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Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 790   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 252   ABV: 8.4%
In this years edition we took our inspiration from two Belgian styles: Saisons and Golden Triples. As such, the Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic has a deep, deep golden hue and the flavor is spicy, fruity, complex and refreshing. We used four different malts, and a subtle, yet distinct, blend of Glacier and Crystal hops to get just the right balance. Then, for the complexity, we added in some exotic spices --- including ginger, cardamom, grapefruit peel, lemon peel and orange peel (the latter three acknowledging our Southern California home) --- and a special Belgian yeast strain. All in all this is yet another case of us drawing from classic Belgian influences and cavalierly making it our own...San Diego style!

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
UselessGdTaste (365) - Long Beach, California, USA - JUN 26, 2007
Initial nose was very spicy. Currently, the beer is rather light in flavour and depth. I think this definitely will help with some shelf time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DocLock (10081) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 26, 2007
Bottle from Capones. Pours coppery/orangy with 1-finger off-white head. Aroma of spice, clove, caramel malt, funky yeast, some hops. Tastes white peppery and clovey at first, with mid-palate malt, candi sugar, apricotty fruit, yeasty esters, and some funk notes. The palate is rich, smooth, fairly dense. Another winner from Stone, and this one should age well.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
SDalkoholic (2365) - Linda Vista, California, USA - JUN 25, 2007
Only my friends know how happy I was to see this on the shelves on time. Thank God San Diego didnt get it after the rest of the country which occurred in prior years. I had been counting down the days on my calendar. The aroma on this sucker is a strong delivery of authentic Belgian yeast overloaded with spices, ginger, and clove. I also found a banana background that made me go bananas to take my first sip. The ale pours as a firm golden elixir and creates medium amount of soapy foam but that will quickly flat line out. Now going on to the flavor part of this ale, it was a quite tart at first with strong presence of alcohol apparent along a lot of usage of spices. The spices ranged from pepper, clove, ginger and oddly enough a dash of paprika. The banana became less subdued in the flavor but left a sweet aftertaste that was very pleasant. Almost reminds of me the vertical epic 2004 with its heavy spices and fizzy mouth feel. I will be sure to tasting this out periodically.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
carl4beer (522) - Fairfax Station, Virginia, USA - JUN 25, 2007
Pours a clear amber with nice small head. aroma of yeast, candied spice, bit of citrus as well, very complex. very crisp mouthful with all the flavors standing proud and a small hoppy finish. so much going on here... but enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - JUN 25, 2007
Pours clear amber wtih a soft white head. Very fruity aroma, lemon candy, orange peel, faint ginger, and faint herbal note. This is probably the best fresh vertical epic so far. Very refreshingly crips flavor, dry in the finish, perfectly balanced, without much excess alcohol like the last two years when they were fresh. Just a really well built beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - JUN 25, 2007
650 mL bottle. Hazy golden amber with a fluffy white head. Aroma of grapefruit, lemon, and yeast. Sticky sweet palate. Sweet citrus taste followed with a big spicyness transitioning to an orange taste in the finish. It reminds me of bright summer days playing in the neighbors orange groves as a child.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
riversideAK (6215) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - JUN 25, 2007
Aroma was sweet, wheaty, spicy, with some metallic notes. Appearance was golden in color. Initial flavor was dominated by metalic notes, wierd since it was in a bottle. As it warmed more complex spiciness emerges. Some mild wheat, clove, bannana notes are accompanied by citrus... mainly lime flavors. A pretty complex brew that is very pleasant to drink.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ross (2146) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - JUN 25, 2007
Bottle from Craig. Thanks. Pours out a light orange color with a white head that disappears rather quickly. The beer is crystal clear, clearer than any beer I have ever seen. Smell is full of spices and malts, with some fruity notes as well. Taste is spicy and sweet. Lively body, very fresh tasting. A good Epic ale, one of the ones that I liked the most so far. Thanks Craig. Im going to drink another bottle and add more to my rating of it, because I wasnt really paying attention when I drank it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
marvinpontiac (117) - Huntington Beach, California, USA - JUN 25, 2007
very nice copper color and a very small, thin head. the spice flavors are very subdued but noticeable on the aftertaste - im picking up on the ginger more than the citrus.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (4173) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 24, 2007
Sample June 2007
Pours with a brilliantly clear (and I mean brilliant), full copper color that has tons of streaming bubbles coming up from the bottom. The bubbles support an initially three-finger thick, light tan colored head. The nose is quite spice driven, with ample notes of ginger, clove and a fair amount of citrus notes (leaning towards lemon zest and orange peel). In the finish is a hint of something cola like, which makes me think of cardamom. Despite the spices, the aroma is quite clean. It does have aromatic notes of toasted grain & biscuit malt towards the end. At times the aroma reminds me of a spicy ginger ale, though it is not quite so piquant.

Fairly sweet up front with a fairly thick body; I would characterize it as being medium full. It finishes with an earthy spiciness reminiscent of clove, green coriander and cardamom. Light flavors of lemon zest and a note somewhat like pears or green apples add a hint of fruitiness. The spice flavors are not over the top here, yet somehow they seem to dominate the flavor profile. This could also be a mix of hop character & spices, interacting in ways that one is not used to in a Belgian-style beer. I am not enjoying the mix of flavors here, but I think that this might actually improve considerably with some age; perhaps a year or so would be good. As my palate gets used to some of the sharper, more earthy spice notes a bit more citrus character becomes noticeable; it starts to move towards notes of orange peel. The earthy ginger flavors still are prominent though, even lingering on in the finish.

This is not drinking all that great right now, and I am hoping that it will get quite a bit better with some age on it. It is definitely too clean & needs more yeast influence, hell even a bit of yeasty haze would have been beneficial. The body is a bit too thick for me as well. This should still be at least as drinkable as it is now by 2012.

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