HogTownHarry (6372) - 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 Iím 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 (3625) - 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. Weíll 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; Iím 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.
notalush (5563) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 9, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark plum color, with a quickly diminishing, tan head - aroma of clove, dark fruit (fig, plum), candi sugar, caramel, toffee - quite full-flavored - begins with a touch of coffee-like bitterness, followed by sweet toffee and dark fruit flavors, a touch of smokey/peaty, almost scotch ale-like flavors, followed still by some nutmeg and clove - a little thin on the back end - otherwise a solid brew - reminds me a little of what North Coast seemed to be trying to do with Brother Thelonius, but whereas North Coast failed, Stone most certainly did not.
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 9, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Black/red in color, light tan head. Aroma was spicy, some sweetness, and dark roasty malts. Flavor had a bitterness to it, a little hot from the alcohol, some dark fruits, a little yeasty. Had a sweet finish. This needs some time, as of right now itís a bit chaotic and could certainly use some mellowing.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 9, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Upon its release from the 22-ounce brown bottle the beer sets a deep incarnadine color, the head behemothic in size, light tan in color and semi-creamy in texture, the lace forms a thick and sticky sheet to hide the glass. Nose has a deep, rich malt sweetness, hints of aromatic spices dominate after resting a bit, a joy to this old schnozzle, start is sweet with a delightful grain presence, top is moderate in feel to the palate. Finish has a spiny acidity, the hops and spice quite flavorful, dry and long lasting after taste. One of the better verticals from Stone, and one that will age nicely.