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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: 719   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, 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
dimenhetfield (2486) - , Florida, USA - OCT 16, 2011
750ml bottle poured into snifter. Dark chocolate color with a brown bubbly head. Aroma has hints of chocolate, malt and hops. Flavor is a little dry with mostly the chocolate playing a nice part on the back end. It didn’t blow me away but it’s still a good solid beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jmikolich (1477) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - NOV 20, 2011
22oz bottle, this might be too complex for my simple palate but the hop flavors are greatly subdued with only a touch of hops the finish is roasty and bitter with a massive boozy feel coupled with the huge 3 finger head it’s just a bit overbearing

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
hirigalzkar (2910) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JAN 4, 2012
Bottle. Pours black with a beige head. Citrus, mint, coffee and clove notes in the aroma. The taste is very (too) bitter, and therefore quite dry. Notes of coffee beans, dark chocoalte, and bitter herbs.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2012
From notes. First reviewed 8/22/2011. Served on tap in a snifter at the Stone Tap Takeover at Acre. The appearance of every Stone beer shows their care and devotion to the craft. Black in color with brown edges and a tan cap, this big American Black Ale retains remarkably well for the ABV and leaves some nice lace down the glass. The aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, soy sauce, and some piney hops with a touch of ethyl alcohol. Unfortunately, the taste cannot shed the soy sauce aroma that I got in the nose. Roast coffee and malt go well together with some light sweetness, with a mostly pine hop bill at the end. The salty soy sauce flavor just throws this off too much to give it a good score though. The booze is there the whole time, but it manifests itself in its purest form at the end of the sip. Moderately creamy and smooth, with a good amount of carbonation. Fuller than medium bodied, with an ABV that warms the throat and stomach. Not too sticky or resiny, although both sensations are there. Not the best I have had. Where that soy sauce flavor came from, I don’t know, but it really distracts from what would otherwise be a pretty good beer.

   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 (778) - 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
AverageMan (40) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 29, 2011
In the past I enjoyed many of Stones offerings. For me Stones has stumbled a bit Belgo Old Guardian a medicinal nightmare, Emperial IPA (14th Anni) a bit of a practical joke. In short I was in fear of Stones falling. Stones 15th was a step back towards a true path. This beer has set a little as I found it a bit rough in early September. This beer was served in a Imperial Pint glass. Ar- A mixture of darkly roasted nearly cocoa malt and coffee. This mixes well with a pungent citrus and pine resinous notes. A bit boozey but not bad. In short the beer smells like arrogance. Ap- The body of the beer is black. The head of the beer is thick and looks like a fizzy chocolate milk. Nice head retention is noted. Crazy thick lacing marks the beers passage from my glass. T- The flavor of the beer is deep bitter pine combining with darkly roasted chocolatey malt. A powerfully abrasive alcohol weaves itself around the citrus and pine notes. Full on bitter finish. Not bad but doesnt rise to the level of greatness. P- The body of the beer is pretty full and a bit oily. The alcohol is a bit hot and abrasive at times. I do like the mouth full of hops feeling on a plus side but cannot rate higher than 2 because of astringency. O- A bit of a mixed bag. I dig the bitter mouth full of hops. I dont really dig the whole Black IPA. Not terribad but not really great. A whole hell of alot better than Emperial IPA.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
hopscotch (10612) - 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 (3630) - 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 (1994) - 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.

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