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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 647   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
PapaSkeetSkeet (1000) - Providence, Rhode Island, USA - JAN 9, 2013
Dark brown, black, nice light brown head which fades. Aroma is spiced roast with relatively mild hopping (for a stone.) Flavor is in the same vein. It’s been a couple of days since I’ve had this, but I wanted to report my overall impression of its being fairly weak due to the spicing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
cmonster (998) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 19, 2012
Bottled. Pours dark brown with a short head. Nose and palate is full of spices with a nice roasty backbone. Med plus body, sticky texture, and a roasty bitter finish. Light on belgian elements, heavier on the roast.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Johnsense (997) - - JAN 14, 2013
Black pour, a thumbs worth of pillowy tan head. Aroma of Christmas - roasted malt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg. Spicy up front, Cinnamon, Ginger, Allspice, Nutmeg, Molasses, Slight ginger, roasted malt, Raisin. Lower carbonation, smooth body. Nice winter beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Thisis12ptfont (992) - Los Angeles, CA, California, USA - DEC 7, 2012
Proud to be among the first 10 on the site to review this. Strong spice filled aroma including cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and strong floral notes. Solid black color with a very thin foam line. Immense dark fruits, herbs spices, barley and oats upfront. Notes of cinnamon, molasses, cocoa, roasted nuts, burnt honey, toffee and big booze linger in the finish. Overall, this is an absolutely delicious mixture of smokey, roasted and citrus (possibly some lemon?) characteristics. This is very strong and full bodied with beautifully complex flavoring. What an explosive end to such a fantastic series of epic. I’d give this an A+ rating.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
gripweed57 (975) - Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA - JAN 6, 2013
22 ounce bottle. Opague black color topped by a small creamy tan head. Spicy roasted malt aroma hints at yeasty dried fruit. Bittersweet roasted malt flavor with notes of cinnamon, allspice, burnt caramel and dried fruit. Noticeable resiny hops in finish. Very nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
daleharshman (975) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 22, 2013
Bomber purchased at the brewery in Escondido a year ago ($6.99). Had a number of times on draft and from bottle around this time last year, but saved this bottle to cellar for the rating. Pours basically pitch black with a finger and a half of brown-ish head. AROMA full of spice (ginger and allspice stand out) along with notes of gingerbread cookies, medicinal herbs, and some dark semi-candied fruit. FLAVOR of mild dark roasted malts, lots of spice (clove / cinnamon / ginger all quite noticeable), dark rye bread, medicinal herbs, and a bit of brown sugar. Roasty and spicy but not really sweet. Dry finish indeed. Very well-concealed 9%. The heavy spice in this beer really stands out more than anything else. I had enjoyed the Vertical Epic series, particularly Stone’s different takes on Belgian-inspired beers. A little surprised that Stone took a more straight-forward approach here and brewed a somewhat typical dark Christmas ale. Still, it ends up being a fun seasonal beer (though I was hoping the spicing would mellow out a bit with the year of aging). (537, 833)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
geologyguy (974) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - NOV 18, 2013
can smell the spices and high alcohol...mainly smells of dark fruit like plum...taste is very bold with dark fruits and slight spices, mostly ginger and allspice? Good taste but flavor is just a tad too bold...a bit hard to drink without a meal

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
nike (966) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 10, 2013
dark pour (wasn’t expecting black pour), aroma of spice, pine, hop slight malt. Flavors of lightly bitter, well balanced, medium to full body. Borders a light stout than a Belgian Strong Ale. Excellent brew, complex taste of spices, not as sweet as I thought it would be.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
magsinva (963) - Virginia, USA - NOV 3, 2013
Bottle - pours pitch with a tan head. This one smells like Christmas, with seasonal spices and fruit. Yum!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
HighWine (955) - Whalezbro, Illinois, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Bottle to Chimay glass. Dark brown, nearly black pour, beige head. Aroma of Christmas spice. Tastes just like a gingerbread cookie. Cinnamon, ginger, clove, and a very pleasant dark roastiness. Enjoyed this one a lot and it was a nice kickoff to our VE tasting.

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