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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

216 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 216
Hads: 314
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 15.01%
Wants: 101
Gots: 59 | FT: 7
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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 05-06-2005

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 216 | Hads: 314
Photo of Truh
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
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...

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was a very dark/thick mahogany red with a two finger head that quickly dissapated and left a thin white white lace on top of the beer. Very nice laceing that held on throughout the drink.

The smell was very strong with alcohol overtones mixed tightly with sweet malt and dates. Hidden in the rear of the nose were hints of hop spice and wooden undertones.

The drink started with a strong hit of alcohol heat that was gone as quickly as it arrived. This followed by a very sweet fruity explosion and then a quick bite of hops. The finish is very clean and non-lingering.

All and all a very good and clean tasting beer. I thought it was quite odd that the only hit of alcohol heat was at the front and not the finish. I'm still quite impressed by this one and I can't wait to try it in 2012.

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Photo of ejquin
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks beautiful with a deep brown / caramel color with a thick off white head. Smells of molasses, hops, and malt. The taste is of hop bitterness and malt. Alcohol overtones, and molasses with a semi-dry finish. This beer also has a slight metallic aftertaste when cold, but disappeared as beer warmed. Mouthfeel is very chewy, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

I really wasn't crazy about this beer at first, but as it warmed it seemed to open up, and by the end of the bottle I thought it was an extremely solid offering.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A. Poured into my VE glass this brew pours a darker brown with ruby tones. A small amount of yeasty floaties are noticable when held to the light.
S. The aroma has notes of hazel nuts and dark chocolate with burnt caramel apple.
T. The flavor has a good mix of oxidation with some belgium spic notes from the yeast.
Mf. Fully mouth feel, smooth carbination
Overall, the best one so far.

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Photo of Troyone
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of TheJudge
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet, an extremely dark brown that pours with little head. The label says store till 2012. Sure pal. I have that kind of patience.
Smell is sweet chocolate, no real hop presence. Something else comes through spice wise, but I cannot put my finger on it.

Tastes thick. Bitter chocolate like baking chocolate or cocoa powder dominates, front to back of the mouth. Strong alcohol comes forward. no sweetness at all. Pretty good.

This beer flows evenly over the mouth, getting into every part. Stimulates the taste buds well, decent if not quite perfect carbonation, much moreso than it appeared. somewhat too heavy to drink all night, but this is a nice beverage

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Photo of AlexJ
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

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Photo of RedHaze
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep dark brown with some faint ruby highlights. The head comes to a finger in height at it's apex, but fades rapidly to a thin soapy head. The lacing is thin and tattered.

Smell; on the first couple of sniffs chocolate covered, rum soaked cherries come to mind. A little bit of vanilla and cloves are present as well, along with some hints of pepper. Very nice!

Taste; the chocolate is definitely present right away, along with a bit of coffee with touch of a chalky/yeasty flavor. Some dark fruits come out, with cherries and raisins mixed with a bit of alcohol. Even though I can taste a bit of alcohol, it doesn't give any of the alcohol burn. The finish is sweet caramel and candied sugar.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability; the mouthfeel is a bit thin due to a fairly low carbonation, but it is very smooth. With the smoothness of the mouthfeel, and the flavor of this beer it is pretty darn drinkable.

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Photo of scooter231
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This guy is still a little young, but I've gotta say I liked it- and I think this is going to get even better as it ages. Will have to make a note to try it again in a year or so.

Pours a dark ruby color with light head, pretty. Smells sweet, floral, maybe hints of caramel in there. Taste is again sweet, and light. Coffee is in there, caramel again, a nice bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is bubbly and chewy, very nice feel. Highly drinkable as well, and can't taste the alcohol in here, though you can certainly feel it. A tasty guy.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- candi sugar, sweet malt, citrus in the finish

color- light brown amber

clarity- pours clear and dark

smell- chocolate, cake, cereal, flowers, nuttiness, biscuits

body- some hop bite still left in the front of the mouth, medium-length finish, smooth on the palate

appearance- nice off-white head when first poured, medium-light, creamy, fine lacing in glass, active carbonation throughout the session

overall impression- mellow, drinkable beer. really impressed for a beer with 7+ years of age. very approachable and still enjoyable beer. alcohol is still present

notes and comments- audible carbonation when i popped the top

beer spy- bevmo, walnut creek ca, may 2005, $4.89, 22oz

glassware: tulip

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App: A half inch white-tan head forms over a deep dark brown color with some crimson highlights. Head retention is decent, leaves some lace and spots of suds inside the glass.

Sm: Spiced bread, fresh apples, cherries, anise.. definitely delivers what the label promises. Pungent alcohol.

Ta: Starts with sweet malt, then rich dried fruits - dates and figs, finishes with dry roasty malt.

Mf: Medium bodied, by the end there is no apparent carbonation, but it can still be felt on the tongue. Has a decent length, but it could be a bit longer.

Da: Would work well as a digestif.

Comments: This is a good example of the Belgian-style strong dark ales, but it left me with some questions. It isn't as full flavored, nor as long as other good examples of the style. And it's a bit expensive ($7-$8/bomber), with Belgian imports costing only a dollar or so more.

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Photo of meathookjones
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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...

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I admit I was a bit shocked to see this one among a Vertical Epic line-up at Stone Soup '13, as this is one of the most rare of the batch, so thanks to whomever brought it to share. Of course I never had this one before, so I have no basis for comparison, but it was definitely enjoyable, and I'd say it held up well, and was actually probably my favorite of the VE series (of the few that I've had).

Dark amber-brown pour with a small tan head that mostly receded, leaving some lacing on the glass; a few floaties in there. Aroma was malt-driven, notes of bready yeast, cocoa, dark fruits, maybe a touch of oxidation detectable, but nothing significant. Whoever cellared this did it right, because I didn't really get any off-flavors at all, which was nice, considering reports from some other reviews. Dark malts, sweet dark sugars, rum raisin, cocoa, roasted chestnuts, slight earthiness that might have been a hop contribution, but otherwise, any hop presence that might have existed was pretty much undetectable to me. Medium body, slick mouthfeel, lower carbonation. A nice treat.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of FosterJM
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1660th Review on BA
Bottle to VE Glass

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.

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Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle poured into a goblet.

Very dark, almost black
with mahogany highlights, topped by a foamy, clinging tan head that drops a bit too fast.
The nose already tells you this is not a "standard" belgian strong, if there is such a thing as a "standard belgian. It has the same malty, caramelized smell, the usual dark fruits, then some faint roastiness and maybe even chocolate, but also a fruity, grassy hoppiness.
It is medium to full bodied, and the taste is what the smell suggests, malty caramel, some dark fruits, and hoppiness! It has a dryer finish, a more refreshing character and a lot more bitterness than I expected, although it is still not exactly an overly hopped beer.
Out of the style, but quite interesting. Well crafted and better balanced now that it has aged.

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Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear ruby brown with a dark tan head and spotty lace. Rich caramel and toffee aroma with some figs and cocoa. Malty sweetness dominates with plenty of caramel/toffee character and a bit of nuttiness and chocolate. This is balanced to some degree by mild spice. The texture's a bit syrupy, palate coating, and smooth, moderately low carbonation. Not bad at all.

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Photo of jaasen64
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Lord Hobo for their Vertical Epic Event on 12/12/12. Last beer of Flight "A" (03, 04, 05). 5oz serving in a flight glass.

A- Dark reddish mahogany, slightly translucent around the edges, fairly small head, not much head, darker then the 03 and 04.

S- Dark fruits, cherries, plums, fairly sweet, slightly more aromatic then the 03 and 04 and definitely more fruits.

T- Cherries, plums, some light spiciness. Roastiness and chocolate mostly faded away however dark fruits definitely take over to provide a nice taste. Still get some hints of earthiness that mixes well with the dark fruits.

M- Medium bodied, decent carbonation, smooth easy to drink.

O- I feel like there were a lot of flavors that disappeared in this beer however there were a lot of flavors that instead came out nicely from the age such as the dark fruits. I think I would have enjoyed it a little bit more fresh with the chocolate and roastiness, but it too a different complexity being aged that definitely tasted nice. Probably my favorite of the 03, 04, 05.

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Photo of BeerFink
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at winter storm.

Poured a brown color that was closer to black but it was pretty clear. There was some off white head that dissapeared quickly.

The smell was of fruits and chocolate with a touch of coffee (slight touch). It was a good smell but maybe not fantasitc. But what it did have going that set it apart from the rest of the belgian dark beers is that it hinted at a lot of complexity. The combination of smells coming out of the glass was quite intersting.

The flavor was similar to the smell. There was a small amount of hop presence still there after 2 years. I found that especially interesting considering its a belgian beer. Not really any hop flavor, just some bitterness. There was some chocolate, some fruit, some coffee, and a touch of yeast. I think the flavor is still developing and I would like to try some of the 6 bottles that I have over the next few years.

Overall a good beer but it was not what I was expecting, not that thats a bad thing.

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Photo of palliko
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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!

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Photo of Litterbean
4/5  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.

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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 216 ratings.