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Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 776   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 252   ABV: 8.4%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
In this year’s 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!


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - JUN 25, 2007
Pours clear amber wtih a soft white head. Very fruity aroma, lemon candy, orange peel, faint ginger, and faint herbal note. This is probably the best fresh vertical epic so far. Very refreshingly crips flavor, dry in the finish, perfectly balanced, without much excess alcohol like the last two years when they were fresh. Just a really well built beer.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
badlizard (5539) - Berkeley, California, USA - JUN 25, 2007
650 mL bottle. Hazy golden amber with a fluffy white head. Aroma of grapefruit, lemon, and yeast. Sticky sweet palate. Sweet citrus taste followed with a big spicyness transitioning to an orange taste in the finish. It reminds me of bright summer days playing in the neighbor’s orange groves as a child.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
riversideAK (5590) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - JUN 25, 2007
Aroma was sweet, wheaty, spicy, with some metallic notes. Appearance was golden in color. Initial flavor was dominated by metalic notes, wierd since it was in a bottle. As it warmed more complex spiciness emerges. Some mild wheat, clove, bannana notes are accompanied by citrus... mainly lime flavors. A pretty complex brew that is very pleasant to drink.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ross (2075) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - JUN 25, 2007
Bottle from Craig. Thanks. Pours out a light orange color with a white head that disappears rather quickly. The beer is crystal clear, clearer than any beer I have ever seen. Smell is full of spices and malts, with some fruity notes as well. Taste is spicy and sweet. Lively body, very fresh tasting. A good Epic ale, one of the ones that I liked the most so far. Thanks Craig. Im going to drink another bottle and add more to my rating of it, because I wasnt really paying attention when I drank it.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
marvinpontiac (117) - Huntington Beach, California, USA - JUN 25, 2007
very nice copper color and a very small, thin head. the spice flavors are very subdued but noticeable on the aftertaste - i’m picking up on the ginger more than the citrus.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 24, 2007
Sample June 2007
Pours with a brilliantly clear (and I mean brilliant), full copper color that has tons of streaming bubbles coming up from the bottom. The bubbles support an initially three-finger thick, light tan colored head. The nose is quite spice driven, with ample notes of ginger, clove and a fair amount of citrus notes (leaning towards lemon zest and orange peel). In the finish is a hint of something cola like, which makes me think of cardamom. Despite the spices, the aroma is quite clean. It does have aromatic notes of toasted grain & biscuit malt towards the end. At times the aroma reminds me of a spicy ginger ale, though it is not quite so piquant.

Fairly sweet up front with a fairly thick body; I would characterize it as being medium full. It finishes with an earthy spiciness reminiscent of clove, green coriander and cardamom. Light flavors of lemon zest and a note somewhat like pears or green apples add a hint of fruitiness. The spice flavors are not over the top here, yet somehow they seem to dominate the flavor profile. This could also be a mix of hop character & spices, interacting in ways that one is not used to in a Belgian-style beer. I am not enjoying the mix of flavors here, but I think that this might actually improve considerably with some age; perhaps a year or so would be good. As my palate gets used to some of the sharper, more earthy spice notes a bit more citrus character becomes noticeable; it starts to move towards notes of orange peel. The earthy ginger flavors still are prominent though, even lingering on in the finish.

This is not drinking all that great right now, and I am hoping that it will get quite a bit better with some age on it. It is definitely too clean & needs more yeast influence, hell even a bit of yeasty haze would have been beneficial. The body is a bit too thick for me as well. This should still be at least as drinkable as it is now by 2012.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
cewldre (268) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 24, 2007
Bottle: This one pours a nice amber color, with a small white head. Smell is incredibly yeasty, with citrus and orange smell in it. I also smell just a hint of banana. Taste is a little thicker on the banana side, but I also notice a nice maltiness to it. As I continue to drink, you can taste a bit of yeastiness. The alcohol is a tad hot, but should mellow out in time.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
egajdzis (5270) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 24, 2007
Poured a clear, dark golden color with a small, white head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus fruits, grains of paradise, vanilla, coriander, earthy yeast, with a bit of toasty dough as well. Taste of citrus, light toffee malts, mint leaf, muddy yeast strain, clove, light banana, and some alcohol in the finish as well. Curious to see what some aging will do here...

3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Bartzilla (532) - La Mesa, California, USA - JUN 24, 2007
Overall, OK. Description was spot on. Too many spices for my liking. Overall, good, but not nearly as good as last year’s version. This stuff is made for aging, I guess. We’ll see in a few years.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
TAR (2441) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JUN 24, 2007
Speckled golden with a peach cast. Fairly vigorous pour raises a thick white head which unfortunately fizzles into a thin covering within 1-2 minutes. Strong presence of minty alcohol permeates the nostrils, along with green banana, honeycomb, clove, lightly toasted grains, and cardamom. Natural carbonation pricks the palate before blanketing the tongue with an unpleasant fuzziness. Mild tang of acid initially curtails the alcoholic warmth. Crispy phenols coincide with some equally snappy malts, but the borderline-grainy malt assaults, rather than soothes, the palate. Juicy notes of peach, honeydew and orange exude at the center, but the alcohol begins to burn the throat and obscure much of the brightness. Ginger lacks restraint and poignancy, and generates sufficient heat which intensifies the alcoholic heat and sweetness. Bubblegum is fairly vivid and quells the sweetness a bit while complementing the suppler baked-apple qualities. Malt is far too shallow and short lived. Finishes fairly muddled, with cardamom clashing with the alcohol, along with clean, but vague, leafy hop bitterness fused with assorted notes of citrus and tropical fruits. A nice effort, and thankfully it’s not as yeasty (but it is quite wet and underattenuated) as I expected, but the alcohol is poorly concealed in both aroma and flavor, and the beer sorely lacks distinct character. Also way too much honeyish sweetness and spice in the nose, not enough yeast-derived nuances. Serviceable, but uninspiring.


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