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Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 518   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.


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BeanDip (117) - Florida, USA - MAY 30, 2004
Thanks again to matta! Now this is more like it. Beautiful golden color - nice white head. Smells like a cross between a nice Belgian Triple and German Hefe. Banana fruit and spicy nose. Flowery. Smooth texture. Mildly bitter bite on the finish but very enjoyable.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Maxamillion (103) - Glendora, California, USA - MAR 3, 2005
Aroma of peach/bananas. Nice and fruity. Pretty well balanced, something alittle tiny bit off but i canít really pin point it. Lots of peach flavor. Nice and satisfying especially on a warmer day.

3.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MayorQuimby (100) - Santa Barbara, California, USA - DEC 15, 2004
UPDATED: FEB 4, 2006 Bottle. Nice golden color, white head that laced okay. Limey, fruity, estery aroma, very pleasant and I spent a long time sniffing my glass. Flavor is not something that Iíd ever expect from Stone, you can really tell that the used unmalted grain in the beer, the lime flavor is a bit overpowering for my taste. Some spices in there too. Lime really comes through in the finish, bottle conditioning makes it very smooth. An interesting beer, I think Iíd like to let a few bottles age for a year or so, maybe meld the flavors together a bit and see how it turns out.

Update 2/4/06: I recall Greg saying on a vblog that he particularly enjoyed this one around Thanksgiving, so I decided to crack open one of my remaining bottles. The appearance is still a transparent, bright straw golden color. One-finger white head, good lacing. The lime leaf is much more subdued in the aroma, giving rise to the banana-y esters. Not as pungent as I remember. Sweetness registers early on the front of my tongue, then blends into a slightly tart and spicy finish, presumably due to the wheat and the yeast strain. Bitterness doesnít seem particularly pronounced (though I didnít notice much the first time around, either). Balance is outstanding. Bright feeling in the mouth. It leaves a warm, pleasant sensation after each sip, probably the alcohol which is beautifully masked. This is rounding into a delightful brew. I think Iím down to a single bottle now, and considering how wonderful it is right now, Iím not sure how long Iíll hold on. I donít think my bottle can go the distance, so weíll have to see what I decide to do.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
bierchik (95) - lakewood, California, USA - AUG 27, 2004
interesting brew...hue was golden w/medium-small size head. aroma was fruity, citrusy, and a bit yeasty. taste was some what sweet, in a good way, can taste the banana & some citrusy flavors, this was good, but donít think i would buy this again.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Hopgeek (90) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 7, 2004
Light golden to copper color and makes a thin off white head. Aroma is rather lighty malted, hoppy and slightly sweet. Banana esters, coriander spice, hints of orange-lemon-lime citrus, nice even hop/malt balance. Has a sweetness to the finish. Body is medium to full and lightly warms the palate. A fine ale.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
black95tt (82) - Doylestown, Ohio, USA - OCT 20, 2006
Spicy aroma with notes of clove and floral hops. Flavor is malty with heavy spice and a somewhat off putting astringency. Slight earthy hops round out the finish Alcohol is noticeable.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Diego (79) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 19, 2004
Very good ale. Very young. Iím going to buy another bottle and put her in the fridge for the next ten years...Right. Still another nice product from a great beer producing company and town. Theyíre taking a stab at gimmicks now which isnít necessarrily uncool just...I doní see beer drinkers waiting a decade to pop open a brew.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bsour (78) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAY 24, 2004
Pours a yellow/gold with minimal head. Hoppy aroma that led to a flowery mouthfeel. Some malt hides in the background but now quite enough for a good balance. Finishes with citrus flavors flowing through your mouth.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mardermax (71) - santa cruz, California, USA - MAY 6, 2004
22oz bomber: poured into tulip glass, and can i say whoA BANANAANANAS? a hint of lime too in the aroma/finish. Cloudy light golden pour. and a nice frothy, thick white head. I wish i had started aging Stoneís vertical epicís since 02.02.02. Tastes of banana maltyness, and a citrus fruity goodness, Slight hops on the finish too. i like it. i want to rate more belgians...

4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Smacky (71) - San Clemente, California, USA - DEC 5, 2004
Possibly one of my all-time favorites. A beautiful golden-colored ale with an aroma of bread and citrus, like walking through a lime orchard about 30 yards from an open window, through which wafts the aroma of fresh-baked bread. The mouth feel is mellow, malty and pleasantly yeasty, with a faint flavor of lime from the Kaffir that gradually increases in intensity, peaks at a pleasant, not overpowering level, then fades right behind the malt. I am fortunate to have a small liquor store nearby that has a stash that it seems only I know about....


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