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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 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 24, 2005
Deep burgundy color with a gigantic, creamy and rocky head of foam. This looks like a Belgian for sure. Aromatically speaking, itís a bit dusty and dull, but still bursting with character with hints of sugared plums, pumpkin, chocolate, raspberries, almonds, bubble gum and toffee. Flavor is interesting, as each sip is different, some reassuring, some disappointing. The flavor is full of alcohol, but not harsh, loaded with notes of roast, chocolate, coffee, toffee and bright red fruit, with various yeast attributes. I donít know a lot about Belgian yeast, but the yeast used in this just seems a little strange to me. Palate is noticibly thin compared to most Belgians. Iím pretty impressed overall, but I am sure Stone can do much better, especially if they brewed a Belgian style beer more than every 13 months.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
socoguzzler (11) - fort collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 24, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2008 I thought it was a tasty and delightful beer. I feel honored to have been able to try this beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - MAY 24, 2005
Bottle thanks to MBA and mkobes. Dark brown with a small tan head. Sweet malty aroma with some cloves and raisins. Sweet fruity flavor of malt, tropical and dark dried fruits, caramel and bread. A bit of hops on the finish. Curious as to how this will age.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAY 23, 2005
05.22.05 Sampled at jimmack04 invitational. Beer bottle brown pour with small beige head. Aroma of tomatoes and carrots. What the heck, I think, it canít be that. I wrap my hands around the snifter and practically drown my nose in the brew trying to find some other stand out aromas, but no, I keep getting a weird vegetal thing, weirdly out of place Belgian-like yeasts that really miss the mark for me, then a dose of clove, I donít know what to make of it before I even take a sip. The flavor is almost reminiscent of Chimay Red, but theres a wacky hop note (something c-hoppish) that bitch-slaps any hint of sweet Chimay Red goodness down to its knees. Melon mixed with citrus pith on finish choke out the best efforts of some sweet Belgian earthy, choco, raisin love that tries so damned hard to sneak its head in the door. But the Arrogant Bastard slams that door shut. Slams it shut.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Terminus (3382) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 23, 2005
poured into my trippel karmelot glass-pours aa beautiful brunette amber hue with a sudsy highly fizzy tan head. spicy, estery, leathery aroma with notes of nutts, plums, spicy hops, sliglty fussel alcohol nose tickle. flavors are sugary, spicy, hoppy (earthy and spicy)-astringent spice note on the finish as it was cold, but mellowed after a while. some roasty/nutty tones come out in the finish that were very pleasant. This beer is pretty good now, but i think this has awesome aging potential!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - MAY 22, 2005
Dark ruby brown color with a large beige head. Strong clove, nutmeg, dark fruit and bread aroma. Sweet bread, clove, nutmeg and pine flavors. Lightly tingly with a dry finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - MAY 22, 2005
Dark mahogony color with a large frothy beige head. The aroma burst out with clove, nutmeg, pepper, raisins, prunes, and sweet bread. The flavor delivered much of the same with a definite metalic (not bad!), dry, hoppy bittereness in the aftertaste. The feel was not quite as gassy as I expected (a good thing) with a very dry finish. Nice. I might like this one best so far.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BBB63 (6507) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - MAY 22, 2005
Bottle: Pours a very deep redish hue with an initial frothy head and very good lacing. The aroma has notes of carmel, toffee, black malt, current, raisin, fig, cardamom, white pepper, peat moss, and musty yeast esters. The taste starts quite yesty with a lot of brown sugar and heavy malting upfront. Sublime notes of bitters and fruits run throughout the tasting as well. The finish is the best part of palate with a nice combination of spice characters and a touch of dark chocolate. The feel is lush and smooth but not heavy, the crispness and light salty nature keep the palate refreshed. Overall I think this is a hit with potential to become great.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
MayorQuimby (100) - Santa Barbara, California, USA - MAY 21, 2005
Bottle. Dark ruby brown color, relatively opaque, thin white head that left no lacing behind. First pour had no head retention, but the head stuck around for the second glass. Aroma is dominated by some dark fruits, very phenolic, and a lot of alcohol in the nose. Maybe a hint of yeastiness hiding behind all of that, though it was difficult to pick up. Flavor is mostly dark malts (roasty and chocolatey) and frutiness, spicy, and a deep alcohol burn in the finish. Carbonation is a bit bubbly in the mouth, but that should fade with age, body isnít too heavy but thereís enough to hold up the complexities in the flavor. This and the 04 VE are interesting brews (for lack of a more precise term, maybe curious is the word Iím looking for), this is a lot more complex than the 04 was in December (though both are still quite young). Nothing exceptional, but certainly unique. It needs time in the cellar, though I am looking forward to see how it melds with age.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - MAY 21, 2005
Very dark body, looks black in the glass. Thin light cream head on top. Aroma is all about some serious dark fruity notes. Fig, grape and plum, yeah, theyíre all there too. Spices, they seemed to make it to the party as well, anise and clove making a smaller, but well balanced presence. Alcohol is a bit heavy in the nose as well, masking the yeast and malt some. Flavor is very stone-like, aka, heavy hop handed. Flavor does indeed need some maturing.

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