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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 666   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JaBier (6892) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - JAN 4, 2013
On tap at Market Garden on 12/30/12. Pitch black pour with a medium tan head. Aroma of ginger, cinnamon, malt, slight roast and Belgian esters. Malty flavor with notes of ginger, caramel, anise and toffee before a roasty finish. Pretty nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
angrypirate06 (1388) - Texas, USA - JAN 4, 2013
Draught. Black pour. Aroma is all over the place: ginger, clove, maple, pancakes, Christmas, potpourri. Flavor is ginger, clove, cinnamon, with a huge roast on the end and too much bitterness for all the spice. Thick mouthfeel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
falco242 (373) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 3, 2013
Poura a really dark, almost black color from the bottle with a dark coffee head. Really nice aroma of some Belgian yeast, nutmeg and cinnamon and spice and a bit of sweetness to the nose too. Flavor is spiced and malt and a touch wheaty. Ends a bit bitter which isn?t my favorite, but it?s good overall.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
quiznoaz (309) - Arizona, USA - JAN 2, 2013
Dark oily pour, looks like a stout. The aroma is light, with some malt and sweetness. Nice taste of sweet bourbon and chocolate without being cloying, balanced by a nice bitterness that continues for a while.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
vtafro (6554) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - JAN 2, 2013
Draft. Dark to black pour with brown head. Ginger, cinnamon and licorice aromas dominate. Dark malts with very different spices and malty after taste.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
Ernest (7285) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 2, 2013
Bottle. 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
dnstone (2614) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JAN 2, 2013
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Friendly_Rob (24) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - JAN 2, 2013
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!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
mansquito (5207) - Nueva York, New York, USA - JAN 2, 2013
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
jdohse (6) - Bettendorf, Iowa, USA - JAN 2, 2013 does not count
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.

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