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Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 790   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 252   ABV: 8.4%
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!

   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
egajdzis (6101) - Pennsburg, 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...

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Bartzilla (620) - 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 yearís version. This stuff is made for aging, I guess. Weíll see in a few years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
TAR (2671) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, 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 itís 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
crizay (1050) - Brook Park, Ohio, USA - JUN 24, 2007
Pours very clear copper, small white head. Aroma is belgian yeast and light fruits, although the 1 day difference between a trappist glass and a tulip was huge the tulip had bubblegum bigtime. Flavor is very spicy belgian yeast, apples, oranges, and more citrus peels. Warming alcohol with more and more yeasty spice, grapefruit in the aftertaste and coriander with a touch of noble hops for crispness. But pretty much the overall flavor is by far the spicy belgian yeast with some lighter fruit peels in the background.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
fordest (2455) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - JUN 24, 2007
22 oz bottle shared with Padrefan. Aromas were very spicy. Much ginger and clove. Some fruit esters too. Deep orange with a very nice head. Flavors were very very similar. Nice bitter finish. Should be very nice in a few years.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Cobra (1100) - - JUN 24, 2007
UPDATED: JUL 21, 2010 22 oz. bomber bottle. Poured out a deep orange color, with a thick tan colored head. Aromas are of band aids, funky Belgian yeast, and Chlorophenols. Major funk in the aromas. Flavors are not much better. Hot tasting, phenols, kinda nasty right now. Leaves a burning sensation in the back of your throat. Needs some serious aging. Bottled way too young, IMHO. Maybe itíll age gracefully. 2010 update. This beer has aged out quite a bit of itís original hotness & burning. It has blended into a potent Belgian style ale, with lots of fruit in the background, but lots of pepper in the flavor. Still somewhat hot on the palate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
eyesandsmiles (179) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JUN 24, 2007
You might feel like you are drinking apple juice. I could serve an 8 year old this and heíd probably be happy. Or maybe Iíve just had too many stones?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 24, 2007
From a 22oz Bottle. Pours a mostly transparent, honeydew gold color with a medium layer of firm white head. The head disappears rather quickly, leaving behind a splotchy layer of filmy residue. Decent lacing and head reformation, but it doesnít want to hold itself without encouragement. Lots of coriander immediately present in the nose, creating a muddy herbalness layer in some bandagey yeast phenols. Digging a little bit deeper reveals some more pleasant scents of pineapple, ginger, banana, and spice, but the initial bouquet is mostly coriander and bandage. If itís not coriander, than its certainly a lightly bitter herbal hop variety. Light bodied, thinly carbonated mouthfeel. Too sweet on the palate, but not too heavy or sticky. Lots of spice, with ginger and loads of orange peel mostly noticeable. Lots of coriander flavor as well, but adds more herbal, almost vegetal quality rather than a refreshing hop bitterness, which is barely detectable on the palate. Sweet orange finish, with some dusty yeast lingering. Disappointingly sweet without the signature belgian style effervescence. The spices seem to be overdone too, and I feel as though they are battling it out with the yeast on the palate to see who can dominate more, rather than working subtly together to add more depth. Thereís a lot going on with this beer, but it doesnít seem to be presented well in a balanced, eloquent fashion. Iím not interested to see how this one ages, although the novelty of doing future verticals will make saving it worth while.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - JUN 23, 2007
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2007 Bottle from Bevmo. Pours a light golden color. Even though I read the bottle, and new this was a triple/saison, I still expected this to be darker for some reason. Itís kind of odd to see a golden color beer from Stone. Anyway, the aroma is spicy and yeasty, as one would expect. Itís actually quite a well done beer, in that the description is spot on - this is like a 50/50 beer - half saison, half triple. Lots of things going on in this beer, and very interesting. The only downside is that this is a little rough on the palate right now. Should mellow in time. I agree with others, It will be interesting to see how this ages.

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