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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 444   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73   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.


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 (5362) - 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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3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 5, 2005
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.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
temporrari (380) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - JUN 5, 2005
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.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
SayNoToCoors (65) - Wheat Ridge, Colorado, USA - JUN 3, 2005
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. MM MM MM Good

3.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
edden (926) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - JUN 2, 2005
5/28/05: Bottle.
Black-brown body with an off-white head. Aroma of vanilla, alcohol, molasses, and plum. Malt flavor, slightly sweet and sour with a black cherry finish. Flat. In my opinion the best Vertical Epic thus far.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - JUN 1, 2005
dark amber-brownish brew with little or no foam at all.My first impression is that it was kind of like smelling like a porter until I got my nose a little closer then i finally got some fruit and spme spices.But it has a funky metallic spice flavor like licking a counter in an Indian restaurant


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