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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 647   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 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
craftbeerdesign (2249) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 29, 2012
shared bomber. pours black with little head. spice filled nose. med body with more spices, dark malts and a light citrus bitterness. chocolate malt finish with some lingering spice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Wittales (715) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Appearance was clear deep brown with creamy tan tiny diminishing head, no lacing. Aromas are spices ie. clove, nutmeg, vanilla, cinamain, sweet roasted chocolate, coffee malts, no alcohol present. Taste are sweet cocao, coffee, toffee malts with candi shinning through. Spices are present like winter brews are, all spice, nutmeg, cin, clove are slightly coming to play.Palate was soft smooth CO2 with meduim-full body, then lasting dryish spicey finish. Like stoutish and winter combine.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Markm2151 (280) - toledo, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Banana, cherry, and bubblegum on the aroma and palate. Instense aroma. Tan fizzy, creamy head. Well balanced.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BBB63 (6442) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Bottle and served in my Stone IRS Snifter: Pours basically black with an initial huge tan head that left outstanding lacework upon the glassware. The nose strikes out with massive spice overtones of cinnamon, clove, ginger, allspice and orange zest along with the backing chocolate and walnut bread notes. Some black tea and charred smoked bacon too. Minimal hop character which would have helped IMO.

The taste is smothered sweet malts with lot of holidaze spices. The ginger really kicks it into high gear. Again, it does need more hop and espresso like bitterness for balance, nearly cloy. I can not escape the Earl Gray tea character this beer has, I like that! Some charred notes as well. The mouth feel is sticky and lush but has a dry almost thin finish. Bizarre and unique but not something I would really want more than a glass of... what to do with the rest of bomber... maybe some chocolate ice cream?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DYCSoccer17 (3490) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 29, 2012
22 ounce bottle purchased from Nugget in West Sacramento. The aroma on this is bizarre. I get some significant lime in the nose. I also get a little bit of a chile peppery aroma, too. Floral notes are also there, with a slight, underlying roasty and chocolate maltiness. Bizarre aroma. Gorgeous beer. Opaque black body with a large, creamy, brown head. Good retention. Starts super sweet and milky, with a ton of chocolate creamy flavors in the middle. Quite sweet, and sticky, full body in the middle. Finishes with a dash of chile pepper flavor, and light spiciness. Light floral flavors come through late. This is a really thick, sweet, decadent beer. Unfortunately, it is a bit all over the place, and not overly enjoyable

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jbruner (2939) - Athens, Georgia, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Pours an opaque black on tap with a bubbly tan head that dissipates to leave light lacing; looks like a stout with more carbonation. Aroma Aroma of roasted malts, belgian yeast, and spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, allpsice, and clove. Taste follows, with the belgian up front, followed by a cinnamon and ginger middle, then a serious nutmeg and allspice ending that last for a good long time. Complex, interesting, awesome; can’t wait to try the one I have cellaring.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
lukemundy (33) - California, USA - DEC 28, 2012
Bomber into a snifter. Pours a deep, dark brown with espresso lacing. Aroma is heavy on clove and cinnamon with some fruitiness. The flavor is more of the same with the clove really over pouring everything through the finish. Even Stone says its a beer to be aged. I'd like to revisit this in a year or two!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
dcschiller (2207) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - DEC 28, 2012
22oz bottle. Pours near black with a creamy, espresso head. This is much darker than I expected and smells more like a pumpkin porter. Aroma is very much dominated by the spices. Taste is semi-sweet with a bit of roast and bitterness. Finish is dry. This is one I’d be interested in trying with some age because the spices are a bit too agressive for me. Not bad though.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jhgrantjr (456) - Tennessee, USA - DEC 28, 2012
Poured from a 22oz bottle. Surprised me with the deep, dark brown pour and the (almost) two finger tan head. Immediately the aroma hit me while pouring the beer: spices. Brought back memories of my wife boiling spices on the stove during the holidays. Wasn’t expecting this strong of an aroma from Stone. Clear smell of cinnamon and brown sugar, but the dominant smell is Allspice. I love that smell, so I really like this aroma. Taste is sweet, but I don’t get a clear flavor. Maybe its the mix of spices. Full body, but the alcohol is well-hidden. I like this offering from Stone. Very unique and appropriate for the December release.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Pawola22 (3262) - Plainfield, Illinois, USA - DEC 28, 2012
22oz bottle from Binny’s Lakeview. Pours a very deep brown colored body with a finger-width, creamy and frothy, dark brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing. Aroma is well spiced and floral with nutmeg, cinnamon, and touches of clove with some orange peel and flower petals. A bit of a ginger-bread sweetness with some plum notes, Belgian yeast, caramel, and chocolate. Flavor is similar, but a bit jumbled. Lots of spices with plenty of orange peel and cinnamon as well as some nutmeg and clove. Sweet ginger-bread with lots of plummy chocolates, caramel, and Belgian yeast. Clove really picks it up at the end as this finishes dry and heavily spiced with some ginger-bread sweetness before leaving a lengthy aftertaste. Medium-full body and a soft, medium-light carbonation. Overall, this wasn’t terrible, but it was pretty heavily spiced and somewhat sloppy at times. I was hoping for better. Maybe once the intense spices die out a bit, this will be more enjoyable.

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