fbennett (293) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 18, 2006
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This offering pours a dark brown almost black with a thick tan head that leaves this brew quickly. The nose is strong plum, figs, prune, dark chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, wheat, just lots of sweetness in the nose. The taste starts mildly bitter with a grapefruit crack of bitterness, this is very interesting....it feels like a fruity Belgian beer combined with west coast pungent hops finished with a porterís roasted barley like quality. The taste continues with a prune sweetness that is balanced by a citrus rind bitterness. The alcohal is minimal this is a quality brew that will def become more complex with age.
OldRaspy (292) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - SEP 18, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from a 22oz bottle a deep maghogany with a small tan head. Aroma was of hops molasses and oak. Flavor was a bit sweet yet spicy at the same time with a good hop bitterness and a wonderful alcohol warming.
zug4abby (287) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 9, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to DarkElf. Pours a clear, dark brown color with a very small tan head and no lacing. Aroma is malty and full of bananas with strong nut/malt hints coming through. Flavor is rampant with banana, yeast and malt and is very complex, some spice hints come through towards the end and more so as a beer warmed a little. very smooth and bubbly on the palate. This should age very well in my opinion.
snoot (286) - Anaheim, California, USA - JUN 1, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours very dark, almost stout like. Initial head is nice, compact bubbles, but it fades quickly to light lacing. Aroma is quite nice, lots of dark fruit. Flavors are very interesting, starts off with the dark fruits from the aroma, but quickly dries out. The aftertaste lingers on the tongue much like a Rochefort, maybe even a hint of that same tobacco flavor. Mouthfeel is a little thin, and the carbonation is a little lower than Iíd like. On a side note, I like this from Stone...itís more proof they can do something other than hops hops hops.
tcruicks (282) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - JUL 22, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
In appearnace, this beer is dark brown with a very thin brown head. The aroma is of sweet alcohol, malt, something like peppermint, and some fruit (both citrus and non-citrus). The flavor is similar, overall Iíd describe it as both sweet and sour, roasty, hoppy, lightly fruity, with alcohol. Lingering sour flavor. Smooth palate with low/medium carbonation.
505 (271) - Echo Park, California, USA - JUN 29, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma is pruney, strong malts, yeasty. Flavor is relatively complex, sweet, mild alcoholic finsih, some clove. Appearence is nice dark brown. Nice full body, a pretty beastly beer, pun intended.
cewldre (268) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 18, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a nice dak brown, almost black. Head was slightly off white and thin that lasted a while. Tasted slightly of alcohol, with a slight hop taste. Nice malt flavor was present as well. My friend says it tastes like he thinks a tree would, not that that would be bad by any means. I can agree, maybe a slight piny feel to it. A very good beer that I think will age well.
kepano (249) - Los Angeles, California, USA - NOV 18, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
The titillating effect of Stoneís brewing has, to me, worn off considerably, and truthfully the excitement induced seems simply outlandish. This Vertical Epic series only furthers my confusion, partly because of the grotesque zealotry generated by previous installments, but also by the fact that these episodic brews seem decidedly unfit for their purpose: the zenith 2012 is meant to reveal. I am no haruspex, but I will tell you now that this Mephistophelian chapter will be reduced to nothing more than liquid chagrin come the resolution. That said, drink it now and you may be rewarded. In any event, as much as I enjoy the style, I was worried by Stoneís interpretation as an on ne peut plus American brewer. The pour confirmed my suspicions, brooding as it looked, a perfect espresso facsimile, while the nose conjured a spiced stout. Caramel, chocolate-covered cherries, juicy pine hops, soap, cedar and cream, vanilla, black licorice, nutmeg and cinnamon. An interesting array of scents but inelegantly showcased and definitely unbelgian, yet we were off to a better start than I had expected. Nutmeg, gingerbread and cardamom form a spicy base for a deflagration of hops before reducing to a cola and soothing salted caramel aftertaste. Far from a Dubbel, by my taste, but not a bad brew though it wonít cure your hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
acertain (249) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 11, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A hint of ruby-brown light gets through this brew, under a moderate light tan head. Spicy aroma with fruits; similar phenolic yeast notes that I associate with wheat beers. Slight medicinal touch. In the mouth, itís bitter right off the bat, with the sweet/fruit/phenol flavors overlayed. Finishes the same way it started, with alcohol warming.
TheKegergator (241) - California, USA - FEB 3, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 26, 2007 This maybe the most original beer iíve tried. Man, where to start. This thing pours about as black can get. The smell is good and reminded me a little of the smell of a campfire. The taste was weird. I canít figure it our but it tasted like burnt caramel. The flavor was very strong also. The drinkability was ok. I had a hard time consistently taking swigs of it. I will let the other one i bought age and then re-review it.
Very big difference in this brew, or in my tastes. Smell is still great, and the flavor blended a little better. 3.3 to 3.8