Well, better late than never. I only learned about Stone’s Vertical Epic Series this year. Each year since 2002 Stone has made a beer for the date that corresponded to the same number as the year (02/02/02, 03/03/03, etc…). I guess they hadn’t thought of it on 01/01/01. Anyway, this was the last of the series. However, the good news is by many accounts it was the best. I would certainly agree. This may rank among the best beers I’ve ever tasted. I really hope they find a way to repackage and market it so it can be sold regularly. This is a dark Belgian abbey style beer with some winter-ish spice. It’s made with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, orange peel, clove and rose-hips. Although it is a Belgian abbey style beer, it is less sweet. It has the familiar slightly fruity ester smell of Belgian yeast and the mixture of spices is nicely blended so that none sticks out overpoweringly. Although it’s not actually present there is a slight hint of banana in the nose. It pours black as night with a large off-white head that hangs on for quite a while. The body is very smooth and it is very drinkable. With a 9% ABV, this one could really sneak up on you if you weren’t careful. I would rate this one 5 out of 5 proper pints. I would not mind being stuck on a desert island with this beer!