twindog (274) - Hampstead, Maryland, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Pours black with a large lasting beige head with lots off lacing. Aromas is fresh hops and dark roasted malt with coffee notes body is heavy. taste is pine, grapefruit peel, coffee and licorice. finish is strong and bitter sweet with lots hops. Another great stone beer. GOAT bigguns22 (798) - Maryland, USA - DEC 29, 2012
GOAT best black ipa ever. This is hands down bar none best black IPA ever just delicious . Aroma full of hops and dark malts. Hoppy,bitter but with a sweet chocolate that blows your mind.full of pine notes and will stand up to any food or cigar you pick. Wow.!!! BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - AUG 17, 2011
[Bottle] Dark opaque body, thick creamy head formation that lasts long. Initially strong hop nose, lots of pine and citrus, a touch of pineapple before some dry roasted nutty chocolate. Agrressive hop palate, bitter grapefruit and spice jumps in right at the start running through the finish and lingering long into the aftertaste. Toffee predominant in the malt, ovaltine like chocolate and some nutty dryness. Malts are quite pleasant but hops definitely kick their ass in this one. Love it. Beerdrinker79 (2188) - Idaho, USA - AUG 27, 2011
22 oz. bottle- Pours black as black with a thick mocha colored head, nice looking beer. The aroma is chocolate and hops, sweet and malty, good. The taste is all chocolate and hops like the aroma, very nice. A little coffee pops up as well. Body is full, carbonation is medium high, finish is sticky and lingers. I absolutely loved this beer, one of the best IBA’s I have ever had. Gachupines (1252) - USA - SEP 12, 2011
Black beer with a dark tan, almost brown head. Aroma is roasted malt with vague coffee. Some grapefruit like hops noticeable in the nose. Flavor is similar to the aroma. Big roasted malt comes out at first with noticeable coffee and toffee taste. A bit of sweetness comes through and then the hops come out. Big hops almost overwhelm the balance but not quite. Overall flavor is like a slightly sweet stout with a strong hop component. Love this beer.
ksurkin (1021) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - SEP 14, 2011
22oz bomber from grape & gourmet. pours a beautiful, deep black, with ruby hues around the edges, topped by a full, creamy, dark khaki head with amazing retention that leaves thick, dripping sheets of lace on the glass. aroma is absolutely outstanding, like 11th anniversary on steroids, with massive notes of resinous pine esters, white grapefruit, green grapes, and subtle pineapple backed by burnt almonds, cocoa powder, and toasted pumpernickle with hints of coffee, honey, and leafy earth as it opens up in the glass. flavor is simply amazing as well with bold, stout-like notes of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and black coffee up front backed by ridiculously fresh, resinous pine esters, orange peel, and grapefruit with notes of smoked wood, almonds, and bittersweet licorice emerging just ahead of subtle notes of caraway seeds and trail mix ushering in the dry, herbal finish. palate is smooth and on the fuller side of medium bodied with perfect carbonation and not a trace of the heavy alcohol content. overall, yet another winner in the long line of bold, over-the-top, and of course, arrogant as hell stone anniversary beers that truly is the epitome of the black ipa. Fatalstrike (130) - Cerritos, California, USA - SEP 17, 2011
UPDATED: OCT 31, 2011 Aroma - I get some definite chocolate and roasted coffee notes with the haunty hops following closely behind. Appearance - Ebony like a moonless night with a nice dark tan foam head. Taste - Not what I was expecting! I was thinking this would be a bigger version of the 11th/Self Righteous, but I was in for a shock. This is a full on stout when it comes to dark malt. Rich coffee and chocolate flavors up front. But wait for that awesome wave of hops at the end. Amazing. Palate - Full on assault of dark malts and piney hops weaving together. Thick and juciy. Overall - Pretty much a Russian stout with an insane hop profile. This is awesome. My favorite stone anniv. release since the 10th. Buy a few, drink one, and age the rest! MacBoost (1914) - Victor, New York, USA - SEP 19, 2011
UPDATED: JUL 14, 2012 Bottle from Beers of the World. Pours jet black with a huge dark tan head. Super floral in the nose with a lot of roast, some coffee notes. Bitter, bitter on the tip of the tongue. As it slides towards the back of my mouth I get hit with loads of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate. Wow. I know many people hate on Stone, but I defy you to not like this beer. This is amazing. The dark liquid in the glass masks the floral beatdown that this beer lays upon your palate. Drinking this beer is like banging your wife’s younger, hotter sister. Amazing. J_man (1006) - Tustin, California, USA - SEP 20, 2011
UPDATED: MAR 2, 2014 It’s really weird (although getting less weird these days) to smell strong hops *and* strong dark roast malt, but that’s what’s coming out of this bottle. Piney, rubbery hop aroma and charred, dark chocolate malt. Absolutely opaque black with just the slightest corona of ruby tint at the thinnest edge of the glass under bright halogen light, all topped with a brown head that starts off thick and strong and recedes to a small ring. The flavor matches the aroma with an upper cut of strong, peppery, earthy hops hitting first followed by a right hook of dark chocolate, cocoa, charred wood, molasses and brown sugar. Leaves a pungent, vegetal taste on the tongue with whiffs of that chocolate and wood in the aftertaste. 15 years after they started brewing great beer in San Diego, Stone continues to kick it up a notch with a great anniversary ale, and makes no apologies for it. Happy Anniversary Stone! **********New note*********** Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 3 years already! The hops have definitely faded and there’s a more pronounced molasses and prune flavor now. Still loads of chocolate but the vegetal component has increased (probably the hops getting old). I think this was probably better in it’s prime, but it’s still a very tasty beer. ChadPolenz (1827) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - SEP 23, 2011
<br clear="left">I’ve never been a fan of Black IPAs, not that I hate them - just that I don’t love them as much as it seems I should. Then a friend told me I absolutely must try Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA because it would change my mind. It did.
I poured a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Completely opaque black body. Forms a large, creamy, dark brown head which retains and laces extremely well.
Smell: Since this is a Stone beer it’s no surprise it smells like a San Diego imperial IPA: tons of light, bright flowers and citrus - plus some tropical fruit juice nectar. There’s a hint of alcohol in the nose, too - like a clean rum, although there is no real stout-like aromas which is odd considering the appearance.
Taste: One of the reasons I’ve never been a big fan of black IPAs is because they literally mess with your head: your eyes see stout, but you tongue tastes imperial IPA and the brain often ends up confused. With Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA this is indeed the case, but it’s the only instance I can recall where such confusion was so lovely.
Up front the beer begins with intense bitterness, it follows with a juicy, sweet, almost refreshing taste of citrus acidity and juiciness. It finishes with a dry sensation and taste of lightly roasted malts and leaves a lingering aftertaste of coffee and dark chocolate. It wouldn’t seem that these flavor components would go so well together - citrus and chocolate? But they do. The IPA component is very West Coast style with an orange juice-like taste, but the stout component is soft, smooth, and slightly sweet. It’s the bitterness and accompanying dryness that accounts for the perfect transition and blend of the flavors. Maybe it’s a little drier than I’d prefer, but the great taste of the palate more than makes up for it.
Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light, and only medium-bodied with a silky smooth texture and no carbonation. The hops linger on the tongue, but are highly tolerable.
Drinkability: Weighing in at 10.8% ABV, Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA would seem to be a beast of a beer, but it’s amazing at just how drinkable it is. While there is minor alcohol presence in the nose and a slight warmth in the throat, the genuine flavors of the palate are so flavorful and the mouthfeel so smooth it’s difficult to NOT suck this down as quickly as possible. This beer would work very well as either a dessert or with dinner itself because its complex palate makes it so versatile.
Overall, Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA is definitely the best black IPA I’ve ever had. I wish Stone would make this a regular offering.