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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, 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 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. Iím not sure how to describe whatís going on here. It just tastes like a generic, hot bitterness. Itís vaguely piney but more like spruce and fir trees. Very odd, seems almost chemical. Harsh and unpleasant. Iím 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 Iíd 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. Itís really good; probably the best Stone beer Iíve 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 ícause 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 (2668) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ChazMania (668) - Oceanside, California, USA - AUG 24, 2011
I had this on tap the night before the "official" release and was bummed that I couldnít get my growlers filled until the next day as I couldnít drive back the next day. So I bought a few 22ozers; this review is from the 22oz Iím drinking now. Aroma a really toasted rye kind of thing, actually not to pungent yet with some citrus. Appearance is dark with a perfect brown frothy head. Taste is wildly awesome! How can you mix dark roasted toasty malt flavors with fresh grapefruit and citrus- it seems like it just would not work and yet it does, wonderfully in this beer! Maybe my favorite anniversary beer from the great Stone since the motherload of the 10th anny! I think I need to go buy a case of this beer asap to sooth me through the upcoming dark nights of fall and winter!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
arondee (601) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - AUG 24, 2011
Pours completely black with a small tan head and a little bit of lacing. Aroma is chocolate malts and citrus hops. The taste is strong and bitter, you can taste the alcohol here. Thereís some raisin, burnt malts and strong hops bitterness on the tongue. The aftertaste is strong on the alcohol. A bit over the top like everything stone makes but I wish they would have toned down the ABV on this one and made a hoppy black 7% IPA instead. Iím not crazy about it. I strongly prefer the Sublimely Self Righteous Ale from Stone instead.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (14161) - 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 (6426) - Plymouth, 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.

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