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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, 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 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
jglanton (18) - Yorba Linda, CA, California, USA - MAR 27, 2012
22 oz bottles from a strip mall liquor store that specializes in King Cobra, cigarettes, and porn. This was like drinking a rich double espresso with fresh creme and a piece of 100% chocolate dropped in and perfect squirt of soda fountain carbonation. I could drink that rich creamy body through a straw. Not sure why this isnít a stout. Until now, my favorite stout was Surly Darkness. Surly a little smoother, while 15th has fuller flavor and more bitter. This makes for long lasting finish. I lean towards the flavor and bitter.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
dinkle50 (1364) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 25, 2011
Espresso colored head. Black in the glass. Looks like it should be a stout, but it isnít. Smell is all pine but not over bearing. Super thick mouth feel. You can almost chew this stuff. There is a roast component in there, very coffee like. The hop finish has the roast component which hangs around on your tongue for a while. You can tell this is boozy but the alcohol isnít over bearing. This is one complex Black IPA and just might be the best Iíve ever had in this style. Well done Stone!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Jesterdeal (1985) - Marlton, New Jersey, USA - SEP 30, 2011
Aroma of glorious hoppy awesomeness. More citrus than pine. Pours thick and black with a medium khaki head. Tastes like I got punched with hops. More pine notes in the taste with an alcohol feel (but no sweetness). This is a manly IPA!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
thetmaxx (901) - West Sacramento, California, USA - OCT 3, 2011
Poured into a etched glass. Pours jet black, darker tan head, nice lacing. Aroma is perfect for a black ipa. nice roastiness, and citrus hops. Very clean. Palate has lively carbonation and finishes dry. The dry finish is the only detection of alcohol. I think this black ipa is very well balanced! Another gem from stone!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
properhops (88) - - OCT 26, 2011
Video review at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlR09otCkUs

Appearance: Jet black, 1-finger head dissipates to layering, excllent lacing

Smell: Bitter dark chocolate, citra pine, tobacco

Taste: Full body, bitter dark chocolate, coffee, pineapple, brown sugar, sweet carmel malts, mild warming, mild carbonation, drinkable

Pairings: Buttery cheese w/ fresh bread, brie, camembert

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - NOV 3, 2011
THOUGHTS: Wow. Very nice. Almost the reverse of most beers in that the hops are all up front and then the malts kick in. Hid alcohol fairly well. The hop profile was a lot like something I brewed, but the malts were so much better. Incredible balance and transition. One of the best beers Iíve had this year. Simcoe had to be a big part of this one. TECHNICAL: Bottle poured and opaque black in the glass with an average to large, light brown head that mostly diminished and left excellent lacing. The aroma had moderate roasted malt; lighter dark chocolate and coffee; heavy to nearly harsh pine hops; slightly lighter grapefruit hops; and alcohol. The initial flavor was light to moderately sweet and light to moderately bitter; while the finish was moderately sweet and moderate to heavily bitter. There were pine hops, grapefruit hops, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, more hops, alcohol, chocolate syrup, and dark chocolate. The full body was oily and a little creamy and also sticky on the lips with fairly soft carbonation and a lightly alcoholic finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
mandalarules (104) - Akron, Ohio, USA - NOV 6, 2011
Bomber. Aroma of dark roasted fruits, black cherry, a hint of chocolate and citrus. Appearance is espresso black with a beautiful tan frothy head. Taste is complex. Chocolate, dark fruit, hints of coffee and citrus. Hop forward and malt dry bitter finish. This is an incredible brew and has changed my palate for the better in trying new beers. Its a fine example of how far craft beer had come and how far its going to go in the future.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Anova167 (330) - Manhattan Beach, California, USA - FEB 11, 2012
Pours black with a big pillowy tan head. Aroma is coffee, unique hops, and a touch of alcohol warmth. A little boozier than the batch I drank 3 months ago. This is like an imperial Russian stout with imperial IPA level of hops, but there is something a little more delicate about the flavor and aroma than that description suggests. So sorry to drink my last bottle of this amazing brew. Guess I need to find a good homebrew clone recipe!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Kranin (23) - - MAR 7, 2012
Beautiful brew. Roasty, hoppy, alcohol rich goodness. (22oz bottle / Blue Max / 03/2012)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
harrymel (1551) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 20, 2013
August 2011 Was looking for something to tear me up this morning to expedite nocturne. A: Heavy pour produces two fingers of dark mocha head atop a black ale. The head falls rather slowly to a firm quilt of the same. Sheet lacing. Damn good looking beer. S: Pine cones, grapefruit, cinnamon, coffee grounds, marzipan (?), hints of smoked oak. Really thoughtful as a ABA (much less Impy). When I smell this, I keep expected some molasses to come through, but much to my satisfaction, it does not - it would have tipped the scale too much one way. Right now, this beer is exceptionally balanced in my olfactory. T: Sharp, dull, sweet and bitter all at once. Very complex flavor here. Coffee grounds, bitter cocoa, roasted almonds, hints of licorice, resin and piny hops, grapefruit rinds. Really nice battle for attention going on over the palate. M: Creamy and heavy with velveteen carbonation. Finish is long and viscous. Really pleasant. O: Greg and the boys are firing on all cylinders with this one. Damn fine beer which pushes the limits of a still young genre. They have had one of the longest running in the style, itís not surprising that they would spearhead the movement to imperialize on a national scale. Good shit. Seek out. Serving type: bottle 09-01-2011

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