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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 651   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66   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 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
badgerben (4650) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JAN 10, 2013
Black color with a small head. Aroma of cinnamon, alspice and a bit of cardamom. Strong cinnamon flavor with moderate hits of alspice and cardamom. Lots of malt character. Light roastiness. Very dry, especially for the flavor profile.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BVery (8186) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - JAN 10, 2013
Tap at Muddy Pig. Dark pour with a creamy tan head. Lots of gingerbread and molasses in this, sweet and spicy. Delicious.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
nike (966) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 10, 2013
dark pour (wasn’t expecting black pour), aroma of spice, pine, hop slight malt. Flavors of lightly bitter, well balanced, medium to full body. Borders a light stout than a Belgian Strong Ale. Excellent brew, complex taste of spices, not as sweet as I thought it would be.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (6801) - Brier, Washington, USA - JAN 9, 2013
22. Pours black with a dense and creamy tan head. Sudsy, with lots of drippy lace. Big fresh roasty gingerbread molasses cookie nose--sweet, intense, and maybe a little overdone (i.e., ready to age). Creamy medium body with lively carb. Roast, caramel, toffee, ginger snaps, and molasses on the mid palate. Long dry powdery finish, like a peppery spiced cocoa mix that you swallowed a little of without any water. Not bad. Curious to see where this one lands in a couple years. Kinda reminiscent of some early OSAs, but bigger for sure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
IrishBoy (3967) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JAN 9, 2013
Bomber from GM Liquors. Nose is ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosehibs (which reaaly seem to stand out) and a little sweet candi sugar. Black with a medium, lightly lacing, cinnamon tan head. Flavor is light sweet cinnamon rolls with just a hint of bitter and coffee in the background.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ibrew2or3 (7565) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JAN 9, 2013
12oz bomber pours very dark with a lasting mocha colored head of foam. The aroma seems modest in strength offering up various winter spices as well as to a lesser extent malt and candi sugar like sweetness. Man! The taste is vibrant and bold with various spicy notes and Belgian candi sugar and then it turns into a mix of maybe ginger and cinnamon to midway. The brash spiciness seems like it will be off-putting but the sweetness and candi sugar sensation somehow manage to keep this thing from coming apart at the seams. At times it seems to be pushing me away but then it pulls me right back. I’m liking this.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Art (2412) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 9, 2013
Stone Vertical Tasting at Harris Grill On Draft Pours very dark with cinnamon and nutmeg. Alcohol and bitter taste. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
NikkTwist (2087) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 9, 2013
Draft at the Khyber. Opaque ruby black pour with a large foamy tan head. Runny lace. Tons of dark malt here. Motor oil. Tailpipe. Burnt coffee grounds. Kerosene. Cigarette ash. Wood stain. Shoe polish. Raisin pie. Black jelly beans. Medium body. Feels surprisingly juicy, though not at all creamy. Heady alcohol. Lingering bitter finish. An oily horrible, wonderful black hole.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
PapaSkeetSkeet (1002) - Providence, Rhode Island, USA - JAN 9, 2013
Dark brown, black, nice light brown head which fades. Aroma is spiced roast with relatively mild hopping (for a stone.) Flavor is in the same vein. It’s been a couple of days since I’ve had this, but I wanted to report my overall impression of its being fairly weak due to the spicing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 8, 2013
The pour is a very dark color with red highlights and a moderately full, tan, dense, frothy head which settles to a thin froth and leaves similar lace rings. The nose is like opening a baking spice rack; allspice, cinnamon, orange peel, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, etc., etc., some banana, and some toasty and spicy notes. The flavor is similar to begin with the nutmeg, toasted caramel, clove, toffee, but dry earthy, minerally notes dry out the flavor like eating dry spices; a bit hard to get used to for the style. The palate is decent for the beer despite the dryness; less than lively, more than moderate, velvety, and coating. The finish bone dry, still caramelly, dry spices, spicy cinnamon, and a rare lingering bitterness. I don’t know where to begin with this one, totally different from anything you will try in this style, but that is Stone’s thing. The spicing was overwhelming and over the top but only became overbearing by the dryness of the finish. Different and unusual but not Stone’s best work.

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