DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 11, 2005
smells like a cheap & generic american strain of belgian yeast, if that makes any sense..a lot of banana, chocolate, and clove with strong sweetness and styrofoam characteristics...quite evident to me, the same yeast used in the vertical epic 03..though I could be wrong..either way, i don’t really care.. Pours a clear dark amber/mohagany with a solid sheet of tan froth. THick and sweet with a lot of chewing tobacco characteristics. This yeast is just a muddled strain of crap, yet they keep using it. Jesus christ, find a new yeast for your belgian ales, or just give up already! Hot alcohol and plasticy yeast laid over too sweet malt and tobacco flavors. Seriously, Stone might make a hella-good IPA but I’ve brewed better belgians with extract than these fools. This is a cumbersome mess of sweet, hot, and crappy yeast. The majority of all the flavors in this beer come from the crappy yeast strain..i like how Stone claims that it’s the artistic brewer’s talent that is to thank. Ha. Talent. The vertical epic series has done nothing but show that STONE CANNOT BREW BELGIAN STYLED ALES TO SAVE THEIR SOCAL HIDE! crazyvin (2026) - New York, USA - MAY 11, 2005
good, but really more of a barleywine then a belgain strong ale. A nice malty/yesty presence. A slight alcohol presence. Really nothing for me to make a comment on. This beer really didn’t have much to comment on. BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - MAY 13, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 21, 2005 What an amazing color this brew has. Almost cranberry in color with nothing of a head which can be common with some Belgian styles. Aroma is interesting. Some berries and cinnamon, weird yeast aroma, sulfur. Kind of like a Dubbel gone wrong. Overhopped maybe because it’s got a nasty bitter aftertaste. A bit medicinal.Body is smooth with a good carbonation fizz to it. Flavor is a major dissapointment in my opinion. The finish is like Vicks 44 cough syrup. I don’t know what to make of this. I don’t know why I get sucked into the seasonal Stone releases because for the most part they’ve been a dissapointment. When reading DaSilky1’s review I thought this guy was perhaps a bit harsh but after drinking this I can see his point. Stick to the styles you’ve mastered. The Impy Stout and IPA’s are what you brew best. RE-Rate 9/7/05Brilliantly clear cranberry color with a small dense head which diminishes quickly leaving a slight disorganized layer of film and some light lacing.. Aroma, slightly alcoholic, some dark fruit, caramel, dark malt and less prominently, yeast. Malt is really forthcoming with a lightly burnt caramel sensation. Second pour reveals a doughy yeasty bread aroma which is soon overtaken by the caramel like malt once again. Decidedly, this has improved in 3 months. Flavor is malt forward yet hops lace the walls of my mouth with bitterness. Dark fruit also contribute some flavor. The body is soft and full with a syrup like slickness which coats my mouth. Overall this has improved since I first tried it when released 3 months ago. I only wish they used a better yeast to give it that Belgian quality we all look for in this style.
aracauna (3606) - Georgia, USA - JUL 10, 2005
Dark brown body glints ruby at its center. Large yellowish tan head lasts for a while. The aroma has a slightly sourish aspect. The fruitiness mixed with the phenols kind of reminds me of a refrigerator crisper in need of dumping. With the anise and nutmeg spicing the aroma is just a jumbled mess. The flavor improves with a good brown sugar maltiness and a bit of apple peel and most of the less desirable aspects of the aroma falling out. Still, it falls flat with an incongruous metallic bitterness that kind of ruins the effect. Marsiblursi (3076) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - FEB 10, 2007
(Bottle, thanks Rickgordon) Pours dark with red hints. Sweet caramel, light burned, over ripe fruits and hops in aroma with spices, madeira and raisins. Undertones of dark grainy bread, wood and shell fish. Sweet, spicy flavour with a bitter hops bitterness and caramel. Some dark fruits, raisins and a touch of salt. Hints of milk chocolate and alcohol. Soft mouthfeel with a syrupy sting. Medium body.
roder60 (1289) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 26, 2005
Pours a hazy red brown with a decent amount of foamy tan head. Aroma is of caramel malts and sugared fruits, but it seems to me to be dominated by spicy clove aromas. Flavor backs up my assessment of the aroma, as its sweet fruit and malt but way over the top in the yeast and spices used. I realize this beer is meant to be cellared for some time, but I found it at this point to be not too great. I might buy another bottle to save and see, but at this point I would pass. BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - SEP 13, 2005
Bottle: Amber-brown, clear when held to light, with a light tan head. The aroma has sweet fruits and brown sugar, old sock, wheat, raisin, and a hint of lemon. Taste is sweet overall with nuts for a quick second, lemon grass, grassy hops, brown sugar, and dark fruit. Medium bodied, medium carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. rudolf (2360) - Buffalo, New York, USA - DEC 27, 2006
Thanks to my summer santa. Deep ruby brown, medium dark head. Nose is tea, caramel, sweet malt, slight alcohol. Flavor is sweet caramel, tea-like hops, some muddled fruit. A bit of alcohol. Bitterness and some woodiness in the finish. doubleipa (224) - Georgia, USA - JUL 2, 2007
What a dissapointment. I was so looking forward to cellaring a bunch of these until 2012. Unfortunately I’m not too optimistic. Virtuallly zero head, though good lacing. Body was clear with an anlmost black color. Not much in the way of aroma. Mostly raisin and dark cherry. Very sweet flavor with a very long finish. Maybe a bit of coffee. Texture was watery and flat carbonation. I was unimpressed. It’s not very good now so I don’t see how it will get any better. swoopjones (7020) - Buffalo, New York, USA - NOV 22, 2009
Bottle. lighter cola colored pour. Medium roasted malt aroma. Tastes past its prime. Choclate malts, malted milk balls, sweet malts. kind of disappointing after waiting this long