15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA | Stone Brewing

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15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA
1,446 Ratings
15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,446 |  Reviews: 718
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4.25/5  rDev +1%

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4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Photo of nrs207
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look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle.

Pours black. No light getting through this one. Creamy tan head. Aggressive pour leads to a 1.5 finger head into a tulip.

The smell is roasty, chocolate. Some muted hops, however I had this on tap in August right after it was brewed and the hops were fantastic and assertive. Obviously after 5 months the hops will settle somewhat.

The taste is chocolate and alcohol. The hops have faded over time unfortunately, but it is still a great flavor. Just turned into more of a hoppy stout than a roasty IPA. I wouldn't call either better, just depends on your taste. I prefer a lot of hops, so back when it was fresh it was more my style. I think with another 6 months on this thing I would be in love with it as a hopped up stout. This is what Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout should be if it had more hops. I get way more chocolate and a much better mouthfeel than BCS.

Very smooth mouthfeel. Really coats the mouth, and definitely a sipper at 10.8%.

Overally, I can't recommend this enough. Unfortunately being a hop forward beer, it was meant to be had fresh (says drink fresh on the bottle). It's the best Black IPA I've had to date, without a doubt.

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Photo of etaggie09
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: black as any stout. no light gets through this at all. huge two finger head easily forms. color is light mocha. good thick lacing.

aroma: it's barleywine and double ipa mixed together. heavy sweet maltiness mixed with very citrusy hops. this is making me very excited to dig in. Big Pine presence and big grapefruit presence, but has some malt to back it up. there's some nuttiness in the middle there to provide some balance, but this is very much about the hops.

taste: whew we are in for a big one! big boozy maltiness and some big hops are definitely at play here. gives your tongue quite a thrashing, but a flavorful one. the malt is very upfront in this beer. it has a definite nuttiness to it with some faint smoke undertones. Huge in the hope bitterness that kicks through at the end. Some residual bitterness on the finish as well as some peppery hop and alcohol burn, but it is all enjoyable. Now I'm getting a little more of that grapefruit flavor, but it's matched so well to the dark flavors of the malt. Almost like a chocolate covered ruby red grapefruit, but it is definitely not sweet chocolate. It has a wonderful leafiness to it, but it is all checked so well by the maltiness. I really got a lot of malt in the beginning, and now I am noticing more hops, but it definitely stays balanced. The two do not combat each other in this beer. flavors stay silky and well delivered.

mouthfeel: nice and full without being cloying. hops dry things out nicely and a good amount of carbonation keeps things lively. just really smooth stuff.

overall: I am loving the Black IPA style. So far both the sublimely self righteous and this one have been my favorites. I would have to say that between the two stone blacks, I would definitely choose this one. It's just a bigger beer but it still manages to have the same level of harmony that the sublimely self righteous does. Definitely hop centered, but with just enough malt to balance. My only complaint is that as I get down towards the end of the bottle, the finish gets spicier and spicier, which kind of reduces the drinkability. This is more of a serving size issue to me rather than an actual flavor issue. If this beer were a 12 oz'er this probelm wouldn't be there. Ultimately, I waited patiently for this one, and it was well worth the wait.

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15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 1,446 ratings