Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 304 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +11.9%
Following Ruination. (bad idea?)
Hazy pale orange Belgium nose and appropriate CO2. Aromas well described on bottle. Very interesting tripel with the yeast, tangerine-orange zest, lime bitterness and 8.5 abv wanting some time to soften.
Although very drinkable and balanced with great mouthfeel got to wonder what cellaring a few years would bring. (good idea?)
03-01-2005 02:32:30 | More by karst
United Kingdom (England)
3/5 rDev -22.5%
Bottle. Belgian style, obvious Belgian influences, with the yeast and orange peel characters. But i tasted a lot of American style hops in here (could be wrong, i dunno). Didnt taste particularly Belgian to me. Interesting all same. Probably have to hang on to a bottle to let in soften. A little too much alcohol showing in the finish.
02-19-2005 11:07:24 | More by rastaman
4.22/5 rDev +9%
Sampled on-tap at Anam Cara Public House.
This tripel poured a clear, golden color with light white foam that settled. The smell was slightly vinous, Belgian malt, with a light sweetness and a light fruitiness. The taste was malty (Belgian malt) with a light vinous character and a touch of sweetness. The finish was mildly hoppy. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium body and good carbonation. The flavors lingered nicely. This was a rather nice tripel.
02-14-2005 05:06:37 | More by UncleJimbo
4.1/5 rDev +5.9%
Initial tasting: I wasn't exactly too impressed by the appearance or smell of this tripel, especially after having recently gone on a Belgian marathon over the past month. The head was very minimal compared to any Belgian tripel. This was my first try at an american tripel, but nonetheless, I would have expected at least some head, especially after the aggressive pour of the latter half of the bomber to try and induce a more healty looking head. The smell was also neigh undetectable for the style, but I did notice a little of that lime leaf and banana.
The taste was interesting. It was similar to the traditional Belgian tripel taste with the intense barley maltiness and all sorts of citrusy, sweet and sour flavors, yet you could definately tell there was a fair amount of hops in this beer. The bitterness was more apparent than I expect in a tripel.
I still have another bomber of this that I will attempt to save for at least a year, but I'll be damned if it makes it through the long haul to 2012. As of now, I'm not quite so concerned that this is a limited edition and that I only have one more chance to experience it, at which time it most likely won't be optimally aged (I mean, let's be realistic... I haven't technically started my cellaring collection, and I'm still kind of paranoid about pulling it from the fridge and placing it somewhere where I might forget it in the basement). Nonetheless, worth the price of having ordered it on-line. Further judgements are pending, hopefully until 2012, but most likely around New Year's 2006.
01-30-2005 09:55:30 | More by neonbrown82
4.22/5 rDev +9%
22oz. Bomber: Sampled 1/27/2005: This one poured a hazy, golden color. There was a fair amount of an off-white head on it, but it died down rather quickly. Interesting aroma. Some banana, breadiness, malt, yeast and definitely some spicy hop aroma (what else would you expect from Stone?). An interesting somewhat sweet taste. Hints of wheat and lemon also. Finishes with some dryness and tartness.
01-27-2005 21:09:46 | More by Boto
4.1/5 rDev +5.9%
Large off-white head that dissipates slowly to a small head. Pours a clear light golden amber leaves minimal lacing. Nice small bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.
Aroma is of caramel, lots of yeast, some banana, clove and a slight hint of vinyl.
Taste is midly sweet malts in the beginning with atouch of lemon, lots of yeast in the taste. Not really any hop noticed.
Good carbonation, light to medium body.
01-27-2005 01:55:53 | More by Wolfsdenbrew
3.98/5 rDev +2.8%
This beer pours a nice golden with a white head that disapears fast leaving laces on the glass. It looks unfiltered, but not as unfiltered as a hefe wiezen. Smells fruity and spicy. Hints of lime in the taste. Also ginger. Tastes very clovey. It leaves a sweet aftertaste. It goes down nicely. This beer could be consumed all night. The alcohol content is above average, but it doesnt taste like it. I would drink this beer again. Too bad it will probably never come out again.
01-27-2005 01:29:41 | More by OStrungT
3.6/5 rDev -7%
The beer poured into the glass a clear golden with an amber hue. The head was off-white and moussy, very tightly bubbled and fell very slowly to coat the glass.
The aroma had a prominent banana ester when first poured. As the head proceeded to fall some faint spice emerged and a citrusy aroma, orange and lemon, became more prominent.
The flavor was on the sweet side. Malty but a bit over the top in terms of sweetness. The bittering did not keep the malt in check and the spices were muted at best. The citrus aromas were less evident in the flavor and lemon overcame orange. The alcohol let it's presence be known in the flavor.
The finish was dry with a lasting citrusy lemon presence. The body was medium full and alcohol was present in the finish.
22 ounce bottle. An interesting beer, but not a wonderful triple. It will be interesting to see how other bottles age out. I read the bottle after the review was typed in and lime is the definite flavor and aroma.
01-14-2005 23:16:23 | More by GCBrewingCo
4.47/5 rDev +15.5%
I've been hanging onto this one for a bit now..and finally decided it's time. Crisp bright golden yellow pour with a nice bubbly 1" head sitting on top. Vibrant. Banana, clove, some citrus...quite a complex nose. Hints of fresh baked wheat bread.
First sip is refreshing mix of banana bread, hints of citrus fruits...I do get a hint of lime on the back of the palate. A nice spiciness runs throughout the brew, including cloves and yeast notes. I really enjoy the flavor here, everything works well together. Some nice citric hop bitterness on the way down as well.
Smooth, creamy, easy to drink here....a nice body as well. No complaints from me. I could easily drink this one all night...another very tasty brew from the Stone crew. I have one sitting in the cellar for 2012...how will it hold up?? I have no clue. However I do know that it's a damn good beer right now!
01-09-2005 04:20:44 | More by orbitalr0x
4/5 rDev +3.4%
Tasted on 12/31/04; with at least one bottle in the cellar for the long haul. Pours a clear light golden with a nice white head which diminishes fairly quickly to nothing more than a ring around the glass and a remnant collection of bubbles just off-center in the glass. Great smelling. Aromas of lime, maybe a bit of mint, and some crisp lemony/fruity notes. The smell actually reminds me quite a bit of lemon flavored ricola cough drops (which I like, so this is a good thing). Some alcohol notes also come through. The taste is sharp, but very pleasant, and I can see that this will mellow with aging. Minty and lemony flavors come out with a nice tingle on the tongue. This is already quite a smooth and drinkable beer, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how it may change in years to come.
01-03-2005 15:58:22 | More by tar
4.38/5 rDev +13.2%
Happy New Year, Break out & open the 04 V.Epic. so thats what we did..
The beer poured a hazy gold with a bit of cloud. Yeast could be seen in the bottle but not noticed in the glass. The head started out good-sized with big white bubbles as a slight "fizz" could be heard as it faded to a nice thin film accross the top. The film climbs and clings to the glass as if feeding the lace in spots.
The aroma was citric wheat that favored lime. The taste starts off with a lime based citric balanced with the hop then followed by a balance of sweeted malt and the warming of alcohol. The taste has an oaky sweetness with hints of vanilla and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is soft and mellow which aids the drinkability and your left with a finish of wheat cloves, lime & spice. Oh ya, the warmth of the alcohol is nice too.
A nice Stone to bring in the new year. Here's to 05, bring it on!!
01-02-2005 14:02:18 | More by chilidog
3.98/5 rDev +2.8%
Poured an orange/gold color with not much head to speak of wich was somewhat suprising for the style,aromas of honey and sweet,ripe fruit aong with a little spice.Flavors of bubblegum really stick ouot up front along with some honey and cloves with a little alcohol burn as I drink more.A good beer but not any better than some good Belgian Triples for sure,not worth the hype but a good brew none the less.
01-02-2005 02:19:11 | More by oberon
3.93/5 rDev +1.6%
Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale:
OK, here we go. Nice alabaster head on a crystal clear brass body very inviting. Yeasty fruity nose is big, with hints of bubblegum . Up front the taste is slickly bitter, hoppier than most triples Stone, no shit. Creamy middle leads to a spicy-sweet finish that coats the tongue well. This puts me in the mind of a tripel wheat, like Unibroues Don de Dieu but not as well integrated. Not a bad beer, but not one Im in a hurry to return to as there are so many other better tripels out there.
12-10-2004 19:17:09 | More by markman
4.18/5 rDev +8%
Re-taste on 7/9/08 - score changed to reflect
Cracked open my 2nd bottle tonight. Midway through it's suggested aging, this pours a dark honey color with a better head than I got with a bottle consumed in 2004. Some floaties can be seen, but not nearly as many as I thought there'd be after nearly four years of aging.
Both in the nose and in the taste, hops stick out more than I think they did when I last reviewed it, which is odd, as I'd think it would be the other way around. Also spices and a honey-ish maltiness are on hand in a fairly up-front way. Seems more boozy than I noted in my original review, with a definite warming alcohol sensation.
The body is a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps I hadn't had so many tripels when I first had this, but the mouthfeel now seems too heavy for the style.
Today I find this less drinkable than I did in 2004. The body and mouthfeel are too thick, and the booziness of this one makes me not want another one, which is fine, as I've only one left, and I'm going to try to sit on it for a few more years.
Dedicated to Dimebag Darrell and all the victims of senseless violence.
Bomber purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $6.96 (I've got two more stashed for aging).
Poured a honeyish gold color, with a minor white head that still managed to leave a fair amount of lace.
Smells quite tasty. The first thing that grabs the attention is the hefe-ish odors of earthy wheat and cloves. There is spicyness, but it's fairly subdued. There's also a honeyish, floral scent and a slight citrus aroma.
The taste is quite similar to the aromas mentioned above, except that the lime flavor (undoubtebly from the vaunted Kaffir Lime leaves) is much more distinctive. There's also a noticeable yeasty presence. This is like an Hefe on steroids.
A medium bodied beer, it's a little bit heavier than most wheat beers I've consumed, but nothing too thick, to be sure.
This is a damn tasty beer. Maybe a little too thick to be a great summer beer, but I bet it would go great with spicy food. I'm not a big Thai fan (peanut allergy) but I bet it would go great with Indian food, which is pretty much my favorite cuisine.
12-10-2004 08:40:07 | More by woemad
4.3/5 rDev +11.1%
poured a slightly hazy honeyish color with a large flufy pillowy white head. soft slightly sweetish and a little spicy aroma very reminicent of some german wheat beers. the clove character is starting to come through as it warms with a bit of underlying yeastyness there is also a bit of citrus in there but i can't tell what kind for the life of me. soft light body with that distinct kinda thickish wheat beer taste. It was hidden at first and the carbonation and mild spicyness of the beer left it undetected. takes a few sips for me to unravel the mysteries in a beer like this. alcohol is very well hidden at first but as it warms becomes a bit more noticeable but still very nicely balanced. excellent refreshing quality to it when it's bit on the chilled side and as it warms to around room temp. turns into an excellent nighttime warmer. truly top notch, if anyone see's any out there grab a few.
12-02-2004 04:22:24 | More by shippos
3.5/5 rDev -9.6%
Pours a light golden amber color with a bubbly white head that leaves a nice lace. There is a wide range of aromas to this brew from which I can come up with some banana, a big presence of yeast, hints of wheat, and a noticeable lime like aroma that comes from the kaffir lime leaves. To me this is kinda funky but hey lets move on. The flavor to this brew goes right along with the aforementioned aromas. There is a large wheaty flavor to this brew with a firm backing of yeasty banana. There is a subtle sweetness followed by some citrus notes, while the carbonation is just light enough that it tingles nicely on the tongue. The finish to this brew really shows off the kaffir lime leaves with a firm lime flavor that just sticks to the pallate, with some final notes sweetness and an almost juicy quality.
Overall I find this brew to be quite interesting and very fully flavorful, just its a bit too funky for me to drink on a regular basis. I bet this would probably go well with some thai food, or maybe something spicy...
11-24-2004 01:47:37 | More by bigbeerdrinka
4.2/5 rDev +8.5%
Puffy, only somewhat sticky white head atop a browned golden body. Exotic nose consisting of mashed banana, creamsicle, citrus zest, and meringue. Surprisingly cohensive and floral. Perhaps a bit creamier than I'm used to in a tripel. Similarly, there's a creamy vanilla flavor to this -- fresh and a bit oaky -- with light bits of caramelized sugar in the background. Honey/sweet melon and tropical fruits. Dries out a bit with some yeasty spice and some flower petal. Remarkably heavy on the exotic flavors but nonetheless tasty. A solid Stone offering, but I'm wondering if this will really stand up for another 10 years or whatever it's supposed to do...
11-23-2004 03:18:46 | More by marburg
3.88/5 rDev +0.3%
Pours a clear golden color with a bit of light orange highlights. Bready, fruity and yeasty aromas with some suggestions of pepperiness. Very dry finish to a beer that starts off sweet. Light hopping and the addition of lime leaves give it a saison-like feel and adds nicely to the dryness. Alcohol definately noticable. Tropical fruit esters come into play as it warms up to temperature. Pretty nice tripel, but slightly one-dimensional.
11-17-2004 01:47:20 | More by crookedhalo
4.13/5 rDev +6.7%
This pours a very bright golden color with a large head with good retention and it leaves nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is really strong with Belgian spices and sweet fruit. The flavor was sweet and very fruity. Lots of flavor. Spicy from the yeast. The body was medium and it's smooth to drink. I actually liked the 03.03.03 better, but this is still a great brew.
11-12-2004 20:22:20 | More by clvand0
4.88/5 rDev +26.1%
Evidently made with Kaffir Lime leaves. Limited 5000 case release. 22oz.bottle, 8.5% ABV. See http://www.stonebrew.com/epic/040404/recipe.html
for the homebrew recipe.
SG=1.076, FG=1.011, IBU=35.
- Pale 2-row malt (95%)
- Unmalted wheat flakes(5%)
- Sterling hops(35 IBUs)
- Kaffir lime leafs(about 3 grams per 5 gallons)
- Bastogne Belgian yeast from Whitelabs
Filtered (for something that is supposed to be drank 8 years from now?). Pours out to a brilliantly clear light honey-colored caramel, forming a medium-sized rocky light-beige head with excellent retention and clumpy kibbles and bits of sticky lace. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is immediately recognizable as Bavarian (i.e-Weinhestephaner) hefe-weizen yeast strain, with that unique abundance of bananas and cloves. This is coupled to a very delicate toast, and when swirled, honey and caramel notes are produced. Wonderful nose....It's hard to believe that the bad boys of brewing, "Stone"...are capable of pulling off something so subtle, yet so powerful. Mouthfeel is initially fizzy and powdery with a medium body which envelopes the senses. Starts out in flavor like a classic, albeit heavily malted, Bavarian Weisse, and then somewhere in the middle, a wierd bitter root flavor pops out...I'm attributing this to the Kaffir leaves, not having distinctly tasted them before. This yeast strain is subtley located between a Belgian triple and the aforementioned strain, but leans towards the latter. Smacking the roof of the mouth with the tongue minutes after the drink produces an odd, distant flavor of bitter root. Bitterness is light and floral, providing a nice backdrop to the deceivingly hefty malt bill. This is really interesting...it floats tenously between a Franziskaner and a Grimbergen. Ahha!..that is exactly what this reminds me of!...the Grimbergen (which I bought in Venice, and is not to be confused with the version I later bought in the US which tasted completely different). It goes without saying that this is expertly fermented with no off-flavors and the alcohol is hidden nearly completely.
At any rate, this is really fucking good shit (imperative). I'll give you some really good advice. Don't bother waiting to drink this later...suck it up now, it's not gonna get any better with time. I'm blown away that Stone pulled this one off so fluently...they've earned some new-found respect from me. Put on your favorite music and winamp plugin (in my case, Meshuggah).
This beer is an experience larger than the bottle and it's contents...this is some amazing shit. Stock up. Now.
11-04-2004 18:26:48 | More by Mitchster
4.1/5 rDev +5.9%
If I lived in California I would save one of these as directed...not when I only get one though..
Pours a chill hazed neon gold...a little white head...nose is sweet Belgian malts...sweet tropical fruits...a little whiff of alcohol...body is firm and carbonated...about perfect...
Flavors are nice...a spicy yeastiness and alcohol finish..begins with the sweet and tasty belgian maltiness....a little alcoholic on the finsh...a little time would have smoothed it out I'm sure...
This is a tasty quality brew but short of being an epic...
10-27-2004 05:37:56 | More by ZAP
3.68/5 rDev -4.9%
Pours a pretty pale golden color with a white head that falls quickly to a ring of foam. aroma is little light but sweet malt with fruit apples, bananas, and grapes come out didn't notice the lime in the nose but is in the taste. Taste is crisp tart with alcohol flavor coming thru lightly, on sweet malt backgroud. Second glass better after yeaties swirled in adds zestiness and spice to the mix. Spice and little bitter lime blend with hops for the finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. Drinkability is not bad, I think this one would improve with a little cellar time. Not bad but not on top for the style.
10-25-2004 17:52:34 | More by mntlover
4/5 rDev +3.4%
Appearance: Apricot gold and crystal clear, with very active fine carbonation. Thick, dense pure white head with moderate duration. Sounds typical, but it's a uniquely pretty beer.
Smell: I just had nasal sex with a supermodel. Wonderful, powerful blend of Belgian yeast, honey, apricot, green apple, clove, fruitcake spice, pale malt with a mild solvent/alcohol scent underneath. It's awesome--I can't get my nose out of the glass.
Taste: Oddly, the first flavor is an un-Belgian caramel malt. The usual spice/clove, honey, a bit of sour fruit. It's good, but it doesn't live up to the scent's promise. The mouthfeel is crisp, but also medium bodied and slightly coating. A medicinal phenol taste lingers very long into the aftertaste.
Drinkability: Make of this one what you will. It's listed as a tripel, they call it a saison, or a bier de garde--they're not sure. I'm not either. Whatever it is, it's a solid Belgian-style beer, though not really a stellar example of any specific style. I like it, but it's not quite the knockout I expected.
Finally, I have real trouble believing this is going to last eight years. If you want to save it for the 2012 Vertical Epic, rock on, but I just can't imagine this is going to drinkable. Prove me wrong.
10-22-2004 06:32:21 | More by WetCoaster
4/5 rDev +3.4%
Bottle courtesy of mrpicklerelish, big up.
Appearance: Poured a dark golden color, with a strange irredescent-like quality and just a thin, white ring.
Aroma: Big aromas of apples and cloves, something sweet and honey-like, with some lime in the backround.
Taste: A big blast of spicy cloves and sour apples, all wrapped in a pineapple juice envelope and sealed with a kiss of lime (like biting into a lime and tasting the sour-sweet lime peel followed by the bitter pith). Finish was similar to other Stone brews I've had; solidly bitter. I can't describe what's different about the bitterness in Stone's brews. It's just very pronounced and tight and very distinguishable from others. ABV barely noticeable.
Mouth: Medium body, tight cabonation, and slightly viscous leads to a smooth mouthfeel. Nice.
Drinkability: Good stuff. I'd definitely have it again but I'll most likely never see it again. Allegedly the Vertical Epic series beers are meant to be aged until 2012 but I couldn't wait (and it was my birthday). I can see how aging might mellow out some of the bitterness
10-19-2004 10:46:15 | More by oxmasterscream
4.3/5 rDev +11.1%
Pours like other nice North American Tripels, fizzy, yellow and with a thin layer of white foam.
Smell deliciously sweet and spicy, with a dominant clove presence. Very much in the spirit of Belgian beer.
Spicy strong flavor, with a warming alcohol presence. Very delicious and balanced considering the number of flavors happening here. Banana, allspice, clove flavors all blend together rather nicely.
I'm not real high in the tripels, but this one is damned fine and quite drinkable. As far as tripels go, second only to Unibroue's Eau Benite.
10-17-2004 17:34:51 | More by nortmand
Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 304 ratings.