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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 457   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 16, 2009
22oz bomber courtesy of sunnydlyte23 poured into a snifter. Pours a deep, clear copper underneath a healthy tan head that lingers as a cap for the duration and leaves good lacing. The aroma is sweet with lots of dark fruits - figs, raisins, pears - soaked in booze. Plenty of brown sugar and some licorice and spices. It actually has a slight hint of oxidation in the nose with a bit of stale cardboard coming through. The taste has the same booze-soaked fruity sweetness as the aroma. There is plenty of dark malts forming a solid backbone along with Belgian sugars before the spices leave a slight tingle on the palate in the finish. Again, signs of oxidation in the taste, just as in the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent carbonation and the oxidation seems to have thinned it out slightly. The alcohol is definitely present in the finish. This is a good beer that I think was probably a great beer at some point - probably a little past itís prime. Very sweet with a good spice presence to mix it up a bit.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
HonkeyBra (3849) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - DEC 14, 2013
On draft. When this beer was released, the White Sox were in first place marching towards a World Series victory. I was still drinking bourbon, listening to Mike Jones, being 19 years old and generally embarrassing. Did this age well? No. But, you know me, I think beers that age well are the figment of the imagination of people who hoard beers. Pours a dark brown color with a beige head. Aroma of oxidation, cardboard, weird sweetness. Some clove and mild dark fruit. Flavor is flabby and generically sweet, lots of oxidation. Medium bodied, some average carbonation. Finishes weirdly sweet.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
slowrunner77 (7873) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 23, 2014
"Sweet leaning, but not overly slow. Some signs of oxidation after 7 years, but not spoiled. Hints of clove and other Belgian-y spices going on, and some non-deScript dark fruit and a hint of alcohol. Definitely a gimmick to sit on these for 12 years, especially since you can make a couple car payments by selling them. Iíve never had a bottle of my own past one year, and I donít think most of the VE releases will be better than fresh after 6-12 months anyway..."

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
tia (1433) - Sandston, Virginia, USA - NOV 1, 2014
Bottle @ RG 21. Auburn. Smells like dry pla-doh and chocolate. A little smoother.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - MAY 23, 2005
05.22.05 Sampled at jimmack04 invitational. Beer bottle brown pour with small beige head. Aroma of tomatoes and carrots. What the heck, I think, it canít be that. I wrap my hands around the snifter and practically drown my nose in the brew trying to find some other stand out aromas, but no, I keep getting a weird vegetal thing, weirdly out of place Belgian-like yeasts that really miss the mark for me, then a dose of clove, I donít know what to make of it before I even take a sip. The flavor is almost reminiscent of Chimay Red, but theres a wacky hop note (something c-hoppish) that bitch-slaps any hint of sweet Chimay Red goodness down to its knees. Melon mixed with citrus pith on finish choke out the best efforts of some sweet Belgian earthy, choco, raisin love that tries so damned hard to sneak its head in the door. But the Arrogant Bastard slams that door shut. Slams it shut.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - MAY 24, 2006
Had planned on saving this and trying to get the entire series. As itís unlikely Iíll live to 12/12/12, may as well drink up. Besides, not all years have been banner ones, so what the hell. This is a clear dark brown with a frothy tan head. Citrus zest, caramel, hints of chocolate, and other, fairly typical Belgian vapors meet the nose. Medium body has lively carbonation. The flavor was fairly common Belgian strong ale along the lines of what one would get from Famtome and the like. Maybe by 12/12/12 it will be better. Damned if Iíll know.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
t4h2c0 (95) - seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 22, 2008
Man, maybe I aged my bottle poorly becasue it was not good in my opinion. After over two years of aging I was excitied to taste it after aging. What a disappointment. Poured dark redish brown with a thick white head. The poor balance of the beer threw my palate off right away, tasted like a funky belgian beer. I don’t understand why Stone is using a Belgian Yeast in beers that are supposed to age up to ten years. Well, i guess i’ll just have to let my next 05’ age even longer and see what happens.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
brokensail (14042) - San Leandro, California, USA - JAN 23, 2012
The beer pours a murky dark amber color without much of a head. There is a definite oxidation to the aroma. Lots of cardboard with the stale sugar and toffee notes. A bit of fruit, maybe some chocolate. The flavor is fairly boring, mostly due to the oxidation. Just sort of sweet and muddled with a bit of cardboard to it. Might be some dark fruit notes and yeast in there.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
madvike (3135) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 13, 2014
On tap at the Escondido brewpub - Pours mahogany with a filmy tan head. Nose is big Belgian yeast, lots of dark bread maltiness, and a dark fruitiness. Taste is the same, warm alcohol with lots of yeast, cherry, raisin, dark malt. Smooth and well-carbonated.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Mads Langtved (2244) - Copenhagen K, DENMARK - FEB 2, 2006
Bottled: Slightly sticky texture. Somewhat a bit too thin and sweet. Hops and some yeast are present in the finish. An average strong ale.

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