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Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale

 
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RATINGS: 420   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A new Vertical Epic will be released every year, with the goal being to collect them all and have a Vertical Epic tasting once the final Epic is released on 12/12/12. Each new Stone Vertical Epic Ale will be release one YEAR, one MONTH and one DAY apart. With Vertical Epic 03/03/03, we used some pretty interesting ingredients...coriander (a "Belgian-style" beer favorite!), alligator pepper (wow, bite into these little gems and you get a bigtime spicy rush of flavor), and a bit of both unmalted wheat and dark roasted wheat. And a blend of Belgian yeast and American ale yeast. And a nice selection of high alpha hops (a decidedly non-Belgian style twist). All told it makes for a dubble-ish taken-to-San-Diego-pushed-to-the-edge-and-slapped-around-a-bit beer. So, treat it gently. It's been abused enough already. Store it upright, cool and in the dark. It would enjoy a nice long rest. It will have plenty of patience. Now let's see about you . . . . In addition, we are pleased to provide the homebrewing recipe: http://stonebrew.com/timeline/030303


3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
CapFlu (5101) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 19, 2003
(1.6 pint bottle) Pours a thin, quick dissipating almond head and a reddish-brown body. Light carbonated activity. Aroma of malt, banana and bubble gum. Sweet raisins, cotton candy and mellow malt. Thin finish but nice balance throughout. Good. Thanks Argo for the opportunity to try this...

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BtownBrewer (91) - Belchertown, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 10, 2003
Fruity, tangy aroma. Complex fruity, hoppy, malty flavor combo. I'm starting to notice that a lot of beers I've had lately are like this, and I think they're all strong ales, or belgian strong ales. I can't say I really enjoyed this one, though it didn't turn me off either. Maybe I should wait and try it again in 2012.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - AUG 10, 2003
A cloudy deep amber ale resembling unfiltered apple cider and a rocky tan head that collapsed within 15 minutes, leaving a thick lacing around the glass. Aroma seems like a Belgian Dubbel with a bready spiciness and slightly fruity. Full bodied with a highly carbonated crispness to it. Flavor is malty and fruity like a dubbel with noticable alcohol giving a nice warming effect. A decent offering from Stone that I just couldn't wait 9 years to try.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 4, 2003
Good Belgian stron ale. Malty, hoppy, and spicy flavor. Finish is crisp, clean and spicy. Recommended.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - AUG 4, 2003
Slight hazy, deep copper/red. Nice off white head and lace. Soft, subdued nose of belgium yeast, slight corriander, grains of paradise, cookie dough malt, hint of orange and hops. Medium bodied, very lush feel, smooth with flavors of corriander, orange, bit of chocolate, licorice, sweet malt, peppery notes, very spicy dubbel that hides 9% very well. Flavorful, soft and drinkable. Thanks Silk.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
leitrim65 (402) - Seattle, Washington, USA - AUG 2, 2003
According to the label I'm not supposed to open this one until 2012. I might have to go out and get another one. Dark amber color. At first I thought I caught a hint of apples in the nose but it soon changed to malt and bananas. Malty and sweet on the tongue with an easy bitter finish.

2.5
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 28, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 2, 2003 The head fell fast on this russet brew. The nose was moderately potent with a hint of spice and candi sugar. The carbonation level was too low for the style. The palate was very sweet and fruity. The more sips I took of this beer the more it tasted like a winter wassail, which was unexpected. This beer is a sweet cloying mass that does not come together and become a total beer, too many loose ends. I think the beer would be better if it were drier, had a higher carbonation level, and if a Belgian yeast strain was used exclusively.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - JUL 28, 2003
Aroma is of mellow smooth banana esters. Palate is nice and ester-fied with dark wheaty goodness. The coriander and pepper add a fine touch to the flavor, but the abundance of alcohol overpowers the more desirable flavors. Perhaps I was too impatient and should have waited 12 years to enjoy this beer at maturity. I'll buy another and re-rate in 12 years. Stay tuned.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - JUL 27, 2003
They ask on the back if you can store the beer and wait until 12.12.12 to drink it. Well, no, I can't :-) So I bought two and put one away. This pours a color that I would call a dark red. It has a small head that dissipates quickly and it has a moderate amount of lacing on the glass. Very attractive beer. The aroma is fruity with hints of malt and sweetness with a little bit of spice - smells great. The flavor is very fitting for the Belgian ale classification. It is a mix between a Belgian Dark Strong ale and a spicy Belgian Blonde. There is a moderate amount of spiciness to the flavor that is just enough to give it a small kick, but not enough to make it spicy. Very smooth and easy to drink. I might have to seek this one out again so I don't have to open the one I've put in reserve. Great looks, great aroma, great flavor. What more can you ask for? Unfortunately I've missed the 02.02.02 version, but I will be sure not to miss the one for next year ... and next year ... etc. Hopefully my other bottle of 03.03.03 will make it until the end. Congrats to the people at Stone for this one.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 19/20
austinpowers (2826) - New York, New York, USA - JUL 23, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2004 Interesting that this '03 Epic Ale has so many more ratings than the '02. Decent beige head and a dark bronze color. I can definitely taste the 9% alcohol, but there's much more to the flavor than that. Coriander and citrus notes are apparent. Can't taste much "alligator pepper", but I'm sure it's there. Plenty of hops to be found as well, so if you like a strong beer with a whole mess of flavors, and a hint o' Belgian goodness, this is for you. The use of both Belgian yeast and American Ale yeast seems to be a masterstroke, as this beer really came together well. There's a lot of sweetness in here and the 9% abv is nowhere to be found. Very dubbel-meets-barleywine.


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