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Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale

 (RETIRED)
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RATINGS: 522   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   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.


3.2
   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 50ís (yeah, Iím that freakiní 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 ladyís 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. Thereís 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. Itís 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 Tribuneís 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>

3.1
   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.

3.1
   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.

3.1
   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.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ernest (6484) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 30, 2004
Head is small, frothy, off-white, mostly diminishing. Medium yellow, bottle conditioned. Aroma is moderately yeasty (cobwebs, mold), moderately malty (toasted grain, cookie), moderately hoppy (flowers, lemon, herbs), with notes of marshmallow, pineapple, banana, clove, lime leaf. Flavor is heavily sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium to full body, creamy texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic. As with Sawyerís Triple, not the most attractive Belgian yeast strain, but itís Belgian all right (hey, I donít like St. Bernardusí yeast either, so Iím not picking on Stone here). Smells as sweet as it tastes...and I mean that in the literal sense. Again, as with Sawyers, itís too sweet to drink an entire bottle of (how odd, given the brewerís penchant for overhopping). Kaffir leaves are definitely noticeable (just made some Tom Kha Kai soup last night, as it happens!), but not quite so obvious amongst the other elements that youíd mention it (if you didnít know it was an ingredient). Typical small & quickly dying Stone head (why???).

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
SubstanceT (1092) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 27, 2004
For a belgian, its not all that bad. Clear golden with white long lasting head. The nose is predominantly yeast iwht the nose. Orange peal too. The taste is mostly yeast. I just dont like belgians.

3.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
gnylen (12) - Topanga, California, USA - MAY 29, 2004
Head: I think my glass was dirty -- no head to speak of. Aroma: Mexican banana candy; phenol city; vanilla bean. Color: gorgeous clear straw. Would have preferred more funk in this brew for the purported style (Biere de Garde). Looks good nonetheless. Flavor: too many phenols. Some wet cardboard. The banana esters predominate a little too much for the style. Donít notice the lime leaf much. Iíll wait and try again. Palate is a bit thin. Liked the 02 much better

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUN 12, 2004
Golden body with suspended sediment, white head receding, banana nose. Banana flavor, minimal alcohol presence. I would have expected more citrus from Stone.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
thedm (4984) - Fort Wayne, USA - AUG 3, 2004
This bottled brew poured a large sized foamy head of off-white colored mostly lasting finely sized bubbles that left behind a good thick lacing. The body was transparent softly carbonated and orange in color with finely suspended bubbles floating in it. It had a mild hop aroma that was slightly skunked and a tingly thick initial mouth feel with a lingering hop bite in the finish. It had simple malt hop flavor with no exciting qualities. This bottle was meant to be aged. Drinking it to early has lowered the rating. One should wait to rate this at a later date after cellaring for a long time to let it mature.

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.


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