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Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 522   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
fraternie (909) - 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 (3004) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
haddon90 (1561) - Costa Mesa, California, USA - APR 11, 2004
Light hazy golden color with bubbles rising to the top. Creamy white head. Spicy aroma, pepper. Some citrus, malt, banana in the flavor. Light carbonation, well balanced. I like this better than the 03.03.03. Seems to be a good aging beer too. Bought this 22oz bottle at the Liquor Barn in Lexington, KY.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
icarus (57) - The Colony, Texas, USA - APR 10, 2004
Smell: first spice, yeast, and then alcohol; Backed up by slight bitterness. Flatness on the tongue; thin sweetness and yeastiness in the aftertaste. Slow burn from the upfront alcohol in the chest. Pale yellow with low carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 9, 2004
Poured clear orangey-golden color with a small white head that dissipated quickly to a thin foam. Very belgian aroma, fruity, yeasty and very sweet. Initial flavor is tart and sweet intricately mixed and dancing on the tongue followed by a bready middle and bitter, slightly acidic finish. Mouthfeel is moderately full with crisp carbonation. This one does seem like it will benefit from some aging - after all, it is supposed to last another eight years - and I look forward to trying it again in a few months (then again in a few months after that, and a year or so after that etc...). Grin!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
stubby (334) - Santee, California, USA - APR 8, 2004
Good stuff. So buzzed I can't describe the flavors. Seriously, it's a fine Belgian style, better than the Sawyer's Triple from last year. Nice tartness, with a bit of pine/citrus peel bitterness on the finish. Good balance of sweetness and spice. I like the 030303 better, though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
cornholio (3) - USA - APR 8, 2004 does not count
Crisp golden ale with banana / clove yeast flavor and aroma typical of many Belgian ales. First sip finds the beer very bitter for the style, although the bitterness fades after a while. I don't taste any lime, maybe some age will mellow the hops and allow other flavors through.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 8, 2004
This brew pours with an orangish-gold body topped by a thin to medium thick head with good lacing. The aroma is slightly sweet and slightly yeasty with a nice banana note and a touch of spice. The flavor is slightly sweet, with nice banana notes, similar to banana nut bread, with yeasty notes and a slight bitter hoppiness. Medium bodied, crispo and smooth yet slightly dry.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Marc (486) - Yokosuka, JAPAN - APR 6, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 18, 2007 Burning sunrise with covered by a veil of uniform bubbles. Minimal head if left to sit but easily replenished. Notes of Bubble gum, pineapple and peppery spices in the nose. Thick yeasty notes in the first sip degrading into spice with surprising spikes of juicy-fruit gum. It has a fairly light mouthfeel throughout the drink but thickens after the last sip has been swallowed into a thick tropical fruits and bubble gum. Fruit flavors become more pronounced with the addition of the yeast Very upfront in its flavors, should be interesting to see how this ages. (3.8) rerate june 05 Corriander, juicy-fruit gum, a touch of earthy herbal bitterness is becoming more present. Flavors are not a bright as I remember them and are mellowing nicely.

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