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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 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
BeerandBlues2 (12051) - Escondido, California, USA - JAN 1, 2013
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.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 4/20
RSRIZZO (1940) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - DEC 31, 2012
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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
bookman10 (926) - Osseo, Minnesota, USA - DEC 31, 2012
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
drowland (7881) - Georgia, USA - DEC 31, 2012
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
johno (185) - Galveston, Texas, USA - DEC 31, 2012
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nickls (2357) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Tap. Dark fan cap of head, dark mahogany body. Nutmeg, allspice, some chocolate, and somedark fruit. Nice nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, chocolate, roasty bits as well with a drying finish. Medium body with tight carbonation and a little creamy. Solid.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
egajdzis (6067) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Dark brown, mahogany color with a small, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, cinnamon, all spice, ginger, cocoa, and light alcohol. Taste of roasted malts, lightly burnt, dark chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and ginger.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopdog (11274) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2012
22oz bottle. Had this during a full 020202 - 121212 vertical. Poured a black color with an off white head. Dark fruits, spices, ginger, citrus, and fruity.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
reggiedunlop (3649) - The dub c, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Pours deep brown/black with a medium mocha head. Aroma has a mild clovey/allspice note but is very faint. Flavor has some burnt/roasty malt notes and lots of spice...allspice, clove, cinnamon, a hint of anise...faint tobacco. Mouthfeel is full and the finish is spicy with a hint of sweetness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Truth be told, I’ve begun to feel like buying Stone Anniversary or Vertical Epic ales is more of an obligation than something to look forward to. Thus, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that the final VE beer is pretty awesome. I didn’t expect it to pour black from the bottle, and although the nose put me off at first (lots of spice--cinnamon, clove, orange peel, lemongrass, rose notes), the parts come together nicely in the whole, tied together well with a chocolatey non-hop-bomb. Taste comes together like a dark saison, and the palate is quite dry like the style. Solid malt backbone. Lovely.

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