bp (810) - Queens, New York, USA - DEC 10, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: pours dark brown with a thin head, aroma of spices and candied sugar, taste is spicy, dry finish.
maley1 (807) - calgary, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 13, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark clear copper pour with beige head, quickly dissipating. Aroma of dark fruit, spices, cinnamon, honey and yeast. Taste of caramel, malts, yeast, dark fruit, cinnamon, iced tea and faint chili heat on the finish. Full bodied, nice carbonation, long hop syrupy finish. Tasty and interesting but became cloying by the end of the bottle.
pilgrimoutlaw (796) - Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 30, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at TJ’s. Pours reddish brown with thin tan head. Flavors of chile, caramel, cinnamon. Spicy and sweet. Medium, malty body. Not bad, but the spice was a bit over the top.
KajII (783) - Macon, North Carolina, USA - OCT 2, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz Bottle. The pour was a murky dark amber brown with a large (2-3 finger) light brown foamy head that reduced to a few puddles and a large collar with good sticky lacing.
The aroma was of roasted caramel malts and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of chocolate, toffee, cinnamon, chili’s, dried fruit (raisons and figs) and a mild alcohol tinge.
The taste was malty sweet and a bit acidic with a note of caramel and a touch of cinnamon and chocolate early on, and then progressed with a seriously bold maltiness that had hints of toffee, dried fruit and a light spicy alcohol finish. The flavor lasted for a good long while with a slightly spicy sweet warming sensation, which hit you right in the back of the throat.
Mouthfeel was a solid medium in body and dry in texture with a somewhat mild carbonation.
Overall this was a very interesting brew, lots of complexity with the flavors in this one. That being said, they all seemed to work extremely well together, making this a very enjoyable drinking experience...
jcweaver (768) - VA Beach, Virginia, USA - NOV 27, 2011
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Bottle. Pours copper with a large beige head. Aroma of funk with a hint of pepper. Flavors of caramel malts, artificial sweetener, syrup, a funky yeast flavor and peppers starting in the middle to the end. Don’t taste the cinnamon. Overall the flavors combine to give the beer a taste similar to dirt. Not good.
thetmaxx (752) - West Sacramento, California, USA - NOV 20, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from the bomber. Aroma is awesome, almost like a Lagunitas with the dark fruits. Flavor is bitter up front also has the fruity flavors. Overall, wow I think I need to buy a few more!
Rando7 (750) - Iowa, USA - FEB 8, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle pours reddish brown with brief beige head. Aroma mainly dark fruits and banana. Taste interesting combination of sweet caramel, Belgian yeast, dark fruits, banana, pepper, spices. Palate thick and near-sticky with a nice tingle from the chiles and alcohol. Finish prolonged with dull bitter hops - not too strong but not particularly pleasant. Alcohol apparent.
BillWyce (745) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 30, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
From notes: Poured hazy red-amber with a 1 1/2 finger light tan head. Complex aroma-mild chili pepper with light notes of cinnamon and smoke, maybe some clove too. Medium-thick with a light mouthfeel and a very slight lingering oilyness, likely from the pepper. Light spice flavor with a sweet note, maybe malt. Mild notes of chili and smoke bloom in the finish and linger nicely on the tongue with a mild piney hop note as well. As it warms, the chili and spice become more subtle and the hops move to the fore.
Vells (744) - Riga, LATVIA - SEP 13, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Interesting brew. Decent malty background, caramel with quite intense spiciness, quite herbal, dried fruits, bit wood. Sweet all the way with light bitterness. Feels bit messy, but pleasant and enjoyable
J_man (734) - Tustin, California, USA - NOV 10, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a crystal clear medium amber with a slight ruby tinge and light tan head. The aroma has a candy sweetness to it with some grassy, vegetal notes and an alcoholic fullness. My first impression of the taste is that it’s a holiday/Christmas beer due to the malty sweetness combined with a spicy, herbal flavor. There’s some milk and bittersweet chocolate flavors as well as vanilla combined with a light vegetal, herb flavor with a slight spicy/peppery kick. There’s a dry, earthy/woody bitterness underlying this along with a somewhat farmhouse style Saison yeastiness. The herbal/yeast flavors remind me a bit of the flavors in the Stone collaboration ale Saison du Buff (another excellent beer). Washes out with a nice alcohol bite while leaving a little of both the vanilla sweetness and the vegetal bitterness behind. I don’t think this was necessarily intended to be a "holiday beer", but it makes an excellent one regardless. The Vertical Epic series has produced some great beers and this ranks high on that list.