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Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 531   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59/5   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
egajdzis (6067) - Pennsburg, 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
smoosh (536) - New Albany, Indiana, USA - MAY 2, 2004
Bottle - yellow/orange in color with an off white head that quickly dissipates. Spicy aroma. Coriander? The flavor does not knock me out. I don’t typically care for spicy beers - this one is not exception. I get none of the banana notes from the description. There is a touch of lime notes just at the very end of the flavor that is pretty interesting. Palate is standard, nothing outstanding. I love Stone, but this one I’m not crazy about.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
pivo (2660) - GERMANY - JUN 5, 2004
OK, it’s way to early to sample this, but what the hell: Perfumy nose (not quite enjoyable, but I imagine this would improve greatly with age), shimmering gold color and a tall fluffy head. Fruity start: orange maltiness that turns to a more grapefruit-like taste once the hops kick in. Medicinal ending and a odd bitterness - like an orange peel. Alcohol not really present. This should turn out to be an amazing beer in 8 year.s

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
amx1970390 (480) - Southampton, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2004
Hazt amber in color, lighter than the 03.03.03. Foamy, soft bubble head. Unique aroma of flowers and banana. Sweet, sweet and more swwet when tasted. Dry finish. Pretty good, I would like to try agian in about a year.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
heemer77 (5290) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - AUG 24, 2004
Has a strong aroma of limes, pine cleaner and a touch of a hefe weiss grass. The coloring is very deep with gold and a red touch. The head is thin and white. The taste is sweet, like a Belgian dubbel. Bubblegum, bananas and some funky sweat socks. Has soap as it warms up. The lime is very very subtle and only noticed in the finish. Overall, certainly an interesting twist.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
skaughty (652) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - OCT 21, 2004
The strong aroma is of banana and flowers - even perfumey. The flavor is mild and unique, with the combo of wheat and traditional saison parts. Unfortunately the body is too thin to hold the alcohol, and the mouthfeel suffers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JUL 20, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 21, 2005 I keep getting distracted by the way this thing fizzes up whenever I get any in my mouth. (The effect is rather like that caused by the Borium powder one tries to ingest with water before having an upper GI series done.) It pours a tightly carbonated, golden liquid with a slender fizzy white hea... no wait, a film, not a head. It took me a while to nail the aroma, which scores more points for "interesting" than it does for "good." Back in the late 50’s (yeah, I’m that freakin’ old), my great-grandmother used to eat these noxious, pungent candies called SinSins, or some such. 04.04.04 smells just like the tin that the candy came in! (I do detect some old grapefruit, malt, prairie flowers, wheat-induced acidity, and Kaffir Lime Leaf [..yeah, right..] as well, but that old lady’s candy keeps coming back to me.) As noted earlier, this light-bodied ale tends to explode in the mouth in a frenzy of bubbly foam. This effect dies down once the ale has decanted (?) for a while. The flavor begins with a vinuous, sweet, doughy malt. There’s some fruit in here also - some apples and bananas and a pear - but it all seems to have sat on the counter top too long. SinSins, too. "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...." says Stone. Hmmm. It’s a fun drink, but methinks their ambitions got out of control. I got a whiff of the hefe (but, not the Bavarian sort) on the finish, but mainly I got some bitterness, sweet malt, anise, crushed flowers... and SinSins, of course.

7/21/2005 Update: Amazingly, the day after entering the above, the Chicago Tribune’s crossword puzzle had as a clue, "Brand of breath mint." It worked out to be SenSen.

<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Stop, Highland, IN<font size=-1>

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
verymerrymonk (413) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 27, 2012
Pours a cloudy orange body with a thin white head. Some banana, caramel, and spicy yeast. A bit thin but has held up better than I anticipated.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Cobra (1100) - - APR 17, 2004
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
NVBeer232 (467) - Reno, Nevada, USA - APR 18, 2004
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.

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