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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 447   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.


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 don’t 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

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - JUN 1, 2005
Pours brownish with a smallish tan head, aroma is yeasty, sweet banana with a hint of spiciness. Seems a bit young, but I love the combination of complex flavors, dark fruit, roasty malty, earthy spicy yeast and more. Alcohol presence is balanced but not hidden. Overall a very intriguing creation, I like this one better than the previous two Verticals. A prime cellar candidate if you have the patience to sit on some of these..

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
leitrim65 (402) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 31, 2005
Stone never dissappoints. This one pours a deep dark brown with mahogany highlights and a thin tan head. The aroma is a perfumy mix of coffee, alcohol, smoke, and sweet dark fruit. Medium bodied and silky smooth in texture. Well balanced and bursting with flavors of chocolate, coffee, smoke, alcohol, and a gentle lingering bitterness in the finish. Quite impressive.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 31, 2005
22 oz bottle, fresh: thin off tan head quickly dies into a thin ring. Transparent yellow gold edges with a deep, clear mahogany body. Bready yeast aromatics with hints of banana, coconut, rye, and lightly charred toast. Sort of like a blackened triple…Clove phenols wrap the tongue and combine with a dull, yet strangely spicy bit of star anise. The palate is a little young, needs some development in the carbonation – it almost seems hollow…dark roasted malts and a dusty cocoa powder linger at the back of the throat, while an odd piney hop bitterness tingles the side of the mouth. This one seems to fall along the lines of (2) surpassing the usual or ordinary…we’ll see how it develops, but right now may be my least favourite.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
smoosh (536) - New Albany, Indiana, USA - MAY 30, 2005
Bottle - it is obvious that this is not a typical offering from Stone. When I popped the top I did not get the beloved burst of hops, rather a fruity, malty aroma. Nice! Some dark fruit, a hint of smoke. Deep brown color with a bit of ruby on the edges. The beige head did not last quite like anticipated. A wild explosion of flavor on first swallow. Jumping all over the mouth. I like the palate - slightly fizzy, especially for a brew of 8.5%. A very interesting beer - from anyone - but from Stone in particular. Had I not seen the bottle I never would have believed it was a Stone beer.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
notalush (4856) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 30, 2005
Deep ruby hue with medium head of large, foamy bubbles - aroma is mostly clove and the ever so familiar belgian yeast with hints of fruity esters - flavor is an odd mixture of chocolate, liquorice, light spice and lingering hoppiness - most of these flavors should work well together, but don’t - each struggles for dominance instead of existing in harmony - perhaps when 12.12.12. comes around this will be more balanced - for now it is just so so.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
AlphaOmega (8) - USA - MAY 30, 2005 does not count
This by far is not only one of the best in the Stone Vertical Epic series, but in my opinion, one of Stone’s best brews by far. To date, 05.30.05, I have purchased more of this special edition brew than I have any other Stone product combined. And for someone who consumes on average 4 - 8 Stone products a month... well... do the math. I’ve had to hit up several liquor stores looking for this as I have seemed to run all the others out of this very fine Vertical Epic 05.05.05. My description of the Vertical is... it starts of as a very fine "Black & Tan" if you can imagine that. Sort of sweet and champainy like with a very fine bubble structure... then the hops hit you... not in a harsh way though... very smooth... kind of creaps up on you... and oh yes... the taste of alcohol is definately there... but once again, very smooth... like a bottle of fine wine. This years Vertical Epic is a definate must do... that is if you can find it still. If I find it in a liquor store near you first... you’re S.O.L!
Earlier Rating: 5/30/2005 Total Score: 5
This by far is not only one of the best in the Stone Vertical Epic series, but in my opinion, one of Stone’s best brews by far. To date, 05.30.05, I have purchased more of this special edition brew than I have any other Stone product combined. And for someone who consumes on average 4 - 8 Stone products a month... well... do the math. I’ve had to hit up several liquor stores looking for this as I have seemed to run all the others out of this very fine Vertical Epic 05.05.05. My description of the Vertical is... it starts of as a very fine "Black & Tan" if you can imagine that. Sort of sweet and champainy like with a very fine bubble structure... then the hops hit you... not in a harsh way though... very smooth... kind of creaps up on you... and oh yes... the taste of alcohol is definately there... but once again, very smooth... like a bottle of fine wine. This years Vertical Epic is a definate must do... that is if you can find it still. If I find it in a liquor store near you first... you’re S.O.L!

3.9
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dhlesq (233) - Thousand Oaks, California, USA - MAY 30, 2005
Aroma of banana overlaying horseblanket. Appears reddish-orange-brown, crystal clear. Flavor is sweet followed by horse. Palate is medium-heavy and appropraite.


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