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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 449   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
AlphaOmega (8) - USA - MAY 30, 2005 does not count
This by far is not only one of the best in the Stone Vertical Epic series, but in my opinion, one of Stoneís best brews by far. To date, 05.30.05, I have purchased more of this special edition brew than I have any other Stone product combined. And for someone who consumes on average 4 - 8 Stone products a month... well... do the math. Iíve had to hit up several liquor stores looking for this as I have seemed to run all the others out of this very fine Vertical Epic 05.05.05. My description of the Vertical is... it starts of as a very fine "Black & Tan" if you can imagine that. Sort of sweet and champainy like with a very fine bubble structure... then the hops hit you... not in a harsh way though... very smooth... kind of creaps up on you... and oh yes... the taste of alcohol is definately there... but once again, very smooth... like a bottle of fine wine. This years Vertical Epic is a definate must do... that is if you can find it still. If I find it in a liquor store near you first... youíre S.O.L!
Earlier Rating: 5/30/2005 Total Score: 5
This by far is not only one of the best in the Stone Vertical Epic series, but in my opinion, one of Stoneís best brews by far. To date, 05.30.05, I have purchased more of this special edition brew than I have any other Stone product combined. And for someone who consumes on average 4 - 8 Stone products a month... well... do the math. Iíve had to hit up several liquor stores looking for this as I have seemed to run all the others out of this very fine Vertical Epic 05.05.05. My description of the Vertical is... it starts of as a very fine "Black & Tan" if you can imagine that. Sort of sweet and champainy like with a very fine bubble structure... then the hops hit you... not in a harsh way though... very smooth... kind of creaps up on you... and oh yes... the taste of alcohol is definately there... but once again, very smooth... like a bottle of fine wine. This years Vertical Epic is a definate must do... that is if you can find it still. If I find it in a liquor store near you first... youíre S.O.L!

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - JUN 7, 2005
This one came with a ton of expectations and didnít dissappoint. It poured a beautiful near-black, like soft licorice when itís pulled apart. Nice tan head, full and durable, with good lacing. Aromas were fruit, fruit, fruit. Apricots, cherries, apples, figs, raisins, licorice, cloves, nutmeg, coffee, bread, green peppers. Whew! Taste was WOW! Big hit of smoke morphs to malt heaven then makes room for pear, applequince, even avacado. Lots of fantastic hop bitterness, complimented by the fruit sweetness. The malts were toasty, chocolatety, creamy and smoky -- the best malt presence Iíve tasted. Finish is malt, smoke, peat, earth, and hops. Mouthfeel was perfect -- at no time did it seem too thick or too thin. It was perfectly carbonated. I know all 5s leaves no room for improvement and this ale is meant to be kept until 12-12-2012 and if itís going to get even better, well Iím going to get more and save it. The Stone Brewing Company made one happy beer drinker today. if you havenít already, go get yourself 2 -- drink one and save one for 2012!

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - JAN 19, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 12, 2007 Itís a dark, strong ale that explodes on the palate. Full nectar with flavors of spicey hops and slightly sweetend meaty earth. A well seasoned porterhouse steak in a blender would be an accurate discription of this very hearty brew. Alcohol is well hidden. Well balanced to boot. Like a good woman it left me with nothing to be desired. This is my first in the series so I canít compare to previous vintages. One of my all time favorites. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recomended.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
tennisjoel (1180) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - OCT 1, 2005
Dark red beautiful color. Chocolate and caramel stands out and is balanced well with the belgian yeast. Nice off-white head. Excellent lacing. Nice rich and complex beer. Another winner from Stone!

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
specksnreds (55) - USA - JUN 18, 2008
A friend opened it as we boiled his latest home brew. Flawless after three years. Every flavor is incorporated perfectly. From the prunes at the beginning, to the cocoa and clove finish. A perfect lacy head. No too boozy. As close to perfect as Iíve had. Not much bitterness.

4.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
jisaza (2) - New York City, New York, USA - DEC 25, 2005 does not count
medium bitterness, medium sourness, full body, creamy, lively, long finish, Great beer, highly recommen it.

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
chargerfanjess (124) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 10, 2006
The special Belgian yeast was the KEY It really did add a distinctively spicy aroma and flavor which was incredible. Roastiness, clove, hops, fruitiness, and those other great and funky phenols characterized this beer exactly like the description.Dark roasted malts and alcohol overtones, hints of earthiness, chocolate/cocoa, hop spiciness, describe the structure of this great cervesa!

4.6
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
cmr1517 (35) - New Haven, Indiana, USA - AUG 31, 2008
Pours a dark amber in color. Its aroma smelled of banannas and other fruits. This has aged very well! I did not taste initially but this beer after three years is still quite amazing. Very smooth and with just a little bite. Will love to try again!

4.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ElGaucho (2217) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - AUG 9, 2005
I had read a few luke warm reviews of this brew shortly after it came out, and therefore perhaps my expectations were low. But boy, does this renew my respect for Greg Koch as a brewer! This is perhaps the best Belgian Strong brew I have ever had, and I didnít have to travel to Belgium or shop the import aisle to get it. (I did have to travel to California, however) Not a real strong aroma. Belgian yeast notes are evident, however, as is some roasted malt. Dark ruby red body with lots of visible carbonation. Thick consistency visually. Large, tight bubble, tan head. Tart, sour and salty with dark raosted malt flavors. Alcohol profile is subdued making this brew imminently drinkable to the point of being session-like. Wonderful. No flaws.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2006
This beer offers a healthy aroma consisting of dates, molasses, raisins, and barley. It is a rich mahogany colored solution that only has a smidgen of a cashew colored head. This moderately thick beer is very sweet and rich. The flavor is an infusion of caramel, dates, molasses, almonds, and wheat. A nice sweet date flavor is left lingering on the palate.


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