What is a Vertical?
In a nutshell, "A vertical tasting offers a selection of beers from the same brewery, all brewed in different years. This is one of the most educational tasting formats because it offers the opportunity to taste the effects on beer caused by weather, growing conditions and changes in beer-making style over time, as well as demonstrating how beers change as they mature." Paraphrased from Realbeer.com
The Stone Vertical '02-'12 is a ride not only through time but through different styles of beer. Like any great beer each one is it's own roller coaster of flavor and tastes.
Here I thought the Professor was going to be on HIS phone all night...
Best Dynamic Duo:
I'm a dark chocolate lover. Every Christmas I try and stuff my stocking with a dark chocolate orange. Guilty pleasures, I know, we all have them! After spending a semester abroad in India I have developed a taste for the extremely spicy. This beer brought all those flavors together and more. The 11.11.11 was paired with a Chili Cinnamon Flourless Chocolate Torte. Either of these on their own would have been a treat, but the combination nearly blew my socks off! You can tell because I can't seem to find a picture I know I took of that torte...
The 11.11.11 had a spicy chili cinnamon nose that opened up my sinuses just a bit! The fiesta of chilies and citrus orange rind flavors played merry havoc on my pallet. It's medium heavy body finished with a spicy dryness.
The 11.11.11 paired with the melt in your... everything torte just about had me seeing my life flash before my very eyes! This pairing won the race for me. If this was a marathon run by a fat kid and these were at the finish line waiting... he would come in 1st every time!
10.10.10 paired with Bacon Wrapped Nectarines. Besides the fact that bacon goes with everything, even fruit... The light flora grape nose, light crisp bodied, white wine finished citrus fruit experience of the 10.10.10 was a VERY close second to the 11.11.11.
Back of the pack:
I didn't care for the 2.2.02, affectionately named the International Incident. I have a sneaking suspicion that if The Big Guy let it sit for a cool 11 years then busted it out I would have had a different opinion of it, but we didn't have that amount of time to burn. Definitely a great base recipe to tweak and make his own!
Thats RIGHT! $5.99! ...in 2004...
The 4.4.04 was not what I thought it should have been. The taste was not as intense as I would have liked. It was all light touches of lime and ghosts of clover and spice. Call me classic, but I like a nice battle ax to the flavor face... Bold, intense! Those words just did not describe the 4.4.04
Just the Facts Mam:
2.2.02 - 2.5
3.3.03 - 4
4.4.04 - 4
5.5.05 - 4.5
6.6.06 - 4
7.7.07 - 4.5
8.8.08 - 4
9.9.09 - 4.5
10.10.10 - 5
11.11.11 - 5
12.12.12 - 4.5