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Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 414   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheTsunami (162) - Arizona, USA - MAR 13, 2003
An interesting conglomeration of things going on. Deep brown. White head. Some lacing. Spice notes in the nose with a small undercurrent of floral from the hops. Flavor was malty and sweet in the beginning but at the end were the very recognizable Stone hops. Will be interesting to see how this ages.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
davesarman (159) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - JUN 12, 2004
Had extremely high expectations for this beer and I must say I was a bit let down. Beer poured a nice brown color. Good carbonation and head. Aroma was a nice mix of malt and hops, but not overly complex. Taste was well balanced, but again not overly complex. A good beer, not a great beer. I think this beers reputation exceeds the merits of the actual beer. One of the best brewing/marketing concepts ever conceived in the brewing industry. Once you have the first couple of years, you’re hooked and will buy it every year. Has as much collectable value as anything. Anyway, a good but not great beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
johnyvt (158) - West Hollywood, California, USA - MAY 29, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2005 Sampled 5/28/05 from a bomber. Nice light amber color. One heck of a great smell. Fills the nose with nice yeast and dark fruit that seems sour, almost candy-like. Roasty, peppery taste. Chocolate. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that that flavor delivered on what its nose seemed to promise. Both cold and warm, it seems to be lacking something. The finish became smoother and more pleasant as it warmed, but not much more complex. I look forward to seeng how this develops in the years to come, hopefully the taste will start to impress as much as the smell!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BeerRunner (144) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 24, 2003
This is an awesome beer. Very "belgian like" and quite delicious. The pepper is quite apparent and most awesome. I've had two of these already, with many cellared. The second was better than the first, and I expect it only to get better with age. Hoppy, delicious and wonderful...combines my favorite belgian style with Stone's famous hoppy character.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Dougal (130) - Escondido, California, USA - MAR 1, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 10, 2003 A true double that will please you to no end. Rich malty texture, subdued hops (a rarity for Stone) on the nose but a bit more hoppy flavor then I would like to see ... but not too much. After trying it again I'm re-rating it a point lower then last time. Great Amber color. The coriander begs you for a return visit as you swirl it around your tongue, savoring every last drop. Could use a bit of aging but we can't hold that against it, can we? Kudos to the Bastards!

   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bigbeersrule (113) - USA - OCT 1, 2003
Rather dark and still young. Would benefit from a year or two of aging as most Belgians do. A surprising Pepper flavor that I didnt like to much. A big beer that will age well though. I stashed a couple of bottles away and will drink them years down the road.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
jables (101) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 6, 2004
Sampled 03.03.04 Poured a dark hazy amber with minimal head and nice lacing. Definite candi sugar and dried, dark fruits on the nose. Some caramel can be detected as well. Tastes sweet with strong fruity notes. The hoppy bitterness comes through about midway and proves to be exceptionally balancing. The finish may be what I like best, it's dry, slightly sweet, and clean. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Drinkability is hurt by apparent alcohol, though slight, and is helped by the excellent finish.

   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mardermax (71) - santa cruz, California, USA - MAY 7, 2004
22 oz bottle: much much darker than the 04.04.04 i drank last night. and smells much less intense. still, slight bannanas in the smell. very fruity. also alcohol. cloudy deep amber, with a moderate peach head. tastes smooth and delicate, with a peppery berryness to it. interesting.

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