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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 652   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ElGaucho (2328) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 23, 2012
Bomber. Allspice in the nose as well as cinammon. Nutmeg too. Pitch black body with light brown head. Not dissimilar to the Sam Adams gingerbread beer I had last night. And as good as that was this is better. Has a stronger alcohol warmth. Really outstanding.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
wxman (1610) - O’Fallon, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2012
Pours an opaque dark dark brown with a full tan head and plenty of lace. Aroma is clearly ginger and a host of other spices. Taste is semi-sweet roasted malt, coffee, cinnamon and clove. Pretty busy, to say the least. Not especially bitter, except for that derived from the roasted grain. Another damned good Vertical!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ADfan (691) - Orange County, California, USA - DEC 23, 2012
Dark brown color in the glass with a small head. Aroma of spices and nutmeg and a slight alcohol smell comes from the glass. Taste does have a wallop of spices just like the deScription. Nutmeg, corriander, pumpkin and a variety of taste hits you and lingers for a long finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
HomelessDrew (26) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 23, 2012
Pours dark brown with a light brown head that doesn’t last too long. Aroma is strong of spices, especially clove. Taste is very sweet with dominating spices especially clove, I’ve had less spicy pumpkin beers. The mouthfeel is very full with moderate carbonation. Overall I was seriously disappointed with this one, way too spicy. Maybe the spices will die down with aging, but I doubt I’ll pick up another bottle to see.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tinco (595) - Linköping, SWEDEN - DEC 23, 2012
Black had a small mocha head. Aroma is christmas spices, cinnamon banana. Taste is cinnamon, chocolate, gingerbread. All in all pretty good!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Beardface (1517) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - DEC 23, 2012
Tap at 16 Tons. Dark brown pour with a moderate tan head and no lacing. Just a massive mishmash of spices all thrown together into a melting pot of smells and tastes where nothing stands out and everything is muddled. Disappointing way for the series to go out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
AndresTM (394) - Texas, USA - DEC 23, 2012
Very dark beer with a tan head. The spices are obvious in the nose, resulting in an aroma that could only be described as gingerbread cake peppered with cinnamon and allspice. Citrus, Belgian yeast, banana, and earthy hops all make appearances as well. Very interesting. The taste is primarily sweet and spicy, but has an earthy, bitter finish. Full mouthfeel with a medium-to-thick body and prickly carbonation. One of my favorite Stone beers.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
merb (18) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2012
I was pleased to find this on tap at this point, nice little pub in Philly called The Perch Pub. But onto the beer. The first thing I get is cinnamon, it's not too much and really finished smooth, I didn't get much on the aroma spectrum but my sniffer isn't the best...very drinkable. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kramer (5499) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2012
Bottle. Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black body with a nice frothy light brown head that faded to a thin ring. The nose is huge on the spices, lots of cinnamon, allspice, and ginger for sure. Almost smells like a pumpkin beer. Very malty smelling with a little sweetness and belgian yeastiness. The flavor is a little overly sweet and ridiculously over spiced for sure. Tastes like they just dumped the whole inventory of spices in here, not a whole lot of subtlety going on with this guy. Very sweet with pretty well hidden alcohol, but then again, with all those spices, ya can’t taste much anything else going on in here. Rather thick and almost syrupy with soft fizzy carbonation. This one actually might do much better with a hefty amount of age on it, shame they didn’t start out this series with something like this.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
poisoneddwarf (2020) - Rathdrum, Idaho, USA - DEC 22, 2012
UPDATED: MAR 7, 2014 3/7/14 rating: I forgot I had this tucked away! Aroma is full of Christmas spices, herbal tea; smells a bit like root beer. Dark brown pour with a tan head with good retention. Taste is sweet and savory, full of those aforementioned spices, tobacco. Body is full, mouthfeel creamy, carbonation average. Excellent. This has aged well. 9,5,8,5,18=4.5

Initial 12/22/12 rating: Bomber. Pours opaque black with a thick tan head with groovy lace. Aroma is packed with clove. Flavor is full of Chirstmas spices; it’s bittersweet and finishes dry and bitter. Nice way to end the series with a Christmas Belgian-style beer on 12/12/12. After drinking ’07-’12 vertically, my favorites from best to worse were as follows: ’10, ’11, ’12, ’09, ’08, ’07, leading me to believe that these beers are best aged a year or two then start declining in quality and drinkability; oxidation starts setting in after a couple years. 8,5,8,4,17=4.2

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