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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
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

306 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 306
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.79%
Wants: 105
Gots: 51 | FT: 4
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: 306 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%

Dark brown pour with burgundany highlights and a tightly knit tan head that slowly slides down my glass.

Aroma is dark dried fruit, plum, prune, and berry with subtle yeasty spice and caramel undertones. Smells more Belgian than the 030303 did. There are subtle hints of dark, chocolatey malt with very soft coffee undertones and light floral and citrus hops.

Flavor is dark caramel and candi sugar with tons of fruit;sweet plum, dark cherry, scorched strawberry jam, and fig. It has a roasty, almost woody note with the distinct fruity yeast that was tasted in the 030303. It's well hopped for the style, with soft lavender and lilac floral notes and dry, grassy bitterness.

Body is leaning towards big, with tiny bobbles leading to a very soft, creamy mouthfeel and bubbly texture. Definately glad toi have the opportunity to try this. Thanks Ray!

07-17-2006 23:46:44 | More by AlexJ
Photo of SupaCelt
SupaCelt

Michigan

4/5  rDev +2.3%

Dark brown. Pours almost purple. A tan head forms and holds as a steady cap. Some lace proliferates. The nose is dark fruit laden. Very fermented fruitish. Sweet. Figs. The taste is spicy. None added, but the yeast has given these impressions. At least that is what the bottle says. Sweet and dark. Brown sugar. Very natural. Very raw. Mouthfeel is medium. Drinkability is decent. This is not a chugger of a beer. Good.

07-06-2006 05:30:22 | More by SupaCelt
Photo of ddarden
ddarden

Alabama

4.08/5  rDev +4.3%

This was a one year anniversary tasting of the 05-05-05. I had this last year on the 4th and remember thinking this beer needed some time to meld a little. After one year of aging, this beer was much better. It poured a very dark ebony with a little light getting through. Very nice head that lasted. The smell was classic of a Belgian Strong Ale - yeast, plums, candi sugar, sweet malt, and alcohol. The taste was close to the smell except with a little bit of hop bite. Although most of the hop flavor had mellowed and the beer was more complex than a year ago. The alcohol was very well hidden and had a medium mouthfeel. The drinkability was good. I have a few more of these in the cellar and will make a tradition of my 4th of July beer.

07-05-2006 19:29:49 | More by ddarden
Photo of barleywinebrewer
barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

Got this in a trade - thanks to mcallister! I've heard a lot about the epic series but never had one.

A - Nice ruby black color. Pours a nice frothy tan head. A delight to look at.

S - Rich inviting malts and ripe fruit. Undertone of alcohol but a year in the bottle seems to work for this brew.

T - Similar to how it smells. The belgian character shines in teh yeast and belgian candi sugar touches rounding out this brew.

M - Nice medium body with a pleasing warming effect.

D - Very drinkable! Some strong beers just don't work at 22oz - too much in one sitting. This one was a hit through and through.

Although advertised as designed for 2012 I thought this brew was good now. If I had 6 I would make it an annual tasting to see how well it holds up to the advertised date. I don't so it was nice to have one of these now. Recommended.

07-05-2006 13:09:13 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of Imstillthegman
Imstillthegman

Delaware

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%

Thanks to Boolshot for hooking me up with my first Verticals.

Pours a dark garnet, almost black in the center with a light tan head that only left a ring or two of lacing. Aroma is of raisins, figs, brown sugar, caramel, spice and some light floral scents. The taste is strong on dark fruits...raisins, dates, prunes, figs...with some dark chocolate and anise flavor as well. Nice mouthfeel...smooth with mild carbonation and a slightly dry, bitterfinish. It could probably use another year or two of aging so I think I stash my other bottle until then.

06-26-2006 13:36:41 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -2%

22 oz bomber, obvious vintage date on the bottle. The usual short story on the bottle as well.

A- Feigned black with garnet hues when brought up to the light, decent head retention ... lacing drops a few rings on the glass.

S- Powdered carob, mild tropical fruit of mango and pineapple. Phenolic of cloves and black pepper ... faint on that though, hint of fusel alcohol as well.

T&M- Crisp within a full body, perfect level of carbonation. Earthy with a bittersweet chocolate powder up front. Plum pudding character throughout; candied fruit, cloves, spices, bit of alcohol. Slight brown malt flavor and anise in the drying finish.

D- Tasty without a doubt, for a little over a year old it has held up pretty well ... flavors seem to be meshed toge her with little to no "aged" character. Still a sipping brew but a tasty one at that.

06-21-2006 02:56:58 | More by Jason
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

Poured from 22oz bottle(room temp) a deep brown with a large head of foam that dissipated slowly leaving a solid layer with good lacing.

The smell is of sweet roasted malt, chocolate-cocoa and anise. Nice.

The taste is a very pronounced semi sweet roasted malt with notes of chocolate, some graininess, and good anise/licorice tones in the finish. Oh, and the 8.5% abv is noticeable but not intrusive. I had one of my bottles of this fresh but I didn't review it because that wouldn't have done it justice. In other words...the 1 year of aging has already done this brew a world of good. ;^)

Bottom line: It's just starting to get interesting 1 year after bottling so I say...if you see some buy some and cellar it. I think it's gonna be a winner.

06-02-2006 00:45:52 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of xymyl
xymyl

Arizona

4.28/5  rDev +9.5%

Medium carbonation with small to medium sized bubbles, dark red/crimson color with a thick tan head that settles to a film quickly.

Aromas of dried fruits, chocolate, coffee, caramel, spices and light floral notes.

Starts out wet, sweet and fruity then sweetness steps forward even more with malt and other sugar notes (at the this point the spices come forward the most) then roasty/toasty(TM) flavors blend with the hoppy bitterness that dominates the long finish.

This feels a bit lighter than it did a year ago. It's getting to the zone I really like. Once the floral notes of the hops fully integrate and the bitterness mellows out a bit more it will be perfect. Now I wish I had kept one of these in the fridge to compare. Oh, well. With how fast this is maturing I give it another year (maybe two tops) before it is ready.

05-30-2006 22:44:36 | More by xymyl
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

Sampled with my brother and cousin before a wedding. The beer poured a dark, redish amber color with a slight white head and a bubbly body. The aroma was malty, spicey and had a bit of dried fruit tones, mainly raisins. The taste is true to the aroma with malty sweetness, raisins and other fruit flavors, figs probably. This beer has a medium body with the carbonation character and there is a hint of the high abv on the tongue as the beer goes down. This is the first of the 05 that I have tried but it won't be the last as I have a few more in the basement.

05-21-2006 23:54:34 | More by ggaughan
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.4/5  rDev +12.5%

Presentation: Pulled out the Chez Bum cupboard cum 11th floor Cellar, a little over One Year after its release.

Appearance: Thick looking but crystal clear dark brown body with a mahogany reflection when backlit. Thicker light tan colored head is stupendously attractive and leaves some awesome lacing in its wake. Tonnes of resilient dissolved carbonation reinstate a creamy head with the gentlest of swirls

Nose: Sweet concentrated sugar beet molasses mixes with lots of dark fruits, gelatinous caramels and a healthy dollop of raisins. Prune juice looks run through to the final vapors from the aromas.

Taste: Profuse molasses and a syrup-like middle rich with dark chocolates, bonfire toffee, raisins, prunes and figs. Gorgeous rich liquorice traits rasp the back end with some bitterness. The finish lingers, long after the swallow, an affluent ending from an aristocratic brew.

Mouthfeel: Thick (I’m going to have to using that word thick but it really does apply in so many aspects of this brew) body. Feels way above the 8.5% that it started as, it now exhibits an “Imperial” feel that bodes well for future aging.

Drinkability: A little heavy for the finishing beer of the night but an easy one to slowly work through whilst typing up a few BeerFlys. A hefty nightcap but a damn fine one nonetheless.

Overall: A year has certainly not done any damage to the VE05.0505, and if I dare say so, I think it has improved more than a little. The dark fruits and thick molasses body combined with the solid conditioning all lends me to think that there is plenty of life in the VE05.05.05. This will be one to watch for sure.

05-08-2006 05:41:34 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%

22oz. bottle: This one pours a dark mahogany with ruby tints to it. There was a fairly strong tan head on mine, that does subside after awhile. The aroma is pretty much that of a standard Belgian Strong Ale. I get caramel, raisins, some spiciness, and some other dark fruits. The body is actually a bit lighter than I expected. Certainly not light at all, but I expect these beers to be more of a "liquid bread". The taste is good, with some roastiness coming out on top of the caramel and fruits that you normally find in this style. Certainly a decent beer, but I’m not sure that it will make it another 7 years.

05-07-2006 19:44:02 | More by Boto
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

4.47/5  rDev +14.3%

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.

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

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

A darker pour, some head but not much. Beautiful red hue when held to the light. Huge maltiness off the bat. Followed by definite detection of hops. How do they continuously fit both these in one sitting? Malt huge in the backdrop and hops big in the front end of the mouth. Aroma not perfect (on Stone standards which are significantly higher than others) but not too far from it! Hops found in the aftertaste too, lends bitterness. A great finish. Seems to be holding up well. Very lively, makes for a great drink to share with friends. Kudos again to Stone and big thanks again Dr. Jay!

04-16-2006 16:09:25 | More by biegaman
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

Almost one-finger of fluffy dark brown head over an almost perfectly clear orange-brown liquid. Smells chocolatey flat hops and belgian funky/phenolic. Woody and dry.

Tastes smooth chocolate, milky character, and fuggle rounded hops. Molasses-figgy. Belgian funk is dry and a touch of biscuity Not a wicked edge belgian as I expected (or...feared?). Some roasted malts, but they are beneath the chocolate. Sweet and pleasant, yet dry and an edge I can't quite get a finger on.

Mouthfeel is md and carbonation is moderate. I see this beer as developing over the span of a few years, but am not sure how much past 5 years it can go.

04-15-2006 06:11:00 | More by mentor
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +7.9%

Pours a clear red/brown, small tan head, some decent lacing and good retention. Smell is sweet caramel, does of citrus and floral, dates and figs, real nice maltiness with a touch of yeast. Taste is caramel, fig and dates, floral, yeast, hint of alcohol, very nice and smooth. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with low carbonation. A nice effort, Stone never disappoints. Thanks DrJay!

04-13-2006 02:01:01 | More by Viggo
Photo of Freshie
Freshie

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

Poured a dark brown colour, with tan bubbly head.

Smells of fruit and roasted malt. Very nice.

The taste was very powerful with carmel malt and strong hop influence, There was also a fruit character.

There is a kick and it caught me unawares, but I should have expected that from Stone. It pared very well with my Turkey Burger.

Not as smooth as I would have liked it, but it was still very drinkable, nonetheless. Maybe I am just a pansy? Haha

04-02-2006 18:52:47 | More by Freshie
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

22 oz bomber. 8.5% abv.

Dark mahogany color with a thin tan head. Aroma of roasted malts and spiciness..however the bottle says they used no spices in this one, it's just the Belgian yeast. Pretty impressive. The taste follows in line, and has a very soft mouthfeel that holds all the great flavors together. Reminds me very much of Great Lakes Christmas Ale..the spices & cherry flavor are quite similar. Overall, this is definitely a keeper in my book. Damn, I guess I'm going to have to get a bottle of this every year now..

03-27-2006 00:23:52 | More by hero27
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

Appearance: pours a clear ruby color with a one finger head that falls quickly to a surface foam. No lacing develops.

Smell: load of pitted fruits and alcohol.

Taste: the sweet malt is paired with black cherry, prunes, pepper, mild bitterness, and noticeable alcohol. The flavors are wrapped in a mild earthiness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth at the finish. Aftertaste is long on the fruits and alcohol. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: this is a beer that will improve with some aging. The alcohol at times seems to dominate. Definite slow sipper here.

03-26-2006 16:25:44 | More by Gavage
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

Deep burgundy color with a gigantic, creamy and rocky head of foam. This looks like a Belgian for sure. Aromatically speaking, it’s a bit dusty and dull, but still bursting with character with hints of sugared plums, pumpkin, chocolate, raspberries, almonds, bubble gum and toffee. Flavor is interesting, as each sip is different, some reassuring, some disappointing. The flavor is full of alcohol, but not harsh, loaded with notes of roast, chocolate, coffee, toffee and bright red fruit, with various yeast attributes. I don’t know a lot about Belgian yeast, but the yeast used in this just seems a little strange to me. Palate is noticibly thin compared to most Belgians. I’m pretty impressed overall, but I am sure Stone can do much better, especially if they brewed a Belgian style beer more than every 13 months.

03-26-2006 03:38:30 | More by Crosling
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

hazed dark brown with some hints of ruby. nice tan looking tan head.
brown sugary plums and figs dominate the nose. there is an odd chocolate character that is similar to a malt ball, but somehow not. hints of raspberry and black ripe cherries. the faintest bit of must sort of weaves in and out. with a big sniff there are some grainy qualities, and oh yeah alcohol. there are some spicy hop notes and faint perfumy clove too.
the taste is a good deal fruitier than the aroma. the plum, raspberry and cherry each take their turn. the fruit is followed up by slightly chocolate tinged brown sugary earthy malts. once in a while it gets a little boozy, but on the whole it's at an ok level. some clove qualities get through here and there.
pretty full bodied with seemingly fairly strong carbonation.
this one seems to have become a little more robust than the first time i had it soon after it's initial release. this one will definitely utilize some more time in the cellar well though. i'm gonna save my last one for late 2007 maybe.

03-23-2006 23:45:49 | More by kmo1030
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +6.9%

This one poured a glowing dark brown burgundy with a thin yellowish head that looked rather nice in a tulip.

Smelled of black liquorish, tootsie rolls, smooth oats and sweet barley. There was also this organic smell that I identified as an old mossy log that just got split open. My buddy called it a hike on a fall day. This smell is really on the money and superbly enjoyable.

Tasted honey sweet with dark malts and dark fruits that fades into a smoky birch bark and a really dirty lime or rhubarb sourness. Finishes with some coffee that picks up a little chocolate as it dwindles.

The mouth feel is medium to heavy bodied with very small bubbles. It just sort of felt heavy and dry and didn’t seem to interact with my palate, sort of like a distant conversation with a stranger.

I would have liked something with a little more substance in the mouth feel, but overall this was a pretty good sipper, its mossy smell being its highlight.

03-15-2006 22:10:15 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of ChillMike
ChillMike

Alabama

4.45/5  rDev +13.8%

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.

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

Florida

3.55/5  rDev -9.2%

Slightly roasty/carmalelized notes. Caramel malts and a little cocoa. Rich ruby/brown in color with a tiny half dollar thick tan head. Fore is caramel malts and cocoa with hints of raisin and spice. Having just had the 03 03 03 the other day I can say, as others have mentioned, this is thin. At the least is much thinner than the 03. Lacks that incredible spicy flourish of the 03 as well. But this does have a very nice basic flavor. Comes off as cocoa infused caramel pumpernickel bread with just a very slight hint of spiciness in the finish.

02-15-2006 23:09:50 | More by Jredner
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82

Nebraska

4.6/5  rDev +17.6%

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.

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

California

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

02/03/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle poured into my Stone Levitation tulip.

Appearance- Dark copper in color with a large 2 inch at least head. Huge chunks stick to the side of my glass and make it a bitch to clean. Damn lacing ;) One of the tops I have seen for the style.

Smell- Lots of dark fruits mingling around. Hops as well...this is Stone...remember? Dates, raisins, plums...you name it.

Taste- The hops are here, but only a touch in the aftertaste. One of the least hoppy beers from Stone. Lots of fermemnted plums and dates with a nice little red box of raisins on the side.

Mouthfeel- This one gets very smooth as it really warms. Carbonation starts out mid level and gets cask smooth towards the end. Not really creamy, but super smooth.

Drinkability- This one contends with most of the top line Belgian brewed Dark Ales. Quite flavorful and highly recommended. Need to get a few more of these before I can't find them.

02-05-2006 04:39:37 | More by GClarkage
Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.