15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA | Stone Brewing

15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA
BA SCORE
88.2%
Liked This Beer
4.21 w/ 1,444 ratings
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 08-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
718
Ratings:
1,444
Liked:
1,274
Avg:
4.21/5
pDev:
12.59%
Alströms:
3.75
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
141
Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,444 |  Reviews: 718
Photo of rudzud
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey's Stone Night. Reviewed from notes

A - Poured into a standard pint glass a wonderous midnight black that had a one finger mocha head resulting in massive, massive side lacing. Excepetional.

S - A bit lower here than I'd like. Still nice roasted malts and chocolate with a light hop profile.

T - Wow. Big big big. Great roast malts, chocolate, rich coffee to start. This gives way to a nice piney hop bitterness. Wow, this stuff is delicious.

M - Very smooth and creamy, good carbonation for this style.

O - This is a great imperial black ale. Such great rich chocolate and coffee with a nice balanced hop profile.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. Enjoyed at Muddy Waters. It is very creamy black and hoppy with a hop and dark roast bitterness on both the nose and the palate with very faint malt sweetness in the background and a bitter chocolate note. Some hop and grain astringency on the finish.

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Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a substantial black in darkness and viscosity. Beige head 1/2". Hops were definitely used, still imparts citrus despite the dark malt and roasting.

Bitterness dances with roast and hop rind like notes. Mouthfeel was strong suit. Amazingly made the beer easy to drink and not hot, not overly bitter. Really elite black ale 1st tier stuff.

This might be the only or first use of citra (probably) in a black ale I've come across. One of the best Stone anniversary beers ever. So much easier drinking than it looks or reads.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black color; no light coming through. Poured a 2 finger dense light-brown head with excellent retention to finger. Laced the glass in sheets at the top then wide rings.

S: Big wollop of hops; pine and grapefruit. Another wollop of toasted malts; bitter espresso and chocolate. Aromas are raw and big.

T: Consistent with the nose though the malt is just as prominent up front. Resinous hops cut through the bitter/sweet malt. Finish is sharply bitter with an alcohol burn that work in tandem to scrub the palate.

M: Full body; big and sticky. Moderate carbonation; almost not noticed between the bitter and alcohol in the finish. Big and rich then warm and dry.

O: Lots of malt and hop character. Remarkable balance; it is a monster

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

A: Pour is motor-oil-black with a massive brown compact and creamy head. Dissipation is meidum-slow and leaves nice lacings.

S: The smell is awsome; lots of American floral and bitter hops; grapefruit and pine, together with moderatly roasted malts, some chocolate- some caramell- makes this very well balanced. The high ABV is not noticable - this smell is near perfection!

T: Bitter hops up front followed by roasted malts, chocolate with notes of coffee-beans - dry. Syrupy sweetness. Some burnt notes. And in the back; dark dried fruits. The alcohol is more present in taste compared to smell.

M: Short aftertaste, bitter and burned. Body is full while carbonation weak. Smooth but high ABV-presance.

O: A very complex and nice ABA. I hate myself for not buying a whole case...

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Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8/15/2011

Check the Stone tap list on the Stairmaster at the gym. Stone 15th? Don't mind if I do. 8oz draft pour.

A: Black as a moonless, starless Escondidian night. A massive brown head lingers with uncertainty above the liquid. Much lacing is left in the wake of the recession.

A: Aromatic resinous pine and grapefruit waft from the glass with lesser notes orange. Malt imparts notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, and roasted malt. The aroma is pretty great.

T: A prominent roasted malt profile is accompanied by dark chocolate and cocoa. The beer is dry, with anise and a touch of molasses. The malt profile does this beer much credit. Hops are aggressive, imparting an upper moderate to lower high level of smooth bitterness and flavors of pine resin, orange, and grapefruit that mix nicely with the chocolate and roast. Alcohol is really well hidden for how damn high it is. Stone should serve this in pitchers here at the Bistro. It would only be a $32 pitcher. Alas, they do not offer pitchers. I suppose you could bring your own, get 8 glasses of 15th Anniversary, and pour them gently into the pitcher. I'll have to see if they'll allow that. A nice pitcher of Imperial Escondidian Black IPA on a warm Escondido summer day in the Stone gardens, just the job.

M: Full in body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and chewy. Alcohol provides warming in the finish.

Overall: This is quite good. I really enjoyed my glass. It blurs the line between Imperial Escondidian Black IPA and Imperial Stout.

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Photo of DucksFan16
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle cond. Aug. 11. Consumed Oct. 11.

A: Pitch black with a 2 finger, frothy mocha colored head that sits steadily atop. Lengthy retention on the head's part leaves a modest half glass coating for lace, patchy and splotchy.

S: Fresh wet pine, dry celery, and a herbaceous scent of fresh parsley is about. The hops are strong at first wind, but quiet there after, not sure if it’s the nature of the beast, or the 2 month shelf sitting.

T: Deep roasted malt flavor, dry parching citrus, with a strong level of hop presence. Dry pine, bittering grapefruit mingles with a dart roasted barley base with a burnt bitterness. A herbal hint of parsley and spicy zing of citrus is found in the middle. On the close is a lingering black licorice spicines as well a sharp wet citrus zing leaving a scorched fade of burnt grains behind.

M: fizzy at first, frothy, with a thick resistance from the heavy handed malt base. Bittering and dry hops with a licorice and citrus bite coming on the swallow.

O: Overall the hops are big and bitter on this one, as well the malting is equally big and roasted leaving a healthy dose of scorchness in its path. Worhty of an anniversary labeling. A bomber seems like a good level of drinkability, even before I noticed its 10.1% abv which kinda surprised me. Some alcohol warmth, but would of never guessed on this level. Gets progressively smoother and easier on the down once your tongue goes numb from the bitter roasted goodness found within. Very good in humble opinion.

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Photo of avalon07
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, opaque texture. There was a half inch of creamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: Not as robust an aroma as would have thought, but you still get a big bouquet of hops, coffee, chocolate, and pine.

T: Tasted of very sharp hops up front, with hints of coffee, chocolate, pine, and a little malt in the finish. This is a big, bold, and complex flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a lively, crisp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An extremely focused and well made beer.

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Photo of WDJersey
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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

A-Pours nearly pitch black. Finger high khaki head is born from the pour. The head retains quite well. Random splotches of lacing cling to the glass.

S-Big whiff of floral and piney hops. Along with the aggressive hop aroma is an equally sturdy dose of sweet roasted malts. Along with the roastiness is some really nice chocolate notes. An attractive nose, makes me very excited for the first sip.

T-A big, bold and assertive flavor. The bitterness from the piney hops is quite overwhelming at first, but I really enjoy it. After the hop assault comes an awesome wave of rich chocolate and fresh coffee. The malt and hop battle for power on the palate. This is a hardcore beer.

M-Fuller. Creamy and slightly resinous. Dry and bitter aftertaste. Great feel.

O/D-Stone has not hit the spot with me with its recent offerings. This one is a winner however. I love their Sublimely Self-Righteous offering, and this is a bigger version. They really kicked ass on this one, very happy.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of corby112
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown that appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass.  Two finger frothy beige head with great retention only slowly fading into a lasting cap/ring that leaves streaks and spots of lace behind.

Roasted malt aroma that's countered by some piny, oily hop notes.  Hints of chocolate, coffee and toast balanced by notes of pine, resinous oils and citrus fruit.

Fuller bodied than expected with a chewy mouthfeel and a blast of dry bitter hops up front that linger over the roasted malt backbone into a sweet yet dry finish.  Earthy with lots of piny resinous oily hops along with some subtle citrus.  This is countered by the roasted malt backbone that has hints of toast, chocolate, toffee, coffee.  Well balanced and easy to drink with a decently basked ABV.  Only subtle heat in the finish.  

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Photo of rfgetz
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, chalky charcoal color, nice cap of dense khaki froth, good sticky lacing. Scent is fruity with pineapple and tangerine, light pine, solid roasty and chocolaty malt backbone. Bright and fruity flavor notes, again with pineapple and tangerine, solid bitterness with grapefruit and pine notes, surprisingly big notes of cocoa and chocolate along with roast, mild profile of dark fruits on the rear. Medium bodied, smooth, maybe a touch too much carbonation, bitter and dry. An all around solid Black IPA, one of the best in style with nice notes of chocolate and dark fruit to add to the complexity.

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Photo of beertunes
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip glass. Poured a solid black, no translucence at all, with an inch of strong black head that excellent retention and lacing.

The aroma was all nice hops, mostly floral, with a just barely noticeable malt profile. The flavors were unique, to say the least. There was a noticeable chocolate presence, and the hops did not combine well with the chocolate, with plenty of tangy hops. The beer had a weird metallic finish.

The body was medium and averagely decent. Drinkability suffered from the weird combination of flavors. Overall, a decent, but very odd, beer. As a note, with the last 1/4 of the glass, I had the bartender add a few drops of Creme de Menthe to the beer. This helped the beer a lot, really helped tie the flavors together.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Holy mother of ...Poured a deep black color, like I changed my wifes motor oil after 10k miles or something. Big beautiful brown cap, loads of bubbles.

S: Huge and impressive. Sordove started off with a big grainy nose tht I tend to get from a lot of Stone and CDA's in general. Yes, I still call it a CDA. Citrus notes, big huge espresso, smoke and roasted notes. Booze lightl;y stings the nostrils.

T: Taste is about as Imperial as this style can get. Huge espresso, roasted malt, black malt lending overdone bitterness and that certain burnt bite. I got some cocoa, citrus, bittering hops on end and as the beer warmed it became almost a hint at a smoked beer, lending notes of meat, perhaps a liquid smoke note and that booze is constant.

M: Wow, big, bold and in your face, much more so that draft. Reminded to a double of Sublimely at first but then it just AWOL on that and kept it real. Deviated between creamy and dry depending upon the temp and how long it rolled on the palate

O: Super impressive and one hearty as beer but halfway through this on later Summer day I was ready to run for a good ol Pils. I may hold a few of these back for some Winter sipping and aging.

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Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of ADTaber
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of mattmarka1
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of bluejacket74
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head that stays around a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is roasted malt, milk chocolate, grassy and citrusy hops, and some coffee. I think the taste pretty much follows the aroma, but with the hop flavors being stronger than the malty ones. There's also a lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating, and is well carbonated. I think it's a good overall brew, Stone did a nice job with this one! $7.99 a bottle.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bomber from Al's.

A: Pours like a stout, thick and viscous like oily. Pitch black, the ale sports a thick tan colored head that further cements the stout assessment. Moderate lacing.

S: Ample graham and nuts, the stout side of this ale seems to be quite big. The hops, citrusy, are slow to get through the stout base. What does come through isn't that overpowering, just a resiny hop presence. Even at room temperature, the hoppiness struggles to get past the stout-like aromas.

T: There the hops are! Coming out with a vengeance, the hops even momentarily crowd out the darker malts. Oranges and grapefruit cut through in particular. As the stout re-asserts itself, chocolate, nuts, and vanilla quickly pick up strength. Save for a bit of heat after the initial wave of stout flavors, the ale is very drinkable and could pass for a top notch RIS on its own. The finish brings the hops, resiny and oily with plenty of citrus, and the malts, dark and forboding with a chocolate nuttiness, together for a big bang. Stone nailed it, again.

M: One of the easiest drinking 11% stouts out there. The hops aren't as strong as I'd like but that's a minor criticism. I may need to find another bottle before it disappears.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this up last weekend and wanted to try this as fresh as I could (regardless of PA getting it one month later than release)

A - Poured it a bit too aggressive and almost overflowed the glass, man that's carbonated! Color of the head is a deep dark mocha and the beer itself couldn't get any darker. Liquid is pretty thick too.

S - Fresh grapefruit hops to the max, yet its pretty subtle than I expected. I also get some toffee, roast, and some butterscotch but you really have to dig deep behind the hops to smell it.

T - As I wait for the head to settle I read the label and find it kind of funny that some would blow these words out of proportion. Then I sip. My goodness I expected a tongue buckling effect of hops but got a strong bit of roast and toffee with a nice bit of hop bitterness. As I dig it seems to be every other sip a little something different, roast, then bittering hops, then chocolate, more hops, and even some toffee and butterscotch candies.

M - It does feel a bit thin but that does make it very drinkable. Aside from bitterness of the hops I detect no ABV burn or flavors. Where is that almost 11 percent hiding???

Overall Stone does it again and I seem to like this just as much as the 11th anniversary ale (Sublimely Self-Righteous) if not more since it delivers with a bigger punch. Makes the 9 dollars I paid for my bottle completely worth it

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15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 88.2% out of 100 with 1,444 ratings
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