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Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 775   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 252   ABV: 8.4%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
In this yearís edition we took our inspiration from two Belgian styles: Saisons and Golden Triples. As such, the Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic has a deep, deep golden hue and the flavor is spicy, fruity, complex and refreshing. We used four different malts, and a subtle, yet distinct, blend of Glacier and Crystal hops to get just the right balance. Then, for the complexity, we added in some exotic spices --- including ginger, cardamom, grapefruit peel, lemon peel and orange peel (the latter three acknowledging our Southern California home) --- and a special Belgian yeast strain. All in all this is yet another case of us drawing from classic Belgian influences and cavalierly making it our own...San Diego style!


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
glkaiser (1214) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 9, 2007
Clear dark golden. Small quickly disappearing head. Aroma of ginger and citrus. Taste is more of the same, but with a nice subtle sweetness. Stays sweet throughout. I really enjoy this. Slightly bitter finish and almost no trace of alcohol. Easily the most Iíve enjoyed a VE thus far. Keeps coming back to the trace of ginger. Iíve had a few ginger beers, and this is the perfect amount.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
edden (926) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 9, 2007
7/7/07: Bottle.
Bright orange body. Nose is very yeasty with a bit of spice. Flavors include citrus, nutmeg, clove, yeast and bubble gum. Tingly mouth-feel and a slightly sour finish.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 9, 2007
No better day than 07.07.07. Clear golden amber body with a small frothy off-white head. Sweet heavily spiced aroma with some cardamum and nutmeg. Sweet caramel and mild spice flavor. Rather light body.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
leitrim65 (402) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 9, 2007
Interesting but a little overwhelming with fruit and spice flavors in this beer. It pours a nice amber color with a white head. Heavy fruit and spice nose. Strong citrus fruit flavors battle it out with a variety of spices. Intense!

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
weeare138 (936) - Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 9, 2007
Appears a light golden with an orange tone and a 2 finger, fluffy white cap that slowly fades out. A few tiny particles fall out of suspension in the bottom of the glass. Streaky lacing is left around the glass. Smell is of tropical fruits with notes of orange, pear, vanilla, peaches, grapefruit, cardamom, and mild spices and phenols. Taste is of the mentioned aromas with hints of a saison but leaning more towards a Belgian Gold with spice additions. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spritzy up front, mildly sweet, enticing, and dry on the finish. A youngling that will do better with some aging. Definitely nice enough to drink now though for those who can tolerate complex yeast phenols, along with spices.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 9, 2007
Drank the 070707 on 070707, how appropriate. WOW, spices! I know Saisons are typically spiced, but this is just far too much. Some great advice I always heard in regard to brewing in a Belgian style is that when it comes to spicing, if you can easily identify the spice youíve used too much. Being subtle is what itís all about. The over-the-top nature of the spices just kills it for me. However, good job at creating a separation between the triple and Saison. Each distinct style can be tasted individually. However, the potent spice character just keeps getting in the way of enjoying the other elements.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
NachlamSie (2723) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 9, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2008 Bottle. Pours a dark copper hue which is surprisingly clear, and a firm white head that lasts for the entire duration of the drink. Iím kind of surprised to see how translucent this is given the idea this will age for the next five years. Maybe thereís plenty more yeast still in the bottle. The nose is heavy on the spiced notes. Bubblegum hits up front with loads of cardamom. The flavor again is heavy on the spices with citrus undertones struggling to cut through. I found the finish rather dry in the way baking spices are. Cardamom is way up front with earth, muted citrus, banana, and slight alcohol. Itís a good beer. I like it well enough, but it is my least favorite of the three vertical epics Iíve had. My theory is that the use of spices is so heavy here because in some time things will mellow out. I rarely say this, but I think this one needs a little time in the cellar. Maybe another 6 months or a year will bring out smoother balance.
[Feb 25, 2008]
Okay, so here we are again 7 months later and thankfully a bit of time did mellow this spiced beast out. Itís still really syrupy and heavily estery, but the spices add just enough to the finish to makes things complex. This isnít beating me over the head with flavor anymore. Actually, my only problem is that it still seems sticky sweet, not horrible, but still. . . Iím not sure what more age would do to this. Iíd be afraid to lose the spiced nuances altogether.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Kinz (3251) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUL 8, 2007
I was surprised that I just couldnít get into this one. Pours an attractive deep gold with copper highlights, clear except for a faint haze on the final pour, small but lasting head. Aroma was quite spicy and yeasty. Flavor had an element of bubblegum in the malts, followed by a big spice note, with cardamom leaping out. Somehow the ingredients evoked cinnamon in my mind as well. In the end, simply too much spice for my delicate palate. Could improve significantly with aging depending on which way the spices go in the mix. Not a fan at the moment, but have to keep perspective that this was designed to lay down for a while.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JohnnyJ (4222) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 8, 2007
Pour is a copper amber with a nice off-white head. Aroma of caramel, cookie dough, spice, orange peel, and a hint of cinnamon. Damn this is tasty. Caramel, toffee, sweet malt, belgian spices, orange, ginger, some nuttiness, and finishes with alcohol bite. Much more like a golden triple than a saison. This should age excellently.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cletus (6354) - Connecticut, USA - JUL 8, 2007
Pours copper with a thin off white head. Smells of caramel, lots of citrus, roses, spices and dough. Tastes of lots of spices, oranges, some earthy hops. This is one I look forward to revisiting regularly over the next 5+ years as it definitely needs some cellar time to mellow out but has a lot of potential. Iím hoping the sweetness balances out the nuttiness over some. If so, this may be the best of the series.


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