brew4all (103) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - AUG 24, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark pour with a thin head. Aroma was solid with hints of dark fruits and brown sugar. The taste was laced with malt, spices, dark fruits, and raisens. The beer finished strong with a lasting sweet bitterness and malt feel.
bindpmc (88) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 8, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2006 Bottle at the Liars Club, (possibly the best bar ever-although Iíve said it before). I hesitate to call myself a Liars Club regular, but letís just say the bartender saw (and remembered) me, and insisted I try this beer. I dare say I think his enthusiasm was more because it is so newly available and not because of the product itself. It just tastes young. It says right on the bottle to age it, as all the Verts from Stone do, but you just gotta try the new one when it comes out each year, donít you? Dark reddish-black pour. tastes like a glass of Dr. Pepper with some raisins or other dried fruit mixed in. Not much in the way of nose, other than a faint suggestion of roasted malts. Mellow and drinkable for how young it is...was taken aback when told it was 8.6%, as there was little burn. Certainly a unique beer, and it has a pleasing sweet malt finish. Just tastes a little less than what I thought it would be. Not a lot of oomph, if I can be totally obtuse about it. Iíd be curious to shelf a bottle for a year and see if more complexity develops as a result. EDIT- Perhaps a case of one too many brews at Liars Club, but I origianally listed this as a draught. I woke up today to see I got a beermail from Greg, who most likely is Greg Koch, the mighty ruler of Stone, (and all around good guy, Iíve met him at a couple of beer functions). He thanked me for the review and corrected me in that Liars Club does not have this on draught but only in bottles. And yes, I did have it in bottle, which I should have remembered since I spent a good amount of time reading the info on the label. Greg, if you see this, thanks for pointing that out. As penance for my mistake, I will drink large amounts of Imperial Russian Stout, which is one of my favorite beers in the world (and I recently scored a bunch of it at my corner store).
DuffLover (81) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - AUG 10, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a 22 oz. Aroma is malt and spice. Appearance is a dark reddish brown with a moderate light tan head. smooth - Flavor is malt with some caramel and mild spice. Palate is very smooth and thick with fairly mild carbination, which I like. An excellent beer. Stone puts out some great brews!
HumbertHumbert (77) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 28, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice mahogany color with a rich creamy tan head. Good malty aroma with bread dough and sweet port. Somewhat overbearing hops mute the tropical fruit complexity lurking somewhere in the background. Nice hint of anise at the end. I like the smooth richness of the beer, but thought the hops were just a little too dominant and overwhelmed some of the more delicate notes I would have enjoyed.
UnionBeerCzar (77) - Michigan, USA - DEC 27, 2012
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber to snifter. These came straight from the distributor so I know they have been hanging in a warehouse for nearly 6 years. Even popped fresh when I uncapped her. Pours a slightly murky brown/black slightly translucent on the edges. Small tan head which dissipates quite quickly, virtually no lacing. Very little aroma when it was cold, as it warmed and I refreshed the glass I got some figgy raisin malty nose attributes. This drinks like some Corsendonk Browns I laid down back in the day, maybe this even held up better. Low carbonation but not inadequate, medium to full mouthfeel. Lots of molasses, brown sugar, and tabaco. Really pleased with how this held up I enjoyed drinking this little part of Stone history. Finish is long and dry and sort of chocolate-ly. Whoa there is some vanilla bean going on as well. This beer is solid, I wish I could have charted itís progression or had one fresh. Alas, happy with the one I had. Slainte
enginaaron (73) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 3, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Stone for RBSG. Very citrusy aroma with a bright belgian yeast aroma. Very dark in appearance with a white head. Spectacular belgian yeast but not too sweet; rather musty and slightly aged (but still tasted fantastic!) Extremely easy to drink. I really liked this Epic!
nijuro (63) - USA - OCT 16, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
very dark with little head to speak of. Bubblegum and caramel on the nose and a definite roasted quality. Round and sticky mouthfeel with a pleasant sweetness. Nice bitterness on the finish to round it all out. Not as great as it was described to me, but a nice glass nonetheless.
calivania (62) - USA - JUN 7, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to my wife who brought this home on the unholy day so I could be the first to review it. Melty and sweet-- like pricey rugulach, a swirl of raisin and burnt sugar-- right down to the color, which deeply darkly amber and an almost ruby opaque at its thickest point. There is something thick and buttery to itís mouthfeel even. Head fades fast as does the backend -- one must wonder what this one might develop into when it is not, say, 37 minutes old. .Let me be first to say to hell with the devil and hooray for this beer!
ohnoitskristin (62) - Santa Cruz, California, USA - AUG 14, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Poured into a glass a dark, rich brown with a thin tan head. Aroma was very caramelly with hints of malt and spice. The taste was very malty with caramel and spice--- I was right on the money! Very smooth ale, no bitter aftertaste... great on the palate. Overall a VERY enjoyable beer!
pfhyde (53) - Davis, California, USA - JUL 27, 2006
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
For those with a predilection for imperial stouts, pleasure will ensue from this edition of the Vertical Epic line. For those like myself, however--those who find imperial stouts favorable only on certain occasions and moods--the response will vary. I find it rather typical of the imperial stout genre. Given its similarity to the likes of Old Rasputin and other microbrew styled imperial stouts, thereís not much that significantly differentiates it from other offerings. Of course thereís a perceptible difference, but to what end? Any difference is nominal, at best. To me, it seems like an inferior version of Old Rasputin, slightly watered down with excess toasted malts. The flavor is reminiscent of the scrapings from burnt toast; the only difference is that the alcohol goads one into consuming the entirety of the offering, despite the initial distaste.