Escondido, CA -- Stone Brewing Co. releases its newest beer, commemorating a decade and a half of brewing excellence with the Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA. The name — besides being a mild-yet-necessary chore for dutiful writers, dedicated retailers and enthusiastic publicans to write out in its entirety — is Stone Brewing President and Co-founder Steve Wagner's chuckling jab at those looking to lay territorial claim to the Black IPA style.
"There's this small faction of people that seems to think it can call Black IPAs 'Cascadian Dark Ales,' historical accuracy be damned," Wagner explains. "So, we thought we'd lightheartedly lay claim to our own style, dubbing it 'Escondidian,' both as an homage to our hometown of Escondido, Callif., and as a gentle ribbing to those Black IPA fans worshipping a false Cascadian idol."
And while this point of contention may only be of import to 0.01% of craft beer fans, what is important is how the beer looks, smells, and ultimately tastes.
"Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA pours thick and opaque, with a deep brown head of foam," boasts Brewmaster Mitch Steele. "Intense herbal and piney hops are followed by roasted malt notes redolent of coffee, anise, and cocoa, all coming together to form one of the darkest, hoppiest and most colossal beers we've ever brewed."
"To those confused few still sipping a Black IPA by any other name, I hear your argument… that Black India Pale Ale is a bit oxymoronic on the surface," adds Wagner. "But as an English Major, I can firmly stand behind the term Black IPA. At its core, language is all about one thing: conveying meaning. And there's no doubt what Black IPA means: an IPA that's black. Elementary, my dear Watson!"
Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA
Availability: 22 oz. bottles, on draft, and a limited number of 3L bottles
Vital stats: 10.8% abv, 100 IBUs
Malt bill: Pale Malt, Cara-Bohemian, Carafa III Special, and Chocolate Malt
Hops bill: Columbus (bittering), Citra (flavor/aroma). Dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Pacific Jade.
The Stone Blog: Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA