pfhyde (59) - 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.
Stine (1744) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 12, 2008
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Sienna brown and ruby touched pour; murky. Doughy chocolate, honey and earthy maple in the nose. Reserved, and sophisticated. Damp red fruit, banana and cotton flavor with an aged quality of peat and cardboard; far from stunning and certainly in the retirement of old age. Weakly constructed in the mouth, without much body or strength remaining. Berries and husky, stale malt in a lingering and drying finish. In the coffin, but kicking out its last bit of character.
badbeer (434) - Iowa, USA - JUL 5, 2008
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Dark brown color with a light tan head atop of it, lacing was lacking. Smell was a bit light, bready, and even a bit smoky. Taste is smoky as well, was more like a rauchbier to me. I won’t detract just because it isn’t necessarily Belgian Styled, because Belgian style is hard to define as it is. I will however, detract from the fact that I just don’t like it. Medium bodied with high carbonation. I’m glad I shared the bottle and didn’t pick up two of them, won’t be buying this again.
omhper (22635) - TyresŲ, SWEDEN - JUL 16, 2008
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottled at Petalax Beer Festival. Dark ruby with small head. Fruity, lightly yeasty nose with some coffee. Fruity and phenolic, slimmer than expected. A vast array of flavour is on offer, but aside from medicinal none demand much attention, so the flavour stay streamlined and without much depth. Perfectly correct, but as it does not offer something extra in either complexity, intensity nor drinkability it gets no real love from me. Just my acceptance.
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - FEB 9, 2010
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Sampled at Stoneís Winter Storm 2010. This has really mellowed. Pours dark brown. Not much bite or kick that I normally associate with Stone. Almost porter-ish. A little bit of hops at the end.
italarican (1539) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - OCT 13, 2010
2.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Tap at the RnH Stone event. Dark chocolate pour with a liquidy, frothy khaki head. Aroma has an earthy hoppiness to go with roasted malt. Initial flavor is a surprising citrus bite of juicy orange with caramel, but then comes the markers of a beer thatís gone bad: I know those metal and vinegar notes were not intended. Surprsing level of citrus that unfortunately gets lost in a sea of liquid metal and vinegar. I can tell this was really good at some point, but she has passed her prime.
walsh90025 (2) - USA - JUL 25, 2006 does not count
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Normally I am a big fan of the Stone brews, but this one was a disappointment. Weird aftertaste, almost like cough syrup.
SudsMcDuff (7662) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - FEB 6, 2012
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
pours a murky brown .. light wispy foam .. leather and brown sugar mostly .. . wow! thin- very thin mouth and a very unappealing finish .. . terrible
.. . . youíre having trouble breathing?!? my eyes are burning!!
kramer (5693) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2012
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Bottle. Pours a dark amber brown body with a nice fizzy light beige head that retained as a thin ring. The nose is pretty nice, thereís just a touch of oxidation, some really nice dark fruits, strong belgian yeast, a little alcohol, and even a touch of a tobacco note. The flavor is a bit of a letdown after the nice aroma, itís too thinned out and faded. There isnít a lot of negative flavor notes like heavy oxidation, itís just thinned out and bland. Thereís still some hints at the dark fruits and yeast on the finish especially, but not enough gas left in the tank for this guy. Mouthfeel is a bit thinned, but still finishes with a bit of clinginess. Nice moderate fizzy carbonation. Decent, and still certainly drinkable, but not as good as the 05 for me in the overall sense.
HonkeyBra (3961) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - DEC 14, 2013
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Sampled on draft. When this beer released I was 20. I remember, I was heading home from college at this time. Itís pretty incredible that Stone sat on all these beers for so long so they could do this whole vertical epic thing. This beer is brown. It has a small beige head. It smells like oxidation, malt, mild belgian spice. Kind of meh. Flavor is dull, oxidized, with some vague sweetness and belgian notes. Medium bodied, average carbonation. Certainly a weird experience. After having these beers, my feeling that aged beers are disgusting is validated.