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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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - APR 17, 2004
Hazzy golden color with a decent kick of head. Floral nose to it, and a pretty rounded sweetness with an acidic note. The mouthfeel is quite smooth, with not much of a bite to it. The flavor is a good mix of wheat and leafy/citrusy flavors. A good combination for the complexity, which can only get better with age.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - APR 16, 2004
1200 beers and I've never tasted anything like this - moldy hay astringent, leafy acidic flavors, very bitter - but combined with spices to make a really unweildy and sharply pungent wheatbeer needing hefty lagering. This does indeed have limeness, if you will, and I love lime. I cook with it all the time. I love Saisons and Biere de Gardes. If this was flat out no holds barred De Ranke XX I could see it, but it's also got some real sweetness underneath. This is just plain raw. I like what this will smooth out to be, definitely. But I don't really right now. Incredible forecasting for aging can only be done by incredible brewers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Darkover (1518) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 16, 2004
Slightly hazy golden color with a big lasting white head. Yeast aroma. Flavor is yeasty and acidic. Finish is pretty hoppy. Just like a triple.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
kujo9 (1093) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - APR 16, 2004
Bright gold w/a lasting white head. Malty aroma w/ a light lime aroma, peppery spice, banana, light clove. Lime aroma becomes stronger as it warms, but does not overwhelm the aroma. Also lightly yeasty. Flavor is very malty and sugary sweet, but well balanced. Slight clove & pepper; lightly fruity w/ a semi dry lime finish. Light spicy and malty aftertaste. Medium bodied, highly carbonated w/ a warming alcohol m/f. Very nice and should age well, although I fear the lime leaf aroma might be lost. Very flavorful for a younger beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
JCW (1275) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - APR 15, 2004
Its fun, the first pour is fairly translucent and the last pour is very hazy. Gold color, frothy white head. Both the flavor and the aroma are very estery(banana), slightly sweet and very yeasty. Hops come through slightly on the finish which is peppery, and moderately dry.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
egajdzis (5401) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 13, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2009 Poured a slightly hazy, orange gold color with a small off white head that quickly disappeared. Spicy aroma of yeast and clove, some freeze-dried banana as well. Clove and yeast are prominent in the taste. It was very sweet, light citric acidic ending. Not bad at all, very tripelish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - APR 12, 2004
UPDATED: APR 16, 2004 Very light and transparent, crystal clear yellow with a light creamy head. Smelled like spice, banana and candy. First sip was banana, cloves, brown sugar and a little citrus. Really delicious overall, I look forward to seeing how this one ages.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
fraternie (843) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 11, 2004
Light golden body, surprisingly transparent. Strong citrus aroma, light orange note, banana and a hint of lime sourness. The malt begins with a flowery citrus flavor including orange, bubble gum and banana notes. It finishes with a bizarre limey sourness with moderate spiciness. Not very hoppy, surprising for a Stone brew. Overall a good but not great example of a Saison that will perhaps improve with age...strong complex malt flavors although probably too sweet and offset strangley by the slightly cloying sourness in the finish. It is a finish that is difficult to explain and is not sour in the true (lambic) meaning of the term, it is a sweet limey sourness as best I can explain it, very bizarre and probably improving with time.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - APR 11, 2004
A brew that pours the color of honey with a wispy lace head. Nose has a bit of spiciness, clove and a bit of peppery yeast.I think the commercial description is pretty accurate by noting saison and hefe as influences. Definitely finishes dry and yeasty. Fizzy with a medium/light body. Interested to see how this one will turn out in 8 years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - APR 11, 2004
Hazy gold with a one fingered white head. Spicy, yeasty aroma, with some pepper and citrus notes. Definitely has some banana in the flavor. The finish is a bit dry & flat, which I didn't like. What I find interesting is that some of the other reviews noted how clear this beer pours. At my house, it was hazy. BTW, one of the tasting notes on Stone's website mentioned how much more kaffir lime flavor was apparent prior to filtering. It would be interesting to try that version of this beer.

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