Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 305 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +2.3%
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 didnt 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 doesnt 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 doesnt mean I am drinking perfection either, far from it really. If I could, I would drink this again, dont 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.
10-31-2005 13:50:37 | More by bditty187
3.85/5 rDev -1.5%
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.
06-03-2005 03:05:45 | More by CRJMellor
3.25/5 rDev -16.9%
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.
06-26-2010 00:02:49 | More by Arbitrator
3.63/5 rDev -7.2%
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.
09-11-2005 20:48:28 | More by lackenhauser
4.3/5 rDev +10%
Picked this up from AJ's for $5.79.
This is a dark brown colored brew with red undertones when held up to the light. Pour was OK, not as much head as true Belgians. Nose is sweet, of candied sugar and dark fruits. Taste is initially met with a blast of alcohol but finishes smooth with a chocolate fruit slight hop finish. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth and full. Overall drinkability is good. This is a very good beer that one should try. I know I have gone out of my way a few times to pick this up!
07-28-2005 01:05:26 | More by arizcards
4.08/5 rDev +4.3%
This one pours a dark brown color with a small head that doesn't fall fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma has a sweetness along with a subtle malt character and a touch of raisin. The flavor has an obvious amount of alcohol to go with some dark malts and some Belgian yeast spices. Very warming. Mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability suffers a bit from the high alcohol, but I think this will get better with time.
05-16-2005 17:09:38 | More by clvand0
4.38/5 rDev +12%
Pours a deep dark reddish brown with an ample 1 inch tan head sitting on top. Spotty lacing all the way down the glass. Aromas burst forth of roasted caramel, black licorice, some cloves & spices along with dark fruits (black currant?). Herbal, fresh hops show up in the background along with hints of earthy yeast. Very enjoyable.
First sip brings a roasty, toasty maltiness along with a deep dark fruitiness featuring cherry and black currant. Some cocoa and spice with hints of black licorice dance on the palate before flowing into a molasses finish that has just a touch of hops. Spicy, earthy yeastiness throughout. Quite a nice brew here. One of my favorite Vertical Epics so far.
Mouthfeel is full and creamy with smooth carbonation that flows delicatly over the tongue. Tasty now, it will be interesting to see how this ages. I'm glad I have two more for future enjoyment. Thanks to kmpitz2 yet again for this one.
07-23-2005 15:56:15 | More by orbitalr0x
3.85/5 rDev -1.5%
Almost one-finger of fluffy dark brown head over an almost perfectly clear orange-brown liquid. Smells chocolatey flat hops and belgian funky/phenolic. Woody and dry.
Tastes smooth chocolate, milky character, and fuggle rounded hops. Molasses-figgy. Belgian funk is dry and a touch of biscuity Not a wicked edge belgian as I expected (or...feared?). Some roasted malts, but they are beneath the chocolate. Sweet and pleasant, yet dry and an edge I can't quite get a finger on.
Mouthfeel is md and carbonation is moderate. I see this beer as developing over the span of a few years, but am not sure how much past 5 years it can go.
04-15-2006 06:11:00 | More by mentor
2.64/5 rDev -32.5%
Consumed on January 20th, 2013 at a private Vertical Epic tasting.
Beer pours a murky, nearly-opaque medium brown. No head.
Aroma is sweet: primarily molasses.
Flavor is slightly oxidized. Molasses/brown sugar are strong components on the palate with nothing else much notable other than a mild peppery finish.
Mouthfeel is borderline thin/watery and still.
My memory tells me this one was far, far better fresh.
01-21-2013 19:19:23 | More by charlzm
3.73/5 rDev -4.6%
22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass.
A - Pours a dark brown color with a touch of amber on the edges. Body is clear but has lots of large floating yeast clumps in it. Small tan head lingers briefly and leaves some webby lacing on the glass.
S - Slightly astringent, chocolate and cocoa powder, sweet malt, a bit of peppery spiciness. Overall, quite malty on the nose.
T - Bitter hops, cocoa powder, raisins, a bit of booze, some phenolics, sweet maltose, a bit of roasty malt too.
M - Medium body with a low-midlevel carbonation that gives just a bit of a tingle on the tongue. Feel is a bit slick and oily and there is a peppery spicy tingle on the tongue.
O - Good dark roasted, chocolatey, spicy and malty sweet beer. When this first came out in '05 I found this be a very good beer and went thru a number of these bottles. Seems to have fallen off over the years, but still solid.
12-30-2012 20:50:02 | More by portia99
4/5 rDev +2.3%
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.
12-13-2012 02:36:41 | More by jaasen64
4.47/5 rDev +14.3%
Very unusual brew.
Pours a dark, dark red amber...chill cloudy...with a half finger head that melts quickly to nothing...no lacing.
Aroma is sweet malt, raisins, dried fruit, light cinamon spice.
Taste is sweet mostly raisins, prunes, dried fruit, cinammon spice (like aroma) followed with a slight hops bitter aftertaste. Definately a toasted almost smoked malt flavor hidden in here.
Mouthfeel is rich and smooth with tiny tingly carbonation and light alcohol burn as you swallow.
Aftertaste lingers of both sweet raisin and bitter hops with warming alcohol. No alcohol taste,.... just warmth.
Very interesting and distinctive. I'm looking forward to trying a vertical tasting between the 04, 05, and 06 later this year.
04-29-2006 03:51:19 | More by IntriqKen
3.98/5 rDev +1.8%
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.
06-18-2005 00:19:58 | More by yemenmocha
4.25/5 rDev +8.7%
This beer comes out a super dark purple color with a medium semi tan head which recedes to nothingness within a minute. Lacing is weak.
Aroma is not the strongest as well. After letting this beer warm a bit I get a phenolic yeasty character in the smell and a fruity flavor which comes in light and dark fruits. A little earthy as well.
Taste is much stronger on the dark fruits. Plums are definitely the main flavor here. Residual sugars are abound. A Belgian characteristic comes more in the middle along with some roasted chocolate flavors. But they are soon wiped out with a hop bitterness and acidic hit in the finish. Alcohol is almost nowhere to be found.
The body on this beer is heavy and thick. Really heavy and thick imo for the flavors. High viscosity. But I'm enjoying it. It's nice and creamy and will support a multitude of development of flavors in the beer as it ages.
As for drinkability, the deucer went down and I enjoyed it. But it took some time and I was satisfied after one. Good beer all around but I could definitely see it developing into a great beer in about a year or two.
08-03-2005 11:33:38 | More by granger10
4.13/5 rDev +5.6%
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...
08-09-2009 05:28:15 | More by bennetj17
Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 305 ratings.