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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: 718   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
troopie (2295) - Munchen an der Willamette, Oregon, USA - AUG 27, 2011
Draught at Get STONE’d weekend. Black pour with thin off white head. Roasted hop (Is there such a thing) aroma. Floral hop flavour with a roast malt backbone. Alcohol is well balanced; Wonderful finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Beerdrinker79 (2033) - Idaho, USA - AUG 27, 2011
22 oz. bottle- Pours black as black with a thick mocha colored head, nice looking beer. The aroma is chocolate and hops, sweet and malty, good. The taste is all chocolate and hops like the aroma, very nice. A little coffee pops up as well. Body is full, carbonation is medium high, finish is sticky and lingers. I absolutely loved this beer, one of the best IBA’s I have ever had.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GranvilleTim (1854) - Granville, Illinois, USA - AUG 27, 2011
Black pour with a brown head. Aroma at first is fruity hops with some pine hops amongst it. Taste initially is citrus hops and pine. Second sip revealed some burnt roasted malt. It is nicely balanced. You notice a little chocolate malt also. The hops are sticky sweetness which balance nicely with the roasted malt/. Nice lacing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Padron4KM (799) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - AUG 27, 2011
22 oz bomber.
Pour looks like a good imp stout. Black with a thick, long lasting, tan head, and loads of sticky lace.
Initial aroma is typical Stone with tons of hops. Citrus and pine are more aggressive with subtle notes of resin. Some roasty grain joins the mix as it warms.
Flavor is all about the grapefruit. here is a little bit of creamy chocolate that flirts with the tounge but it gets overpowered by the hops.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
HonkeyBra (4036) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - AUG 26, 2011
22 oz. bomber. Pours a deep, thick black with a thick tan head that dissipates in a rocky mess. Lots of lacing smears down the glass as the head fades. Aroma of roast, some chocolate, some fresh asphalt. Mild pine hops notes creep through in the aroma. The flavor is just . . . wow. I’m not sure how to describe what’s going on here. It just tastes like a generic, hot bitterness. It’s vaguely piney but more like spruce and fir trees. Very odd, seems almost chemical. Harsh and unpleasant. I’m hop head. I love bitterness. But this has no character at all other than chemical and alcohol bitterness. Thinnish body. This is not a beer I’d recommend.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - AUG 26, 2011
I know I have been down on CDAs but this Roasty chocolate aroma beauty is a step up. Pours black with a big espresso head this strikes the right balance. Hops hit hard and linger and the burnt notes fade away. Nice lacing on the glass too.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
robertjm (852) - Albany, California, USA - AUG 26, 2011
Initial pour is frothy dark tan. Aroma Hoppy aroma. Initial flavor is of hops, which quickly morphs into toffee and brown sugars and then once again into bitterness from roasted malts. Reminds me sort of like dried sugar snap peas. Quick warming in the back of the throat. Bitter aftertaste. Another good example of why black IPAs are going to be the next generation of IPAs coming out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
StormCoat (123) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 25, 2011
Picked up a bomber bottle at Bevmo in San Diego, CA, and poured it into a snifter. Pours a dark brown/black with a soapy tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves just a few light flecks of lacing. The aroma is full of resiny, piny hops, with a spicy hint of alcohol coming through. On drinking, the flavors introduce huge, rich coffee flavors that are backed by a dark fruit tanginess. I love the contrast between the aroma which makes me think so much of fresh hops and the flavor that I get with each sip, which reminds me of cherries covered in dark, bitter chocolate. The body seems a little over-medium, with an oily feel that coats my gums and leads to a very long, satisfying coffee aftertaste. This is a richly-flavored beer that you can take your time drinking. It’s really good; probably the best Stone beer I’ve had yet.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 25, 2011
Bottle and served in my GI IPA Tulip: Jeez this pours black with a lovely creamy tan head that left excellent lacework upon the glassware. (It looks just like a beautiful Imperial Stout).

Once you got to the nose it shows more a DIPA character than just a hopped up Impy Stout. A ton of citric, leafy, resiny, and spicy hops over a layer of black, chocolate and biscuity malts. A hint of tobacco and tar but for the most part this is mostly clean of any appearance of sweeter caramel or toasty malts. Smells every bit of an Imperial IPA that just happens to have very dark malts.

The initial taste was a wowzer! Smack me up side the head and call me Nancy! Big brash catty resinous leafy peppery and herbal hop bitterness and moderate citric fruitiness confronts the palate and shows who is boss... mommy. Oh there is some noticeable alcohol presence that helps cleanse the palate and added bonus of getting ur freak on. In midstream you find the malts attempting a brief and somewhat successful counter attack against the bittering hops before those pesky green nuggets of wonder force the end game and decry "I AM AN DBIPA, RESPECT MY AUTHORITY!" and finally put the malts out of commission. The mouth feel is lively, sprite, and aggressive with just a bit of chewy chalkiness and boozy bite.

The Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale was very good and Mountain Standard DBIPA even better but the top dog for the genre is Beer Here Dark Hops. While the brew ROCKS, I will still put it at #2 in the Blackened IPA category only ’cause the Dark Hops is a bit more drinkable. Still this is a damn impressive beer, keep them coming Stone... and screw BA, respect this bitches.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
jazz88 (2665) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 24, 2011
Bottle. Black color with a brown head. A rich hoppy and dark malt aroma with a nicely balanced bitter flavor. I really enjoy the black IPAs. Lots of dark chocolate and rich roasted malts. It has a solid body and long finish.

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