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Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Formerly brewed at Stone Brewing
Style: Black IPA
Escondido, California USA
Serve in Shaker, Tulip


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 724   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89/5   EST. CALORIES: 324   ABV: 10.8%
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, it’s 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 there’s 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 we’re talking only about the world of brewing, but we’re not. There is a myriad of products out there masquerading as cheeses, coffee, chocolates, breads...hell, there is stuff pretending to be ’food’ 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 can’t 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 ’norms’ 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…fooled. 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 children’s children? As a hero, or as the oppressed? (Those that don’t think they have been oppressed are already lost.) Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide. We hope you’ll 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 we’ve accomplished together in the past fifteen years, and cheers to the adventure ahead!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
arkurzynski (2268) - Combined Locks, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 1, 2011
Pours syrupy black with khaki almost orange head. Definitely a nice pine hop aroma with a trailing cocoa/roast aroma. The initial pine aroma is nice, but the mix with roast muddies the overall appeal. Flavor starts sticky and sweet like an imp stout followed by a strong, but not overpowering pine bitterness. Finishes with cocoa, caramel, light roast. Residual sticky sweetness and mild hoppiness. Interesting take, and overall well-crafted, but not particularly digging the whole package. Not as impressive and balanced as Sublimely Self-Righteous. Kind of wishing this whole black IPA thing would stop soon before the style is even more played out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
popery (2010) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 1, 2011
The beer is wall to wall black with a thick and creamy light brown head. I’m getting pineapple, tangerines and grapefruit rind up front. Lurking beneath the hops, there’s a foundation of fudge with touches of roast and smoke. On the downside, there’s also a little paint thinner and booze at the edges, but it wouldn’t be a Stone beer without some rough edges. The taste has a lot of sweetness followed up by a good bitter bite. It starts out with fudgy chocolate cake mixed with pineapple-citric hop oil. Some roast and smoke chimes in, filling out the malt flavor, and it ends with mild smoke and hop bitterness. The bitterness is strong but fairly smooth. However, there’s some more booze pushing through, as well. It’s an undercooked chocolate rum cake with tangerine pith icing. Very fun to drink. It’s creamy and smooth even as it smolders with pleasant bitterness and unpleasant booze. To be fair, it’s getting away with some harshness by throwing in a whole bunch of lovely dry-hop delicacy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
DYCSoccer17 (3637) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 1, 2011
22 ounce bottle purchased at the Davis Food Co-Op. The aroma on this is moderately hoppy with hints of Centennials and other PNW hops. Some grapefruit and pine. Beneath this, there is a lot of roast present. Some sweet chocolate is also there with some chalkiness, too. Mildly transparent dark mahogany body with a smallish, quickly dissipating light tan head. Starts a little chocolatey, before this becomes quite burnt, and bitter. Tons of grapefruit hops going on here. Very charred, and very difficult to drink this beer. There’s no subtlety here, and it just seems like they dumped the leftover unsweetened chocolate from their previous Oatmeal Chocolate IS and a shit ton of hops into this beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 16/20
toxichop (597) - South Gate, California, USA - SEP 1, 2011
A bit dissapointed with this brew. The roasted malts dominates this beer while the citrus hops are in the background. Theres is also a bit of a chocolate hop mix. Kinda weird and sometimes thats a good thing but not in this brew. An ok brew overall thoughit would be better tho.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jtd6628 (361) - North Carolina, USA - SEP 1, 2011
Really good beer. I found its aroma very nice hoppiness with a hint of awkwardness. The flavor is hoppy and Chocolate malt and that awkwardness in the aroma it not a bad thing just something I have not taste a lot or before.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
17thfloor (2443) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 31, 2011
This is a solid 4 beer if not higher. Such a big bright pine aroma, not too green, bit of alcohol, well more than a bit, some light roast, well balanced big beer. Balanced chocolate and espresso, lots of pine and resin, thats really it... big flavors in balance, some abrasive alcohol though. Medium body with tight fizzy carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
FunkyBrewster (1518) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 31, 2011
Bomber thanks to 17thfloor. Pours nearly black with a creamy tan head. Aroma is super fresh hops, very piney and citric, awesome hop presence. Just so fresh on the hops, lightly citric, floral and herbal. Flavor is supremely balanced, lots of roast along with such a great hop citric and pine presence. Very good

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
can8ianben (1489) - State College, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 31, 2011
Surprisingly I thought this would be all about the hops, but it was actually a really dark and roasty beer. Hops were there to be sure, but I’d almost call this an imperial stout, not a black IPA. Dark black beer with a brown head, lots of hop aroma and a faint bitterness. Plenty of smoke and roasted flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
riversideAK (6160) - 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.

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