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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: 717   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
joeneugs (5751) - 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beernovice39 (3270) - Idaho, USA - AUG 30, 2011
Bottle pours a thick black with a creamy brown head. Scent of pine and very floral. Taste is citrus, some dark chocolate, lightly roasted malts. Very nice!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
elgiacomo (745) - Ringgold/Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, USA - AUG 29, 2011
22oz bottled Aug 16, 2011. Served at around 50F.

Pours black with a large thick brown head that leaves a nice pattern of sticky lacing and holds one of the best caps I’ve seen. She sho’ is purty!

Aroma is pine, spruce, grapefruit rind and citrus, dank, along with some of that delicious cat spray, also some coffee, roasted malts and chocolate, but the hops really take center stage in the aroma. Excellent strength.

Flavor is intense to say the least. A ton of pine, juicy citrus and resinous, dank hops up front intertwined with strong chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, anise and molasses as well as a bit of caramel and dark fruits, nice bitterness and some alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium plus bodied, sticky, good carbonation.

And I thought Sublimely Self Righteous was the most intense Black IPA out there... Not anymore! A new king has been crowned! Holy hell is this some good stuff. Ridiculously hoppy and the great roasted malt component holds its own. Gonna be enjoying this some more for sure while it’s around.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
WabashMan (1024) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - AUG 29, 2011
Pours the darkest of browns with a medium brown head. Not beautiful, but a nice cascading effect in the head makes the pour worth watching. Nose is hops with notes of wood and spices, along with an alcohol undercurrent. Flavors are similar, but really pack a punch, as the hops take centerstage, initially, fading into a roasty, hoppy, dark spicy afterglow. The hops character is very similar to Stone’s Arrogant Bastard, but the complementary flavors are different...smoother, richer, a bit sweeter. Flavors linger on the palate forever...you’ll have taken your next sip well before the previous is gone from the tongue.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - AUG 29, 2011
Bomber. Pitch black colored beer with a big tan head that leaves attractive lace and has medium-to-good retention. The aroma is all piney and resinous hops mingling with soft roasted malt. And the funny part is that the roast is almost completely absent from the flavor. There is so much piney and resinous hop flavor and bitterness form start to finish that I think no one would be the wiser if this was a golden colored beer. Ok so now I’m freaking out and think I’m imagining that coffee in the aroma. But it really could be there in the flavor as well but is just very well integrated with all the hop bitterness. A little rough and brash, especially in the finish, but I kind of expect that from Stone. Not a smooth or balanced beer by any means. But it’s fresh and pretty low in alcohol character for a 10%+ beer, so I think I can finish a bottle without much of a struggle. I can see some interesting character developing with some time in the bottle. This has the dark malt and bitterness to age for some time, if the oxidized hop oils don’t turn it to shit. Might be a fun experiment. 11th anni was great after half a year in the bottle to come together and still had good hop aroma. I’m still not sure why they decided to do basically the same beer again, just turned up a bit (and I don’t think this is as good either), but maybe they’ve painted themselves into a corner in the last few years.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
douglas88 (8399) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 28, 2011
Bomber thanks to robertjm. Pours a totally black color with a large brown head, looks awesome. The aroma is a rich fresh hop burst with some chocolate and dry roast. The flavor is an interesting mix: certainly initial bitter fresh hops and chocolate along with roasted malts. Also, this beer has a distinct peppery, spicy flavor that seems like peppers and almost reminds me of that great Mexican dish Mole. Very interesting. This is very similar to Uinta’s Dubhe, but a lot warmer. Both are damn good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mattmc1973 (479) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - AUG 28, 2011
Bomber poured into a tulip. Pours a dark brown/black with frothy light brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and piney resinous hops. Taste is moderately bitter and a bit sweet. Creamy mouthfeel with mild carbonation and a dry finish. Very nice combination of smooth roasty/chocolate with a healthy dose of hops. Hides the alcohol well. Good!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
aveclaudenum (31) - California, USA - AUG 28, 2011
Pours pitch black with a beautiful brown head. Aroma of grapes and citrus. Comes in smooth and leaves with a hard kick of alcohol. Incredible beer. Stone once again can do no wrong.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jzzbassman (1587) - Arlington, Texas, USA - AUG 28, 2011
Pours a deep almost-black with a tan bubbly head that fades with dripping lace. Aroma of caramelized sugar, alcohol, chocolate, and wood. Flavor is huge, piney hops against heavy roast character , but the resinous hops make sure you know this is definitely an IPA and not a hoppy stout. Despite the alcohol burn, ridiculously easy to drink. Masterpiece of a beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
SSSteve (4006) - - AUG 28, 2011
22oz bottle. black with large, creamy brown head. purple grape and mandarin orange aroma. the body is full and somewhat creamy. warming finish from the alcohol. the flavors are mostly big juicy hops. lots of citrusy orange hop resins and the dark malt must add a grapey note. the dark malts are not very noticeable through the big bad hop addition. little peppery in the finish.

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