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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 454   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73   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 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TChrome (1448) - Bedford, Texas, USA - JUN 20, 2005
Quite a sursprise as the dark brown colored liquid gurgled from the bottle into my Chimay chalice. Dark mahogeny color with a well retained dark tan colored head. The aroma is very Abbey Dubblish, rich chocolate malt, lots of spices, a really nice yeast strain, a bit of earth, bubblegum and a whiff of alcohol. Also, some dark, dried fruit, i.e. raisin/prunes. The flavor compares quite favorably with good Abbey Dubbles, sweet malt with chocolate, mutiple spices, orange, and a slightly sharp metallic off flavor. I predict a long life for this bad boy, as well as some nice smoothing out of its few sharp edges. Very enjoyable and drinkable now. Will be much better in a year or two, I predict. Who says Stone can’t make good Belgian styles?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JUN 20, 2005
Pours a thick deep brown with a deeply tanned head. Aromas of brown sugar, vanilla, clove and chocolate. Flavors are leaning on the alcohol and phenolics. Body is rather thick for any style belgian. Somewhat syrupy. The finish is somewehat lasting, but it’s the finish more of a way overpowered porter rather than any belgian style ale with secondary alcohols really playing a dominant role. This could benefit greatly from 10% unrefined sugar. This might be the first Stone beer that I think was made poorly.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
pobenohne (504) - Northern Liberties, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 19, 2005
Big bottle, now available at the Foodery in Phila. Dark ale, no head. Reminded me quite a bit of Trois Pistoles - plums, cherries, chocolate - only just not as refined as TP.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jazz88 (2625) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 19, 2005
Bottle. Dark brown color with a foamy light brown head. Strong ginger and spicy aroma and flavor. Rich and malty with a strong alcohol presence. Finishes with a lingering dry, spicey, pepper flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Kinz (3530) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUN 18, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 1, 2014 Nice mahogany color, good head, nice lacing. A pretty beer. Estery nose, with spice, pepsin, tiny clove, good chocolate, and some dark fruitiness. Flavor is initially spicy, some chocolate, a touch roasty, a touch of anise and clove. Almost refreshing in a strange way. Will be interesting to see how this ages. It could become a fantastic, complex litlle beast, or it could become thin and annoying. But right now, tasty! RERATE: Richmond 21st 9 months later. Sort of like an old barleywine now, still oxidized, but faint notes of chocolate and caramel left. Nice, utterly changed.

   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 Lee’s, 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 didn’t give the flavor a 10 is because it’s brand new, and would probably taste more balanced upon further aging. I guess we’ll just have to wait to see how it changes though. Like all Stone’s brews, a must try.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
egajdzis (5654) - Pennsburg, 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.

   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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Goblincat (396) - Petersburg, 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ratman197 (11524) - 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.

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