Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 273 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +12%
Some say the stone brews are over rated. I disagree. Every stone I try, blows me away. This one was no differant. Bomber bottle. Poured dark and cloudy. Strong nose of phenolics, yeast and spice. Rich flavorful brew, vanilla, yeast, leather. malty and strong. This one left intricate lace. Very enjoyable, style buster. Strong, rich, intense flavors. seek out, store if you can. Enjoy this classy sipper.
05-26-2004 21:40:31 | More by Billolick
4.1/5 rDev +4.9%
Pours a four-fingered faint brown head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Nose is a honey raisin. Hints of alcohol. Starts sweet and raisiny, finishes crisp with raisin. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Their site lists the ABV at 8.2%. $8.19 for a 22oz bottle.
11-01-2003 23:45:29 | More by jdhilt
4.4/5 rDev +12.5%
22ozer bottle from Austin Liquors, Shrewsbury, MA.
Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a uniformly bubbled 1/2" tan colored head. Laces nicely, like memories of beer gone by. Malt dominates the nose, but the spiciness described on the bottle makes its presence known, but not overpoweringly. As expected, the taste has an orchestra of flavors playing; You've got the mouthful of smoth malt playing the main tune, but there's the subdued hop bite waving for your attention over there, and then out yonder the alligator pepper is sounding a dog whistle at the periphery. And let's not forget the sneaky little EtOH, slithering in under the radar, but leaving warmth wherever he travels. Altogther, they play a great tune, and I look forward to cellaring my other bottle for a later date.
03-08-2004 22:49:24 | More by ppoitras
District of Columbia
3.69/5 rDev -5.6%
Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.
The beer is copper hued with a thin tan head that quickly fades. Pockets of bubbles evident throughout the glass. The aroma offers malt, citrus, booze. Notable signs of age. Toffee and caramel flavors. Light sweetness, with butterscotch candy and caramel chews. Fairly light in body with moderate carbonation. Pretty good.
01-12-2013 20:38:46 | More by Huhzubendah
3.25/5 rDev -16.9%
Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12. Review from notes.
A: Hazy red/purple with no head or lacing.
S: Very bready with some dark fruit, caramel and a little spice. It is a little phenolic.
T: Light citrus, slightly bitter with a little caramel, raisin, and bread.
M: Low to medium bodied with no carbonation.
O: Not awful considering age, but didn't exactly hold up well either.
04-08-2013 22:41:10 | More by mdaschaf
4.47/5 rDev +14.3%
The beer is a clear mohagony color. A thin and dense ivory white head lays on top. A nice rimming is noticed. Lacing is evident but sporadic. I love the smell of this beer. Stone really achieves some awesome aromas with their beers. This one is yeasty, bready, doughy, spicy and musty. Astounding. I really like the spice kick in the flavor profile. I realize the Alligator pepper moreso than the corriander. It compliments the cookie dough yeast properties and West Coast hop tones nicely. If I had an aversion to spice qualities in a beer, I might not care for this one at this stage of the game, but I don't have that aversion. And even though they are a bit abrasive, they fit into the Big Picture. (I'm guessing the spicing will mellow out as the years go by.) The alcohol is very well hidden. The body is light to medium and the beer has an airy, effervescent feel on the tongue. There's a nice lingering bitterness from hops and spice. This is one great concoction.
04-15-2003 22:08:18 | More by Bighuge
3.83/5 rDev -2%
Inflatablechair hooked this one up.... It was a minor coup to score this for the 10/10/10 gathering... but we persevered!!
Tan head flecked with brown bits.. good retention.. deep brown brew is pretty cloudy.
Nose is a bit oxidized... brown sugar and some off putting sherry.. pretty sweet dark fruits... prunes... golden raisins..
The aroma showed really no standard Belgian qualities, but the flavor is better... hints of clove and background spiciness... a little dark cherry/plum... still seems pretty stale.. caramel malt and bits of toffee and dark toast..
Body and carbonation were surprisingly good.. but the overall brew was way past prime.
I know this is an old bottle, but it is no where near worth what we traded for it.
11-07-2010 07:32:48 | More by JohnGalt1
1.63/5 rDev -58.3%
Thanks for sharing, Mike.
A: Murky yellow brown.
S: Cardboard and bready malt. Copper and rust. Some random fruit hides in there, beaten down by oxidation.
T: Buttery cardboard with bready malt and more random fruit. Perhaps apple? Rife with metallic notes.
M: Medium body.
Overall: This has not held up at all. Definitely the worst of the bunch.
01-23-2012 19:08:37 | More by HopHead84
4.15/5 rDev +6.1%
As I missed the first batch, I have waited with great anticipation knowing that was going to have a 6 pack as soon as it came out. The beer pours a sanguineous color, the head modest in size, frothy in texture, the color a nice light tan, and the residual lace a very fine sheet to cover the glass. Malt dominates the nose, sweet and just a light hint of the coriander, crisp and fresh, quite pleasant. Sweet malt at the start, the top Id say middling, the finish has a purposeful acidity, the hop persistent in their spicy bite, maybe a tinge of the pepper in the aftertaste. The alcohol is well hidden, but is felt in the tummy as the warming is noticeable, quite a quaffable brew, and yes it will be tough to wait till 04.04.04 to sample the next along site the 03.03.03, but I feel this beer is still a bit "raw", and will mellow nicely over the coming years.
03-08-2003 13:37:19 | More by Gusler
3.5/5 rDev -10.5%
Opened tonight by Michael, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid dark brown with a bubbly off white head that shows great retention. Smells of dark sugar, caramel and some hints of chocolate and dark dried fruits. The flavor is what I expected it would be based on the nose. Lots of caramel and dark sugars with a muted but present raisin and dried sweet cherry flavor. Spicy wheat and yeast flavors round out the palette. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a lightly sweet mouthfeel. I am glad I got the opportunity to try this one, but I really wish I had tried it sooner. There's really nothing wrong with this beer, but it feels a bit past its prime.
12-09-2012 04:09:44 | More by johnnnniee
3.8/5 rDev -2.8%
030303 - consumed 121212
appearance: served in my great lakes chalice, muddy amber-mahogany body, still carbonated and revealing a nice tan ring
smell: toffee, holiday spiced bread, caramel malt
taste: I dunno - this held up better than I anticipated - clearly in the vein of the belgian dubbel style - sure, there is that permeating stale-hop presence, but this is almost 10 years old. toffee, caramel, stale pumpernickel, raisin, dried fruit
mouthfeel: still decently carbonated, slick medium body
overall: exceeded expectations, DUE TO AGE
12-14-2012 03:28:17 | More by dirtylou
3.83/5 rDev -2%
Big thanks goes out to my boy aasher for handing this one off to me in our last big in-person trade as this was a long-time want due to this being when I graduated High School! Thanks Al! I was looking for a special reason to open this one, so I decided to open it at StayWhatYouAre2’s pre-wedding tasting along with his brother Mississipping! Served from bottle into a Stone Vertical Epic glass (proper!). Poured a reddish brown-orange with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, sugar, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. I was honestly really surprised at how well this one has held up with time. I was partially concerned about this as I even apologized in advance if this one bombed. We were all pleasantly surprised with what we found though. It seemed to have taken on a nice English Barleywine aspect here. Even with 9 years on it, it is still worth seeking out. A must try at least once in my honest opinion.
07-06-2012 10:52:11 | More by thagr81us
3.03/5 rDev -22.5%
I am hoping I have the patience to get one of each of the V.E. beers to actually do the vertical tasting. This beers pours a solid amber color with a medium beige head. Aroma is spicey and malty at the same time. For some reason when I tasted it I was reminded of one of those god-awful "12 Greatest Brews of the World" monstrosities brewed by Gluek. Some kind of cardboard taste maybe? This wasn't a bad brew but I could not get the comparison out of my head. Finish is hoppy and toasty. Overall the cardboard flavor and general oilyness kind of ruined what is definitely a brew that will improve over time.
04-29-2003 07:14:39 | More by Dogbrick
4.58/5 rDev +17.1%
Deep, dark, rustic mahoganey in color with an inch high luscious, rich, puffy thick, ivory colored frothy head, great sticking thickly stringed lace. Nice aroma of toffee and dark fruits with a note of nuts and spice. Taste is complex, smooth, rich full bodied, and quite yummy, good dark toffee and caramel candy sense, dark fruits of plum, raisin, and orange. Solid grab and feel of balanced hops in the middle right into the lightly dancing bitter drying finish with a hint of nuts, spice, and alcohol. Good full body feel with awesome smoothness and lingering light tang in the mouth after each sip. This is is some great stuff, yummy as hell, and to hell with waiting to open this brew, live now, its worth it!
Thanks to Gusler for the bottle.
06-30-2003 19:44:02 | More by tavernjef
4.5/5 rDev +15.1%
Appearance This one gave off a monster head that almost raged out of control. The body is sugary brown and the head a triple L (long, lasting, and lacing), creating a shaving cream-like cover to the body and pitting like volcanic lava.
Smell The lightly-toasted malt aroma makes itself known. The traditional Stone hops come out as well, creating quite the balance. The sweet raw and table sugar smells blend perfectly with this concoction.
Taste The aggressive aroma gives way to a nicely balanced ale. The molasses and sugar sweetened malts lead the way, followed by balancing Stone hops and a sugary finish. The traditional BSDA spices are present as well, making this an extraordinary brew.
Mouthfeel Well-carbonated with a sweet, malty start and a dry, almost bitter hop finish. This one is full and chewy.
Drinkability You dont have to wait until 2012 to enjoy this offering.
Comments BigDog (xlperro) gave me the bottle to take home when I was in town on business (as if he hadnt extended himself enough already). This was an excellent and thoughtful gift and well appreciated. I popped this for my 300th review. Cheers to the BAs of SoCal!
10-20-2003 02:05:28 | More by RoyalT
3.5/5 rDev -10.5%
Rich mahogany color with a moderate beige head and little to no carbonation evident but leaves some lace. Strong malty barleywine-ish type aroma with a light spice aroma (coriander?). Barleywine-like flavors dominate with not much else; not very Belgian at all but balanced well enough. Full bodied, smooth and creamy with a strong bitter finish.
Pass on this one and buy a good barleywine instead .. Just above average and more like a "3.3" in keeping with the theme... :-)
Per Bottle: Limited 2,500 Case Release
Per Stone website:
Starting gravity = 19 Plato (1.078sg)
Finishing gravity = 3.5 Plato(1.014sg)
ABV = 8.2 %
IBU = 48
Pale 2-row barley 89.45%, Unmalted wheat (red soft winter, flaked) 6.8%, Special B 2.5%, Chocolate wheat malt 1.25%.
Warrior (17.8%aa, .666oz in boil)
Centennial hops (.2oz for dry hop)
Alligator Pepper (aka Grains of Paradise, or Paradise seed)
Abbey Yeast strain 500 from White Labs & American Yeast strain
($6.99 / 22 oz.)
12-02-2004 22:08:40 | More by RBorsato
3.75/5 rDev -4.1%
No better time to open this one, 03.03.03, than on my 33rd birthday. Bottle courtesy of sunnydlyte23, poured into a tulip.
Pours a deep, dark clear copper with a rocky off-white head that hangs on as a cap and leaves decent lacing on the way down.
The aroma is very sweet with tons of molasses and dark fruit, especially raisins and figs. Hints of Belgian yeast in the bacground as well as the remnants of some citrus hops.
The taste has a little hop kick up front that I imagine was much, much bigger when fresh. As it is, it feels like it's missing something up front in the taste before the malts and Belgian yeast take over. The taste had some toffee and caramel sweetness but not nearly as much as the aroma suggested.
The mouthfeel was fairly thin, surprisingly so, and the carbonation didn't seem to come through on the palate. Slightly dry finish with less sticky sweetness that I was expecting.
I've been looking forward to cracking this one and was contemplating holding onto it until the last vertical release. I'm glad I opened it now as I have to think it's only going downhill from here. A good beer that was probably great a couple years ago. Big thanks to Sherwin for the opportunity to try this rarity.
02-18-2009 03:14:31 | More by gford217
4.03/5 rDev +3.1%
Bottle at Stone Bistro during RBSG 08. Pours a dark orange-gold, with a tan head that leaves spotty lacing. Aroma is huge caramel with ripe dark fruit. Flavor is a subdued mealy maltiness, with caramel, cold coffee, and the tannic remains of old hops. The coriander and pepper are still very apparent. A nicely mellowed beer.
08-08-2008 18:59:08 | More by illidurit
Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.