gorditoabd (629) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 2, 2013
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from Bev4Less. Not my first. Pours dark impy stout black, with a similar head profile, thin and reddish-brownish. Aroma is strong of spices and citrus rinds. Some dark malt and hop bitterness, but little enough in the nose. The taste is another story. Indeed, after several months this beer has found its balance. Top notch blend of all the flavors from the description. Only a little! clove goes a long way, but this is excellent overall. Solid, slick, oily mouthfeel, while still being dry and manageable.
AaronDaniel (35) - Connecticut, USA - JUL 2, 2013
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This edition of Vertical Epic pours dark black-brown with a fluffy tan head. The head goes the distance, for sure- displaying exquisite lacing!
The nose is crazy. Nutmeg, licorice, clove, allspice, and sugar cookies take center stage- almost drowning out the mellow cream and chocolate. This almost smells like egg nog. Weird.
Damn good. Roasted malts, molasses. up front; give way to caramel, nutmeg, cinnamon, sweet bread, and brown sugar. Hops add a scarce piney note in the finish that’s easily overwhelmed by the other Christmas flavors. Nutmeg, and soft brown sugar linger on the palate. Somehow, though, Stone manages to keep this brew from being overly sweet. It is phenomenally balanced! Now, I’m tasting cream soda? Every sip unravels another layer. to say this beer is complex is an understatement. This beer is knocking my socks off!
The mouthfeel is the best part. This beer’s nose and taste sound thick and syrupy. On the contrary, this concoction is light to medium weight, with subdued carbonation. This beer is actually very easy to drink!
Overall, this beer is awesome. I bought two bottles. I want to drink two bottles. But, my logical mind is telling me to age one of these. Stone claims that this is a "Belgian style abbey-ish beer". Personally, I’d call it a Belgian Style Stouty Brown Ale. Semantics aside, Stone Brewing knocked this one OUT OF THE PARK! If you are fortunate enough to see one of these bottles somewhere: BUY IT!
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 30, 2013
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
THOUGHTS: Wonderful and very Christmasy. Tons of spices but they never overpowered the huge malt base. I did not want this one to end. Hid alcohol incredibly well.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured an opaque black with an average, light brown head that mostly, but slowly diminished and left excellent lacing. The aroma had moderate caramel and chocolate syrup; hints of coffee; dark fruit; cinnamon, which maybe the strongest aroma; oranges; holiday spices; dark spice cake; and spiced cookies. The initial flavor was light to moderately sweet; while the finish was moderate to heavily sweet and lightly bitter with a long duration. There was caramel, chocolate syrup, holiday spices, oranges, dark fruit, dark spiced cake, spice cookies, chocolate and hints of coffee. The full body was creamy with soft but copious carbonation and a dry finish.
mabel (8014) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 28, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
[5136-20130222] 1pt6floz bottle. Spiced roasted wood malt and floral toffee aroma. Black body with a quick foamy light mocha head. Pepper cloves and roasted spices flavour has a dry finish. Full body. Interesting, but the spices are a little overpowering. (7/3/7-/3/14) 3.4
(c/o blankboy, w/ him, GregClow, HogTownHarry, jerc)
Overheard: "You’re the unfriendly one... Why are you smelling my finger?"
Frozer (240) - Illinois, USA - JUN 26, 2013
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Spices galore! Huge bouquet of spice aromas. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of black licorice. Drank in the middle of summer but would be more fitting for winter. Appearance is black with dark thick head. Very Malty. Very light hops in the background. A one of a kind brew!
zoucrew102 (1203) - - JUN 22, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber. Very spicy aroma with a multitude of spices including nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and being the most notable. Pours black with a thin brown head. Taste is strong dark fruit and finishes with all of the above spices but they all balance very well. Drank in June, but really more of a holiday beer. Good regardless.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
wildbeercat (354) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 18, 2013
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
22 fl oz / 650mL bottle into a Samuel Adams glass. Served cool.
Aroma: Oh wow. Nutmeg. Cloves. All kinds of spice!! Unlike anything else, and exceptionally pleasant.
Appearance: Beautiful thick black body. Opaque. Handsome dark brown, frothy, foamy head. Beautiful, beautiful lacing.
Taste: Oh my god. Nutmeg, cinnamon, roasty malt, cloves... There is nothing else like this that I’ve ever had.
Palate: Rich, full, creamy. Coats. Definitely a warming ale.
Overall: This is easily in my Top 5 all-time beers. If you can find it, buy every bottle available and age some up. I can’t wait to see how this will do in six months / a year. Perfect brew. Beer gods bless you, Stone.
ebrodeur (8) - California, USA - JUN 17, 2013 does not count
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A fine way to end the series although not my favorite. Spices are well balanced and flavorful with taking away from the underlying palette.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
italianjohn (2778) - Penndel, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 14, 2013
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black pour with a nice layer of khaki head .... aroma of ginger, clove, allspice and cinnamon ... taste is intense and of ginger (womp is right), cinnamon, allspice and clove .... has a slight fruity yeast and orange to it, but it is a spice bomb ... has a lingering spice and dry light bitter bite .... abv hidden well .... Christmas in June I suppose
teorn88 (5743) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 13, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Opaque, dark, dark brown with a bubbly tan head and excellent lace. Dark fruit aromas dominate, accompanied by alcohol, Belgian yeasts, spices and chocolate. Flavors are similar, and feature a chewy bready malt sweetness, dark chocolate, spices and ripe plums. Medium body, tons of carbonation, soft and warming alcohol, and a pleasant fruit sweetness in the finish.