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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 12, 2005
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SDalkoholic (2359) - Linda Vista, California, USA - MAY 11, 2005
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
crazyvin (2026) - New York, USA - MAY 11, 2005
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 didnít have much to comment on.

   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 donít 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 Iíve 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 itís the artistic brewerís 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) - Łůdż, 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 (2470) - 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 thatís not to say itís 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 (1573) - Ashburn, 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.

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