Beardface (1517) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - DEC 23, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
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.
AndresTM (423) - Texas, USA - DEC 23, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
merb (18) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2012
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
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
kramer (5611) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
poisoneddwarf (2085) - Rathdrum, Idaho, USA - DEC 22, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
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
Beerdrinker79 (1861) - Idaho, USA - DEC 22, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle, rated 07-11 before this- Pours pitch black with a huge mocha colored head, beautiful beer! Aroma is unusual, ginger is huge, chilies are there, regardless of what my mates say, bastards! I get a floral note, very complex and very nice. Taste is ginger again, it imparts a dryness and complexity that is very unique, cinnamon and other spices are there and accounted for. I really enjoyed this beer, one of the best in the series!
BOLTZ7555 (2999) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - DEC 22, 2012
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
wnoble (1251) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - DEC 22, 2012
2 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
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.
sjohnny (451) - - DEC 22, 2012
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
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.
BadAprilia1000 (391) - Sevierville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 22, 2012
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.