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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
Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 214 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

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

This one pours a dark brown color with a small head that doesn't fall fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma has a sweetness along with a subtle malt character and a touch of raisin. The flavor has an obvious amount of alcohol to go with some dark malts and some Belgian yeast spices. Very warming. Mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability suffers a bit from the high alcohol, but I think this will get better with time.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2005 17:09:38 | More by clvand0
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 Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled May 2005
Pours a deep, rich, amber color that shows ruby highlights when held up to the light. It is topped by a frothy light brown to amber colored head that dissapears after a couple of minutes. As I pour this beer I get a definite note of cloves. As I go in deeper I get notes of concentrated plum, raisins, figs, chocolate and alcohol. The taste is sweet and fruity up front, but then moves to a spicy slightly harsh note in the finish. The rich fruitiness is quite good and reminds me of raisins, and figs. The finish is astringent with notes of higher alcohols, spicy notes of pepper and clove, and hints of roasted malt and chocolate.

I will say this, this is the first one of these that I actually see lasting a couple of years, it is still a bit young and harsh around the edges. This should be quite nice once the harsh notes in the finish mellow out and the fruitiness comes to the fore.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2005 04:27:37 | More by Gueuzedude
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 twelvsies
twelvsies

Maine

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

Fresh bomber, 05.15.05.
I'd never had their Vertical Epic line before, but since this one came out I thought I'd jump on the opportunity. Impressive. A nice stab at the Belgian Style by Stone. Pours a pitch dark brown color, light brown head floating. Smells rich and malty, and with a fair amount of spicy hops for the style. Taste is similar, big malt up front. Nice raisin and molases character, and nice bready spicing. There's more hops in there than the smell might suggest... a big hoppy finish is a nice compliment, herbal and spicy. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy and slick, but it works with this beer. I'm interested in laying a few of these down to see how they age, as that is the purpose of these beers. Time will tell...

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2005 17:50:44 | More by twelvsies
Photo of beersarang
beersarang

California

3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby with a quickly receding tan head. The crappy retention is the only thing marking down the score.

Bready yeasty aroma, pleasant.

Nice bready malt presence, light hopping, unable to discern but I believe the dominating hop flavor is floral. Finishes horrendously yeasty, very Belgian-esque. Just a touch too yeasty, might benefit from aging. Alcohol is not too noticable, until it warms.

Medium bodied, prickly belgian style carbonation.

Drinkability suffers from the yeastiness, otherwise a decent offering but does not live up to the hype.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2005 08:08:40 | More by beersarang
Photo of xcondonex
xcondonex

California

4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours deep, nearly opaque mahogany with garnet highlights. Delightful ½” beige head stands for a minute before subsiding into thin patchy foam. Excellent carbonation.

Smell: Fruity phenols—banana like a Weizen Bock—with notes of molasses and chocolate sweetness.

Taste: Start is clean followed by notes of dried fruit—plum, raisin—with subtle sugary sweetness that finishes dry. Very interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Phenolic and sweet. Complex and quenching. Pure pleasure.

Comments: This was my first Belgian Strong Dark Ale so I didn’t quite know what to expect. I’ll have to try a few authentic samples to be able to rate justly but nonetheless, I can definitely appreciate this beer. Strangely, I was reminded of Aventinus while drinking this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2005 08:19:27 | More by xcondonex
Photo of Padron4KM
Padron4KM

Arizona

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. Pours out a murky dark reddish brown, with a fluffy tan head.
lace coats the glass in a thin sheet. alcohol floats on top like a nicely aged port.
Aroma is roasty, dark fruits, some mustiness, and maybe a little alcohol.
flavor is fruity and sweet, followed by some roasty chocolate, and a little spice on the end.
Lots of flavors there but they haven’ t quite come together yet. I’ll be aging a couple 2 or 3 bottles for sure, and will re-rate in a year or 2.22 oz bomber. Pours out a murky dark reddish brown, with a fluffy tan head.

lace coats the glass in a thin sheet. alcohol floats on top like a nicely aged port.

Aroma is roasty, dark fruits, some mustiness, and maybe a little alcohol.

flavor is fruity and sweet, followed by some roasty chocolate, and a little spice on the end.

Lots of flavors there but they haven’ t quite come together yet. I’ll be aging a couple 2 or 3 bottles for sure, and will re-rate in a year or 2.

(re-rate feb 07) Flavors are coming together nicely. Roasty chocolate, spicy clove, dark fruits, yeast. Looks promising. unfortunately I only have 1 left
Original 3.5 - 4 - 3.5 - 3.5 - 3 - 3.55.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2005 05:46:55 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of vladtheimpaler
vladtheimpaler

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear ruby brown, nice fluffy tan head. Subdued Belgian trappist like aroma, sweet malty fruitiness, slightly musty like a basement. Big smoothly sweet malty flavor. Lots of fruityness in the flavor, with a good amount of sweetness. Big mouth feel. Not very assertive, but the flavors blend well, almost like an aged Rochefort. May over oxidize with time, but we shall see. My favorite of the Vertical Epics thus far.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2005 22:37:52 | More by vladtheimpaler
Photo of palliko
palliko

California

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

There was about an inch of foam when poured but it disappeared quickly, leaving very little lacing. The initial nose is spicy, with floral/herbal hints of ANISE/CLOVES and some caramel. SERIOUS alcohol! I am having trouble spelling! Fruity malt, and raisin dominate the first sip with Belgian phenols underlying all, with faint support from hops. Deep mahogany brown appearance, and just-right carbonation. Complex on the palate, slightly sweet but with a nice dry finish. After it mellows a while, it should balance out to be outstanding! Stone is the best brewery, bar none!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2005 17:43:01 | More by palliko
Photo of rousee
rousee

Massachusetts

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

24-25 oz. bomber purchased on release night at one of the finest beer stores in the area- Bauer.

Dark cherry/currant/plum color. Small head-light ruby or fruit punch hues on the bottom inch of chalice. Very thin lace.

Cherry syrup and malt on nose. Clean and fruity on the tongue-chewy & nutty too, but also has cider-like elements. Mouthfeel is kind of like an assault on the tongue. Not really, but thats how my friend who drinks Heinekin and Guinness only, described it--also " fancier than I expected, etc". I think the mouthfeel is probably the best trait of this beer right now just like the 04-04-04 and just like 04, I believe this will truly hit its stride when it has aged for 6-? months. Pretty damn tasty anyway.

BTW-Seems 04 VE is hard to find these days. So stock up on this 05 shit while you can.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2005 01:12:49 | More by rousee
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

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

Pours a deep deep rubied brown color with a finger of head that stays around nicely. The nose is very nice, with molasses, sweet raisineyness, almost a slight nutmeg spiceyness. I like it. Lots going on. The flavor is pretty nice too. Some burnt caramel with slight sweet fig with a nice spiceyness. The feel is nice and thick. Right where it ought to be. It leaves a slight bitter on the tongue as well after swallowing. Overall, a nice beer. Smooth and drinkable. I like it and I think that time will do it good.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2005 23:55:55 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of bnutz
bnutz

California

3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I opened this May 6th, 2005.

Not knowing anything about the style Stone was going after for this year's brew, I was suprised to see a deep caramelly, brown beer being poured into my glass. The head was light and frothy and didn't bother haning around.

The nose hinted around at banana and herbal tones but none of the aromas typically associated with Belgian-Style brown ales were present in great abundance. I got primarily a mild grassiness with a bit of alcohol.

After the first sip, I thought I may have chilled this beer too long. It seemed that the caramel, tangarine peel and celery flavors had been turned down. I let it warm up a bit and didn't find much improvement.

The beer had a nice viscosity in the mouth and an herbaceous, alcoholic and mildly hoppy finish.

I think this beer is just young. I thouroughly enjoyed it now(although not as much as initial tastings of the prior VE releases) but think it is going to age like a champion. I can't wait to try one in six months.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2005 22:17:07 | More by bnutz
Photo of carln26
carln26

Missouri

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

This beer poured from the bottle into the snifter a deep brown, very clear with garnet highlights. It was topped with a thick tan head that showed great retention. The aroma is similar to a Trappist Dubbel I had yesterday. It has a little bread dough up front with a bright citrus/orange aroma. This is followed by a sweet malt character (dates), and just a light touch of spice. The taste has a great zesty spice up front followed by the dates and the orange. Very interesting beer. More depth of flavor than many of Stones offerings. It has a nice peppery finish, a rich mouth feel and good drinakbility

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2005 21:51:53 | More by carln26
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Why wait? This stuff is good NOW. Not like I’ll ever find the 02.02.02 anyway. The beer is a dark reddish-brown color with a thick and foamy beige head. Thick and sticky lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, spice (what? there are no spices in this beer?) and raisin. Rich body with an immediately noticeable Belgian character. Yeast, spices and malt are prevalent, along with a bit of fruit in the background. The finish is spiced and hoppy. Definitely the best VE I have tried so far.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2005 19:58:46 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of WetCoaster
WetCoaster

California

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep clear cola red with a dense, foamy tan/espresso swirled head. Moderate size, good retention. Sticky root beer lace on the glass wall. Moderately carbonated.

Smell: Spiced yeast and all that entails, slightly vegetal, bready/cakey, and fruity in a sort of cherry vain. As it stands, though, it's all presented in a thick block, none is really defined; you sort of pick out points on one scent.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Whoa. Goddamn, that is BEEFY, freakin' massive. I see from the description it's a BSDA, but honestly it tastes more like an eisenbock brewed with Belgian yeast topped with a imperial stout floater. Very dense mouthful of chocolate malt, roasty and stoutlike, a slightly boozy Chambord flavor. It's actually a bit similar to Ommegang's Three Philosophers quad. Mouthfeel is rich and thick.

Drinkability: It depends. I like it, but it's a bit much for your Wednesday night poker marathon. Price is good, though.

This is not a pure BSDA; it's a big, somewhat baffling beer. Unlike last year's, I have NO doubt this will last seven years. It currently tastes as though three distinct style are blended -- and a bit awkwardly at that. This is a good drinker, but a better cellar candidate. Open 12/12, or at least wait a year.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2005 05:19:52 | More by WetCoaster
Photo of foXXtail
foXXtail

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on 5-7-05, two days after release.

Aroma is quite spicy, hints of clove and pepper. The alcohol kick is quite noticeable, almost overpowering. The fruity malt is complex and dark. It has notes of plum, with some phenols backing everything up. Hop is there, but not a star player. Very rich and complex.

This beer looks mouthwatering! Clear, deep ruby brown with an immense rocky off-white head that just dosn't quit. Effervescene is high, and lacing is impressive.

Deep plummy fruit with some dark caramel like sweetness, all very deeply malty. The spiciness is hefty, and bosts the cloves hinted at in the nose. A hop bitterness bites at the back of the throat in the after taste. Rich alcohol is powerful - almost overwhelming. Quite complex overall, there's a lot of things to taste here! Effervesence is medium-heavy, but does not interfere with the medium mouthfeel. A good balance between thickness and effervesence.

Pretty good, but the hefty alcohol needs a chance to mellow. Looking forward to trying this one in a year or so after it calms down and blends a bit.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2005 02:15:07 | More by foXXtail
Photo of Truh
Truh

New Hampshire

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

Yo quero cerveza with this one on 5/5/05, appropriately enough. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Huge root beer float plume of down head with a settling universe of pock-marked moonscape, Escher lace. Brownish red hue is almost claret, clear, and bubbles floating freely, unfettered. Light rock candy, caramel malt, and a nosegay of berry hints all mash together for a party in the nose. On the tongue, a very subtle mix of sugar syrup, light cinder, toffee, and eventually anis comes through as the pour warms; excellent combination.

Very drinkable; must get more to squirrel away for a rainy day.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2005 03:37:17 | More by Truh
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 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 HappyHourHero
HappyHourHero

Indiana

3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small, dense foamy, light brown colored head that didn't last very long, and left only a few specs of lace. Deep mahogany colored beer with a ruby hue. Vanilla/butterscotch and some apple in the aroma. Fairly sweet sugary raisins, a dash of apple, and just a pinch of vanilla yeastyness before the bitter chocolate flavor kicks in. There's a biting bitter saltiness towards the end that carries over into the finish, which fades as the beer warms. Starts like a Belgian strong dark ale and finishes like a bitter barleywine. Mouthfeel is soft and just barely slick, while the body is moderately full. Most of the aromas and flavors were great, but the bitterness at the end kind of killed it for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 16:57:47 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of IceAce
IceAce

California

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

Pours a beautiful deep mahagony with superb clarity. A seemingly endless supply of CO² streamers work diligently to replenish the thick, tan, two-finger collar of foam.

The nose catches up to me while the glass sits a full three feet away...sugary sweet dates, cloves, and fruity phenols are all surrounded with the funky aroma that can only belong to Belgian Yeast.

Entry is pure silk, with tiny CO² bubbles escourting the smooth roasted malt over the palate. Mid-taste is of cherries, burnt sugar, and allspice as the taste begins to crescendo in earthy goodness.

The finish is as complex as the mid, with a touch of soft hop ushering last call for smooth vanilla and malt notes before the funky yeast begins its long, slow fade. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and drinkability...well, let's just say I'd hit it daily if it were possible.

I know that with age this beer will 'round out' into something a whole lot different...but like Anchor OSA, I enjoy these beers when they're still young and flavor components can still be distinguished. Whichever you prefer, you will not come away disappointed with 5.5.5

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 07:27:08 | More by IceAce
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a clear dark burgundy color and formed a small light tan foamy head that left circular lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, spices and plum. The flavor was of malt, and some dark fruit and chocolate with a touch of pepper. The body is medium light with some creamy touches to it. The finish was soft with a touch of pepper hiding the slightly astrigent nature. Will no doubt improve with some aging.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 01:22:18 | More by Wildman
Photo of mattmaples
mattmaples

Oregon

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Brewing “Vertical Epic 5.5.05” 22oz:
I can not believe it, we actually got the Epic ON the release date!!! This years is dark and estery. It pours a deep mahogany color with a thin head. The aroma is fruity (plum/banana) and big spicy (clove/anise). The flavor has a touch of roastiness to it with sweet molasses tones. The fruitiness carries over in the flavor and it finishes with an ever so slight hop bitterness. IMHO this years has better aging potential than the others.

It is a good belgian with the possibility of being great with some aging and flavor integration. Only time will tell.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 00:10:39 | More by mattmaples
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
Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.