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Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 778   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.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
shadey (1904) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JUL 4, 2007
22 oz bottle shared with a friend. Pour is a beautiful swirly copper color with wispy swirls of tight white bubbles. Aroma is overwhelmingly spicy. What is all this spice covering up? Flavor is reminiscent of a Belgian tripel, but I really donít taste anything resembling Saison. This seems like a jumbled mess to me. The spices seem to cover up the disaster. Tripel mixes well with IPA, but apparently not with a saison.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 29, 2007
22oz. Bottle: Medium sweet aroma. Smells of spices, yeast, and some fruit. Faint aroma. Poured a golden-amber (apple juice) color with a small, off-white head that diminished. No lacing. Clear. Lightly sparkling. Flavor is medium to heavily sweet. Tastes of spices, cardamom, clove, coriander, cinnamon, sweet sugary malts, yeast, and a little citrus. Medium body. Dry, sticky texture. Average carbonation. Dry, sweet, clove finish. Overall, below average and disappointing.

2.9
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
milewide (1538) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - AUG 4, 2007
Just spices. Nothing in aroma or taste besides spices, especially ginger. Bright amber color with modest head. The lowest Iíve ever rated a Stone brew.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Shag (2622) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - AUG 5, 2007
A dark golden color with a moderate head. The aroma is spicy with some cloves, ginger, and cinammon. Some citrus is also detectable. The flavor is way too spicy with a heepin helping of some ginger along with coriander, cloves, and some sour fruit notes. Overall it was decent but nothing I would ever seek out again.

2.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
presario (4655) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 12, 2007
Light copper or dark amber. Thin white head. Aroma is herbal and hoppy with green tea. Flavour is an apricot and peach assault. Interesting but a bit of a battle. Orange and tangerine notes at the end as well.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Beaver (1311) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 14, 2007
22 oz bottle. Pours a hazy golden-orange with a small white head that quickly disappears.

The aroma is wheaty malts with some spices and a little fruit and alcohol and some grassy hops.

The flavor is sweet malts, spices (clove, ginger) with some fruitiness. It has a grassy bitter finish. As it warms, the sweetness and ginger become a little cloying. The mouthfeel is medium and watery with low but sharp carbonation.

Overall, a decent Belgian, but not too striking to me. The blend of overwhelming flavors donít balance out really well.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
stison42 (318) - Blacksburg, Virginia, USA - SEP 3, 2007
Light orange. Good head. Fruit aroma. Taste covers the tongue. Spicy, possibly oregano.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 2, 2008
22oz bottle. Deep golden color with a large rocky white head. Sharp spice aroma, some citrus peel. Floral, perfumey spice flavors dominate. Dusty, estery yeast component, with oily citrus skin. Appley, sweet malt underpinings. Residual acrid spice character in the finish with some orange rind. Mouthfeel is medium, somewhat dry.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
changeup45 (1717) - Mount Dora, Florida, USA - JUL 30, 2008
I was happy to find this on a road trip but it ended up being a bit of a disappointment. Pours a clear, bright orange color with a thin white head. Aroma is a bit stingy with oranges, perfume and an assortment of spices. The mouthfeel on this is very tart, tangy and slightly dry. The strongest flavors are oranges and coriander, with lots of spices (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg), some lemon, and light fragrant hopping thrown in there. Interesting but the flavors just donít work for me. Halfway through the bomber I was sick of it. Not an awful beer but it is the worst Stone product I have had so far. Maybe I should have waited until "sometime after December 12th, 2012."


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