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Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Friday, August 26, 2011

15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA, which is on limited release, is brewed by the Stone Brewing Company of Escondido, CA. The Imperial Black IPA is a new style of beer and is also referred to as an American Black Ale. This beer was brewed to commemorate Stone's 15 years of brewing.
This was bought by a friend at Taylor's Market in Sacramento. It has an ABV of 10.8%.

It pours a very dark brown, with a small, fizzy tan head. It looks like a stout. The aroma hits you like your head is in a bag full of hop nuggets. Pine, fruit, cirtus and hints of floral hops with notes of the roasted malts hit your nose enticingly. The taste hits you with the nose - strong cirtus & pine hops supported by the florals and fruits, but it gives way to the sweet roasted caramel malts and coco. It has a big ABV, but the alcohol doesn't pop-up in the flavor too much. It has a thick body, with a nicy creamy or oilyness to it that brings all the flavors home.

This is a really good beer and is a Must Have It. I've had other black IPAs that just can't seem to pull it together, but Stone did really well here. It's a limited release, so be sure to get it soon. I'm also happy that they dry-hopped this with my favorite hops, Nelson Sauvin from New Zealand.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the Must Have It rating. Although some of their more widely distributed beers have fallen off a bit in recent years, i.e. Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard Ale, their seasonal and anniversary brews are an absolute must.

    The 15th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA has a nice presentation with a smoky citrus aroma with hints of coffee. It's flavor is a wonderful blend that I can only describe as having the best attributes of a stout, an imperial IPA and a belgian ale mixed into one bottle. Plus, the finish is lovingly smooth.