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Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic AleStone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

274 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 274
Reviews: 193
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 93
Gots: 39 | FT: 4
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. With Vertical Epic 03/03/03, we used some pretty interesting ingredients...coriander (a "Belgian-style" beer favorite!), alligator pepper (wow, bite into these little gems and you get a bigtime spicy rush of flavor), and a bit of both unmalted wheat and dark roasted wheat. And a blend of Belgian yeast and American ale yeast. And a nice selection of high alpha hops (a decidedly non-Belgian style twist). All told it makes for a dubble-ish taken-to-San-Diego-pushed-to-the-edge-and-slapped-around-a-bit beer. So, treat it gently. It's been abused enough already. Store it upright, cool and in the dark. It would enjoy a nice long rest. It will have plenty of patience. Now let's see about you ... In addition, we are pleased to provide the homebrewing recipe:  http://stonebrew.com/timeline/030303 

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-03-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 274 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElGuapo
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep burnt milk chocolate color brew with a mass of tan foam on top. It will sit there for a good deal of time and leave sticky lace all over the glass. The aroma is loaded with citrus and fruits. Sweetness hits the nose first in the form of oranges and cherries. A big malty aroma comes in next with a great accompaniment of spice and pepper. Yeast and grains with subtle roastiness follow behind.

Nice full body with a big flavor. You get a big malt character that is a bit sweet, but it is kept well in check by spices. It gets a bit roasty and grainy towards the dry aftertaste. Although I have not had that many Stones, this one definitely did not have the mass of hops, but for the style, I think it is appropriate. It is well balanced and complex. It is not a perfect brew, and others in the style have more roastiness at the end and more fruits at the start. It is one hell of a beer. Stone will never fail me.

A hearty Thanks to NeroFiddled for the sample!

ElGuapo, May 11, 2003
Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +2.3%

SPRichard, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany in appearance with little to no head and malty, distinctly Belgian aromas.

Flavor (mostly typically Belgian, with sweetness and malts intersperced with wheat tones and a nice, round mouthfeel) is very good now, but I'm willing to bet only a foreshadowing of what this brew will become down the road.

Right now, it seems a little young and fresh, and needs some character development...

RockyTopHeel, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An apropos name for a beer of this caliber. Very nice, but comparable to an import Belgium, no way.

Poured with very little head, but presents itself a quite bubbly. Mild lacing is really basic.

Smells nice, apricot and alcohol, with a slight hint of ginger.

Taste is where I am torn. Recently I have been going Belgium beer crazy so 030303 is going uyp against some pretty stiff competition. Tastes great, but is much lighter than other Belgium’s. Doesn't have nearly the follow though nor the pungency of other similar types.

Overall a very good beer. Unfortunately for it, I consumed it at the wrong time.

FLAbeergutinMASS, May 24, 2005
Photo of BuckTuckian
4/5  rDev +2.3%

BuckTuckian, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.3%

jaydoc, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of goz
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium/dark mahogany, with a medium light tan head, medium diminishing, leaving good lacing on the way down. Aroma is fruity (banana, some apple and pear sneaking through, too), some spiciness (coriander & hops providing most of that). Flavor starts with the banana (apple and pear come through more as it warms up), middle is crisp, and the end has some good hoppiness, and a hint of pepper. Body is full, taste is complex and changes slightly as the bottle warmed, light alcohol showed up towards the end.

goz, Apr 26, 2003
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +2.3%

oline73, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brownish/red with a thumb sized tan head that leaves some sparce lace behind.

Aroma is fruity sweet peach, grapes and apricot on a malty base almost toffee like.Spices brown sugar mixed with ginger and hints of cinnamon.

Taste is malty brown sugars an intense fruitiness that lasts for a few seconds then mellows to a nice spice finish. Peppery light cinnamon hints but the pepper lingers and mixes with some light hops flavors still left.

Mouthfeel is medium not as full as it looks but still nice finish is dry.

Drinkability is good this may be in its prime anyway much better then the 04. Want to thanks cretemixer for this treat I would have otherwise never had.

mntlover, Sep 12, 2005
Photo of pathman
4/5  rDev +2.3%

pathman, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of meathookjones
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cola colored body with a quickly disappearing light tan head. Scattered lacing was left on the glass. Rich ripe dark fruit sweetness filled the aroma. Some alcohol showed its face as well as milder earthy notes. Flavor was packed with sweet dark fruits and some toffee. Light alcohol and woody earthiness were lingering about. This really tastes like a barley wine to me at this point. Some spice also peaks through. Pretty thick and smooth feel that really warmed me up. Pretty drinkable stuff though the alcohol burn seems to get worse as it warmed. I remember this being good fresh and it is definitely interesting and could probably have gone a few more years easily.

meathookjones, Apr 12, 2006
Photo of MaseFace
4/5  rDev +2.3%

MaseFace, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +2.3%

drewone, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of stoutlove77
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow!, this is really a taste sensation. The look was a a nut brown with a very light head that diminished the moment it was being poured. The smell, the aroma, the fragrance, yes... I got a whiff of mild pears, ripe granny smith apples and sweet cloves, the taste.. oh yes, the taste a smooth balanced of tart nectar and plenty spice, this is a treat now, I believe it will be a blessing when it gets aged!!. The mouthfeel is real smooth, plenty of high end flavor. So if you have a chance to get this one unique brew, treat it like the candy you steal at the candy store, drink some now and save some for later, you wont regret it!!!!!

stoutlove77, Mar 20, 2003
Photo of portia99
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass...didn't have the 02-02-02, so this is the first of the big vertical tasting.

A - Pours a hazy dark amber color full of fine floating sediment. Small head consisting of loose off-white foam. Sparse lacing is left on the glass.

S - Full malty aroma, caramel and toffee, slight astringency, fruity esters, brown sugar, and maybe a hint of root beer.

T - A bit of hop bitterness, toasted malt, some roasted malts also - roasty, grainy, a bit of coffee, a little spicy with some mild pepper aspects, earthy and dirtlike

M - Medium Body, medium carbonation. Sweet and caramelly, slightly sticky and mouth coating, touch of pepper bite on the finish.

O - Overall, this held up pretty well for a 10 year old bottle. Some oxidation is present, rich, sweet, and earthy. Nice!

portia99, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of MordorMongo
4/5  rDev +2.3%

MordorMongo, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of UltimateLivewire
4/5  rDev +2.3%

UltimateLivewire, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very curious about this beer after reading about the competition for homebrewers on their website. They have all the ingredients listed as well as the proper procedure for making it. So I was excited to see it on the shelf to give it to a try, to see if I might try making it for my next batch.

so...
It poured a brown/ruby mahogony color with a very fine bubbled but thick tan head. It took it's time to die down over the course of a few minutes.

The nose was very subtle. Even after swirling for a bit and letting it warm up it still was very soft. What I could make out though were the classic belgian smells. Subtle fruit and spices.

The initial taste was very soft also. Some light roasty flavors. A nice bit of grape, plum, maybe even some apple fruit flavors.

What was really impressive about this beer was the finish. The first sip is soft but then as it tapers off you get this beautiful bump where you get hit with a bitter floral grapefruit hop and black pepper taste. The thing is, at no time is it ever overpowering. Full hop and pepper taste, but soft.

Overall it's a very smooth beer from start to finish. A little sublte, but a great belgian ale for a non belgian ale. I was a bit surprised to learn by reading at the website that this beer is made with half belgian yeast and half american yeast. It definately leans heavily towards the belgian side. Overall a really nice easy to drink beer. I am a big fan of the pepper kick at the end.

taez555, May 30, 2003
Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Howlader, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of GeoffreyM
4/5  rDev +2.3%

GeoffreyM, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of beerinator
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amberish red, clear with an off white thickly retentive head.

Aroma: Arrogantly bastardish aroma at first. Hints of spice and nuttiness pokes through. Aroma is nice, but is super reminiscent of Stone's other beers.

Taste: Complex. Sweet upfront with complex bitterness coming from the hops and maybe the spicing. The spices are muted, compared to the heavy caramel from the malt, and the finishing hops. This beer might be a bit awkward.

Notes: There are flavors coming from all directions. Every sip leads to different flavors, and sometimes they seem like they're conflicting with each other. A few years of aging will do nothing but make this beer better. The hops could stand to be mellowed a bit, and maybe the spices with come through a bit more.

beerinator, Sep 23, 2003
Photo of ColdPoncho
4/5  rDev +2.3%

ColdPoncho, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of moonknight31
4/5  rDev +2.3%

moonknight31, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of HossMcGraw
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really want to like this more. Really I do. Appearance is flawless. It's a very dark ruby with a billowing pillow of foam and great lacing. Aroma is pretty weak. It pretty much smells like a typical dubbel. And the taste: Ommegang. They're very similar with dark fruit flavors of molasses, prunes and spices, although this has a certain trademark flavor to it that I've come to associate with Stone's beer. I think it's the hops. At any rate, I'd take this any day over Ommegang. The mouthfeel is very full and almost perfect. Doesn't seem very "Belgian" per se, but that's probably not what they were going for. Overall, interesting and worth trying.

HossMcGraw, Oct 14, 2003
Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +2.3%

drabmuh, Jan 16, 2013
Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.