Padron4KM (533) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - MAY 14, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2007 22 oz bomber. Pours out a murky dark reddish brown, with a fluffy tan head.
lace coats the glass in a thin sheet. alcohol floats on top like a nicely aged port.
Aroma is roasty, dark fruits, some mustiness, and maybe a little alcohol.
flavor is fruity and sweet, followed by some roasty chocolate, and a little spice on the end.
Lots of flavors there but they haven’ t quite come together yet. I’ll be aging a couple 2 or 3 bottles for sure, and will re-rate in a year or 2.
(re-rate feb 07) Flavors are coming together nicely. Roasty chocolate, spicy clove, dark fruits, yeast. Looks promising.
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - MAY 13, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: NOV 21, 2005 What an amazing color this brew has. Almost cranberry in color with nothing of a head which can be common with some Belgian styles. Aroma is interesting. Some berries and cinnamon, weird yeast aroma, sulfur. Kind of like a Dubbel gone wrong. Overhopped maybe because it’s got a nasty bitter aftertaste. A bit medicinal.Body is smooth with a good carbonation fizz to it. Flavor is a major dissapointment in my opinion. The finish is like Vicks 44 cough syrup. I don’t know what to make of this. I don’t know why I get sucked into the seasonal Stone releases because for the most part they’ve been a dissapointment. When reading DaSilky1’s review I thought this guy was perhaps a bit harsh but after drinking this I can see his point. Stick to the styles you’ve mastered. The Impy Stout and IPA’s are what you brew best. RE-Rate 9/7/05Brilliantly clear cranberry color with a small dense head which diminishes quickly leaving a slight disorganized layer of film and some light lacing.. Aroma, slightly alcoholic, some dark fruit, caramel, dark malt and less prominently, yeast. Malt is really forthcoming with a lightly burnt caramel sensation. Second pour reveals a doughy yeasty bread aroma which is soon overtaken by the caramel like malt once again. Decidedly, this has improved in 3 months. Flavor is malt forward yet hops lace the walls of my mouth with bitterness. Dark fruit also contribute some flavor. The body is soft and full with a syrup like slickness which coats my mouth. Overall this has improved since I first tried it when released 3 months ago. I only wish they used a better yeast to give it that Belgian quality we all look for in this style.
mreeves (275) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - MAY 13, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark ruby to brown, small head. Definite Belgian yeast flavor, mostly malty but more hops than one would expect for the style (though not for Stone). Kind of a chocolatey taste, but not real strong. Alcohol strength fairly evident. A nice beer, and will probably age well.
mkobes (2140) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - MAY 13, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep brown in color with a nice tan fluffy head. Sweet musty aroma. Very smooth and sweet flavor. Nicely balanced sweetness. Finish is spicey. Drinkable. Enjoyable. Nice beer.
MaiBockAddict (1497) - Good Beer Bar Deprived, New Jersey, USA - MAY 13, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Ruby brown, clear, nice tan fluffy head. A mildly musty sweet aroma, with a trappist like note to it. It does remind me of Rochefort a bit, or even more recently, Chouffe Nice or Fantome Christmas, but much less assertive. Very smooth sweet flavor, with rich Belgian malty fruitiness. Spicy finish. This is a decent Belgian that will age, but may oxidize with time too much to enjoy by 2012.
johnyvt (158) - West Hollywood, California, USA - MAY 13, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Transparent brown/red pour with a big tan head that didn’t stick around too long. Spicy aroma of cloves and dark fruit. Nose is banannas and a little bit of alcohol, but that is quickly covered by a dark, roasted malt finish. Has a bit of Three Philosophers dark cherry taste. Other fruit, like plums. Yeasty. There’s chocolate, some detectable hops, and a lot of other subtle flavors that I imagine will come out more with age. Still, this is impressively drinkable now.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 12, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Nice looking beer. Clear mahogany with a dense tan head. The aroma is quite spicy, hints of Juicy Fruit chewing gum with some light dark fruit that is reminiscent of a dubbel. The flavor is quite salty, full of sweet malts, the spice is still here, and a decent hop bite in the middle. It really tastes like a lighter barley wine mixed with a dubbel and then mixed with an Anchor Our Special Ale. The palate is medium, lightly assertive, dry alcoholic finish. Interesting for sure. Seems much more American styled than Belgian styled. I find it rather enjoyable in the end.
SDalkoholic (2141) - Linda Vista, California, USA - MAY 11, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Finally i got my hands on some this after anxiously waiting for the last few months. Beautiful dark mahogany color; once held against light turns to a amber hue that is clearly visible through. Head is a thin cushy foam thats a light tan but will eventually break up. Nose has an upfront clove aroma with some cinnamon as well, and I also can get a whiff of toffee and malt. The flavor has a moderate amount of malts used and has a undeniable hop spiceness. Found this VE much more darker and better in flavor than the 04. I will age and re-rate in a few months and see how much more it calms down and my ratings change.
crazyvin (1911) - New York, USA - MAY 11, 2005
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
good, but really more of a barleywine then a belgain strong ale. A nice malty/yesty presence. A slight alcohol presence. Really nothing for me to make a comment on. This beer really didn’t have much to comment on.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 11, 2005
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
smells like a cheap & generic american strain of belgian yeast, if that makes any sense..a lot of banana, chocolate, and clove with strong sweetness and styrofoam characteristics...quite evident to me, the same yeast used in the vertical epic 03..though I could be wrong..either way, i don’t really care.. Pours a clear dark amber/mohagany with a solid sheet of tan froth. THick and sweet with a lot of chewing tobacco characteristics. This yeast is just a muddled strain of crap, yet they keep using it. Jesus christ, find a new yeast for your belgian ales, or just give up already! Hot alcohol and plasticy yeast laid over too sweet malt and tobacco flavors. Seriously, Stone might make a hella-good IPA but I’ve brewed better belgians with extract than these fools. This is a cumbersome mess of sweet, hot, and crappy yeast. The majority of all the flavors in this beer come from the crappy yeast strain..i like how Stone claims that it’s the artistic brewer’s talent that is to thank. Ha. Talent. The vertical epic series has done nothing but show that STONE CANNOT BREW BELGIAN STYLED ALES TO SAVE THEIR SOCAL HIDE!