J_man (1022) - Tustin, California, USA - NOV 10, 2011
Pours a crystal clear medium amber with a slight ruby tinge and light tan head. The aroma has a candy sweetness to it with some grassy, vegetal notes and an alcoholic fullness. My first impression of the taste is that it’s a holiday/Christmas beer due to the malty sweetness combined with a spicy, herbal flavor. There’s some milk and bittersweet chocolate flavors as well as vanilla combined with a light vegetal, herb flavor with a slight spicy/peppery kick. There’s a dry, earthy/woody bitterness underlying this along with a somewhat farmhouse style Saison yeastiness. The herbal/yeast flavors remind me a bit of the flavors in the Stone collaboration ale Saison du Buff (another excellent beer). Washes out with a nice alcohol bite while leaving a little of both the vanilla sweetness and the vegetal bitterness behind. I don’t think this was necessarily intended to be a "holiday beer", but it makes an excellent one regardless. The Vertical Epic series has produced some great beers and this ranks high on that list. AndyReynolds (1085) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 14, 2011
Bottle. I was pretty impressed with this one. It is kind of like a Beligian strong ale, mixed with a German Doppleweiss, with a kick. The palate is what was mindblowing to me. At first, it makes the tounge tingle, as it warms and as I adjusted to it, the cinnamon really came out and almost burned, but quickly subsided. anderson01 (357) - Spirit Lake, Idaho, USA - JAN 8, 2012
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2012 Nut brown in color. Off white head in color. Good lacing. Nutty aroma. Cherry in the taste. Smooth finish. There is a slight creamy texture. Stone is a very good brewery and I will try another one in a heartbeat. sayravai (4711) - Helsinki, FINLAND - JAN 8, 2012
(Bottled, 0.65l, rated 2011-12-27) Clear red-copper with a small, lasting head. Strongly fruity Belgian yeast in the nose with orange peel and aromatic hops. Belgian-yeasty flavor has both ripe and fresh fruitiness, and crisp spiciness (one can imagine the chili, too). Quite full body, very smooth with low CO2. Very clean and fruity, quite fresh and balancedly spicy - yet boldly done brew. Excellent! DuffMan (10665) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 15, 2012
Bottle. deep red-orange with a solid, eternal off-white head. Aroma is very vegetal; you really can detect the peppers here big time! Toffee malt kissed with cinnamon with a peppery vegetal character make for an odd flavour combo, but somehow this works brilliantly. It is definitely helped by the fact that Stone has not scrimped on the ingredients here: the mouthfeel is full and rich, the balance is perfect. I opened this with some skepticism, but the more I drank the more this proved to be an amazingly crafted brew with a unique flavour profile. Way more than just a gimmick-- outstanding in my opinion.
Braudog (6836) - Yorktown, Virginia, USA - FEB 5, 2012
Bottle #2 for Super Bowl XLVI. Reddish-brown with a thin but sticky head. The aroma is distinguished in its spiciness, almost peppery (duh, read the description dummy). Nice drink here ... the pepper is there, but very well delivered in the background. The cinnamon is also subtle, and somehow goes well in this really odd combo. Different to be sure, and meant to be had on a cold fall night, not a warm January night in Virginia. (#4467, 2/5/2012) hivemind (922) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 17, 2012
Tap @ Fulton Grand w Erica last night. Goblet. Pours bright copper. Absolutely delicious: strong hop flavor without being overly bitter. Earthy, caramel notes. Chewy and scrumptuous, decently complex. Goes out on a dry, malty note. maxwelldeux (4433) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - MAR 17, 2012
This is a very spicy beer. Pours with a nice, but minimal head and has a gorgeous amber color with many hints of red. ngeunit1 (1555) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 27, 2012
A - Pours a hazy copper-orange with a finger of frothy tannish head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lace.
S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts with some candi sugar, chilies, cinnamon, Belgian yeast, some other spices, a touch of citrus, and some booze.
T - Starts off with a mix of sweet bready caramel malts with some candi syrup and some hot pepper. Through the middle, some cinnamon and Belgian yeast flavors come through with a bit of citrus. The finish is a mix of hot chili, cinnamon, candi syrup, Belgain yeast, and a bit of booze.
M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a hot, sweet, and warming finish.
D - Very drinkable. Nice balance of flavors with the chili heat providing a unique complexity to the BSPA style. MrHangover (4693) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - OCT 12, 2014
Bottle. Pours a slightly hazy amber beer with a thin off white head on top. Aroma has loads of port and vineous characters that go with a big malty base and a rich molasses front. Flavor is very sweet, very vineous and you can defintely tell the age on this one. Very nice, full bodied and well carbonated drinking experience, I wish I had the entire series, but unfortunately I don’t...