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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 668   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 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 (1928) - 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 (359) - 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 (2818) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Nephilium (1694) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - DEC 28, 2012
Slightly sweet aroma with heavy spicing noticeable (clove, cinnamon, ginger). Pours an opaque black, with a huge tan head. The flavor is very similar to the many Christmas beers out, heavy spicing, a touch of roast, and a full body. This is quite a tasty beer, and I believe it will hold up well. Now is the time to set up the tasting with all of the beers.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CamdenD (1181) - Madrid, SPAIN - DEC 27, 2012
Really nice beer. Strong and unique yet terribly drinkable for its strength. Works like a dubbel with some added spice. Pours black and beautiful.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
rbrazell (1698) - Florida, USA - DEC 27, 2012
Bottle from Proof. Black pour with a creamy brown head. Big spice aroma at first with ginger, allspice, cinnamon and cloves with underlying dark fruits and chocolate. Sweet, chewy entry with dark fruits, leather followed by aforementioned spiced with chocolate and earth ending on a bitter, dry ashiness. Medium to full bodied and smooth carbonation. Just on the good side of spice level to make it very enjoyable for me. Pretty solid beer.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
crossovert (11345) - Illinois, USA - DEC 27, 2012
This one was a bit spicy for me. The spices overpowered the malt and the hops leaving it just a messy beverage.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
adrian910ss (2565) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 27, 2012
22 oz bomber. Pours a pitch black cola with a medium sized brown head. Aroma of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, orange peel, sweet malt and chocolate. Taste is much the same as the aroma.

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