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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

 (RETIRED)
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95
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RATINGS: 632   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics, and twists and turns as the adventure unfolds. This bottle-conditioned ale is chapter eleven. Now is the time to enjoy it in a “vertical” tasting side by side with its ten Stone Vertical Epic Ale brethren! Each one unique to its year of release. Each with its own “twist & turn” in the plot line. Each one released one year, one month and one day from the previous year’s edition. This year’s Stone Vertical Epic Ale is the very last one. Yep, this is it. The final chapter. Or as they say on the last slide in some old films: “Fin.” No worries though: this edition is particularly well-suited for prolonging the experience, as it’s as cellarable as any in the series, or more. In this, the final edition, you can expect a perfectly balance *womp* of spices: cinnamon, ginger, allspice, sweet orange peel, clove (only a little!) and rosehips, all in the context of a dark Belgian style abbey-ish beer…but not as sweet. Dry even. Stone style. Thanks for coming on this Epic Stone-style journey with us! You can rest assured there will be new adventures to come…


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Duhast500 (414) - Cumberland, Rhode Island, USA - AUG 27, 2014
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Harpoon snifter glass. The color is a dark black with a finger or two of foamy brownish/tan head that relaxes back into the darkness of this beer. The smell is a complete surprise. There is a nice belgian chocolate aroma that is top notch. Some great malt flavor in the nose that reminds me of peanut brittle and caramel. The taste is coffee and dark chocolate throughout and it hits the palate and pushes open the curtains and just walks right in. A big kick toward the end with a bit of a oak flavor that lets the chocolate and coffee bean ride on top. This beer does kick but it hides the boozy overtones with some well places flavors and a nice warm feel in the back that feels like a warm blanket on a cold night. There is some carbonation that lightens the heavier ABV and and is the glue that seems to hold everything in place.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
beer-yum (599) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - AUG 23, 2014
Huge body, brilliant balance, and massively complex make this an excellent beer. But it is missing that little ’something’ that makes an excellent beer great - and for that reason it’s a little disappointing.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Darkmagus82 (1828) - - AUG 21, 2014
Transfer from BA review on 1-1-13- Served on tap in a 10 oz tulip glass Appearance – Served a pitch black color with a one finger tan head. The head fades relatively quickly to leave a great level of lacing on the side of the glass. Smell- The aroma is heaviest of a roasted malt smell and aromas of clove and cinnamon. Mixed with this there is a light sweetness of some chocolate as well as a light citrus hop aroma. Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt flavor. As the taste advances further some sweet chocolate flavors come to the tongue. A coffee flavor and spice flavors of cinnamon and clove spice then develops in the taste, quickly following the fruit flavors. More toward the end, as the coffee and roast intensify some, a bitter hop flavor of a earthy and citrus nature comes to the tongue. These flavors, with a light alcohol flavor, create an odd bitter and roasted flavor to linger on the tongue. Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the average to slightly lower side for a 9% abv brew with a carbonation level that was rather average. The carbonation was good for keeping and making an easy drinking brew, although a slightly thicker body may have been nicer for the darker flavors. Overall – Not really what I was expected in something that is labeled as a Belgian strong dark. It is roastier and hoppier then I would expect. It wasn’t bad though as it did have quite nice transitions between a more initial roast, followed by a light sweet and spice and then finished with a hoppy flavor.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Travlr (13422) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 21, 2014
Draft on 12/12/12. Hazy brown color. Aroma of herbs and coffee grounds. Taste is a jumble of an off mix of herbs, plus some brown bread.

2.4
   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
Benzai (8986) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - AUG 19, 2014
Bottle shared with Ferris and Fonefan. Opaque black color, average sized brown head. Horrible herbal and spicy aroma. It reminds me of (Dutch) speculaas. Taste isn’t so bad, though I will never order another one. Mainly herbs and spices again, "speculaas", some roast, sweetish a bit as well as some bitter. Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ferris (5002) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 11, 2014
Bottle - Clove, cinnamon, dark sugar and chocolate. Jet black with a nice brown head. Chocolate and dark sugars, clove and a tasty bitterness at the finish. Tastes stronger than it tastes, which is good.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
LoFi (1595) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 4, 2014
Bottle, backlog. Dark, light brown head. Aroma: glögg and Christmas spices, pomerans, licorice. Taste: glögg spices, julmust, grapefruit, bitter, malty, fruity, syrup. Interesting to follow the VE series, but would probably not have this again if it was regularly available.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Joakgust (962) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUL 30, 2014
Bottle. Opaque black beer with a large beige head. Aroma is malty with notes of cloves, caramel spices and cola. Flavor is malty with notes of cloves, dried fruit and caramel. High potential, although at this point it isn’t really quite finished maturing.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Slipstream (2076) - USA - JUL 26, 2014
The last of the Vertical series? Damn! Well, I’m sure Stone will continue to entertain us with excellent surprise releases. This has a full, dark aroma - prune, petals, chocolate, and applesauce. This is pretty dry and hard to pin down in terms of style. It tastes smoky and chocolaty, with a little tobacco, prune, and espresso. This had a little of that rustic ale quality to it also. If I hadn’t seen the label, I would not have guessed it was a Stone. As it is, it is another fine one from them!

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
hman43 (410) - Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA - JUL 12, 2014
It pours black with a dark brown head that produces a fair amount of lacing. The cinnamon, ginger, and allspice are the first things that come through in the aroma. There is a sweet smell that is present it whiffs after that. It has a rich, yet dry flavor with the cinnamon and ginger producing a complex flavor with the allspice combination. There is also roasted malt that is present especially on the palate. Unlike many beers in this alcohol range, the alcohol is not over powering to the point where it effects the overall flavor and taste.


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