Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +13.3%
Dark brown color. Medium head. Aroma is malt, coriander and peppers. A full bodied ale. This beer is a frelling flavor fest. Malts are bold, slightly sweet and very smooth. It is not very hoppy, which is very unusual for a Stone Brew. But there are plenty of spices to balance it out; coriander, peppers (!), some fruits (apricots and cherries) and a touch of peat and smoke. Very smooth taste. Aging will only make this beer much better. Hides the 9% alcohol very well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with some peppery tones. Etched Beer bottle.
09-25-2003 02:32:53 | More by beerguy101
3.88/5 rDev -0.8%
This is a slightly chilled sample. I poured it into my glass and the color is rich dark brown with hints of pink shining through. An off white heads foams up and fades slowly to nothing.
The aroma is mild overall but extremely complex. I pick up some caramel, pears and other fruitiness, and general spciy scents.
The carbonation is average and the brew has a lighter body than expected.
The flavor is tasty and complex as the aroma, I get some spiciness up front with hints of vanilla and clvoes, with a vinous fruity finish. SOme grapes and pears at the ende.
The brew is ver drinkable and smooth rightnow but I think it should be aged a few years to allow the flavors to develop a little more and become slightly more pronounced. The beer is definitely young right now but should improve with a feel years of cellaring.
01-18-2004 15:36:52 | More by sulldaddy
2.85/5 rDev -27.1%
First time I've had this beer. Just read Stone's most recent tasting notes and I've gotta say that I disagree with most of their comments. Never did try it fresh, but I bet it was much better then. Even properly cellared my bottle showed a ton of oxidation, especially in the aroma. Some hints of wild forest fruit and roast, but mostly just oxidation in the nose. Upon tasting, there are other elements (i.e. honeyed fruit, some hints of Belgian yeast, roast, toffee), but are all muted and a bit stale and it's really oxidized.
05-19-2006 20:52:19 | More by Crosling
3/5 rDev -23.3%
Ruby red color. Smells like, what for lack of a better term, "cherry varnish" which I often get from aged barleywines or DIPAs where a lot of the hops have faded. Taste is sweet orchard fruit syrup.
We did our VE collection counting down (12,11,10,9,8,7,3) and I think we saved the worst for last. I pawned mine off on someone else.
06-30-2013 14:58:19 | More by donkeyrunner
4.1/5 rDev +4.9%
Poured a cloudy, murky deep amber. Aminor ecru head develops then disappears. No real lace but alcoholic tannins are visible.
Aroma notes fo candy sugar, raisins and prunes, wheat bread, spicy yeast, maduro cigar, toffee and maybe apricot were noted.
Flavor of sweet malt and robust dark fruits rise in the 1st wave. Next comes a spicy, bready falvor and finished with a coating of alcoholic joy. Very nice but obviously young.
Mouthfeel is sweet almost tart to start then procedes quickly into a long dry spicy phase with a peppery and somewhat gritty finish. Again shows signs and youthful power.
Drinkability is good, as noted can tell its young and a little rough around the edges but this is going to be a beauty. Glad I have 2 bottles in the cellar.
03-26-2004 05:35:36 | More by CRJMellor
British Columbia (Canada)
3.61/5 rDev -7.7%
Appearance. Pours amber-brown with almost a finger of light khaki head that fades pretty quickly.
Smell. Raisins, caramel, a touch of cardboard and sweet dark fruits.
Taste. Raisins and a touch of sherry and cardboard, some caramel and light belgian yeast, and a bit of chocolate candy. Not nearly as oxidized as I would have expected.
Mouthfeel. On the lighter side of medium bodied, below medium carbonation.
Overall. A decent brew that I wouldn't have guessed is over 10 years old despite signs of oxidization.
12-24-2013 05:29:31 | More by Rutager
4.65/5 rDev +18.9%
They ask on the back if you can store the beer and wait until 12.12.12 to drink it. Well, no, I can't :-) So I bought two and put one away. This pours a color that I would call a dark red. It has a small head that dissipates quickly and it has a moderate amount of lacing on the glass. Very attractive beer. The aroma is fruity with hints of malt and sweetness with a little bit of spice - smells great. The flavor is very fitting for the Belgian ale classification. It is a mix between a Belgian Dark Strong ale and a spicy Belgian Blonde. There is a moderate amount of spiciness to the flavor that is just enough to give it a small kick, but not enough to make it spicy. Very smooth and easy to drink. I might have to seek this one out again so I don't have to open the one I've put in reserve. Great looks, great aroma, great flavor. What more can you ask for? Unfortunately I've missed the 02.02.02 version, but I will be sure not to miss the one for next year ... and next year ... etc. Hopefully my other bottle of 03.03.03 will make it until the end. Congrats to the people at Stone for this one.
07-28-2003 01:23:12 | More by clvand0
4.6/5 rDev +17.6%
This has to be one of the most uniquely flavored beers I've tried. It seems sweet, bitter and spicy all at the same time. It is a very dark ruby red color with a thin head that fades to a ring around the beer. Spots of lace cling to the side of the glass. An aroma typical of a belgian beer (coriander, pepper) floats above the surface.
The beer is medium bodied and smooth as silk. Each sip begins with a bit of spicyness before more subtle flavors take over. I can detect bubblegum. It finishes slightly hoppy with a mild alcohol presence.
I don't know if I can wait unitl after December 12, 2012 to try my other bottle of vertical epic. I just might have to get a couple more bottles before they are all gone.
06-01-2003 13:15:38 | More by WanderingFool
4.38/5 rDev +12%
I've been waiting to try this one for awhile now. Pours from the bomber a deep reddish brown with a nice two finger bubbly off white head. A mix of deep caramel, pepper, clove and some banana. Quite inticing.
A nice mix of sweet caramely banana bread flavors infused with spicy, peppery nuances and hints of earthy yeast. Well balanced with a nice mellow citrus hop biterness on the back of the palate.
A super creamy, lush full body that makes it a joy to drink. Good complex flavor keeps me coming back for more...drinkability is very good here. Another enjoyable brew from Stone...I look forward to seeing how this one will hold up. Thanks to bigbeerdrinka and ppoitras for the chance to sample and cellar this one.
12-04-2004 03:03:27 | More by orbitalr0x
2.79/5 rDev -28.6%
Consumed on January 20th, 2013 at a private Vertical Epic tasting.
Beer pours a clear, light caramel. No head forms but there is some carbonation visible in the glass.
The aroma is sweet: honey and cider notes.
Flavor is slightly oxidized with notes of tea, coriander and caramel. Moderately bitter on the finish.
Mouthfeel is thin and slightly astringent.
This beer probably peaked a while before the tasting: not surprising, given its age.
01-21-2013 18:36:41 | More by charlzm
4/5 rDev +2.3%
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!
12-30-2012 19:31:35 | More by portia99
3.93/5 rDev +0.5%
Hazy tawny chestnut hue. Dense, creamy, persistent almond white head. Sparse lace remains. Bubblegum esters, heaty fusels and pronounced clove phenol upfront in aroma, tapered by notes of rounded carob and mellow, herbal coriander and citrus. Banana laced sweetness initially in flavor is ensued by raisiny dark caramel and mild toffee. Becomes transiently dubbel esque mid palate, with notes of clove, peppery alcohol coupling with residual sweetness to lend a black licorice impression. Hop bitterness above the norm emerges concomitantly with subtle dark chocolate hints, resulting a pleasantly lingering bittersweet chord. Moderate in body, and quite dextrinous, perhaps due to the all malt grist. Finishes with notes of sweet bubblegum and sandalwood fading into a warm envelope of ethanol. A unique, flavorful creation seemingly a hybrid of an American strong ale and a Dubbel. Being this young, the flavors haven't quite coalesced yet. This certainly has cellaring potential for those who have patience.
05-25-2003 15:23:08 | More by marc77
3.83/5 rDev -2%
On-tap for Lord Hobo's Vertical Epic Night. Part of Flight "A" (03, 04, 05). 5oz serving served in a flight glass.
A- Appears an amber that is slightly on the darker side with fairly minimal carbonation and head.
S- Lots of peppers, spices, candied sugars, light dark fruits. Smells like a Belgian Dubbel only very spicey. Decently aromatic and fairly flavorful except dominated a little bit too much by the spices at this point.
T- Peppery kick to it although not as much as in the aroma, some dark fruits, plums, a little bit sugary, fairly sweet and a little bit malty.
M- Medium bodied, low carbonation, smooth, easy to drink.
O- This beer seemed to hold up decently well after 9 years. I imagine it was better fresh and has probably fallen off a little bit, but it still tasted nice. It was definitely dominated a little bit too much by the peppery spices (Aligator Pepper) but other then that it was very nice. It had a nice sweet aspect to it that made it easy to drink. It definitely wasn't my favorite of the series but it was definitely interesting to try.
12-13-2012 01:55:34 | More by jaasen64
4.5/5 rDev +15.1%
Maybe, i am biased because this beer's name is my birthday but I loved this beer. It poured a deep brown color with amber highlights. The head was compact but dense and tan in color. The aroma was very spicy, I think from the alligator pepper but also from the yeast. Quite nice. The taste was very complex and out there. Lots of spice, all over the place spices were coming. Dark malts that were roasted are present. Hop flavor and a slight bitterness come out towards the end. Strong yeast in the finish along with a huge hit of alcohol. I could see how this baby needs to be aged, it could definitely do some mellowing. But it's damn good right now as is.
03-04-2004 17:21:57 | More by granger10
Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.