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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

309 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 309
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.79%
Wants: 105
Gots: 52 | FT: 5
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kscaldef
2/5  rDev -48.8%

kscaldef, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of pathman
4/5  rDev +2.3%

pathman, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

TheLongBeachBum, May 08, 2006
Photo of sweemzander
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.

sweemzander, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4/5  rDev +2.3%

TheBeerAlmanac, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of FosterJM
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1660th Review on BA
Bottle to VE Glass
22oz

Split with StarRaptor, Callmecoon & Smarcoly

App- Almost the color of a pure mahogany. A little brown, A little light around the edges with a bit of a cherry juice additional color to it. A small head was there and then gone. A bit more aggiation reveals a bit more head to it.

Smell- This was more of a sweet quad like BSDA. A little bit of the yeast opens and the goes more into a bit of a bread like malt. A little bit of bakers chocolate. I would say even like a faded dubbel.

Taste- This was much more of a dubbel in taste to me than a BSDA. With the fading of the flavors, much more of the fizzy yeast and strong fruited malts came out. Making this taste much more bubbly. A little bit more cherry than I wouldve thought as well.

Mouth- A bit of a lighter medium body with a more soft and smooth medium carbonation. A good bit of bakers chocolate and malts on the finish.

Drink- I thought it was a good beer. A lot of good flavors remained. Was up there with the other better of the bunch 06. Was still very glad I got to try the series on Saturday and no signs of drain pours.

FosterJM, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of Reagan1984
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Reagan1984, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of Brent
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer had outstanding depth and complexity of flavor - you name it, and search around a bit, you'll probably find it. Primary characteristic as a dark, ripe fruit that was right at home with a dark Belgian style. Malty flavors were also at play - some toffee and milk chocolate, and a not-quite coffee mocha note of some sort. What surpised me most was that, for a beer with this abv and intended to be aged, it did not come across as hot or young. In fact, I wonder what improvement age will bring, it already seems much more mellow than I expected. Nicely done, and ready to crack open right now.

Brent, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
4.63/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

canucklehead, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of Bierman9
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Again today (14NOV09) I say "screw it" to the concept of saving these suckers. Just drink 'em, dammit! Bottle # 2 is opened and ready for quaffing.

Pours a clear, deep ruby, with a lasting, frothy tan head. Lace clings to the glass lovingly. Dark fruit aromas still fill the air. Subtle clove and spice also hit the nostrils. Middle of the road bosy and feel on the tongue, as with the original. Flavor has clove and roasty, bitter chocolate. Dark fruit is present here, too, and it has a suggestion of mocha and rum. So, take a fruitcake soaked in rum and dribble some oozing, hot dark choco over it and let that park on your palate. Hmmm!! Still a very interesting bier at 4.5 years old. As for ratings, if anything I might flip-flop appearance and smell, but still same overall score in the end. Prosit!!

*** ***

03FEB07 - This is one of two bottles of 05.05.05 I've been sitting on.... no need to wait any longer to try this for the 1st time, eh? Back label blurb, in this case, is quite informative, as opposed to many other Stones which lead the reader/drinker on various journeys to the far reaches of the world and/or the imagination.

Poured into a chalice, it is a deep, dense, brown hue, akin to that of freshly fallen chestnuts. Head is a light brown, fine and creamy collection of bubbles, laying thin over the surface save for larger gatherings around the rim. There's a smidge of lacing, though not found far and wide at all. The aroma is distinctly spicy, with some cocoa, sweet malt and some hints of ground cloves. Verry enticing! Body was 'twixt thin and full, which means medium. Now, I'd have just said medium to begin with, but I had a hankerin' to use the word "'twixt" for some time now. Carry on.... The Epic travels rather well over the tongue, to boot.

As for the flavor, well, there's a lot going on here. Some sweetness de malt, almost bordering on caramel; a bit of roasty, bitter choco/cocoa action; some hop florality and earthy character; a touch more of the clovey, spicy quality found in the nose.... I didn't get any kick, up-front, of the 8.5% abv. It may show in a bit, but this is verrry drinkable. Quite nice! No clue how it was at original release time, but at 21 months it is a keeper.

Prosit!!

overall: 4.35
appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5

965

Bierman9, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of jaxon53
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

jaxon53, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of merlin48
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled in a St Bernardus goblet, 05-05-05 pours a very dark body that appears opaque in the glass, but reveals a radiant ruby color when held to the light. Head is minimal, beige in color, has little retention and minimal lacing.
Aroma, when cold, has prominent notes of spice, yeast, and fruits. As it warms, malty notes come forth with chocolate and dark fruits soaked in rum. Yeasty character emits some wool sweater aromas. Mango and melon fruit esters are delightful to the nose.
Mouthfeel has a medium heavy body and moderate carbonation.
Taste is complex and quite good. Figs, prunes, and raisins drenched in rum. Spicy and earthy yeast and hops climb aboard and add a pleasant complexity. Strong rum notes make you aware that this one packs a punch. Bittersweet dark roasted malts emerge as it warms, along with a hint of orange and stronger prunes. Stone says this edition contains no spices, but there are notes of coriander, white pepper, and anise. Bitter chocolate and fusel alcohol on the finish, with a long bitter chocolate and spice aftertaste.
This year's Vertical Epic is deep and complex. A very good strong dark Belgian ale that is going to get much better with some age. Highly recommended!

merlin48, May 26, 2005
Photo of Vancer
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good day lil' beer - you're looking good in the ol' Corsendonk tulip with your deep mahogany pour and rich tan head.

Aroma is BW style - sweet caramel, fig, cherry and orange licorice. Mellow quaff combines all these ingredients, but just a bit of orange medicine and hot alcohol in the finish. I was hoping the aging would benefit the brew, but I'm a bit disappointed in this one - a good beer but nothing outstanding.

Vancer, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of tommyguz
3/5  rDev -23.3%

tommyguz, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of 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.

ehammond1, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

brewdlyhooked13, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of malfunxion
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

malfunxion, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass crystal celar deep amber brown with a tan lasting head that worked it's magic in coating the glass.

The aroma was molasses and brown sugar with dark caramel and a slight spicy phenolic from alcohol.

The flavor was mostly molasses with strong dark caramel and some dark fruit flavors.

The finish was dry with lasting molasses and lasting spiciness into the aftertaste. The body was medium full. A good beer, not overly complex however. Quite a bit of alcohol warming after consumption.

22 ounce bottle. Thanks CSquared!

GCBrewingCo, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been waiting for a reason to try this. I just had a great weekend, so this will hopefully be a great way to wrap it up.

Pours a clear and dark brown color with a decent off white head.

Aromas are spicy, some bright fruits, apples, some cider, caramal and oak.

Taste is spicy, oaky, with some sweet caramel flavors. Pretty dry with some light boozy alcohol, chocolate, and and earthiness. Finish has a bit of a funky yeast like bite.

Mouthfeel is nice and full. Feels thick but not overly heavy.

All in all, a really interesting and tasty beer. Pretty unique, not my favorite epic, but a very solid one. I also think this one has legs to keep going for a few more years. It seems like it might make it to 2012.

flexabull, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of Boto
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Boto, May 07, 2006
Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev +2.3%

koopa, May 12, 2013
Photo of IrishColonial
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

IrishColonial, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of Floydster
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle from Naja's Place in Redondo Beach

Poured into a pint glass with a 1/4 thick tan head and the color was an extremely dark brown, looked a little like Gulden Draak

Smell was very good with raisins, coffee, cocoa, and something that resembled a smore

Taste was nice and had a lot of malt and sweetness in it, taste did not last too long like other VEs I have had

You could finish a bomber of this problem, I shared this one with my buddy and wanted more afterwards, so pretty drinkable for how dark it is

Floydster, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of kmpitz2
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.

kmpitz2, May 11, 2005
Photo of Kurmaraja
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Kurmaraja, Apr 07, 2014
Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.