zizzybalubba (1527) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - JAN 29, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz. bottle from SoHo Organic Market in Elizabeth City, NC. Pours almost black with a frothy brown head reminiscent of an imperial stout. The aroma is heavy on the licorice with light dark fruits, ginger, and allspice. The taste is heavy on the spices (ginger, cinnamon, clove, and allspice). Some dark roasted malt leaves a lasting impression on the palate. Really unlike anything I can recall trying before and one of the better beers (if not the best) I have had in this series.
ansermadide (1526) - Kyle, Texas, USA - DEC 30, 2012
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
As little as I enjoy dark Belgians, this is really a gorgeous beer, with a pitch-black color and a beautiful, medium brown colored head that leaves some classy, thick, shimmering lacing. It has an incredibly unique, powerful aroma packed with cloves, ginger, and orange. What makes all of these spices alright: the heavy, roasted malts. This smells very much like many of the fall/winter seasonal pumpkin beers that have been coming out as of late (in particular, Saint Arnold Pumpkinator). Wow, what a nose. And thank you, Stone, for keeping the yeast out of it.
In the mouth you’re in for something a little wild and completely different from what the aroma lets on. It’s slightly thinner than you’d expect of its pitch black color, soft and creamy. What’s fantastic about the flavor is how they pulled off how to compliment the intense roasted flavor with the intense spices to not only make each of the parts easy to drink and unoffensive when tasted individually, but also combined to produce a fantastically well-balanced and complex beer that manages to feel smooth and almost creamy as a whole. Wow. The intense spice content and heavily roasted malts ball up in the center of the tongue and are so strong that they make your tongue curl up in fear… but then the beer lulls it back into submission with its smooth character. As crazy of a beer this is, it’s really very good. One thing, though: the warmer it gets, the harsher and more uncomfortable the roasted malt bitterness becomes, so drink it between 50-55 degrees. Now, Being the last of the Vertical Epic series, I’m putting a bottle of this away in the cellar for an indefinite amount of aging.
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.
GMCC2181 (1516) - Newark, Delaware, USA - JAN 6, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle via SL... Pours a dark black color....wasnt expecting that at all. Decent little head. Strong lacing left on the glass. Nose of spices... smells like a pumpkin stout. Lots nutmeg, cinnamon. Tasty... if this came out around Fall I would be all over it. Medium body, average carbonation level. Alcohol hidden well. Overall: Enjoyable...
zgaier (1510) - Coral Springs, Florida, USA - DEC 21, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours black with a brown head an aroma of spices and cloves. Taste is of spices, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice with a bittersweet, long finish. Delicious beer, unique and great tasting for a Belgain
CH-303 (1508) - Fribourg, SWITZERLAND - AUG 21, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Appearance: Dark, dark brown, oily. Lots of tan head.
Aroma: Dark malt, spices, roasted, sweetness, coffee. Prunes?
Taste: Dark malt, coffee bitterness, roasted, chocolate. Nice!
Info: 650ml bottle, 21/8-2013
harrymel (1504) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 4, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours opaque dark brown with a sheet of mocha foam. Smells really, really spicy. Nutmeg and allspice, cinnamon, cloves (stronger than I had anticipated), some floral notes and it all comes together to smell like tee tree oil. Tastes sweet and spiced - the aforementioned collage comes into play, the malts are charred, sweet and accented with a classical belgian yeast character. Medium to full bodied with lighter carb, the beer has a really fine feel. This is an interesting beer, I think it falls into a well done example of the style.
Serving type: bottle
haddon90 (1503) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 8, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a dark black with a nice, tan head. Vanilla and ginger aroma. Really nice. Licorice flavor with a sense of hops. Really complex but a great balance. Tastes like a Christmas Ale. Really good for it being the last one.
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 30, 2013
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
THOUGHTS: Wonderful and very Christmasy. Tons of spices but they never overpowered the huge malt base. I did not want this one to end. Hid alcohol incredibly well.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured an opaque black with an average, light brown head that mostly, but slowly diminished and left excellent lacing. The aroma had moderate caramel and chocolate syrup; hints of coffee; dark fruit; cinnamon, which maybe the strongest aroma; oranges; holiday spices; dark spice cake; and spiced cookies. The initial flavor was light to moderately sweet; while the finish was moderate to heavily sweet and lightly bitter with a long duration. There was caramel, chocolate syrup, holiday spices, oranges, dark fruit, dark spiced cake, spice cookies, chocolate and hints of coffee. The full body was creamy with soft but copious carbonation and a dry finish.
stefannilssons (1498) - SWEDEN - NOV 18, 2013
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
De här ’epic’ ölen som man lyckats lägga vantarna på ibland har alltid vara positiva upplevelser, oavsett om det handlat om smak eller innovation/nyskapande. Men här blev jag faktiskt besviken, även om det här faktiskt inte var en dålig eller mindre välsmakande öl. Smaken kraftfull med toner av nejlika, belgisk jästkultur och andra kryddor, dock bör det påpekas att det var nejlikan som gick i första, andra och tredje ledet.