Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA - Highland Scotch Barrel

Formerly brewed at Stone Brewing
Style: Black IPA
Escondido, California USA
Serve in Shaker, Tulip


on tap


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RATINGS: 18   MEAN: 3.74/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.49/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
The Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA was something quite special. Special enough that we squirreled some away for later when supplies ran low (or as provisions during a zombie apocalypse). And what better place for the squirreling of world-class beers than barrels originally used to age world-class Scotch whisky? This stellar jet-black highly-hopped ale is plenty amazing on its own with its healthy dose of darkly roasted malts and an even healthier dose of four hop varieties. But left to rest for 40 weeks in the cozy, dark confines of whisky-infused oak barrels, this beer metamorphosed into a brew of nearly indescribable complexity---a perfect harmony of deep roastiness, bright and bitter hop notes, and the smooth caramel flavors of Scotland’s most celebrated export. Come to think of it, you may not want to wait for that zombie apocalypse...

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nickd717's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
nickd717 (4996) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 25, 2012
500ml bottle. Very dark brown with a small lasting tan head. Great roasty and chocolatey aroma with a hint of scotch. Big rich full flavor of chocolate cake, hops, and scotch. Not that hoppy. Very full body with a smooth thick mouthfeel. Very nice beer.

ICEatALAMO (1357) - Troy, Michigan, USA - APR 6, 2015
Bottle. The pour is pure black. The aroma is almost a perfect blend of the scotch barrel. The taste is very smooth and doesn't even taste like an ipa. Very nice with the age. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

slowrunner77 (13204) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 24, 2014
"Stone 15 is my favorite black ipa of any kind. One concern I had with a beer like this (though super excited when i found out this would be released while we were down there) is that part of it’s greatness is the abrasive hoppiness, which can only fade with the time in the barrels. Still pours near pitch black. The bitterness and much of the hop aroma is still there, but it’s now pretty well balanced, especially for such a bruiser, between bitter, sweet and peaty from the scotch, and dark and robust roasted malt from the base beer. I absolutely loved it, and look forward to having a 500 ml side by side with the two versions (Highland and Lowland)...especially since I have no knowledge of the difference between the two :)"

daleharshman (1080) - Escondido, California, USA - OCT 7, 2013
500 ml bottle purchased at the brewery fourteen months ago ($18.00). Cork opens without a pop. Pours black with only a very thin layer of brown foam. AROMA of smoky peaty malts, vanilla, whiskey, hot booze, and sweet caramel. FLAVOR has lots of Scotch, earthy dark malts, some dark chocolate, vanilla, and lighter notes of coffee. The high ABV is certainly noticeable. This has taken on a character that is very different from the original 15th Anniversary (hops have completely disappeared)...should probably be categorized as American Strong Ale rather than Black IPA. Okay, but expected this barrel aged beer to have more depth and nuance...Stone’s BA program has been somewhat of a disappointment thus far. (16, 818)

alexsdad06 (11223) - West Chester, Ohio, USA - AUG 24, 2013
Bottle shared by b3shine (Sept. 2012). Pours a purple tinted dark brown to black color with a small beige head. The aroma and flavor have dark malts, some roast, barrel notes, some peaty whiskey character, vanilla and wood. This carried a bit more heat than the Lowland version. Interesting to taste this side by side with the Lowland.

badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - AUG 6, 2013
On tap on 3/26/13. Black with a creamy tan head. Big scotch whiskey aroma with notes of chocolate, honey, and caramel. Chalky tastes of scotch whiskey, cherry, roasted grain, and caramel with an oaky honey finish. Thick sticky full bodied palate. Very good.

GT (10017) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 17, 2013
Tap at 38 Degrees. Pours inky black with medium reddish head. Spotty lace. Nose is red apple oxidation, big acetaldehyde. Taste is drained, all red apple. Apple skin tannins. Over oaked, majorly oxidized.

brokensail (16689) - Dublin, California, USA - APR 8, 2013
Draft @ Oakquinox 2013. Black pour with a khaki/tan head. Nose is a bit smokey and peaty. Some green apple and scotch notes. A touch of alcohol, roasted malt, citrus hops, and char. Notes of chocolate and coffee, too. The flavor is rather acidic. Big green apple, char, roast, and coffee. Moderate smoke, peat, and scotch. Some light hop character remains, a touch of bitterness, and a light sweetness.

podey (638) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 25, 2013
UPDATED: FEB 27, 2013 Sample pour from Dennis @ Blind Tiger. Smoother than the lowland version. Pours black with a mocha head. Aroma is roasted malts and dark fruit, earthniess/peat. Taste is bitter and sweet and smoky all at the same time. Really interesting.

Tmoney99 (15116) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 18, 2012
Vial sample from b3shine. Poured black color with an minimal to average frothy brown head that diminished and produced fair lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted earthy hop and wood, whiskey aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Moderate to heavy toasted bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy woody bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration. This is a very good beer and hides the alcohol well.

b3shine (9257) - Indiana, USA - SEP 15, 2012
Bottle to snifter (thanks darkmoon66). Tasted side by side the lowland. Looks good; pitch black with beige lacing. Smells good too; sweet, malty, and scotch. Tastes like it smells, but it’s a little hotter than it’s lowland counterpart. Still, damn good beer.

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