FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 1, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled July 2006
Pours with a dark, black colored beer that shows a brilliantly clear, deep purple & brown colors when held up to the light. The beer is fairly well carbonated and has an, initially four-finger thick light brown colored head that foamed over the sides of my glass when I was a bit too aggressive with the pour. Rich fruity notes of sweet plums, raisins, rum-like notes, some interesting port notes, a touch sour tartness, and a finish of toasty grain notes. The typical suite of bubblegum, banana and clove are all here at noticeable, yet smooth, levels. I really like the complex fruity notes on this beer, so much better than the Avery Thirteen (sorry for the pot shot there).
Thick and chewy, with a sweet malt not up front that amps up the dark fruit notes found throughout this beer. The beer finishes with a hint of tart acidity and a sharp roasted grain note. Notes of roasted almost slightly burnt fruit notes evoke thoughts of concentrated sweet plums, raisins, dried figs. The light tartness plays up some nice fruit notes as well, noticeably amplifying flavors of tart plums, and perhaps a hint of pears. The burnt note adds some bitterness to the finish and there is a touch of hot alcohol at times as well.
This is quite nice, and like last years brew, Stone is finally on the right track of brewing vertical epics which will still be quite tasty come 12.12.12. This beer, over the next few years, should soften up, become a bit smoother and more drinkable. With a couple more years it will pick up some complexity, and it actually should come close to peaking come December 12, 2012, though my guess is that it will peak a bit before. Regardless it will still be quite tasty come the appointed time. Fresh out of the bottle this is also one of the better Vertical Epics, though I liked the fresh vibrancy of the 04 a touch better.
<font size=-4>Purchased: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Tucson, AZ<font size=-1>
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - JUL 1, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle courtesy of Naven. Looks like a watered-down version of an imp. stout. Smoke, oak, fruit, and toasted malt flavors. Possibly a bit watered-down finish w/ a mild alcohol spiciness.
bethmatt0421 (337) - Covington, Kentucky, USA - JUL 1, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2007 (rerate from 12-25-07) This beer was damn impressive. I expected it to be with over a year of ageing. Ive had the 05í and i dont really remember it being this good. Murky, and dark black in color, with a white laced head. Aroma is roast (but not in a coffee sense), chocolate, and grapefruit, vineous. Flavor is very much the same but i would describe it as more of a chocolate with a raspberry drizzle. Malty mouthfeel. A little bit of a hop bite, and a warm feeling afterwards. Damn good beer. but it definitely speaks more of a wine. Another winner for the boys at Stone.
ross (2088) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - JUL 1, 2006
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours out a dark brown color with a small tan head. Smells very similar to the previous epics, and it also tastes similar to them. This one seems like it will be one that will hold up for a long time. Plenty of fruity and malty backings to this beer. Not very bitter, rather good actually. Probably going to be one that will last until 12 12 12
00cobraR (1103) - Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - JUL 1, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours out a dark brown color with a nice tan head. Aroma is very malty and yeasty. Flavoe is very much the same. i was a little suprised at the amount of maltyness that was present in this brew. This is a nice brew.
BBB63 (6045) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 1, 2006
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: SEP 19, 2007 Rerate, 1 yr+ old and served in my NB worthy glass: The nose is still the same except for a slight oxidition. Displays fruity, smoky, grassy, and spicy vapours. No change for Apperance or Aroma. The flavor profile again has not changed much with a spicy frontend joined by some fruit and overall malty sweetness. The finish is getting even more dry but the alcohol and carbonation has seemed to die down a bit. I increased the Flavor +1, Palate +1 and overall score +1. This could be at peak right now. I canít imagine how dry this will be by 2012! (3.8)<P>
Bottle and served in my Stone IRS snifter: Displays a deep brown hue topped by a large frothy beige head and moderate lacing. The aroma is quite fruity with notes of fig, prune, and currant. Additionally I discovered some smoky and chocolate malts, clove, grassy and earthy estery character. Finally a tip of the hat to some Belgian sugar components.
The flavor profile is initially spicy (clove, anise and pepper) touched by a healthy dose of bitter fruit. Depth is added by a smoked and toasty malt background, even a bit of developing yeast tone rounds out the palate. The finish is part woody dryness and moderate alcoholic astringent feel (despite what the description states). Quite lively and somewhat aggressive at this stage of development, a warming beer but never overly dominate.
The overall dryness added a complexity but I think it could end up becoming to much with aging. I gather it will peak at about one year old, will re-rate in six months, seems like a perfect beer for around Christmas time. (3.5)
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUN 30, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pour is deep dark brown with a thin dense and sticky tan head...smell is yeast, roasted cocoa, something smokey...not woody or meaty, just smokey...taste is spicy and slightly bitter and the bitterness builds throughout...some earthy dirty wood flavor...subtle sweetness is creeping around too...nice thick yet fizzy mouthfeel...I donít think Iím digging the burnt bitter flavor, but Iím not really too sure, and I just finished a bottle and I still donít know...
temporrari (381) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - JUN 30, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown, very little head. Funky Belgian aroma. Big on the yeast. Very tasty stuff, some slight roasty, chocolate, spice, big malts, good stuff. Iím not gonna try to describe this any better, itís really good. Get some.
Tybalt (206) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JUN 30, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2006 Definitely one to try. Very complex with a lot of spice to it...but still very drinkable. Almost tastes like a Christmas ale or something with the clovey/pine kick they throw in, but it is still very good indeed.
DCJack (181) - Alabama, USA - JUN 30, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pigfoot said this about the 05 05 05 version. It still applies:
"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... Iíd 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!"