clvand0 (350) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - JUL 27, 2003
They ask on the back if you can store the beer and wait until 12.12.12 to drink it. Well, no, I can't :-) So I bought two and put one away. This pours a color that I would call a dark red. It has a small head that dissipates quickly and it has a moderate amount of lacing on the glass. Very attractive beer. The aroma is fruity with hints of malt and sweetness with a little bit of spice - smells great. The flavor is very fitting for the Belgian ale classification. It is a mix between a Belgian Dark Strong ale and a spicy Belgian Blonde. There is a moderate amount of spiciness to the flavor that is just enough to give it a small kick, but not enough to make it spicy. Very smooth and easy to drink. I might have to seek this one out again so I don't have to open the one I've put in reserve. Great looks, great aroma, great flavor. What more can you ask for? Unfortunately I've missed the 02.02.02 version, but I will be sure not to miss the one for next year ... and next year ... etc. Hopefully my other bottle of 03.03.03 will make it until the end. Congrats to the people at Stone for this one.
austinpowers (2831) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 23, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 1, 2004 Interesting that this '03 Epic Ale has so many more ratings than the '02. Decent beige head and a dark bronze color. I can definitely taste the 9% alcohol, but there's much more to the flavor than that. Coriander and citrus notes are apparent. Can't taste much "alligator pepper", but I'm sure it's there. Plenty of hops to be found as well, so if you like a strong beer with a whole mess of flavors, and a hint o' Belgian goodness, this is for you. The use of both Belgian yeast and American Ale yeast seems to be a masterstroke, as this beer really came together well. There's a lot of sweetness in here and the 9% abv is nowhere to be found. Very dubbel-meets-barleywine. ericnixon (745) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 20, 2003
Dark dark dark. Well, i think it was dark, i rated it around 2am while outside in the dark. Huge head on it that didn't quit. According to what i wrote at the time, i said "a nice perfect hoppy mess." sloth (2936) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - JUL 18, 2003
Pretty tan head, Hazey brown color with orange hues. Spicey, coriander, citrusy nose with some apple notes also. Full/medium body, great mouthfeel. The coriander flavors are fairly predominant. The roasted malt flavors work well with the spices. A nice lace hangs on the sides of my tasting glass. Fruity, slightly citrus notes (coriander?) are nice. The roastiness and some caramel come into play moreso as it warms. Alcohol i s fairly subdued. Finish is dry, slightly roasty with a pleasing spicey aftertaste. Not sure about the hops though? An ibteresting project this Epic series is. Hope i can obtain the rest of the series as time goes on. Would love to get some of the 02 version. I believe the 03 will get better with age.
Enjoy! Stone! VA Homebrewer (524) - Portsmouth, Virginia, USA - JUL 16, 2003
Cloudy mahogony color with a wispy tan head. Subdued aroma consiting mainly of hot alcohol notes, dark fruits and minor hop notes. Reminiscent of a Belgian dubbel with it's sweet, malty notes backede up by dark fruit flavors and minimal hop character. Only mild spice notes appear. No yeasty/bready aromas or flavors you might expect from a Belgian though. A bit thin bodied. Nice, and it definitely packs a wallop.
SJP (483) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 15, 2003
MMMMM, baby. This was pretty darned tasty. Very fruity, but not orangy, which is good. Very sweet and a very pleasant aroma. well worth the trouble to find. But then I might be a bit biased as this was one of the first brews I had after coming back from 10 months in China. redlem (1306) - Ohio, USA - JUL 13, 2003
A deep dark finished maple color with a small off-white head. A sweet malt/bread aroma. Layers of alcohol soaked fruit( not citrus). A vinous quality. A sweet alcohol taste, a little too sweet for me. Honey soaked black bread. Darkover (1543) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUL 11, 2003
Brown/amber color with a beige head. Aroma is sweet and malty but pretty weak. Flavor is sweet and very spicy. Has a little sourness and a lot of pepper in the finish. Seems to be similar to Corsendork Christmas Ale. Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 11, 2003
Pours with a burgundy body topped by a thick rocky head that disappears rather quickly and leaves a good amount of lace. Slightly spicy(peppery) Hop aroma with a touch of sweetness, a malty background and the tiniest hint of alcohol. Peppery malty flavor with a good hoppy character and a touch of sweetness. The finish is bitter with a touch of swetness. Full bodied, slightly tingly with a touch of warmth. jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 9, 2003
Quite a bit of spice, clove and Belgian character in the nose already. Beer is a dark amber color with a medium head that fades fast. Beer has a lot of character and is very fresh, indeed, it would probably be best consumed in some time, maybe at the end of this decade. Bit different than the other hoppier beers from Stone. Well crafted.