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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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - OCT 14, 2011
Bomber from Samís, Durham. Big oily pour is not really what Iíd expected from something with "IPA" in its handle. Super potent nose hangs there like a fog. Body is a bit too heavy and slick, and the overall character of the brew is starting to seem consistent. In terms of flavors, the hops get more or less lost in the smoked meat and char and molasses (not to mention hints of anise), making this brew more like Labyrinth black ale than a black IPA to me. So stylistic kvelling aside, is it aíight? Yeah but unlike previous Stone anny ales, I wonít be looking to stock up. (Come back Emperial IPA!)

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
cmc619 (501) - California, USA - JAN 24, 2012
From bomber into Green Man snifter. Pours as black as the name implies. Medium brown head that settles down pretty quickly, but leaves a dark, intermittent lag-lacing upon swirling. Aroma is some chocolate, some nail polish remover (alcohol). Some really beautiful whiskey (bourbon) flavor hits in the middle, although it is a pretty hot beer. Hops arenít overwhelming; more like a match for this giant beer. On second sip, I think the hops may just be intertwined with the alcohol and contribute to a sense of greater heat. The bitterness is definitely felt in the finish. Overall, another (expectedly) bold entry from Stone, but Iíll take their core beers over this one, any time.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Papsoe (25063) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JUN 16, 2012
Bottle 65. Courtesy of joergen. Pours pitch black with a beige head. Rather bad, intense greasy hop aroma with a licorice touch. Rich body, heavy licorice, a very herbal and medicinal hop character. Dark charcoal roast. Seems unbalanced to me in both malt and hop character. 160612

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
RexTalionis (3522) - FINLAND - OCT 5, 2012
Bottled. Poured dark brown in colour with a small tan head. Chocolate, coffee, malt and some floral notes in aroma. Coffee and dark fruit in flavour. Roasted malts in aftertaste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
AndySnow (6812) - Huddinge, SWEDEN - MAY 27, 2013
Bottle at Oliver Twist. Black colour with a beige head. Aroma is liquorice, alcohol. Flavour is heavy alcohol, strong liquorice, and a bit of dark fruits hidden behind it all.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Capa (2772) - Kitsap, Washington, USA - OCT 17, 2016
Black with a tall beige cap. Powerful grapefruit, roasted malt, resin, cocoa notes throughout. Finish is slightly chalky and highly bitter from both the hops and burnt malt. Not a fan but purely because I donít like the style.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - AUG 21, 2011
22oz bottle. Rating #35. Pitch black pour with a big tan head. Light malty aroma, very light on the hops really, kind of smells like fish, weird. Mild flavor as well, more muted hops with a light roastiness. (1869)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
monkeychugg55 (1031) - Joliet, Illinois, USA - SEP 6, 2011
Coffee color with a small light brown head that lasts and leaves quite a bit of lacing. The aroma is very hoppy, with all kinds of citrus, pine resin, and a vegetal quality. Some toasty malt with coca and brown sugar. The flavor has a lot of coffee and burnt malts, that clash with the hops. Lingering bitter coffee finish with a lot of residual sweetness and a bit of alcohol warming. Not my cup of tea persay, a little too much in opposite directions.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
milewide (2079) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - OCT 3, 2011
Too much alcohol over-powders everything in taste, and especially after-taste! I followed this with a Pilsner Urquell---which still managed to have more "beer" taste. Fruity hops in aroma and initial flavor. Attractive opaque black color and tan, small bubble, head. Little malt influence.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
LinusStick (3252) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 26, 2011
A decent black IPA, nothing to be excited about. Aroma was alright. Roasted malt with plenty of green citrusy hops. Pour was a nice deep dark brown/near black with a one finger tan head. Taste was pretty good, but a little basic. The hops take center stage and donít let go. I like this because Iím not a big fan of the style. Very vinous and soapy in the front. A little thin. After the swallow, the bitter citrus hops remain with not much else. There isnít enough roasted malt flavor to make this different. Decent carbonation. Typical Stone beer, which isnít a bad thing

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