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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

308 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 308
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.44%
Wants: 100
Gots: 47 | FT: 4
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: 308 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IceAce
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This Abbey Tripel poured into a beer-clean .5 litre glass provided a little over a two finger collar of foam which dissipated within 90 seconds leaving a quality trail of lace on the glass. The body is a slightly hazy (chill haze or intentional?) and moderately golden in color.

Aroma: True to its roots, this bad boy has a very complex nose. While the initial impression is banana esters (a la true German Hefeweizen), the backgroung is very busy with harmonious backnotes of fruits, yeast, and alcohol. Most positively an olfactory smorgasbord.

Taste: The first impression is simply one word...HUGE! This is a big, big beer with more personalities fighting for attention than Sybil. The banana shines through but the yeast refuses to release its hold on a starring role by adding hints of fruits from faraway islands in the pacific. Dryness in the finish is attributed to hops (Simcoe...Sterling...Saaz?)...just enough to balance but thankfully not enough to overpower.

Mouthfeel: Thanks to a quality malt, the mouthfeel is right in line with some of the best Tripels...and the complexity makes each taste a joy. CO² and yeast are very well balanced giving this beer a smooth coating without undesireable side effects.

Drinkability: Not only is it super today, this brew will (by design) have legs for many years to come. This should be outstanding to sample as a rounded mature offering in about three years.

IceAce, May 10, 2004
Photo of Auracom
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.

Auracom, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of xgrigorix
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Medium amber in colour. Pours with a huge creamy white head, & fast moving lines of carbonation.

Nose is fruity & slightly herby. Something else is going on too - is this the lime leaf?

Big round soft yeast induced orange flavours dominate all over this thing. Some hints of herbiness hide in the background. Medium bodied with robust carbonation.

xgrigorix, Jul 20, 2004
Photo of PSUDREW
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

hmmm how to describe this... part hefe, part dunkle, part belgian triple...very interesting mix, and I am facinated to see how this will taste when I review it again in a couple of years.

It pours a nice golden color, with a frothy head that dissapates rather quickly.

Like I said before, the best way to describe the flavor is that of a mix. It has the sugary/abv taste that you might find in any one of the belgian styles. it has light peppery twist.

no hop presence that I notice, and that easy bananna/citrus taste that I would get from a hefe/dunkle

And, as the lable notes, there is a lime taste, but only present in the aftertaste, (which finish crisp and smooth) and only slightly so. hopefully, it will progress over time, becuase I feel it is a very nice addition.

For the sweet and heavy taste, it is highly drinable. I am rathere interested in what this brew will taste like in a couple of years

PSUDREW, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of hyuga
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

hyuga, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of vma
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%

vma, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of jerz
4/5  rDev +3.4%

jerz, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of CBFanWish
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was lucky enough to hook up with two bottles of this thanks to david23. My buddy and I had a bottle today and are cellaring the other.
So here we are at Fat Andy's house. I poured half into his glass and half into mine. A thick white foamy head bellowed from the glass even with a careful pour. The colour was a hazy pale amber. a fine lace wove throught the glass as I drank it.
I wasn't impressed with the aroma. It was very yeasty to the point it was almost like a white bread. It wasn't too pleasing.
The taste was at first overpowering bannana.The yeast then kicked in to give it a wonderful bannana bread taste. Quite pleasant.
Give it a couple years and it will be close to perfect. I hope I can wait.

CBFanWish, Jun 20, 2004
Photo of ezperkins2
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

ezperkins2, Sep 10, 2012
Photo of Dmann
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another unique brew from Stone. This one poured a clear golden color with a nice white head that left a little lace down the glass. The first scent that jumped out was banana and a peppery scent as the beer warmed. The flavor reminded me slightly of last years VE in the pepper department, but other than that it is totally different. The beer has a very good malty flavor and a fruity(cantelope?) flavor that mix very well. There is not much hops at all which is supprising for a Stone brew, and the 8.5% abv is hidden very well. I can see this beer only getting better with age. Another great offering from our friends at Stone!

Dmann, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of Gaisgeil
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Suprisingly sweet and balanced for a Stone product! Pours a cloudy copper in color with a thin white head that dissapated quickly after the pour. Nose s quite sweet, notes of citrus and other fruit, quite nice actually. Taste is surprisingly light, complex and even a bit mellow to start but then the action begins. Notes of banana, golden raisin, fig and clove are present. The taste is very multi-tiered, one taste hitting right after another, very nice. The bad is that as it warms there is a nasty astringent hoppiness present in the finish and the alcohol really makes itself known.

Not bad overall, but unless kept chilled it's flaws really become a problem to my palate. Not something I'll seek out again.

Slàinte!

Gaisgeil, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Spoils of Charlottesville Run, 4.30.04.

22 oz. bomber

Golden in color with a large, foamy white head after a semi-aggressive pour. A strong aroma of yeast and citrus fruit sweetness.

This is a very interesting beer. The dominant flavor is definitely the banana esters, but they take on a new character in the absence of the strong, wheaty backbone of hefes that I usually associate themn with. The lime leaf adds an almost sour crispness, like biting into a lime. There's also something almost medicinal about that's a little strange, but I like it--maybe not as much as I would have predicted I would, but I like it nonetheless.

Overall, the beer does seem a bit "too fresh." I can't wait to see how it ages if I get the chance--with a little mellowing on the lime and bananas, this could be awesome.

RockyTopHeel, May 06, 2004
Photo of Rothobinide
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Rothobinide, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of DESTRO
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out golden, clear...lively carbonation and produces a thick pillow like head. strong aroma of yeast, smells bready. light citrus notes, a bit "grassy". lightly creamy in the mouth, def. smooth. flavors. slightly sweet, fruity...pineapple and banana. huge yeast character and noticable alcohol bite. light bitterness in the finish, puckering. interesting and pretty damn delicious. not something id have often, but its quality. awesome job dudes.

cant wait to try it as it ages.

DESTRO, May 07, 2004
Photo of Yesdog
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Yesdog, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of rkhaze
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy peach color. Medium sized off white head. Smells of sweet malt, bananas and juicy yellow stone fruits. A hint of clove and that tangy belgian yeast. Nice mixture of aromas, like a cross between a Belgian and a Hefeweizen. Apparently this is what they were shooting for, and they acheived it nicely.
The taste at the start and middle mimiced the great smells. There was an almost bubblegum like hint as well. Unfortunately a raw bitterness showed up mid finish and threw it all out of balance. The lime showed up at the end but more in a bitter zest way, than in a clean citrusy way.
Light bodied with a rich tangy mouthfeel and lots of carbonation.
The harsh bitterness hurt the drinkibility for me.
This tasted young and raw. I like the idea behind it and it should mature into a dynamite beer.

rkhaze, Apr 29, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of talk about limes on the bottle as well as Belgian yeast, interested to see how this tastes.

Light orange with a minimal head.

I sure smell that lime along with banana and clove hefeweizen-like aromas. There's a light "Belgian" aroma too.

Medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation. That lime really shows up carrying a lot of bitterness. This tastes like a strong hefeweizen more than a tripel to me, with all the banana/clove/spice flavors. Definitely Belgian flavors, but the biscuit flavors and lime alter the taste. Very biting lime flavor in the finish.

A good beer, actually fairly refreshing. I question how well this would hold up for 8 years.

A big thanks to Rajendra82 for the trade!

Southernbrew, Aug 31, 2004
Photo of quasimoto
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - It is a deep golden/ light amber color with a nice off white head, A nice stream of carbination is constantly rising from the center. Very pretty.

S - Hoppy.. and what I believe to be cotton candy. Coconut,apple, pineapple, some spices and unfortunatly a little bit of alcohol & band aid in there .

T - The hops are so damn mellow that they blend perfectly with the rest of this brew. The rest being some slight caramel, and nutty malts. Little bit of alcohol.

M - The mouthfeel is nice ands smooth, cool but warmed by the alcohol.

D - This is one hell of a year for this.

quasimoto, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of dmsohyea
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

dmsohyea, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of soper2000
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden/orangish color with a minimum head into my Gulden Draak goblet. Aroma had notes of grass and citrus reminding me of a hefe. Taste was mildly citric with some pleasant notes of yeast and bannana rounding out the palate. Very different from the tripels i've previously had. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Drinakability is decent, alcohol isn't very evident, but the flavor is kind of tiring. A very solid and different brew from Stone.

soper2000, Aug 30, 2004
Photo of WetCoaster
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

WetCoaster, Oct 22, 2004
Photo of winomark
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must first premise this review with the fact that I have not had many Belgian Style Tripels in my life, so I will do the best to describe this beer with my limited experience.

Slightly hazy medium gold with a minimal head. Slow bubbles rise to the top of the glass. Tropical fruit esters; bananas and cloves most dominant. Hints of bubblegum. Acidity up front lends to a thick, candylike palate. Bananas everywhere. Slight citrus tones from the lime leaves. Flavorful and coating mouthfeel, but not too thick. Bright, somewhat acidic finish. I really like the beers from Stone, and this one is no exception. Mostly, this style is difficult for me. Very enjoyable, and I am looking forward to sampling this one over the years.

winomark, Jul 09, 2004
Photo of RenoZymurgist
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!

RenoZymurgist, Jun 20, 2004
Photo of snpub540
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Held out from opening this one for as long as I could...

Poured an orange color, that turned more of an amber when held up to light. Mostly clear with a slight amount of haze. Small white head that fizzled into tiny bubbles on the edge.

Smell was fruity and spicy. Orange and clove are present in my first whiff and I detected some earthiness, which I am guessing is the yeast.

Taste was complex. Some sips I had were bitter like sour apple, while others were more earthy. Dry finish and warming alcohol taste as it goes down.

Mouthfeel felt kind of flat, but I'm guessing thats because of the almost 5 years in the bottle. Very good beer though and I believe it stood up well for its time in the bottle... I'll have to see how it tastes in 2012!

snpub540, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of OlieIPA
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally...the last Belgian of the night...

A; Poured just like the 07' and 08' VE....golden with decent head with minimal lacing.

S: Read my 08' review...less hoppy...seriously.

T: An almost vanilla like sweetness to it...but very light; some pale ale qualities.

M: Normal...nothing special. Good carbonation for a 5-year old beer.

D: Good beer...that's it.

Overall: Try it...but get the 08' if you want to save money. Cheers!

OlieIPA, May 13, 2009
Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.