#7 Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11

Alright. I drank this beer a couple of weeks ago. It has taken me this long to review it for a couple reason...One,  I lost my detailed and slightly drunken scrawled notes. Second, this beer is intimidating. Seriously. There has been more than one occasion when I pick up a bottle of Stone and I second guess my masculinity. The Oaked Arrogant Bastard bottle alone is begging you for a knock down, drag out fist fight. Insulting you and goading you and making you aware that you're crazy, because you are totally contemplating punching a glass bottle in the face.

But I digress...

Ok, so, review. Right. I picked this bottle up in Baltimore, and I was pretty excited. I like Stone. OAB as the first Stone I had ever had. I remember picking up a 6 pack for $15, my ex-wife flipping out, and me not caring because it was a heavenly beer. The name was why I bought it, and the product kept me coming back. I also love Ruination, what a great IPA. And their bottles are just beautiful. Other than those two, and todays beer, that is all I've had. It's cool to see them kind of become these "superstars" of the craft beer world, and I'm sure its more than deserving. I just have to be biased (and not a bandwagon rider), because of everything they make, I've only had three brews. Three. That is paltry.

Oh wait, DUH, I've had their Smoked Porter, which in going par for the course, was also goddamned delicious. So that makes Four. So, I actually might be an expert after all. Lets find out how expert-y I am! Bring on the beer!

I was having a very difficult time photographing this. I blame it on the beer I had prior.

it was a beautiful dark, reddish amber color, nice and crystal clear. And as always, I got my nose right in there, taking it all in. And I instantly pulled it right back out! Wow. The pepper was BAM right in my face, with the cinnamon dawdling behind. And there was a smell of burning. Smokey. There wasn't a a chance to even see if there were any other notes of anything because what was there in my nostrils, was soaked in. I'm pretty sure my sense of smell is still recovering. I was starting to get afraid of what I got myself into. I sat there with the glass in my hand, staring at it for a couple minutes before I even took my first sip. Intimidating. I took the first sip. I held in my mouth, letting everything happen all at once. Chili pepper, check. Cinnamon...Cinnamon? CINNAMON, DAMNIT WHERE ARE YOU? Malt? Anything other than pepper, can you make yourself known?

Nothing. All I tasted was pepper.

This beer was heavy in my mouth, and not an easy drink. I was this close to getting a glass of milk to chase it with. 

I eventually finished, but truth be told I didn't really want to. But I can not let a beer go to waste. And while I didnt like this beer, I certainly wont let it detract me from either "odd" beers or Stone Brewery. I just didn't like it, and that's alright. I'm also prepared for the flak I'm bound to get, because I didn't like it. But I can handle that, I'm tough! Should I have maybe let it age even longer than 6 months? And with all this said, I feel the need to clarify, I don't think its a bad beer, I just don't think this beer is for me. If I want a beer with some spice, I think that so far the best one I have had, was The Vixen. Even if its a different style all together.

If you don't agree with me, let me know why. Like I mentioned, this beer is intimidating. For a little while , I admittedly didnt even know how to write about it. I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. I think that's why its nice to write a review for a beer a little later after consumption. Gives me time to ponder. I'm rambling now...

Stone Brewery Vertical Epic 11.11.11

Smell: 2/5
Appearance: 3/5
Taste: 1.5/5
Feel: 2/5

Overall: 2.125/5

This beer pairs best with: Puya - Union