Ughsmash (6915) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 3, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep ruby pour with a moderate beige head. Aroma was quite complex with spices (incl. cloves), dark fruits, Belgian yeast, plums, and some malty sweetness. Crisp mouthfeel from the hops, and white pepper, dark fruit, a medium sweet malt backbone, and cloves were in there. The sweetness dominated the flavor, but I think it may mellow out with time. Familiar Stone hoppy finish with some cloves and sweet malts. I enjoyed this, but the 04’s balance gives it my nod at this point in time.
Dogbrick (6824) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAY 9, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
bb (6481) - Alamo, California, USA - JUL 9, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Very dark amber-mahogony beer with a nioce beige head. Rich malt aroma with some fruit and cola. Rich fruity/malty flavor - sweet malt, dates, raisins, yeasty spiciness. Full bodied. Easy to drink - hides alcohol well. Some cocoa and roastiness. What keeps this from being a great beer is that it misses the rich aftertaste. The flavor just sort of peters out without giving you enough satisfaction.
Cletus (6250) - Connecticut, USA - SEP 14, 2008
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours brown with a red tint. Smells of caramel, dark fruit, lots of clove. Tastes of sweet caramel and spicy, but the cardboard is creeping in. I have some doubts as to how much longer this beer should be cellared by anyone as it’s showing signs of oxidation.
Ibrew2or3 (6207) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - NOV 16, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Huge thanks to Travis (of Dunedin Brewery) for bringing along a vertical of Stone’s Vertical Epic to the epic Florida kick off party at the Oldsmar Tap House. Pours murky fudgy brown with tiny off white head. The inviting aroma has notes of caramel, German dark bread, toffee, biscuit and faint rich nearly over ripe dark fruitiness. The taste was very nice but lacked the depth I was expecting. It had the smoothed with age notes noted in the nose such as caramel, biscuit malts, a bit of dark fruitiness and faint oxidation. Very nice treat.
Rastacouere (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 25, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Big fluffy off-white head lasts over the deep brown body. Complex yeast derived phenols and esters create a well rounded nose in which a foreground blend of floral and anise aromatic components work hands in hands. They welcome greedily the nutty, toasted dessert bread malts and pour a well disciplined candyish fruit syrup on top of it. The yeast doesn’t impart anything that shouldn’t be there, the alcohol warmth is perfectly integrated. Full bodied, gentle soft carbonation. Plenty of residual sugars in there (nice life ahead), though they bring flavors out (molasses, brown sugar, candi) rather than just lending the beer a heavier sweetness than it can handle. Okay, we’re not quite talking world-class here, but this is a very successful belgian stylish ale in which the ingredients, thanks to an efficient yeast strain, have brought out a result worthy of the sum of their parts. Good stuff, bold and efficient.
Emil (6069) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - OCT 9, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Dark red brown colour with a medium beige head. Dark fruits, caramel aroma and taste, light alcoholic. Medium to full body with a sweet light dry, light alcoholic finish.
sebletitje (5991) - Enghien, BELGIUM - NOV 21, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
courtesy of Travis, you da’ man.
Pours amber with beige head.
Aroma is malty and grainy.
Taste has plenty of nice chocolate malts and some hints of dark fruits.
It aged quite well, loaded with nice flavors and a light hoppy finish.
HogTownHarry (5908) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - FEB 24, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle (650ml). Shared with blankboy, GregClow, jer and tupalev - GregClow’s bottle. Deep clear brown-mahogany with a small tan head. Mild aroma of yeasty malt and spices, a hint of milkiness. Tastes of oaky alcohol, rich roast (almost burnt) malt, and bitter spices. Mouthfeel is lively, sticky and alcoholic, with a hint of bottle metal on warming - this is very strong and very sweet, with a bitter spicy finish - reminded me of chewing on cinnamon sticks when I was a kid; seemed more of an ASA than a Belgian strong though.
Ernest (5892) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 17, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, light brown, mostly diminishing.
Body is dark orange-brown.
Aroma is moderately malty (toasted/roasted grain, cooked caramel), lightly hoppy (apricot), lightly yeasty (cobwebs), with notes of clove, oregano, orange peel, cola.
Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic.
Like an imitation Fantome Black Ghost, perhaps, but without the rustic farmhouse character. Reminds me of something Ommegang would make for some reason (just a tad harsh/edgy/unrefined in the finish). Surprisingly good overall, though. Finally seeing a little improvement in the head size/retention from Stone here, but still disappointing compared to most Belgian beers.