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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

 (RETIRED)
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RATINGS: 449   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72   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 no spices in the brewing of this beer. If you've tasted the beer before reading this, that may surprise you. The special Belgian yeast we used adds a distinctively spicy aroma and flavor. Roastiness, clove, hops, fruitiness, and those other great and funky phenols abound in the nose. What's in the flavor? You certainly get some dark roasted malts and alcohol overtones. What else? Hints of earthiness, chocolate/cocoa, hop spiciness, maybe even anise, and ... the incredible variety of complexities from the classic brewing ingredients of barley malt, hops, yeast and water, when applied with an artistic brewer's talent never ceases to amaze.


4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
elektrogeist (158) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JUN 16, 2005
Just picked this one up at the Leeís, had to give it a whirl. Immediately from opening there is the belgian yeast scent, but the ale itself tastes a bit different. The only reason I didnít give the flavor a 10 is because itís brand new, and would probably taste more balanced upon further aging. I guess weíll just have to wait to see how it changes though. Like all Stoneís brews, a must try.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
egajdzis (5365) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 16, 2005
Poured a ruby brown color with a small, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of banana, nuts, cherries, spices, chocolate, and yeast. Taste of chocolate malt, roast, light tart cherries, yeast, anise, phenols, and peppery alcohol. A bit young at this point, but it should mellow out nicely.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BennyTicklez (621) - USA - JUN 14, 2005
Pours mahogany brown with a small tan head. Yeasty, belgian aroma. Taste is dark fruit, roasted malt, coffee?, then a follow up of alcohol. This beer is quite interesting, starting of very belgian, then finishing very American, with the roasted notes and hops. Too much alcohol flavor right now. I assume this beer will mellow out a bit in the years and be quite a brew.

4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Goblincat (382) - Westland, Michigan, USA - JUN 12, 2005
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.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ratman197 (9961) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - JUN 10, 2005
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.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 9, 2005
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.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
cvillebeer (134) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - JUN 7, 2005
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.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - JUN 7, 2005
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!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - JUN 7, 2005
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.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Cornfield (5506) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JUN 5, 2005
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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