erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JUN 20, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
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 itís 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.
pobenohne (504) - Northern Liberties, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 19, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
jazz88 (2583) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 19, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
Kinz (3410) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUN 18, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
elektrogeist (158) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JUN 16, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
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.
egajdzis (5497) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 16, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
BennyTicklez (621) - USA - JUN 14, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
Goblincat (386) - 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 (10640) - 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.