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
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
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 +9.3%
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.

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.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.31/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Marked August 2011.

Appearance - Black body. Medium brown head with good retention and good stick.

Smell - Tons of wet grassy hop. Olives and soy sauce. Pungent.

Taste - Peppery. Acidic. Tons of hop. Almost fishy. Enormous lime peel bitterness in the body, finish, and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - This facet dominates the profile. Very solvent and acidic. So bitter i can't tell if it's medium bodied, though I suspect it. Head offers some creaminess.

Overall Drinkability - This is one of the most in-your-face beers I've had since Ruination. This beer is no joke.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of samibr
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of leodarko
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Elfastball7
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of eat
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter after warming a while on the counter. Viscous black body topped with a light cover of beige-coloured head. Some lacing.

This was bottled about four months ago so I was expecting a possibly muted hop aroma; Stone must have hopped this to hell because the nose is still exploding with hops. Huge tropical notes with lots of lychee and guava, big caramel underneath with light chocolate and roast. This smells fantastic.

In my experience with Stone balance is not something I'm anticipating but this beer is just about perfectly balanced (I hope it wouldn't offend them for me to say that!). Insane smoothness for the ABV, probably the smoothest alcohol presence I've ever experienced at this percentage (I'd believe this was 6.5%). Lots of grapefruit but not overly bitter like I've found in most other beers from this brewery. Light chocolate, moderate roast and a good level of caramel sweetness to balance it out. I wouldn't really want to change a thing flavour-wise.

The feel is pretty much right on; not too thick or too thin. Right in the middle with medium-light carbonation.

I have to say that this beer is seriously underrated here on BA. As an imperial black IPA this is more or less perfect. I could drink this every day. This is definitely an appropriate beer to offer as an anniversary edition and the first by Stone to leave me totally impressed.

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4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into tulip. from notes.

A: Pours a rich and full body, with a deep jet black hue and a vibrant khaki head. The lacing is sticky and good low level of carbonation.

S: The aroma is a very welcoming blend of high hop aroma and underlining bitterness. No real roasted aroma or chocolate malt. Great level of high intensity on the aroma.

T/M: The body is full and viscous, while still packing the fresh punch of West Coast hops. Bitterness levels are high the roast level is very appropriate for style. Linger is long and bitter.

O: Overall this is a extremely great example of a Black IPA. One of the few that is so rich in color, while holding all key aspects of an IIPA and not adding much if any roasted effect.

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Photo of bradfordjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of DMc8ride
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of dumptruck81
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of sobeleg
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of Yabev15
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of tlazaroff
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is what comes to mind when I think of an American Black Ale! The nose has ZERO roast, coffee, or chocolate on it what so ever. Instead, I get a beautiful floral, citrusy, and piney bouquet of hop aroma. It is quite perplexing and wonderful.

Escondidian Imperial Black IPA pours out pitch dark. It's the kind of dark that would make you afraid of the dark. It's topped by a persistent mocha head.

Roast comes though on the flavor in the finish. It lingers as well, quite presently. The hops mimic the aroma and are a punch in the mouth from the first sip, and they hold up to the beer nicely. The malt is really pronounced as well in the aforementioned roast notes, as well as light coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is strange on this one. It's full bodied, but finishes completely dry. It's carbonation is on the moderate side. Again, it's perplexing.

Stone are kings of the American Black Ale, if Sublimely Self Righteous doesn't convince you, this one will.

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Photo of SamN
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For my 300th review, I chose something special; Stone's 15th Anniversary beer. From a bomber into a Samuel Smith nonic pint.

This beer pours black as an RIS, with a thick, soapy dark tan head of billowy, creamy foam. Moderate lacing is left behind, great head for a 10.8% ale. Smell is powerfully hoppy, massive grapefruit rind aromas, tangerines, peaches. Very mild black roasted malt in the background, nose dominated by citrusy hops. Taste is an initial flash of hop-fruitiness, then melds into a more balanced taste incorporating some coffee and roasted grain notes. Finish is moderately bitter.

A pretty decent beer. Hoppier than I expected, but I suppose they did warn me with "Imperial" on the label. Well-hopped but not aggressive, the 'black" part is subdued; I would've liked to see that end brought up a bit more.

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of EROCK75
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of spicelab
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber thanks to [email protected] Liquor.

Tarry black with a large dense mocha head. Leaves a nicely raised ring but little additional lacing. Reforms to half a finger or so on swirling.

Initial hit of resinous pine, before the hops are swamped by sweet cocoa, booze-soaked raisins, tobacco, liquorice, coffee and barleywine-like treacle notes. Slightly sickly actually - I'd like a lot more hops.

Thankfully less cloying. Burnt coffee, liquorice, molasses and both sweet and bitter dark chocolate, backed by a moderate piney and minty bitterness. Occasionally get bizarre notes of scorched vegemite and ashy soy sauce.

Thick and viscous with a bit much carbonation. Not a big bitter presence and booze is impressively well hidden.

Generally full-frontal onslaught that leaves little to the imagination. Seems a bit gratuitous though - restraint in any number of areas would have made for a better beer. Have doubts that my bottle was in the best condition though - a re-review might be in order.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
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

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Photo of Anthony1
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Stockfan42
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of shockrocker65
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of rootbeerman
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: pour is, well black with a cream and coffee finger of head that fell to a thin layer.
S: a blend of pine, citrus, tropical fruit, and dark malt sweetness.
T: great mix of flavors, hops are a blend of the aroma, pine, citrus and tropical fruits. The tropical flavors arre somewhere between pineapple and cantaloupe in my opinion. Malt is lightly roasty and some chocolate but that is more noticeable the closer the beer gets to room temp.
M: has good carbonation, more towards the lighter side. This is lightly coating and smooth.
O: when will this be a regular beer? I like this much more than SSRA. A balanced yet more hoppy version, and even stronger that isn't even noticeable.

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