Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 303 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.53/5 rDev +17.1%
Wow! Bought 3 bottles of this from Old Town Liquor, here in Temecula, CA. The proprietor their told me this was almost like a wheat beer, but it poured into a Stone IPA glass a medium golden color with about a finger and a half of crisp head which dissipated in a minute or two. Smell was citrusy crisp with hints of earthiness and a pleasing bite of alcohol; very pleasing overall. taste was initially much like a good Abbey Trippel, then moved to a warm alcohol and finally a slight crisp lime. I tend to agree with the other reviewers, that this beer has a young, very fine taste that will only improve as the flavors meld together. I must confess, the 3 bottles lasted only a matter of hours, as I thoroughly enjoyed getting familiar with this complex offering. I went back and bought a case to age appropriately; however, this beer may be hard to keep out of my glass. Very well done, another worthy effort from Stone!!!
Cracked opened an 040404 after 6 months plus and found a somewhat different beer waiting. The kafir lime hints have disappeared, there is a somewhat toffee hint to the smell. The smell is now a mild barleywine and prominent fusel alcohol. The mouthfeel is somewhat less carbonated but mellow at the same time. I am having a hard time with this offering now, but suffice to say it is far more enjoyable than at the original release date. I think this will become one of the true "Epic" Stone offerings in the months and years to come.
10-11-2004 03:31:19 | More by imblane
4.05/5 rDev +4.7%
Appearance: Golden. Plenty darker than the Natural Light I watch everyone around me drink. *shudder*
Smell: Fruity! This was quite a shock for me, because as a hophead I was expecting the beer to be bitter like every other Stone Brew I'd had, save the porter and stout.
Taste: As a hophead I was at first weary of the sweeter flavor. As I continued to drink the beer, I began to embrace this style that was strange to me. Much fruitness gave the beer a smooth taste, but unlike the smooth tastes advocated by advertising campaigns for such brews as Keystone Light, this beer was full-flavored and sweet.
Mouthfeel: I think Stone does a great job with their brews as far as mouthfeels are concerned. The carbonation, when the brew is cool, lets the beer flow through one's mouth and across the tongue fluidly, for lack of a better term. Of all the categories, I gave this my highest score of 4.5
Drinkability: The beer is good, and for drinkers who adore fruitiness, this could be consumed for a long time. However, as hop-head, I wasn't fully enamored with the beer, but I put my prejudice aside the rated this category adequately.
10-11-2004 00:05:51 | More by bigchris1313
3.68/5 rDev -4.9%
Poured a golden color with hints of amber. Minimal head disapated quickly. Nose quite stuffy tonight, so I can't really comment on the smell other than I didn't smell anything bad.
At first all I could tast was hints of fruitiness and the a strange, not all together pleasant bitterness which I assume comes from the lime leaves. As it warmed, the true character of the beer came out however. Very much in the belgian tripel style, though less complex than most. Very smooth mouthfeel. the lime leaves are what make this beer unique, but I did not altogether enjoy it. The bitterness just lingers on the tongue in a way I am not used to. However, otherwise this is a very well crafted beer, and I wish I had more that I could let age and check again in few years.
Thank Mrpicklerelish for the bottle
10-09-2004 23:38:33 | More by poundboy
3.88/5 rDev +0.3%
Clear true amber body with a head on the fizzy side. The aroma and flavor are dominated by vanilla and cotton candy. A little bit of caramel is involved, and after reading the the commercial description, I guess that bit of citrus isnt from the hops after all. Still, while its very pleasant and quite drinkable, its not really all that like a Belgian in character to me.
10-09-2004 02:46:47 | More by aracauna
3.25/5 rDev -16%
Pours a medium amber-gold, topped with a three finger puffy off-white head, left partial rings of lacing.
Spicy, yeasty, lime aroma, banana and flowers.
Robustly flavored, very yeasty - seems a little "wild" maybe it needs time to settle itself down. Lime, wet bread, wheat and flowers. More hop flavor than bitterness, although the bitterness does come out more when it warms.
Medium-full bodied, I've got a couple of bottles in the cellar it will be interesting to see how the compare to the fresh draft over time.
10-01-2004 19:47:25 | More by mschofield
4.22/5 rDev +9%
Now Quaffing: Stone Vertical Epic 04.04.04
Poured from a simple, yet classy silk-screened 650ml bomber. Hazy apricot, peppered with particles, happily floating around in this thick golden goodness. The head recedes rather quickly with little lacing. The aroma is pretty potent. Grassy, hay, definitely Saison-like with heavy perfume in the background. This one definitely prickles the tongue with each sip--nice and crisp. Its upon the swallow that this beer makes its own path. The foreign perfumey spice makes its presence known in a smooth, dry finish. I didn't read the bottle until I encountered this unfamiliar flavor and aroma. Apparently, this beer is spiced with Kaffir Lime Leaves from Indonesia--that is what I call unique. I can taste a little lime there, but it is perfumey and minty, unlike anything I've tasted in a beer before. The flavors mellow out nicely as the beer warms, but it was enjoyable in its agressive, chilled state at the beginning as well. Overall I enjoyed this beer for the unique experience that it was. I could pick this tripel out of others in blind taste test and that is a welcomed respite from some of the belgian brewed tripels. Nice job Stone.
09-30-2004 02:31:58 | More by TripelJ
4.7/5 rDev +21.4%
Gorgeous pale orange coloration, slight haze, under a firm cap of creamy froth. Nose is smoothly citric, just-so spicy, crammed with yeast, a fresh-cracked new loaf of lemon bread, right from the oven. Herbal and even a touch minty, with fruit aplenty stirring about, this is a complex and abundantly pleasant aroma. Has the character of a wit, mixed with a saison, wrapped in the guise of a tripel.
Masterful mouthfeel, commands the palate at once, spills pleasure all along the senses, with a nearly sharp citric twang, then cool and mellow fading out. Rings in again with each new encounter on the tongue, oozes enchantment, drips with delight. Body is medium, finish long and fruit-astic, with the alcohol content, average for the style, never stinging or standing at attention.
That said, it's my kind of tripel all right, exquisite, and tasty to say the least. Another class act from Stone, and I'm doubly glad I have another to sit still for the journey to 2012!
Actually, I ought to procure another pallet-ful, I'm liking this so much!
Cheers to the one called the Bum, for helping a Brother out!
09-24-2004 09:43:57 | More by feloniousmonk
3.68/5 rDev -4.9%
Pours a transparent golden/orange color with a fine white head and light fine carbonation. Head retention is low and the lace is fine and sticky. Aroma is subtle but deep; fruity esters, malt a slightly grassy background with a hint of those lime leaves. Palate is full bodied with a light (syrupy) sweet start and a biting, slightly tart, finish. Flavor has an interesting contrast of sweet and lingering bitter finish.
Interesting but does not display much of the complex characteristics I had encountered the first time I had this beer closer to its bottling.
09-22-2004 02:07:07 | More by SeanChouffe
4/5 rDev +3.4%
Had to tap into this one to compare to the 03.03.03. A very solid performer with a nice 2 finger head over a cloudy golden body. The beer has a lovely fruiy nose that follows in the flavor. The flavor is quite fruiy with a lovely pulp sense. The body is solid and full with nice carbonation for the finish. Drinkable ale despite the ABV. Glad I tapped one early.
09-19-2004 22:47:48 | More by AtLagerHeads
4.72/5 rDev +22%
I couldn't wait any longer to try this one. The beer pours a cloudy golden yellow with a finger and a half of nice creamy head. The nose is full of sweet fruity tones, something I'm not used to in a Stone beer. Well, the flavor is pretty awesome if you ask me. The initial flavor is a blast of sweet hop, but it finishes with a hefe banana cream essence. I can taste just a hint of the lime leaf used as well, but it is a bit of an afterthought. I think the balance is just great in this beer. The beer is nicely thick and creamy. Very nice! The more I drink this beer, the more of it I want. I'm glad I found a shop in town that carres it still. I think a few more of these will have to come home with me soon.
09-19-2004 17:33:01 | More by kmpitz2
4.08/5 rDev +5.4%
pours an appealing crisp amber colour with loas of carbonation, which creeps to the soapy head atop the glass. the smell is a bold mixture of banana, spice, yeast and some malt. it's a touch earthy as well. good stuff. the flavour is much like the smell, being a balanced blend of fruitiness and spice, thoug ha bit more citrus based than the smell and having a more solid bread flavour at the finish. alcohol is noticeable yet not intrusive. carbonation levels are nice and high and spot on for the style. this one is easy drinking (much easier than i expected) and is a nice representation of the style, especially so as an american version of it.
09-18-2004 02:38:12 | More by SixpointJMH
Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.