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Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 780   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 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 (2809) - 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 (3365) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUL 8, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 1, 2014 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. RERATE: 7 years later. Nothing left. in the flavor here.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JohnnyJ (4553) - 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.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
walter (359) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - JUL 8, 2007
22oz bottle. Orange/gold color with white head that fades quickly. Very balanced nose of spice (canít say I know cardamom real well, I get fresh nutmeg) and citrus peel, with some faint yeast underneath-- Christmas in July! The citrus peel is very distinct and fresh, quite nice. A yeast bite comes through in the flavor and balances the finish nicely. Smooth and creamy, with the alcohol making itself known in the background. Shows remarkable restraint for a Stone brew. Man, this is tasty.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - JUL 8, 2007
Clear light amber gold with no head after 10 minutes. A spice sweet ginger with good measure of alcohol. a bit of cinnamon with just the slightest hint of apple. Very clean, not too complex. Very subtle body with low carbonation and a bit of thickness. Strong ginger flavor with some cinnamon. Sweet. Unclear, though clean, esters--a bit of banana maybe? Alcohol and sweet light malt. a lingering strawberry tartness maybe? Clean beer, but uninspired.

4.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
dwyerpg (4654) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JUL 8, 2007
Well, I like this. Has the faint subtle spice aromas of saison with a little creaminiess in the head. The flavor is spicy and smooth, with a full finish, but never letting the alcohol dominate. One of the best of the series so far. Great.

3.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
argo0 (11653) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 8, 2007
(22oz bottle) Crystal clear apple juice body topped by small white head. Aroma is moderately sweet, perfume/orange, apricot, clove. Taste is moderately sweet, orange, apricot, clove, some perfume, light grassy. Very dry finish. Medium-full body, some acidity.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
emobassfoo (178) - Webster, New York, USA - JUL 8, 2007
Bought at Hegedorns for 7 dollars on 7/7/07. Consumed right out of the bottle in celebration of Mike Agnelloís birthday, which also happens to be 7/7/07. Though I didnít actually see the aesthetic appreciations of this beer, it will receive points for its bottle design. Aroma is very powerful; seemed to change smells as the liquid quantity decreased. First sniff was of tons of fruits and alcohol. At other points throughout the consumption, it almost smelled like an exotic flower. Nonetheless, very unique. Taste was ultra sweet, full of what the aroma pointed at; fruits, citrus, a little bit of banana. The taste was very complex as everyone who sampled had a very different reaction. However, everyone was doubly impressed after drinking Labatts and Yuengling... The feel of the palate started off very thick and chewy, then glanced off into a bit of bitter dryness (alcohol or hops?). Became a little hard to swallow near the end of the bottle because it almost overrode all other senses. Needless to say, this beer was most certainly an epic beverage for an epic night.


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