Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA - Craft Beer Review #155

This beer is part of the Stone Anniversary Series and marks their 15th Anniversary this year!
My Thoughts:
Appearance:  This brew pours black as night with a creamy tan foamy head after a fairly vigorous pour.  From first glance this beer could easily be mistaken for a porter or stout just based on looks.

Smell:  Any notion that this beer was a stout/porter based on looks is clearly erased from one's mind after just one whiff of this brew.  Bold dark roasted malt combines with coffee and chocolate to give this beer a very rich roasted smell.  This richness is complemented by a pretty strong hop profile that combines pine and  citrus hops.

Taste:  This is a beer that is full of layers that all work in harmony together to create a masterpiece of a Black IPA.  As the nose suggested a dark roasted malt starts you out with dark chocolate and espresso.  This rich and complex flavor is then matched by a bold hop presence that combines pine and citrus in a perfect balance. The complex bitterness this beer has is truly impressive.  The way the flavors are layered throughout simply is an amazing feat.  I could not believe how well everything intertwined from start to finish making this beer one that was nearly impossible to put down. This simply is the best tasting Imperial Black IPA I've ever had to date.

Mouthfeel:  This body on this beer is full with an above average level of carbonation which really helps to make this beer extremely pleasing on your palate from start to finish.

Drinkability:  At 10.8% some might argue that the drinkability of this beer cannot be perfect.  I beg to differ!  Any beer that drinks this smooth and tastes this good is perfect in my eyes.  This beer is a sipper simply because you really do want to enjoy every last drop there is in each 22oz bottle!

To me this hoppy, bold, and rich Imperial Black IPA is perfection in a bottle.  I have picked up a few more bottles, and plan to drink them while they are fresh because this beer is not meant to be aged!
Serving Type: 22oz bottle
My Rating: Overall 100/100
Look:5 | Smell:5 | Taste:5 | MouthFeel:5 | Drinkability:5

1 comment:

  1. This beer was the best kind of surprise. So very good!



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