Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
88
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
Ratings:
319
Reviews:
216
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
12.47%
 
 
Wants:
102
Gots:
57
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 319 |  Reviews: 216
Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of JTomczak
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of jaxon53
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of funkel81
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of JAXSON
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 rate.

Pours a dark opaque brown with crimson edges and a creamy tan head. Malty and boozy on the nose. Some nice sweet dark fruits, but not a ton of complexity going on. Thin and a bit shallow in the mouth. Big malt but the sugars have faded. This actually needs to be sweeter. Some faded hops sit around, and some interesting spices ride in a long finish. Kind of interesting.

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Photo of WOLFGANG
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of robbrandes
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this sometime at the end of 2012, as part of a 03.03.03 - 12.12.12 tasting. I had meant to enter these a while ago while they were fresh and add a few extra details, but that didn't happen. Review from notes. Anyway, here we go.

3.0 A: Moderately hazed semi-dried blood color. Short head that falls quickly.

3.5 S: Strong, musty "old beer" smell. Caramel, toasty, raisin. Pepper and clove spiciness. Cocoa powder, anise, and light roastiness. Overall, pretty decent - held up well.

3.5 T: Big toastiness, light roast, caramel, chocolate. Anise, pepper, clove. Tastes like a well aged beer that was pretty good fresh.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good spritzy carbonation. This is pretty damn good. Very impressed.

3.5 D: Easily my favorite so far. Not bad at all.

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Photo of asabreed
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
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?

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark amber light tan head forms on top
chocolate, dark fruit (plums, maybe cherry) aroma
taste is decent not the best but there's pepper, some other spices along with maybe a fig and hints of chocolate, small hop bite in the end
mouthfeel was smooth drinkability was decent but my next will be opened in 2015 like the bottle says

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Stone Company Store in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a hazy dark orange-red with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, and grape juice aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, dark fruit, and fruit juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice fruity characteristics that are holding up surprisingly well for being over 9 years old at this point.

Serving type: on tap.

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Photo of Jredner
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly roasty/carmalelized notes. Caramel malts and a little cocoa. Rich ruby/brown in color with a tiny half dollar thick tan head. Fore is caramel malts and cocoa with hints of raisin and spice. Having just had the 03 03 03 the other day I can say, as others have mentioned, this is thin. At the least is much thinner than the 03. Lacks that incredible spicy flourish of the 03 as well. But this does have a very nice basic flavor. Comes off as cocoa infused caramel pumpernickel bread with just a very slight hint of spiciness in the finish.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thus far, this is interesting.
Looks beautiful in the glass.
Though this is new and young there are flavors that make me think "skunked" here and there.
There are also flavors that make me think doppelbock.
I haven't quite sorted them out yet.
Hopefully, I'll be able to get my hands on this again, though it seems these vertical epics are becoming quite the hot item.
Deep roasted things are happening here and there.
Malts, slight hops (by Stone standards). Worth a try at the moment but I think this needs to age awhile longer.

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Photo of Derek
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I love Stone brews, but I don't think this one lived up to their name (or my expectation).

A: Caramel colour with a slight ruby hue, off-white head.

S: Malty sweetness.

T: Very malty, and certainly balanced to the sweet side. There isn't a lot of flavour, but the alcohol content is well hidden.

M: Syrupy, moderately heavy body (unusual for this style), moderate carbonation.

D: Easily approached, but this is a big beer. It'd be a challenge to drink a lot.

Thanks DrJay!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

The beer appears chestnut brown with a thin tan collar. The aroma brings toffee, light spice, caramels, malt, age, brown sugar. The flavor is a tad sweet, with brown bread, a touch of basement musk, toffee. Pretty good. Thin body with low carbonation. Pretty good.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hardly any head after it was poured into my Leffe chalice. No head after the first sip. The only redeeming quality of this beer's appearance is its deep, brown blood color. It reminds of brandy a little when you get to the bottom. The aroma is of brown sugar, vanilla, and toasty malted caramel with a burny, alcohol finish. The taste is like a dark fruity brandy. Get some mild alcohol in the finish mixed with hints of pecan torty. Pretty clean palate but with strong, dark overtones. And a spicey, yet subtle alcoholic finish.

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Photo of bnutz
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I opened this May 6th, 2005.

Not knowing anything about the style Stone was going after for this year's brew, I was suprised to see a deep caramelly, brown beer being poured into my glass. The head was light and frothy and didn't bother haning around.

The nose hinted around at banana and herbal tones but none of the aromas typically associated with Belgian-Style brown ales were present in great abundance. I got primarily a mild grassiness with a bit of alcohol.

After the first sip, I thought I may have chilled this beer too long. It seemed that the caramel, tangarine peel and celery flavors had been turned down. I let it warm up a bit and didn't find much improvement.

The beer had a nice viscosity in the mouth and an herbaceous, alcoholic and mildly hoppy finish.

I think this beer is just young. I thouroughly enjoyed it now(although not as much as initial tastings of the prior VE releases) but think it is going to age like a champion. I can't wait to try one in six months.

 1,002 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12. Review from notes.

A: Burgundy/brown color with a small off-white head that reduces to a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

S: Chocolate, caramel, and some bread. Reminds me of a dubbel, sort of estery and phenolic.

T: Not as nice as the nose, some banana, chocolate, clove, and butterscotch. A little bit of raisin and dark fruit as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: One of the better "older" vintages.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It needs to age...

The alcohol is a bit too overwhelming. Other uses have descibed it as a bit too "heated" and I think I tend to agree. It looks like a typical strong ale, dark with a small head, not too much different from the Bastard. Smells a bit stronger, with the alcohol really taking presence. I think as this beer ages, its fruitiness will come out a bit more and the alcohol will die down. Until then, its worthy of a try, but certainly nothing spectacular.

I'll check back in 10 years.

UPDATE: Drank another one on 8/29/2006 - still had the same problem. too alcoholic.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color with a fantastic tan head that starts out huge and remains 1/4" high all the way down. Huge assault on the nose as poured. Big malty and raisen like aroma. Spicy and heavy scented-very molasses like. Malt flavor dominates. Somewhat peppery flavor. Spicy. Slight astringency and dry finish. Good body-the dryness in the finish knocks it down a smudge for me. A damn fine beer. Id like to think som age will help this one. Well worth getting for now and later.

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Photo of beersarang
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby with a quickly receding tan head. The crappy retention is the only thing marking down the score.

Bready yeasty aroma, pleasant.

Nice bready malt presence, light hopping, unable to discern but I believe the dominating hop flavor is floral. Finishes horrendously yeasty, very Belgian-esque. Just a touch too yeasty, might benefit from aging. Alcohol is not too noticable, until it warms.

Medium bodied, prickly belgian style carbonation.

Drinkability suffers from the yeastiness, otherwise a decent offering but does not live up to the hype.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
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

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Photo of Goldorak
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark ruby, reminiscent of a port, but with a clingy brownish head.

Smell: Caramel, scotch ale sweet, but with a twist of mirabelle (some weird fruit they use to make booze in europe), some plums and a nice alcohol finish.

Taste: Profound maltyness, like a granola bar with nothing but specialty malts and caramel/nougat, dipped in a bit of alcohol to round it all off and make it rich and warming.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small, dense foamy, light brown colored head that didn't last very long, and left only a few specs of lace. Deep mahogany colored beer with a ruby hue. Vanilla/butterscotch and some apple in the aroma. Fairly sweet sugary raisins, a dash of apple, and just a pinch of vanilla yeastyness before the bitter chocolate flavor kicks in. There's a biting bitter saltiness towards the end that carries over into the finish, which fades as the beer warms. Starts like a Belgian strong dark ale and finishes like a bitter barleywine. Mouthfeel is soft and just barely slick, while the body is moderately full. Most of the aromas and flavors were great, but the bitterness at the end kind of killed it for me.

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Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.93 out of 5 based on 319 ratings.
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