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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic AleStone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

299 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.79%


Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark 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 no spices in the brewing of this beer. If you've tasted the beer before reading this, that may surprise you. The special Belgian yeast we used adds a distinctively spicy aroma and flavor. Roastiness, clove, hops, fruitiness, and those other great and funky phenols abound in the nose. What's in the flavor? You certainly get some dark roasted malts and alcohol overtones. What else? Hints of earthiness, chocolate/cocoa, hop spiciness, maybe even anise, and ... the incredible variety of complexities from the classic brewing ingredients of barley malt, hops, yeast and water, when applied with an artistic brewer's talent never ceases to amaze.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 05-06-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 214 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jeffjfindley
jeffjfindley

California

4.88/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Last week I struck gold at Valley Beverage in Sherman Oaks. Ruby to black in body with a head the color of parchment. The smell is absolutely alive with rich, chocolatey malts and dancing hops.

Upon consumption, one's tongue is caressed with cocoa and roasted malt. Later this gives way to a brilliant splash of hops, and a hint of anise. The mouthfeel is balanced to perfection, and with a sweet, mellow numbing sensation.

I went back to the store tonight and bought what remained of this beer. The last year in it's bottle has treated it very well, and I can't wait to see what it'll be like in '07. I have my doubts as to whether it will make it much further than that. I got lucky on this one, and wish you well in finding some yourself!

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2006 06:21:20 | More by jeffjfindley
Photo of FARGO619
FARGO619

California

4.88/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serverd from a 22oz. bottle shared with some good friends.

A: Dark brown with a slight lighter head retention that went down slowly. Good carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel with some cherry-like flavor.

T: Malt, caramel, slight sweet, very easy to drink. Drank at 55degrees, and the taste got sweeter as the sips went along.

M-Light body with great carbonation.

Can't wait to try this again.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 13:01:49 | More by FARGO619
Photo of soper2000
soper2000

Texas

4.8/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The third Vertical Epic for me in my beer adventures. Picked up from the Hop Shop in Indianapolis. I was originally planning on aging the 03 and 04 epics but that didn't work, so I just plan on consuming the 05's as soon as the need strikes.

Pours a nice ruby tinged brown with a slow beige head. The head diminishes but doesn't disappear. Nose has a nice earthy Brasserie Caracole property. It's a warm wet woodiness that I find in all of Caracole's beer and now i'm finding it in Stone's offering. Notes of plum and raisin remain in the background. A slight yeasty spiciness becomes prevalent in the nose as the beer warms. Taste is quite interesting to me. It starts off with a slight roastiness fading sweetly into the dark fruit categories. Plums, figs, and raisins invade the palate until something brillantly shocking takes over; grey tea! The hints of tea from the still fresh amarillos (?) give this beer an amazing refreshing quality. (see Three Floyd's Pride and Joy for more of this tea flavor) Alcohol is only detectable in the warmth this beer gives while sliding down the back of your throat. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. Drinkability is insanely great.

This is an absolute masterpiece. Superbly complex, yet drinkable at the same time. Stone outdid theirselves on this one. I love the combination of fresh bold American hops with traditional Belgian styling. A+

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2005 02:04:50 | More by soper2000
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby color, bright at sides, with a long-lasting, creamy tan head. Nice.

in the nose: ah...warm, soft, fruity, rich, malty, toffeeish, enticing...delicious...alive and invigorating...much appreciated.

...and smooth and tasty on the tongue, as well. Big, fat malty taste, nary a squeak out of hops...molasses, hint of anise, caramel...richness at play on the palate. Damnably tasty! And the high abv keeps quiet, at least, so far...

I'd love it if this were a regular brew, that I could down anytime I felt. It straddles a special place between abbey dubbel and baltic porter, with a kiss of coffee/chocolate/oatmeal/nut brown stout...if you know what I mean...yummy!

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 10:11:50 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured a small white head with a brown “root beer” like body.

The nose was a mix of alcohol, pungent musk like dark ripe fruits, apple cider, apples and phenols.

My notes say “crazy taste” Citrus hops and a Belgian dark strong ale phenolic touch. Big carbonation with a medium to full body. Dark chocolate, and molasses. Ripe dark fruits. A very sweet beer. A big bitterness, not at all overpowering, but it sits well. The amarillo citrus hop gives just a faint hint of citrus without the bite and for some reason blends amazingly well against the dark fruits, chocolate and characteristic Belgian flavors.

Basically it’s like this, “oh my fucking god is this a good beer!!!” Really an amazing beer. A perfect blend of big American malty strong ales or an IPA with a Belgian dubbel or abbey ale. This is what I would imagine a black and tan made with arrogant bastard and chimay blue to taste.

The scary thing about this beer is although it tastes great now you can just picture it aging just as well.
I loved the 03 VE, but this may be the new leader in the battle of Vertical Epics. I don’t know how 06-12 will be able to improve on this.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2005 07:30:50 | More by taez555
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a dark reddish amber. A light tan head forms but quickly fades away leaving random lacing behind.

Aroma - molasses, chocolate, fig, a fine fine nose.

Taste - molasses, black licorice, dark sugars, all with a light roasted covering. A most distinctive tasting beer, unlike any in memory. There is a slight, slight funky feel in there somewhere, I can't pin it down though. Following the swallow is a brief coffee flavor imediately followed by some moderate hop flavor. The sweetness prevails but there is plenty of flavor to experience. The flavors are not real contiguous but as I said, this is a very interesting beer to taste.

Mouthfeel - full, thick and luciously smooth. Carbonation serves to further spice up the flavor and the hops.

Drinkability - the abv is barely noticeable here, but becomes more evident with warmth. Still, what a unique beer, I am very curious to see what aging will do to this.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2006 06:06:52 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of cabsandking
cabsandking

Ohio

4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with ruby highlights and a thick milky tan head that fades but maintains some large surface bubbles. Rich, deep nose of mostly carob and dark dried fruits, with toffee and licorice mixed in. Deliciously deep flavors here, dark roasted malts, dark fruits, belgian yeast tartness, clove, and midway through some anise spiciness that numbs the palate a little. Mouthfeel is a very nice medium consistency that is cloying and a little oily...coats and lingers.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 16:43:47 | More by cabsandking
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.63/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fiery dark bronze with molten lava edges that becomes deep, blood red when backlit. The head is golden ecru in color, firmly creamy in texture and is stubbornly persistent. In other words, typical Stone quality. Although it looks to be an extraordinary lacer early on, roughly half of the initially thick blanket melts away in the end. This is still great looking beer and is easily the equal of the Epics that preceded it.

I've been enjoying the nose from afar ever since the pour. Thankfully, it smells like a BSDA; never a certainty when it comes to American versions of this classically Belgian style. With no added spices, all I can say is that the yeast strain was an inspired choice. It provides complexity to a beer that wasn't going to get it from any of the other ingredients. The nose is mildly cocoa-like, dark fruity and clove spicy. My reservations about a lack of power and depth no longer apply once the beer has had the opportunity to lose its initial chill.

Excellent beer! Epic 05.05.05 tastes like a bona fide, world-class BSDA and is far away my favorite beer of the series. My first thought upon tipping the glass up was how beautifully integrated and harmonious the flavor profile is. I have a habit of drinking these Epics at about one year of age (1 year, 4 months in this case) and even though I didn't sample this one when it was young and brash, it's obvious that time has been kind.

The chocolatey, well-roasted maltiness would be reminiscent of a big, bruising doppelbock if it wasn't for the intriguing, spicy splendor of the yeast. How is it possible that a malt bill that contains roughly 90% pale malt, 9% caramel malt and only 1% chocolate wheat malt results in a beer that tastes this dark and fudge-like? Pureed dates and figs keep it deliciously fruity and well away from stout territory.

Amarillo hops seem like an odd choice for a BSDA. Given the malt dominance, their tangerine fruitiness isn't really appreciated (although I might pick up a twist of orange on the finish), but their bitterness is needed to offset the candi sugar, which it does with perfection. Sweet and bitter are both well accounted for, with sweet exerting its dominance from start to finish.

I flat out love the mouthfeel. Love. It. It's full and lush and velvety and sticky and melted chocolate gooey and is everything that I love about big beer mouthfeels. Frankly, it's the highlight of a beer that is full of highlights. I've just realized that I haven't commented on alcohol's role in the flavor profile. What alcohol?

Stone Vertical Epic 05.05.05 is an outstanding BSDA... right now! I have no idea how it will taste in 2012 (I can't wait to find out), but it's hard to imagine how it could be a better beer in six years than it is now. If I had had the foresight to purchase a case of this heavenly ale, it would have taken every ounce of my self control not to drain each and every bomber over the next few months. The best of the series by a country mile and the only one (so far) that can truly be considered epic.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2006 22:02:23 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.63/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great example of a North American Belgian style beer that cellars exceptionally well. The smoothness and complexity of flavours involved are a real treat and I suspect the cellar has something to do with it. Dark brown ,almost black with some reddish highlights, the nose is one of toffee and dried fruit. The hops are still apparent though in the background compared to most stone beers. The finish is complex and much like an old Rochefort 10. Great beer

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2007 00:22:24 | More by canucklehead
Photo of OStrungT
OStrungT

California

4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark red, with a ruby like tint to it. The head is brown, thick and creamy. There is a very slight orange tint to it. It fades very slowly. It dosent look like it will ever go away. It leaves thick laces. Very impressive. It smells hoppy. It has a strong clove aroma. It also smells quite sweet, and fruity. It tastes strongly of cloves. Very clovelike. It tastes malty with a good hop balance. It also had a slight plum or raisin taste to it. This beer goes down very smooth. It is carbonated to perfection. It leaves a spicy aftertaste on the palate. It is a full bodied beer. The alcohol content is only slightly high, 8.5 %, so this might make a decent session beer.This one is definately a winner. If you ever see it, buy a few. I am going to buy some more as soon as possable. It will age very well.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2005 01:03:15 | More by OStrungT
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a tough nut to crack. Dark brown in color with a surprisingly dark tan head -- moderate in size. Has strong dark ale written all over it.

The aroma, however, is surprisingly light and fruity. The fruits are more tropical than plum-like, with notes of bubble gum, banana and grape. More trippelish than the appearance would suggest.

And then there's the flavor. More bubblegummy candi sugar flavors up front, which yield in the mid-palate and re-emerge briefly in the aftertaste. All kinds of yeasty characters to the flavor here -- they contribute much more to the overall flavor than either the malt or the hops, the the former is certainly more dominant than the latter. Nice roasted malt/burnt sugar flavors emerge in the finish and linger nicely into the aftertaste, giving the beer an almost smoky character.

Fairly creamy in the mouthfeel, and there's certainly a lot of big flavors going on here. Nevertheless, the beer doesn't feel heavy at all. Weird.

This is really good. Probably my favorite of the series so far. Can't wait to see how it develops!

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2005 02:00:37 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82

Nebraska

4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was acquired from a trade with mentor. Thanks alot. This is a great american belgian, especially considering last year's disappointment.

The beer pours to a dark nutty brown with a slight ruby hue. A nice creamy tan head forms and stays at about a centimeter throughout the drink. A spotty lacing forms, but most of it washes back down.

The smell is very spicy and grainy. Amazing that the bottle says no spices were added. That yeast has worked some magic. Also a bit of berry. Very nice.

The taste is great. Doesn't taste like candi sugar overdose, which is great. Dry with an intense yeasty spice. A lot of clove as well, and even the slightest hint of banana. Sweet and toasty caramel grainy up front with some berry esters but dries out quickly with a spiced hop and mild alcohol finish. Great stuff.

The body is fairly big, and the spices, alcohol, and hops are intense combined with the dryness. All these things mixed with the carbonation unleashed a barrage of interesting flavors washing over my palate.

I wish I had more of this. I'm sure this one could stand up for 6 more years, and I would love to sample its progress in between.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2006 06:10:43 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of ZX6Chris
ZX6Chris

California

4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared at a Vertical Epic tasting with my friend Armand. This and the 03.03.03 were my favorites.

A-Very dark brown color, tight white/brownish head. Great carbonation.

S-Dark cherry sweet aroma. Carmel aroma.

T-I get alot of carmel flavor from this one too. I don't get alot of anything else but I like the flavors I get.

M-Light body with great carbonation.

D-I wish I had more of these! I could drink these all day.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 01:36:33 | More by ZX6Chris
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one is magnificent! The body is a dark, dirty brown in color and topped with a gorgeous brownish-white head. The head stayed up for a time and left some awesome pits on top of the liquid.

Smell – The rich Belgian malts are mixed with a smooth, baker’s-type of chocolate that give this bouquet a heavenly scent. The fruits are dark and open up as the ale warms. The even, ever-present yeast though is what does it for me. They really did an excellent job with that aspect of the nose. This is just marvelous!

Taste – Yes, heaven-sent this is. The malts are so smooth and so yeasty. The chocolate is mellow and perfectly blended. The fruits pull back a bit from the smell and are replaced by some serious sugars. The finish is a dry Hershey’s Chocolate Kiss.

Mouthfeel – This is almost full in the mouth with a bit of dryness at the finish. There is no indication of the high ABV and the flavors are blended nicely, although this ale is certainly a cellaring candidate.

The carbonation really did it for me here. It is substantial yet delicately playful, keeping the drinker almost constantly entertained. It is fluffy and light in the mouth, which I just love to no end.

Drinkability – I think two years in the cellar will make this my first perfect 5.0 Belgian Ale (from Cali, of course – hahahaha). Right now though it is very drinkable. It’s so smooth and delicious you almost feel guilty drinking it alone (yet you will).

Comments – My personal preference with the style is a concentration on the yeast with a very complex presentation. I like my BSDA’s well structured and rarely cellar them, although as I said I may make an exception in this case. Regardless, the mouthfeel and flavors of this ale are top notch. They hit the proverbial nail on the head with this effort.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2005 03:33:37 | More by RoyalT
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light brown but parks in the glass a dark cherrywood tar with a low watt lamp glow. Firm, yellow-tanned creamy froth sits about a half inch tall, folds down to a light skim and skinny collar. Microcosmicly thin sheeting is placed ever so lightly around the edge with some normal looking ink blobs sticking in a few areas.

Aroma is airy and pleasantly rounded in a soft display of tootsie roll chocolate, tender black licorice spice, plum, pale raisin, and the lightest of light hint of raspberry.

Taste plays a little bit different then what the aroma leads to with more of a pale nut and light enduced roasty realm mixing with a milder tone of dark fruity malts. Banana, dull plum, even more so dulled raisin, slender nut bread and doughy hints of sweetness with puffs of dark cherry, licorice, and anise on the back end trailing into very deep and dark tanged molasses hangs on to a dry airy roast of an empty coffee can. Very subtle flavors continue to emerge and layer into some fairly complex characteristics as slick dark chocolate mingles into some of the flavors once it warms, as does alcoholic esters and dry yeast effects. Beautifully subtle and soft.

Feel is about medium with just the right amount of give and take on the carbonation as its mildly effervescent and malty rich with smooth, soft, and slippery tones. Ghostly dark in character without giving away the farm with over abundant flavors or body. Its subtlety is amazingly complex and rich with style. Damn good stuff! Appreciation is in full mode for this finely crafted brew.

Super large and in charge thanks to warriorsoul for the acquisition!

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2005 02:30:21 | More by tavernjef
Photo of leedorham
leedorham

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's been almost 2 years for this one. I don't think the others will make it to 2012.

Pours a very dark reddish brown. Heavy on the red. The light coming through the snifter casts a maroon circle on my counter. Minimal head but keeps such throughout.

Smell is slightly alcoholic and sweet. A bit of licorice.

At first sip this is a very smooth beer. I do not get any of the chocolate or roasted character advertised. Very citrusy and sweet to my palate. Reminds me of marmalade. As I get below 50% and the temperature rises the licorice really comes out and is the dominant taste by the end. Really a journey of tastes.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2007 21:57:36 | More by leedorham
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger

South Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 12.12.12
Celebrating the Vertical Epic Series

P: Deep clear amber body with a huge creamy copper tone head that stay with it for a spell. Beautiful looking beer.

S: Burnt molasses, dark roasted coffee, candied banana, toffee, and bready yeast.

T/M: Follows the nose with some additional fruit profiles, figs, raisins, chocolate orange, smoked barley, old leather, and dark bread. Has a nice aged flavor that compliments the complex layers that develop throughout. Once warmed even more chocolate, toffe and coffee flavors arrive and add another level of complexity. Medium creamy body with clean finish of chocolate, cocoa and aged wood.

O: Wow this has everything and continues to challenge the palate with layer upon layers of flavors and complexity. With the multitude of flavors I would expect a sloppy mess but this has developed nicely and aged to perfection. This was my favorite of all the Veryical Epics. Glad I was able to try this.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2012 19:07:26 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very unusual brew.
Pours a dark, dark red amber...chill cloudy...with a half finger head that melts quickly to nothing...no lacing.
Aroma is sweet malt, raisins, dried fruit, light cinamon spice.
Taste is sweet mostly raisins, prunes, dried fruit, cinammon spice (like aroma) followed with a slight hops bitter aftertaste. Definately a toasted almost smoked malt flavor hidden in here.
Mouthfeel is rich and smooth with tiny tingly carbonation and light alcohol burn as you swallow.
Aftertaste lingers of both sweet raisin and bitter hops with warming alcohol. No alcohol taste,.... just warmth.
Very interesting and distinctive. I'm looking forward to trying a vertical tasting between the 04, 05, and 06 later this year.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2006 03:51:19 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of cbl2
cbl2

New York

4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

5/23/2005 $6.49 22 oz. 8.50% Intended to last until at least 12.12.12.

Appearance:

Pours a dark brown, almost black that lets through just a touch of light to yield a ruby red backdrop. Adorned by a light tan head that rapidly dissipates. Nicely carbonated.

Aroma:

Caramelly sweet with notes of ripe fig. Hints of cocoa, nutmeg & licorice. I can't believe no spicing was used to brew this.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Very complex with flavors including, but not limited to (in no particular order): figs, chocolate, coffee, nutmeg, sherry, anise. Nicely sweetened, with just a touch of bitterness to temper it. Alcohol is present, but nicely masked.

Stone has done it again, churning out yet another world class beer! The flavors they are capable of wringing from nothing more than water, malts, hops and yeast are phenomenal. I can't wait until 12.12.12.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2006 16:28:38 | More by cbl2
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very dark amber color with garnet highlights; with over three years under its belt, I suspect the head is no longer what it used to be but it does produce a bit of lacing as it quickly fades to a ringlet

Smell: Dark fruit dominates, primarily figs and prunes; caramel, brown sugar and hints of anise

Taste: Rum-soaked dark fruit opens the fray, with bitter zest arriving by mid-palate (its Stone after all); rich caramel spice cake; after the swallow, the flavors mellow into a subdued but complex mix, with deep undertones

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This beer has held up remarkably well; one has to wonder why Stone doesn't brew a BSDA as part of its regular line-up

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 00:45:59 | More by brentk56
Photo of beercollector
beercollector

Oregon

4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a case last weekend. This one pours with a large creamy lasting off white head. It has good lacing and clear body. A pleasant dark brown.

The initial smell is molasses or carmel. There is also a light hop odor. The first taste had a medium body and soft carbonation. You can tell this one has some alcohol.

The flavor is moderatley sweet molasses with a light bitterness. I expect this one will hold for a good aging.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2005 21:19:16 | More by beercollector
Photo of ChillMike
ChillMike

Alabama

4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brownish red with a nice tan head and lots and lots of lacing, good looking beer. Upon smelling I’m overcome by raisins, dough and malt. The main flavors I get out of this are dough and raisin, not as hoppy as I’ve come to expect out of Stone brews but still a very nice taste, ooh just noticed a very nice chocolaty flavor as well. Huge bouquet of flavors here! Not a beer I could drink every night or more than one of but wow I really ejoyed this.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2006 05:00:38 | More by ChillMike
Photo of tonytuffnuts
tonytuffnuts

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this after clearing my mouth of a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc (Cakebread Cellar, one of the best American wines of its kind). So I'm riding a high, although Sauvignon Blancs are not a particularly prestigious style.

Out of the bomber it pours into a wonderfully dark brown/black (a shade blacker than the bottle itself) body with an 1/8 in. buff head. The pin-prick sized, pearly bubbles dissapate, leaving a residual ring around the edges of my glass and a faint lace.

What a wonderful smell! I've pinned the first impression as low-alcohol Rum. Maybe it's the hint of molasses or the bourbon-cask character? More precisely: warm, syrupy caramel trounced in cocoa, sugar-coated plum, and a faint floral hops.

A delightful taste that may not do justice to the smell's harbinger. Burnt toffe and sugar; Fig Newtons. Imagine the raisins in banana foster minus the banana influence. Cartainly ends with a spice's bite, cinnamon or nutmeg.

The burnt malt isn't quite chalky, but it's palpable and enveloped by an oily mouthfeel. I find this enveloping characteristic of American (as opposed to authentic Belgian) SDA's; a restrained "big beer." Lastly, a delicate carbonation ushers in the bitter hop finish and a spice upon the middle of my tounge.

Stone may be my go-to brewer, and I'm again impressed by the complex effrevescence and wonderful malt that I expect from them. It's a rich beer, but I still think I could go for one a night, sitting in a silk bathrobe in front of a fireplace in the mountains... delightful.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2006 07:09:44 | More by tonytuffnuts
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer emerges from the 22-ounce brown bottle a cloudless mahogany with an impressive semi-creamy light tan head, as it erodes the resultant lace forms a fine curtain to drape the glass. Nose is rich in malt with sweet plum like aromas, earthy aroma of Belgian yeast, citrus like in its crispness, fresh, with the start rich in malt and somewhat sweet, the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is meaningful in its acidity, the hops delectable and the aftertaste dry and long lasting, so far of the Epics I’ve sampled this is my favorite, damn just think how good this will be in coming years.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 17:03:57 | More by Gusler
Photo of unklesyd
unklesyd

Oregon

4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a couple bottles on the release date and put 'um in the beer cooler. A few weeks later, I was in Whole Foods and a guy from Stone was there giving samples. I grabbed one of the VE's and got really excited. My plans for storing them went out the window.

I drank a Chimay Blue yesterday, and I figured that the weather here warranted another excursion into the BDSA category, so with little else to do, I cracked this one.

The color was similar to the Chimay, although it was a bit darker, and no sediment traces. Matte:glossy::Chimay:Stone for you analogists. Very small head as well when compared to the Belgian.

Taste was excellent and easily drinkable. Hoppier than the standard Belgian dark, but well balanced. Not quite so nutty as the usual, a bit more bite, but still restrained. The ABV was well hidden until 10 minutes in, when the warm-up hit my esophogas. What a glorious sensation in any event. I know that I'm dealing with a quality brew when I get this.

There was no hurry to finish, but not because I wanted to move on, nor because it was abhorrent. The desire to savour was natural and inclinational based on the brew; came from our symbiance, not from me, not from it. Tra-la-la.

Nice brew, great experience, and I'm Oh So Happy that I have another bottle of this in the fridge for another day.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2005 23:11:02 | More by unklesyd
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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.