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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 663   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DYCSoccer17 (3590) - 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 (3780) - Marietta, 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 (462) - 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
AxlLives (288) - Maryland, USA - DEC 28, 2012
22 oz bottle - pours jet black, big tan head, frothy and lasting. Big aromatics of nutmeg, allspice, cloves, gingerbread and dark malt. Taste is dark fruit, dried malts, touch of cocoa, spice all over it finishing dry and slightly bitter with dark chocolate notes. Medium bodied, crisp finish. Well done.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
GTAEgeek (1790) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - DEC 28, 2012
On tap at Summit’s. Dark brown with a small, beige head. The aroma is cereals, caramel, cinnamon, and dates. Sweet, with a very dry finish. Medium to heavy body, velvety, grainy, and astringent. Overall, this is an interesting beer; thick, dry, and fairly difficult to drink, but tasty nonetheless.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
matty (327) - Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 28, 2012
22 oz. bottle. Pours black with a tan head that settles to a semi-thin head. Aroma of cinnamon, clove and some ginger. Definately a (Christmas) season ale. Full body, Some chocolate in the taste with same spices. Clean finsih with a little alcohol warming. Very good! Will try to find one to save for cellaring.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chudwick (2705) - Cincyucky, Kentucky, USA - DEC 28, 2012
Bomber - pours very dark amber with plenty of beige head and fine lacing. Nose is brown sugar and grassy citrus. Flavor adds lots of spiciness. Sweet with waves of bitterness subtly emerging. "Some people say the bottle be damned, but you’ll never catch me bottle in an other man’s hand..." Maltiness is more apparent as it warms. Essentially an imperial spice/herb/vegetable.

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