Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
3.18/5 rDev -18.7%
On tap at Stone Winter Storm
A: Full creamy light tan head spreads out across a burnt umber toffee colored body. There is no bubble activity going on inside the body what so ever.
S: Subtle toffee with a coffee candy approach to it.
T: Subdued caramel and butterscotch with hints of lemon and grapefruit. Slightly cloying across the palate like a candy would be. Finishes with nips of honey and red apple.
M: Medium body with a bit of prickly carbonation.
D: This one was past its prime. Most of the desirable flavors had left the party.
12-30-2006 03:26:17 | More by Westsidethreat
4.13/5 rDev +5.6%
Pours a lightish brownish color with an offed whiteness of a headskie. Taste is strong and pepperful, certainly much more so than the first time I drank this brew in early 2003. The favor has matured much over the three and a half years, and is certainly the better for the age... Smoother than ever.
12-26-2006 05:13:29 | More by scottum
4.28/5 rDev +9.5%
This beer pours a very cloudy, muddy brown color, with a very thin light tan head. What little head there is fades sllowly, leaving a small lacing.
This beer smells primarily of alcohol. Behind that, I smell some spice. Coriander is present. Also, I smell some earthy yeast. A slight malty caramel aroma is present.
As with the aroma, this beer tastes of alcohol. It has a sweet caramel malt flavor. It tastes slightly spicy. Also, some yeasty flavors are present. Much of the flavor of this beer are very subtle since it is somewhat old.
This full bodied beer goes down smooth. It is crisp and refreshing, despite the alcohol like flavors. It is very low in carbonation, but over 3 years in a cellar will do that.
I think that this beer would make a decent session beer. The only problem is that it is next to imposible to find.
Overall: Finally, I have had the chance to try this beer. Thanks to O'Brien;s Pub for making it available.
10-14-2006 14:20:40 | More by OStrungT
3.95/5 rDev +1%
A nice surprise at a friend's BBQ last weekend, this Epic pours a dark, rusty garnet color with a beige collar that lasts well in spite of it's higher abv.
Aroma is rather authentic in it's Belgian attributes when sampled cold; dark fruit, toffee, and musty yeast notes with plenty of dark berry. As it warms, more of the caramel, cocoa, and hoppy notes come out.
Flavor follows a similar structure; great overripe dark fruit, strawberry, and dry woody earthiness slowly fades to rich caramel , chocolate and light coffee bitterness. It's plenty hoppy as i expected. I don't know what Alligator pepper is but I don't taste it at all. Alcohol tastes higher than the claimed 8.5%, although it's not hot. Strange, but still good.
Body is pretty big, with a chewy mouthfeel that is more akin to a barleywine. I prefer a more effervescent BSDA.
07-17-2006 22:44:48 | More by AlexJ
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
4.55/5 rDev +16.4%
I love all Stone brews, and this is no exception. Beautiful pour, and that sweet fruity/sweet/spicy aroma that wafts from the glass made my mouth water. I think the allegator peppers were alittle much, but it was still a great brew. Can't wait to see what it tastes like on 12/12/12
05-07-2006 04:57:06 | More by Boolshot
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
4.3/5 rDev +10%
Ummmm...tasty stuff!. Enjoyed at Dilly Deli's Stone tasting in Cincinnati last night and it did not disapoint. Uniquely Belgian in it's woodyness, tartness, and belgian yeast twang. Very well aged, matured, and conditioned for a very smooth, full, and drinkable beverage. Quite musky without the vineous flavors that usually accompany such beers. Spices fall on the more mellow and subdued side, rather than the harsh or acidic flavors. Quite a vanilla and caramel flavor that becomes more apparent in the finish. Less dry and hot than I expected. Very solid brew
03-15-2006 18:40:22 | More by BEERchitect
4.43/5 rDev +13.3%
A peppered out double. Dig it. This beer was poured into my duvel tulip and I let a good tan head rise over the dark brown liquid. Very nicely carboanted small bubbles rise throughout. Smell is of belgian ester yeastyness with sweet malt with many dimensions and playable actions, just purely enjoyable to smell. The taste is sweet dark fruit that is evaporated to reveal white pepper eating into your tongue. Lively tasting as if it is fighting back. Very intense and interesting. NIce heavy body and way too drinkable. I will have to get the homebrew recipe and try my own now.
02-12-2006 00:37:57 | More by Higravity
District of Columbia
3.88/5 rDev -0.8%
Appearance Picked up at Marty's earlier today. 22 oz bottle. This is a cloudy brew with only a thin off-white head that sticks around for mere seconds.
Smell More like an aged English beer than something Belgian inspired. Dark fruits with a touch of chocolate. Some sweetness, but without a trace of alcohol.
Taste Dark fruit, plums and raisins, and sweetness upfront with the chocolate only appearing in the aftertaste. The Belgian character is more apparent in the taste with spice and yeast being contributing components. An odd combination that seems to have harmonized over the nearly 3 years in the bottle. Still no hint of alcohol.
Mouthfeel Medium high carbonation, the body is a bit syrupy for me. This could have used some sugar to thin it a bit.
Drinkability & Notes Age has rendered this very drinkable, the only detraction being the full body. A tasty beer to be sure, glad I picked one up because I'm not sure if I'll ever see it again.
01-07-2006 22:43:13 | More by OldSock
4.25/5 rDev +8.7%
Pours a deep ruby haze, with a very dense tan head that fades slowly to a thick ring and a film on top.
Smells of raisins, bananas, and a kick of clove.
Taste is dark plums, some spiced rum, bananas, and strawberries in the finish, hops are almost nonexistant. Fairly smooth, in spite of the carbonation edge.
The alcohol hides in this extremely well, it's almost scary. Very tasty, I could see myself drinking quite a bit of this stuff if I could!
12-03-2005 08:05:34 | More by waldowin
4.4/5 rDev +12.5%
Finally worked up the nerve to crack this puppy open. Appearance is a dark amber, nearly brown with a semi-thick head. Smell is of rich dark fruits, alcohol,molasses, sugar cane....damn complex. Mouthfeel is fairely heavy with a bunch of spicyness hitting you right up front. As the flavor settles theres a bit of earthiness with some toffeeish flavors going on. Alcohol is definetly there, but not overpowering...i could certainly drown a few pints of this. This brew certainly warms you up quite a bit. Overall, a great dark ale that I will hopefully find some more of.
11-04-2005 20:21:33 | More by jamie2dope
3.78/5 rDev -3.3%
The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber almost brown with a white and low head which did remain to lace the glass.
The aroma was malty and very fruity with a strong dark fruit complexity of raisins and prunes. The aroma also contained a nice chocolate aroma and a light phenolic high alcohol spice character. The spice contained coriander and also a tobacco aromatic.
The flavor was lighter than expected after the flourish of the aroma. The biggest component was a citrusy flavor component when first poured. As the beer warmed a chocolate and tobacco presence emerged with a nice caramel flavor and a peppery, coriander spice. The more the beer warmed the more of a molasses flavor that emerged.
The finish was dry with a lasting ligh pepper and coriander and a slight winey character coupled with chocolate and caramel into the aftertaste. The body was medium. The beer contained a definite warming after consumption from the alcohol present.
22 ounce bottle. If you have one, go ahead and consume it, this one doesn't seem to be passing the test of time as well as it could.
10-09-2005 22:35:56 | More by GCBrewingCo
4/5 rDev +2.3%
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.
09-12-2005 18:05:42 | More by mntlover
3.08/5 rDev -21.2%
Pours with a very thin, oatmeal-colored head of miniscule bubbles that crowd up along the liquid's edge, leaving icicles of lace. Held to the light, the color ranges from a distinguished rosewood at the center of the goblet to iridescent garnet highlights at the edges, with all shades of amethyst and blood and grape in between. Drop dead gorgeous. My first sniffs are of sandalwood, marzipan, malt balls. Warmer, the beer smells like a strange mixture of plums, nutshells, and turkish delight. At room temperature, coriander and herbal cough drops hit my nose with a rummy, medicinal nosefeel... still not bad. The taste, though: bitter, salt-cured plum or pomegranate...? cracked white pepper with equal parts malt balls and pickled ginger...? finally everything obliterated in a wash of soy sauce. Ick. I even tasted a few drops of soy sauce to make sure I wasn't totally off base. But yeah, I was right, and the aftertaste just won't quit. Ick. Filmy water ho hum mouthfeel. And just slightly more drinkable than soy sauce. I mean, what the hell?
08-19-2005 20:19:01 | More by NearerMyBeerToMe
4.43/5 rDev +13.3%
Well, I was pleasantly surprised upon tasting this that it's similar to a Belgian Abbaye dubbel.
It pours a slightly hazy (even from a long-standing, refrigerated bottle) chestnut body with a crimson cast. Some softly glowing orange highlights appear at the base of the goblet, and some exceptionally fine bubbles can be seen rising in swirling plumes towards the surface. The head retention is somewhat limited, and it leaves only minor spots and splashes of lace about the glass.
In the nose some sweet, cereal-like malt is accented by dark fruit, a block of just-about-to-melt milk chocolate, and some light spice...
...and that carries over into the flavor. It starts with a drop of chocolate and some lightly juicy and subtly tart dark fruit up-front; but soon warms to reveal a combination of dark vinous fruit (along with their bitter skins) amidst a rising background of soft, sweet chocolate that carries over into the finish. As you progress through the serving some leafy and dull, pine-like hops start to show; and it's spiciness become much more peppery. Surprisingly, however, it hurries off of the palate leaving you refreshed and ready for another sip except for a mild residue of cocoa and a hint of spice and alcohol on the tongue and at the back of the mouth. It's nicely complex... but it shows itself off really quickly! Still, in many ways, that lends to its drinkability.
08-13-2005 16:47:25 | More by NeroFiddled
4.25/5 rDev +8.7%
Some 2 years and 4 months [07.03.05] after I first [03.03.03] sampled this one I fancied cracking one out of my stash to see how it fared out of interest. My original Review had straight 4.0s across the board.
Appearance: Solid carbonation levels are still prevalent, as they were on the offering some 28 months ago. Massive creamy brown head pours with the rather embarrassingly heavy handed pour. Incredible amounts of smattered lacing, this looks great in the glass. The head lasts throughout and shows no signs of disappearing through the drink; gentle tops ups keep it voluminous. The body still retains a lucid chestnut brown body that shimmers with some ruby hints against the setting sun. Can it be that the appearance has actually improved, seems so .4.0 to 4.5.
Nose: The nose has definitely changed, long gone is the freshly mashed bananas aroma, it is now more akin now to soft Banana bread with massive dollops of yeast and a hefty nasal slapping of doughy bread. Im not sure the nose has improved to be honest, but it is no worse than before. Stays at 4.0.
Taste: Wow, from the first taste this immediately reminded me of Lefèbvre Floreffe Meilleur/Prima Melior. It has an Olde Worlde Victorian Sweet (Candy) Shop feel to it. Deep aromatic spices and a hint of Mint Humbugs, it is coming along nicely. It seems that two types of yeast that were used in this and that certainly comes through in the developing aging complexity of this one. The malts are still here, but the finish has a lovely spicy feel, delicate aniseed and mild liquorices hint on the tongue and mix with the soothing alcohol in the swallow. The alcohol has mellowed to a point that it feels medicinal, but it is still there. The fresh cloves have depleted in strength and been replaced with a deep complicated spearmint laced spiced light banana pommel. I like the fact that the complexity has risen whilst the sweet malts have waned 4.0 to 4.5.
Mouthfeel: The deep pile carpet malts are thick and smooth, not as creamy as before but certainly very smooth. Bold and fulfilling. Solid and dependable. Stays at 4.0
Drinkability: The drinkability of this Vertical Epic hasnt diminished at all, whilst the complexity of this one has altered; it is for the better for me. Remains at 4.0.
Overall: The VE03.03.03 is holding rather well, I originally rated this at a straight 4.0, I feel it has improved with age and is slightly better than before, upto 4.3 overall. I still have a few of these babies left and it will be interesting to see how they hold up, I think they are still good for a few more years yet.
07-04-2005 02:58:47 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5 rDev +12%
Ok, so I've sat on my cache of VE-03's for 2 years now without even trying one. Don't ask me why. Decided tonight was the night to crack one open. I'm glad I did.
Made some marinated tenderloin tips and an asian slaw to go with this. Kick ass meal, I might say.
Nice thick off-white 1/4 inch head which dissapeared into some whispy lace reletively quickly.
Glorious deep murky amber color.
Aromas of bananas, clove, anise and coriander immediately turn my head. There's some brown sugar and musty grain in the background. More cloves and some pepper come out the longer I drink this, but this is very well balanced.
Medium mouthfeel. Nice and soft like cotton caressing your tongue.
Taste is peppery, malty and yeasty. Nice and dry, moreso than I would have though. I sit here and wonder how this was 2 years ago upon conception. Sadly I'll never know.
Finishes dry and peppery with still a hint of lace around the edge of the glass.
Beautifully done Stone. Can't wait to see how this is going to be in 5, 10, or 15 years. That is, if my last 4 bottles make it that long.
06-10-2005 01:30:46 | More by Brewfan
4/5 rDev +2.3%
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 Belgiums. 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.
05-24-2005 02:38:31 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
3.9/5 rDev -0.3%
Sampled May 2005
Pours with a frothy thick tan head that sits atop a lightly hazy amber colored beer that has orange highlights. The aroma is fruity with notes of raisins and figs, and over time, the coriander. The coriander is still fairly noticeable in the aroma, though it has tamed down a bit (which in my opinion is a good thing). In the aroma I also get subtle notes of pepper, sherry, and chocolate. The beer is off dry up front, and actually does not have much sweetness throughout. This beer finishes with a note of chocolate and a hint of roasted grains, that I don't remember tasting before. Thank goodness the coriander flavors have mellowed considerably, it has moved to a sort of earthy note that adds a sort of filling richness to this beer. This beer is still holding up pretty well and should last at least a couple more years in my cellar.
05-22-2005 00:34:00 | More by Gueuzedude
3.33/5 rDev -14.8%
Bottle (Drank in May 2005): Poured a dark amber color ale with a medium head with almost no retention. Aroma of light roasted malt, coriander with some bitter hops. Coriander is easily detectable as well as the bitter hops. It seems to lack a bit something to make it truly special. I really do applaud the fact that the brewer tried to come up with something original (i.e. Belgian ale mix with some American ale component) but I dont really appreciate it in this particular case. Also, Im not so sure this is going to help up that well over the years
05-09-2005 14:26:28 | More by Phyl21ca
4.47/5 rDev +14.3%
Pours a deep amber color with a small white-tan head. It settles pretty quickly, but leaves small groups of suds forming and reforming throughout the duration of the drink.
Strong malt aroma. Candyish, blackcherries, something of a savory quality, like tamari soy.
Medium bodied, a bit chewy and FULL of flavor. Rich malt is the centerpiece, but there is a distinct hoppy edge. Lime zest, fresh grapefruit and ripe cherries.
This is yet another highly drinkable offering from Stone Brewing Co. If I may suggest a pairing, dry salame rolled in black peppers, fresh sliced baguettes and cheddar no less than 4 years old.
05-07-2005 02:45:28 | More by MrSeth
4.03/5 rDev +3.1%
A huge thanks to warriorsoul for this one. I have had it before and I have one cellared for a tasting of all at the end, so it is a treat to taste it again. It pours a beautiful dark brown color with some amber hues when held to light. The nose is sweet, with tones of brown sugar and a slight belgian spiceyness in there as well. The flavor is pretty nice, with a slightly apparent alcohol. I get some molasses and raisen with a slight spiceyness on the finish. I like it. The feel is moderate to thick with a moderate carb. The alcohol is not apparent. I really dig this brew. I'm interested to see what it is like after a few more years.
04-18-2005 02:03:13 | More by kmpitz2
3.88/5 rDev -0.8%
Taking a day off today (12OCT09) and having some brews... Save this one for a big-ass vertical in 2012? Screw it! I just felt like having my last bottle of 03.03.03... Is there a better reason?
Still a clear, ruby/garnet, with a thin, tan head. Aroma is dark fruit and dry. No diff for mouthfeel. Dark fruit is here in the flavor, too. It is quite dry now, almost chalky. NBD, overall. Best quaffed way back when. If you're saving it, think twice and drink it now, before it degrades more....
Tried another today (02APR05).... Color is actually more of a ruby/garnet as opposed to mahogany.... crystal clear.... creamy tan. finely bubbled head... lacing does stick well...
Fruity aroma...dark fruit, actually. Suggests dryness. Not quite medium bodied... a slight bit of prickliness on the tongue... Bier is indeed dry.... combo of dark fruit with a bit of tropical fruit notes, though mild... slight pepperiness... flavor lingers in the dry finish.... seems like I enjoyed it more 2 years ago... Will try another in a few years or so....
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
(Original review of 26APR03): The Epic has hit NH!! Scored a couple of bottles at The Wine Society ($6.99)....one for now, one (hopefully) for a lot later....
The triple-3 pours a dark mahogany color, and has just a slight wisp of cloudiness, though not much. Head is a very-finely bubbled thin layer, a smidge off-white in color. Lacing tries to make it, but can't quite stick.
3-cubed has a spicy, peppery-like nose. The "wheatiness" makes itself evident too. These aromas are in addition to a slight Belgian-like aspect. All-in-all, quite interesting, and pleasant!
Body and mouthfeel are both nice, medium and pleasure inducing! A nice feel in the mouth for this bier....
This one tries to be a bit of a Dubbel, with a little sweetness and fruitiness there, but then it becomes more like a Strong Belgian Pale, with the spicy and peppery characteristics. Finish is a bit dry, with the pepperiness lingering.... the 8.5% abv assists in the belly warming being felt....
Tasty stuff....must check back here in 9 years to see how it holds up, with the rest of the series...if I can!! (4.0/4.0/4.0/4.0/4.0 = 4.0)
04-02-2005 20:34:02 | More by Bierman9
4.22/5 rDev +7.9%
Wow. Copper color with a nice tannish head. Excellent. Caramel flavors. Prunes, Raisins, and fig notes. Sweet, belgian candy sugar in the aroma. Full bodied. Malty flavor. Nutty. Roasty. Smooth tasting. Enjoyable. Clean mouthfeel. Drinkable beer. Nice.
03-11-2005 16:28:17 | More by mkobes
Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.