Frank (2297) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 7, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep mahogany. Fine carbonation leads to a somewhat thin but frothy head. Aromas of orange, pepper, a bit of yeasty sourness, and a very slight floral note. Front is slightly sweet. Citrus and spice become more prominent as the beer progresses. In general, it's every bit as flavorful as the aroma implies. On the lighter side of full bodied. Soft carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden. Hop presence is surprisingly subdued for a Stone brew but still stronger than I'd expect for a belgian style, helping to separate Vertical Epic from similar beers. Much better at room temperature. As it warms, it becomes sweeter and more citrusy and the hop presence becomes more pronounced.
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - APR 7, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Quite dark in the glass, small tan head. Nose gives away the Belgian style and the flavor follows suit. Fairly complex with a fruity/spicy/hops assault that blends very well. I'll admit that although I have had a few 'Belgians' the style is not my favorite; it's the spices that I have problems with. Having said that, as usual this brew from Stone was very well done and enjoyable. I don't always agree with comments on many of the strong beers that state how well the alcohol is hidden, but in this case it certainly is true. I bought two bottles, one to age so perhaps by then I'll appreciate the style more.
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - APR 6, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 18, 2004 Pours a pretty ruby color with a thick off-white head. The aroma was filled with Belgian yeast, orange, grape, slight alcohol. The flavor was very fruity, with that Stone hop profile similar to Arrogant Bastard, orange again, and some malt character. The after taste was alcohol and pepper on the tongue. Very crisp brew that packed a whallop.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - APR 6, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Big belgian taste up front, with a malty sweet taste to back it up. This needs.....maybe....NINE years to mature??? I'm going to buy another one to save...maybe....
ravidesai (940) - Bombay, INDIA - APR 5, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
dark orange, thin tan head, aroma is complex with dominant sweet malt and caramel notes but with a spice character dominated by pepper and coiroander.
nice deep malty flavors, sweet and zesty with enough balancing hops.
boto (1789) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - APR 4, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
I was quite suprised to find someone in Phoenix that actually had gotten some extra cases, or I would never have gotten to try it. Unfortunately it was already in the cooler, so I think that my extra will have to stay there as opposed to aging it awhile. Pours a bit of a brown with no head. Nose has the familiar fruitiness of many of the trappistes, with the addition of, suprise, HOPS! Not nearly as strong on them as most of their other beers. It is a very nice marriage. WELL DONE GUYS!
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 2, 2003
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
A decent brew, but nothing overly special. Very malty with a light hop. I am always happy to try a new brew from this brewery
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - MAR 30, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark oarnge ale,approaching brown. Nice sized head. Clingy with good lacework. Aroma is mainly good interplay between pepper and coriander.Nice sweetness and little hoppiness as well. Very soft mouthfeel. Starts sweet but the pepper/coriander follow and stick out more. Little sweetness in the finish,with mainly spice,and just small,leafy/sappy,hop notes,now and then. Not bad at all.
gerdy555 (163) - Ohio, USA - MAR 30, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
this is my first crack at a belgian strong ale, and its excellent. pours a redish brown with little head. flavor is very fruity rasins, apples, plums, maybe a little bananna. very malty but also has a good hop kick to it. this is great now and will definatly get better with age. i will definatly have to use that homebrew recipe.
Silphium (3156) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAR 29, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Well, I bought it today, and I drank it today. Not exactly patience, but I had to let my liver absorb the $5.49 hit on its own terms, which were immediate. A very tasty ale, with a sweet, estery aroma. Pours red with a white head. Flavor is malty sweet, with banana-flavored esters and a bit of spice on the way down the throat. Another flavor-crammed offering from Stone.