Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

 
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RATINGS: 455   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A new Vertical Epic will be released every year, with the goal being to collect them all and have a Vertical Epic tasting once the final Epic is released on 12/12/12. Each new Stone Vertical Epic Ale will be release one YEAR, one MONTH and one DAY apart. This time around, we used no spices in the brewing of this beer. If you've tasted the beer before reading this, that may surprise you. The special Belgian yeast we used adds a distinctively spicy aroma and flavor. Roastiness, clove, hops, fruitiness, and those other great and funky phenols abound in the nose. What's in the flavor? You certainly get some dark roasted malts and alcohol overtones. What else? Hints of earthiness, chocolate/cocoa, hop spiciness, maybe even anise, and ... the incredible variety of complexities from the classic brewing ingredients of barley malt, hops, yeast and water, when applied with an artistic brewer's talent never ceases to amaze.

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4.1
Grandpa (327) - Verona, New York, USA - JUL 19, 2005
A dark ruby, translucent brewwith a small, tan head. A vague, earthy aroma as the glass approached the lips. The first sip had a mouth fulling, sheeting effect. The initial taste was that of a robust, roasted grain. This was followed by a slight sweetness which had fruity aspects but whose components were hard to identify. Then the hops came in to give the balance and leave an aftertaste. This lead to an immediate second sip to savor and try to identify the contributors to the complex flavor. Unsuccessful. I leaned back and just enjoyed the remainder of the big bottle.

3.8
Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUL 14, 2005
I didn’t find it all that epic. Overpoweringly molasses flavored. There is a great yeast profile, especially for an American Belgian, but the malt is pretty boring and sweet. Plenty of chocolate/caramel and a little roast. I guess my personal aversion to molasses is holding my rating of this one back, but I didn’t enjoy it too much.

4.4
Perkeo (322) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 4, 2005
Dark brown, small and unenthusiastic mantle of tan foam; interesting aroma of wet sandalwood and plums with a slight herbal sharpness. Holy cow, the flavor is slightly peppery and citric with pretty much the full array of spices mentioned in the description, they fan out nicely and are neatly interwoven and clean, but still with a nice, earthy, shall we say BELGIAN edge to them...possibly the best vertical epic yet, really nice beer!

3.8
hayden1215 (321) - Ohio, USA - NOV 28, 2005
Somewhat clear dark-brown with tan head. Spicy, fruity, & yeasty aroma with notes of banana and clove. Highly spicy, slightly sweet with caramel. Strong finish with some of the alcohol coming through.

4.4
santos999 (318) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 9, 2008
Cellared properly. Clear purple body with a thing beige head. Super sweet caramel aroma with figs, dates, prunes, plums, raisins, sugar, and bread. Mellow mellow taste. Very smooth with caramel, bread, vinous, dark fruit, molasses, honey and oak notes. Aging well, for sure..

3.6
smhncabot (310) - Cabot, Arkansas, USA - SEP 20, 2006
aroma toffee, caramel, dark fruit, spices and alcohol. flavor much the same and is quite sweet. warming after a few drinks. decent beer

3.6
burpfrank (299) - carpinteria, California, USA - JUN 18, 2006
This looked perfect with a nice,lasting head and black color,but the aroma was a sour malt flavorThe taste was a sour malt flavor.slightly metallic.I don’t like this style,so I am rating it lower than a lover would.I won’t buy again,but I;m sure some people would.

4.1
DewBrewer (294) - Austin, Texas, USA - AUG 2, 2005
22 oz bottle. Thanks fly! It is a reddish/brown color with a nice head. The aroma has raisins, caramel and sweetness. The flavor is winey, sweet, raisiny, some roastiness, and yeasty. Nice combo. Should be interesting in 6 months. Great beer now anyway.

3.8
mreeves (276) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - MAY 13, 2005
Dark ruby to brown, small head. Definite Belgian yeast flavor, mostly malty but more hops than one would expect for the style (though not for Stone). Kind of a chocolatey taste, but not real strong. Alcohol strength fairly evident. A nice beer, and will probably age well.

5
noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - JUN 7, 2005
This one came with a ton of expectations and didn’t dissappoint. It poured a beautiful near-black, like soft licorice when it’s pulled apart. Nice tan head, full and durable, with good lacing. Aromas were fruit, fruit, fruit. Apricots, cherries, apples, figs, raisins, licorice, cloves, nutmeg, coffee, bread, green peppers. Whew! Taste was WOW! Big hit of smoke morphs to malt heaven then makes room for pear, applequince, even avacado. Lots of fantastic hop bitterness, complimented by the fruit sweetness. The malts were toasty, chocolatety, creamy and smoky -- the best malt presence I’ve tasted. Finish is malt, smoke, peat, earth, and hops. Mouthfeel was perfect -- at no time did it seem too thick or too thin. It was perfectly carbonated. I know all 5s leaves no room for improvement and this ale is meant to be kept until 12-12-2012 and if it’s going to get even better, well I’m going to get more and save it. The Stone Brewing Company made one happy beer drinker today. if you haven’t already, go get yourself 2 -- drink one and save one for 2012!


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