mjg74 (2458) - La Mesa, California, USA - NOV 10, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bomber from Bevmo. Nose is yeasty with a bit of an earthy rootbeer type of aroma. Maybe a slight hint of chili, but only because I knew it was there. Deep clear amber in color. Smooth mouthfeel. Sweet and malty up front. Decent yeast character. Finish is kind of odd. Some grapefruit peel and maybe some chili.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 9, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. transparent deep burnt amber. Thick dark cream colored head. Nose as a creamy element to it and I smell the chile, I think...the cinnamon, not so sure of...but certainly some sort of spice and a toned down belgian yeast character too, luckily not as robust as the yeast profile in the nose of previous vertical epic beers...just some subtle banana coming through from that at this point. Flavors are a bit more yeasty though...and the yeast seems to drive most of what’s going on here, as is expected with these beers. I think i get a little of the capsicum heat from the chiles too but unfortunately, I can’t seem to get any of their flavor as the yeast overpowers it. In fact, this might have a good amount of capsicum heat to it, not sure, i had a little chili before hand and not sure if that heat is from that or this beer....im thinking it’s from the beer. This is actually pretty tame and straight forward and I think had they used a non-belgian yeast strain in this beer that it could possibly be quite a successful chile beer...and im not even saying it clashing with the yeast, its just hard to get a clear cut view of the chile presence with a yeast strain that tends to be quite forward with it’s flavor profile. Not too shabby though really and certainly better than the majority of vertical epic beers to date. Good thing there’s only one more; then they can do something like a vertical epic series of imperial stouts with different barrels or different chilies or something that isn’t belgian.
BOLTZ7555 (2656) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - NOV 9, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark crimson, garnet, chestnut, and ruby red pour with a 1/2 inch eggshell head. Only a dot or two dispersed inside the glass. Mild, quite subtle aroma with caramel, malt, and perhaps a touch of chili. Flavor shows a hint of burn in the back of the throat, pinch of pepper, but otherwise nothing distinct or unique to pick out. Very average. Not sure why I expect more from this series as most are epic failures!
Hophead22 (2880) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - NOV 9, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at Eureka Burger. Rating #3. Dark amber red pour. Nice aroma, dark fruits were prominent. Rich fruity flavor, slight belgian thing going on. Very enjoyable. (1986)
BadAprilia1000 (192) - Sevierville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 9, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Stone comes to surprise me every year with the vertical epic. Last year’s Belgian Strong was fantastic and this year’s does not disappoint, This beer has a nice nose. Smells of booze typical of a belgian strong. Nose is very strong cant pick out all that’s going on. Flavor in this beer is huge as well. Nice Sweet booze note followed by a nice spicy cinnamon. I imagine the spice comes from the chilies. Good beer will rate agin after i have had a few more.
BMan1113VR (7773) - Los Angeles, California, USA - NOV 9, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours with a clear amber to lightly red hued body with a small, off-white head. Decent retention, but a ring of bubbles is always constant. Okay lace. Aromas are earthy, light banana/bubblegum esters, slight nasal burn, vegital, pepper, alcohol and a bit of caramel. Really a lot of green/vegital/chlorophyll notes. A hint of cinnamon and lightly bready as it warms. Flavors are bit different. Some initial maltiness, caramel and a bit of alcohol richness (maybe more than a bit of alcohol, but it comes across as a richness instead of a harsh fusel), bitter, very mild heat towards the finish. Noticeable banana esters, but minimal yeast phenolics. On that note, it is a bit earthy and peppery, but not in a yeast based way. Vanilla and cinnamon. Pretty bitter overall although the alcohol helps ensure a neutral balance. A touch chalky. Medium bubbles, medium to full bodied, a touch of pepper heat and a bit of alcohol warming on the palate. Different, but the flavors come together pretty well overall. Unique and well done.