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Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 519   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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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. This time around we used some unmalted wheat, just the right touch of Kaffir Lime Leaf, and a really cool Belgian yeast. The result is a bit like a strong Biere de Garde / Saison-esque influenced beer coupled with some aromatic Bavarian Hefeweizen style phenolic banana esters, and a backnote hint of lime from the lime leaf.


4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
uvajed (174) - Ravenna, Ohio, USA - APR 27, 2004
I don't know quite what to make of this. It poured beautifully, with a thick, off-white head that left distinct lacing, and a wonderfully rich and slightly cloudy golden color. The aroma is pleasantly sweet, reminding me of pears, and a tad spicy. The initial taste was rather shocking, being that all I could think of where bananas covered in pepper. My surprise and confusion subsided quickly and gave way to a feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction as I began to comprehend this brew. This installment of Stone's Vertical Epic really caught me off guard, but I plan to age a bottle or three for 2012, and likely another for a multiple-year sampling sometime before that.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheBeerGod (5347) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - APR 26, 2004
UPDATED: APR 3, 2005 Pours translucent gold. Small off-white head. Nose is odd. Spice, yeast, more spice and fruit. But thereís a weird dryness to the aroma, if thatís possible. The lime definitely comes through in the taste as do light banana notes. The spice is there and sort of peppery. Yeast and grains donít fall too far out of the picture. Definitely different. There is definitely sediment at the bottom of my bottle. I know this came up in a recent forum thread, but itís there. The finish is sweetened citrus with more dryness. Very odd beer. I only got one, right now, so Iím not sure how much I like it. Hopefully some cellar time will do this wonders and mellow it some. Iím up in the air on this one, so to speak.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
dhblane (6) - USA - APR 25, 2004 does not count
Poured an orangy pale color into a Stone tulip glass with 2 fingers of frothy, white head. Hints of yeast sediment are seen pleasantly floating around, which is to be expected, as this beer is meant to age until 2012. Aroma of light bread, banana and citrusy lime with a hint of alcohol at the finish. Flavor is lightly acidic and sweet, quickly turning pleasantly bitter and crisp and dry at the end. Very, very refreshing! This tastes like a good young Belgian Trippel, yet is very complex, a few months/years should allow the flavors to meld into something very special. I have a case in the old cellar to sample randomly over the next few years, if I can keep my hands off of it.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - APR 23, 2004
#550 on my beerwall, much lighter than i expected, nice golded color. Had some spice, maybe cloves? kinda citrusy and acidic tasting, don't know how im goin to wait till 2012 to taste the aged product.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mixamatt (427) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 21, 2004
Lemon scented geranium aroma.Medium gold appearance.Perfumey rose lemon verbena flavors with banana, bubble gum bread dough flavors emerging as it warms.Long perfumey flowery finish.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
WISEGUY572 (1373) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 21, 2004
Pours a crystal clear deep rich gold, with a huge white head and tiny bubbles that last as long as the beer in your glass ... just what a lager would look like in heaven. Nose made me smile ... yeasty beer with lemon? Is someone at Stone playing a joke on me? Will this be lemonade? Taste made me laugh ... they ARE playing with me ... Belgian bready yeasty taste, with German wheat, American hops, and could that be lemon or lime juice? Certainly too much citrus to be just Cascade or Willamette hops. What is this? Time to read the label! Yep ... that sounds right. How would I rate this? I guess I like it a little better than the Omegang equivalent, so it should come out about a 4.0 when I key this in. I like the lime, I like the reduced bready yeastiness, I like the balance.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - APR 21, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 30, 2004 Pour is a clear golden amber with a small off white fast fading head. Nose is sweet, flowery (yeasty?) and peppery. The flavor is really complex: A touch of honey, a hint of lime, some light mint leaf. Finish is spicy and kinda dry. Smooth on the palate with a lingering orange peel, minty aftertaste. Unique., but does NOT live up to it's reputation.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - APR 21, 2004
Clear golden body with nice lively carbonation that lasts for a good while. The head is made of fine white particles. The aroma is sweet and biscuity malt and yeast. The flavor is a blast of malt then followed by a good dose of hops and lots of yeast in the finish. There is a defeinte citrus component that I amhaving a hard tome quantifying. Body is medium, finish is dry and crisp. All and all a nice belgian style ale. Should age very nicely.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
unclebleen (620) - California, USA - APR 20, 2004
Pours a nice gold/copper color with a small head that leaves excellent lacing. Nice lazy carbonation that slowly makes its way up to the surface. Aroma is sweet estery yeast with a nice light spiciness. Nice banana and pepper notes. Overall the aroma reminds me of Stone's Sawyers Triple. Flavor is a nice sweetness blended with some citrus hop notes. I actually do detect the lime notes from the lime leaf. One of the most unique aftertastes of any beer...a dry bitterness combined with a smooth (a hate using that term) finish. The body is very clean and refreshing. Overall another great offering from Stone.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 20, 2004
UPDATED: MAY 19, 2005 Sampled May 2005
This beer pours with a prodigious pale tan head that is held up by a medium level of carbonation. The head sits atop a slightly hazy orange-gold beer. The aroma is softly spicy with notes of vanilla, ginger, soft yeasty notes, and a note that is unmistakably from the Kaffir Lime leaf (a mix of lime and woody lime pith). The taste is dominated by the lime leaf up front, it actually seems to have intensified in the past year. This beer has a soft creamy mouthfeel to it, which is accentuated by a hint of vanilla. There are some nice herbal notes here that finish off with a bit of balancing sharp astringency in the finish. This is my favorite vertical epic so far, I donít see it lasting all that long, but it is pretty good now.

Sampled April 2004
Pours a clear gold-copper color that is topped by a cream to tan colored head. As I pour this beer I get some good solid Belgian yeast aromas (spicy, and peppery, with notes of orange and a soft creamy vanilla thing going on). This smells sweet and thick. The taste is a bit sweet, but not as much as the aroma suggested. I must admit that this is quite a bit better than I was expecting. Nice sharp Triple character with some light dusty character combined with a lemony spritzy character. There are lots of interesting herbal spice notes, and it finishes with a bit of an astringent note which balances the sweetness up front. This is quite good now and, once again, I have serious doubts that this will last until the end.


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