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Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 410   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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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
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - MAY 15, 2003
Yeah, so I could follow the label's advice and let this mature a bit (although 10 years seems a bit long). The malt was forefront in the beer - especially being a Belgian Strong Ale - mostly sweet, a touch sour, and a touch spicy. There was something about the malt that just refused to register with my senses, the sweetness just flutters by and rolls off the tongue giving a very watery impression. The pepper doesn't really set in - granted I am rather used to intensely spicy foods - so adds little more than a tingle of curiousity. i just felt this was immature, I'll go buy another one and keep it around for ten years.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - MAY 15, 2003
03, 03, 03....I had to try, Oh, 3 of these before coming to any conclusion about what I could say. This is a very interesting and adventurous idea, and as usual, Stone finds a way to take it over the top - this time with the alligator pepper - where do they come up with this stuff!?!?!? Underneath it all sits a normal run of the mill Belgian brown ale; but it's wrapped in spices that you would usually use as dry rub for your weekend barbeque. My friend Chris says that this makes him crave a big juicy steak. I would like to have this with peppercorn seared tuna. We'll see how it ages and changes the next few years. (and yes, just like Dogbrick, I tasted a great deal of cardboard here.)

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BBB63 (5937) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - MAY 15, 2003
Nice color but no head. Sweet and spicy aroma that smells more like a witbeer than and belgian brown. The malt is very noticeable while tasting and I can detect a peppery/spice undertone. Not much hops here. Dry on the palate and the aftertaste is not very long (except for the pepper). A good beer, but I was somewhat disappointed after truly enjoying the 02 offering and a few other Stone brews. My other bottle will be aged for 6 months when I may change my opinion.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Volgon (2763) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - MAY 15, 2003
UPDATED: JAN 11, 2004 Pours a clear brown/orange color with a thin head that sticks around. Huge sweet spicy aroma with piney hops. Start sweet, ends not as sweet and bitter. A nice full bodied brew, but the coriander turns me off a bit. It will be interesting to see if this survives for another 9 years.

2.5
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
daboskabouter (1470) - Fergus, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 12, 2003
I this supposed to be good just because it's from Stone? Bright amber color. Fresh malty nose. Body is alcoholic with a big malt presence and some light citrusy hops. Could probably stand for some age, but right now its nothing special.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (8776) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 10, 2003
Crystal clear copper hue. Very small, quickly dissipating, khaki head. The aroma is of sweet malt, candy sugar, caramel, yeast, toffee, allspice, cinnamon, alcohol and dark raisins. The flavor is very well-balanced for a Belgian style ale. Bursts of toffee, milk chocolate and caramel up front. Nice, lightly bitter hop presence on the backside. Full-bodied with a dry mouthfeel and fizzy carbonation. Short, dry finish with fescue at the wee end. Another great offering from the fine folks at Stone. I would like to pop open another bottle of this stuff twelve years from now, but I could only get my hands on one bottle.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Racegoer (351) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - MAY 9, 2003
Burgandy and rich brown color,smell reminds me of tropical fruits, pepper and spice. It tastes of pepper,spicy and malty with lots of sugar. Refreshing

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
aracauna (3030) - Georgia, USA - MAY 9, 2003
Me gusta. I really wish I had two bottle so I could age the other one to see how it changed with age. But I'm really wondering if it would be any better with age. The appearance is just a little too brown to be ruby and the cascading bubbles almost look like golden flakes. The head is a very pale tan but forms easily and holds up nicely. Coriander is definitely evident up front as well as a peppery aroma. A bit of orange pulp wafts up as well. The flavor continues with the coriander and the pepper becomes stronger. Oddly they didn't use real pepper this time around. I guess the grains of paradise are aptly nicknamed "Alligator Pepper." Under the caramel cake malt, I'm picking up the faintest hint of banana. I'm actually a bit surprised that Stone made a beer so unabashedly not hoppy. Sure they used high alpha hops in the boil, but I'm not picking them up at all. They blend into the overall mix nicely. Very balanced, but big flavored beer. I'm actually surprised the beer is getting such low ratings here. Maybe something as subtle as a dunkel wit made by Stone throws people off, but I really like it.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
amx1970390 (480) - Southampton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 4, 2003
Yeasty aroma with dark malts and spice. Color is a deep dark brown, taste is quite peppery up front with malty middle and a dry finish. Not overly sweet. Might get better with age.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jazz88 (2542) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 2, 2003
Bottle. A dark brown color with a foamy brown head. The aroma has malts, pepper spice, candy, and cinnamon. Full bodied with plenty of malt and pepper in the flavor. I was not impressed with this beer when I first tried it, but the subtleness of it is growing on me with time.


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