Underhook (162) - Lincoln Park, New Jersey, USA - AUG 30, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a bit darker than a typical Belgian. Smells banana, yeasty, bready. All of the good notes that a Belgian has, with some American notes such as a much higher rate carbonation, more citric fruitiness. The high carbonation almost makes me question whether or not it’s natural, but I doubt Stone would rape this brew with added CO2 like the macros do. Clearly an American take on the Belgian style, a bit of a step below pure Belgians but surely an interesting beer. Fun to drink, complex. As it warms the banana, honey, and yeastiness really comes out. There’s a lot of clove punch in here also now that it’s warmed. The aroma is actually more noticible now than when I opened the bottle. Very enjoyable, clearly a good deal of effort has been put into brewing this edition of Epic. Highly recommended. Get it soon before you can’t find it anymore!
phukktifano (159) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAY 27, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pale clear gold with a thin white head. Aroma was fruit, hops and hay. Flavor was a bit spicy with a nice malt finish.
ryanknock (150) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 15, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
A slightly thin but well balanced Golden Strong, grainy background with notes of banana, pear, and bright citrus from the three varieties of American citrus-hops (Antheum, Amarillio and Summit I’m told). This is a quite quaffable beer, despite its high ABV at almost 9%. Spicy, hoppy and fruity, a sweet beer with a bitter finish.
BossHossBikes (148) - California, USA - OCT 28, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a crystal clear bright gold with a pale head. The aroma is extremely strange. My nasal passages actually feel warm as I inhale. Initially there is a spike of floral and spiced bouquets. Malts that seem to resemble burnt cardboard quickly envelops the flowers and spices. It’s strange. The malty aroma feels like it’s affecting the walls of my nostrils instead of affecting my palate. The experience is unique. The flavour is also quite interesting. Initially, spiced and floral notes are prominent with a melon-like fruit (much like a honeydew) and honey close behind. With the mouth closed, fruit and honey flavours rapidly increases. But as air enters the mouth, notes of yeast become instantly apparent initially before the dry spiced and floral flavours burst along with some light hoppy bitterness. Alcohol is a subtle flavour, but is very noticeable as it warms the chest on its way down. Towards the finish, fruit and honey flavours slightly diminish. Spices fade slightly to introduce some grain flavours. Hops and a semi-metalic bitterness increases a little as well, complementing the spices. The finish is also dry... very dry.
I’m not a huge fan of spices. But this creates some interesting layering effects between the spice/floral and the fruit/honey flavours that I find rather neat and intriguing... and not to mention the aroma...
tangentrider (144) - Alabama, USA - AUG 20, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear, gold beer with a white, disappearing head. Fine carbonation throughout. Aroma is clove and banana. Flavor is grassy, spicy, and a bit sweet. Finish is smooth, a bit bitter and nicely sweet. Very good beer.
BallyLoser (136) - Redmond, Washington, USA - AUG 23, 2008
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Spicy aroma.Thick white head. Gold colour. Peach flavor up front, bitter spice finish.
GardenGabe (136) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 22, 2009
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pour from 22oz is mostly clear yellow with creamy head white head and some lacing. Tart nose a little fruit, a little yeast. Medium body that sticks in the back of the throat. Taste of spice, hops and alcohol.
stefanberggren (135) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 5, 2008
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Opening - good carbonation pop.
Nose upon opening - phenolic, spicyness (yeast derived)
Color -light straw, white head that fades after 30-50 seconds
Taste/Flavor - phenolic, bitterness is more pronounced than most strong ales we have here (yes they are more bitter in Belgium when they are fresh) Spicy, Malty Alchohols are present, but seemingly subdude by the phenols. A little too sharp and astringent in the finish for me. Yeast character remains in the finish. Carbonation is lively and appropriate. Overall Its a nice drinkable beer that I think would pair very well with some Morbier cheese and some ripe pears. It does not seem to be very cohesive (possibly time) with regard to all of the flavors. Not bad, but not what I was expecting. I would buy again though...
v8powered (131) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - MAY 25, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
As always, the Vertical Epic line is a treat. This one has great flavors of select hops, corriander spices, pepper, and banana. It has quite a spice and some alcohol tones. I enjoyed drinking this but after a few beers, this one hit me hard. Great buzz!!
gameface23 (131) - Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 6, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 7, 2008 Pours a clear golden with a fluffy white head. Nice lacing. Aroma similar to a tripel with that peppery/yeasty goodness, but with a citrus hop smell added in. The taste was similar with a surprisingly full body.