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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 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 18, 2005
Burgundy-brown body with medium carbonation and a moderately frothy light tan head. Aroma of cocoa, dark candy sugar, and banana notes. Long dark malty flavor with an unexpected twangy astringency as if from burnt sugar. Has a tannic, peanut skin quality to it. Medium acidity with substantial, lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is like a decent medium-full strong Belgian ale. Not a great Stone beer and it still won’t be in 7 years, 7 months, and 7 days.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ClarkVV (5781) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 19, 2005
2005 bottle. Pours a very deep auburn/light mahogany color, clear, with just minimal amounts of yeast sediment remaining at the bottom. Head is moderate-sized, and has a dark beige color to it, receding slowly to cover with ample lacing. The aroma wastes no time in bringing forth the clove, with notes of tart raspberries, orange peel, black pepper and moderately dry caramel malt. Flavor begins with a mix of light roasted malts, quite grainy and then works its way in to the clove esters. Highly spicy, they are impossible to miss and linger on to the finish. There is some sweet toffee and light brown bread with a chewy sort of carob/sorghum-liquorice thing on the end. More raspberry/citrus tones throughout and a sweet-and-sour sauce sort of thing on the finish, which, when combined with the clove, gets to be rather fatiguing by the end of the bottle. Full body, moderate carbonation, no thinning. I will agree that it is a little bit like "fuel" and the yeast seems a bit crude, but people seem to forget that they are trying to make this thing peak 7 or so years from now, not right now. Still I could stand for it to be a whole lot more delicate. You arent going to mistake this one for a real Belgian, IMHO.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MrRomero (1976) - Nolanville, USA - MAY 25, 2005
Bottle: poured cola brown with a medium tan head. Mild spicy aroma-cinnamon. Flavor is light for Stone. No big hop flavor but this is a Belgian afterall. Moderate yeasty taste with hints of fruit-banana and some dark fruitiness too. Sweet in the finish. Mild carbonation. Good overall and a fine product for Stone’s portfolio.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
argo0 (13208) - Washington DC, USA - SEP 10, 2005
(22oz bottle) Clear dark-brown body with tan head. Aroma is medium sweet, caramel, some wheat, raisin, light Belgian spice. Taste is moderately sweet, caramel, wheat, light herb. Creamy medium body.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
bigrond (1499) - factoryville, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 26, 2005
this was my first sampling of the ’series’. It’s not readily availible in my area, so it might be the last. BUt it was very smoth with a nice dark caramel color - a very good belgian style beer

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - FEB 28, 2006
Bottle shared with GregClow, Jerc, Hogtown Harry, and Blankboy, Greg’s bottle. Nice sweet malty aroma with a little spiciness. And what I like to call "Belgian Booze". Decent sweet alcohol taste. Actually, this thing becomes way too damn sweet. And the alcohol kicks in as well. What started out as (wow, am I about to sing an REO Speedwagon lyric?...no) a nice Belgian Strong has turned into a sweet boozy monster. Tick and syrupy, slightly bitter finish, with even a little roast/smoke in the finish. This just became way too unbalanced for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Silphium (3191) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - MAY 10, 2006
Deep yet translucent red-brown body, medium dense tan head. Caramely, toasty aroma, with hints of brown sugar. Alcohol and bitter esters begin the flavor profile, with notes of caramel and toast that linger with the strong esters, which carry through the flavor profile. Toffee and chocolate are also evident. Outside the malt contributions, there is little depth or complexity to this beer. The yeast adds little character to the beer. Not bad, but disappointing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jason (1834) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 2, 2007
Bottle thanks to whoever shared this one. Pours a deep red body with a decent size head. Taste is yeasty and very sweet. Slight cotton candy flavor and alcohol presence. Not sure if 6 more years would do anything great for this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Enniskillen (2045) - Salinas, California, USA - MAY 27, 2005
I was hoping this would have some kind of cinco de mayo spin, but it didn’t. The beer is darker then I rememer 03 and 04 being. More of a ruby color with a nice cream colored head. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and alcohol with the aroma, dry cocoa also. Taste is rather bland with a backbone of cinnamon, and other spices with a slight alcohol taste at the end. Actually pretty dissapointing, but neverless a decent brew.

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