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Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 416   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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

   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (10265) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Racegoer (354) - 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

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
aracauna (3318) - 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.

   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jazz88 (2628) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
3fourths (8811) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 1, 2003
Very dark amber appearance, with a frothy tan head. Smells of heavy sugar, like Koolaid. It's not so fruity, just very sugary, to the point at which it feels gritty on your teeth. Strong first taste, harsh scratchy finish. This stuff is just too sweet to enjoy, but it balances the sugar taste with a honey and bread flavor, which makes it drinkable. The other two bottle I have will be in storage, and so we'll see how it is in a few months of a few years.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
lunaticharness (183) - Torrance, California, USA - APR 29, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2003 very nutty and herb-like aroma with nice sweet cookie dough back drop, small creamy off white ring around the glass for a head standing atop a beer bottle brown body, nice dark rich burnt malty bitter backbone that keeps the alcohol hidden and the other flavors a little subdued the hops are screamy to get out! i hope this beer ages well i have about 5 in reserve waiting future tastings

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
obxdude10 (2153) - Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 29, 2003
Very disappointing beer, the aroma was very nice & sweet, very typical Belgian style of a nose, but then the flavors were just plain aweful, I guess maybe I don't have the taste for these kinds of beers that taste like V8 and grinded up veggies, again I was very disappointed in the brew that I was looking forward to trying since it came out

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dogbrick (10034) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 29, 2003
I am hoping I have the patience to get one of each of the V.E. beers to actually do the vertical tasting. This beers pours a solid amber color with a medium beige head. Aroma is spicey and malty at the same time. For some reason when I tasted it I was reminded of one of those god-awful "12 Greatest Brews of the World" monstrosities brewed by Gluek. Some kind of cardboard taste maybe? This wasn't a bad brew but I could not get the comparison out of my head. Finish is hoppy and toasty. Overall the cardboard flavor and general oilyness kind of ruined what is definitely a brew that will improve over time.

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