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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TChrome (1447) - Bedford, Texas, USA - JUN 20, 2005
Quite a sursprise as the dark brown colored liquid gurgled from the bottle into my Chimay chalice. Dark mahogeny color with a well retained dark tan colored head. The aroma is very Abbey Dubblish, rich chocolate malt, lots of spices, a really nice yeast strain, a bit of earth, bubblegum and a whiff of alcohol. Also, some dark, dried fruit, i.e. raisin/prunes. The flavor compares quite favorably with good Abbey Dubbles, sweet malt with chocolate, mutiple spices, orange, and a slightly sharp metallic off flavor. I predict a long life for this bad boy, as well as some nice smoothing out of its few sharp edges. Very enjoyable and drinkable now. Will be much better in a year or two, I predict. Who says Stone can’t make good Belgian styles?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
puzzl (3259) - New York, New York, USA - JUL 3, 2005
rating #50. Poured a deep brown with zero head. Wish it actually had some. Full, mouth-coating palate with a luscious, malty, fruity, perfectly balanced flavor. Alcohol was perfectly hidden: I was more than happy to quaff the bomber.

On the other hand, not really sure why this is marked as a Belgian Strong. Tastes loads more like an American Strong to me. In fact, I noticed almost no Belgian flavors whatsoever. Oh well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 12, 2005
Dark ruby color, bright at sides, with a long-lasting, creamy tan head. Nice. in the nose: ah...warm, soft, fruity, rich, malty, toffeeish, enticing...delicious...alive and invigorating...much appreciated. ...and smooth and tasty on the tongue, as well. Big, fat malty taste, nary a squeak out of hops...molasses, hint of anise, caramel...richness at play on the palate. Damnably tasty! And the high abv keeps quiet, at least, so far... I’d love it if this were a regular brew, that I could down anytime I felt. It straddles a special place between abbey dubbel and baltic porter, with a kiss of coffee/chocolate/oatmeal/nut brown stout...if you know what I mean...yummy!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
3fourths (9137) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 22, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 17, 2007 Big frothy head that smells of bourbon, chocolate and wood... a really excellent smell and not one I can find any faults with. Flavor is similar: some chewy chocolate and some maple, woody malt character, reminds me almost of Midnight Sun M with the yeast flavor. One of my favorites from Stone.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 29, 2005
Rock on Stone! Burnt orangey crimson, thin tan fizzy head. The nose was rich and complex with notes of plum, cloves, cocoa, dark sweet bread, and rum raisin, with lighter tones of citrus. Extremely well balanced flavors throughout with spiced dark fruit, rich caramel malt, and light notes of mochachino. In the end, you finally get some of the typical Stone hoppiness, yet it only plays a supporting role this time around. Medium bodied, prickly carbonation, dry, bittersweet finish. Kick ass man! Again I beg of you (Chris, Greg, whomever) to get Stone in Maryland ASAP...

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
1FastSTi (3360) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 31, 2005
Sampled from a bomber per Matt. Pours to a thin beige head that disapates within 20 seconds to a thin, non-existent like head. The body is a dark mahogany. The aroma has a gingerbread quality to it. It also has a ton of spice in it. Cinnamon, mace, apples, nutmeg. The flavor is quite spicy. Dark fruits. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
3daddict (139) - Portland, Maine, USA - AUG 7, 2005
Dark brown ruddy pour with quickly vanishing head. Has all the scents, looks and taste of a fine Belgium beer, minch meat with a graham cracker crust. But what really took me was the smoothness and lack of undue carbonation that most of these beers demonstrate. We are teased off the label about cellaring this release but it is an undue concern since they nailed it. This is perfect right off the shelf as is!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DocLock (9999) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 22, 2005
Pours dark brown with medium tan head. Aroma of roast caramel malt, dark fruit, hops, tons of spices such as coriander, cinnamon, and black pepper. I cannot believe that this beer is not spiced. The finish is smooth, with more dark fruit, hops, and spices. Nice complexity and great balance.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerbill (3605) - Laurel, New York, USA - NOV 15, 2005
Bottle. Pours a deep mahogany with a thick, creamy tan head. Lots of plums and spices in the aroma. The flavor does not disappoint. Plums and bananas combined with cloves and caramel. The alcohol is definitely present but not overpowering. Really terrific, I just wish I bought more than one last June.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - DEC 25, 2005
Pours dark brown with a medium-dense frothy persistant small-bubbled pumpkin colored head. Nose is fresh smelling with brown-sugar malt notes and a touch of cinnamon and cedar. Mouthfeel is medium and silky, flavor is rich, malty, spicy with a bit of ginger and cloves. An outstanding beer!

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