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Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 782   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!


2.9
   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.

3.5
   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.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
alexanderj (3385) - Branson, Missouri, USA - JUN 23, 2007
Bottle from Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg. Poured a rich, dark gold; short lived white head. Aroma was alot of clove/other spice, yeast, some lemon and orange; sweet. Flavor was pretty complex, but not overly exciting. A light general sweetness, with lots of spice that lingered on the palate. Also fruit, yeast, candy sugar, and some light bitterness. Agree with an earlier rating that thought it reminded him of a Christmas beer. Will be interesting to see how it ages.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nephilium (1463) - Ohio, USA - JUN 23, 2007
This has a light fruit aroma, hints of peaches and sugar. Pours a clear straw with a small, quickly fading white head. This starts with a sugary start, with a Belgian yeast flavor lurking inside, and finishes with a touch of bitterness. Overall, not bad, but I am curious how this one will age.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - JUN 23, 2007
My first taste of an epic. A nice creamy white head that lasted a while. Smells of clove, corriander and spice. A nice sweet beggining with a lingering spicy aftertaste. Thick tasting. Reminds me of a Saison. I think this one will get thicker like a sweet barleywine. Pretty good.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - JUN 23, 2007
Ah, 777. This version pours a beautiful deep golden color w/ a full, semi creamy froth. Head retention is decent and leaves a full canopy with a thick lace. Actually the lacing dies off like the San Diego fog at high noon leaving clear skys. Aromas of malted spicey bitters from the Christmas era. Medium full nectar w/ soft and creamy residual effers. Well, itís definately of Belgian decent. Malty and spicey w/ accute peachpit bittering from start to finish. Funny, Iím expecting Santa to climb down my chimney any minute now. Very hoildayish. Nuances of pine sap, ginger, banana gum, clove, and, and, more spices. The finish is bittered well into the next holiday season and leaves plenty of spice on the palate to fill a spice rack. It has a sharp, biting, crispness and a dead rustic tart cola essence towards the end that is somewhat annoying. This brew is not balanced and I donít expect it to be since itís brewed to last some five years from now. Time in the bottle will prove beneficial as the bittering will surely fade to allow more nuances hidden within the malty caverns to reveal themselves. Overall: where are my presents ?

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Lowe1983 (1369) - Dayton, Ohio, USA - JUN 23, 2007
Pours a lighter amber color with an off-white head. Aroma is of banana, lemon, nutmeg, corriander, and some yeast. Flavor is of nutmeg, cinnamon, corriander, lemon, and a little banana up front that finishes with some yeast, candied sugars, and some alcohol warming. A very delicious brew.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 22, 2007
hmmm. not an attractive beer by any means...the color is slightly hazy rose copper and the head disappears quickly. aroma of yeast and spice. Kind of tastes like a rip off of a saison i brewed 5 or so years ago...one of my first homebrews, i was quite proud of that beer...and this is similar.. Very floral yet very hot...This will actually age well, I believe . as the alcohol and malts mature and the floral hotness subsides, it will be interesting. Right now, the mouthfeel is slightly metallic and harsh, but i think that it will get creamier with age.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
SuzyGreenberg (1603) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUN 22, 2007
22 oz. bottle - my first vertical jump onto the epic bus; pours clear and gold with a slowly fading white head; some lacing; aromas are sweet and very spicy; first taste comes off bitter and not very smooth; looking forward to aging the other two i picked up

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
nightrider (754) - encinitas, California, USA - JUN 22, 2007
Beautiful orange gold . Quickly dissipating white head. aroma of pear, apple and spice.Smooth and slight bitter on the tongue. Flavors of fruit and belgian style yeast. Long complex finish. More like a saison slash tripel. Whatever excellent once again.


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