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Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 669   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 14/20
Wittales (761) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Appearance was clear deep brown with creamy tan tiny diminishing head, no lacing. Aromas are spices ie. clove, nutmeg, vanilla, cinamain, sweet roasted chocolate, coffee malts, no alcohol present. Taste are sweet cocao, coffee, toffee malts with candi shinning through. Spices are present like winter brews are, all spice, nutmeg, cin, clove are slightly coming to play.Palate was soft smooth CO2 with meduim-full body, then lasting dryish spicey finish. Like stoutish and winter combine.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Cavie (4305) - Arlington, Texas, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Bottle from central market. Pours a dark dark brown color with a tan head. Aroma is sweet, syrupy, and sugar. Flavor is super brown sugar, sweet sugar and maple. Finishes dry and Christmas spice. Glad the world didn’t end.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FlacoAlto (4152) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 31, 2012
A steady pour into my Bruery tulip produces a three finger thick, fairly dense, deeply brown tinged, burnt tan color. The beer is a concentrated brown, but really just black color that is quite opaque, even when held up directly to the light. The nose smells strongly of spices backed by roasted, dark malt sweetness; cinnamon, spicy ginger, clove, allspice, a touch of woody nutmeg like notes, and toasted, brown sugar blackened, sweet, brown bread / cake as well as a touch of cocoa and coffee.

Fairly light bodied, and dry up front, the beer picks up a sweetness in the finish that seems to be brought out by the mix of spices used here. The finish has a bitter, slightly astringent character to it that is a mix of woody spices, burnt / roasted grain, and hops. Lots of cinnamon and allspice notes up front with a finish that has some clove and nutmeg like character to it; woody pepper and ginger notes, touches of cedar even combine with firm, toasted, whole grain malt character, both of which provide a touch hop like balance. The body here is on the light side for a beer of this strength, but it still has quite a bit of viscous character to it; cutting through the prickly carbonation and spicy bite is a soft, creamy, cocoa laden texture that coats the palate quite nicely.

This tastes like a roasted, dark, holiday spice cake, though it doesn’t have all that much sweetness to it, just enough to keep things balanced. This is perhaps the nicest beer of this series yet; it should actually age quite well too, perhaps better than any of the other beers in this series; hell this should have been switched in order with the first, would have been a better in the long run, but honestly I suppose no one knew how this would end when this started.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nickls (2374) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Tap. Dark fan cap of head, dark mahogany body. Nutmeg, allspice, some chocolate, and somedark fruit. Nice nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, chocolate, roasty bits as well with a drying finish. Medium body with tight carbonation and a little creamy. Solid.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
dnstone (2651) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JAN 2, 2013
Ours a black-brown with nice tan head. Aroma is spiced like a holiday drink with some roastiness and sweet fruit underneath, like chocolate cherries. Starts like a winter-spiced stout then finishes with a Belgian double...a nice mix....best described as a Belgian strong stout with holiday spices.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CheersMate (1340) - Portland (Sellhood), Oregon, USA - DEC 10, 2012
Was reminiscent of a pumpkin porter to me. It had a lot of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Poured much darker than expected; nearly black in appearance. Aroma was strong cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and a little yeast. The texture wace nice. It had its "Belgian" moments, but it didn’t remind me of a abbey style beer in any way; hence the use of the "-ish", but still.....This was a decent brew, but they’re calling it a Belgian Strong Ale? I guess using Belgian-ish yeast, qualifies this as being a Belgian-ish beer. The spices were definitely dominant, and had their moments.Overally, pretty good, but a bit of a twist to the ending of this series (and thank God for that).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mjg74 (3018) - La Mesa, California, USA - DEC 11, 2012
Bomber from BevMo. Bottled @ 9%. Dark in color. Pretty much black. Slick and oily looking. Highly spiced nutmeg nose. Roasty with a lot of spice. Smooth bodied. Some burning in the finish. Not sure if it’s from the spice or from alcohol. Strong roasty finish as well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
larryLSB (508) - La Selva Beach, California, USA - DEC 12, 2012
Poured from bomber, 12/12/12. Dark brown, with a creamy medium tan head. Spicy nose, all those that make the holidays what they are; sweet, malty. Taste was somewhat sweet, full bodied with a creamy texture. Nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
burgy (456) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 14, 2012
Poured thick and black very little head. Aroma was lots of spices, nutmeg & cinnamon mainly. Taste was of a dark ale with spices. Thick palate. Overall, not my favorite of the verticals but it fits the series well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
thetmaxx (901) - West Sacramento, California, USA - DEC 14, 2012
Poured in to my Stone glass. Wow, not what I expected. Aroma is cinnamon and ginger. Colour is dark, nice head. Flavor also showcases the cinnamon/ginger. There are some dark malts. Finishes thick and sticky sweet. Overall I would have thought this was a DFH brew, and its pretty good.

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