1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

304 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 304
Reviews: 214
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 304 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

2.98/5  rDev -23%

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.

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

Virginia

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

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.

01-06-2013 23:07:42 | More by russwbeck
Photo of Timman87
Timman87

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

01-03-2013 05:22:00 | More by Timman87
Photo of UltimateLivewire
UltimateLivewire

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.4%

01-01-2013 16:04:51 | More by UltimateLivewire
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

12-31-2012 23:16:15 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -0.5%

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass.

A - Pours a clear amber tinted gold with fine floating particles throughout the body of liquid. Low white head fades quickly leaving behind faint traces of lacing on the glass.

S - Malty sweet, honey is quite prominant in the aroma, lite touches of lime, bit of earth, peppery and spicy, some earthy aromas and mild alcohol presence.

T - The kaffir lime comes thru well despite the age of the bottle, lots of honey as was found in the aroma, some pepper. Overall sweet and very honey dominant flavor.

M - A bit syrupy in feel, body is medium-full, carbonation is low-medium and tingly on the tongue, a bit of a spicy burn on the back of the throat on the swallow.

O - Super sweet and honey dominant. Lime holds up nicely and comes thru to compliment the honey. A bit unusual overall.

12-30-2012 19:39:26 | More by portia99
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

3.25/5  rDev -16%

Lots of bubbles in this slightly yellow amber liquid that adorns the glass with a few white bubbles and lacing around the rim.
Smell is grassy banana and yeast with a few spices and the alcohol burn.
Taste is kinda syrupy with a very slight hop bitterness but very little. Not much spice shows up anymore.
Mouthfeel is very sticky at first then the bitterness washes most of the syrup away.
Overall this is another FAILED attempt from Stone. This one is well over it's prime. Had it 4 years ago and it was a lot better. It has went downhill since.

12-29-2012 17:41:58 | More by peabody
Photo of dtx00
dtx00

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

12-28-2012 23:49:20 | More by dtx00
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
HaveUSeenMyCellar

California

4/5  rDev +3.4%

12-27-2012 04:10:13 | More by HaveUSeenMyCellar
Photo of Yesdog
Yesdog

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.4%

12-25-2012 01:10:48 | More by Yesdog
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -1%

Reviewed 12.12.12
Celebrating the Vertical Epic Series

P: Pours a bright effervescent golden body with sudsy white head.

S: Spicy, citrus soap aroma, clove, powdery yeast, bubblegum, pepper corns, lime, bananas and a touch of oxidation.

T/M: Dull fruit flavors, citrus, lime zest, honey wheat bread, booze and timid tartness. Body is medium and has gritty soap chalkiness. Carbonation level is nice a crisp.

O: Flavors are dialed down but after 9 years a truly impressive beer that was a treat to enjoy. Line was the key ingredient in this brew and the spices really complimented it. Easy drinking and smooth.

12-23-2012 18:56:28 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of randylangford
randylangford

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

12-22-2012 04:48:14 | More by randylangford
Photo of sandiego67
sandiego67

California

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

12-22-2012 04:22:44 | More by sandiego67
Photo of TubaManJack
TubaManJack

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -13.4%

Appearance - wow very little carbonation and no head from this draft pour. The body is a very hazy yellow body

Smell- Almost lactose sugar sweet with a little funk. There is a medium banana ripeness to it. Very strange and yet intreging.

Taste- somewhat like the nose. There is a bit of funk and ripeness that.
I have never encountered before. There is a bspa yeast element and then a wet mop of a mouthfeel. Kinda of a disappoint because I feel like there is something there.

12-21-2012 23:17:11 | More by TubaManJack
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

12-21-2012 21:23:04 | More by nmann08
Photo of Eriktheipaman
Eriktheipaman

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

12-21-2012 16:04:48 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of Hanzo
Hanzo

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

12-20-2012 22:54:15 | More by Hanzo
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


2.95/5  rDev -23.8%

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.

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

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

1659th Review on BA
Bottle to VE Glass
22oz

Split with StarRaptor, Callmecoon & Smarcoly

App- A bit of an apple juice color with a bit of density behind it. A bit more golden than I wouldve thought. A small ring of bubbles was there and was gone quite quickly.

Smell- I didnt get any of the lime on this bottle. I got more of a malty, sweet a little bit of a saison note with some small peppery bits and then moved into a bit of sweet apple notes.

Taste- I thought it was a nice beer. Wasnt overly oxidized and didnt have the usual pop that a BSPA would have. The lime was gone and tasted more like a juice or a white wine to me. (Having 11-11-11 in white wine 2 after this. I still agree) The malts were much more pronounced and this had lost a lot of the nuance of the style.

Mouth- A bit of a syrupy medium body with a medium carbonation. The residual flavors are there with only a touch of the spicy and body of a saison. A little bit of sweetness and apple.

Drink- Probably my least favorite of the earlier bottles. I would say that it was 06-05-03-04. Was a lot of fun to do this tasting.

12-17-2012 21:10:51 | More by FosterJM
Photo of weonfire
weonfire

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

12-16-2012 22:04:55 | More by weonfire
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +3.4%

12-16-2012 14:21:10 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%

040404, consumed 121312

appearance: served in my lost abbey teku glass - hazy straw orange body

smell: herbal, lime, citrus, flowers

taste: the kaffir lime leaf is very evident - honey, grass, straw, clove, light belgian yeast. Held up fairly well - these ancient VE beers are seeming to surpass my quite low expectations

mouthfeel: light, herbal

overall: interesting stuff - the lime leaf phase is so 2004 though

12-16-2012 00:09:57 | More by dirtylou
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.13/5  rDev -19.1%

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a deep gold to orange with a small white head, some minor lace.

S: Kaffir lime, ethereal, interesting flowery character, hint of oxidation.

T: Lemon, grass, lime leaf. Somewhat bland, good tasting when I can find it, but a tired flavour.

M: Medium-bodied, very soft carbonation, a bit flabby.

O: Drinkable, but this has seen better days, nowhere near as good as the '05 was.

12-14-2012 02:40:30 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
CheapBeerBuzz

California

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

12-13-2012 22:32:09 | More by CheapBeerBuzz
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%

This bottle sat in my cellar - two different cellars, actually, as I moved in 2011 - until 12/11/12, when it moved into my fridge. Consumed on 12/12/12 - not a day sooner - as per the directions on the bottle. This is my 998th beer review on BeerAdvocate.com.

A: Poured into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass that has served me well all these years. Body is hazy orangeish-amber with a small white head.

S: Oxidation is noted in the nose - some wet cardboard and sherry-like scents. Also a lot of sweet malt in general, along with a hint of lime or citrus. Alcohol is noted as well.

T: Follows the nose a little - sherry-like from the oxidation and an almost vanilla-like sweetness. Surprised at the heat from the 8.5% ABV - it finishes a little bit hot. Lacking in hoppy bitterness, which is not surprising, but it doesn't finish in a cloyingly sweet way at all.

M: About medium in heft, maybe a little lighter. Smooth, bordering on syrupy, feel - which, combined with the ABV, makes it feel like a sipper despite the heft.

O: Interesting. Certainly drinkable, but I'm curious as to what the beer tasted like fresh (I didn't drink a bottle 8+ years ago). Glad I tried the experiment, but I'm not blown away by this one on 12/12/12. . . .

12-13-2012 02:57:44 | More by Kendo
Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 304 ratings.