Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 546 | Reviews: 379 | Display Reviews Only:
1.3/5 rDev -65.5%
Washington Irving, is his darkest dreams could not have conjured up a more frightening headless apparition than this. After 30 seconds it looks like goddam apple juice. Smell is run of the mill for the style, fruity esters, citrus, et al. Unfortunately the smell does not prepare one for a flavor which can only be described as an unmitigated disaster. Tastes like somebody spilled a shitload of ginger and grapefruit juice into a glass of Boone's Farm. Mouthfeel is slightly less dreadful.
It's painful for me to write this, as I believe that there is not a finer brewery in the country than Stone. That's the point, though. I expected a hell of a lot more out of this. At least a head would have been a start, for God's sake. I've tried this twice now, because I thought for sure I must've just been in one of my moods the first time. Unfortunately the second time confirmed it for me. Maybe if this is cellared for 5 years the wildly disparate flavors in this will merge into something palatable, but for now this is an absolute hideous mess of a beer.
07-29-2007 02:50:28 | More by jeffjfindley
1.98/5 rDev -47.5%
I must preface this review by saying that Stone is probably my favourite brewery. The Ruination and Bastards are extremely well made beers; beers that I've converted BPR drinkers with. So, I expected allot from the Vertical Epic.
I poured it from a 1pt 6ox bottle into this nifty Samuel Smith pint glass (try to find one, they're nice). The colour was nice, looked on par for the style.
The smell was kind of, well, blah. There was spice, and alcohol. I couldn't make much out of it.
The taste and mouth feel were awkward. It felt thin, and hot. The alcohol was very forward, as were the spices. It also had an over "sour" taste, like it had been chilled, warmed, and then chilled again. It wasn't the clean taste I'd come to expect from Stone.
Maybe I just got a bad batch, but I expected much more.
12-01-2007 07:34:47 | More by nephlim
1.98/5 rDev -47.5%
Had this at the Stone 08.08.08 event at Brasserie V in Madison. Stone has just hit the Madison market, and has hit hard, with their posters and taps showing up all over the city. But I have to say, I have yet to be impressed with ANY of their beers, especially this one.
I was told by a Stone Rep that this was a Saison style, even though it's listed as a belgian strong ale here. Pours a pale gold, smells very strongly of spices. The taste is all spice: tons of ginger, cinnamon, clove and coriander, nothing else at all. After a year of aging you'd think the spices would have died down, but not at all. Maybe there was more hop flavor initially that has worn off with age, making this beer unbalanced, but whatever it is, this was flat out BAD. Spices in the face with nothing else going on. I could only choke down 1/3 of the pint. I hate to waste beer, and this is the only beer I can remember that I have ever sent back without finishing as it was just plain un-drinkable.
After having this, their arrogant bastard, ruination and the 08.08.08, I am very disappointed with Stone. Add on their "you're probably to stupid to understand how good our beer is" marketing campaign and I'm totally done with this brewery.
08-12-2008 19:30:15 | More by Sconnie
2.1/5 rDev -44.3%
Bomber into a pint glass.
A: Pours luscious deep gold. Honey, amber and tawny highlights. One inch of creamy white head, with good retention and lacing.
S: Smells decent, but not great. Strong aromas of esters and Belgian yeast. Some faint spices are evident.
T: The first sip is bold malty tones, as well as fruity sweet notes like in a Tripel. Spicy ginger notes arrive mid-palate, followed by other spices (cinnamon and cardamom). Then catastrophe strikes. The cardamom is much too strong, and it leads to an absolute train-wreck of a finish, which left me feeling like I had cottonmouth. Surprised, but undeterred, I tried another sip. Same thing. I tried still another sip and noticed to my dismay that everything I disliked about this beer was becoming more pronounced the more I had it.
M: I forced myself to have another couple sips so that I could evaluate mouthfeel. It was overly carbonated and sharp.
D: I poured this one out.
I'm glad that they only brewed this once.
01-17-2008 01:02:15 | More by Boppar
2.15/5 rDev -43%
I recall this being the worst stone beer ever, but hey now 4 years old, lets give it a shot again. Poured into a stone vertical epic glass.
Pours golden amber with far more carbonation than a 4 year old beer should ever have. A small thin white head forms that doesn't hold or leave lacing.
Fruity esters, pine apple, white grapes, cloves, bananas, and a lot of spices are all meningeal well in this beer. I think there's also some chi tea notes in this one. Still the spicy triple that stone first released, but this has taken on some subtle enhancements.
Fruity white grape juice that's turning to wine with spices scattered about. That's really the best way to describe what's come of this beer. Unlike fresh this beer now definitely is taking on some saison like flavors. A certain hop funk that I didn't notice before seems odd to be here now, but it certainly is here. This beer however is still a bit more a spice bomb than I'd like and the malt is strong enough and powerful enough to keep the funk from being the show case.
This beer tries to drink crisp and clean, but the body and the weight of it are just too dense. I suppose stone had to boost the abv to the 8.4 level for aging, but it doesn't work well here.
I know I need more of the 09 epic because I can see that one aging for YEARS to come, but otherwise the 06, 08, and 10 that I've had were far better fresh (or in the 10's case as good as a bad beer can get). It seems the 07 late in life has started to go the right direction. I'll be interested to see what comes of it on the epic date.
09-18-2011 20:22:16 | More by bobhits
2.2/5 rDev -41.6%
Creamy golden color with fluffy head. Smell is like Chimay and basically every belgian beer ever with the very obvious belgian yeast smell. To be specific, maybe some cardamom gingery clove type sweet spicy smells. Taste is oddly sweet and belgian-y. Alcohol at first at least is only slightly detectable, but it is slightly warming in the chest as it goes down. I don't care for this beer or the style. I'm sure its good if you like belgians, but the second I smell that typical belgian beer yeast smell, its all downhill from there.
02-06-2008 22:57:25 | More by JDV
2.2/5 rDev -41.6%
This review is based on my current tasting. As others stated a few years might help this one out.
A - Poured a coppery yellow. Minimal carbonation and lacing in mine.
S - Kind of spicey smell. Not a bad aroma at all.
T - This is where I was very upset. Too much spicey bite. While some might like this it was much too overbearing for me. I imagine this is what it is like to chew on one of those cheap gross spicey potpourri things people have in glass dishes. No real malt charecter to help out here either. Really besides the overwhelming spice it is kind of a thin brew with alcohol bite. The aftertaste is almost like carboard. It was a real chore to get through the bomber.
M - Very little carbonation really but not a bad mouthfeel per se. When you get past the taste.
D - The way it tastes now I would not really WANT to drink much of it. Besides that it has kind of too much alcohol bite.
Honestly I don't mean to be a jerk I love almost every other stone beer and I loved last years vertical. But I think they may have stepped into something they could not make, I have had a few Saisons and Belgan Golden Ales (from Belgium) and they just kick the crap out of this one. Way too much spice. I will leave the other 2 bottles I got for a few months, once the spice dies down they will probably be a little more drinkable then. As another guy stated they said bottle conditioned but no yeast at the bottom. Strange. Honestly there is not much charecter besides the spice so in 5 years I imagine this just being a thin alcohol soup with subdued spiciness. I love stone, they are my go to beer company. Stick to what you know guys please. After I drank it I had to brush my tongue to get the cardboard aftertaste off my tongue. Maybe I got a bad bottle who knows but I am not even trying the other bottles until a few months have passed.
07-09-2007 17:21:57 | More by TheBeerWolf
2.28/5 rDev -39.5%
Well, I'll give this a pass, for now, as apparently it is a beer that's meant to be aged.
Not impressed at the moment. Flavors were sharp, but didn't blend well, and it was exceedingly raw. Almost seemed like it had been mixed from other beers....hard to describe.
I'll give it a year or two and try another bottle.
**I had another one recently. Somewhat impatient, I know, but given just how much I've enjoyed other Stone offerings, I had to try this again. It has not improved. I'm actually lowering my score a notch. The flavors do not sit well together, and I don't know what crazy spice after-taste they were going for, but I simply "Do not want."
***the next time I have this beer, it will be when it's aged five years. If anything, it is less drinkable now than it was when I initially had it, probably as my tastebuds and palate have grown a bit more discerning in the intervening year. Spicy, hot with alcohol, just an unpleasant mess. So atypical of Stone.
07-15-2007 08:00:33 | More by Overlord
2.38/5 rDev -36.9%
Cloudy orange pour with a bit of white head.
Alot of spiciness in the aroma. Ginger dominates, with supporting clove and coriander notes.
Spicy and boozy are the best ways to describe the flavor. Stale off flavors linger on the tongue long after the swallow. Just nothing worth liking.
Thick, uneven body. I absolutely love Stone's lineup, but Belgians are definitely not their forte. Yet. I'm hoping for the future, but in the meantime I'll stick to one of their world class offerings.
10-21-2007 01:42:02 | More by nortmand
2.38/5 rDev -36.9%
Great looking beer. Golden color with a thick fluffy white head. Nice sour fruit smell, with some malt. Went downhill from there. The taste was way over the top. I could have blended the spice cabinet with some club soda and came up with this beer. The finish was very dry, and I could not finish the glass, let alone the bottle. One of only three beers I have ever dumped. Way over the top is still too far.
I am a Stone fan, but not this one.
09-28-2007 22:43:45 | More by potownbill
2.48/5 rDev -34.2%
Thanks to Jeff for cracking this - my first taste of any Vertical Epic ever. For some reason I've always passed them up on the shelves, but I was excited to try one that was 5+ years old. Vertical Epic 07 pours the murkiest and swampiest shade of trudgy brown with a yellow-ish tint that I've ever seen. Completely opaque to any and all light and capped with a foamy, big-bubbled, quickly settling eggshell head. Looks like swampy butt juice, seriously what the hell?
Oh gosh, the aroma is even more strange and nebulous than the appearance of this beast. Tomato juice, bubblegum, belgian yeast, vinegar, pounds of ginger, sour-ish cardamom, highly vegetal... Is this a beer or a spiced V-8 splash? Not sure how you blend a saison and tripel and end up with this, though perhaps some of the disarray is induced by the added (and unnecessary) spices. This surprisingly gets a little better as it warms, but it's still a pretty awful smelling beer.
The taste is just a bit better, maybe because at first, the flavors are kind of masked. It still has the weird, vegetal-ish, V-8 flavor happening with more green hints (celery, lettuce?) and that's really killing things for me. The ginger is kicked up about ten notches as well, and it's mildly sour and does not play well with the also-copious amounts of cardamom. This brew is a pretty tough one to stomach, though I think I can make it.
The back-end brings some slight reprieve as there's finally a hint of something I recognize and like in my beer - Belgian yeast. Some bready yeast, clove, and just a bit of citrus peel. Once the strange tartness (seriously, where does this tart note come from) finally fades and the vegetal flavors have a chance to leave your palate, you can finally taste the Belgian influence and all hope is not lost. Unfortunately, I think it's too little, too late.
No complains on the mouth feel, and the carbonation was pretty good considering nearly six years of age was placed on this sucker. But for real, this was pretty awful. I managed to choke all of it down, so it did not enter drainpour territory, although it was getting awfully close. I think it might be a good thing that this beer will never be made again, for the sake of beer drinkers everywhere.
07-06-2013 18:39:11 | More by tectactoe
2.5/5 rDev -33.7%
A strong pour equals about two fingers of light tan head. The even fuzz settles to a half an inch with nice retention. Body is a golden amber straw colored hue. Nose has notes of cimmamon, sweet bread, ginger and raw wheat. A slew of spice rolls over the tongue with the first sip with waves of cimmanon, clove, strong ginger, yeast, and even peppery zest. The huge array of spices are almost numbing to the tongue. There is a soft sweetness lingering within all this spice somewhere. The bitter spice hue is all over this mouthfeel but is really to much for me. Drinkability is short lived due to the over abundence of spice. Of all the Stone success this is not one of them for me.
04-01-2008 22:37:37 | More by SPLITGRIN
2.5/5 rDev -33.7%
Poured into a belgian tulip, a medium 1" head that rapidly fades. Steady carbonation of small bubbles that dissipate into a medium sized head bubble. Medium Gold in color, medium clarity with a slight haze. Lack of brussels lace.
Complex, lots of ginger and orange peel. Definitely spicy, somewhat perfumy. Overbearing peppery and alcohol flavor.
Way too much clashing here. Perhaps better with age, like in 2012. I found the spiciness and cardamon aftertaste too much to overcome. Mild malt, and low hopping, especially for a Stone. Very low bitterness, very low astringency, not proper level of effervescence for the style.
Just interesting enough to make me want to drink another in 5 years. Candi sugar is obvious on the finish.
Far better on tap.
02-28-2008 02:49:38 | More by drewmprs
2.53/5 rDev -32.9%
A- light copper in color, active brew with constant bubbling, some sediment floating, tiny head that doesn't hold well, but falls to a tiny foam ring that hangs out through the drinking period
S- malty with fruity esters, spicy yeast and phenolic
T- toasted grain and fruit from malts, some citric rind at finish, spicy throughout even more so at finish
M- medium body, spicy and hot(alcohol), dry finish
D- drinkable but not something i enjoyed, and probably wont drink this again until the series completes in 2012
01-26-2008 21:45:21 | More by tonistruth
2.6/5 rDev -31%
A - Clear with a copper color and tall off white head.
S - Spice, grain and more spice.
T - Spice and grain.
M - Thin and unremarkable.
D - Limited due to the fact the spice is too much for me.
This may be a fantastic beer for some of you out there, but for me there is too much spice. I would try to distinguish what spices are causing the unpleasant taste for me but I just want to get this one over with. Anything that says Stone and Belgian is off limits for me from now on.
10-12-2008 04:42:30 | More by bifrostguard
2.6/5 rDev -31%
Please note that this review is relative to the STYLE - which is chock full of great beers.
A: Slightly opaque, dark orange. Good initial head, but dissapated quickly without retention.
S: Pretty harsh alcohol smell greeted me. Some deep, ripe fruits with a hint of yeast helped to salvage the smell and make it interesting.
T: Fig or Raisin, deep malt, alcohol.
M: Warm alcohol - almost reminded me of a cordial. Rich and deep on the palate, with a slight tang at the end.
D: Not that enjoyable - too heavy for the style.
I'm generally a HUGE supporter of Stone, but was not a fan of this one. Bummer. **I have one remaining - if anyone thinks I should cellar #2 for a year, let me know**
12-02-2007 00:37:48 | More by BeerImmediately
2.6/5 rDev -31%
Presentation: 22 oz bomber, nice silk screened bottle as usual from Stone.
Appearance: Pours a bright copper color with just a bit of sediment, average head and retention.
Smell: Lots of spice and some belgian yeast, maybe a bit of candi sugar? Too much going on here to pick out many details.
Taste: Strange - way too much going on. Mouthfeel is thick, almost syrupy. Very sweet, with lots of spice, and maybe a bit of hops? The spices are trampling all over each other, and all the yeast is contributing here is a bit of earthiness.
Overall impression: I think this one was designed to age - its a bit rough now, but maybe things would mellow and blend over the next few years.
09-18-2007 22:26:59 | More by rowew
2.65/5 rDev -29.7%
Poured this one into a Unibroue tulip. It has a nice white head and the color is what I would imagine from a wit/trippel hybrid. The smell is expected from a wit with a little bit of punch. I realize this is 10 months old already but I just don't really like this taste. I think I'm tasting some ginger and it just really isn't pleasant to me. I also taste clove and spicy belgian yeast but the ginger taste is just ruining this for me. Overall this is my least favorite of all the Stone beers I have had.
05-01-2008 23:19:37 | More by thickerfreakness
2.65/5 rDev -29.7%
all credits due to Stone. The Rock! this is not my favorite style of beer and definately not my first choice at the retailer. this is the first beer from Stone that i will not buy again. with that said it looked good, smelled ok for beer - cloves come to mind. mouth feel and taste are cloves alcohol and more cloves.
ok, worth the notch in the belt.
suckem up and movem out.
09-04-2007 22:39:16 | More by giblet
Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 546 ratings.