Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
3.4/5 rDev -13%
On-tap at Churchkey.
The beer is served a brownish yellow color with about a finger of head that is retained and laces well. It smells boozy with some malty caramel, and figs. The taste has dark fruits up front, but the booze comes quickly, and some roasted malt finishes it off. The booze is slightly offensive and takes the beer over. It's slightly under-carbonated and the drinkability isn't that great. This didn't wow me. I think it might be a bit too old.
01-06-2013 23:05:06 | More by russwbeck
4.5/5 rDev +15.1%
What a beautiful "Belgian-Style" ale.
When poured, a nice dark amber brown with little foam and a lot of lace in the glass. The smell of spices, yeast and wheat just is overpowing and pleasanto to the nose. The taste is a well balance of malts, spices, yeast and malts, combined it makes for a winning combination. This brings together a complex balance of a sweet/bitterness nature and is so pleasant in the mouth ond after taste.
Bring on more, I can't get enough of a good brew. Will store for future use!
03-25-2003 15:54:17 | More by BeerManDan
4.1/5 rDev +4.9%
Tasted at 9 months (12/03) old:
Hazy copper-brown, 3 finger frothy tan head.
Very strong roasted malt aroma, nutty, coriander, dark wheat orange, highly hopped.
Caramel, fruit (pear, apricot and raisin), smoky, peat type note as well, buttered bread. Almost a whisky taste, peppery, and tangy, nicely warming.
Drinkability is a fairly moot point for a limited brew, but the only thing holding this back is the ABV. I have one more stocked away in the cellar.
12-12-2003 20:20:26 | More by mschofield
4.15/5 rDev +6.1%
I spotted this on the shelf the day after visiting the brewery. I hadnt remembered seeing anything about this brew there so of course I had to grab as much of it as I could just for good measure. What a unique ass kicking brew. Pours a deep hazy brown underneath a thing lace. Strong ester yeast aroma with undertones of coriander. The flavor is just as heavy with a strong bitterness and Belgian white yeast flavor and the lingering essence of floral pepper. The heavy malt presence rounds out the complex build of this beer. Can be described on a whole as a concrete block pumped filled with a Belgian ale and dropped on your head from afar. Very heavy, very flavorful.
05-25-2003 09:11:11 | More by beernut7
4.1/5 rDev +4.9%
I found bottles of Stones 03 Vertical Epic in every store I checked out while in Indianapolis. I bought one for tasting purposes so I could store away the two bottles I already had. Presented as pictured, the 03 V.E. poured a clear dark brown color with a wispy off-white head and lots of lace.
The smell was a wide ranging blend of bready malt, caramel and molasses, some dark fruit and coriander and peppers. Overall, pretty sweet with a spicy edge. The taste had an earthily malty platform which served as a launching pad for flavors of coriander, pepper, some plum/prune, and caramel. The finish had a light bitter edge to it along with some alcohol, especially as it warmed. The feel was full, rich, and a bit raw.
Overall, the 03 V.E. is still a youngster at only eight months. The flavors still havent found the balance necessary for it to be a great beer. The alcohol content seeps through, limiting its drinkability. Nevertheless, this years offering in the Vertical Epic series holds a lot of promise and I cant wait to see how it ages.
11-07-2003 18:05:33 | More by Boilermaker88
3.58/5 rDev -8.4%
On tap at Alewife Queens for their VE event. Served as part of a flight.
2003 Vertical Epic pours a fairly clear amber, with a good amount of lacing despite the fairly wispy head. The nose is barely there, but with some effort toffee and dried fruit aromas are appreciable. The flavor opens up a bit, with toffee being joined by a bready maltiness. Sherry and fig notes mingle next, before a delicate pepper finish. The close does seem a bit abrupt though. The mouthfeel is a bit flabby, slightly chewy and under carbonated. It's not amazing, but I'm pleasantly surprised by how well the second entry in the Vertical Epic series has held up.
12-12-2012 19:32:26 | More by axeman9182
4/5 rDev +2.3%
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.
04-12-2006 19:43:27 | More by meathookjones
4.55/5 rDev +16.4%
Served in the 22 oz. bottle. The color is a dark amber, with a creamy white head. The smell is the typical rich, yeasty malt dubbel smell. The taste has hints of spicing like most dubbels but has a definite hoppiness to it unlike any of the Belgians I've had. Mouthfeel is remarkably smooth, with no noticable alcohol. Drinkability-wise, if I could find a bunch of bottles I'd certainly have a few more.
Wow...Stone puts its own stamp on a Belgian, and as always makes it even better. Though I sadly missed the 2.2.02 release, I'll be sure to get as many of the later releases as I can, and hopefully find my way to a 2012 vertical tasting...only 9 years to wait!
09-13-2003 01:10:20 | More by beergeek279
3.88/5 rDev -0.8%
Looks big, smells big, seems big -- but isn't quite as large as perhaps I was expecting. Nonetheless, I greatly enjoyed this and think that it'll be interesting to see the reactions 9 years from now.
Pours with the look of a solid Belgian dubbel or other dark ale. The slightly off-white head, though short-lived for the most part, lingers in small islands atop the brew and around the edges of the glass. Strong peppery, phenolic aromas. This smells like a big, Belgian brew -- well-spiced and strong. Some notes of sweet fruit hide underneath the spice. A nice transition to the flavor, which is a solid base of malt sweetness followed by a burst of spicy flavor which begins the dry finish and somewhat lingering aftertaste of alcohol and, perhaps, light hoppy bitterness. It seemed to lose its luster -- and some of its flavor and mouthfeel -- as the beer warmed a bit.
All in all, it's very good. I was perhaps so excited by the premise that I'm selling the taste a bit short. But compared to some other Belgian-inspired beers and to Stone's other beers, this is surprisingly low key on the taste buds, I think. I'm definitely going to try to snag another bottle to keep for the future, and I'll be picking up 2 of each of the subsequent years to continue the drink-one-now-drink-one-later pattern.
06-08-2003 19:26:57 | More by marburg
3.66/5 rDev -6.4%
A nice dubble. Light cola color with a light brown head and a bit of lace here and there.
Bready nose with a surprising amount of caramel and fruit. Figs and light Belgian funk..
Taste is typical for the style, with a healthy amount of dark fruits and malt. Light bitterness in the finish is dry and earthy. A touch of alcohol and light pepper spiciness.
Feel is thick and smoothly carbonated. Good winter weight.
A nice take on the style.
02-03-2014 01:43:15 | More by scootny
4.25/5 rDev +8.7%
After I read all the stuff that went into the making of this brew, I knew tasting it would be interesting, to say the least. The nose and flavor are both really nicely complex. Pours coppery with just a little bit of a thin head. All sorts of notes in the aroma, sweet malt, alcohol, subtle hops, and a peppery spiciness. Whoa flavor whooo hooo!! Lots of things going on for me to pick out here. Very subtle in its hoppiness, especially for Stone, but enough to give you a nice little bite. Has a smoky flavor as well, in addition to caramel, clove, sweet buttery malts, and a trace of alcohol in the finish. Highly complex, nice smooth mouthfeel. They really did some very interesting things with this beer, and it turned out very nicely. Wish I had a few more to age.
12-12-2003 00:03:32 | More by IrishRedRock
4.22/5 rDev +7.9%
Bought online, ground shipping (unrefrigerated), several weeks in my fridge, reviewed 45F-75F.
A very nice, medium-sized, cream-colored thick head sits on a deep red/brown beer. Thin, foamy lacing rolls down the glass quickly, leaving sticky spots.
I smell caramel, a little fruit, a little fish, some alcohol and spice. Add some chocolate to that on the front. The pepper really jumps out in the sweet, dark, creamy, full middle. Are those apples? When cold, the finish is a little metallic, but that disappears completely at good drinking temperature. Otherwise, the finish is dry and a little chocolatey. This is a delicious beer. It's a little raw when cold, but settles down nicely. I may have to bury the others in the forest to keep from drinking them.
05-19-2003 14:22:20 | More by kbub6f
4.38/5 rDev +12%
A hazy orange brown with a nice inch thick tan white head.
Very intriguing. Aroma is muted, subtle, though extremely complex. The coriander and pepper promised on the label shine here. Can't wait to taste.
I was scared of Stone after Arrogant Bastard, but this is amazing. The pepper dances on the tongue, and the coriander subtly reminds you of the belgium influence on this decidedly american ale. Cellaring without drinking will be tough!
05-29-2004 15:07:53 | More by cbl2
3.48/5 rDev -11%
Clear garnet reflected medium brown. Head is thin and not lasting. Strong aroma, nostrils burning strawberries soaked in cinzano. Generous maltiness didnt miss the flight in the chocolate and marzipan kingdom. Peppery and nutty with a fitting dryness. Remarkable well controlled basic flavors (bitterness, sweetness and acidity) by Stones standards. Medium bodied with moderately high carbonation. Very good take on the style if not for the remaining heat after almost 2 years and perhaps lacking in appearance and palate.
01-12-2005 19:57:25 | More by Rastacouere
3.26/5 rDev -16.6%
A. Poured into my VE glass, this brew pours a murky brown with some caramel tones.
S. The aroma has some very woody natural tones, some brown sugar, and light dark chocolate.
T. The flavor follow suite, but with more chocolate, and a lack of belgium yeasty tones.
Mf. Mf is a little on the thin side and carbination is light.
Overall, not bad, but I expected bigger from a bsda
01-19-2013 01:21:06 | More by TKEbeerman
4.33/5 rDev +10.7%
Multiple bottles sampled by multiple BA's at the fine Brew's Cafe in Granville, Ohio. Kudos to Rocky for parting with some of this fine brew.
Appearance: Deep ruby red on the pour. Minimal head but I was rewarded with a very nice lacing effect in the glass.
Smell: Raisins all the way...with a spciy character that was hard to nail down with any conviction. Plus, the requisite hoppy influence of the Stone brewery.
Taste: I'm not the world's biggest (or even average) raisin fan, but this beer really tasted lovely to me. Raisin-flavored up front, with other intoxicated fruits playing second fiddle to the raisin. A good bit of hoppy bitterness is evident as well, but blends surprisingly smoothly with the fruity notes. Very nice.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy.
Drinkability: A thick, almost syrupy-sweet finish. Not much of an aftertaste and just a smidgen of a warming effect from the alcohol.
Note: I'd be curious to see how this ages. As you may know, the bottle states that "ideally" it should be aged until 12.12.12. I'll be interested to see how these reviews progress as cellared sampled are tried.
04-12-2003 19:00:38 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.