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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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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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 11, 2005
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!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - MAY 10, 2005
Salty and barleywine-ish, but dubble-y too. This is a strange brew - all sorts of pepper, salt, malt, very little in the way of hops or fruitiness to me. Lots of metallic flavors (9 volt battery time). Good. Better than the 04 IMO, and should mellow and change nicely (but watch for the creep of the sours...?). Obviously, a bit hot...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
fordest (1994) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - MAY 10, 2005
22 oz. bottle from Mr. Liquor. Poured deep ruby with a decent tan head that lasted for most of the glass. Lacing throughout. Aromas of spice and dark fruit, caramel and roasted malt. Flavors were similar with alcohol worked in as well. Maybe a bit too carbonated, but I am sure that will mellow out by the time this is actually supposed to be consumed. A sweet and hoppy finish. I am looking forward to trying it again in a few years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - MAY 10, 2005
I have been anxiously waiting for this one all year. I was a bit disapointed because I loved the past Verticals so much, but that’s not to say it’s bad at all. This steps away a bit from the Belgian style of the past Verticals. This has an undeniable stout undertone. Tastes of coffee and bitter chocolate and alcohol dominated for me. This should really settle down into a great beer with age though. I look forward to it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SNOB (13) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 10, 2005
Pours nicely with a light brown head of substance. The beer is clear, and is redish with nearly a purple hue. You can easily smell the toasty grains (rye?) It has roasted sweet flavoer with faint citrusy tones. It is well carbonated, and has good mouthfeel. Excellent Brussels lacing, with every sip detectable. A solid beer, but I will be anxious to taste it in another 7 years to experience it at full potential.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - MAY 9, 2005
I stepped into this trepidaciously...the "no spices" claim on the lable helped ease my worries a bit...and I was pleasantly surprised...Its actually a passable, even better, dark strong made in America! Malt and yeast mix nicely for some fair complexity...I await the pouring of more of this brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jasonp (1555) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - MAY 9, 2005
Beautiful dark clear mahogany with a thick beige head. Aroma of clove, banana, roastiness and plenty of hops. Flavor has notes of plums, raisins, cherries, yeast, clove, banana, spiciness, floral hops, caramel, roasted/toasted malt and a little chocolate in the background. Pleasantly sweet, some hop bitterness at the end as it warms. A little alcohol detected in the finish. Medium-full body with a smooth texture and lively carbonation. Great head retention. I really enjoyed this one.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Miguel (1181) - Saint-Ours, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 9, 2005
Au Spirit Haus, MA. Bière corpulente et bien balancée. Très épicée. Alcool, raisin, maltée : voluptueuse. Corps superbe. Très bonne bière. Mousse généreuse.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Dogbrick (8133) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAY 9, 2005
Why wait? This stuff is good NOW. Not like I’ll ever find the 02.02.02 anyway. The beer is a dark reddish-brown color with a thick and foamy beige head. Thick and sticky lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, spice (what? there are no spices in this beer?) and raisin. Rich body with an immediately noticeable Belgian character. Yeast, spices and malt are prevalent, along with a bit of fruit in the background. The finish is spiced and hoppy. Definitely the best VE I have tried so far.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheBeerGod (5249) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - MAY 9, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 10, 2005 Bottle. Densely packed microbubbles seem long lasting atop this copper behemoth. Nose is rich and lively. Dark fruits, light smokiness, exotic spices, light bubblegum, yeast, and wafts of alcohol permeate the air. Taste is very fruity and yeasty. More light smoke notes, roasty malts, light cocoa, black cherries and raisins, robust spiciness, and earthy hops. Body is moderately carbonated and at times creamy with a lingering dryness. Finishes with an abundance of dark ripened fruits, yeast, earthy hops, light spices, thinned dark chocolate and mild roasty notes. Excellent!

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