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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

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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 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 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 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 goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

2.68/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

strikes a deep red, iced coffee pose in my cup. thin wispy belgian style foaming process in effect. some floating islands of bubble lie in wait on the beer's surface.

smell on this one is strong... sweet malt with a slight tinge.. bretty sourness in the nose as well. as the label says it lacks spice but bears some heavy beery scents.

taste is chocolatey with malts, raisins and plums. i am struck by an alcohol fist that is wholly unwelcome for 8.5%. too fresh is what they tell me. by 2012, this beer will benefit from further sweetness, complexity and mellowness (much-needed). ill try one again in a year or two. a noble work in progress for sure.

oh, and where does the bitterness come from? the alcohol? an undigested malt ingredient? powerful. hmm. what am i talking about?

on second thought, this should be referred to as an empty belgian base beer.. a beer mixer! my recommendation, improv! throw some kriek in there.. maybe a little bit of witbier. who the hell knows. have fun. drink stone.

dont hate my low scores, ill edit them in a year or seven.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2005 22:45:02 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

2.85/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Church Key today. I haven't had this before, but I can say with certainty that this hasn't aged well.

Brilliant ruby red with a dense, light brown head with great retention and lacing, this looks great. It smells great too. Despite being rather sweet with a rather noticeable caramel and toffee character without much yeast, this is enjoyable. Brandy, fruity oxidation is present. The palate really is a disappointment. Cardboard and fruity oxidation with some fruit and some caramel and chocolate dominate. The finish is sweet, rather strongly cardboard-like and rather unpleasant. Medium in body and rather over-carbonated, the poor finish is also to this beer's detriment. The finish has flavors of brandy, fruit, caramel and cardboard. Not particularly enjoyable, this.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 01:12:22 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of cracgor
cracgor

Texas

2.88/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

So this is the only Vertical Epic I ever got...I was going to try and get them all at one point, but you can see three years later, I haven't even gotten the two newer ones. So I'm gonna drink it now.

Dark brown, coffee color, light barely makes it through, with a rich tan head with large bubbles. I don't really get a lot of smell to this at all. Maybe a little barley smell...but it's really pretty bland.

It is a fairly weak taste that takes, what it does have is not that remarkable. Has a dark, bitter flavor to it in the aftertaste, like the char on grilled meat. A little estery taste comes out after awhile, as does some vanilla like flavor reminding me of a good cigar. It is just too weak a flavor for me to go crazy for.

Huge amounts of alcoholic warming in this one. I think it's my favorite part. Has a smooth, medium to full mouthfeel to it as well.

Eh, it's not bad, but I'd probably rather throw down a dollar on some SNPA than go out of my way to get another bottle of this.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2007 02:15:55 | More by cracgor
Photo of frazbri
frazbri

Ohio

2.9/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Mahogany body and deep ruby accents with creamy off-white head. Rich, fruity aroma - curant, cherry and chocolate. Earthy start, bitter chocolate with bitter finish and a little metalic tinge. Low med carboantion with medium light body.

A beautiful looking beer that has a very appetizing aroma, but its flavor doesn't meet expectations. I applaud Stone's boldness, but this beer needs a little more finess. Maybe it needs a little time in the cellar, but now it is too thin, too bitter and a bit astringent.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2005 01:25:29 | More by frazbri
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 Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.95/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a black color ale with a huge foamy dirty beige head with average retention. Aroma is quite hoppy which was kind of surprising for a Belgian Ale but then again I’m starting to get use to different with beers from Stone. Taste is a mix between roasted malt, caramel with a big heavy dose of citrus hops at the end that IMHO don’t mix very well with this beer. Body is above average and alcohol is not discernable. Overall, I guess I have a hard time with the heavy dose of hops in a Belgian Ale which is why this is not something I will seek in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 18:10:38 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of doubleipa
doubleipa

Georgia

2.95/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

What a dissapointment. I was so looking forward to cellaring a bunch of these until 2012. Unfortunately I'm not too optimistic. Virtuallly zero head, though good lacing. Body was clear with an anlmost black color. Not much in the way of aroma. Mostly raisin and dark cherry. Very sweet flavor with a very long finish. Maybe a bit of coffee. Texture was watery and flat carbonation. I was unimpressed. It's not very good now so I don't see how it will get any better.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2007 12:40:53 | More by doubleipa
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 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 womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for sharing this, Mike!

The beer pours a murky dark amber color without much of a head. There is a definite oxidation to the aroma. Lots of cardboard with the stale sugar and toffee notes. A bit of fruit, maybe some chocolate. The flavor is fairly boring, mostly due to the oxidation. Just sort of sweet and muddled with a bit of cardboard to it. Might be some dark fruit notes and yeast in there.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 03:27:54 | More by womencantsail
Photo of dill
dill

California

3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was looking forward to trying this one as I expected it to be drinking rather well at this time. It poured a deep amber color and smelled of toffee. The taste was a bit disappointing though as it had a bit of a metallic character to go along with the toffee that I was looking forward to. Not sure if the bottle had been compromised so I'd like to try it again sometime soon.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2008 13:09:30 | More by dill
Photo of kennyo
kennyo

New York

3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

dark mahogany brown with reddish undertones, pours with a small white head.

aroma is sweet malt, chocolate covered cherries, eisbock like

taste is malty, chocolate, hop bitterness, the right amount of carbonation for the style

I can see this beer turning very sherry like at the end of the aging period

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2006 19:40:00 | More by kennyo
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared at a tasting.

A: Pours a translucent maroon body that glows faintly ruby against the light. Carbonation filled the glass on the generous, vigorous pour that I received.

S: Wow, well-oxidized. In the good way (sherry, port-like aromas) instead of cardboard -- but it's very overwhelming. I never had the beer fresh, so I can't compare. It's very dark-fruit dominated. I searched for spices but I couldn't detect any.

T: Sherry, as the nose suggested, but it's also going toward wet cardboard, which the nose didn't suggest. It's spicier than I picked up on the nose; it delivers pepper in the finish with a touch of clove (?). Lots of dark fruit here: raisins, dates, figs, maybe plums.

M: Not austere, but it's not sugary. I'd call it semi-dry or a touch drier. The oxidation really dominates the flavor and the taste buds. This affects the...

Drinkability: This would be a pretty decent sipper, but a large pour at this tasting wound up getting tossed into the bushes since I just didn't care to have it anymore. Glad I tried it, also very glad I don't have any more.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 00:02:49 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Drank from larger Stone bottle, poured into chalice.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown.

Smell: Smells kind of barley winish or scottish ale-ish.

Taste: See smell above. Tastes like a strong scottish ale to me (not what I expected). Good though. Definitely molasses-like flavor, with some plummy fruitiness thrown in.

Notes: Pretty good as a wee heavy or barley wine I think. Doesn't match my expectation as a belgian strong dark ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2005 22:17:59 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of beertaster13
beertaster13

Washington

3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep rich brown with a mocha head that dominates the glasss. The smell is of strong deep molasses and roasted nuts. A hint of citrus hops will pleasure the nose. The taste is deep and rich of roasted caramel with almonds. The biscuity taste is pleasant with a nice hop ending. A full bodied thick brown ale, great for by the fire or with a thick rich dessert.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2005 03:48:20 | More by beertaster13
Photo of Naes
Naes

New York

3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is almost black in color with a tall tan head that quickly disappeared. Lacing is minimal.
Its aroma is yeasty and candy sweet.
Its flavor starts out quite malty, then has a dark fruit quality (raisin, black cherry) with some alcohol warming and finishes with a milk chocolate like presence.
Mouth feel is medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated.

Not like anything I have had from stone.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2005 06:54:35 | More by Naes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the 05, 07 and 07 wine barrel all side by side at Churchkey the other night, and those three were all rather disappointing.

I have a bottle of this in my "cellar" and I'm not sure I want it now. This beer was oxidized (IN A KEG) and really oddly sweet. It was dark amber and mildly hazy. Spicy, sort of, and mostly malty. THere is a decayed hop background to the beer that indicated that one day, perhaps 5 years in the past, this beer was palatable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2010 14:43:24 | More by drabmuh
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
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Arbitrator shared this one. Thanks, buddy.

Dark translucent mahogany brown with amber highlights. Still lively and well-carbonated after 5 years.

Big sherry and dark fruit aroma. Lots of oxidation, raisins, dates, blackberry preserves. Strong esters and oxidation cover up most of the malt and hop character.

Very oxidized palate. Sherry, perhaps a bit of wet paper. Heavy on the esters and phenols, spicy and peppery but simultaneously sweet. Dates, figs, berries. A bit thin. Finishes peppery, phenolic, spicy. Hints of clove, some grainy astringency. Not bad, this has held up fairly well, though I don't think I'd care much for the beer fresh or aged.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2010 23:19:22 | More by largadeer
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out with a dark brown/red hue with very little head but it stays around for the entire drink.
Thanks to Kane for hooking me up with this one.
Smell is malt and sugar and caramel. A fruity alcohol presense is here too.
Taste is caramel and sugar and little else for a while then the black bitterness takes over.
I think this one is beyond it's prime.
Mouthfeel is very clean and the only drawback is the strong alcohol.
Drinkability is contingent on flavor.
Not enough to bother with.
the 04/40/04 is still the baddest boy I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 22:43:54 | More by peabody
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 10/04/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey for the Stone Tap Takeover event.

a - Pours a dark amber color with 1 inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, and a little bit of alcohol.

t - Tastes of dark fruit, sugar, bready and caramel malts. Not bad but a little too sweet.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent strong dark ale, but it seemed more like a barelywine to me after these 5 years. I thought the taste was too sweet. Probably wouldn't seek out again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 20:13:31 | More by mdfb79
Photo of PatronWizard
PatronWizard

California

3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

See 06.06.06 review for background story....

Well, it pours a burgandy dark with a great head. Chunks of lacing, nice looking brew.

Smell reminds me of a quad. Musty dark fruits, subtle but earthy, again with the tea leaves.

Big bite of caramel and dark fruits. Not bad but ....

Good carbonation, especially considering the age. Feels decent enough I guess.

Overall: expected EPIC, got good

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 18:56:00 | More by PatronWizard
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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.