Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 673   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…

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bookman10 (1112) - Osseo, Minnesota, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Pours a darkish, oily brown with little head. Various spices are present in the aroma--the clove, allspice, the ginger. Flavor is a complex brew of spices: the orange peel is quite noticeable, as are the ginger, cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Rather light and thin in the mouth, with a bitter finish.

drowland (8629) - Georgia, USA - DEC 31, 2012
12/31/12. 22oz bomber from Grassroots Natural Market. Rich deep dark brown pour with a small brown head that fades to a ring but laces well. Huge kick of spices in the aroma dominated by cinnamon and all those other garbage pumpkin beer spices, but with a surprising dose of flowers. Lightly sweet caramel and molasses flavor with another truckload of spices and again that crazy floral aspect I really wasn’t expecting. That part is cool but otherwise mehhhh.

johno (185) - Galveston, Texas, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Dark, viscous pour. Rich aroma just redolent of a spice rack, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, etc... creamy, complex, but I find the spice character overwhelms the malt, especially on the finish, needs more balance.

Nickls (2527) - 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.

egajdzis (6502) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Dark brown, mahogany color with a small, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, cinnamon, all spice, ginger, cocoa, and light alcohol. Taste of roasted malts, lightly burnt, dark chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and ginger.

hopdog (12486) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2012
22oz bottle. Had this during a full 020202 - 121212 vertical. Poured a black color with an off white head. Dark fruits, spices, ginger, citrus, and fruity.

reggiedunlop (3719) - The dub c, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Pours deep brown/black with a medium mocha head. Aroma has a mild clovey/allspice note but is very faint. Flavor has some burnt/roasty malt notes and lots of spice...allspice, clove, cinnamon, a hint of anise...faint tobacco. Mouthfeel is full and the finish is spicy with a hint of sweetness.

durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - DEC 31, 2012
Truth be told, I’ve begun to feel like buying Stone Anniversary or Vertical Epic ales is more of an obligation than something to look forward to. Thus, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that the final VE beer is pretty awesome. I didn’t expect it to pour black from the bottle, and although the nose put me off at first (lots of spice--cinnamon, clove, orange peel, lemongrass, rose notes), the parts come together nicely in the whole, tied together well with a chocolatey non-hop-bomb. Taste comes together like a dark saison, and the palate is quite dry like the style. Solid malt backbone. Lovely.

kp (10882) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - DEC 31, 2012

Date: December 27, 2012
Mode: Bottle
Source: Hop City, Atlanta
Appearance: black, frothy tan head, drippy layers of lace
Aroma: sweet dark belgian aroma, dark fruits, sweet esters, lots of spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, touch of clove, roasted malt
Flavor: big spicy flavor, sweet cinnamon, a tad too much clove, dark fruits try to balance the spices but have no sweetness to back it up, bitterness follows the spices for a spicy bitter finish
Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 13/20
Rating: 3.2/5.0
Drinkability: 7/10
Score: ** /4

FlacoAlto (4176) - 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.

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