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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 JTomczak
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

JTomczak, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of jaxon53
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

jaxon53, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

orangesol, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of funkel81
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

funkel81, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of JAXSON
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 rate.

Pours a dark opaque brown with crimson edges and a creamy tan head. Malty and boozy on the nose. Some nice sweet dark fruits, but not a ton of complexity going on. Thin and a bit shallow in the mouth. Big malt but the sugars have faded. This actually needs to be sweeter. Some faded hops sit around, and some interesting spices ride in a long finish. Kind of interesting.

JAXSON, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of WOLFGANG
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

WOLFGANG, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of robbrandes
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

robbrandes, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of asabreed
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?

asabreed, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Ahhdball
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark amber light tan head forms on top
chocolate, dark fruit (plums, maybe cherry) aroma
taste is decent not the best but there's pepper, some other spices along with maybe a fig and hints of chocolate, small hop bite in the end
mouthfeel was smooth drinkability was decent but my next will be opened in 2015 like the bottle says

Ahhdball, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Stone Company Store in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a hazy dark orange-red with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, and grape juice aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, dark fruit, and fruit juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice fruity characteristics that are holding up surprisingly well for being over 9 years old at this point.

Serving type: on tap.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of Jredner
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Jredner, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of Derek
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I love Stone brews, but I don't think this one lived up to their name (or my expectation).

A: Caramel colour with a slight ruby hue, off-white head.

S: Malty sweetness.

T: Very malty, and certainly balanced to the sweet side. There isn't a lot of flavour, but the alcohol content is well hidden.

M: Syrupy, moderately heavy body (unusual for this style), moderate carbonation.

D: Easily approached, but this is a big beer. It'd be a challenge to drink a lot.

Thanks DrJay!

Derek, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thus far, this is interesting.
Looks beautiful in the glass.
Though this is new and young there are flavors that make me think "skunked" here and there.
There are also flavors that make me think doppelbock.
I haven't quite sorted them out yet.
Hopefully, I'll be able to get my hands on this again, though it seems these vertical epics are becoming quite the hot item.
Deep roasted things are happening here and there.
Malts, slight hops (by Stone standards). Worth a try at the moment but I think this needs to age awhile longer.

ommegangpbr, May 22, 2005
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

The beer appears chestnut brown with a thin tan collar. The aroma brings toffee, light spice, caramels, malt, age, brown sugar. The flavor is a tad sweet, with brown bread, a touch of basement musk, toffee. Pretty good. Thin body with low carbonation. Pretty good.

Huhzubendah, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12. Review from notes.

A: Burgundy/brown color with a small off-white head that reduces to a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

S: Chocolate, caramel, and some bread. Reminds me of a dubbel, sort of estery and phenolic.

T: Not as nice as the nose, some banana, chocolate, clove, and butterscotch. A little bit of raisin and dark fruit as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: One of the better "older" vintages.

mdaschaf, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of Lnedrive14
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It needs to age...

The alcohol is a bit too overwhelming. Other uses have descibed it as a bit too "heated" and I think I tend to agree. It looks like a typical strong ale, dark with a small head, not too much different from the Bastard. Smells a bit stronger, with the alcohol really taking presence. I think as this beer ages, its fruitiness will come out a bit more and the alcohol will die down. Until then, its worthy of a try, but certainly nothing spectacular.

I'll check back in 10 years.

UPDATE: Drank another one on 8/29/2006 - still had the same problem. too alcoholic.

Lnedrive14, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of lackenhauser
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color with a fantastic tan head that starts out huge and remains 1/4" high all the way down. Huge assault on the nose as poured. Big malty and raisen like aroma. Spicy and heavy scented-very molasses like. Malt flavor dominates. Somewhat peppery flavor. Spicy. Slight astringency and dry finish. Good body-the dryness in the finish knocks it down a smudge for me. A damn fine beer. Id like to think som age will help this one. Well worth getting for now and later.

lackenhauser, Sep 11, 2005
Photo of scruffwhor
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hardly any head after it was poured into my Leffe chalice. No head after the first sip. The only redeeming quality of this beer's appearance is its deep, brown blood color. It reminds of brandy a little when you get to the bottom. The aroma is of brown sugar, vanilla, and toasty malted caramel with a burny, alcohol finish. The taste is like a dark fruity brandy. Get some mild alcohol in the finish mixed with hints of pecan torty. Pretty clean palate but with strong, dark overtones. And a spicey, yet subtle alcoholic finish.

scruffwhor, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of beersarang
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby with a quickly receding tan head. The crappy retention is the only thing marking down the score.

Bready yeasty aroma, pleasant.

Nice bready malt presence, light hopping, unable to discern but I believe the dominating hop flavor is floral. Finishes horrendously yeasty, very Belgian-esque. Just a touch too yeasty, might benefit from aging. Alcohol is not too noticable, until it warms.

Medium bodied, prickly belgian style carbonation.

Drinkability suffers from the yeastiness, otherwise a decent offering but does not live up to the hype.

beersarang, May 15, 2005
Photo of Goldorak
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark ruby, reminiscent of a port, but with a clingy brownish head.

Smell: Caramel, scotch ale sweet, but with a twist of mirabelle (some weird fruit they use to make booze in europe), some plums and a nice alcohol finish.

Taste: Profound maltyness, like a granola bar with nothing but specialty malts and caramel/nougat, dipped in a bit of alcohol to round it all off and make it rich and warming.

Goldorak, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small, dense foamy, light brown colored head that didn't last very long, and left only a few specs of lace. Deep mahogany colored beer with a ruby hue. Vanilla/butterscotch and some apple in the aroma. Fairly sweet sugary raisins, a dash of apple, and just a pinch of vanilla yeastyness before the bitter chocolate flavor kicks in. There's a biting bitter saltiness towards the end that carries over into the finish, which fades as the beer warms. Starts like a Belgian strong dark ale and finishes like a bitter barleywine. Mouthfeel is soft and just barely slick, while the body is moderately full. Most of the aromas and flavors were great, but the bitterness at the end kind of killed it for me.

HappyHourHero, May 06, 2005
Photo of bnutz
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I opened this May 6th, 2005.

Not knowing anything about the style Stone was going after for this year's brew, I was suprised to see a deep caramelly, brown beer being poured into my glass. The head was light and frothy and didn't bother haning around.

The nose hinted around at banana and herbal tones but none of the aromas typically associated with Belgian-Style brown ales were present in great abundance. I got primarily a mild grassiness with a bit of alcohol.

After the first sip, I thought I may have chilled this beer too long. It seemed that the caramel, tangarine peel and celery flavors had been turned down. I let it warm up a bit and didn't find much improvement.

The beer had a nice viscosity in the mouth and an herbaceous, alcoholic and mildly hoppy finish.

I think this beer is just young. I thouroughly enjoyed it now(although not as much as initial tastings of the prior VE releases) but think it is going to age like a champion. I can't wait to try one in six months.

bnutz, May 10, 2005
Photo of kingcrowing
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

kingcrowing, Nov 07, 2009
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.

porterman, Jun 12, 2005
Photo of snpub540
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Couldn't wait until 2012 to open atleast 1 of my bottles. There was hardly a whisp of smoke as I opened the bottle. Out poured a deep, coffee brown topped off with a 1/4 inch tan head. The head didn't stick around long, but it did leave some nice lacing on the side of the glass. The aromas were very vinous with the addition of some roasted malts. Now I haven't been partial to belgian-style ales but this one didn't seem to have that same earthy charachteristic that I am not very fond of. The taste was bitter upfront, followed by a nuttiness, then sweet alcohol as it finishes. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied and smooth. This beer was very drinkable. There was nothing overwhelming about the flavors. I enjoyed this brew very much and we'll have to see how these bottle I have stand up with time.

snpub540, Jul 02, 2007
Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.