Ernest (6516) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 2, 2013
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly lasting.
Body is dark brown to black.
Aroma is moderately malty (cocoa powder, roasted grain), with a strong notes of nutmeg and clove, other notes of dirt/dishrag, plastic / Silly Putty, peppermint.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately to heavily bitter, unclean.
Medium to full body, creamy/syrupy texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic.
And we come to the end at last. I can say I’ve tried every single year, and sadly it’s been a mostly disappointing journey, with a few bright spots early in the run but with most vintages (especially in the latter half of the series) scoring in the 2s for me. Alas, this is one of the latter examples. Wayyyyy overspiced with some dirty/off notes. Very unpleasant aftertaste that’s likely caused primarily by the overdone spices. Might have been an ok brew if they had used about 1/3 the amount of spicing.
dnstone (2301) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JAN 2, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Ours a black-brown with nice tan head. Aroma is spiced like a holiday drink with some roastiness and sweet fruit underneath, like chocolate cherries. Starts like a winter-spiced stout then finishes with a Belgian double...a nice mix....best described as a Belgian strong stout with holiday spices.
Friendly_Rob (24) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - JAN 2, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
70 cl bottle @ home, imported by a friend from California. Thanks Dave! It says this is a Belgium Ale, but I would more consider this as a Stout. Indeed very complex, lots of different taste like licorice and cinnamon. Not what I expected!
mansquito (3873) - Nueva York, New York, USA - JAN 2, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Spitzer’s Corner, NY tap ($9): Pours black with a light brown head. Aroma is licorice, chocolate, cinnamon, and a bunch of other spices, along with roasted malts, etc... etc... (basically, they just threw every flavour they could into this beer). Beer taste is a wee bit sweet, with light licorice (anise), and a hefty backbone of roasty maltiness. It be plenty complex, sure. I don’t think that it is unbalanced either, but it ain’t really my cup of tea.
jdohse (6) - Bettendorf, Iowa, USA - JAN 2, 2013 does not count
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Brownish, Black pour with brown frothy head. This beer was heavy as hell and had too much going on for me. Loaded with spices and nutty flavors. just not my cup of tea.
BeerandBlues2 (10447) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 1, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pours opaque black with a large, frothy and pillowy tan head, long retention with excellent lacing. Aroma is clove, star anise, nutmeg, and cinnamon spices with chocolate and roast malt with light licorice notes. Flavor is heavy spices with moderate dark malt and fruity esters, light hops and medium bitterness with a sweet finish. Medium body and carbonation.
RSRIZZO (1873) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - DEC 31, 2012
1.4 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 4/20
22oz bottle poured into a Trappist glass at 38°. Color is black with light carbonation and a small tight brown head. Aroma is Christmas spice with notes of ginger, allspice and dish soap. It has a medium body with a rich and sharp mouth feel. Flavor is a big punch of clove, nutmeg and ginger covered in cinnamon then an old stale apple taste shows. After taste is dry with the stale apple and cinnamon clinging on like tar. Overall this thing just sucks, one of the worst brews I have ever had. What a sad over spiced mess for the last Vertical Epic.
bookman10 (703) - Osseo, Minnesota, USA - DEC 31, 2012
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a darkish, oily brown with little head. Various spices are present in the aroma--the clove, allspice, the ginger. Flavor is a complex brew of spices: the orange peel is quite noticeable, as are the ginger, cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Rather light and thin in the mouth, with a bitter finish.
drowland (6576) - Georgia, USA - DEC 31, 2012
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12/31/12. 22oz bomber from Grassroots Natural Market. Rich deep dark brown pour with a small brown head that fades to a ring but laces well. Huge kick of spices in the aroma dominated by cinnamon and all those other garbage pumpkin beer spices, but with a surprising dose of flowers. Lightly sweet caramel and molasses flavor with another truckload of spices and again that crazy floral aspect I really wasn’t expecting. That part is cool but otherwise mehhhh.
johno (185) - Galveston, Texas, USA - DEC 31, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark, viscous pour. Rich aroma just redolent of a spice rack, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, etc... creamy, complex, but I find the spice character overwhelms the malt, especially on the finish, needs more balance.