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Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Serve in Shaker, Tulip


on tap

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RATINGS: 696   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89   EST. CALORIES: 324   ABV: 10.8%
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In the 15 years since we entered the craft brewing world, change has come not in a straight line, but as an exponential curve. The craft brewing movement has long been called a "revolution." But today the air is so thick with revolution, itís palpable. No longer is it only an awareness among the faithful; the unconverted are beginning to feel it as well. Denial and ignorance are disappearing in favor of opened eyes, curiosity and the sense that thereís something larger out there. For far too long we have been lied to. For far too long we have been oppressed by the notion that dumbed-down-lowest-common-denominator-mediocrity was all that we could, and should, expect. You might think weíre talking only about the world of brewing, but weíre not. There is a myriad of products out there masquerading as cheeses, coffee, chocolates, breads...hell, there is stuff pretending to be ífoodí that our great grandmothers would not recognize as such. Yet the craft brewing movement, together with the artisanal food movement, is making much progress. Where the industrial companies canít dismiss or bury us, they are attempting to copy us with cheap facsimiles. Yes, chances are if you are holding this bottle, you understand these things to be true about the world of brewing. You also likely understand the importance of our fight at Stone against accepted ínormsí over the last 15 years. We believed that America was ready to embrace things made with artistry and passion. You have spoken. Your response has been clear. We are not merely consumers to be spoon-fed whatever commodities need to be unloaded for a profit. We have only just begun to move the needle of this revolution, & mediocrity still reigns. Consider that when you reject dumbed down, industrialized food and drink, you also support craft brewing. The line is nearly seamless; we are fighting the same battle. We will not win in our lifetime, as the powers are too entrenched, and the masses too‚Ķfooled. And shackled. However, this is a revolution of ideas and of taste, and we will win. How do you want to be viewed by your children, and your childrenís children? As a hero, or as the oppressed? (Those that donít think they have been oppressed are already lost.) Ultimately, itís up to you to decide. We hope youíll stand with us. Strong and unyielding. You are needed. This bottle and its glorious contents are a celebration of you, brothers and sisters, and your importance in this fight. Cheers to all weíve accomplished together in the past fifteen years, and cheers to the adventure ahead!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
riversideAK (5591) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - AUG 31, 2011
Starts with tropical fruity hop notes on the nose, moves to dark chocolate and roast, followed with floral, danky, and piney notes. Pours more or less black with a tan head. The flavor is chocolatey and roasty up front followed by soft fruity hops, more floral bitterness, a good deal of herbal notes and dank, as well as more dark roast. Big full body - leans more toward hoppy stout than black IPA in my opinion, but solid nonetheless. Some alcohol shows up in the finish. Solid.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
danbierman (20) - California, USA - AUG 31, 2011
Bottle. Pours jet black with a finger of mocha colored head. Smells of hops, chocolate, and roasted malts. Big nose. Tastes of a perfect balance between the hops and the roasted malts. Chocolate flavors linger in the background. Medium bodied with a slightly bitter finish, very "chewy". Overall a very well done Black IPA, not much of a Stone fan, but this beer is very well done.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
vyvvy (3904) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - AUG 31, 2011
Pours very dark brown with dense dark tan head. The aroma has lots of smooth roasty malt, chocolate, tropical fruit, green onion, hop funk and bits of grapefruit. Medium / full body with a bit of light semi-sharp carbonation at the end. Starts with more bitterness to the roasty malt than on the aroma. The hoppiness has more grapefruit zest and pine traits than on the aroma. There is some of the tropical fruit and funk that is still there. All of the flavors are very bold, but nothing overpowers; it is quite well balanced. On the finish there is a bit of alcohol heat, but it is a pleasing taste blended with the other flavors. A really nice Anniversary beer from Stone. The brewery that made a lot of its reputation from the use of hops once again makes a delicious hop forward beer,.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
drewbeerme (3879) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 31, 2011
Bottle. Pours black with creamy tan head. A big hoppy and dark chocolate aroma, resin, pine, tropical fruit, while a nice roasty, dark chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon malt base brings in further complexity. Really great aroma. Flavors continue with big hop profile and a matching dark chocolate malt backing, nice juicy resiny, piney, and grapefruity hops all around a huge dark chocolate bar with coffee, vanilla, and a ancho pepper kick to it. Huge bitterness in this one. Big body, good amount of booze and bitterness adds depth nicely on the finish but some sips itís more of a burn. Really reminds me of batch 1 Darkness although this is clearly more bitter. Excellent hop profile and and an even more impressive malt complexity. Lots of delicious depth. Easily the best black iipa Iíve had (sorta redeeming the style for me as of late), and a true one, great dark malt flavor but huge hop flavor and ibus. A huge surprising home run from Stone.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Strykzone (4836) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - AUG 31, 2011
Sampled at an esbls tadting. Black pour! Smallish tan head. Cocoa aroma is subtle. Chocolate flavor, onions (!), espresso, This is almost very very good but it falls short because of the hop selection.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
caralkaline87 (435) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 30, 2011
Pours near-black with the deepest brown head Iíve ever seen a beer, and quite foamy as well. Nose is enormously potent, dominated by bitter hops and supercharged sour fruit, with a touch of coffee and dare I say bubblegum. Flavor is all business; the front is tame but the backside is strong and multi-layered. Very bitter (who didnít see that coming) and has a burned (but not bad) quality. Finish is intense and lingering with a more tenacious bitterness than any other IPA Iíve had before. Iím more into a more standard IPA/DIPA but this is an experience worth having.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Nikiel (875) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 30, 2011
Bottle with Carla. Pours a thick opaque black with frothy deep brown foam. Smells sweet and hippy. Tastes initially hippy with hints of chocolate and coffee.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
daknole (8948) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - AUG 30, 2011
Nearly black pour. Chewy and resinous hop aromas dominate with some roast and chocolate notes. Lots of hops, some residual sweetness and dark toffee. Nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
zizzybalubba (1394) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - AUG 30, 2011
22 oz. bottle from SoHo Organic Market in Elizabeth City, NC. Pours black, not dark brown, but a thick-as-motor oil black with a rich khaki head. The aroma is almost equal parts smoky, roasted malt and piney hops with neither overwhelming the nose. Smoky malts are the dominant flavor with burnt espresso, smoke, and bitter chocolate leading the way and are balanced by enough hops that you realize this is indeed a black IPA. The mouthfeel is almost creamy from the smokiness in the malt. This is dangerously drinkable at this ABV but there is moderate alcohol warming. A top notch black IPA.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
joeneugs (3120) - Livermore, California, USA - AUG 30, 2011
From the bottle. It pours very dark brown with a tall but slowly shrinking tan/orange head. The aroma is kind of weird at first with some strong pine, peach, cotton candy, cooked vegetables and cocoa. Not real good, but the dense hoppiness saves it from being downright bad. The flavor is a bit better, but very sticky sweet up front and painfully bitter/alcoholic on the back end. Flavors of peach and pine to start and then straight to a punishing bitterness with hints of dirty roasted malt. The palate is creamy, but I find this one hard to drink. Not really complex or well integrated, just another assault on the senses.

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