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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 447   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73   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.


3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
argo0 (11452) - 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.

3.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
bigrond (1475) - 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

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gorbalev (2917) - 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.

3.3
   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.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Enniskillen (2029) - 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.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAY 27, 2005
Bottle from eyedrinkale. Pours a dark amber/ruby with a off white head. Very smooth with a slight tingle. Some cocoa and cinnamon and a small alcohol hint

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Brad (364) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - MAY 27, 2005
Bottle: Amber fading into orange in color, bigger fuller foamy head, low carbonation. Spicy sweet aroma with pronounced cinnamon, bakery notes, and light milk chocolate. Flavors of spicy hops stand out with smaller flavors of alcohol and malts. Feels flat in the mouth, could be a bit more livelier.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
notalush (4833) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 30, 2005
Deep ruby hue with medium head of large, foamy bubbles - aroma is mostly clove and the ever so familiar belgian yeast with hints of fruity esters - flavor is an odd mixture of chocolate, liquorice, light spice and lingering hoppiness - most of these flavors should work well together, but don’t - each struggles for dominance instead of existing in harmony - perhaps when 12.12.12. comes around this will be more balanced - for now it is just so so.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 31, 2005
22 oz bottle, fresh: thin off tan head quickly dies into a thin ring. Transparent yellow gold edges with a deep, clear mahogany body. Bready yeast aromatics with hints of banana, coconut, rye, and lightly charred toast. Sort of like a blackened triple…Clove phenols wrap the tongue and combine with a dull, yet strangely spicy bit of star anise. The palate is a little young, needs some development in the carbonation – it almost seems hollow…dark roasted malts and a dusty cocoa powder linger at the back of the throat, while an odd piney hop bitterness tingles the side of the mouth. This one seems to fall along the lines of (2) surpassing the usual or ordinary…we’ll see how it develops, but right now may be my least favourite.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Cornfield (5473) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JUN 5, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2005 Although this is a tasty and enjoyable brew, it strikes me as being fairly one dimensional. (Methinks SB buys into their own hype too heavily.) A rich brown color with a short-lived fizzy head, the aroma is sweet malts and candy sugar. The tastes are sweet malts, candy sugar, and alcohol. There is some mild spiciness to it, as well, but nothing that exciting. The finish is sticky sweet and full of alcohol.

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