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2004 Symposium Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
2004 Symposium Ale2004 Symposium Ale

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

33 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.26%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.48% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-16-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by silenius:
Photo of silenius


4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the ever interesting and entertaining Gusler for this one!

It pours a clear brassy golden color with a white pillowy head that dissapates to a thin froth over the top of the glass. A bit of lacing traces its way down as I drink.

This beer reminds me of one of my favorites, Troubadour. A sweet spicy smell with ginger, cloves and cinnamon with a slight bitter herbal quality lurking in the background. Not entirely unlike rumcake. Very interesting.

Taste is definitely on the spicy malty side of the equation with not a lot of hops to speak of. Odd coming from Stone. . . I like this one. These guys make good beer. The clove and ginger spice malt taste lasts and lasts. It finishes with a nice palate cleansing bitterness.

Mouthfeel is frothy and soft. The beer does not feel thick, nor thin. I guess that means it is in the middle somewhere in weight. Nothing too special, but good.

What can I say about drinkability. After one bomber, I'd reach for something else, but that is not to say I am knocking this beer. One of these is enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2004 01:55:19 | More by silenius
More User Reviews:
Photo of GRG1313


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

09-05-2013 23:45:57 | More by GRG1313
Photo of TrustOneSip


4/5  rDev +4.7%

07-14-2012 03:01:13 | More by TrustOneSip
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/30/12 notes. Big thanks to drabmuh for sharing this one.

a - Pours a murky yellow orange color with a few white bubbles and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready mlts and some caramel malts, with some light yeast. A big faded and weak, pretty average.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, yeast, bready malts, and caramel malts. A step up from the nose, a little bit stronger.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent beer but seems a bit faded at this point. Nose is a bit weak and the carbonation is low. Would suggest drinking now if you have a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2012 17:26:30 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Thorpe429


3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh at the Stone tasting. Served in a Stone goblet.

Pours golden with a thin white head and some spotty lacing on the way down. The nose brings some pilsner malt plus a bit of yeasty spice and a touch of fruitiness. The flavor is a bit spicy with good carbonation carrying some flavor through, though honestly there's not much left to this one. Body is light to medium with a somewhat-dry finish. Past its prime, no doubt. Still, thanks to Matt for finding this one and sharing.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 11:06:30 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of drabmuh


3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the Stone tasting the other day, beer served in a Stone glass. Beer is yellow and clear with a white head, small bubbles, low retention, some lacing.

Aroma is mildly sweet, a little yeasty, not much there.

Beer is light tomedium in body, mildly sweet, some carbonation, a little dry on the finish, some earthiness in there, eh. Maybe this beer is just a little old but I'm not really enjoying it.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 19:12:29 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by drabmuh, who loves Stone. Thanks Matt.

The beer is mostly clear and light orange in color. The aroma brings faded pale ale, with some caramel malt, basement, light toffee. Not nearly as bad as I thought. That said, this is past its prime, unless you particularly enjoy old tasting brews. Mild alcohol with dank malt, maybe rain water. Like lapping up a puddle in a deserted California alley when you are too drunk to find fresh water. Fun.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 01:38:03 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Floydster


3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle purchased a long time ago down in San Diego, consumed 2/23/09, reviewed from notes, split with my dad, poured into my Duvel tulip glass, color is a hazy yellow, fairly murky for its style, 3/4 inch soapy white head with decent retention, minimal lacing, aroma is light hops, lemon juice, grassy accents, Belgian yeast, floral accents, light spice, and citrus, you can tell by its flavor that it was brewed with a few different yeasts as it goes from sweet to bready to earthy all because of those strains, starts off a little sweeter than expected with a big lemon and orange presence, some bread in the middle, sweet yeast and mild dryness in the finish balance each other out, sweetens up as it mellows, also more fruit comes out along with a mild earthiness, mouthfeel is all over the place and the beer suffers a bit from it, more sweet and bread-like than anything though, medium bodied, still a moderate to slightly high level of carbonation, could have drank the bomber myself, light on the stomach, balanced for the most part, not too high in alcohol and not boozy at all, glad to finally tried this, probably held off for too long and should have drank it as fresh as possible but it still held up quite well, this brew is a little over four years now since it was brewed for the Craft Brewers Conference in 2004, still good and would still drink again, not to mention is brewed by three fantastic brewers: Tomme Arthur, Peter from Alesmith, and Lee Chase, recommended

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 05:08:30 | More by Floydster
Photo of HopHead84


3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old notes from a tasting. Pours pale golden with a one inch head with decent retention and lacing. Aroma is faintly spicy with some lemon notes and yeast. Some cardboard notes were noticeable so this one is past its prime. The oxidization imparted the same cardboard notes in the flavor. Taste is quite yeast, with notes of lemon, apricot, and spices. Alcohol is noticeable in the finish. Light bodied with good carbonation and a dry mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 23:23:26 | More by HopHead84
Photo of weeare138


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog...

Appears a hazy, light gold with a small white cap that slowly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of light notes of tart nectarines, apricots, and grassy hops.
Taste echoes the aromas with doughy bread, vanilla, spices, and fruit with a citrusy blend.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, acrid, and slightly oxidized...overall though, it stood up well over the past 4 years.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2008 01:07:26 | More by weeare138
Photo of t0rin0


3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The impression I got from this was that its more of a white ale than anything else. In any case its definitely past its prime.

It poured a white/yellow color with some white head that didn't last too long. Still plenty of carbonation.

The smell was fruity and yeasty but also oxidized for sure. The cardboard smell was just as strong as the belgian/german yeast smells coming through.

The taste was a bit wheaty and spicy which was nice. But the oxidized and aged malt combination wasn't very good. I'm sure it was delightful beer when it was new but its old now.

Drinkable but thats about it. Mouthfeel is very thin. Not too impressive at 4 years old.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 20:53:18 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Boolshot


4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Simply delicious. Mild malt, banana, clove, spice, caramel and sugar are all evident. Unlike most Stone brews which are over the top (In a good way!) this one is so smooth and understated. From the first wonderful smell out of the glass, to the silky swallow, this is a winner!

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2006 04:54:26 | More by Boolshot
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured an hazy golden color ale with small head with minimal retention. Aroma of coriander is clearly evident. Taste is very Belgian-lie with lots of coriander, Belgian yeast and some distinctive Stone hops. Body is way too thin for my liking and maybe is a bit oxidized. OK, but I’m sure those three brewers have produced better things in the past.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2005 15:56:03 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Belgian style ale, tastes more like a Stone than anyone else. Drinkable and interesting, and could finish the whole bottle myself over a multi-couse meal, me thinks. Liked the colour,liked the head, the complete mouthfeel.Radekfest #6 courtesy of Josh Oakes.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2005 22:04:35 | More by Sammy
Photo of BrewMaster


3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beautiful creamy white head made up of small bubbles. The head is creamy and just right. The color is a glowing, semi-transparent yellowish/orange color. This is a very pretty beer.

Smell: Sweet, malty aroma with a touch of apple.

Taste: This beer starts with a weird vegetable taste that I can't quite pick out. It's short-lived on the front of the beer but still noticable. Otherwise the beer proceeds to be fruity and sweet with a nice malty finish.

Mouthfeel: It coats the palate with some uncomfortable stickiness and a sour aftertaste. It's also unexpectedly thin at the end.

Drinkability: What to say about this beer. It's decent, but it's not great. I doubt I would order it again if there were other choices.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2005 23:21:21 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of OStrungT


3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours light gold with a white head. The head fades relatively quickly leaving a decent lacing. It has a citrus, fruity aroma. It smells of spices. It tastes mild. The fruit flavor is strong with a citrus aftertaste. The taste of hops are present. You can taste the alcohol also. It goes down smooth. It is a little too carbonated. This beer has a dry finish to it. This beer would probably be a good session beer, if you could get it. It took me a little while to track it down. I actually had to call the regional distributor. Ultimately, it was a decent beer that I would probably drink again.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2005 01:20:36 | More by OStrungT
Photo of winomark


4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale gold with a nice sticky off-white head and lots of streaming bubbles. Great tropical esters control the nose. Nice citrus tones also present. Mildly sweet on the nose. Amazingly balanced. Malty and yeasty esters are most noticable, with a nice hop bitterness and some citrus zestiness. Great mouthfeel, amazingly flavorful and coating, but not heavy by any means. A really nice beer overall. Balanced, but with some nice twists. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2004 14:32:13 | More by winomark
Photo of bultrey

New York

3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden hazy straw color with a 1-inch head that recedes to a constant thin head. Nice lacing with this sticky brew. Smell is bananas mixed with some herbaceousness. The taste is a big, sweet, blonde monster up front, with some white fruit characteristics like peach, pineapple and banana. But the sweetness is quickly tempered by a strange herbal/vegetative flavor that I can only assume comes from the lemongrass with which this beer is claimed to be brewed. I don't really like this vegetative flavor, and it makes an otherwise pleasant Belgian strong pale slightly less enjoyable. Mouthfeel is good -- rich and creamy. I've had worse Belgian strong pales, but I've definitely had better.

Kudos to EyeChartBrew and mzwolinski for the opportunity to try this hard-to-find brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2004 22:42:01 | More by bultrey
Photo of rajendra82


3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bomber came to me via a trade from Eyedrinkale. The body was pale yellow, with a creamy off-white head. The aroma was bananas and lemons. The taste was soft and spicy (cloves, ginger, pepper) with a sweet (bananas, peach) and tart (lemon peel) dryness. The mouthfeel was clean and smooth, with a bit of a puckering astringency in the aftertaste. This is a by the numbers Belgian style beer, that does not pull anything spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2004 03:22:24 | More by rajendra82
Photo of feloniousmonk


4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy light orange, transparent at the bottom, topped with a light, fizzy layer of suds...aroma, zesty, citric, spicy, smelling like a witbier, I'd have to say...yeasty...lemon and orange peel, juicy and lively...nice...
Taste...light, smooth, with a hoppy, bitter bite that clings on the palate, maybe a bit longer than I'd like. ABV speaks up a bit loudly than I expected...hmm, is it a double wit, a brand new style name I just came up with?...or a boozier Belgian pale? Hmmm...quite an interesting concoction...mellows out around the middle, and then it's sweet, juicy, boozy...nice enough beer here.

Much thanks to the Bummy One for the oppurtunity to try it!

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2004 03:51:31 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy and golden body. Decent sticky white head. Mostly yeasty nose wears light flowers trace. Fruity (apples, cantaloup, oranges), hay-ish and slightly earthy. A bit hot on the palate as seems to be the trend with most of stone’s belgian line. Cookie-ish maltiness. A sweeter Duvel meets a lighter and drier Horny Devil. Light-medium body, moderate carbonation. Spicy hops gives lenght to the finish in a peppery fashion because it seems rather short otherwise. Could mask its alcohol a bit better.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2004 22:03:45 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of Bighuge


4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden appearance. Big and airy crown of foam. Retention is outstanding. Lacing is very full. Streams of CO2 rise rapidly from the bottom of my glass. Nice damn aroma. Yeasty doughiness and peppery, spicy character. A little phenolic. Taste is mellow and delicate. Cookie dough and yeasty esters are primary. Some saaz hop bite. A little peppery. Phenolics are present to a small degree. Nice flavor. The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and smooth. Body is about light-medium or so. Pretty good.

Thanks Bum.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2004 04:59:37 | More by Bighuge
Photo of RoyalT


4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Nice, thick, cloudy orange body with a beautiful white pillowy head that showed great retention.

Smell – Nice bitter orange rind aroma complimented with some wonderful spices and a good yeast backbone. I can pick up some sharp coriander and clove and something powdery, like maybe allspice or something. There are also some nice, light, summer fruits in here along with a touch of mediciny alcohol.

Taste – Ah, the aroma from the nose comes out nicely at the taste. There’s a bit more hop balance on the tongue, but otherwise I’m getting a yeasty backbone, some good spices, light fruiting, a touch of medicinal alcohol, and a beautiful BSPA orange rindiness.

Mouthfeel – A solid medium in the body with some good, live carbonation. The finish is dry with a remembrance of alcohol.

Drinkability – I let this set out for almost an hour before drinking it, so it was quite warm and very tasty. I don’t know what all the (negative) fuss on the site is about – this is a killer BSPA.

Comments – I can’t begin to express my gratitude to AleOha for this bottle. Not only did he host the biggest and baddest Kentucky Derby Day Bash I’ve ever been to, he sent me on my way with not one but two of these rarities. Thanks for all your hospitality and this very thoughtful gift.

What can I say? BAs rule!

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2004 01:46:31 | More by RoyalT
Photo of aracauna


3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

When I tasted this, I really thought it was supposed to be something light. I’m a bit surprised to find out that its a Belgian Strong ale. Odd. Kind of like a wheat wine, but not that big. Vanilla, caramel, nice clean malt. The vanilla is real enough that I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had actually used vanilla. Light flavor and body are quite tasty, actually.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2004 06:34:31 | More by aracauna
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lively golden peachy look in the goblet. Decent white head on the pour leaves the brew rapidly with just a white sheen.Hints of key lime, lemon peel and sweet malt in the nose. Fruity (jucey fruit) and sweet upfront with waves of citrus and a hint of caramel. The brew then becomes drier and slightly hoppy on the finish. Very rounded and clean. Medium viscous mouth. A nice balenced brew... quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2004 02:19:17 | More by frank4sail
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2004 Symposium Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.