Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic AleStone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

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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: 103
Gots: 54 | 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
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Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JackStraw22
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy dark, dark amber. A little bit of head, not too much but what was there seemed to last.

Smell: Very sweet. Lots of malt, bready. Not very spicy or herbal, but rich and deep.

Taste: Quite smooth, alcohol is present but warming and not in your face. Pleasant and remarkable drinkable.

Can't wait to try this in a couple years. Good now, but should get better.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Deep brown cloudy nectar in my goblet. Thin head disappears completely in short time.

Aroma is quite comple mix of clove, cinnamon, tea leaves, christmas cake and more. Also a bit alcoholy.

Taste is disturbingly similar to root beer. I never thought it would be so but it is. Root Beer. There's clove, nutmeg, some wild flavors from the belgian yeast but it has a distinct root beer with Lipton iced tea flavor.

Finish is long, soft and a bit chewy with the flavors. Very sticky, and in a good way. A lot of hype for this beer so my expectations were a bit inflated.

Photo of 99bottles
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Taken in a tulip glass, this beer is quite stunning. The body is a deep ruby-brown color and a head of light tan sits atop. The retention is very good, as the head finally settles to a persistent lace cover of the surface. Beautiful.

Smell: A deep whiff lets you know this is a Belgian for sure. Sweet, sugary malts smell of candied apples, dried fruit and hide behind the strong scent of some otherworldly yeast. Really, even without tasting this you get a sense that the yeast is driving this wagon.

Taste: Whew. What can be said? It's complex for sure. The dark malt exhibits some roasted notes, some coffee and dark chocolate. Next the phenols kick in strong and range from spicy and fruity (cherries, licorice) to biting and medicinal. Sweet, sour, spicy, even a bit of hops to add a bitter finish before the taste of yeast sweeps everything back into place. Alcohol is apparent, but they even warn you on the label that it's a "hot" beer and needs 7 years to settle. I imagine this will be an absolute gem if left to age that long. Think you've got some tastebuds? Wrap them around this for a workout.

Mouthfeel: Good body, slightly viscous but really dead on for the style. Not cloying, although the alcohol is apparent. Moderate carbonation keeps things moving.

Drinkability: I really like it. I don't know that I could have too much of it, and the bomber itself is a bit much for one person, but it's not because it aint good. It's just a handful, and a whopping good handful at that. Good for Stone. Props for including a homebrew along recipe online. Stone Brewing are fishers among men.

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.

Photo of Litterbean
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A damn fine looking beer, black with shades of brown on the edges, with a stark white head that forms a nice cap on this one. Very mature smell, a touch of yeast and a sweet ripe fruit aroma. The alcohol is hidden fairly well, but manages to warm the throat all the way down. Chalky yeast flavors along with some fruity orange, raisins, and prunes. Very sweet but with a puckering tartness towards the middle. A thick brew that leaves a bit of a residual film on the tongue afterwards. The heaviness of this one makes it a sipping beer, nothing more. Impossible to put down while the bottle still has contents, but once finished, so are you.

Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Vertical Epic 05.05.05 ---- I can't remember a beer I have been more jacked up to drink. It does not disappoint!
The beer poured out a nice mahogany color in my tulip glass. The actual color when held to the light is a deep amber. A nice 1" tan head fell to a cap and rode the Epic all the way down.
I took the first whiff straight out of the bottle and found a beautiful spicy yeast aroma. After being poured out the smell of the yeast was intensified and some fruity aromas along with some clove were released. The bottle states that no spices were used in brewing --- that is a trip!! What a strain of yeast that must be!!
The taste of this brew was full of spicy yeast, a little banana and clove. There was some raisin apparent as the beer warmed. The hopping seems very, very light to me. There is a nice slightly roasted earthy flavor to this beer. An awesome lingering aftertaste finishes this off. There is more going on here than I can actually pin down.
The mouthfeel is creamy and a little thinner than I expected with medium carbonation.
I am very impressed with this offering from Stone. I hope I can save the three other bombers I have for tasting at different intervals during the aging process. It will be a challenge!

Photo of porterman
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got 3 bombers from a friend. Poured into my La Chouffe glass. Pours a nice ruby red with little head and doesnt leave much lacing. not much carbonation to speak of.

It smells alot like it tastes very fruity with a little strange chemical smell in the background

The taste is very similar to the smell:) Plums and malt and fruits with some strange aftertaste slightly bitter and harsh. Taste the alcohol more than in other similar styles that have more alcohol.

The mouthfeel is nice. thin maybe a little flat but very enjoyable

Drinkability is decent. a little heavy on the alcohol taste. but i drank 2 bombers back to back so it cant be too bad.

The first thing i thought of when i had my first sip was this tastes like it needs some aging. The more i drank the more this was confirmed. Tastes immature. Needs to smooth out some. It says on the bottle best drank in 2012 and i think they know what they are talking about. Hey its not bad now. But some aging will make this one alot better.

Photo of soper2000
4.8/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The third Vertical Epic for me in my beer adventures. Picked up from the Hop Shop in Indianapolis. I was originally planning on aging the 03 and 04 epics but that didn't work, so I just plan on consuming the 05's as soon as the need strikes.

Pours a nice ruby tinged brown with a slow beige head. The head diminishes but doesn't disappear. Nose has a nice earthy Brasserie Caracole property. It's a warm wet woodiness that I find in all of Caracole's beer and now i'm finding it in Stone's offering. Notes of plum and raisin remain in the background. A slight yeasty spiciness becomes prevalent in the nose as the beer warms. Taste is quite interesting to me. It starts off with a slight roastiness fading sweetly into the dark fruit categories. Plums, figs, and raisins invade the palate until something brillantly shocking takes over; grey tea! The hints of tea from the still fresh amarillos (?) give this beer an amazing refreshing quality. (see Three Floyd's Pride and Joy for more of this tea flavor) Alcohol is only detectable in the warmth this beer gives while sliding down the back of your throat. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. Drinkability is insanely great.

This is an absolute masterpiece. Superbly complex, yet drinkable at the same time. Stone outdid theirselves on this one. I love the combination of fresh bold American hops with traditional Belgian styling. A+

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

Poured from a bomber into a Stone Imperial Russian Stout glass.

Pours a deep burgundy with a brownish head. While the color of the beer is penetrating and the initial pour is beautiful, the head is dead after a few minutes and there is no lacing to speak of.

The smell is signature Belgian. Malty, with a spicy caramel scent with loads of alcohol in the nose.

The first flavor to hit on the taste is the alcohol, which at 8.5 abv isn't excessively high, but really present in the taste. This was a drawback for me. Otherwise it is a bit fruity, heavy on the malty caramel with a bready dry finish.

Smooth and lush, this beer is drinkable considering its strength, but, once again, the alcohol detracts from the overall experience. Its good fresh, not great. I would want to sit on this for a year or two.

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the standard Stone 22oz bomber (adorned with the 05 VE screened label) into my Duvel tulip glass. Had a gorgeous impenetrable chestnut coloration, massive amounts of creeping carbonation, and a thick, creamy off-white head that displayed amazing retention. Scattered bits of lace clung and shrivelled on the glass' walls.
The nose was a bit subdued, IMO. I expected a lot more but was left wanting. Sure, there was some serious toasty malt aroma, a decent level of dark fruitiness and an enticing, beckoning earthiness but I just had trouble getting all that much complexity to be coaxed out of this BSDA. Boozy alcohol aroma permeates.
The taste was a different matter. More flavors eminated here. Nice toasted malt and semi-sweet chocolate up front. The '05 VE got more earthy mid-range and took on a peaty, faintly smokey flavor that had me thinking it was morphing into a wee heavy for a second. More booziness as it hit the home stretch - think rum-soaked prunes with a lurking bitterness from the hops. Bittering accelerated as each pull headed down. Alcohol left a stretch of warmth down to the stomach.
Feel: medium/full with a real prickly zap to the tongue from all the carbonation. A bit raw from the alcohol but well set for aging.
Overall: not bad now by any means but the potential for aging is tremendous. So far, the 05.05.05 VE has the biggest upside of all the VE series for surviving to 2012 and beyond. Nicely packaged now but exquisitely set for the future.

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

Thirty fifth Birthday present to myself.

A: Dark burgundy with a bighuge head that leaves a good amount of lacing. Really nice retention, suds last and last.

S: Almost too complex to describe. Big malt smell. Notes of fruit all over the place. Smell of fruitcake (the good homemade kind, not that abomination sold in stores) are strong here. Spicy, almost meaty aroma that is faintly like a rauschbier in the jerky aroma (this smell is faint and seems to augment the sweet fruity aromas very well).

T: Complexity never ends. Tons of winelike fruity flavors with just a touch of a smoky spiciness. Big malty base here. Bitterness is low and late and faintly coffee like. The only detractor is a bit of a metallic aftertaste that I think will disappear over the course of aging.

M: Full bodied without being too heavy. Fairly high level of carbonation. Alcohol feel is really big and warms oh so nicely.

D&N: How the heck do you gauge a beer like this? To call this beer special is an understatement of the highest magnitude. Drinkability? I have four bottles of this brew to last until the final tasting in 2012. Maybe the Mayans are right, maybe at the penultimate tasting party the world has ever seen, the world will end. I feel almost special to drink this beer, one beer in a series that will, I'm hopeful, shake the foundations of the beer cosmos. Yes, I'm rambling, but with this one, I feel like using those 5000 characters. Bacchus seems to be strong now, and this beer is the vapor that lets the Delphic oracle speak. All in all, a wonderful beer, and it's making me tingle with anticipation of the 03 and the 04 I have carefully hidden away, and weep for the lack of the 02. I'm now one of the few, the proud, the Vertical Epic drinkers.
Cheers, my friends.

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

Not much UV gets through this one. The rays that do get through give this a burgandy type of a highlight. Appears quite clear. The head is frothy, light brown and long lasting. The lace comes in thick gobs. Thick and sweet malts on the nose. Prunes. Plum. Also a spiked punch kind of heat. I get a little char as well on the nose. Damn fine. I like the subdued roastiness on the palate. A slight nod to licorice as well. And dark, bready malts. Sweet candy sugar. And doughy yeastiness. The mouthfeel is rounded and smooth. Medium body. Light on the CO2. A little astringent with the upfront EtOH. There is a lingering bitterness from the alcohol. It's not evident till I take a long pause between sips. This is good. I forsee this getting much better however.

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

Brought this for my Sunday tasting tonight to Garagekeggers house,poured a deep brown with some reddish hue with a light almond colored head.Aromas of spiced cherries and smoky clovy spiciness from the Belgian yeast dominate,flavors as well are dominated by spiced cherries and clovey spiciness I even got a touch of black licorace in the finish.I am glad I opened it up I was gonna wait but the big flavors and complexities are to much to pass up a real winner from Stone again.

Photo of unklesyd
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a couple bottles on the release date and put 'um in the beer cooler. A few weeks later, I was in Whole Foods and a guy from Stone was there giving samples. I grabbed one of the VE's and got really excited. My plans for storing them went out the window.

I drank a Chimay Blue yesterday, and I figured that the weather here warranted another excursion into the BDSA category, so with little else to do, I cracked this one.

The color was similar to the Chimay, although it was a bit darker, and no sediment traces. Matte:glossy::Chimay:Stone for you analogists. Very small head as well when compared to the Belgian.

Taste was excellent and easily drinkable. Hoppier than the standard Belgian dark, but well balanced. Not quite so nutty as the usual, a bit more bite, but still restrained. The ABV was well hidden until 10 minutes in, when the warm-up hit my esophogas. What a glorious sensation in any event. I know that I'm dealing with a quality brew when I get this.

There was no hurry to finish, but not because I wanted to move on, nor because it was abhorrent. The desire to savour was natural and inclinational based on the brew; came from our symbiance, not from me, not from it. Tra-la-la.

Nice brew, great experience, and I'm Oh So Happy that I have another bottle of this in the fridge for another day.

Cheers!

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

After the mess I thought last years Vertical Epic was fresh I went against my gut feeling at tried this fresh. It turned out to be a good idea. Dark brownish red with light foamy tan head of decent stature. Lace webbing was left around the glass. Sweet candy sugar with a mix of dark ripe fruit notes. Some spice is kicking around as well. Flavor was full of sweetness from dark fruits, caramel and candy sugars. Alcohol was definitely there. Nice light spiciness mellows the sweetness. Good mix of flavors that should meld well over the next few months. Fairly thick and creamy. I could have had another after this. My favorite vertical epic so far. I am thinking this one could easily go for several years and turn into something great.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry wood color with deep brown streaks and a tightly carbonated tan head that kicks off just a wisp of occasional lace.
Aroma of chocolate, molasses or honey and some lightly roasted nuts with a earthy almost peaty note and a very spicy and dark fruit hit as well.
Flavors have clove-like Hefewezien or Dunkelweizen spiciness with dark and citrus fruit notes. Some chocolate notes, Belgian candi sugar as well as a resiny hop hit are also detected.
Mouthfeel has real alcoholic warming punch and has definitely not matured yet. Transitions between sweetness, spiciness and bittering are confused or non-existent but there remains a uniquely complex malt base that with some aging should amount to a pretty darn good beer. Think of it has a young pitcher throwing 98 MPH stuff just waiting to add a slider, splitter and change to reall foll the hitters. This one has some serious complexity buried between the medicinal alcoholic hit and should age well. In fact, my guess is that this one will age the best out of the VE's released so far.
Drinkability is decent considering it is way too young to drink. As the alcohol coats the palate the harsher flavors get softer and more enjoyable.

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

Picked a few of these up at the Stone tasting at Bauer Wine & Spirits (thanks Nick & Mike).
Pours a real dark brown w/ some rust color shining thru w/ help from the light...a nice full finger of light tan head forms and quickly disappears except for a slight covering.
Aroma is pleasant...wine-like w/ sweet malts hitting the nose.
Taste is packed w/ flavor...more sweet as it hits room temperature.
Definite spiced flavor, which claims to be due to the yeast...no spices added, eh? Very nice....a touch of hops to keep this one from being overly sweet. I also detect some smokiness, but very faint.
The mouthfeel may be thin for the style, but I find it perfect to make this Strong ale highly drinkable...despite the ABV%, I would have no problem making a session brew out of this one...this 22oz. is going bye-bye real fast. It is a good thing that I bought 3 of these...I feel # 2 will be gone tonight as well. We'll save # 3 for 12.12.12 or I will simply buy more.
Great job Stone!

Photo of Troyone
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly translucent coffee color with an amber hue, minimal head, and some carb action.

The smell has a roasted, slight molasses, caramel malt with a resin citrus hop aroma.

Lightly sweet and heavily bitter taste of a slightly burnt molasses and caramel malt with a resin, orange, and grapefruit hops aroma.

Medium to full body, dry slightly syrupy texture, soft almost flat carbonation, and a smooth slightly alcoholic finish.

Great drinkability for the style.

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

We are going to try this one while its still young...

Pours deep brown reddish cola color with a slight tan head. Vinuous aroma of dark fruits and berries, mixed with alcohol and bready malt. Flavor begins a little small, but then moves into big bready malt. Acidic dark fruits come in and blend with spicy and bitter citrous rind hops. Finish is acidic and slightly dry in a vinuous style. Pretty good ale, I am glad I am some in the cellar. Can't wait to see what develops by 2012.

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

This is a tough nut to crack. Dark brown in color with a surprisingly dark tan head -- moderate in size. Has strong dark ale written all over it.

The aroma, however, is surprisingly light and fruity. The fruits are more tropical than plum-like, with notes of bubble gum, banana and grape. More trippelish than the appearance would suggest.

And then there's the flavor. More bubblegummy candi sugar flavors up front, which yield in the mid-palate and re-emerge briefly in the aftertaste. All kinds of yeasty characters to the flavor here -- they contribute much more to the overall flavor than either the malt or the hops, the the former is certainly more dominant than the latter. Nice roasted malt/burnt sugar flavors emerge in the finish and linger nicely into the aftertaste, giving the beer an almost smoky character.

Fairly creamy in the mouthfeel, and there's certainly a lot of big flavors going on here. Nevertheless, the beer doesn't feel heavy at all. Weird.

This is really good. Probably my favorite of the series so far. Can't wait to see how it develops!

Photo of frazbri
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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one is magnificent! The body is a dark, dirty brown in color and topped with a gorgeous brownish-white head. The head stayed up for a time and left some awesome pits on top of the liquid.

Smell – The rich Belgian malts are mixed with a smooth, baker’s-type of chocolate that give this bouquet a heavenly scent. The fruits are dark and open up as the ale warms. The even, ever-present yeast though is what does it for me. They really did an excellent job with that aspect of the nose. This is just marvelous!

Taste – Yes, heaven-sent this is. The malts are so smooth and so yeasty. The chocolate is mellow and perfectly blended. The fruits pull back a bit from the smell and are replaced by some serious sugars. The finish is a dry Hershey’s Chocolate Kiss.

Mouthfeel – This is almost full in the mouth with a bit of dryness at the finish. There is no indication of the high ABV and the flavors are blended nicely, although this ale is certainly a cellaring candidate.

The carbonation really did it for me here. It is substantial yet delicately playful, keeping the drinker almost constantly entertained. It is fluffy and light in the mouth, which I just love to no end.

Drinkability – I think two years in the cellar will make this my first perfect 5.0 Belgian Ale (from Cali, of course – hahahaha). Right now though it is very drinkable. It’s so smooth and delicious you almost feel guilty drinking it alone (yet you will).

Comments – My personal preference with the style is a concentration on the yeast with a very complex presentation. I like my BSDA’s well structured and rarely cellar them, although as I said I may make an exception in this case. Regardless, the mouthfeel and flavors of this ale are top notch. They hit the proverbial nail on the head with this effort.

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

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a rich and creamy roasted malt scent along with a fruity yeast aroma. There appears to be a mild hop aroma as well. The taste is good. It has a very smooth roasted malt flavor that goes down smooth and finishes earthy with a slight bitter hop aftertaste. It has a mild yeast fruitiness as well. It is warm on the finish, but very smooth for an abv. of 8.5%. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very tastey brew. It is rich and hearty; a good drinker on those cold days.

Photo of xgrigorix
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Dark auburn brown. Fluffy beige coloured head retains quite well, and leaves some spotty lace behind.

Cloves leap right out of the glass, but are backed up by aromas of dark fruit & some funky earthy notes as well.

Cloves, phenols, & plenty spicy. Earthy hop flavours lead to a dry finish. Full bodied w/ gentle carbonation. Hoping this gets a bit more interesting with some age.

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!

Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.