kepano (250) - 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
drainey (234) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 24, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours with a dark brown cloudy body and an off-white head. Aroma is sweet and bready, and the flavor follows suit. Alot of biscuits and molasses in the taste. Quite good, but not outstanding.
dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - JUL 19, 2006
2.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Aroma of bread, banana, yeast, cloves, and dried fruit. Appears a deep dark claret brown with a creamy tan head that mostly dissipates. Flavor is of burnt chocolate, with heavy cloves, and with an unpleasant bitter aftertaste - some rubbing alcohol. Palate is medium. Overall, I found this beer to be quite unpleasant. The flavor did not agree with me and it was quite a bit less than the sum of its parts.
winegarner (220) - san diego, California, USA - JUN 10, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Poured a dark brown to black with a lasting tan head and good lacing. Aroma is of chocolate and spice, most notably clove. Flavors are similar to what the aroma would lead you to, especially with an overpowering clove character. The clove really dominates the entire flavor profile from beginning to end. Some sweet roastiness and hop flavor try to compete. I must say that I am a little disappointed with this one.
lukin013 (215) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - SEP 10, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark brown color with medium tan head. Aroma is a bit of a potpourri... dark fruits, chocolate, spice, roastiness, caramel and butter. Flavor is not very well-balanced... the dark fruit flavors are very dominating. Sweetness is a little overwhelming. Interesting brew that should be even more interesting in a few years.
TPaliga (212) - Munster, Indiana, USA - JUN 26, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours dark brown with thin tan head. Aroma is belgian yeast and spices. Silght caramel aroma as well. Taste is much the same. Sweet toasty malt and spices. Palate is light and bubbly. Easier palate than the appearance would suggest. Finishes bitter and dry. Nice.
Tybalt (212) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JUN 30, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2006 Definitely one to try. Very complex with a lot of spice to it...but still very drinkable. Almost tastes like a Christmas ale or something with the clovey/pine kick they throw in, but it is still very good indeed.
ghostmonkey (204) - budd lake, New Jersey, USA - AUG 18, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle . . pours dark brown/black with a small brownish head that disapates . . aroma is dark, roasted malts, raisin, dry fruits, sweet . . flavor is smooth but you can taste the alcohol . . roasted malts deffiinetly shine through . . almost like biting into an unripe cherry . . slightly sweet and bitter cherry finish that ends clean . . not too bad . .