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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 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 (1557) - 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.

   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 (9809) - 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 (5633) - 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!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
giarcsr (104) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 9, 2005
I’m thinking this probably isn’t the best beer to be rating three or four days after it’s release. I think this beer would be better off after a few years or so. Anyways, it is a decent darkish beer with a solid aroma, and very belgian like in a lot of ways. It is a lot better then last years release, which is good, but I would say that this is a step above the the regular releases from stone. Hopefully I’ll remember to rerate this in a few years when I crack open one of the few bottles I got.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 9, 2005
Bottle. Pours dark brown with reddish highlights and a large fluffy beige head that mostly diminished. Aroma is dominated by sweet molasses maltiness and spicy, dark bready yeasts. The alcohol is subtle but noticible among the dark fruits and other scents. Flavor is best for me when room temp, sweet, fruity and spicy like a mulled hard cider with raisins, prunes and a splash of brandy poured over thick, yeasty bread. Medium to full body and creamy carbonation. I like this one now, but I’m looking forward to experiencing it as it ages and mellows a bit.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - MAY 8, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 10, 2005 Re-rate 5-9-05. After having another one I have to say this is growing on me.Starting to suggest a cross between Rochefort and Hacker Pschorr Weiss Bock. Odd, but it works. Original rating-Chestnut colored brew raising a 1/2 inch tan head. Nose is yeasty with some alcohol heat. First sip makes me think of a juiced up hefe, all banana and clove. then it settles into some rich maltinesss that doesnt quite fill things out. Almost like a rochefort light. Still a decent brew that should make it another 7 years(hopefully).

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