StefanSD (1990) - Lakeside, California, USA - NOV 12, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
650 ml bottle from Bev4less. Pours a medium amber-brown color with a beige head that slowly recedes to film. The aroma is moderately funky with Belgian yeasts, sweet roasty malts and mild peppers. The flavor is definitely highlighted by the chili peppers, they are distinct, but not particularly strong, however they make it hard for me to pick out any other flavors. The palate is full and smooth with soft carbonation. Finishes medium in duration with lingering spices. Overall: Very tasty ale, one of the better examples of an ale made with chilis. This is not for everyone, but I really dug it. Paired well with a summer sausage sandwich and kettle chips.
badlizard (5540) - Berkeley, California, USA - NOV 12, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Clear golden to light orange with a short lived fizzy head. Strong chili pepper aroma with some fruit notes lingering in the background. Tastes of caramel lime and chili pepper with a bit of warmth to the finish.
tomciccateri (979) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - NOV 12, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2012 On draught at OíNeillís on 12 Nov 11. Pours a clear and impressive deep dark amber with lasting tan head. Medium to full body. Rich malty flavors with subtle spices and a slight warming note. A bit filing but nice cold weather sipping beer. 11/12/2011
On draught at OíNeillís Stone Beer Dinner. Pours a dark amber with a white head. Full-bodied. Even match between chile and slightly dry malty flavors. Late bump from chile heat. Belgian yeast character comes out when paired with clam chowder. Cinnamon spice not pronounced.
Suttree (4874) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 12, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Drank on 11/11/11, because, well, because it seemed like the right thing to do. Clear brownish copper, decent sized beigish head. Sure enough, it smells like cinnamon and pepper. Flaovr has the cinnamon, but I canít really pick out any peppery notes. I do get some molasses, though. As it warms, some pepper comes out. Dry, woody finish.
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 12, 2011
3.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle from Midtown. Pours a nice copper amber with a dissipating beige head. Aroma of banana esters and candy red hots. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Flavor of belgian malts (chocolate, amber), but the chilies and cinnamon are pretty dominant, and blended well. Warming and very phenolic finish, heavy on clove and mustiness. The problem here is that the yeast strain, malts, and spices are not harmonious. Maybe a non Belgian yeast strain would tie everything together, but this beer is a perfect example that some things just donít mix. An odd, but not enjoyable beer. Worst of the series by far
5000 (5984) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 11, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle:   Somewhat of a rusty hued deep caramel, fiery, moderate to thin sudsy off-white head, sparce lacing.   Interesting spiced nose, minor heat.   I had to look at the bottle to figure out this one.   It makes sense, cinnamon chili aroma, and flavor.   Somewhat of an odd duck, but its one you cannot put down.   You keep sipping it to see just what the heck it is you are drinking.   Otherwise I would say its an herbal sort of shrubby aroma and flavor, like high mountain low lying shrubs.   The 9.4% abv is well hidden, despite the warming.   Backside has some earthy/soily notes.   I really wished this one had more fruity sweetness to it, instead its a weird mix of spices.   Well put together, but not one I would have again.
dwyerpg (4306) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - NOV 11, 2011
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A funky aroma of wild yeast and chilies. This is quite strange. Lots of flavors battling here. Not really hot or spicy, which is good, a somewhat sticky caramel mixed with chili and the cinnamon. Crazy. Should be a Belgian Strong though.
RedSox2004 (1100) - Pacific Palisades, California, USA - NOV 11, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Reddish amber, one-finger cream colored head and excellent lace. Dark fruit, like black cherry form the foundation of the aroma, accompanied by brown sugar, spices, yeast, and hints of cinnamon and the chilis. Flavors were more Belgian in character, with dark fruit and bread notes leading the way in front of a background of bubblegum, cinnamon, clove, yeast and warming alcohol.medium to full body, mild carbonation, creamy smooth mouthfeel, and a wonderful dark fruit finish.
JoeTheYounger (1122) - Claremont, California, USA - NOV 11, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle consumed on 11/11/11 moFO. clear ruby pour with nice white head. Very pretty beer. Aroma has some Belgian presence with some cloves, spicy fruit esters and a touch of cinnamon. Taste is sweet at first then i get a hint if chilies with a little bit of cinnamon and a mid bitterness. Lots going on here....very unique but couldnít drink it alot.
poisoneddwarf (1600) - Rathdrum, Idaho, USA - NOV 11, 2011
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2012 Bomber. Pours a beautiful almost ruby red with a medium beige head with good retention; leaves a little lace. The Belgian yeast imparts banana, bubblegum and clove in the nose; itís also a bit nutty with dark fruit and the cinnamon is prominent. The taste is a flavor-explosion of pure beer goodness. Itís meaty and sweet at first before a medium-level bitterness takes over. The cinnamon is high in the mix but itís not overbearing. I donít taste anything resembling a chili in here, but Iím not exactly sure what an Anaheim chili tastes like. This might be the best Vertical Epic yet. Itís definitely interesting. Addendum: the chilies made themselves known in the second glass, making a great beer even better.
12/22/12 re-rate: Pours hazy amber with a medium beige head with good retention and lace. Aroma is initially doughy; chilies (like the diced green ones you can find in a can) come out after sitting about a minute. Taste is sweet and spicy with a nice green chile flavor. Iím getting the feeling these Vertical beers are better after aging about a year or less; after that, the oxidation sets in and they depreciate. The more recent the vintage the better these beers seem to be. 8/4/8/5/19 = 4.4