iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JUL 13, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2009 22 oz bottle (sampled in July 2006…fairly fresh, eh?): Extremely dark, edging towards black, but with clear, golden at the edges. Thin, tight, creamy, ivory head...diminishing into a thin grey film…strong, yeasty fruit aroma with plump raisins, smoked peanuts, sour plums & lightly charred oak. Soft, creamy palate with fruity malts and herbal bitterness along with some playful candy sugar and sweet yeast. I think that this one has some nice potential on the tongue, both texture and flavour…
Oct 2009 update: The palate have improved: incredibly soft and smooth, wonderful texture with the perfect amount of bubbles! Much smokier than I remember with loads of peat and oak.
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hopscotch (10563) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUL 13, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle... Clear, crimson ale with a mid-sized, creamy, lightly tanned head. Good retention. The complex aroma is a swirl of chocolaty, vinous notes with a touch of burnt rubber, port, soy sauce, anise, clove and smoke. The flavor is chocolaty and toasted with dark fruits, molasses and alcohol. Decently-balanced by the hops and booziness. Full-bodied and creamy with lively carbonation. Finishes toasted and medium bitter. Pretty hot. Should age well, but I enjoyed it straight out of the Brickskeller’s cooler.
jercraigs (9722) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 13, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Black body with a moderate tan head (3+). Sweet malt aroma sort of anise like notes, very light woody chocolate and a touch of light alcohol. Dry spice in the flavour, some malt, finish is surprisingly bitter, covering up a light anise character. Average palate is lighter than I would like for this. Pleasant but a bit underwhelming. 7/3+/6-7/3/14
HogTownHarry (6374) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - JUL 13, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle (650ml). Shared with blankboy, GregClow, jerc and tupalev, my bottle via trade with IrishBoy. Poured deep cloudy opaque slightly reddish brown with a smallish off-white head - extra point for looking so thick. Very appealing sweet yeasty/spicy aroma, caramel malt and vanilla. Taste is surprisingly bitter, particularly the finish - bitterness from alcohol and pungent herbal hops - but it still has a solid sweet roat malt backbone, with plenty of soft spice and sweetness ... it seems quite oaky, plenty of vanilla, almost a bit bourbony. While the body is a tad weak, the mouthfeel is nicely bitter and spicy, decently carbonated - I think I enjoyed this more than the 04 or the 05 - and I suspect the second bottle I’m storing away will age nicely, at least for a year or so.
ehhdayton (1188) - USA - JUL 12, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
light sour fruity aroma with some roastedness greets the nose. The pour is a dark brown with a decent tan head of some duration and lacing. The flavor has initially a sourness with some spice that grows to a more roasted flavor and finish.
Kinz (3737) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUL 11, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 1, 2014 Dark brown, decent head fades slowly. Aroma was primarily of malts, a bit of molasses, and some spicy hop notes. Flavor matched. Surprisingly little fruitiness here, just a bit of a bubblegum flavor in the yeast. Lingering bitterness on the finish. A nice dubbel that could improve greatly with age. Or not. We’ll just have to see. RERATE: Richmond Gathering 8 years later. A bit smokey, rather pleasant. Best one so far.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 11, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear, brilliant purple with streaks of brown laying beneath a very thin tan colored head. The aroma is sweet and malty with cocoa, caramel, banana, molasses, roasted grains, bubble gum, beautiful yeasty esters, coriander, plums and cherries, anise and mildly spiced clove. The alcohol is noticable, but not out of balance by any means. The body is thick and smooth with lively bubbles tickling the tongue. The sweetness of the heavy malts, toasted grains, chewy bread and mild spice are clearly the emphasis here. The alcohol and moderate hopping come in to give an unexpected dryness at the finish, that really increases the drinkability. This is definitely one of the better Belgian Style beers that Stone has produced and much more suited to this Vertical Epic series than some of the previous examples. Quite tasty.
jpm30 (1587) - East Central, Georgia, USA - JUL 10, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From a 22 oz. brown bottle with a blurb and info across the back of the bottle, sampled at cellar temperature in a chalice.
Made a good appearance, poured a deep mahogany with a small foamy head that settled into a thin lacing, good carbonation.
Had a nose of plum and bubble gum, lightly herbal and roasted malts.
A crisp, but a little rough medium bodied mouthfeel, good drinkability.
A bit rough in the taste, clove, a sweet plum-like fruitiness, "anise," bare hints of chocolate, a herbal hoppiness that breaks up the taste and a dryish bubble gum and roasted malts finish, a little sweet as well. The alcohol does provide a nice warmth in the palate and, for me, only shows up in the taste at the end, in the aftertaste.
Should improve with age, at least I hope it does since I purchased four bottles for aging.
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 10, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Rich, dark brown with naearly no head at all. Strong, apicy aroma with brown sugar galore and plums and some cherries too. Strong alcohol presence. Molasses and brown sugar predominate in the flavor. Banana esters. A little too sticky. Very chewy mouthfeel.
jmuhops (669) - Winchester, Virginia, USA - JUL 10, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours very dark; I’m not seeing anything other than black. Tan head that goes away quickly. Big, spicy clove aroma, with some sweet dark fruit notes and a dose of hot alcohol. Faint roastiness. Very good flavor: the fruit, candy sugar, and other various malt and yeast tastes sit right alongside a less-traditional roasted malt flavor. The finish is dry and hot, with a touch of spicy phenols. Great now, but should be even better in a few years.