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RATINGS: 588   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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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 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Meilby (6439) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - AUG 19, 2013
Bottle 650ml @ Motel Room, Motel 6, Kingman, AZ
Pours black with a tan head. Aroma has notes of malt, caramel, ginger, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, biscuit and alcohol. Taste is medium sweet and light to medium bitter with a long spiced and orange finish. Medium to full, texture is oily, carbonation is soft.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
crossovert (6359) - Illinois, USA - DEC 27, 2012
This one was a bit spicy for me. The spices overpowered the malt and the hops leaving it just a messy beverage.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DuffMan (6164) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 20, 2013
Bottle, shared with Parksy and Grippitis. Very dark brown, generous head. Spicy chocolate, lightly yeasty, spicy bitterness. I was initially surprised to find no heat, but I see now that peppers were left out of the equation for this one. Another solid special release by Stone, and yet more proof that they are capable of making something other than a bitter bomb. Loved it.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
Ernest (6031) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 2, 2013
Bottle. Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly lasting. Body is dark brown to black. Aroma is moderately malty (cocoa powder, roasted grain), with a strong notes of nutmeg and clove, other notes of dirt/dishrag, plastic / Silly Putty, peppermint. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately to heavily bitter, unclean. Medium to full body, creamy/syrupy texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic. And we come to the end at last. I can say I’ve tried every single year, and sadly it’s been a mostly disappointing journey, with a few bright spots early in the run but with most vintages (especially in the latter half of the series) scoring in the 2s for me. Alas, this is one of the latter examples. Wayyyyy overspiced with some dirty/off notes. Very unpleasant aftertaste that’s likely caused primarily by the overdone spices. Might have been an ok brew if they had used about 1/3 the amount of spicing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
5000 (6027) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - AUG 11, 2013
Bottle:   Super dark, black, huge frothy brownish head, sticky lacing.   Strong spicy nose, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices.   Seems like an Autumn like spiced ale to me, which I do absolutely love.   Oh... but on the tongue its not as sweet as I smelled.   Reminds me a bit of smoked salmon with heavy yet dull ginger snaps.   This is a weird one... okay, the aroma was nice, but on the tongue its making me rethink physics and holiday baking.   Spicy, but lacks sweetness to balance it out.   It really is an astringent Ginger Snap cookie.   Yikes!   Not as heavy or thick as I thought, body and mouthfeel are moderate.   Not as sweet or smooth as I expected for a Belgian Strong.   This is like the Christmas Cookie that wont say no.   Christ, go away already!   I don’t want another, I have tasted enough of your shrubby/tree like smarmy attitude.   Your sister is likely much sweeter, but you pissed her off and she is no where to be found.   I am sad, and I will give you the score of someone who has no other cookie friends.   You are alone, alienated, and making children angry in your lack of sweetness and attitude towards traditional yummy cookies.   Go f*ck yourself 12-12-12, you are like a Christmas nightmare that comes true.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
marcus (6017) - Sacramento, California, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Bottle consumed at Capitol Beer, Sacramento. Pours near black with a thin tan head and a strange spicy aroma - cloves or ginger. There is a delicious dark molasses and raisin flavor with lots of ginger and a dry finish. Very interesting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
blutt59 (5999) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 13, 2012
bottle, dark brown black color with thin tan foam ring, aroma is hoppy roast and herbal, flavor has some bitter roast note with rye bread, plum, bitter chocolate, nice light bitter finish

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
drowland (5958) - Valdosta, Georgia, USA - DEC 31, 2012
12/31/12. 22oz bomber from Grassroots Natural Market. Rich deep dark brown pour with a small brown head that fades to a ring but laces well. Huge kick of spices in the aroma dominated by cinnamon and all those other garbage pumpkin beer spices, but with a surprising dose of flowers. Lightly sweet caramel and molasses flavor with another truckload of spices and again that crazy floral aspect I really wasn’t expecting. That part is cool but otherwise mehhhh.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (5934) - Brier, Washington, USA - JAN 9, 2013
22. Pours black with a dense and creamy tan head. Sudsy, with lots of drippy lace. Big fresh roasty gingerbread molasses cookie nose--sweet, intense, and maybe a little overdone (i.e., ready to age). Creamy medium body with lively carb. Roast, caramel, toffee, ginger snaps, and molasses on the mid palate. Long dry powdery finish, like a peppery spiced cocoa mix that you swallowed a little of without any water. Not bad. Curious to see where this one lands in a couple years. Kinda reminiscent of some early OSAs, but bigger for sure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
phaleslu (5875) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 13, 2012
Draft at Avenue Pub on the 12/12/12 release. Good timing! Pours a deep brown color with a dark tan head. Aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, chocolate, adn dark fruits. The flavor is the same. Some ginger, maybe. A little citrus in the back. More maltiness than I am giving it credit for, though. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a spicy mouthfeel. Really nice. Maybe my favorite of this series.

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