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Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic AleStone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

302 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 302
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.44%
Wants: 100
Gots: 47 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A new Vertical Epic will be released every year, with the goal being to collect them all and have a Vertical Epic tasting once the final Epic is released on 12/12/12. Each new Stone Vertical Epic Ale will be release one YEAR, one MONTH and one DAY apart. This time around we used some unmalted wheat, just the right touch of Kaffir Lime Leaf, and a really cool Belgian yeast. The result is a bit like a strong Biere de Garde / Saison-esque influenced beer coupled with some aromatic Bavarian Hefeweizen style phenolic banana esters, and a backnote hint of lime from the lime leaf.

(Beer added by: Todd on 04-07-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 302 | Reviews: 213 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marct
marct

Nevada

2.25/5  rDev -41.9%

11-12-2012 01:16:13 | More by marct
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

2.28/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle.

Pours a clear golden orange with a thin bubbly off white head. Nose is minty and medicinal, with some strawberry and green tea. Odd. Syrupy body with minimal carbonation. Very sweet, cloying flavor. Sort of like the juice from a can of pineapples or peaches. Watery, stale and sticky. Pass.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 18:40:20 | More by yourefragile
Photo of HellsBELLS24
HellsBELLS24

Michigan

2.45/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This edition of the vertical epic was not so impressive.

Upon pouring, the scent from the beer was rather pungent. I smelt like an old rotten pile of wheat. The color poured a nice copper with a white head. Again, I was still taken aback by the smell. As I tasted the brew it was rather hard to finish my 11 ounce portion. It had the feel of a dilute old wheat beer. I recommend this beer to keep for the series however I hope it gets better with age. (I find that hard to believe)

I do love most of the Stone beers, just not this one

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2006 20:25:38 | More by HellsBELLS24
Photo of bum732
bum732

Lesotho

2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

10-13-2013 01:50:25 | More by bum732
Photo of CityofBals
CityofBals

Illinois

2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

09-12-2013 19:07:43 | More by CityofBals
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

2.5/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle served in a CCB snifter.

A: Pours a hazy apricot color with a ton of yeasty floaters in the pour. Some light splotches of lace are left down the glass.

S: Flowery and herbal with some light fruity undertones. Some plum with stale, oaty malts.

T: Paper and light oxidation with some light caramel malts. Flowery notes with some mild glue and light lime. A little prune-like oxidation.

M: Medium to light bodied with a medium carbonation level. Not much remaining on the flavor.

O: Did not enjoy this one at all. The lime notes seemed out of placed and it made the overall taste take on an Elmers glue-like flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 02:14:25 | More by Treebs
Photo of kscaldef
kscaldef

Oregon

2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

08-13-2013 16:45:04 | More by kscaldef
Photo of Ellbert
Ellbert

Ohio

2.55/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: This was good. It was a very clear yellow/gold beer with a white head. There wasn't much lace however.

Smell: The smell was like no other beer I have smelled before. There was aromas of sweet malt and the lime that just overpowered a lot of the aroma. This was fairly unpleasanct.

Taste: The taste was ok at first. There was a malty sweetness followed by some spices. It was very crisp and fairly refreshing except for the lemon that took complete control in the end. Very unbalanced which maybe years in the cellar could fix. This made it very unpleasant and almost undrinkable.

Overall a brew that has potential but is not very good. I would be interested to see how this beer changes during it's aging period.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2004 04:08:03 | More by Ellbert
Photo of Auracom
Auracom

Illinois

2.55/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Talk about the most random bottle ever. Shared by Jeff near the end of a very long night. Thanks bro. 3-4 oz. poured into a FFF Teku on June 9th, 2012.

A - Very clear, bright-golden coloring. Great looking one finger eggshell head. Marginal lacing, slight legs.

S - Faded hops, a bit of wet cardboard, port-like oxidation, underlying Belgian yeast banana aroma. Part blah, part "Okay I can live with this."

T - Blended light fruit juice, pears, further oxidized cherry peel, definite clove and yeast flavor with a hint of buttered bread. Lightly bitter aftertaste.

M - Light-medium body, good carbonation for the age, semi-dry finish.

D - Ages more gracefully than I'd expected, but I'm not sure why something like this really exists. Despite its docile nature you can tell where this came from and compared to where it is now, it's not horrible.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 16:33:55 | More by Auracom
Photo of joecast
joecast

Australia

2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

thin layer of foam over orange tinted fizzy yellow beer??? (from stone??)
aroma is pretty pronounced. definite fruity, spicy overtones but some sort of alcohol there as well. maybe nailpolish remover. whatever it is, it doesnt seem to go well.
flavor seems like it need a year or two cellaring. too many different things going on that need time to get to know each other so they can play well together. like the maltiness is trying to fight through the other styles. seems to be trying too hard and is too aggressive.
mouthfeel is on the thin, slippery side.
the drinkabilty is lower than any other score to reflect the fact that while some things worked ok, overall, it lacked any definite direction and lost its way somewhere...

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2004 20:58:03 | More by joecast
Photo of ngandhi
ngandhi

Illinois

2.7/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Green.

The low hopping strips this beer of any chance for head or flavor. The malts aren't rich enough to compensate, nor are they thin enough to really make this to style. The yeast dominates and is dull, but characteristically Belgian and accentuates some of the bland wheat profile.

Of course, VE04 relies on the Kaffir lime leaves -- that's why there's no hop flavor, I assume. Unfortunately, the lime contributes too much, not in terms of flavors, but in its overall parasitic presence. It's oversteeped, lacking any real freshness on the midpalate, and finishes dry and reprehensibly tannic.

The alcohol is brimming, but controlled. Phenols run wild, giving the beer an unpleasant smokiness that the distillate lime only comes to highlight. In some sense, this beer is harmonious because each flavor feeds the next; few of these flavors are desired.

I'm left with a void. This feels like a Florida orange grove stripped of its fruit by the hurricanes or a Burgundy vineyard hit with hail. There's an empty place here reserved for some fruit, something to round out the beer.

As this ages, I expect the lime to die off and the yeast to dominate -- leaving a dry, grainy broth of a beer.

Relax, relax.
ng

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2004 01:12:09 | More by ngandhi
Photo of RenoZymurgist
RenoZymurgist

Nevada

2.7/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Ppured a thick one and a half inch head which subsided at a moderate pace atop an orange gold ale that is very clear. Aroma reminds me of Saaz hops on steroids. Very dry citrus aroma with a little bit of esters thrown in for good measure. The flavor is of alcohol a mild maltiness that is a little sweet matched with a strong dry citrus flavor and a small amount of regular hop bitterness. Overall i think the guys at Stone are correct that this beer needs to be aged as the flavors and aromas are very intense and if this beer was aged just one year i think it would be immensly better than the one i sampled. Still not a bad beer, you definetly get the lime flavors as long as it is served at a warmer temp than a fridge. Good addition to the Vertical Epic Saga although i can't get enough Stone to both sample and age as Stone is not shipped to Nevada. Thanks Stone!

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2004 04:55:33 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

2.71/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12. Review from notes.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a small white head with minimal retention or lacing.

S: Very chalky, sort of like baby powder. It is slightly floral, sort of like air freshener.

T: Not much going here at all. Some faint fruit, a little citrus and floral/grassy flavors.

M: Light to medium bodied with little carbonation.

O: Not very good, probably my least favorite of 3-12 that I was able to try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2013 22:47:28 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

12-31-2012 23:16:15 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of waldowin
waldowin

Washington

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

So much for 12.12.12. Doh! Couldn't wait.

Pours a hazy gold color, with a thick-as-paste white head several fingers thick, that constantly replenishes itself as it tries to fall. Took about 10 minutes before the head finally faded down enough to drink the beer itself.

Smells golden raisins, plums, toffee, and a bit of lime (not surprisingly, considering the ingredients).

Tastes of toffee, bananas, cherries, and a bit of lime, with almost no hops at all. The lime taste is fairly off-putting, for me anyways. I hesitate to make such a rare bottle a drain-pour, but i'm not sure I can get used to this taste.

Mouthfeel is creamy and heavily carbonated, almost like sipping foam. Very smooth and if it tasted better, would be easier to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2006 08:12:43 | More by waldowin
Photo of dmsohyea
dmsohyea

California

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

07-03-2013 23:33:31 | More by dmsohyea
Photo of HopsMatt
HopsMatt

Kentucky

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

02-16-2013 17:49:43 | More by HopsMatt
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Churchkey.

This one has a semi hazy yellow color and a small fizzy white head. While the head laces well, it doesn't stick around for very long. It smells very Belgian-like, with clove, banana, and Belgian yeast taking over. There's also a slight amount of booze and an overall sweetness. The taste is muted. It really doesn't taste like much of anything. Perhaps some hay, light spice, and lingering clove. It's light and uncarbonated, but pretty drinkable because it tastes like nothing. Not a fan. Again, too old.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2013 23:07:42 | More by russwbeck
Photo of PatronWizard
PatronWizard

California

2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

See 06.06.06 review for background ...

Poured a golden bubbly with small spotty lacing. Looks good enough.

Smells of peaches with slight spice. Not bad. Or good.

Taste isn't very impressive. Peaches and car freshener is what I get.

Still has carbonation. What can I say? I bought these puppies for a mint and expected to be blown away. They were all "just" good beer. Nothing extraordinary.

Overall: wish I had the money instead

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 19:08:34 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

2.89/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Consumed on January 20th, 2013 at a private Vertical Epic tasting.

Beer pours a clear, light medium-gold. Slightly hazy, no head.

The aroma is nebulous esters and phenols; the only thing I could definitely pick out was lime.

Flavor was slightly sweet with notes of clove, pepper and lime. Very low to no bitterness.

Mouthfeel was flat and otherwise unremarkable.

Sadly, this one doesn't seem to have aged very well.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 18:41:14 | More by charlzm
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On Tap

Stone Epic Festival 12-12-12
Stone Brewing Co.
Escondido, CA

(Aged for 8 years)

Cloudy golden with a whisper of an off-white head. Leaves irregular spots and lines of stick down the glass. Pretty enough, and appropriate.

The Belgian yeast presents sweet banana character along with some mild pepper notes, a touch of citrus (though I wouldn't say lime if I was given this blind), and distinct banana. There's also a substantial amount of simple sweetness that covers up much of the complexity that may be there. The aroma is still very strong and expressive after all these years. A bit too much alcohol heat and overbearing sweetness to score particularly well.

The flavor follows the aroma. A flavorful, bold combination of banana, booze, mild citrus, and tangy Belgian yeast character. Like with the aroma, there's an overbearing sweetness that dominates.

Though I never had the opportunity to try this fresh, this is now a thick, heavy, nearly-flat beer reminiscent of a syrup. The low point of this beer.

Too sweet, too syrupy, though not offensive.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2012 05:05:02 | More by ehammond1
Photo of TKEbeerman
TKEbeerman

Florida

2.96/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Poured into my VE glass this brew pours a golden yellow with a little murky yeast. One of our tasters had a crystal clear pour.
S. The aroma is plain and bready. Some oxidization, but less than 02 and 03.
T. The flavor tastes of bready tones with notes of hops that used to be dominate. Again, no belgiumy tones.
Mf. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy, a little rough on the finish.
Overall not as an impressive choice for aging.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 01:42:35 | More by TKEbeerman
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

The beer is bright orange and hazy with a thin white head. The aroma offers mint, tea, citrus, malt, lime, kiwi. The flavor is a bit odd, showing signs of age. Well water, oranges, light toffee. Light in body with low carbonation. This was ok.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 20:54:19 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of rastaman
rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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). Didn’t 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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2005 11:07:24 | More by rastaman
Photo of dmarch
dmarch

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't know why I thought this was barleywine, but it's definately a big beer with Belgian influences as BA indicated. First of all, the appearance is beautiful. Orangey-golden in color with a big blooming white head that diminishes into a fine lace. I have to be honest. It went down hill once the aroma hit my nose. I didn't enjoy this brew as much as I hoped. Sorry Greg, I'm a big fan, but this just didn't do it for me. Incredibly sweet. I couldn't pick out the flavor at first, but I think I figured it out. I am reminded of those little fruit candies you get at those grocery store vending machines. Those little bananna ones...that's this beer. It's definately got the strength, and it does have flavor. I would just want to see this beer a little more dry. Stone is a brewery that I feel guilty giving a bad review to. I'm a huge fan, but this is my first Vertical Epic. As of now, I think I favor their flagship beers.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2004 00:01:38 | More by dmarch
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Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 302 ratings.