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Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Serve in Shaker, Tulip


on tap

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RATINGS: 704   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 1/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
jsled (28) - South Burlington, Vermont, USA - SEP 3, 2011
P: 4/5. Perfectly opaque black, good tan head, well supported with lacing. A: 4/5. luxurious hops. some citrus, but a piney, resiny wonderfulness. no real perceived alcohol. F: 6/10. sweet, roasty, alcohol. roast finishes in an astringent twang. unpleasant balance on the back of the tongue. M: 2/5. not overly coating, but much residual bitterness, and no residual sweetness to balance. O: 6/10. Not quite what I’d like in a BIPA.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
Rando7 (763) - Iowa, USA - SEP 17, 2011
Bottle pours black with think tan head. Very nice looking beer . Aroma all pine. Taste with pine forward, a little bit of roast/malt, then a fairly brief pine finish. Palate pleasant, full and well carbonated. Alcohol well hidden but you feel it later.

I am not a hop head but was hoping this would have a better malt/hop presence. Really not balanced at all although it improves as it warms.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
hopscotch (9840) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 8, 2011
Draft… Pours black with a small, creamy, beige head. The aroma is just… Wow!… really bad. Hits me in all the wrong places. Big-time armpit and old, stale bong water. Full-bodied and oily with soft carbonation. The flavor is bitter, burnt and acrid – gunsmoke and fresh weed. Bitter, grassy, roasty finish. Not a bad beer overall, but I hate the smell.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
DYCSoccer17 (3391) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 1, 2011
22 ounce bottle purchased at the Davis Food Co-Op. The aroma on this is moderately hoppy with hints of Centennials and other PNW hops. Some grapefruit and pine. Beneath this, there is a lot of roast present. Some sweet chocolate is also there with some chalkiness, too. Mildly transparent dark mahogany body with a smallish, quickly dissipating light tan head. Starts a little chocolatey, before this becomes quite burnt, and bitter. Tons of grapefruit hops going on here. Very charred, and very difficult to drink this beer. There’s no subtlety here, and it just seems like they dumped the leftover unsweetened chocolate from their previous Oatmeal Chocolate IS and a shit ton of hops into this beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
Goodgrief (1824) - Middletown, Delaware, USA - SEP 11, 2011
Jet black pour, nice frothy head and outstanding lacing. Rich and thick mouth feel. Rich roast flavor with some chocolate. This would have been excellent...BUT...a huge vegetal/garlic like presence. I have tasted this flavor before in beer, and it’s god awful. Yuck.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
Ernest (6486) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 12, 2011
Bottle. Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly lasting. Body is opaque black (flashlight tested). Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (roasted grain, dark chocolate), lightly to moderately hoppy (resin, grapefruit), lightly yeasty (dough), with a note of alcohol. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, moderately to heavily acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, moderately to heavily acidic, moderately to heavily bitter, unclean. Medium to full body, velvety/creamy texture, lively/soft carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic, lightly astringent. Truly disappointing, mainly because it looked so good to begin with. Nice dark lasting head and completely opaque too. And the mouthfeel is pretty nice as well...a bit hot/boozy but not out of line given the ABV. But that’s pretty much where the good stuff ends. The aroma is surprisingly simple and light for a 10+% stout, just roast and chocolate and green hops...there’s no allure here, no depth, just some basic expected characters that lay there in the glass with no enthusiasm to entice you in any way. Heck, there’s not even any vanilla, which is usually a freebie with a beer like this. The worst part, though, is the almost shocking sourness in the mouth...highly unpleasant. If the mouth experience weren’t so off-putting, I could probably forgive the boredom of the nose and give this a low/mid-3 kinda score, but alas, something went wrong with this one.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
ration (1985) - Tampere, FINLAND - DEC 30, 2011
Pours dark brown/black. Aroma stuffed animals, burnt malts and hops. Really strange and overboard.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
riseagainstme (48) - Michigan, USA - OCT 14, 2011
22oz into snifter...pours almost black with a tan head...Tastes not so good to me, I was really excited about this one but it is not that good. Tastes very bitter from the hops and from something else I get more bitter. When it warmed up a little all I could taste was alcohol. Just not impressed, was hoping for a stronger sublimely self righteous or something, but this isn’t it.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
JoePeesie (897) - Long Lake, Illinois, USA - SEP 18, 2011
Pours black (loses points for any "pale" ale) strong hop nose and taste. For an anniversary beer it was kinda Meh to me...

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
Lorenasa (154) - Florida, USA - OCT 10, 2011
Fresh 22 oz bottle purchase at the brewery. The aroma is of hops. The tast is of chocolate and coffee bu is overpowered by grapefruity hops. Extreme bitterness ruins what coul have been a good beer.

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