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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 460   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72/5   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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - MAY 27, 2005
Rich brown color with some red along the edges. Aroma is peppery and chocolate, like a dubbel. Taste is floral and hoppy, spicy indeed with some banana and nuts. This will be awesome in time and not bad now.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Brad (364) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - MAY 27, 2005
Bottle: Amber fading into orange in color, bigger fuller foamy head, low carbonation. Spicy sweet aroma with pronounced cinnamon, bakery notes, and light milk chocolate. Flavors of spicy hops stand out with smaller flavors of alcohol and malts. Feels flat in the mouth, could be a bit more livelier.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAY 27, 2005
Bottle from eyedrinkale. Pours a dark amber/ruby with a off white head. Very smooth with a slight tingle. Some cocoa and cinnamon and a small alcohol hint

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Enniskillen (2045) - Salinas, California, USA - MAY 27, 2005
I was hoping this would have some kind of cinco de mayo spin, but it didnít. The beer is darker then I rememer 03 and 04 being. More of a ruby color with a nice cream colored head. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and alcohol with the aroma, dry cocoa also. Taste is rather bland with a backbone of cinnamon, and other spices with a slight alcohol taste at the end. Actually pretty dissapointing, but neverless a decent brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MrRomero (1976) - Nolanville, USA - MAY 25, 2005
Bottle: poured cola brown with a medium tan head. Mild spicy aroma-cinnamon. Flavor is light for Stone. No big hop flavor but this is a Belgian afterall. Moderate yeasty taste with hints of fruit-banana and some dark fruitiness too. Sweet in the finish. Mild carbonation. Good overall and a fine product for Stoneís portfolio.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 25, 2005
bottle courtesy of mkobes at the jimmack invitational. body is a deep dark brown, not opaque, but almost porter-like in its coloring, along with a thick creamy head. aroma is very spicy, with some clove and cinnamon along with caramel malts. flavors matched the aroma, with some yeastiness, and a rather bittter hop tail. that tail translates into the aftertaste, which instead of being sweet and malty, is citrusy and hoppy, something i was not anticipating in a belgian. i look forward to aging a bottle of this, hopfully it will smooth out.

   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.

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