Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stone's 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

StarStarStarStar½




Stone Brewery's 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale.




Brewed with winter spices to be exact.




Just when I'm seriously getting into the game, Stone releases their final chapter to Vertical Epic.  This was the final release of their 11 year run - each installment coming exactly one year, one month and one day after the last.  Hence, 02.02.02, 03.03.03,...12.12.12.  Each batch was brewed with slight modifications and the intent of being aged (with proper cold storage) and enjoyed years down the line.  I didn't get to try the others but I loved this particular one.  



My first impression was that it was darker then I had expected.  It had a rich and frothy espresso head.  Immediately, the aroma and flavor were of clove, nutmeg and yeast.  Then, it gradually became malty with molasses, caramel, prunes and toffee.  The beer was medium bodied with a dry finish.  I think this would age wonderfully.  Introducing some oak and even higher ABV would make this a real treat.  Thumbs way up on this one!  Thanks for not going overboard with the hops on this one, Stone.  If I hadn't known any better, I would never have guessed this was a Stone release.

 

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