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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 chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At 2014 Most Arrogant Bar Bash (Barleys in Greenvillle,SC)

Pours black and opaque, with a good head.

This slr shows obvious barrel aging effects, including a smooth feel and well blended flavors. It's warm with an estery finish and aftertaste; otherwise the high ABV is well hidden. Flavors include vanilla, toffee, dried fruit and light spicing. Semi-dry finish.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2014 04:34:31 | More by chinchill
Photo of scootny
scootny

New York

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very dark brown liquid. Light khaki head. Nice lacing.

Nose has malt and chocolate with a heavy fruit component. Figs and dates with Belgian yeast. Caramel and faint alcohol.

Taste is like a hybrid Belgian stout/dubbel. Chocolate and coffee followed by a heavy fig and plum fruitiness. Some malt and grains. Molasses and alcohol. Finish is dry and earthy with a lingering light tannic sourness.

Feel is thick and viscous, well carbonated.

Pretty good stuff. I like the mocha rubble/stout thing

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 02:24:44 | More by scootny
Photo of blindtiger24
blindtiger24

Colorado

3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Claret colored, splotchy head.

S: Rum raisin smell that signals a boozy flavor.

T: Gingerbread and raisin flavor.

M: Sweet, boozy, warming mouthfeel that is creamy.

O: Raisin flavors and smells are not the most enticing. Nice mouthfeel and appearance.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2014 20:24:40 | More by blindtiger24
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eight year old Five poured like a flat Coca Cola as the color was definitely that of Coke but the head failed to rise significantly.

The aroma held wine or port like qualities with a lot of fermented dark fruit and a meaty savory scent.

The flavor is fantastic as it holds strong toffee notes, peanut brittle, caramel malt, dry port wine and buckwheat.

The feel is smooth, a little full and surprisingly crisp.

This was a really interesting ride from normal Strong Dark Ales and really ran the opposite way of expectation. Aging did this Ale very well.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 21:52:59 | More by KYGunner
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a teku)
Drank on 3/31/13
A- This beer pours a hazy light walnut brown body with a bubbly light tan head and a strong carbonation that pops to the surface.

S- The hint of sherry and wet old wood has a light sweet malt note and a butter hint in the finish. Some soft cellar notes come through as it grows.

T- The nice soft malt flavor has note of toffee and a cherry stone note with a sugar flavor that is not really sweet. There are some dark ester notes with a sherry quality growing as it opens. There is a dry wood and slightly pungent herbal note in the finish. It also has a hint of brine as it that takes on an iodine hint but it fades and a tart hint shows up.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noticed and a tight fizz that slows over time. There is a slight slippery texture aswell.

O- This has nice yeast and malt characteristics with a bitterness that fades in the finish and some nice biere de garde cellar characteristics that are tasty but a bit hard to describe.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 16:25:27 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

A: Burgundy/brown color with a small off-white head that reduces to a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

S: Chocolate, caramel, and some bread. Reminds me of a dubbel, sort of estery and phenolic.

T: Not as nice as the nose, some banana, chocolate, clove, and butterscotch. A little bit of raisin and dark fruit as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: One of the better "older" vintages.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2013 22:58:31 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a taster. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a murky and dark mahogany color. Minimal tan froth and lacing.

(S)- Again, plenty of oxidized leather and prune in this. Subtle bits of cocoa on the backend.

(T)- Like the smell, plenty of raisin/prune with leathered oxidation. Distinct yeasty bitter cocoa shows as it warms.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. All together kind of muddled together with obvious oxidation.

(O)- Like the 03 & 04, this one is definitely showing its age.

Original review from Jan, 2011:

(A)- Pours a very dark brown, almost black color. Produced some off-white to tan colored foam that dissipated quickly.

(S)- Very rich. Lots of raisin and prune aromas. Very rich actually. Hints at plums as it warmed up.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A big burst of cocoa up front that blends into the raisin and prune/plum aspect from the smell. Very rich, but restrained at the same time.

(M)- A decent carbonation level that might start showing decline from aging. Smooth, yet rich as well with alot of dark fruits and cocoa.

(D)- An interesting beer considering the style and age on this. Smooth and rich with still some life left in it. If stored ideally for the next two years, this should still be solid for the vertical in 2012.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 15:53:25 | More by sweemzander
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

2.91/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Don't even remember where I got this one - probably Discount Liquor or something. Served in a tulip.

A - Tan-brown foam settles to a thick collar, wisps, and minimal lacing. Dark and hazy amber-brown body.

S - Just a vague sweetness, with perhaps a touch of chocolate amid the fruity oxidation and caramel flavors.

T - The taste is worse - there's a note of dishwater and cardboard among the standard 'old beer' caramel, honey, and fruitiness combo. I don't get any of the advertised flavors from the bottle - it's all just very muddled.

M - Chewy texture, lower carbonation, smooth, medium body, and no alcohol.

D - Boring. The taste is kind of unpleasant and the rest of the beer is just old and faded. Probably my least favorite so far.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 04:11:29 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

2.55/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle served in a CCB snifter.

A: Pours a dark plum color with some ruby highlights around the edges. An offwhite head forms on the pour and recedes to a thin ring. Some splotchy lace is left down the glass.

S: Grainy malt bills, some light rice cake with some wet paper. This one did not age all that well.

T: More of the same. A ton of cardboard, rice cake, and a little cocoa. Sweet cereal malts. The oxidation has really taken this one over.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. Wet paper finish.

O: All the bottles had been stored the same so I don't know this was a product of a poorly sealed cap, or the beer wasn't strong enough from the onset to hold onto an semblance of the original flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 02:19:28 | More by Treebs
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was fortunate to try this last night at an epic tasting held by my good friend Mike, thanks for the opportunity MrBarleywine!
Pours a slightly hazy ruby brown color with a smallish off white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma is sweet caramel, chocolate, and light sugar with a bit of ashy, roasty, bubblegum, and molasses. Lightly spicy notes provide a balance to the sweetness and roast. The flavor follows the aroma quite well. Sweet and sugary with caramel, chocolate, and cocoa with hints of spice, fruit and gingerbread. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet mouthfeel. We are starting to get a bit darker and this one is right up my alley. This is a nice beer that has held up well, I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 02:39:12 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I admit I was a bit shocked to see this one among a Vertical Epic line-up at Stone Soup '13, as this is one of the most rare of the batch, so thanks to whomever brought it to share. Of course I never had this one before, so I have no basis for comparison, but it was definitely enjoyable, and I'd say it held up well, and was actually probably my favorite of the VE series (of the few that I've had).

Dark amber-brown pour with a small tan head that mostly receded, leaving some lacing on the glass; a few floaties in there. Aroma was malt-driven, notes of bready yeast, cocoa, dark fruits, maybe a touch of oxidation detectable, but nothing significant. Whoever cellared this did it right, because I didn't really get any off-flavors at all, which was nice, considering reports from some other reviews. Dark malts, sweet dark sugars, rum raisin, cocoa, roasted chestnuts, slight earthiness that might have been a hop contribution, but otherwise, any hop presence that might have existed was pretty much undetectable to me. Medium body, slick mouthfeel, lower carbonation. A nice treat.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 22:56:06 | More by Rifugium
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

2.64/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

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

Beer pours a murky, nearly-opaque medium brown. No head.

Aroma is sweet: primarily molasses.

Flavor is slightly oxidized. Molasses/brown sugar are strong components on the palate with nothing else much notable other than a mild peppery finish.

Mouthfeel is borderline thin/watery and still.

My memory tells me this one was far, far better fresh.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 19:19:23 | More by charlzm
Photo of Doppelbockulus
Doppelbockulus

Florida

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pored into the Vertical Epic glass carfully to avoid clouding the beer with yeast.

Without the yeast the beer is a is a medium dark brown with an appealing ruby background.

I smell a pastry shop in this beer. It smells like buttery raspberry pastries with raisins and brown sugar.

The taste includes dark earthy malt with a light sweetness. I also get tea in the taste.

The carbonation creates a medium tingle, and there is a light tanninc feel.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 18:52:04 | More by Doppelbockulus
Photo of TKEbeerman
TKEbeerman

Florida

4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A. Poured into my VE glass this brew pours a darker brown with ruby tones. A small amount of yeasty floaties are noticable when held to the light.
S. The aroma has notes of hazel nuts and dark chocolate with burnt caramel apple.
T. The flavor has a good mix of oxidation with some belgium spic notes from the yeast.
Mf. Fully mouth feel, smooth carbination
Overall, the best one so far.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 01:58:33 | More by TKEbeerman
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the 'Most Arrogant Bar in America', Barley's Pizzeria & Taproom in Greenville, SC! Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a deep ruby red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, sweet alcohol, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, earth, and spices. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I really went into this one not expecting much with it being so old at the time of sampling, but knew that it would be intriguing based on what I found. The good news is that all of the notes that one would expect from the style were still present and accounted for. However, the caramel note was definitely dominant and made its presence known throughout each sip. This was a bit of a letdown, but overall this one has held up pretty well in the keg. Worth your time trying if you are a fan of the style or brews with a dominance of caramel.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2013 11:52:01 | More by thagr81us
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle.

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a thin tan head. Mild aroma of caramel malt, nuts, baker's chocolate, and bread. Much sweeter flavor than expected. Toffee and caramel, brown sugar and figs. Medium thick and moderate carbonation. A little stale in the finish, but enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 18:46:49 | More by yourefragile
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

The beer appears chestnut brown with a thin tan collar. The aroma brings toffee, light spice, caramels, malt, age, brown sugar. The flavor is a tad sweet, with brown bread, a touch of basement musk, toffee. Pretty good. Thin body with low carbonation. Pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 21:12:12 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of NorCalYeti
NorCalYeti

California

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- candi sugar, sweet malt, citrus in the finish

color- light brown amber

clarity- pours clear and dark

smell- chocolate, cake, cereal, flowers, nuttiness, biscuits

body- some hop bite still left in the front of the mouth, medium-length finish, smooth on the palate

appearance- nice off-white head when first poured, medium-light, creamy, fine lacing in glass, active carbonation throughout the session

overall impression- mellow, drinkable beer. really impressed for a beer with 7+ years of age. very approachable and still enjoyable beer. alcohol is still present

notes and comments- audible carbonation when i popped the top

beer spy- bevmo, walnut creek ca, may 2005, $4.89, 22oz

glassware: tulip

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 05:42:22 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Churchkey

05.05.05 pours out a red-brown color with a small, light brown head. The head both lasts and laces well. It smells of booze and malt with some really dark fruits. It's almost wine-like. The taste is all dark malt that's very roasty on the backend. The dark fruits are there, but aren't that great. Really disjointed with a bad aftertaste Medium body, but the bad aftertaste kills any drinkability. Again, as has been the case with these 7-9 year old Vertical Epics, it's too old.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2013 23:11:00 | More by russwbeck
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass.

A - Pours a dark brown color with a touch of amber on the edges. Body is clear but has lots of large floating yeast clumps in it. Small tan head lingers briefly and leaves some webby lacing on the glass.

S - Slightly astringent, chocolate and cocoa powder, sweet malt, a bit of peppery spiciness. Overall, quite malty on the nose.

T - Bitter hops, cocoa powder, raisins, a bit of booze, some phenolics, sweet maltose, a bit of roasty malt too.

M - Medium body with a low-midlevel carbonation that gives just a bit of a tingle on the tongue. Feel is a bit slick and oily and there is a peppery spicy tingle on the tongue.

O - Good dark roasted, chocolatey, spicy and malty sweet beer. When this first came out in '05 I found this be a very good beer and went thru a number of these bottles. Seems to have fallen off over the years, but still solid.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 20:50:02 | More by portia99
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

2.45/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy, dark chestnut brown color with a half finger beige head that immediately fizzles away into a thin ring. No lacing to speak of.

Slightly spicy, leathery malt aroma that makes it seems more like a barley wine than anything else at this stage. Earthy malts with hints of leather, toffee, subtle dark fruit and lots of alcohol. Faint piney nag grassy hops provide somewhat of an herbal character that's followed by pepper anise and licorice. Not very impressive.

Fuller bodied than expecting and thankfully more interesting than the aroma suggests. Decent balance of dark malt, earthy hops and zesty spice. None of the flavors have seemed to have held up very well, however, with somewhat stale and faded character. The malt profile stands out more than in the nose but it is earthy and leathery like a barley wine and lacking in sweetness and roast. Kind of watered down as well with faded spicy, grassy hop flavor. Slightly earthy and resinous complimented by a peppery spice presence that gives off some clove and anise. As with most of the beers inths series, this beer which was interesting upon release is kind if a faded mess at this point. I wish I would have opened it few years ago.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 06:30:57 | More by corby112
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 TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the tap at the Tap and Mallet Vertical Epic tasting event. It arrived in a tasting glass, showing a dark amber honey coloring. Whisps of lacing were left around the glass with a swirl, but no head was noted. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared average. The aroma gave booze, light vanillas, faint oak chip woodiness, big buttery diacetyls, and an onslaught of nectary fruits. The latter consisted of strawberry, cherry, and plum. Honey sweetness mixed with the heaviness of the caramel and pale malty mash and rich breadiness of grain. Our first impression was that there were great fruity syrups to hold against the bread and butter of the malts. The flavoring opened with booze, grapefruity hops, caramel, bites of soured yeast, and woody warmth. The peak came with cloying caramel sugars, pear, and a depth of coffee and metallic malts to pull to a boozy washing finish. This was cut by cleanliness of caramel malts, fainter grassy hops, and figgy oils. The aftertaste breathed of fusel booze, metallics, mineral, green grape skins, yeast, pumpkin fleshiness, and coffee malts. The body was medium, and the carbonation was full. There was big froth and slurp to each sip, with nice cream and pop on the back. The mouth was coated with an oiliness, with an ultimate boozy dryness. The abv was fine and this was an easy sipper

Overall, the best thing about this beer was the nose. It gave huge fruits and booze that have really blended expertly with this age on it, giving a mellow smoothness. This followed almost exactly on the palate, but the boozy bite did tend to drown some of the malts on the back by the end of the glass. This beer is great for a snowy night by the fire and good company.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2012 14:20:57 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, split

appearance: served in a great lakes chalice, muddy garnet body, very little head - light carbonation

smell: aromas of aged malts - smoke, anise, pepper, loads of dark fruit

taste: much like the 03 and 04, oxidation is not absent. smoky malts, booze soaked dark fruit, star of anise, cocoa. Probably my least favorite of the 3 i've had thus far in the vertical (of those tried after 12.12.12)

mouthfeel: dry, light bitterness, spicy

overall: meh

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 04:28:10 | More by dirtylou
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On Tap

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

(Aged for 8 years)

A very dark ruby, bordering on brown, with a small cap of brown foam atop. Leaves the glass dotted, but there's not a lot of cling.

A sweet aroma of dark fruits, distinct clove, and some burnt wheat toast. Not quite as faint of an aroma as some of the other Vertical Epic beers sampled, but not particularly bold.

The flavor follows the aroma, with a yeasty/clove flavor combining with burnt wheat bread, moderate bitterness, and some mild dark fruit character.

Medium in bodied, slightly oily, with moderate carbonation.

I didn't really enjoy this, but it wasn't bad, by any means. This beer seems confused and an addition to an unnecessarily lame project.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2012 03:53:32 | More by ehammond1
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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.