pfhyde (61) - Davis, California, USA - JUL 27, 2006
For those with a predilection for imperial stouts, pleasure will ensue from this edition of the Vertical Epic line. For those like myself, however--those who find imperial stouts favorable only on certain occasions and moods--the response will vary. I find it rather typical of the imperial stout genre. Given its similarity to the likes of Old Rasputin and other microbrew styled imperial stouts, there’s not much that significantly differentiates it from other offerings. Of course there’s a perceptible difference, but to what end? Any difference is nominal, at best. To me, it seems like an inferior version of Old Rasputin, slightly watered down with excess toasted malts. The flavor is reminiscent of the scrapings from burnt toast; the only difference is that the alcohol goads one into consuming the entirety of the offering, despite the initial distaste. Stine (1799) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 12, 2008
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Sienna brown and ruby touched pour; murky. Doughy chocolate, honey and earthy maple in the nose. Reserved, and sophisticated. Damp red fruit, banana and cotton flavor with an aged quality of peat and cardboard; far from stunning and certainly in the retirement of old age. Weakly constructed in the mouth, without much body or strength remaining. Berries and husky, stale malt in a lingering and drying finish. In the coffin, but kicking out its last bit of character. badbeer (434) - Iowa, USA - JUL 5, 2008
Dark brown color with a light tan head atop of it, lacing was lacking. Smell was a bit light, bready, and even a bit smoky. Taste is smoky as well, was more like a rauchbier to me. I won’t detract just because it isn’t necessarily Belgian Styled, because Belgian style is hard to define as it is. I will however, detract from the fact that I just don’t like it. Medium bodied with high carbonation. I’m glad I shared the bottle and didn’t pick up two of them, won’t be buying this again. omhper (25802) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - JUL 16, 2008
Bottled at Petalax Beer Festival. Dark ruby with small head. Fruity, lightly yeasty nose with some coffee. Fruity and phenolic, slimmer than expected. A vast array of flavour is on offer, but aside from medicinal none demand much attention, so the flavour stay streamlined and without much depth. Perfectly correct, but as it does not offer something extra in either complexity, intensity nor drinkability it gets no real love from me. Just my acceptance. beersearcher (2383) - Glendale, California, USA - FEB 9, 2010
Sampled at Stone’s Winter Storm 2010. This has really mellowed. Pours dark brown. Not much bite or kick that I normally associate with Stone. Almost porter-ish. A little bit of hops at the end.
italarican (1606) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 13, 2010
Tap at the RnH Stone event. Dark chocolate pour with a liquidy, frothy khaki head. Aroma has an earthy hoppiness to go with roasted malt. Initial flavor is a surprising citrus bite of juicy orange with caramel, but then comes the markers of a beer that’s gone bad: I know those metal and vinegar notes were not intended. Surprsing level of citrus that unfortunately gets lost in a sea of liquid metal and vinegar. I can tell this was really good at some point, but she has passed her prime. craftycarl21 (2338) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 12, 2012
Draft at Churchkey 12.12.12. Deep chocolate brown with small head. Nose and flavor hold sweet vinous notes and dry roast, hints of nutmeg and bitter chocolate. Don’t love it. walsh90025 (2) - USA - JUL 25, 2006 does not count
Normally I am a big fan of the Stone brews, but this one was a disappointment. Weird aftertaste, almost like cough syrup. SudsMcDuff (8523) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - FEB 6, 2012
pours a murky brown .. light wispy foam .. leather and brown sugar mostly .. . wow! thin- very thin mouth and a very unappealing finish .. . terrible kramer (6908) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 22, 2012
.. . . you’re having trouble breathing?!? my eyes are burning!!
Bottle. Pours a dark amber brown body with a nice fizzy light beige head that retained as a thin ring. The nose is pretty nice, there’s just a touch of oxidation, some really nice dark fruits, strong belgian yeast, a little alcohol, and even a touch of a tobacco note. The flavor is a bit of a letdown after the nice aroma, it’s too thinned out and faded. There isn’t a lot of negative flavor notes like heavy oxidation, it’s just thinned out and bland. There’s still some hints at the dark fruits and yeast on the finish especially, but not enough gas left in the tank for this guy. Mouthfeel is a bit thinned, but still finishes with a bit of clinginess. Nice moderate fizzy carbonation. Decent, and still certainly drinkable, but not as good as the 05 for me in the overall sense.