15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,443 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
Ratings:
1,443
Reviews:
718
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
12.92%
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
141
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,443 |  Reviews: 718
Photo of sammo
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of KiMiRaiK
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Stone IRS glass.

A: Pours pitch black with a thin tan head on it.

S: Piney hops, rich dark malts.

T: Layers upon layers of complexity in this one. Much more dark roasted malt flavors in this one then in the average black IPA. Malt flavors such as chocolate, espresso, and licorice lay out the base for this beer. A huge hop presence in the form of pine and citrus also competes for dominance. This beer comes across more like a hoppy stout, rather than an IPA with a little bit of black malt as a lot in this style do.

M: This is a big beer, average carbonation, a tad viscous.

O: An interesting take on the style. A bit boozy in the finish and would be really tough to drink very much of this beer due to the very high ABV.

 762 characters

Photo of EricCioe
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours pitch black with a two finger tan head that dies down to a ring and island leaving a bit of lace. Pretty impressive given the ABV. On the nose there is a huge citric hit, tangerine in a bed of pine boughs or something, with some underlying roast deep down. In the mouth the slightly bitter roast combines with the exceedingly bitter hops into a wonderfully bitter, piney flavor. I'm not sure what else to say about it, other than the dark malts provide a welcome change in the world of extremely hoppy beers. The body is just a touch too prickly for me to rate higher, and there is some definite heat as it warms, not altogether a bad thing with many brews but pushing the bounds of ABA to me.

Overall, this is a fine, fine beer. One of the best black ales I've had and well worth seeking out.

 805 characters

Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of obywan59
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
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".

 694 characters

Photo of TBoneJones
3.41/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours like a black beauty. Thick deep black, great two finger-width off -white/ light caramel-colored head.
Smells like a liquory funky type of beverage, with some light mocha notes, and with some hop aroma as well. Interesting but not powerful.
This is an interesting take, I normally wouldn't go for a black IPA and don't recall ever having done so. But i feel Stone balanced this brew quite well. It's like a DIPA and an RIS seamlessly combined. It works somehow. It has burnt lingering bitterness with a smooth, thick creamy mouthfeel. Still not a favorite style of mine, but this one is a good sipper. But then this just feels very dry at the finish.
Overall I thought this was easy to drink for such a big beer, but the abrupt drying finish held this back for me. A good combo of big ipa and darkness, but the impression left is strong, and then a chalky, metallic taste. Looks much better than everything else about it. Worth a try nonetheless.

 954 characters

Photo of Pellinore1
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of billhelm
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of oldsailor
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Devi0us
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a Bomber into a Duvel Tulip. Drink fresh, Oh Yeah...

A- Pours a dark pitch black. Reminiscent of Stone RIS. Aggressive pour yielded a 2 finger head with great retention. Head fizzled down to a ring after around 5 minutes and left nice lacing as beer was consumed.

S- Strong aroma of pine and hops. Roasted malts compliment this sophisticated brew.

T- Tastes much like an imperial stout with a hop kick towards the end much like an IPA. The hop bitterness starts to die down as the beer warms. Interesting to say the least. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M- Medium bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation to keep you coming back for more.

O- This is one interesting brew. This definitely starts to taste better as it warms. This one is a sipper but highly drinkable. 

 789 characters

Photo of Jmamay22
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a jet black thats nearly as imposing as an Imperial stout. The head is a thin mocha cap. Smells of piney hop resin with a hint of caramel sweetness in the background.

The taste is similar to the smell, but with greater complexity. The hops build slowly, muted as the malts provide balance, finally taking over with a sharp hop bite that acts as a resounding finish. It is surely a West Coast styled ale that is intense, but very enjoyable. Not your typical beer, but Stone loves to go its own way. The mouthfeel is medium bodied yet rich. Overall very enjoyable.

 580 characters

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Neffbeer
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of ROBSTARR
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of kirkse
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Beefytits4
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of DoctorDog
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 1pint 6 oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Wow. Pours black and opaque. Pours with ~1 1/2 fingers of dense brown head, which fades very slowly to an incomplete cap.

S- Piny hops come first, followed by roasty malts and dark fruit sweet notes.

T- An immediate clash of pine infused bitterness and roasted/burnt notes assaults and coats the tongue. Smoky/sweet molasses and charred caramel notes, and a swirl of other flavors too difficult for me to discern independently after the initial tongue-clubbing....with a touch of booziness on top...

M- Moderate carbonation with a fairly full feel.

O- Good. Not a true standout for me, but in spite of the confusion, I am enjoying this beer, and finding it surprisingly easy to drink.

Future outlook: An unusual one-off concoction that I was happy to try. Not a HR, but a creative double.

 846 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Tulip/snifter.

A: Black as night with a finger of light khaki head.

S: Strong floral hops, roasted malts, alcohol.

T: Strong citrus and floral hops, chocolate, and espresso roastiness.

M: Average thickness (shocking, given it's strong flavors).

O: This is much more potent than it tastes and feels. Also, it leans more toward DIPA with the roastiness being considerably downplayed.

 400 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone already holds the title for best available Black IPA out there, and they've gone and made another one of the best! I've had this on-tap and in the bottle, and both experiences were fantastic. Pours a thick opaque black with moderate chocolate milk-colored head, that forms some nice lacing and sticks around for a while. Nose is pretty good, some strong coffee and dark chocolate notes with a bit of piney hops. Flavor is exceptional--big roasted character with a huge hop presence. More on the hoppy stout side of things, whereas I think SSR is more toward the dark IPA side of things. Thick and oily, this is a great beer. Loved it.

 640 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Appearance: dark dark brown, medium-large head, and some good lacing.

Smell: roasted malts, hops, and molasses.

Taste: roasted malts, hops, brown sugar, and molasses.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy.

Overall:
This is a great brew. It is very smooth and well crafted, not to mention well balanced. Hops are prevalent like all Stone brews, but less intense than most.

 403 characters

Photo of shopk
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of perrymarcus
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
bottled august 2011.

pours a dark cola brown, sits an opaque black; yields a 1" frothy tan head that demonstrates great retention and leaves respectable lacing.

nose offers some citric hoppiness - a touch of pine - with subtle roasty notes... maybe a hint of chocolate.

taste follows and exceeds the nose. flavorful and tasty with citrus (notably grapefruit), pine, roasted malts, and secondary notes of chocolate and even a hint of smoke. alcohol presence noted but not overpowering considering the north of 10% ABV... medium bodied in the mouth with average carbonation.

overall a damn impressive beer. thoroughly enjoying this one.

 671 characters

Photo of zachary80
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium Globe.

Great tannish-brown head, thick and creamy. Leaves lots of dark lacing on the glass. Body is black with just a hint of light getting through at the edges

Aroma has both the hops and dark malt mingling together nicely. Tons of hop aroma, a blend of citrus and pine that seems to work to a nice singular note. Smell has a light sweetness to it.

Opens with the hops then the flavor is toasty and choclatey. More dry then sweet. Lingering bitterness is nice and does not overwhelm.

Mouthfeel is dry, a little thinner than expected from the strong aroma and flavor. Since this is on the IPA side I think it works well. Alcohol is present but expected.

I'm very impressed with this beer. Definitely the best American Black Ale that I've had

 773 characters

15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA from Stone Brewing
4.18 out of 5 based on 1,443 ratings.
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