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Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Serve in Shaker, Tulip


on tap

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RATINGS: 706   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 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (11918) - Woodland, California, USA - AUG 24, 2011
Bomber from Taylorís Market in Sacramento, CA. Pours black or a dark ruddy brown (the stream) with a creamy 3 finger darkish tan head. Aromas of floral and resin. Lush and mellow. Full bodied with creamy carb. It is soft and lush, but the flavor adds a little citrus. Then the malt comes in mildly chocolate and very dark and bitter on its own. Iím not finding a trace of heat. This is just brilliantly put together. Did I mention it has a lush aroma and feel?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pailhead (5348) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - AUG 24, 2011
Bottle: The aroma initially consists of all grapefruit and pine hops before giving way to moderate chocolate, light roast, and a touch of alcohol. It pours a dark brown with no transparency and a three finger creamy brown head with good retention. Some pretty thick lacing rings are left behind on the walls of the glass. The flavor starts with a quick dose of citrus. Through the middle there is a good dose of chocolate which mixes with some light roastiness and lots of pine in the finish. While I noticed a touch of alcohol in the nose, I donít get much at all in the flavor. Medium-full bodied with mild carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. Overall, much the way the Black IPA blurs the lines with a hoppy Porter, Iíd say this "Imperial Black IPA" blurs the lines with a hoppy Imperial Stout.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 7/20
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 24, 2011
Draft at Fountainhead. Iím wondering if this is better from the bottle, because I did not like my pour. Pours a thick black with a brown head. Looks thick in the glass even. Nose is weird. Pine resin and then a meaty soy sauce note. Seems like autolysis. Also some booze alcohol as well. On tasting, it is very bitter but really lacks the fresh hopping that 11/SSR have that made that one sing. More of that meaty umami note that is just disagreeable. I didnít like this one much at all and found it hard to finish. Too much body and too muddy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - AUG 23, 2011
Bottle from Samís, festooned with the trademark homoerotic Stone demon. Woot. Pours dark, black with a one-finger beige head. Looks like a stout, if a tad thin. Smells like an IPA... at first. Then the roast and chocolate appear, struggling to get out from behind the sticky, resiny hops. Lovely nose, and taste starts off well; too bad it ends with a grainy, metallic finish. Bitter and dry. We had a good thing going, but it went downhill...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - AUG 23, 2011
22 oz. bottle - Pours a dark brown color with a two finger thick tan head. Decent lacing. Aroma is resin pine hops. Flavor is light chocolate and pine hops. There is actually a nice balance. Hops linger in the finish. Medium to full body. Very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
nearbeer (3968) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - AUG 23, 2011
Bomber. Deep ebony with a small, thin head that tries to last. Big nose of orange creamsicle and ozone, with some light resin and chocolate-caramel. Hints of iodine and coffee. Taste is similarly sweet on the front; then progresses to dark fruit, roasted coffee, soy, and cocoa. Finally some prickly resin and citrus hop make for a dry finish. Heavy body has a nice little abv warmth, and the super smooth, nitro-like carbonation provides a velvety mouthfeel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
richiesd (31) - California, USA - AUG 22, 2011
This is truly a wonderful black ipa. I like this profoundly more than sublimely self righteous... itís essentially like an extra-hopped stone 11th. wonderful! Jet black with good carbonation, great fresh hops on the nose and an as expected flavor profile. Overall, a solid beer. Dark IPAs are not necessarily my favorite style, but this one is very tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - AUG 21, 2011
Bomber. This is alright by me. Itís like two of the greatest things on earth, an Imperial Stout and an IPA. Sometimes I like mixing Dr Pepper with Coke. That has nothing to do with this beer, but I thought you should know.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
flatmatt (1198) - Northville, Michigan, USA - AUG 21, 2011
22 oz bottle for rating #650. Pours black with a tan head. Cocoa aroma with citrus and pine hops. Nice thick palate with bitter pine and citrus hops, cocoa, dark fruit, light coffee, occasional anise. This is the kind of (imperial) black IPA I like.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
haddon90 (1537) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 21, 2011
Deep black pour with a thick, tan head. Strong, licorice notes with a hint of dark hops. Seems roasted as well. Very complex aroma. Roasted hoppy taste with a nice kick at the end. Dry finish. Complex but very good.

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