KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 12, 2012
From notes. First reviewed 11/14/2011. Served on tap at Fish Bar in a mason jar.
Vertical Epic 11.11.11 has a medium brown color with amber and ruby edges. Quite a large eggshell head sits on top when the beer comes out. I suspect this may have been an overly aggressive pour. The head retains fairly well and leaves a bit of lace down the glass.
The aroma is kind of strange. I notice cinnamon first, with toasted bread, banana esters, and a fair amount of booze. From the aroma I don’t even get a hint of chiles.
The flavor starts with slightly sweet toasted grains tinged with a bit of caramel. Then it starts to go a bit crazy. Cinnamon is really the dominating flavor here, but it somehow does not mix with the other spices. Cloves and banana notes clash with the malt and cinnamon flavors, and I only get a light sense of the chiles at the end, after the beer has turned into a medicinal ethyl alcohol bomb. I wonder if some time (like a year, a month, and a day?) would heal the distracted flavor.
Unfortunately, the mouthfeel is the real victim of the brewing process. After seemingly half a sip, my tongue feels covered in some immutable oily coating that is fairly unpleasant. Like most other Stone beers, it is properly carbonated and has a heftiness to the body, which I appreciate. Just a very soft burn in the back of my throat from the chile.
This is the second beer from Stone I have had recently that has stunned me with how bad it is. I will continue to try everything they make, but I won’t be coming back to this beer anytime soon. Overall this is just too much of a disjointed mess. Macegan75 (845) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2012
Bottle at Damico’s for the Veritcal Epic Series.Pours a medium to light brown with very little aroma. nose is mild with cider like aldehydes and a boozy quality. First sip is malty notexs with chili pepper and sweet aldehydes. finish is nice with tangy flavors. HeadyDE (841) - Delaware, USA - DEC 31, 2013
Bomber pour 3rd in 09-12 series..medium crimson like hue..aroma is showing the chilies and cinnamon..quite smooth and enjoyable..good carbonation..enjoyable.. Matts_Property (837) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 14, 2012
Pours a clear red/mahogany with a white ring of head. Aroma is of fresh red fruits, candied fruits, Belgian yeast, candied sugars. Flavour is largely the same but also includes hints of red wine - somewhat boozy. It was sweeter than I thought it needed to be. Medium bodied, smooth mouth feel. Not bad. icehawk (834) - Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA - APR 7, 2012
Aroma is caramel, malt, yeast and hint of spice. Lively mouthfeel. A slight heat (chilis or alcohol) mid palate, with a slightly bitter finish.
kdm1984 (814) - Missouri, USA - MAR 31, 2012
Pours to a reddish orange hue - head is not enormous, but lots of lacing is left as it evaporates - more than typical. Smell is phenolic and fruity, as one might expect from a Belgian Strong. Heavy-bodied with orange fruit, yeast, chile spice, a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, and noticeable alcohol kick at the end with a tinge of bitterness and malts. Solid, but not outstanding, example of the style. A worthy attempt by Stone, but not at the level of Chimay. Too much alcohol burn at the end, and a bit over-bodied at the start, but the complexity in the middle makes it recommendable at any rate - certainly not faulted for lacking flavor! high_on_hops (809) - Burlingame, California, USA - NOV 14, 2013
Pours a hazy reddish brown with an off white head and lacing. It has a nice aroma of chiles, cinnamon, raisin and other dark fruit notes. The flavor is spicy chiles and sweet malt up front leading to a spicy sweet finish over a medium body.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone KajII (800) - Macon, North Carolina, USA - OCT 2, 2012
22oz Bottle. The pour was a murky dark amber brown with a large (2-3 finger) light brown foamy head that reduced to a few puddles and a large collar with good sticky lacing.
The aroma was of roasted caramel malts and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of chocolate, toffee, cinnamon, chili’s, dried fruit (raisons and figs) and a mild alcohol tinge.
The taste was malty sweet and a bit acidic with a note of caramel and a touch of cinnamon and chocolate early on, and then progressed with a seriously bold maltiness that had hints of toffee, dried fruit and a light spicy alcohol finish. The flavor lasted for a good long while with a slightly spicy sweet warming sensation, which hit you right in the back of the throat.
Mouthfeel was a solid medium in body and dry in texture with a somewhat mild carbonation.
Overall this was a very interesting brew, lots of complexity with the flavors in this one. That being said, they all seemed to work extremely well together, making this a very enjoyable drinking experience...
ddemmingjr (800) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - NOV 23, 2011
Excited to give this a try. pours clear amber, off white head that fades quickly. Clove, banana, typical Tripel nose with Belgian yeast and then that distinctive additional cinnamon, spicy chili vegetable notes on the nose. bready malts, esters, spiciness that is unique. medium carbonation, syrupy texture and stickiness on the lips. dry, astringent long finish. interesting but not my thing. Rando7 (779) - Iowa, USA - FEB 8, 2012
Bottle pours reddish brown with brief beige head. Aroma mainly dark fruits and banana. Taste interesting combination of sweet caramel, Belgian yeast, dark fruits, banana, pepper, spices. Palate thick and near-sticky with a nice tingle from the chiles and alcohol. Finish prolonged with dull bitter hops - not too strong but not particularly pleasant. Alcohol apparent.