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Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Serve in Shaker, Tulip


on tap

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RATINGS: 702   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, 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 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMan1113VR (7880) - Los Angeles, California, USA - AUG 18, 2011
On tap (at multiple places). Pours with a deep black body and a large, lasting brown head. Aromas are a bit husky, roasty, citrus, tropical fruits. Somewhat dank hop character. Flavors are roasty, chocolate, fudge and malty. Some citrus and fruity hop notes. Roast flavors dominate a bit too much over the hops for my liking. Medium to medium-high carbonation. Dry. No fusel, but it is quite warming.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
nightrider (754) - encinitas, California, USA - AUG 17, 2011
Pour from da bomber gave a pitch black oily look with a very cool mocha head. Aromas flow with cocoa and fresh grassy hops. Very smooth on the palate. Flavors are burnt roasted malt initially followed by a dank onslaught of fresh bitter hops. Alcohol is there but not overpowering. Finish is long and bitter but balanced and mighty tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TURDFERGUSON (3970) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - AUG 17, 2011
Making this beer official. Nose is grassy and resinous, some floral and citrus, definitely dominated by the hops. Roast, cocoa, booze, some heavy hop bitterness in the flavor. Finishes a tad astringent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
nbutler11 (1267) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - AUG 17, 2011
Ninth rating. Bottle from BevMo. Pours a slick black color with a big brown cascading head. Looks great. Smells of earthy malts and bitter hops. Tastes of malt, bacon, roast, and grapefruit. Holy shit,, this is a breakfast IPA - badass!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JohnnyJ (4627) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 17, 2011
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2011 Poured from the fermentor at Fresh! Dark dark brown, slightly muddy, with creamy tan head. Grapefruit, bitter dank hops, sweet chocolate as it warms, lots of roast, very bitter-sweet stoutish. A nice big beer, but not quite as big as the NHC black IIPA. I need to try a bottle and update my rating. On cask. Heavy black pour, small tan head, almost disappears. Lots of sweet milk chocolate, slight roasted malt, grapefruit, bitter hops, and quite a bit of astringent alcohol coming through. Got a lot more milk chocolate and alcohol on this try. Creamy cask mouthfeel, on the heavy side like an imperial stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - AUG 17, 2011
[Bottle] Dark opaque body, thick creamy head formation that lasts long. Initially strong hop nose, lots of pine and citrus, a touch of pineapple before some dry roasted nutty chocolate. Agrressive hop palate, bitter grapefruit and spice jumps in right at the start running through the finish and lingering long into the aftertaste. Toffee predominant in the malt, ovaltine like chocolate and some nutty dryness. Malts are quite pleasant but hops definitely kick their ass in this one. Love it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
danielcurtis81 (1519) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 16, 2011
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2011 Served from a 22 oz bottle from OTM. The appearance is a beautiful black hue with the body of a porter with a huge foamy brown head that grows long after you stop pouring. Love the appearance. The aromas have a heavy hop resin that is being suffocated by roasted malts, caramelized sugars, loads of molten chocolate, and some pineapple as well. The flavors enter more like their Smoked Porter. Great deeper roast malt profile. Some chocolate, caramel, hop esters, lots and lots of hop esters build on the tongue for a bit and then the chocolate takes over. More flavors include creamy orange, black pepper notes especially in the after taste, and a healthy does of alcohol at times that is usually hidden, and a heavy pine taste that reminds me of dark version of Anchor Our Special Ale.The mouth is full bodied with a great creaminess to it. Besides being a touch too drying at times and overly alcohol at times I Love this beer! Happy Anniversary Stone. Resampled with a 2nd bottle and this one was a little more over the top with hoppy pine resins. The malts are completely obliterated and that’s a shame. Some black licorice. Still very good but didn’t blow me away as much as the first bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
badlizard (5536) - Berkeley, California, USA - AUG 16, 2011
On tap at Stone. Very dark brown with a creamy light brown head. Big chocolate pine and citrus aroma and taste with a bitter coffee and dark chocolate finish. Creamy buttery palate.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 16, 2011
Draft at Local Habit. This was one big beer! Pours a viscous deep coffee brown with a thick tan head leaving behind some nice lacing. Big nose of fresh piny hops followed by toffee, cocoa dust and deep roasted malts. Heavy on the palate with sweet chocolate and a medium bitter hop finish. The 10.5 % is very well hidden.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
daleharshman (944) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 15, 2011
As a resident of Escondido with the blessed proximity to Stone, I had to get this on release day! Bomber purchased today at Holiday Wine Cellar ($5.99). Pours into Stone IRS snifter a very black hue with three full fingers of very creamy mocha head. Aroma veers toward the hoppy side with notes of bright citrus, dank hops (cat piss), and some sappy pine. But there are some lighter roasty notes on the nose as well with a bit of chocolate and licorice/anise. The taste starts with the sharp hop intensity (more citrus and dank) that you would expect from Stone. But the taste does very soon after move into considerably dark roasted tones with notes of high cacao dark chocolate (far from sweet) and black coffee. Finishes with a lingering smooth roastiness, and with a touch of alcohol heat and lingering hoppy bitterness. Though under the same style, this leans noticeably more towards stout/porter territory than the Sublimely Self Righteous which is firmly in the hoppy camp. I don’t get the 100 IBU’s that are supposed to be in this brew. The ABV is also higher (vs. the 8.7% SSR) which I actually. This is a really fine brew, but I still think I would go with the SSR if I had to choose. (3, 590)

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