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Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 527   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
frankR (144) - Davis, California, USA - MAY 1, 2004
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2004 Pours hazy brass colour with a white foamy head that mostly diminishes. Nose is banana, yeast and alcohol. Favor is banana, nutmeg, spicy and acidic, tropical fruity. Palate is kind of oily, can be described as having a light mouth feel. After taste is perhaps more complex than the body, which is what i find so unique about this one. Overall, this is a spectacular brew, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Enniskillen (2045) - Salinas, California, USA - MAY 1, 2004
I thought this was a good Belgian Strong. Banana was very evident in the taste, and aroma, somewhat yeasty, with nutmeg, slight alcohol warmness.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rajendra82 (1030) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - APR 30, 2004
The first pour out of the 24 oz bottle with vertical lettering was of deep golden color with slight chill haze and a tiny little head. The second pour, on the other hand, graced my goblet with a tall head, and oodles of yeast induced cloudiness. In both cases, the head died down to a thin ring of bubbles around the edge in a relatively short time. The carbonation in the underlying brew was minimal but steady. There was some fleeting lacing left around the glass. The aroma was dominated by the Belgian yeast, with banana, apples, and pears on the nose. The taste was sweet and spicy with the aforementioned fruits supplemented by snappy flavors of clove, cinnamon, and anise. The Kaffir Lime leaves also made themselves known on the palette in a tart-sour taste quite similar to lemon peel. The mouthfeel was quite creamy and a tad chalky, with some alcohol burn in the aftertaste. I will keep the remaining two bombers in the cool and dark place in my house, as this beer is supposed to get better over time. I would love for the flavors to sing together in a harmony, and cover the alcohol even more than they do now. Unlike the Old Guardian, this is still very drinkable when fresh. Stay tuned, as more opinions will come later. Praise is deserved once again to Liquid Solutions for shipping into Georgia.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerguy101 (5354) - Newark, California, USA - APR 30, 2004
Light orange gold color. Large head, white and foamy. Aroma is sweet, citrusy (mostly lime) and yeasty. A medium bodied Belgian ale. Yeasts are bright. Fruity and spicy and a touch funky. Apricot, peach and lime flavors are also evident. Nicely malty and fairly sweet. The start is sweet, the middle is spicy and it finishes sweet and fruity. It seems to be a little “young” and could stand some bottle aging. (DUH) Nice now, but will it mellow in a year or 5? Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ernest (7200) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 30, 2004
Head is small, frothy, off-white, mostly diminishing. Medium yellow, bottle conditioned. Aroma is moderately yeasty (cobwebs, mold), moderately malty (toasted grain, cookie), moderately hoppy (flowers, lemon, herbs), with notes of marshmallow, pineapple, banana, clove, lime leaf. Flavor is heavily sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium to full body, creamy texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic. As with Sawyer’s Triple, not the most attractive Belgian yeast strain, but it’s Belgian all right (hey, I don’t like St. Bernardus’ yeast either, so I’m not picking on Stone here). Smells as sweet as it tastes...and I mean that in the literal sense. Again, as with Sawyers, it’s too sweet to drink an entire bottle of (how odd, given the brewer’s penchant for overhopping). Kaffir leaves are definitely noticeable (just made some Tom Kha Kai soup last night, as it happens!), but not quite so obvious amongst the other elements that you’d mention it (if you didn’t know it was an ingredient). Typical small & quickly dying Stone head (why???).

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - APR 30, 2004
Fresh (22 April 2004): dense, creamy icing on top of a crystal clear orange gold. Airy coriander and chalk dust aroma. . . slight hints of yeast and cold sourdough. Well carbonated with small, tight bubbles streaming across the tongue. Peppery lime flavours with some perfume-alcohol and flower petals. The bottom of the bottle has clouded the body significantly. . . the tart citrus notes mix strangely with the dusty yeast – I have mixed feelings about how this one will age – the tart, sour notes may mellow and if they blend just right with the yeast this could be a funky treat. . . we shall see.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SoylentBlack (123) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - APR 29, 2004
It appears these guys can do nothing wrong. Quite a head for a bottled beer. A little sour for my taste, but very good. These comments about aging intrigue me, I may attempt my first.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - APR 27, 2004
Great slightly hopped aroma with a hint of spice. The body is nicely balanced, but I will be interested to see how the spices age. The lime definitely comes through in the finish. Not totally sure what to think yet.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
uvajed (181) - 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 (5912) - 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 there’s a weird dryness to the aroma, if that’s 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 don’t 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 it’s there. The finish is sweetened citrus with more dryness. Very odd beer. I only got one, right now, so I’m not sure how much I like it. Hopefully some cellar time will do this wonders and mellow it some. I’m up in the air on this one, so to speak.


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