TheEpeeist (3709) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2012
22 oz bottle. Dark brown with a crema head. Nose is raisin, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate banana with musty hints. Slick and coating medium body with a tang. Coating mouthfeel, lingering on the palate. Taste is cinnamon, clove, orange peel, ginger, juniper and bitter chocolate. Slightly sour, maybe the rose hips. Ironically, i think this one the most ageable of the series. cubs (10635) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 17, 2012
Bottle @ home, picked up at Wilburs in Fort Collins. Pours a deep brown/black appearance with a nice, lasting dark brown head. Super mintry/sprucey, big ginger, chewy Belgian chocolate malty, quite spicy aroma. Tangy, burnt dark chocolate, anise, light coffee, charred ashy, minty, pine needle flavor with a fairly bitter, minty, earthy hoppy finish. Pretty strong flavor but it was decent enough to drink. craftycarl21 (2338) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2012
Draft at Churckey for 12.12.12. Beautiful deep garnet/black pour with a frothy light tan head. Nose and flavor bring big Christmas spice character with cinnamon, clove, and ginger, mixing with bits of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Definitely one of the more stout-like of the series, and has solid depth of flavor. Fairly full mouthfeel, but not too sticky or syrupy. Quite nice. trevor211 (1681) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 16, 2012
On tap at Brouwer’s for 12/12/12. Beautiful black pour, weird gray-brown head. Nose is a burst of baking spices. Lots of cloves, some allspice, cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne (though without heat). Flavor keeps all of them, adding chocolate and brown sugar. This is an overpowering baked good in a glass. Strange, and overdone. Dogbrick (13019) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 16, 2012
On draught at 101 Beer Kitchen. The beer pours an opaque brownish-black color with a medium tan head that dissipates slowly. Partial rings of lacing on the glass. The aroma is spicy with some toasted malt in the background. Medium to full body with flavors of burnt malt, cinnamon and a bit of dark chocolate. The finish is sweetly spiced with an earthy, malty aftertaste. Pretty good beer all around.
marcus (10231) - Sacramento, California, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Bottle consumed at Capitol Beer, Sacramento. Pours near black with a thin tan head and a strange spicy aroma - cloves or ginger. There is a delicious dark molasses and raisin flavor with lots of ginger and a dry finish. Very interesting. nearbeer (5423) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 16, 2012
650 ml. Opaque chocolate with a film of creamy bubbles. Spicy-sweet nose of allspice, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a hint of dirty banana and chocolate. Taste is clove, allspice, bubblegum, wheat, charred brown sugar, ginger, lemon zest, merlot, and hints of smoky sulfur and oak. Medium-heavy body is slightly to the sweet side, but finishes well balanced and has light carbonation. Kind of tastes like a dark pumpkin ale. Normally the spiced beers are a bit overdone for my tastes, but this one strikes a nice balance.
RABinCO (1511) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Bottle. Pours nearly pitch black with a slight tan head that fades to a halo. Aroma is very christmas spicy. Overall kind of a typical christmas ale, which is typical with the latest Vertical Epics. the booze definitely comes through on this one with a slight burn on the end. LilBeerDoctor (3931) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2012
On tap at Fat Heads Pittsburgh. Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma of cinnamon and allspice primarily with a touch of ginger. Flavor cinnamon (but more fiery, like those cinnamon fire ball candies), ginger, clove, and sweet malt. This is a spice-dominated beer and the Belgiany notes are well hidden. Still it’s pretty good, probably one of the better ones if my memory serves me accurately.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5) Kinz (3786) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - DEC 16, 2012
UPDATED: NOV 1, 2014 Sort of mixed feelings about the end of the vertical epic. Great concept. Some of the beers were worthy of the concept. Others, perhaps not. But at least now I don’t feel like I have to run out and buy two of any beer for a while. Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black. Aroma is pumpkin spice and faint chocolate. Flavor is a match. The clove doesn’t overwhelm, but it is definitely there. The allspice and cinnamon definitely show. A bit of a bread, chocolate malt backbone, dry on the finish. Just a bit too spiced for my tastes. It might fall down some over time, but I think that since it does finish dry, it may not be quite the good ager that some Belgian abbey beers are. I wish they had ended on something that was really truly meant to be consumed on the spot as the end of the epic as opposed to one that was more of a setting down brew. RERATE: Screaming clove. Really a poutpourri blast for me.