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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 453   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.


4.2
   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 (5234) - 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.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - MAY 30, 2005
Barnet colored to brown with a little tan head. Aroma is yeasty, spiceyh and with a bananna presence. Carmel malts and a clean presence. Flavor is sweet and tangy at first. Bananna flavors mixed with clove spices and a yeasty character. Full sweet malts and also some roasty and toasted malt and an astringent tangy feel. Warming on the way down, nice finish. Can’t wait to try it later.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pailhead (5398) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - MAY 29, 2005
Bottle: Probably in the minority on this one, but I get a smokey bacon aroma with some light fruit. Pours a deep red that only shows transparency when held to the light. Malty with lots of dark fruit, light raisin, caramel, and some definite smoke. Fruitiness increases in the finish with a little citrus. Very good, but takes a little hit in aroma.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
buddahmind (39) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAY 28, 2005
My first in the series and I can’t wait to taste it in 7 1/2 yrs. A killer strong to dubbel now. One problem. I had to jump through hoops to get it. Next year stone better send me two for free or else i’ll..........................

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dwyerpg (4755) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - MAY 28, 2005
A very unique brewing idea. Definitely wouldn’t have said that there were no spices in it, since it reminds me of Belgian ales (which usu. have them). Perhaps will be better with age, who can tell. Wish I woulda caught on to this idea three years ago.


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