Far starters, I like Stone Brewing Co. They brew good beers and have great branding and marketing in the arena of craft beer. Plus they have one of the most impressive headquarters I have ever seen in my beer travels. If you are ever near Escondido, CA, I highly recommend you check out Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. Since it's November 11, 2011, I figured that the new Vertical Epic 11-11-11 would be the perfect beer to review.
Stone Vertical Epic 11-11-11
Stone Brewing Co. -Escondido, CAABV: 9.4%
Smitty's Review: Sampled at 50 degrees. Pours copper amber with a dissipating beige head. The aroma was nice, which smelled like cinnamon red hot candy and banana-esque esters. Medium bodied with average carbonation. The Belgian malt backbone is toasty with a hint of chocolate, but cinnamon and Anaheim chiles really take center stage here. They blend really well and do not overpower with spice or heat. Yeasty and warming finish, but perhaps too heavy on Belgian phenols that come across as medicinal and musty. While this beer is complex, I don't find the ingredients to be harmonious. I am probably going to be in the minority here, but this beer is sort of a letdown. It's more odd than it is enjoyable. I still think that any adventurous craft beer drinker should give this a try. It's only going to be around this one time, and they are flying off the shelves pretty fast to collectors. Feel free to comment on your impressions.
• Rating*: 6.75 out of 10
• Recommended Food Pairing: This would ruin a meal for me, perhaps some mild white cheeses.
• Value: Moderate at $8.49 per bomber
• Beer Audience: Adventurous craft beer drinkers
• Where to buy: Craft beer specialty stores like Midtown, Frugal MacDoogal, J Barleycorn, Red Dog, Graces Plaza, etc.
* rating system based on aroma (1 pt), appearance (1pt), palate (2 pts) flavor (3pts), comparison to other commercial examples of the style (3pts)