DBB Text Banner

Beer Review: Stone Brewing Co., Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Sep 18, 2011

Ding Points: 50.50

Pour: 90.00, Nose: 40.00, Palate: 40.00, Mouth: 50.00, Global: 50.00

Tasting Notes:

Classic Stone presentation. Screen printed bottle with usual Stone nonsense on the back. August 2011 printed along with ENJOY FRESH directly underneath that. I generally dislike ‘Black’ IPA’s both in name and in taste. Utter nonsense on both counts.

Thick head, on top of what looks like a viscous, jet black body, but the mouth doesn’t reveal the density that the look initially suggests. Head retention and lace are both very good considering the ABV. The appearance of this beer is, by light years, its best attribute. I strongly suggest admiring it in the glass and not drinking it!

Stone Brewing Co., Escondodian Imperial Black IPA

Stone Brewing Co., Escondodian Imperial Black IPA

Nose gives a West Coast, piney blast and nothing else. One dimensional as usual, but particularly pine based given the Stone treatment.

Licorice bitterness is extreme and reminds me a little of concentrated hop pellets. Same can be said of the taste which has a ‘bitterness for bitterness’ feel about it. Silly, juvenile posturing that reminds me of BrewDog; almost seems like Stone is regressing.

Lingering bitterness has a somewhat smoky edge. Wave after wave of unrelenting bitterness do two things. They fatigue the palate dreadfully and secondly they make a mockery of any malt base that might be there to hold the beer together. Liquid pine drains my enthusiasm dreadfully, and the alcohol effect seems VERY apparent and terribly, tedious.

The attraction of this beer as a drink of leisure is lost on me, it’s just much too much like hard work. It feels like it’s a task/job to drink it – just about the very last thing that I want in a beer.

In some ways this is really the antitheses of beer. You can’t drink a lot of it, it’s not moreish, it doesn’t encourage consumption, it has a silly ABV and it screams, ‘look at me I’m a noisy teenager’ in all aspects. Irritating, and not to be taken seriously, Stone would do better producing their classic clone Belgians than this nonsense.

Big, bold, brash extreme beer for the sake of it and not for the taste of it. In a phrase, ‘predictably disappointing’.

Other: 10.8% ABV, Anniversary series. 22 oz bottle.


  1. The Ghost of Edgeworth

    I didn’t care for this beer one bit. Even the bottle blurb felt like a rambling madman on a street corner. Let’s keep up our hopes for 11.11.11. Epic Ale.

    Oh, when can we expect some Red Hare Brewing reviews?

    • Ding

      Re: Red Hare, soon but they will not be very favorable!

  2. Jaxbeerlover aka Azorie

    QUOTE: Liquid pine drains my enthusiasm dreadfully, and the alcohol effect seems VERY apparent and terribly, tedious

    I love that line and I promise to steal it soon, lol

    I was reviewing some local beer, except for the barley wine and the porter, they all the same variations of a pine tar bomb, with of course the IPA being the worse of the bunch. How folks enjoy drinking that stuff just baffles me. 1 dimensional beer is hard to drink.

  3. Craig

    What is that strange taste is this beer? One reviewer compared it to Marmite? I typically do gravitate toward the more Amercanized Hop-forward beers, but I have to agree with you on this one, Ding…it was a chore to drink.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *