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Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 512   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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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.


4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JUN 3, 2004
Hazy pale golden yellow color, finger high, tight foamy white cap, resides to an ever present skim and the lacing sticks in moderate stringy patches. Aroma is quite nice with a dried pepper toastiness over the base of lively citrus of lemon and lime skins. Strong and pleasingly persistant nose on this one. Complexingly layered flavors within every sip, quite a nice brigade of dried pepper and clove spice, maybe a pinch of salt too, make for a pleasing finish. The forefront is built up of a solid mild citrus fruit salad of lemon and lime zest mixed with some banana underneath. Feel is about medium bodied with a firm carbonation thats not overly biting, which I like, most triples have either too much ot not enough. This is just about right, a bit more creamy feel and body and it would be terrific for me. I really enjoyed the finish on this, spicy of pepper and citrus zest thats drying yet the body remains wet and firm. And has just enough alcoholic/ethanolic kick to keep you in check. Nicely done. All in all, this is one well put together, spicy little Abbey Triple. A bit out of the realm for Stone, but bless their hearts for being such pioneers of trying new dimensions in the brewing universe. Hmmm....no matter how hard I try, I just canít be as wordy as their back labels, always a fun read!

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
barleyPops (1141) - Quad-Cities, Illinois, USA - MAY 15, 2005
Thanks to Saarlander for sending this gem my way in a trade several months ago. pour was a golden yellow with a frothy white head that faded to nice lace all the way to the end. aromas and flavors of apple, apricot, banana and an occasional hint of lime. this was a fine Belgian Strong Ale! well-balanced, malty, full-bodied and smooth. Highly recommended, thanks again Aaron.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
doubleo (1433) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 30, 2007
Let me just say that the taste of this beer has definitely changed but not in a bad way, just different. I drank a ton of this back in 04. Pours an almost crystal clear orangish yellow. Moderate head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves no lace. Not too much of a nose. Smells of sweet alcohol. I donít really know how to describe the taste other than, itís different. Sweet, the lime leaf is definitely there but more mature/mellow. Definitely get the Belgian grain/malt flavors. Beautifu on the palate, the flavors absolutely roll around the tongue. Nice carbonation. Not too thin, not too thick. This was the beer that introduced me to Stone. Many headaches, many memories. I thought about saving alot of it way back then but alas, I drank all that I could get my hands on. Itís that good.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rajendra82 (933) - 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.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 24, 2004
Gorgeous pale orange coloration, slight haze, under a firm cap of creamy froth. Nose is smoothly citric, just-so spicy, crammed with yeast, a fresh-cracked new loaf of lemon bread, right from the oven. Herbal and even a touch minty, with fruit aplenty stirring about, this is a complex and abundantly pleasant aroma. Has the character of a wit, mixed with a saison, wrapped in the guise of a tripel. Masterful mouthfeel, commands the palate at once, spills pleasure all along the senses, with a nearly sharp citric twang, then cool and mellow fading out. Rings in again with each new encounter on the tongue, oozes enchantement, drips with delight. Body is medium, finish long and fruit-astic, with the alcohol content, average for the style, never stinging or standing at attention. That said, itís my kind of tripel all right, exquisite, and tasty to say the least. Another class act from Stone, and Iím doubly glad I have another to sit still for the journey to 2012! Actually, I ought to procure another pallet-ful, Iím liking this so much!

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
SayNoToCoors (65) - Wheat Ridge, Colorado, USA - APR 7, 2005
I had the chance to grab one of these awhile back and it’s pretty damn good! A bit fruitier then most Stone brews which is a nice break from the usual. This brew pours a nice burnt orange and leaves good lacing rings around the glass (good head, too). I only wish I would have bought more and cellared some... Oh well.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - APR 22, 2005
Cloudy, honey colored, with a small white head. Fiarly sweet, malty nose with banana hints, meusli, nougat. Notable lime touches in the flavor, over a nice cereal/nutty taste; relatively sweet. The limeís an excellent choice, makes for a unique, nicely balanced flavor, and a dryness that leaves the palate wanting more. Big thanks to TannerTavernboys!

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
ragesaq (70) - Arizona, USA - MAY 8, 2005
UPDATED: FEB 4, 2009 Appearance: A touch past golden. White head, moderate lacing. Aroma: Big banana/yeasty/lime leaf aroma, its taste is more subtle. Flavor profile: Creamy malts, smooth almost undetectable hops, a nice kick of beligan yeast, and a banana/lime leaf undertones that come out in the aftertaste. Light and crisp overall, definately worth of the word epic. Palate: Light and crisp as aforementioned, very refresing, heavier than most beers but relatively light for Stone. This beer was nigh perfection. I will miss it greatly.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
DanielBrown (3626) - Birmingham (via Leicester), West Midlands, ENGLAND - AUG 19, 2005
Bottle at RBESG Grand Tasting 05. Smooth, quiet hoppiness. Syruppy, with some fizz. Quiet as Iíve said., but possibly still tastier than the 03.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dwyerpg (4354) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - NOV 22, 2005
I canít place the smell but itís nice. Little head, but to be expected. This is fairly earthy/grainy. I canít really notice the limes that much. A quite nice brew, and hopefully one that will get even better.


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