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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

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95
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RATINGS: 611   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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…


3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BOLTZ7555 (2780) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - DEC 22, 2012
Final chapter...thank God. Truly amazing concept, just not incredibly executed. This one tries too hard to be interesting. Obsidian pour with a khaki head. Lots of spice...lots. Ginger, evergreen, cinnamon, clove, menthol, chocolate, mint, brownie, citrus, and yeast. Does that seem overwhelming? If not, I can add a few more adjectives. Muddled, busy, aggressive. This might have been solid if one of the first in the series. Time would have tamed. To close it out, not so much. Love the brewery, I really do. Unfortunately, this is a miss.

2
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
wnoble (1251) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 22, 2012
Black, nose is cinnamon, ginger, clove, some floral notes mixed in and some sweet malty sugar aroma. Flavor is cloves, gingerbread, spice, cinnamon, sugars, mild coffee. Full body, rich and medium heavy bitterness. This was just an over the top spice bomb. Drainpour.

2.5
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
sjohnny (367) - - DEC 22, 2012
Dried fruit and cinnamon aroma. Very dark almost black with tan head. Lots of lacing. Dates, cinnamon and bitter chocolate. A little bit of pine in the finish.

3.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
BadAprilia1000 (259) - Sevierville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 22, 2012
Pours a dark dark reddish tint and although others mentioned a thick head we ended up with at thin, watery head. Aroma is very complex and interesting, notes of all sorts of spices starting at a warm cinnamon which turns into allspice and ginger with an odd bitter. The allspice is the most noticable of the spices. Taste is similar to the aroma, very hard to pick apart due to all the different spices fighting for first place on the palate. The allspice note in particular is a bit overpowering. The aftertaste settles better on the tongue than when the beer is physically on the tongue. Interesting and since it is the last of the series they have recommended cellaring, i bet that would mellow it out quite a bit and meld the flavors better.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
barn0216 (398) - California, USA - DEC 22, 2012
Dark black color. Big creamy head that lingers for a long time but leaves medium lacing on the glass. Lots of spice on the nose: clove, nutmeg, ginger, etc. plus some malty sweetness. Flavor is much the same but more bitter from cocoa, coffee, and tobacco. Dry. There’s a lot happening here although i have to deduct a few points for a lack of refinement. Way better than 11.11.11 in my opinion.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Suttree (5130) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 22, 2012
Black, big brown head. Smells like pumpkin bread, plus cinnamon, orange, clove and coffee. Its not as rich as the smells would indicate, in fact it’s surprisingly drinkable. Coffee, cinnamon and some other indeterminate spices. Orange peel and some yeasty notes, too.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Hopped_Silly (418) - California, USA - DEC 22, 2012
Pour deep black, with thin, quickly dissipating tan head. Spiced, balanced and nearly dry. Layers of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, herbs, and chocolate. Very spiced/herbed dark Belgium ale like, though not sweet. Well balanced. Not a big, powerful beer, though good mouthfeel and focused flavors. 9% alcohol is very well hidden under the spice. My nearest comparison is a friendlier, better spiced version of Green Flash Friendship Brew. The description on the side of the bottle is accurate. Interesting, though unsure I will purchase again. --- tasted while on a long journey to understand the world around me...

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
swanmann (597) - Norman, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 21, 2012
Out of the bottle, it pours deep chocolate brown with thin, ashen tan head, fairly viscous and syrupy. The aroma is fantastic; dark fruit, allspice, caramel, and some booze. The flavor is caramelly sweet with a with cinnamon, maybe cherry and great roasty bitter finish. The mouthfeel is syrupy, full and thick. For a huge brew, it’s not too sweet. It’s almost like a sweet stout mixed with an abbey. It would do well with some aging, but if you can’t wait then share it.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
boFNjackson (4127) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 21, 2012
Bottle... Poured black with a nice forming, off-white head. Nose had lots of spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves for sure. Thicker mouthfeel. The allspice came through initially on the palate with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetal notes, and citrus. Dark malts, molasses, almost like an anise character with all the spices combined. A nice seasonal transition; from all the spice squashy beers to the spiced holiday beers. This falls nicely in between.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
sigh_borg (82) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 21, 2012
Pours deep chocolate brown with a small, frothy light brown head. Aroma is dominated by spices: clove, allspice, cinnamon, cardamom. Also getting some yeast aroma. Taste is bitter with not much sweetness. Finish is also bitter. Palate is medium and a bit syrupy. The intensity of the spices is almost too much here. Kind of like an over-spiced pumpkin pie. Alcohol is hidden behind the spices. I’d like this to be a bit more sweet-- not really digging the spicy-bitter combo here. Kind of disappointed with this one. :/


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