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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic AleStone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
3.91/5
Very Good
319 Ratings
Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic AleStone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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. This time around, we used no spices in the brewing of this beer. If you've tasted the beer before reading this, that may surprise you. The special Belgian yeast we used adds a distinctively spicy aroma and flavor. Roastiness, clove, hops, fruitiness, and those other great and funky phenols abound in the nose. What's in the flavor? You certainly get some dark roasted malts and alcohol overtones. What else? Hints of earthiness, chocolate/cocoa, hop spiciness, maybe even anise, and ... the incredible variety of complexities from the classic brewing ingredients of barley malt, hops, yeast and water, when applied with an artistic brewer's talent never ceases to amaze.

Added by xlperro on 05-06-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
216
Ratings:
319
pDev:
12.53%
Bros Score:
3.85
 
 
Wants:
102
Gots:
59
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 319 |  Reviews: 216
Photo of cadaugherty
2/5  rDev -48.8%

Photo of IntriqKen
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very unusual brew.
Pours a dark, dark red amber...chill cloudy...with a half finger head that melts quickly to nothing...no lacing.
Aroma is sweet malt, raisins, dried fruit, light cinamon spice.
Taste is sweet mostly raisins, prunes, dried fruit, cinammon spice (like aroma) followed with a slight hops bitter aftertaste. Definately a toasted almost smoked malt flavor hidden in here.
Mouthfeel is rich and smooth with tiny tingly carbonation and light alcohol burn as you swallow.
Aftertaste lingers of both sweet raisin and bitter hops with warming alcohol. No alcohol taste,.... just warmth.
Very interesting and distinctive. I'm looking forward to trying a vertical tasting between the 04, 05, and 06 later this year.

 728 characters

Photo of GeoffreyM
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of granger10
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer comes out a super dark purple color with a medium semi tan head which recedes to nothingness within a minute. Lacing is weak.

Aroma is not the strongest as well. After letting this beer warm a bit I get a phenolic yeasty character in the smell and a fruity flavor which comes in light and dark fruits. A little earthy as well.

Taste is much stronger on the dark fruits. Plums are definitely the main flavor here. Residual sugars are abound. A Belgian characteristic comes more in the middle along with some roasted chocolate flavors. But they are soon wiped out with a hop bitterness and acidic hit in the finish. Alcohol is almost nowhere to be found.

The body on this beer is heavy and thick. Really heavy and thick imo for the flavors. High viscosity. But I'm enjoying it. It's nice and creamy and will support a multitude of development of flavors in the beer as it ages.

As for drinkability, the deucer went down and I enjoyed it. But it took some time and I was satisfied after one. Good beer all around but I could definitely see it developing into a great beer in about a year or two.

 1,117 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured in a sampling glass.

Pours a dark brown ruby with a tinge of brown and ivory head. Nose is diacetyl and sweet, a bit malty.

Taste is a bit buttery and sharp, noot that belgian but still very nice. For a 4 year old brew this is gonna be awesome in 2012

 272 characters

Photo of savagepm
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of smi69
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle poured into a goblet.

Very dark, almost black
with mahogany highlights, topped by a foamy, clinging tan head that drops a bit too fast.
The nose already tells you this is not a "standard" belgian strong, if there is such a thing as a "standard belgian. It has the same malty, caramelized smell, the usual dark fruits, then some faint roastiness and maybe even chocolate, but also a fruity, grassy hoppiness.
It is medium to full bodied, and the taste is what the smell suggests, malty caramel, some dark fruits, and hoppiness! It has a dryer finish, a more refreshing character and a lot more bitterness than I expected, although it is still not exactly an overly hopped beer.
Out of the style, but quite interesting. Well crafted and better balanced now that it has aged.

 796 characters

Photo of JTomczak
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of ralphw56
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very brown. Light seeps in around the edges--just barely. Thin layer for head, no lace. And ther head is spotty at that. The aroma makes me think of rasin nut bread or the brown bread my Mom used to feed me as a kid (it came out of a can--have not seen it in years). Taste is the high point, Lots of fruit--mostly dried. We have raisins, prunes and prunes. Also chocolate, but chocolate that has been dipped in raspberries. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a nice alochol kick at the end. Very drinakble, but this beer will put me to bed if not careful.

 557 characters

Photo of Wildman
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a clear dark burgundy color and formed a small light tan foamy head that left circular lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, spices and plum. The flavor was of malt, and some dark fruit and chocolate with a touch of pepper. The body is medium light with some creamy touches to it. The finish was soft with a touch of pepper hiding the slightly astrigent nature. Will no doubt improve with some aging.

 460 characters

Photo of taez555
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured a small white head with a brown “root beer” like body.

The nose was a mix of alcohol, pungent musk like dark ripe fruits, apple cider, apples and phenols.

My notes say “crazy taste” Citrus hops and a Belgian dark strong ale phenolic touch. Big carbonation with a medium to full body. Dark chocolate, and molasses. Ripe dark fruits. A very sweet beer. A big bitterness, not at all overpowering, but it sits well. The amarillo citrus hop gives just a faint hint of citrus without the bite and for some reason blends amazingly well against the dark fruits, chocolate and characteristic Belgian flavors.

Basically it’s like this, “oh my fucking god is this a good beer!!!” Really an amazing beer. A perfect blend of big American malty strong ales or an IPA with a Belgian dubbel or abbey ale. This is what I would imagine a black and tan made with arrogant bastard and chimay blue to taste.

The scary thing about this beer is although it tastes great now you can just picture it aging just as well.
I loved the 03 VE, but this may be the new leader in the battle of Vertical Epics. I don’t know how 06-12 will be able to improve on this.

 1,172 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a glowing dark brown burgundy with a thin yellowish head that looked rather nice in a tulip.

Smelled of black liquorish, tootsie rolls, smooth oats and sweet barley. There was also this organic smell that I identified as an old mossy log that just got split open. My buddy called it a hike on a fall day. This smell is really on the money and superbly enjoyable.

Tasted honey sweet with dark malts and dark fruits that fades into a smoky birch bark and a really dirty lime or rhubarb sourness. Finishes with some coffee that picks up a little chocolate as it dwindles.

The mouth feel is medium to heavy bodied with very small bubbles. It just sort of felt heavy and dry and didn’t seem to interact with my palate, sort of like a distant conversation with a stranger.

I would have liked something with a little more substance in the mouth feel, but overall this was a pretty good sipper, its mossy smell being its highlight.

 956 characters

Photo of AlexJ
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with burgundany highlights and a tightly knit tan head that slowly slides down my glass.

Aroma is dark dried fruit, plum, prune, and berry with subtle yeasty spice and caramel undertones. Smells more Belgian than the 030303 did. There are subtle hints of dark, chocolatey malt with very soft coffee undertones and light floral and citrus hops.

Flavor is dark caramel and candi sugar with tons of fruit;sweet plum, dark cherry, scorched strawberry jam, and fig. It has a roasty, almost woody note with the distinct fruity yeast that was tasted in the 030303. It's well hopped for the style, with soft lavender and lilac floral notes and dry, grassy bitterness.

Body is leaning towards big, with tiny bobbles leading to a very soft, creamy mouthfeel and bubbly texture. Definately glad toi have the opportunity to try this. Thanks Ray!

 858 characters

Photo of scootny
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very dark brown liquid. Light khaki head. Nice lacing.

Nose has malt and chocolate with a heavy fruit component. Figs and dates with Belgian yeast. Caramel and faint alcohol.

Taste is like a hybrid Belgian stout/dubbel. Chocolate and coffee followed by a heavy fig and plum fruitiness. Some malt and grains. Molasses and alcohol. Finish is dry and earthy with a lingering light tannic sourness.

Feel is thick and viscous, well carbonated.

Pretty good stuff. I like the mocha rubble/stout thing

 500 characters

Photo of asabreed
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a wine glass. Been waiting four years to try this.

Appearance: A nice and dark layered amber color with good lacing. Weird balance of dark on top of light, almost like a black and tan at a bar, made with a spoon between the beers.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. Good and balanced? Yes. A Belgian Strong Dark? Seriously?! More like a Porter, and one that I'm not going nuts about. Stone's always quality, but I expected more here.

Taste: Same here. Initial chocolate and coffee and roasted malts. Phenolic activity's providing pretty much absolutely nothing. I'd say this was a 6.5% ABV Porter if this was some challenge to guess what's going on. Lingering sourness and roasted malts and sweetness. Again, balanced, but not a lot going on to the point where I'm excited about it.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation seems like it's really trying to push through the body, and though it's almost there, there's still a bit of a watery nature to the brew by the end that I'm confused by, especially since it's been sitting here for over four years. Or was it supposed to be like this?

Drinkability: There's nothing to complain about necessarily regarding this brew, but I don't know if age has done anything for it. I do have a bottle left. And yes, I'll wait until 2012. But what's going to happen? How much more complex and nuanced is it going to get? I feel like if this wasn't Stone, people would be giving it less of a rating overall, in some ways. I'm not sure. How long should we wait, though, really?

 1,537 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Its either a very dark brown with ruby highlights or a deep mahogoney with cherry highlights. Regardless, its filtered and brilliant when held to the light. The full, tan head is creamy and full of character. Good stuff

S: Molasses, cherry, vanilla, dark fruit and butter pecan.

T: Butterscotch is the first taste that crosses my palate. A milk chocolate impression mixes with the butterscotch to create a unique taste. From there a cherry cordial personality comes forth. These flavors all transition very well, with out a clear deliniation between where one starts and one stops. Pineapple, cherry, apricot and marmalade add a fruity complexity. Finishes with dark fruits and quite bitter actually.

M: Medium body with a full mouthfeel. Decent silkyness.

D: This beer was good once it opened up. The bitterness subsided as well. I think an additional 18 months would have helped this beer peak.

 911 characters

Photo of Treebs
2.56/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle served in a CCB snifter.

A: Pours a dark plum color with some ruby highlights around the edges. An offwhite head forms on the pour and recedes to a thin ring. Some splotchy lace is left down the glass.

S: Grainy malt bills, some light rice cake with some wet paper. This one did not age all that well.

T: More of the same. A ton of cardboard, rice cake, and a little cocoa. Sweet cereal malts. The oxidation has really taken this one over.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. Wet paper finish.

O: All the bottles had been stored the same so I don't know this was a product of a poorly sealed cap, or the beer wasn't strong enough from the onset to hold onto an semblance of the original flavor profile.

 735 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Surprise...another great offering from Stone.

This one pours an outstandingly awesome very, very dark brown to near black colour, which was darker than expected overall. A foamy, somewhat creamy tan head sits atop this one. There is a nice silky stickiness as well.

The aroma is balanced with nothing in the mix being overpowering and the overall blended aroma is not overpowering at all either. It's strong, but subtle at the same time. I picked up everything from spice (although the claim is that this one was brewed without any), malt, cherry, banana and other fruit, clove, licourice and chocolate.

The flavour takes on these aromas and adds a bit of smoked roastiness as well. Chocolate is a bit more noticeable here. There's some spice flavour presumably from the hops and a slight touch of alocohol as well.

This one is medium bodied and silky smooth and provides for a great, balanced body and flavour. It's a nice treat that is damn good freash but should also age nicely. Make sure you sample this year's Epic.

 1,033 characters

Photo of jkball01
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of goodbyeohio
2.71/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

strikes a deep red, iced coffee pose in my cup. thin wispy belgian style foaming process in effect. some floating islands of bubble lie in wait on the beer's surface.

smell on this one is strong... sweet malt with a slight tinge.. bretty sourness in the nose as well. as the label says it lacks spice but bears some heavy beery scents.

taste is chocolatey with malts, raisins and plums. i am struck by an alcohol fist that is wholly unwelcome for 8.5%. too fresh is what they tell me. by 2012, this beer will benefit from further sweetness, complexity and mellowness (much-needed). ill try one again in a year or two. a noble work in progress for sure.

oh, and where does the bitterness come from? the alcohol? an undigested malt ingredient? powerful. hmm. what am i talking about?

on second thought, this should be referred to as an empty belgian base beer.. a beer mixer! my recommendation, improv! throw some kriek in there.. maybe a little bit of witbier. who the hell knows. have fun. drink stone.

dont hate my low scores, ill edit them in a year or seven.

 1,078 characters

Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a deep rich ruby with playful amber glints. Two fingers of frothy beige head crop up and settle sleepily to a soft film. Hearty but pretty lacing adorns the inside of the glass.

The aroma fields a mist of toasted malt along with cloves, raisins, vanilla, and hints of earthy fruits. A vague presence of hops slides through, and a thinly veiled current of alcohol winds about as well.

On first taste, a tide of toasted malt sweetness buoys veritable notes of currants, dark cherries, and other indistinct dusky fruits. A fleeting glimpse of general hops and spiciness dives away to let a rigid column of alcohol to set and permeate the fibers of the flavor. The finish is decently lingering, with a rounded bitterness that is shadowed by the continued press of alcohol. The poignant flavor profile is somewhat mitigated by the pushy alcohol presence.

Medium bodied, it takes on a creamy feel as it coats and caresses the palate. A fruity but dry glow lays long across the tongue.

It starts strong and earthy, promising rich and just desserts, and it fairly comes through. But, and a big but it is, the sinewy tendon of alcohol dulls some of the beer’s finer edges. There’s certainly nothing to scare one away, but the ABV keeps the drink ability to a rather limited factor. Aging might mellow the warming trend, but it’s worth working around to enjoy what the rest offers. Moderation is the key here, as it is for so many things in life, and will allow a pleasurable experience.

 1,504 characters

Photo of kingmaker
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of russwbeck
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Churchkey

05.05.05 pours out a red-brown color with a small, light brown head. The head both lasts and laces well. It smells of booze and malt with some really dark fruits. It's almost wine-like. The taste is all dark malt that's very roasty on the backend. The dark fruits are there, but aren't that great. Really disjointed with a bad aftertaste Medium body, but the bad aftertaste kills any drinkability. Again, as has been the case with these 7-9 year old Vertical Epics, it's too old.

 500 characters

Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 319 ratings
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