Marc (486) - Yokosuka, JAPAN - MAR 3, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 18, 2007 This one took a while to pick up speed but when it did it became excellent. Started with sweet cream, coriander, and vinous malt, peppery alcohol, and the slightest undertone of ground pepper in the nose. Medium white head that easily replenished and left a little lacing on the sides on top of a amber/ red body. Started off very disjointed with coriander and malt running the show but slowly harmonized like when you tune a guitar by harmonics as spice, alcohol, nuts, brown sugar join the mix with touches of the nose come in too. Picks up a slightly vegital quality along with nuttiness, sweet malt and the traces of resiny hops in the corners of the mouth. Can’t wait for this to age! (3.9)
rerate June 05 Aging nicely. Pretty much the same as above only blending together bit more fluidly. JohnC (3008) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - MAR 7, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2006 -- Tasted again, 16 Dec 2006
Had this on tap at Stone’s World Bistro. It has aged very well.
-- Tasted again, 1 Feb 2005
No change in rating, but it’s matured well. It still has a beautiful brown color w/ a nice head. The flavor is noticably sweet, almost like a doppelbock. Still a great beer
--- Original Rating 7 May 2003
it’s a nice, medium brown color w/ a thin head. The flavor finishes slightly sweet w/ hints of pepper. The nose also has some pepper in it. The alcohol is nicely masked. The more I slowly drank, the more flavors I picked up. great job Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 8, 2003
As I missed the first batch, I have waited with great anticipation knowing that was going to have a 6 pack as soon as it came out. The beer pours a sanguineous color, the head modest in size, frothy in texture, the color a nice light tan, and the residual lace a very fine sheet to cover the glass. Malt dominates the nose, sweet and just a light hint of the corriander, crisp and fresh, quite pleasant. Sweet malt at the start, the top I’d say middling, the finish has a purposeful acidity, the hop persistent in their spicy bite, maybe a tinge of the pepper in the aftertaste. The alcohol is well hidden, but is felt in the tummy as the warming is noticeable, quite a quaffable brew, and yes it will be tough to wait till 04.04.04 to sample the next along site the 03.03.03.
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - MAR 20, 2003
Very impressive blend of ingredients to create this monsterous brew. This one poured a wonderful dark red slightly cloudy mess with a thin pearly white head and a nice degree of carbonation. The aroma shed hints of coriander and grapefruit with pepper and fruity malt extremely prevalent. The taste is a total malty and peppery onslaught with coriander and grapefruit taking a back seat. Some banana and cherries/plum in the aftertaste making for a very dry, fairly alcoholic, and extremely pleasant and coating fruity ending. This is definitely a very big beer, it comibes the elements of spice which im not usually a fan of with a bittersweet fruitiness to create a very profound beer. Its powerful and yet delicate...this beer drinker is very pleased. JoeM500 (1908) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - MAR 24, 2003
Huge malts start off caramelly and end up ranging from slightly smoky to thick and shredded wheat-like. Hops is present and bitter underneath big waves of sugar, dried fruit (like a trail mix) and white pepper. I have a bottle put away and will go grab the last few because this will only get better with age. No carbonation and only slight alcohol detected. Outstanding and can only get better.
Silphium (3199) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - MAR 29, 2003
Well, I bought it today, and I drank it today. Not exactly patience, but I had to let my liver absorb the $5.49 hit on its own terms, which were immediate. A very tasty ale, with a sweet, estery aroma. Pours red with a white head. Flavor is malty sweet, with banana-flavored esters and a bit of spice on the way down the throat. Another flavor-crammed offering from Stone. Frank (4193) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 7, 2003
Deep mahogany. Fine carbonation leads to a somewhat thin but frothy head. Aromas of orange, pepper, a bit of yeasty sourness, and a very slight floral note. Front is slightly sweet. Citrus and spice become more prominent as the beer progresses. In general, it's every bit as flavorful as the aroma implies. On the lighter side of full bodied. Soft carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden. Hop presence is surprisingly subdued for a Stone brew but still stronger than I'd expect for a belgian style, helping to separate Vertical Epic from similar beers. Much better at room temperature. As it warms, it becomes sweeter and more citrusy and the hop presence becomes more pronounced. goz (358) - Chelmsford, Massachusetts, USA - APR 27, 2003
Pours a medium/dark mahogany, with a medium light tan head, medium diminishing, leaving good lacing on the way down. Aroma is fruity (banana, some apple and pear sneaking through, too), some spiciness (coriander & hops providing most of that). Flavor starts with the banana (apple and pear come through more as it warms up), middle is crisp, and the end has some good hoppiness, and a hint of pepper. Body is full, taste is complex and changes slightly as the bottle warmed, light alcohol showed up towards the end.
lunaticharness (183) - Torrance, California, USA - APR 29, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2003 very nutty and herb-like aroma with nice sweet cookie dough back drop, small creamy off white ring around the glass for a head standing atop a beer bottle brown body, nice dark rich burnt malty bitter backbone that keeps the alcohol hidden and the other flavors a little subdued the hops are screamy to get out! i hope this beer ages well i have about 5 in reserve waiting future tastings Indra (2711) - Suburbia, Kansas, USA - MAY 21, 2003
Interesting and nose-tingling aroma, very spicy, with notable coriander, licorice, tangerine and orange peel, with a background sweet, dark and fruity maltiness. Dark brownish red in color, lightly sedimented, with a creamy, fine, off-white head and lacing. Flavor is a nice blend of spices, fruit, malt, dark candyish sweetness, and a touch of spicy hop bitterness throughout, apparently of the Warrior variety. Spices, malt and esters throughout the finish. Fairly light texture, lightly effervescent and citric mouthfeel. Unique.