That1Guy (1857) - Galesburg, Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2008
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Crushed with Jakebra. More tripel tendencies. Not a big fan. Lots of spices and stuff going on. Not unpleasant, just not incredibly good.
Gypsy19 (726) - California, USA - APR 21, 2009
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pours a gold-orange with a large head. Aroma is of citrus and spice; A little weaker aroma than expected. Flavor is boozy, fruity, and then boozy again, with room for little else. I was hoping for more hop bitterness. Palate is slightly oily, with low carbonation, thin overall. Iím sorry but this is so overhyped. Not bad, but just not the messianic figure that itís made out to be. My humble opinion. Overall, fair to good.
graham515 (536) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 5, 2009
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pours into the glass gold with an enormous white head. Aroma has little hop aroma and a bit of a vinegar like scent. I think this is possibly an infected bottle.
mmmbeer (1202) - Austin, Texas, USA - DEC 8, 2012
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
22 oz. bottle served in shaker (aquired via trade from either Snojerk or Douglas- canít remember)- poured a mostly transparent light golden color, head did form and become a white ring around the glass, a few floaties present upon the vessel while partaking, light carbonation. Aroma of caramel, honey, orange, and pine- interesting. Hits the mouth with a light body, malt gets a little lost with initial spices (clove and pepper), an ever so faint hop wave in the middle, finish has a slight twang of sweetness with oil. I imagine that it wasnít so bad fresh, but clearly this one was well on the way of decomposing.
Beaver (1201) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 12, 2008
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
22 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.
The aroma is banana, musty yeast, some cloves with some spicy hops.
The flavor is a bit of a mish-mash - sweet bananas fight with peppery hops. There’s also a little sweet bready malt and a little clove and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full with some light but sharp carbonation.
Overall, I didn’t really care for this. I don’t like bananas in my beer and it was strong in this one. The blend of bananas and hops was strange as well.
omhper (18763) - TyresŲ, SWEDEN - SEP 25, 2008
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottled at Stockholm Beer Festival. Lightly hazy golden. Very fruity with coriander, glue and almonds surfacing first. Sweet and sticky, slimmer than expected. Juicy and sugary, very spicy. Soapy bitterish finish. Too sticky at this point.
coldbrewky (1409) - Hippetown East, New York, USA - SEP 7, 2008
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bomber at the rip and run. Pours a nice golden with minimal lacing and head. Light carbonation. Nose of salt and spices. Mouthfeel is twisted and quite yeasty, to a distracting level. the salt lingers into the undefinable body and ends with a flat alkaline finish. I will not be puchasing any more of this vertical epic series. I di not think I will partake in this series at all in future years. As in my last year’s review it only seems to take money from my pocket while the rest of this brew gets poured down the drain.
TAR (2401) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - AUG 10, 2008
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Yellow gold. Vigorous poor yields merely a one-finger head which rapidly fizzles into an unattractive wispy ring. Notes of lemon cake, mango, candy sugar, and clovelike phenols invade the olfactory. Light whiff of white grapefruit and resin. Very muted aroma. Carbonation quickly disperses as it briskly pricks the palate. Very sodalike. Immediately-apparent medicinal sting of alcohol is intensified by spicy esters and clovelike phenolics. Rather raspy and graceless, particularly at the swallow, as a highly disharmonious combo of high-alpha hops and peppery fusels warm the gullet and burns the throat. Rigid dab of aspirin and resin further tarnish things at the core which is entirely hollow and devoid of depth. Poorly extracted malts lend absolutely no complementary qualities as they sorely lack vibrancy and softness. Alcohol and candy sugar remnants completely stymie any potential brightness. With the exception of some mild leafiness and citric rind flavors, the hops couldnít possibly be duller or more lifeless. Quick finish comes and goes, revealing ghostlike notes of citrus and a gullet-warming mix of clove and fusel alcohol. Wow, something went horribly awry here. Four ounces were tough to stomach. Absolutely horrendous execution and riddled with flaws. Sorry, but until Stone can devise a quality recipe, and learn how to coax nuance from their yeast, malt, and hops, they should just abandon this style of beer (Belgian-style goldens) until they do more homework.
Ernest (6014) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 26, 2008
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Head is initially small, fizzy, off-white, mostly diminishing.
Body is clear dark yellow.
Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain, husks), lightly hoppy (flowers), lightly yeasty (basement), with notes of fusel alcohol (similar to insecticide), sugar, and bubble gum.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately to heavily bitter, slightly unclean, very husky.
Medium to full body, watery texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic.
Well, ok...letís start with the appearance...small, fizzy, dying head is anything but Belgian (but then Stone has a long history of poor heads and retention, so this isnít too unusual). As for the aroma...higher alcohol and grain husks and some artificially sweet character. Thankfully the American hops donít really show themselves much, but frankly it would have helped if they had. But man, that finish! Itís like Iím chewing on chaff, and it wonít go away. A malting mishap, perhaps? Whew! Even worse than the 07 VE. It may seem as if I have a grudge against Stone, but this is not the case...the 11th Anniversary was quite nice, for example. Sadly, the 12th Anniversary and this one are not.
cheap (3750) - Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 23, 2012
2.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
I write this review for all of the Stone Vertical Epics from 333 -999 but the numerical ratings of each are different. I pen this review reflecting on my tremendous respect for Horny Devil James Ė the supplier of these brews, Justin Lithy Ė the ratebeerian who supplied the locale, Ben london101 Ė for his VE comments and Beerman6686 Dan - for the interesting insights. Prior to this RB Pittsburgh December 2012 Post Apocalyptic Beer Tasting, I could have cared less for some happy BS vertical beers. However, James and Justin, by providing carefully guided beer experiences, adjusted the stereo typical stigma that I held about such beers, and there numerical family. After I saw James immediately pour a bottle of 333 down the drain, after we all had a sample was not only breathtaking, but it I had to pinch myself to make sure it wasnít a dream. I was cautiously thinking to myself, without speaking out loud, in all my cheapness, that I would have drank that whole bottle, if it was one of my singular tasking sessions. Perhaps I would have got sick, who knows. Well, for the ratings, they all were rather old, musty and tasted about the same, except the 777. The triple 3 was a dark, flat, old, rude, coors cardboard and bitter; fer sure. The 444 had a somewhat volatile spicy smell and looked like pale lager. Of course, it come across rather old too. The 555 was a dark beer. It had some decent co2 for a change. Bitter initially, then mellowed. However, I found more it acceptable than most IPA. The devil #666 was just that. Dark pour with a decent head. Smell is a little tart, pretty good olfactory. Some co2 on the palate. Not as bad as the first 3 VEs. 777 was the best of the bunch, again a darker ale. Smell is acceptable. Really strong taste but did not have many of those negative old beer thing attributes. Lots of CO2 which makes this more fun Ė IMHO the best of the bunch fer sure. I thought it was because it was the newest, but modified my impression after having the 888 & 999. With the 888 pour is pale yellah. It must be a strong ale & the medicinal bitterness is quite high. Finish is back of throat bitter bite that goes on for quite a while. And lastly the 999. Seems much older in personality that the 444-888. Actually, I get the impressions of an old barley wine on the nose. Strong & rude. A little over the top fer sure. Does not hide alky what so ever. Not the best VE Iíve ever head, heheh. There Ė you have it; VE ratings from a VE newbee.