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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 652   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66/5   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
neuromatt (1225) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 9, 2014
22 oz bottle from AJ’s in Tucson, served in a stem glass alongside 11-11-11 and the red wine barrel version of 11-11-11 at a tasting at Dan’s. Pours deep black with a medium tan head that mostly remains and leaves a small amount of lace. On the nose it has huge notes of allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Notes of orange peel, coffee and tobacco come through as well. The flavour is lightly sweet with espresso, chocolate and Christmas spice from the nose. The finish is long and spicy with big allspice, nutmeg and cloves, with other notes from the nose. On the palate it is full in body with a creamy texture and soft carbonation. Overall, a very nice Christmas-spicy dark ale, complex and balanced. A great send off to a great series! 2014-06-07

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Joakgust (1216) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUL 30, 2014
Bottle. Opaque black beer with a large beige head. Aroma is malty with notes of cloves, caramel spices and cola. Flavor is malty with notes of cloves, dried fruit and caramel. High potential, although at this point it isn’t really quite finished maturing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
beerfest5 (1206) - Cloneen, IRELAND - JAN 21, 2014
Better than 11 VE Ale, but come on, enough with the spice for Pete’s sake. Interesting, complex, yes, but the Christmas pudding like flavor is just too much for me.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
Rrauth (1196) - North Carolina, USA - DEC 24, 2012
Wow what an appearance. Thick brown foam that lasts forever. Nice lacing. Not very aromatic. Creamy and bitter. Nice beer. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
ketchepillar (1181) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - DEC 14, 2012
Bomber. "Tastes like christmas" - Kristen-mas. "Smells like my armpit when it was drunk and sexy" - Kristen-mas. Reminiscent of Anchor Xmas for sure. Chocolatier and roastier. A bit weird. Sweet, but with a hop pellet-esque bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeTheYounger (1173) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - DEC 17, 2012
ON draft at T Phillips Alehouse in La Verne. Poured a dark black with thin head. Aroma was sweet cinnamon and spices. Taste was slightly roasted malt with a nice holiday spice finish. Like a stout mixed with Anchor Christmas beer. Pretty good and I like the fact that the Belgian yeast was hard to spot on this year’s.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Oscbert (1165) - Sacramento, California, USA - JAN 12, 2013
~Strong aroma of clove, licorice, pepper and ginger. Reminds me of the holidays. Love the smell, but not getting any malt or hops. ~Pours pitch black with small brown bubbly head. ~Strong clove flavor with same spices that were found in aroma along with cinnamon. Spices are overwhelming and make this hard to drink. ~medium full bodied with medium CO2, lingering bitter clove finish. ~The spices are too much on this. Loved the aroma, but my palate was assaulted by a spice cabinet. Needs sweetness for balance or less spices. Bummer. I was really looking forward to this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BucannonXC5 (1163) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 8, 2012
Type: 22-oz. bomber Glass: Karl Straus pint From: Costco in San Marcos, Calif., on Dec. 6, 2012 Price: $4.99 BOD: None Black with two fingers of frothy caramel tan head. Healthy amount of circular, foamy lacing. Pretty good retention. Nice flavorful smell with nutmeg, cinnamon, gingerbread, chocolate, caramel, toffee and orange rind. Tasted similar to the nose with a bit more alcohol bite. Got cinnamon, nutmeg, some other strong spice (couldn’t put finger on it), gingerbread, toffee, orange rind, bitter chocolate and some mint hot chocolate. Reminded me of a winter warmer more than anything else. Medium-to-full body. Creamy, sticky texture. Lively (above average)-to-average carbonation. Long smooth finish and warms you up on the way down. A really good beer once again by Stone. If this was under a Winter Warmer category, I think my ratings would have been a bit higher. Feels nice going down.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 8, 2013
The pour is a very dark color with red highlights and a moderately full, tan, dense, frothy head which settles to a thin froth and leaves similar lace rings. The nose is like opening a baking spice rack; allspice, cinnamon, orange peel, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, etc., etc., some banana, and some toasty and spicy notes. The flavor is similar to begin with the nutmeg, toasted caramel, clove, toffee, but dry earthy, minerally notes dry out the flavor like eating dry spices; a bit hard to get used to for the style. The palate is decent for the beer despite the dryness; less than lively, more than moderate, velvety, and coating. The finish bone dry, still caramelly, dry spices, spicy cinnamon, and a rare lingering bitterness. I don’t know where to begin with this one, totally different from anything you will try in this style, but that is Stone’s thing. The spicing was overwhelming and over the top but only became overbearing by the dryness of the finish. Different and unusual but not Stone’s best work.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gachupines (1143) - USA - JAN 13, 2013
Dark brown, almost black with a tan head. Aroma is heavily spiced, I noticed nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Flavor is very sweet and malty with a strong spice presence with the above mentioned flavors. Also present is a substantial licorice flavor which is not entirely unpleasant but is a bit overwhelming. Decent, this might be a little better if it had time to mellow though.

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