Goblincat (381) - Westland, Michigan, USA - JUN 12, 2005
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours up a deep reddish-amber. The nose seems like a mix of red grape, chocolate, malt, and maybe a touch of clove. The taste is complex and in several layers that progress in your mouth. It starts as almost a malty candy, moves to a kind of light spicy earthiness, and finishes with a smooth chocolate finale.
Ratman197 (9522) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - JUN 10, 2005
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a clear but very dark brown with a small amber head. Aromas of spices an dark fruit[figs], and a hint of coffee.Flavors of spices[ clove and nutmeg], dark fruit [figs and plums], and dark malt. Dry slightly bitter aftertaste.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 9, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark reddish, brown with a fluffy, brown head. Spicy nose of clove, coriander, all spice, raisins, sweet apples, licorice, cherries, whole grain bread and some candi sugar. Full, smooth body with a chewy mouthfeel and a long, warm finish. The flavors show the spicy character of the yeast, it really is quite impressive. The spice character is intense and multifaceted. There is some nice malt laying underneath the spicy intensity, but most of it is lost. The occasional fruity sweetness comes out from time to time, but in reality, it tends to be lost in the shuffle. The substantial alcohol is quite fitting, giving another layer of spiciness. Iím not a huge fan of the crazy spiciness, but donít find this unpleasant. I think time, a year maybe, will help make this a little more drinkable as the spices should mellow, allow the malts to further develop. All in all, itís probably the best of the three Vertical Epics Iíve had so far.
cvillebeer (134) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - JUN 7, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
I have been looking forward to this myself and I am glad that i am not dissapointed. Pours a deep crimson-brown with a tall head that dissipates to a thin bead. The aroma is strongly yeasty with scents of alcohol, chocolate, spice and citrus. Isnít it amazing what a yeast strain can do? the flavor is similar but with a hoppy-bitter undertone and finishes mostly dry. Since this is intentionally brewed to be aged, being a bit out of balance is expected and while the bitterness is not overpowering, it does seem out of place in a beer like this, but that should fade and mellow with age. There is a little alcohol burn as well that hopefully will blend in better as well. A fine ale with a promising future.
noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - JUN 7, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This one came with a ton of expectations and didnít dissappoint. It poured a beautiful near-black, like soft licorice when itís pulled apart. Nice tan head, full and durable, with good lacing. Aromas were fruit, fruit, fruit. Apricots, cherries, apples, figs, raisins, licorice, cloves, nutmeg, coffee, bread, green peppers. Whew! Taste was WOW! Big hit of smoke morphs to malt heaven then makes room for pear, applequince, even avacado. Lots of fantastic hop bitterness, complimented by the fruit sweetness. The malts were toasty, chocolatety, creamy and smoky -- the best malt presence Iíve tasted. Finish is malt, smoke, peat, earth, and hops. Mouthfeel was perfect -- at no time did it seem too thick or too thin. It was perfectly carbonated. I know all 5s leaves no room for improvement and this ale is meant to be kept until 12-12-2012 and if itís going to get even better, well Iím going to get more and save it. The Stone Brewing Company made one happy beer drinker today. if you havenít already, go get yourself 2 -- drink one and save one for 2012!
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - JUN 7, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Poured out a nice deep brown color with a hint of ruby showing throught when held up to the light. Fair sized and moderately lived tan head with decent lacing left behind. Aroma is nicely malted with a hint of cocoa showing through. Scant whiffs of some darker fruit such as plum. Medium bodied and very smooth, almost coating mouthfeel. A touch spiced in flavor indeed, just a hint of pepper, some decent chocolate and fruits reside in the flavor. This should age out much better than the í04 in my opinion.
Cornfield (5452) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JUN 5, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2005 Although this is a tasty and enjoyable brew, it strikes me as being fairly one dimensional. (Methinks SB buys into their own hype too heavily.) A rich brown color with a short-lived fizzy head, the aroma is sweet malts and candy sugar. The tastes are sweet malts, candy sugar, and alcohol. There is some mild spiciness to it, as well, but nothing that exciting. The finish is sticky sweet and full of alcohol.
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Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 5, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thin head, clear dark crimson. Spicy, malty aroma. Taste is mixed spices with solid hop bitterness. Finish is sweet, estery, slightly dry and bitter. Hints of roastedness. Mouthfeel is nice and round, sticky, better than most Stone beers. Very nice American-Belgian style, very "Stone-ish" and very good.
temporrari (381) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - JUN 5, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2007 Very nice beer. Beautiful color, very dark amber. Complex flavor and aroma. Spiced, sweet malt, Belgian yeast, a touch of pineapple, maybe banana. Very fruity. Iíll be getting a few more of these.
SayNoToCoors (65) - Wheat Ridge, Colorado, USA - JUN 3, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow! Stone does it again! I was very curious to try Stones take on a belgian brew... it turned out damn good! This beer is quite complex and offers a good fruity flavor. The head dicipated quickly, but who really cares. I will try to cellar one, but I donít know if I can (I am very impatient!). The slightly-too-strong alcohol flavor is really the only drawback as far as flavor is concerned.
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