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Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 420   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65/5   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 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
bb (8539) - Alamo, California, USA - JUL 7, 2007
Bottle. Reddish, bronze/mahogony with a very small off-white head. Sherry aroma with sweet malt, but the oxidation doesn’t seem to be too bad. Sweet malt flavor with brandy, dark fruit, and some earthy yeast. There’s a bit of spiciness in the background. Lingering shery malt. Finishes dry. Medium body. Not bad at all. Needs just a bit more of something and I wouldn’t want to hang on to it much longer before what’s there fades away or the oxidation takes center stage.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ibrew2or3 (8159) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JAN 19, 2016
22oz bomber, courtesy of a sweet trade with FlacoAlto, pours up with a clear brown body that supports a thin light tan head. The aroma is earthy and slightly oxidized and then brown sugar, molasses and oddness. The taste delivers soft molasses and brown sugar flowing into muted dates and prunes. It gets pretty earthy and oxidized here and there.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMan1113VR (7917) - Los Angeles, California, USA - APR 3, 2009
Big thanks to AmEricanbrew for opening up this one. Pours with a hazed amber body and a small off-white head. Aroma or raisins, dark fruits, buttery, toffee, jammy, currants and rose hips. Taste is dark fruits, raisins and caramel. Light bubbles, slightly watery mouthfeel... Holding up quite well.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
after4ever (7581) - Brier, Washington, USA - MAR 7, 2009
22. This certainly has aged magnificently. Murky dark amber with caramel highlights. Headless. Laceless. Cool, offbeat lavender, caramel, and pepper nose. Graham crackers, cinnamon, roast, caramel, and dark roasty spices on the mid-palate. Long spicy finish. It’s maybe a bit thinned out over where it might have been, but the flavors are delicious and definitely complex enough to enjoy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
chriso (7513) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 13, 2006
Bottle at RBESG Grand Tasting, August 2005. Distinctly more coherent and focused that the 04.04.04 in my view, producing a much more satisfying beer. Or perhaps the elements have benefited from more time to integrate and settle down. Plenty of juicy, sharp hops mingling nicely with the spicy, peppery notes and with a rich, fruity backbone. Just gets a bit sweet for me but otherwise really enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 4, 2005
Thought it was about time to bust out one of these. Pour was a nice reddish-amber hue with about 1/4" sustained creamy white head. Pleasant spicy aroma, with yeast, dark fruit, pepper, coriander, and an amalgum of other wonderous complexity. Flavor was equally complex, and the balance has mellowed out for the better since the release. Well-carbonated. Spicy hops are blended well with some citrusy hops, coriander, pepper, with a nice medium malt backbone. Finish is primarily citrus and pepper, but is still nicely complex. This is an interesting mix of the Belgian strong with American highlights, and is well-executed. The real trick will be saving my lone remaining bottle until 2012...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
nimbleprop (7495) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 22, 2012
On tap at Churchkey. I can’t believe this lasted more than a week. Pours a transparent caramel amber with some creamy, off white head. Nose has a little cardboard, crackers, caramel, orange peel, a little leather. Flavor is sweet, orange, leather, malt, a little cherry, some apple juice. Medium bodied, still lightly sweet. Nice although a bit too far gone at this point.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
radagast83 (7325) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - DEC 12, 2012
Draft at Churchkey on 12/12/12. Poured a slightly hazy toffee color, thick white head that dissipated to a small creamy, slightly wispy off-white head. Slight oxidation, but mostly light toffee notes, some sweet mellow malts. Flavor was some toffee and creamy caramel. Held up a lot better than I ever would have expected.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ernest (7323) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 1, 2003
Head is initially average sized, frothy, off-white, mostly diminishing. Body is hazy medium amber, dense tiny/small particles, bottle conditioned. Aroma is lightly malty (cookie), lightly yeasty (cobwebs), with notes of coriander, clove, and banana. Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic. Doesn't hold a candle to the 02.02.02, unfortunately.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - AUG 22, 2003
Pours a dark copper mahogany brown with a thick frothy white head. Lots of sticky lace left by the head as it subsides. Faint bready Belgian yeast aroma with some caramel malt and oak. Body starts sweet and chewy with some chocolate, toffee, and floral hop aspects. Toward the finish I pick up a strange chemical, perhaps acetone, which could just be a result of the high alpha acid content and the Belgian style, something I'm not used to. Hopefully this will mellow as it ages. Still an interesting style and a decent beer.

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