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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: 315
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 216 | Hads: 315
Photo of BadBadger
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque dark color. The head was not overly foamy but present and relatively long lasting. The smell of alcohol is permeating. The vapors hit the palatine taste buds before the liquid touches the tongue-unfortunately. The taste is some what on the sweet side but rather pleasant. The alcohol taste is nicely blended within the sweetness, A nice smooth mouthfeel. Certainly worth buying two bottles and comparing the taste differences over time. Enjoy!

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Photo of Crosling
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep burgundy color with a gigantic, creamy and rocky head of foam. This looks like a Belgian for sure. Aromatically speaking, it’s a bit dusty and dull, but still bursting with character with hints of sugared plums, pumpkin, chocolate, raspberries, almonds, bubble gum and toffee. Flavor is interesting, as each sip is different, some reassuring, some disappointing. The flavor is full of alcohol, but not harsh, loaded with notes of roast, chocolate, coffee, toffee and bright red fruit, with various yeast attributes. I don’t know a lot about Belgian yeast, but the yeast used in this just seems a little strange to me. Palate is noticibly thin compared to most Belgians. I’m pretty impressed overall, but I am sure Stone can do much better, especially if they brewed a Belgian style beer more than every 13 months.

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Photo of Gavage
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a clear ruby color with a one finger head that falls quickly to a surface foam. No lacing develops.

Smell: load of pitted fruits and alcohol.

Taste: the sweet malt is paired with black cherry, prunes, pepper, mild bitterness, and noticeable alcohol. The flavors are wrapped in a mild earthiness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth at the finish. Aftertaste is long on the fruits and alcohol. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: this is a beer that will improve with some aging. The alcohol at times seems to dominate. Definite slow sipper here.

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Photo of Vancer
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The last in an 03-05 flight of Vertical Epics at Alewife Queens.

2005 Vertical Epic pours ruby red, with no visibility through the glass. No real head or lacing to speak of. The nose has plenty of cherry led, oxidized dark fruits, along with a mild chocolate aroma. Not much changes in the flavor, though the dry chocolate note is a bit more potent. Still plenty of dried fruit as well though. The mouthfeel is plenty light and agile, but the carbonation falls just a bit flat. Surprisingly, the 05 Vertical Epic is my least favorite in the 03-05 flight.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark ruby caramel cola tone with a tan frothy head about an inch thick, leaves some fine lacing around the chalice. Aroma: Slight medicinal clove tones along with some herbal tea and vinous sweetness which takes on a raisiny phenolic note. Taste: Spots of dark chocolate with a drier finish touch of honey and caramel sweetness with fruit phenols maybe some cherry here and there with a mix of cocoa powder and alcohol in the finish dark roasts play a nice mix with the belgian yeast character of this brew. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with an airy carbonation not bad coats the palate very well. Drinkability: Complex and somewhat difficult to describe flavor, I'm sure this one will be changing with time some brashness but should definitely mellow out (I'm sure this is the plan only needs to make it to December 12th, 2012.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eight year old Five poured like a flat Coca Cola as the color was definitely that of Coke but the head failed to rise significantly.

The aroma held wine or port like qualities with a lot of fermented dark fruit and a meaty savory scent.

The flavor is fantastic as it holds strong toffee notes, peanut brittle, caramel malt, dry port wine and buckwheat.

The feel is smooth, a little full and surprisingly crisp.

This was a really interesting ride from normal Strong Dark Ales and really ran the opposite way of expectation. Aging did this Ale very well.

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Photo of foXXtail
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on 5-7-05, two days after release.

Aroma is quite spicy, hints of clove and pepper. The alcohol kick is quite noticeable, almost overpowering. The fruity malt is complex and dark. It has notes of plum, with some phenols backing everything up. Hop is there, but not a star player. Very rich and complex.

This beer looks mouthwatering! Clear, deep ruby brown with an immense rocky off-white head that just dosn't quit. Effervescene is high, and lacing is impressive.

Deep plummy fruit with some dark caramel like sweetness, all very deeply malty. The spiciness is hefty, and bosts the cloves hinted at in the nose. A hop bitterness bites at the back of the throat in the after taste. Rich alcohol is powerful - almost overwhelming. Quite complex overall, there's a lot of things to taste here! Effervesence is medium-heavy, but does not interfere with the medium mouthfeel. A good balance between thickness and effervesence.

Pretty good, but the hefty alcohol needs a chance to mellow. Looking forward to trying this one in a year or so after it calms down and blends a bit.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of lou91
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally the ’05 has arrived in the bay! Picked up a bottle at Berkeley bowl and had to have it immediately. Dark brown with a red glow with very little head on the pour. Wow what a great nose of Belgian candy sugar, malt and alcohol. I should have let it warm up but I couldn’t wait and drank it cold. Rich, creamy and oh so tasty. As it warms, Chimay blue comes to mind although far from a perfect match. Still it had a similar profile with hints of raisins and bittersweet chocolate with a dry hop finish. I can’t wait to try it again next year.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.97/5  rDev +1%
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

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Photo of tomParis
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very unique brew. The Belgian Bastard would be a good name for it.

A little too fresh right now, but this beer could be something special in a few years.

Mostly caramel and fruit flavors, with a nice kick of hops. More bitter hops, but definately some citrus flavors in there too. I think the fruit flavors will emerge a lot more as this ages. The alcohol is noticable but not overpowering.

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Photo of chinchill
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At 2014 Most Arrogant Bar Bash (Barleys in Greenvillle,SC)

Pours black and opaque, with a good head.

This slr shows obvious barrel aging effects, including a smooth feel and well blended flavors. It's warm with an estery finish and aftertaste; otherwise the high ABV is well hidden. Flavors include vanilla, toffee, dried fruit and light spicing. Semi-dry finish.

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Photo of bditty187
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in hue with ruby influences and a hint of copper; seems to be clear. Beige head, the foam reached almost three-fingers in height at its highest point. Head retention was excellent, the cap didn’t move much. I kept looking at it, waiting for it to fall… nothing. Okay, it was slow to subside; very impressive. Where was the subsequent lacing? I mean the head retention was great and thus I would think my glass is clean, as such, where is the lace? Disappointing, it would have been icing on the cake. On the whole, this is a good-looking beer… not perfect but it attracts the eye.

The nose is well rounded; I feared something more alcoholic, something messier. I am happy I was wrong. Cloves, spicy yeastiness starts the bouquet on the right note; it becomes maltier with a small does of chocolate and caramel at the back. Smoky fruit like plums, dates, and cherries. The potency is low; the nose is too soft for a Belgian-style ale. What I detect is nice but nice doesn’t cut it. Inviting but it errs on the side of underdone. I am surprised.

The palate is tasty but nothing really jumps out at me. Spicy and juicy… cloves, banana, dates, smoky cherries covered in chocolate, some caramel too with a kiss of alcohol. Vinous. Yeasty. Peppery at the finish, I really like this aspect. It is hot and kind of raw but not in an aggressive way. Moderate maltiness but, it seems to work fine. Dark malts add a solid foundation. There are no flaws in the palate but that doesn’t mean I am drinking perfection either, far from it really. If I could, I would drink this again, don’t get me wrong. I like it. Clearly Belgian influenced; I can ask for nothing more.

Medium/medium-light in body, low but prickly and fun carbonation, the mouthfeel is a bit too light for me. It is not detrimentally thin; all in all the mouthfeel is pleasant.

Drinkable? Yes. Give me some fruit and funky cheese and I would be very happy to quaff this beer. Hell, I am happy to quaff this beer solo. Honestly, this beer is good but forgettable. What about it am I going to remember? Sadly, I will remember that this beer was not a mess and that it was not too hot. Long, warm, spicy aftertaste with some malty sweetness… this might be the best aspect of the beer. This alone wants to inspire me to drink more! I purchased my bottle in Fort Collins, CO. Worth a try.

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Photo of Boto
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of cjacobsen
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark, hazy brown with a very little yellowish head that diminished quickly after poured.

Smelled of raisin and dark dried fruits. Roasted malts added some depth to it and prune and some alcohol rounded it out.

The taste wasn't nearly as much as the smell was. The raisin and plum came about in the back of the taste and in the aftertaste more than upfront like I had originally thought. There was a surprising chocolate flavor that was noticed first upon tasting. The roasted malts give way in the middle of the drink.

This beer was very smooth. The carbonation was there but not very apparent.

For being 5 and half years old, this brew has held up pretty well. I think when kept under the ideal conditions it will do well for another 2 for the VE run.

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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.

 796 characters

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