Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - APR 20, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
creamy spritzy lemon and slight banana aroma, looks like a glass of honey, sticky and sweet with hints of cloves, alcoholic and big
DarkElf (3035) - La Jolla, California, USA - APR 19, 2004
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAY 16, 2004 Sweet and quite spicy, this release of the Vertical Epic is like a Belgian tripel, but more malty with a moderate and somewhat unpleasant bitterness toward the finish; The finish is also a bit tart and perhaps with a bit of lime contributing to the bitterness, but it's hard to say if this isn't just the power of suggestion at work; Nose is pretty much just sweet honey with perhaps a touch of spice; Golden apricot color and only very slightly cloudy; Off-white head is small on the pour and disappears into nothing soon thereafter, leaving absolutely no lacing
5000 (6299) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - APR 19, 2004
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle pours a slightly hazy golden, large frothy white head with so-so retention, and decent carbonation. Belgian yeast, flora, citrus, and banana in the nose. Detectable alcohol in the aroma as well. Slight fruity spiciness up front, but somewhat muttled. The Belgian yeast taste is quickly interupted with a bitter and acidic taste, result of the Kaffir Lime Leaf perhaps? By the time it finishes, I get a metallic tinge on the sides of my tongue. Respectable lacing tho. The 8.5% makes an appearance after the finish, slight warming of the throat. The aroma was unique, interesting, combining the Belgian yeastiness with a typical German Hefe, but the flavor was muttled with the Kaffir Lime Leaf (assuming). Too much going on here, each trying to battle each other, only resulting in a quasi Belgian Strong ale meets German Hefe meets tin can. Overall, I think the tin can won. Drinkable, but not all that enjoyable.
dolemike1 (1288) - Jeannette, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 19, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very different... unique aroma of citrus, flavor is sweet ... yet some fruity bitterness... odd... yet enjoyable... powerful...raw... different than most anything else i have had... I like it but ... i think it needs time to age.
Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - APR 18, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
I like this more than the '03 I just had at Obrien's. This is lighter in color, and more tripel like. It's also more crisp, and not as bready.
Spicy, limey, slightly sweet up front, then dries out at the end leaving a chalky, bitter aftertaste. Actually didn't think I was going to enjoy it this much. IMO, better than the '03.
NVBeer232 (467) - Reno, Nevada, USA - APR 18, 2004
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: MAY 7, 2005 Dark honey color. Very thick white head, almost looked like a nitro pour. Big time banana aroma. Lots of banana and citrus flavors mix it up with bisuity malts. Very sharp finish. Nice hoppy presence throughout. Would pair well with a variety of foods. Will probably be better with a little age, just to take some of the edge off the finish.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 18, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The beer as it jettisons from the 22 ounce brown bottle a somewhat hazy amber with a mountainous light tan and spumescent head, the lace a thick sealing sheet to conceal the glass. Nose is sweet malt with a nice hint of yeast, biscuit like, also a smidgeon of hop spiciness noted, quite crisp and clean to the senses, start is rich in malt, somewhat sweet and the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish has a stern acidity, and a pleasing hop bite, quite dry and lingering aftertaste, another great beer from a great brewery, having said that I do think like the 03 that it will benefit greatly from a few years in the cellar.
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - APR 18, 2004
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Hazy golden color with a medium white head. Sweet malt, clove, citrus and banana aroma. Clove, banana, lime and citrus hops flavors. Crisp feel. At first, I was getting a very harsh metallic aftertaste about 15 seconds after each sip. It went away after a few minutes. Overall, pretty good.
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - APR 18, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Slightly hazy golden orange color with a medium white head. The aroma was very citrusy...lemon, orange and lime with banana and some peppery/spicy hops tones. The flavor was slightly sweet...banana and orange tones dominate...lime and peppery hops bitterness in the aftertaste. The feel was mildly crisp...kinda soft and mildly thick. Better than 03.03.03.
Cobra (1100) - - APR 17, 2004
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
22 oz. brown bomber bottle. More than obvious date of 04/04/04.
Poured out a golden straw yellow color, with a fast fading white head. It left a small ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
Aromas are of Belgian yeast, biscuit like, bready aromas. Phenolic notes as well. Not quite band-aid, but not far off either. Sweet, faint citrus notes way off in the background. Tastes of the lime leaves they talk about, but the yeast is simply overpowering. It's basically all I can taste. The damn yeast simply overpowers all other subtle notes of this beer. It could be much better than it is.