Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Rated 3.765 by BeerPals
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Brewed by Stone Brewing Company

Escondido, CA, United States

Style:  American Black Ale

10.8% Alcohol by Volume

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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!

ID: 45383 Last updated 8 months ago Added to database 12 years ago

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Overall Rank686
Overall Percentile98.7
Style Rank6 of 342
Style Percentile98.2
Lowest Score2.9
Highest Score4.7
Average Score3.929
Weighted Score3.765
Standard Deviation0.551

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

14 Member Reviews

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  • IBREW2OR3 1171 reviews
    rated 4.4 8 months ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 10 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    Rated in Sept. 2011. Bomber pours dark mahogany with dark amber edges and mocha head. The aroma offers up resiny bitter pine and grassy tree sap, grapefruit and tangelo like hops as well as nearly burnt malts, a sliver of milk chocolate and some dark roasted coffee beans. The taste is rich bold yumminess with dark roasted malts, nearly burnt malts, dark roasted coffee and a bit of chocolate all mixing seamlessly with robust notes of bitter pine hops, some grapefruit and an orange citrus hop note that seems to be struggling to be less bitter and more sweet flavor hops. It stays pleasingly bitter and dark roasted maltiness right into the finish. Love this stuff and I really don’t get much booziness out of this 10%+ ABV brew. This is still pretty fresh and I’m not sure at this moment if aging can improve upon it. I think I’ll put one or two aside just to see. Well done Stone. You seem to know my tastes perfectly and have proven it over and over again from ABA back in the late 90’s to this one here today. This is right up there with the 10th Anniv. in insanely yummy bold rich sticky bitter hoppy glory.

  • BEERGUY101 5022 reviews
    rated 4.1 12 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 9

    Sampled on 4/25/2012. This black IPA pours an eclipse black color from a 220z bottle. Large sized tan foamy head with good retention and nice lacing. The aroma is fruity, roasty and sweet with some citrusy and piney hops. A full-bodied black IPA. The malts are roasty and fruity. Lots of dark fruit flavors. The hops are citrusy and piney. Nice carbonation. There is some grapefruit and chocolate flavor emerging as the beer warms. Nicely balanced. An excellent sipping beer and a great choice for a somewhat warm rainy April evening. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

  • HONKEYMOFO 1000 reviews
    rated 3.5 12 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    It pours oil-black with a thick and foamy brown head and copious lacing. An aroma of roasted chocolatey malts, coffee, robust hops, pine and grasses, orange and citrus, bitterness, and lightly spicy. The mouthfeel is smooth and fairly rich. Flavors of chocolate roasted malts, hops, coffee, pine and grasses, grapefruit, bitterness, and alcohol and spiciness. Good, but the taste is somewhat raunchy to me .. thought it would be better..

  • BEERDOG 1556 reviews
    rated 4.4 12 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    From Bev Mo (Van Ness) in a bomber. It finally happened - had a beer leak in my suitcase while flying home. The other three in the bag were intact so this one must've had a duff cap. My half-bomber poured a body of super dark brown under no head. Aroma was dark chocolate and malt. Flavour was this also, plus the high ABV as well.

  • JERRYMORRISON 2130 reviews
    rated 4.0 12 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Nice offering from Stone, the 15th anniversary release is a decent brew fo sho. Lots of grapefruit and roasted malts with a touch of alcohol in the aroma and flavor, if the is a knock on it i gotta say the alcohol is a bit on the heavy side for this style. The Sublimely Self righteous is a bit better, not that i am trying to nit- pick.

  • CLASH 2576 reviews
    rated 4.2 12 years ago

    Aroma: 10 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    A pitch black appearance with a tan head. The aroma contains coffee, chocolate, caramel, and a bit of citrus. The flavor is more on the stout side than the IPA side containing some chocolate, coffee, caramel, and a bit of lemons and oranges. Some alcohol showing in the finish. Im usually not a fan of this style but Stone seems to pull it off better than most.

  • KINGER 2328 reviews
    rated 3.2 12 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 6 | Overall: 6

    A jumbled mess of a brew that almost pulls it together...but let it go at the last second. I liked it, then I didn't, then it kind of worked, then I was caught scratching my head, still it's kind of tasty, but in the end I'm still a bit pissed I spent such good scratch on this bottle. Beautiful black pour with a thick, filmy brown head and great lacing. Aroma of Willamette pellet hops fresh out of the package, molasses, and syrup. Real awkward, yet inviting then subtly off putting. Full bodied and on the sweet side with an industrial bitter twang...not my thing. Flavor produces some chocolate (forced) to counter the green hop pellets along with a noble grassy aspect that leads into a burnt roast quality. I'm not sure what is intended, but nothing melds well here. A plethora of grand ideals that ultimately leads to a chaotic recipe only stone could bottle and slap a marked up price tag on. Kudos from a guy who will likely not invest another dollar in Stone Brewing for a long time. What a mess.

  • CYBERCAT 11711 reviews
    rated 4.7 12 years ago

    Aroma: 10 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 10 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 10

    Pours a luscious opaque sable that is barely a whisker above black and has a thick, fine-bubbled tan head. Interesting aroma is smoky like a porter or stout yet hoppy like an IPA and has hints of licorice and coffee. Delightful flavor is fairly hoppy and just scarcely bitter, with malty, coffee and chocolate notes and just a hint of licorice. It seems to combine the best of a good stout and a good IPA, and I love both styles of beer! Full-bodied texture has a firm tingle and an occasional needle-like jab as if there are some hot peppers in the mix. Finish is tingly and just slightly sweet.

  • RJA 2975 reviews
    rated 4.3 12 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 9 | Overall: 9

    Another intense, in your face beer from Stone. Jet black in color. Big brown foamy head rises robustly above. Good staying power. Big ringlet and splotches of film are left behind. Big citric and floralhop prsence in the nose and on the palate. medium bodied. This is not for the faint of heart.

  • SUDSMCDUFF 3781 reviews
    rated 3.4 12 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 6 | Overall: 7

    Tap @ The Avenue Pub, NOLA .. . Pours a dark brown black. .. lots of foam, really good lacing .. . lots of roast, good dose of bitters .. more of an aggressive hoppy roasty porter than the stupid black ipa tag, .. a pretty good brew, kills the tongue though .. . . It's always best to shake hands. Unless you sneezed into it, or they have a stump... that could weird..

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