I’ve been doing pretty good lately, doing several beer views this month. So tonight, I went out to the beer fridge and brought in a few more beers to try. The evening was getting late, So I only got a chance to try this one, and I figured if I was only going to have one tonight, I had better make it epic. 🙂
The bottle says, “ This years 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 addition, you can expect a perfectly balanced ‘womp’ of spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, sweet orange peel, clove (only a little!) and rosehips, All in the context of a dark Belgian style Abby-ish beer… But not as sweet. Dry even. Stone style. Thanks for coming on this Epic Stone-style journey with us! You can be rest assured there will be new adventures to come…”
Location: Poured into a snifter glass from the 22oz bottle at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 9% ABV, ~ 280 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s black in color, and no highlights were visible when I held it up to the light. It’s got a tan colored head that’s solid and creamy. The head has some great retention and left some great lacing. The aroma is a mix of spices, including cinnamon, allspice, and orange peel.
Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is somewhat creamy. There’s a sweet, caramel malty flavor up front, with a little bit of orange and allspice noticeable, before a huge wall of spice flavors hit in the middle. The middle and finish is definitely a “womp” of spices, including cinnamon, allspice, and clove, with the orange peel covering up what remains of the maltiness. In the aftertaste, the orange and cinnamon come forward along with some of the maltiness.
Food Pairing: This beer delivers a big dose of spices. I’d pair this with pork chops, pork loin, or turkey, all of which are fairly bland, but pair well with, and often invite, holiday spices. The light meat would help knock down the spices a bit, but would allow them to come through.
Overall Impression: Stone does a great job of marketing, and comes up with cool ideas like this, and the Enjoy By beers. I really wish I would have gotten a chance to try the other beers in this series, in order to have some sort of comparison. This beer was a bit over the top with spices for me. My advice, if you have a bottle of this, don’t open it… Sit on it for a year or two and let the spices fade a bit. I appreciate where they were going with this, but it tastes like a mishmash of assorted spices that hit you in the face. Overall, it was a solid attempt, but the spices were too big and mixed for me.