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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
argo0 (12494) - Washington DC, USA - APR 15, 2003
(4/15/03): Hazy copper body with small beige head. Aroma is sweet, spicy (coriander) and malty. Taste is malty, sweet, coriander spicy, pine hoppy, and slightly smokey. Fairly light body. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Well-balanced yummiful beer! Bought a whole case, so I'm gonna have fun drinking one of these each year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - APR 15, 2003
9% - oh darn I should nota drank this one so fast {hic}. Looky what Stone has done to the dubble; it is hoppier, and yes they seem West Coasty, but I have to agree most wholeheartedly with tkaufman; this is going to blend wonderfully with age. The pepper is excellent here...literally as if it is sprinkled on top of the surface. Sweetness is so well curtailed. I like it. The sum is greater than the parts - I like tha flavor a lot, but the whole experience is lovely.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tkaufman (128) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - APR 15, 2003
I had to buy two of these so I could age one and drink one. The aroma was an excellent combination of esters, hops and spices. The flavor more than backed it up with a strong coriander and pepper presence, backed aptly by malt sweetness and hop bitterness. I imagine that these flavors will all subtly blend and become more subdued with age so I can't wait to try it again in 9 years.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Steib (613) - Queen Creek, Arizona, USA - APR 15, 2003
I won't have plenty of patience, stone brews go pretty fast here in Arizona especially limited releases. Pours a thick creamy head. Good balance considering the blends but the aftertaste reminds me of an American wheat beer. The first taste has a sweetness that is un-ale like. Goes down very smooth. Good beer now, great beer when it ages.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Slick (1969) - Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA - APR 12, 2003
Dark amber color,nice foamy tan head.The aroma is some what spicy definately yeasty some malt very lite on the hops.Very unexpected flavor.I was looking for something that was going to bite right off the bat but it didn't.Very malty,well hopped up with a definate spicey tone that mixes quite well with the other flavor's.The alcohol is only mildly present in the flavor but is felt as it goes down.theres a short after taste of malt and hops but it fades to a clean some what dry finish.It almost has a slight thin feel at the end.These guys just keep turning out incredible beer to bad it so limited in distribution.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Uglyradio (791) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - APR 12, 2003
Pours a dark, clear brown color with a medium sized, off-white head that dissipates and leaves a thin film of foam on top of the beer. The aroma is malty and bready, with lots of banana notes and hints of spices. Full body with medium carbonation, the flavor is sweet and malty up front with some spice and banana notes. The finish is slightly bitter from the hops with just a tad bit of alcohol present. For some reason, this reminds me of banana bread. It definitely resembles a Belgian double ale, but the hops really make the difference. This is great now, will it be better aged? I guess we will see.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Verne (263) - Enumclaw, Washington, USA - APR 11, 2003
The aroma of this beer is unique a very strong northwest hop [citrus] presence combined with the unmistakable Belgian yeast aroma. This beer starts out soft and mellow a little sweet but then the spices come in the end. I really love this beer but it seems just a bit harsh. I’m putting a few bottles away. I believe this beer may be special as it ages

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - APR 10, 2003
Citrus and spice aroma. I had trouble thinking of it as a belgian because of the strong hoppy presence. I think my favorite aspect was the peppery flavor. Not my favorite Belgian, very easy to drink with not much thought involved. But I'd love to have it again. Thanks TAR!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Frank (3596) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 7, 2003
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - APR 7, 2003
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.

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