slowrunner77 (9953) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 22, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
"I was semi-excited about this release going in. The VE series have (with a couple exceptions) been good, but not my favorite Stone beers, and I think the majority of the aged botles will be badly faded by now. So, I expected to split one bottle for a vertical and have one to myself, maybe a half. Then I poured it. Beautiful black liquid with a rather sizeable khaki head. Aroma of spices combined with chocolate, belgian fruity yeast and dry roasted malts is quite nice, and the flavor is nearly identical. Very decadent, and quite possibly my favorite bottle release in the Vertical Epic series. I’ll definitely down a couple more of these, though probably won’t bother aging any as it drinks really nice right now."
arnold931 (1263) - Iowa, USA - SEP 16, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at Bricks. Pours black with creamy tan head. Nice lacing. Nose is cinnamon and clove. Taste is cinnamon maybe anise and some other spices. Dry aftertaste. Tastes like Christmas.
wchesser (1882) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 14, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle with almost 2 years on it now. Deep brown black-wasn’t expecting that at all with nice looking coffee crema ring. Aroma of nutmeg, cloves, Christmas/pumpkin spices. Taste is spice heavy, but actually well balanced-too much for my personal tastes but not over the top. Creamy mouth feel. Alright.
Kevin (2192) - New Mexico, USA - SEP 2, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
having had all of the verticals except 2- Damn you Mike for bringing that to a Dallas tasting after i left the state- i can say that the 08 was the best. although i’d have to check my ratings to find out if i felt that way in the moment. anyway had an 8 last night, a 4 this morning, and now the 12. onto the beer:
black pour with a thicjk brown head. aroma is a bunch of spice, cinnamon, something like sage and allspice mixed in. really smells the spices my aunt puts on ham- better in the aroma than the ham, seriously, Grace, Stop messing with the ham. it is ham, i love you, but it does not need anything except more ham. might as well try to make water more wet. the spices carry over to the flavor, light cocoa(or is it the appearance that makes me imagine that, i’ve often wondered if that happens to me. the air is thick with the chipotle rice i am cooking to go with my salmon, but the spices are still strong here. love the texture of this, like goldilock’s porridge in it’s own way. hot porridge is better anyway, you blonde bitch. something slightly mustardy in this, i despise mustard almost as much as i hate Jackie Detmer. i hope that whore changed her name after she drove my friend to suicide. something in the finish reminds me of getting a big ass chocolate shake from whataburger and eating the whole chemical concoction back in the day. this is a good and bad thing- seriously back in the day they would sell a half gallon motherfucking shake. i was much larger then, but by the time i got to the last quarter of that 4000 calorie behemoth it took on a life of it’s own, like picking at a scab or tongueing a sore spot in your mouth, i could not stop even though i should. and that same flavor would develop.
Duhast500 (414) - Cumberland, Rhode Island, USA - AUG 27, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Harpoon snifter glass.
The color is a dark black with a finger or two of foamy brownish/tan head that relaxes back into the darkness of this beer.
The smell is a complete surprise. There is a nice belgian chocolate aroma that is top notch. Some great malt flavor in the nose that reminds me of peanut brittle and caramel.
The taste is coffee and dark chocolate throughout and it hits the palate and pushes open the curtains and just walks right in. A big kick toward the end with a bit of a oak flavor that lets the chocolate and coffee bean ride on top.
This beer does kick but it hides the boozy overtones with some well places flavors and a nice warm feel in the back that feels like a warm blanket on a cold night. There is some carbonation that lightens the heavier ABV and and is the glue that seems to hold everything in place.
beer-yum (1298) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - AUG 23, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Huge body, brilliant balance, and massively complex make this an excellent beer. But it is missing that little ’something’ that makes an excellent beer great - and for that reason it’s a little disappointing.
Darkmagus82 (2255) - - AUG 21, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Transfer from BA review on 1-1-13-
Served on tap in a 10 oz tulip glass
Appearance – Served a pitch black color with a one finger tan head. The head fades relatively quickly to leave a great level of lacing on the side of the glass.
Smell- The aroma is heaviest of a roasted malt smell and aromas of clove and cinnamon. Mixed with this there is a light sweetness of some chocolate as well as a light citrus hop aroma.
Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt flavor. As the taste advances further some sweet chocolate flavors come to the tongue. A coffee flavor and spice flavors of cinnamon and clove spice then develops in the taste, quickly following the fruit flavors. More toward the end, as the coffee and roast intensify some, a bitter hop flavor of a earthy and citrus nature comes to the tongue. These flavors, with a light alcohol flavor, create an odd bitter and roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the average to slightly lower side for a 9% abv brew with a carbonation level that was rather average. The carbonation was good for keeping and making an easy drinking brew, although a slightly thicker body may have been nicer for the darker flavors.
Overall – Not really what I was expected in something that is labeled as a Belgian strong dark. It is roastier and hoppier then I would expect. It wasn’t bad though as it did have quite nice transitions between a more initial roast, followed by a light sweet and spice and then finished with a hoppy flavor.
Travlr (21204) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 21, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draft on 12/12/12. Hazy brown color. Aroma of herbs and coffee grounds. Taste is a jumble of an off mix of herbs, plus some brown bread.
Benzai (13678) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - AUG 19, 2014
2.4 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle shared with Ferris and Fonefan. Opaque black color, average sized brown head. Horrible herbal and spicy aroma. It reminds me of (Dutch) speculaas. Taste isn’t so bad, though I will never order another one. Mainly herbs and spices again, "speculaas", some roast, sweetish a bit as well as some bitter. Medium to full body, medium carbonation.
Ferris (12431) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 11, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle - Clove, cinnamon, dark sugar and chocolate. Jet black with a nice brown head. Chocolate and dark sugars, clove and a tasty bitterness at the finish. Tastes stronger than it tastes, which is good.