KajII (799) - 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...
BillWyce (792) - 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.
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.
Rando7 (766) - 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.
thetmaxx (765) - 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!
kdm1984 (762) - Missouri, USA - MAR 31, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours to a reddish orange hue - head is not enormous, but lots of lacing is left as it evaporates - more than typical. Smell is phenolic and fruity, as one might expect from a Belgian Strong. Heavy-bodied with orange fruit, yeast, chile spice, a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, and noticeable alcohol kick at the end with a tinge of bitterness and malts. Solid, but not outstanding, example of the style. A worthy attempt by Stone, but not at the level of Chimay. Too much alcohol burn at the end, and a bit over-bodied at the start, but the complexity in the middle makes it recommendable at any rate - certainly not faulted for lacking flavor!
J_man (760) - 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.
ddemmingjr (744) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - NOV 23, 2011
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Excited to give this a try. pours clear amber, off white head that fades quickly. Clove, banana, typical Tripel nose with Belgian yeast and then that distinctive additional cinnamon, spicy chili vegetable notes on the nose. bready malts, esters, spiciness that is unique. medium carbonation, syrupy texture and stickiness on the lips. dry, astringent long finish. interesting but not my thing.
Macegan75 (732) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2012
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at Damico’s for the Veritcal Epic Series.Pours a medium to light brown with very little aroma. nose is mild with cider like aldehydes and a boozy quality. First sip is malty notexs with chili pepper and sweet aldehydes. finish is nice with tangy flavors.
high_on_hops (730) - Burlingame, California, USA - NOV 14, 2013
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a hazy reddish brown with an off white head and lacing. It has a nice aroma of chiles, cinnamon, raisin and other dark fruit notes. The flavor is spicy chiles and sweet malt up front leading to a spicy sweet finish over a medium body.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone