt backbone. Plenty of espresso and raisins on the nose as well. Taste is still pretty hot for being bottled for 1 year. Some caramel and sweet fruits with a very bitter roasted malt backbone. Hoppy finish. Quite complex. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Overall this is amazing. Full of complexity and still holding well after a year.

Photo of 9InchNails
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cloverleaf, Stone Tap Takeover.

Creamy brown head leaving foamy lace on the glass. Nice head retention. I would say opaque but the bar is kind of dark. Definitely a dark body.

The aroma is citrus, pine, caramel and chocolate.

Wow! Sweet right away with bitterness at the end. Pine, citrus, caramel, roasted coffee, dark fruits, some noticeable alcohol, bitter chocolate and a lingering metalic but tasty aftertaste.

Silky smooth medium body, light carbonation, it leaves with a dry feeling from the bitter hops. Feels very nice.

I can see this being a dangerous beer. A sipper but yet something that I can drink a lot of and not get sick of. This is one of my favorite beer styles and to have a Imperial version of it is amazing. Stone has done a fantastic job! I hope they make this a normal rotation of brews.

Photo of travolta
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App: Black, not even another color around the edges when up to the light. Head retention is minimal. Nice lacing. A foamy, espresso colored head.

Nose: Licorice and dark candied fruits, slight alcohol notes, some dark berries, roasted dark coffee.

Taste: Typical Stone....perfect carbonation. Very balanced and subtle at first, which breaks way into multiple licorice, coffee and toffee flavors. Chocolate and toffee maltiness throughout.

Notes: A nice example of a Black IPA. Is it Imperial, or was this just a well balanced version? I'm not sure. Head retention was not typical Stone, everything else was top notch. Always a good quality beer with Stone.

Photo of seanwhite
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Fitzmke
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of hyuga
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of bfields4
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a slight mahogany hue with a light head of the same deep brown.

Amazing aroma. Very hop herbal resiny pine reminds me a lot of the hop profile from pliny. Get a nice bit of the roasty burnt malt aroma too.

Bitter dark chocolate and hop meld to create a nice parallel to the semi-sweet malty tones.

Great flavors and good all around beer, but after the aroma I was really hoping for something that was super hoppy and a light roasted body. They came through with a great beer that is nothing like the sublimely self-righteous, but a whole new black ale beast of it's own..

Photo of whatthehull
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted aug 18th 2011 (from notes)


A - deep dark gluggy black/brown, half finger dark tan head and nice lacing

S - grapefruit, sweet malts, nice yeast, pine, alcohol, citrus, tons of hops, sugar, wood, earth and island fruits

T - hops, resin, tons of toasted malt, sweet oak, sweet hickory molasses, flowers, pine, alcohol, grapefruit, more hops and some slight island fruit

M - full bodied, nice complexity, medium minus acidity, well balanced and long finish

D - for the style and genre, this is easy to drink. Outside of that, it's huge. Tons of hops, toastiness, alcohol and awesomeness

Final thought - if you have had knuckle sandwich from bootleggers, you cant tell me this doesn't taste like an overly malted and toasted version of that

Photo of uustal
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a liquid tar with a two finger coffee brown head. Nice lacing and retention throughout. Didn't get the aroma at all. Aggressive alcohol, grapefruit, hints of roasted malt. A bit pungent and sour smelling, but the taste was not affected. Surprisingly big grapefruit and tropical fruit notes to start. Mango mostly. Small hints of black malt follows. Roasted notes, but play 2nd fiddle to the hops. Pine resin bitterness and booze as it warms finishes this one out. Very interesting brew. A hop bomb for sure, but the malts add some mid-palate sweetness. Can taste that this is a stone brew.

Photo of olympicgatorade
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Opaque brown-black

S: Boozy, bready, faint tobacco and chocolate

T: Roasty malt, hopped in a big way, definite booze presence here.

M: Nice carbonation, shot of intense hops and you're left with a nice malty linger

O: A good one. Nothing completely outrageous, but a tasty heavy-hitter at a good price. Recommended.

Photo of drumrboy22
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz. bottle into a Stone 15th anniversary snifter.  Beer was dark, dark brown, nearly black in color, with a one-finger, dark brown head.  Slow carbonation and moderate lacing around the glass.

Aroma was chocolate, big hops, caramel, boozy and sweet.  Big complex nose. 

Taste was roasted grains, malt, pine hops and sweet malt. 

Thick and chewy mouthfeel.  Drinks more like a stout than an IPA.  Nice beer. 

Photo of beertardis
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

found a bottle at a local fish market that also sells beer and wine . been conditioning on the shelf for two years just my luck. smells of toffee , coffee, chocolate , and a hint of annise. the mouth feel was smooth and silky, almost tasted more like a russian imperial stout that a imperial black ipa .

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

From a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Saw this for the first time at 99 Bottles in Federal Way, WA and paid $6.99. Didn't bother looking for a freshness date since I knew been out for less than a month.

A-pours a beautiful dark brown, nearly black hue with a two finger dark tan head with decent retention. Lacing leaves even rings all the way down the glass.

S-Aroma is fantastic. Ripe, juicy grapefruit (like when peeling the fruit and it squirts ya in the face) pine, and earthy notes. Some roastiness and the slightest alcohol.

T-The juicy hops scintillate the taste buds. The roastiness is more evident in the taste than the aroma. The warming alcohol is also noted. But, the hops dominate.

M-Incredibly smooth and not nearly as filling as I expected. Except for the color and slight roastiness, this is more like a DIPA than many other black ales.

O-This is very good. I like the label on this suggesting the craft beer "revolution" is part of the broader artisan food movement. I wholeheartedly embrace Stone's world view. I no more care for shitty, tasteless food substitutes than yellow fizzy swill. Thank you Stone for your fine contributions to the craft beer movement.

P.S. "Escondidian?" I still prefer the PNW Cascadian moniker.

Photo of jskennedy
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of jerz
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of baybassboy
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of mullenite
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice black color with a khaki colored head that settles to a thin cap. Very solid lacing left on the glass.

Aroma is hop forward and almost sweet from the tropical fruit and pine. Basically, every flavor you can get from hops is here.

Not super bitter in the taste but a nicebalance between the intense hop flavor and a bit of roast and dark fruit coming through in the after taste.

Light bodied and moderately, but nicely, carbonated. Sticky and resinous finish like a hop bomb should be.

This is like SSR on steroids and tastes fantastic.

Photo of jag21
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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