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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 669   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66/5   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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…

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GlassBrass440 (315) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - MAR 17, 2015
Savory aroma of spices (cinnamon & ginger), Worcestershire sauce, and dark fruits. Flavor of dark fruits and spices. More generic than in the aroma. Bitterness is quite restrained but that doesn’t mean the sweetness gets out of hand. Well balanced throughout.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Stuu666 (10855) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 5, 2015
Bottle at home. Pours deep brown, lots of spice, aniseed and liquorice, bit too much alcohol.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Svesse (7930) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - FEB 6, 2015
(Bottle) Black colour with frothy, pale brown head. Roasted, spicy nose with notes of black rye bread, dark bitter chocolate, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, hints of bay leaf, pine needles and some orange peel. Malty, roasted taste with dark chocolate, black coffee, pine needles, black rye bread, juniper berries, spices (cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) and a generous spicy bitterness in the finish. Full body, fairly dry. Very spicy, possibly not in perfect balance, but very tasty and very nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
charule (2178) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 1, 2015
Bottle from back in the day. Poured black with tan head. Aroma rich dark fruit licorice. Light carb med bod. Light bitter choc light fruit. Better then I thought

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
scoth (667) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 27, 2015
Pours inky dark brown with a thin tan head, very fine lacing, moderate retention. Spicy aroma, allspiece, ginger, clove, toast, chocolate, oak, and grass. Medium full body, low carbonation. Lightly sweet, a hint of citrus, gentle bitter finish with some lingering spicy flavors. Too over-spiced in my opinion.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Matt_Foran (96) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JAN 19, 2015
Amazing aroma right off the bat of malty, chocolate, pine. Pours black with a tan head. On the first taste, you can pick up the malts, chocolate flavors from the nose. Lingers for a bit on the nose. Very fantastic beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
wedgie9 (2638) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 16, 2015
From notes. Tasted on 12/12/12 from a capped 22oz bottle with Curtis, and the Nashville crew. Pours almost completely black with an average brown head that leaves thin lace. The nose is malty chocolate with plenty of cardamom, vanilla, baking spices, and cocoa nibs. The flavor is malty and sweet with chocolate and vanilla up front, moving to some cocoa nib bitterness, with the cardamom and baking spices really dominating. The body is full with average carbonation and a long bitter baking spice and roasted finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
williamstome (1709) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 21, 2014
Beautiful black pour, brown head. Holy shit, the nose. Aroma of prunes, chocolate, spices, yeast, mint and ginger snaps. Flavor of ginger snaps, prunes, dark fruit, roastiness, chocolate and alcohol, with a big minty start and a spicy finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
andrewje41 (2951) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - DEC 14, 2014
22 Oz bottle pour shared. What a great way to end a work day. Pours black with a swirly tan head. Really nice holiday like spices aroma. Nutmeg and cinnamon, with no doubt. Flavor is consistent with the aroma. Very easy drinking spice flavor with a bit of raisin as well. So delicious. Loved it.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jgb9348 (5717) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - DEC 1, 2014
Deep, super dark brown coloured body with a very rich, luscious deep brown head, only about a centimetre tall, all with a faint violet and deep brown glow - very nice looking. Aroma of alcohol, spice, cinnamon, canella, nutmeg, cardamom, roasted malt, yeast and coffee - very nice also. Full-bodied; Super rich flavour of roasted malt, alcohol, caramel, earth, prunes, pine, spruce, chocolate, yeast and then a bunch of light spice notes hit the end - very nice indeed. Aftertaste shows a bunch of sugars with chocolate and raisins hitting hard and a good robust yeast and malt profile to finish out the beer - this is nice and well-rounded. Overall, I’m usually not a proponent to Stone and their million Imperial IPAs, but this is truly a great beer - rich, assertive, complex and rarely - not a hop-centric beer. Without a label, you’d think it’s another brewing company, but this is well worth finding if you can still get it - a great product! I sampled this 65 cL bottle purchased from Half Time in Poughkeepsie, New York on 26-December-2012 for US$8,99 sampled at home in Washington to celebrate running a marathon yesterday in Maryland on 30-November-2014.

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