Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 305 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
2.68/5 rDev -31.5%
strikes a deep red, iced coffee pose in my cup. thin wispy belgian style foaming process in effect. some floating islands of bubble lie in wait on the beer's surface.
smell on this one is strong... sweet malt with a slight tinge.. bretty sourness in the nose as well. as the label says it lacks spice but bears some heavy beery scents.
taste is chocolatey with malts, raisins and plums. i am struck by an alcohol fist that is wholly unwelcome for 8.5%. too fresh is what they tell me. by 2012, this beer will benefit from further sweetness, complexity and mellowness (much-needed). ill try one again in a year or two. a noble work in progress for sure.
oh, and where does the bitterness come from? the alcohol? an undigested malt ingredient? powerful. hmm. what am i talking about?
on second thought, this should be referred to as an empty belgian base beer.. a beer mixer! my recommendation, improv! throw some kriek in there.. maybe a little bit of witbier. who the hell knows. have fun. drink stone.
dont hate my low scores, ill edit them in a year or seven.
05-17-2005 22:45:02 | More by goodbyeohio
3.03/5 rDev -22.5%
On-tap at Churchkey
05.05.05 pours out a red-brown color with a small, light brown head. The head both lasts and laces well. It smells of booze and malt with some really dark fruits. It's almost wine-like. The taste is all dark malt that's very roasty on the backend. The dark fruits are there, but aren't that great. Really disjointed with a bad aftertaste Medium body, but the bad aftertaste kills any drinkability. Again, as has been the case with these 7-9 year old Vertical Epics, it's too old.
01-06-2013 23:11:00 | More by russwbeck
4.13/5 rDev +5.6%
OK, here's my background here (I admit this is mostly for my future reference). Reviewed "Fresh" on 05-16-05 as a baseline for future reviews. I admit it, I am hooked on the Vertical Epic mindset. But alas, I only found out about it last year, and wasn't hip to the plan yet, so I only have 2 bottles of 04-04-04 that I am hoarding (only thought it was ok, good, kind of odd, but interested in tasting later) but since I only have 2 left, I'm afraid to try again. So this is my test on the 05- if I like it, I'll get a bunch more. Well, good news here- this is a good one!
Appearance: A relatively clean, clear brown that really is more red than brown- I use brown because of its darkness- does that mean auburn? Mahogany? Some other color I can never remember? But to be honest, it's really pretty. A nice tan head that quickly becomes a thin cover.
Aroma- I am a sucker for great aroma, and this is one of the better ones. I didn't read the label first, but I picked up brown sugar, caramel, dark chocolate, and more than anything else, sweet dark raisins (I haven't seen anyone else mention that).
Flavor- overall, this is good stuff, but first impressions- brandied plums, rich malts, chocolate, and a spicy alcohol kick at the back of the throat. I'm not good at describing which spices, but they are there. OK, I'm assuming that this means that it's young and raw, and this will mellow out nicely with time.
Mouthfeel is pretty nice, full, but harsh from the spicy alcohol.
Drinkability is that this one is pretty smooth, and I can see it getting better. High marks!
05-17-2005 01:46:53 | More by Dukeofearl
4.25/5 rDev +8.7%
Pours dark brown with a creamy, thin tan head. Some light lacing. Smell is rich caramel. Light dark fruit aromas. Toffee and a light earthiness.
Taste takes the smell and extrapolates it to higher levels. More rich caramel and toffee. Lightly spicy (clove, black pepper and cinnamon). Hint of dark chocolate (!). Strident hops as it finishes. Warming alcohol. Mouth is rich and thick. Sticky finish and aftertaste. All things said, damn yummy. Very enjoyable beer and goes down way too smooth for words. Good stuff.
07-26-2006 15:38:21 | More by ViveLaChouffe
3.9/5 rDev -0.3%
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.
06-08-2005 05:16:27 | More by Boilermaker88
3.65/5 rDev -6.6%
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.
05-06-2005 16:57:47 | More by HappyHourHero
4.6/5 rDev +17.6%
This beer was acquired from a trade with mentor. Thanks alot. This is a great american belgian, especially considering last year's disappointment.
The beer pours to a dark nutty brown with a slight ruby hue. A nice creamy tan head forms and stays at about a centimeter throughout the drink. A spotty lacing forms, but most of it washes back down.
The smell is very spicy and grainy. Amazing that the bottle says no spices were added. That yeast has worked some magic. Also a bit of berry. Very nice.
The taste is great. Doesn't taste like candi sugar overdose, which is great. Dry with an intense yeasty spice. A lot of clove as well, and even the slightest hint of banana. Sweet and toasty caramel grainy up front with some berry esters but dries out quickly with a spiced hop and mild alcohol finish. Great stuff.
The body is fairly big, and the spices, alcohol, and hops are intense combined with the dryness. All these things mixed with the carbonation unleashed a barrage of interesting flavors washing over my palate.
I wish I had more of this. I'm sure this one could stand up for 6 more years, and I would love to sample its progress in between.
02-13-2006 06:10:43 | More by neonbrown82
4.33/5 rDev +10.7%
Got this in a trade - thanks to mcallister! I've heard a lot about the epic series but never had one.
A - Nice ruby black color. Pours a nice frothy tan head. A delight to look at.
S - Rich inviting malts and ripe fruit. Undertone of alcohol but a year in the bottle seems to work for this brew.
T - Similar to how it smells. The belgian character shines in teh yeast and belgian candi sugar touches rounding out this brew.
M - Nice medium body with a pleasing warming effect.
D - Very drinkable! Some strong beers just don't work at 22oz - too much in one sitting. This one was a hit through and through.
Although advertised as designed for 2012 I thought this brew was good now. If I had 6 I would make it an annual tasting to see how well it holds up to the advertised date. I don't so it was nice to have one of these now. Recommended.
07-05-2006 13:09:13 | More by barleywinebrewer
3.93/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
12-12-2012 20:09:54 | More by axeman9182
4/5 rDev +2.3%
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.
06-03-2005 19:06:21 | More by meathookjones
3.55/5 rDev -9.2%
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.
05-22-2005 06:03:46 | More by ommegangpbr
3.79/5 rDev -3.1%
Very dark brown liquid. Light khaki head. Nice lacing.
Nose has malt and chocolate with a heavy fruit component. Figs and dates with Belgian yeast. Caramel and faint alcohol.
Taste is like a hybrid Belgian stout/dubbel. Chocolate and coffee followed by a heavy fig and plum fruitiness. Some malt and grains. Molasses and alcohol. Finish is dry and earthy with a lingering light tannic sourness.
Feel is thick and viscous, well carbonated.
Pretty good stuff. I like the mocha rubble/stout thing
02-03-2014 02:24:44 | More by scootny
4.33/5 rDev +10.7%
A small, tan, bubbly head leaves a few Ms of lacing. The beer is dark brown with dark red highlights. Nose. Is. Huge. Toffee, caramel, sweet yeasty toffee. Gorgeous. Sweet butter toffee kicks it off, leading to a thick, toffee, caramel, butter middle. Finish shows tangy, sour, overripe fruit and more caramel. Alcohol in the bitter aftertaste. Holy smokes. That's a delicious, huge, toffee, super-thick, buttery beer. Very old Englishy.
10-30-2005 19:20:27 | More by kbub6f
4.47/5 rDev +14.3%
5/23/2005 $6.49 22 oz. 8.50% Intended to last until at least 12.12.12.
Pours a dark brown, almost black that lets through just a touch of light to yield a ruby red backdrop. Adorned by a light tan head that rapidly dissipates. Nicely carbonated.
Caramelly sweet with notes of ripe fig. Hints of cocoa, nutmeg & licorice. I can't believe no spicing was used to brew this.
Very complex with flavors including, but not limited to (in no particular order): figs, chocolate, coffee, nutmeg, sherry, anise. Nicely sweetened, with just a touch of bitterness to temper it. Alcohol is present, but nicely masked.
Stone has done it again, churning out yet another world class beer! The flavors they are capable of wringing from nothing more than water, malts, hops and yeast are phenomenal. I can't wait until 12.12.12.
08-03-2006 16:28:38 | More by cbl2
Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 305 ratings.