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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

 (RETIRED)
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95
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RATINGS: 635   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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…


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
zizzybalubba (1527) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - JAN 29, 2013
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.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ansermadide (1526) - Kyle, Texas, USA - DEC 30, 2012
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.

3.2
   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.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GMCC2181 (1516) - Newark, Delaware, USA - JAN 6, 2013
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...

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
zgaier (1510) - Coral Springs, Florida, USA - DEC 21, 2012
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

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
CH-303 (1508) - Fribourg, SWITZERLAND - AUG 21, 2013
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

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
harrymel (1504) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 4, 2013
Bottled 29NOV12 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 12-15-2012

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
haddon90 (1503) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 8, 2012
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.

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 30, 2013
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.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
stefannilssons (1498) - SWEDEN - NOV 18, 2013
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.


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