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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

303 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 303
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: 303 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 ZX6Chris
ZX6Chris

California

4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared at a Vertical Epic tasting with my friend Armand. This and the 03.03.03 were my favorites.

A-Very dark brown color, tight white/brownish head. Great carbonation.

S-Dark cherry sweet aroma. Carmel aroma.

T-I get alot of carmel flavor from this one too. I don't get alot of anything else but I like the flavors I get.

M-Light body with great carbonation.

D-I wish I had more of these! I could drink these all day.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 01:36:33 | More by ZX6Chris
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 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 chaz01
chaz01

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Good sized (4-5 ounce) pour at a Stone Vertical Tasting Event sponsored by Belmont Party Supplies on 5/12/2010, served in a very cool Stone Vertical Epic tasting glass.

A: Very dark brown mahogany with a thin tan head.

S: chocolate, alcohol, caramel and dark fruits in the aroma.

T: Chocolate and caramel with some spices reminding me of soy sauce.

M: Better carbonated than previous beers in the series, but just a bit thin. Nice finish with raisins , dark fruit flavors and chocolate cocoa.

D: Very nice beer -- so far, this was my favorite of the series of the ones tasted.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 17:09:16 | More by chaz01
Photo of JoePat
JoePat

Kentucky

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

Pours a very dark brown with a kaki head that dissipates quickly leaving some lacing. Pretty good for its age.
Smells of roasted malts, raisons and an absinth like anise smell that makes the aroma really complex.
The taste is just as complex if not more. Anise, hop bitterness, earthy, spicy, and a sweet malty finish.
The mouth feel is dry which helps it go down pretty well.
This was a little oxidized and flat but considering the age it is expected.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2010 22:39:49 | More by JoePat
Photo of mrmanning
mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks DrJay for the sample! Dark mahogony body topped with a thin mocha ring. Plums, brown sugar, yeast and hops in the aroma. This beer is sweet, sugared fruit and candy, with an approriate spicy profile to balance out the sweetness. Slight acidity, bitter/sweet finish, leaving a spiced malt aftertaste. Pretty damn good

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 00:14:29 | More by mrmanning
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a wine glass. Been waiting four years to try this.

Appearance: A nice and dark layered amber color with good lacing. Weird balance of dark on top of light, almost like a black and tan at a bar, made with a spoon between the beers.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. Good and balanced? Yes. A Belgian Strong Dark? Seriously?! More like a Porter, and one that I'm not going nuts about. Stone's always quality, but I expected more here.

Taste: Same here. Initial chocolate and coffee and roasted malts. Phenolic activity's providing pretty much absolutely nothing. I'd say this was a 6.5% ABV Porter if this was some challenge to guess what's going on. Lingering sourness and roasted malts and sweetness. Again, balanced, but not a lot going on to the point where I'm excited about it.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation seems like it's really trying to push through the body, and though it's almost there, there's still a bit of a watery nature to the brew by the end that I'm confused by, especially since it's been sitting here for over four years. Or was it supposed to be like this?

Drinkability: There's nothing to complain about necessarily regarding this brew, but I don't know if age has done anything for it. I do have a bottle left. And yes, I'll wait until 2012. But what's going to happen? How much more complex and nuanced is it going to get? I feel like if this wasn't Stone, people would be giving it less of a rating overall, in some ways. I'm not sure. How long should we wait, though, really?

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 06:33:21 | More by asabreed
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured in a sampling glass.

Pours a dark brown ruby with a tinge of brown and ivory head. Nose is diacetyl and sweet, a bit malty.

Taste is a bit buttery and sharp, noot that belgian but still very nice. For a 4 year old brew this is gonna be awesome in 2012

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 22:48:33 | More by kingcrowing
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
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for sending me this a few years back. He must have a bunch of these still. Dark amber colored with nice clarity. Thin, tan head develops but is short-lasting, leaving behind a ring. The aroma seems a bit ripe, so I'm hoping it's not past its prime. Sweet and malty smelling, with caramel and dark fruits, plus touches of roast. The alcohol is somewhat evident also.

The taste suggests this has held up well, in fact it has mellowed nicely. The flavor is sweet with a keen dryness. It's very rasiny and doughy, almost chocolatey. The finish is really nice as the bitterness is lasting and complements the sweet malt character. The only thing lacking is that it doesn't come off as distinctly Belgian. You could probably convince me this is a Scotch Ale or maybe a Barleywine, as the yeast character isn't evident enough to set it apart. Nevertheless it is good. The mouthfeel is not heavy, in fact it's very smooth, with fairly sharp carbonation that foams up just slightly on the palate.

Glad this one tastes good after 4 years. It was the only 05' I have ever had (and probably the last), so I don't have to kick myself for not trying it sooner. This is better than the last three...

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 05:28:15 | More by bennetj17
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from Solomon420, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, Belgian yeast, caramel, brown sugar and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of caramel, dark fruit and brown sugar that are quickly followed by a good Belgian yeast breadiness and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice dark Belgian that has help up very nicely for 4 years. Overall it's a very good beer to drink for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 03:34:02 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of HopHed
HopHed

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Dark brown, nearly black, but with a very subtle burgundy hue. Very Clear. Noticeably tan head.

AROMA: A very malty, caramelly smell, with a slight coffee note and with some definite alcohol notes present.

FLAVOR: Malt, malt, more malt. Wonderfully smooth, rich, and somewhat sweet, but not cloyingly so. Subtle hints of caramel, chocolate, molasses, and (maybe) a slight coffee-ish note. Some noticeable bitterness of hops, but they were not overwhelming.

PALATE: Definitely leaning toward full-bodied, but extremely well balanced. There was a noticeable, but light, heat (of alcohol) about it. Would love to know where it was at ABV when we cracked it open.

NOTES: I could easily make this a session beer, but it would be a session beer that rendered me completely stupid drunk after two or three pints. It was full, but very enjoyable, and very rich.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 03:27:14 | More by HopHed
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Second to last...I must continue...

A: Poured similar to the 06' VE, but with an exceptional head....superb! The lacing is thick and clinging, similar to a double IPA. WOW!

S: Smell the 06'...but more potent...and more soy-saucy as well.

T: I am actually impressed by this beer...a very complex and musky flavor profile. An enhanced version to the 06' VE, but obviously more advanced. Robust fig flavor along with brown sugar qualities that personified the beer...at least in my opinion.

M: Another WOW for me...viscous, well-carbonated, with some creamy qualities.

D: Overly impressed...alcohol is hidden...good on a warm summer night.

Overall: Really good...a try it beer. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 04:48:24 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber courtesy of sunnydlyte23 poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep, clear copper underneath a healthy tan head that lingers as a cap for the duration and leaves good lacing.

The aroma is sweet with lots of dark fruits - figs, raisins, pears - soaked in booze. Plenty of brown sugar and some licorice and spices. It actually has a slight hint of oxidation in the nose with a bit of stale cardboard coming through.

The taste has the same booze-soaked fruity sweetness as the aroma. There is plenty of dark malts forming a solid backbone along with Belgian sugars before the spices leave a slight tingle on the palate in the finish. Again, signs of oxidation in the taste, just as in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent carbonation and the oxidation seems to have thinned it out slightly. The alcohol is definitely present in the finish.

This is a very good beer that I think is probably a little past it's prime. Very sweet with a good spice presence to mix it up a bit.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 01:42:19 | More by gford217
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 02:55:49 | More by flexabull
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 17:34:18 | More by Vancer
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very dark amber color with garnet highlights; with over three years under its belt, I suspect the head is no longer what it used to be but it does produce a bit of lacing as it quickly fades to a ringlet

Smell: Dark fruit dominates, primarily figs and prunes; caramel, brown sugar and hints of anise

Taste: Rum-soaked dark fruit opens the fray, with bitter zest arriving by mid-palate (its Stone after all); rich caramel spice cake; after the swallow, the flavors mellow into a subdued but complex mix, with deep undertones

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This beer has held up remarkably well; one has to wonder why Stone doesn't brew a BSDA as part of its regular line-up

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 00:45:59 | More by brentk56
Photo of corey0212
corey0212

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finding this at The Publick House Provisions was definitely one of those "Wow!" beer shopping moments for me....

Pours a handsome burgundy/mahogany color, small tan head fades out pretty quickly into a nice collar around the glass, not a whole lot of lacing to speak of. Smell is outrageous. Chocolate/cocoa/carob smells, something earthy/woodsy about the whole thing, and a pronounced alcohol aroma wafting up. Lots of chocolate flavor, fruity...maybe raspberries? Some fig & plum, brown sugar. Finely carbonated, medium-bodied, very slightly sticky, lots of lingering spice. I'm really wishing I had bought some more of these...a very unique beer drinking experience for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 00:21:22 | More by corey0212
Photo of abfraser
abfraser

California

4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tie for first place in the 2004 to 2008 tasting (see other posts)

A: Dark brown, with a reddish hue

S: Dark caramel malt, candied fruits, cloves

M: Full-bodied creamy mouthfeel

D: Very drinkable

Big fan of Belgian dark strong ales, so not altogether a surprise I thought this one was one of the best. Even still, great beer. Wish I had saved more than one.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 03:39:14 | More by abfraser
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second in abfraser's Vertical Epic tasting.

A: dark, mahogany, with some lacing

S: I was not a huge fan of the smell. Chocolate and fruit.

T: But I was a fan of the taste. More chocolate, alcohol, fruit, sweet.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 00:40:57 | More by waltonc
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 Overlord
Overlord

California

4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, reddish amber. Thin crust; almost no head. Smells like 100% caramel malt and Belgian candi.

This is a very sweet brew; malt, Belgian candi, maybe a bit of balancing fruits (apricot? plums? dates?). Nice yeasty/bread aftertaste.

Enjoyed it quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2008 07:21:42 | More by Overlord
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
Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.