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
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Ratings: 319 |  Reviews: 216
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 Truh
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yo quero cerveza with this one on 5/5/05, appropriately enough. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Huge root beer float plume of down head with a settling universe of pock-marked moonscape, Escher lace. Brownish red hue is almost claret, clear, and bubbles floating freely, unfettered. Light rock candy, caramel malt, and a nosegay of berry hints all mash together for a party in the nose. On the tongue, a very subtle mix of sugar syrup, light cinder, toffee, and eventually anis comes through as the pour warms; excellent combination.

Very drinkable; must get more to squirrel away for a rainy day.

 633 characters

Photo of fsck
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Vertical Epic 05.05.05 ---- I can't remember a beer I have been more jacked up to drink. It does not disappoint!
The beer poured out a nice mahogany color in my tulip glass. The actual color when held to the light is a deep amber. A nice 1" tan head fell to a cap and rode the Epic all the way down.
I took the first whiff straight out of the bottle and found a beautiful spicy yeast aroma. After being poured out the smell of the yeast was intensified and some fruity aromas along with some clove were released. The bottle states that no spices were used in brewing --- that is a trip!! What a strain of yeast that must be!!
The taste of this brew was full of spicy yeast, a little banana and clove. There was some raisin apparent as the beer warmed. The hopping seems very, very light to me. There is a nice slightly roasted earthy flavor to this beer. An awesome lingering aftertaste finishes this off. There is more going on here than I can actually pin down.
The mouthfeel is creamy and a little thinner than I expected with medium carbonation.
I am very impressed with this offering from Stone. I hope I can save the three other bombers I have for tasting at different intervals during the aging process. It will be a challenge!

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Photo of Yesdog
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Geuzedad
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of pentathlete
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, big head, falls to a 75% covering table. Sticky. Smell is licorice and malt. Taste is more anise and a carbonic spicy character that I'm just not a fan of. Certainly has a lot of attitude. I have another bottle for a future tasting. Mouthfeel is medium full. Drinkability, for me is not too fine. If you like peppery licorice, then this is your beer. The spouse loved it.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep rich brown with a mocha head that dominates the glasss. The smell is of strong deep molasses and roasted nuts. A hint of citrus hops will pleasure the nose. The taste is deep and rich of roasted caramel with almonds. The biscuity taste is pleasant with a nice hop ending. A full bodied thick brown ale, great for by the fire or with a thick rich dessert.

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Photo of rousee
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

24-25 oz. bomber purchased on release night at one of the finest beer stores in the area- Bauer.

Dark cherry/currant/plum color. Small head-light ruby or fruit punch hues on the bottom inch of chalice. Very thin lace.

Cherry syrup and malt on nose. Clean and fruity on the tongue-chewy & nutty too, but also has cider-like elements. Mouthfeel is kind of like an assault on the tongue. Not really, but thats how my friend who drinks Heinekin and Guinness only, described it--also " fancier than I expected, etc". I think the mouthfeel is probably the best trait of this beer right now just like the 04-04-04 and just like 04, I believe this will truly hit its stride when it has aged for 6-? months. Pretty damn tasty anyway.

BTW-Seems 04 VE is hard to find these days. So stock up on this 05 shit while you can.

 821 characters

Photo of Naes
3.29/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is almost black in color with a tall tan head that quickly disappeared. Lacing is minimal.
Its aroma is yeasty and candy sweet.
Its flavor starts out quite malty, then has a dark fruit quality (raisin, black cherry) with some alcohol warming and finishes with a milk chocolate like presence.
Mouth feel is medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated.

Not like anything I have had from stone.

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Photo of scooter231
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This guy is still a little young, but I've gotta say I liked it- and I think this is going to get even better as it ages. Will have to make a note to try it again in a year or so.

Pours a dark ruby color with light head, pretty. Smells sweet, floral, maybe hints of caramel in there. Taste is again sweet, and light. Coffee is in there, caramel again, a nice bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is bubbly and chewy, very nice feel. Highly drinkable as well, and can't taste the alcohol in here, though you can certainly feel it. A tasty guy.

 541 characters

Photo of goalie33
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Padron4KM
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. Pours out a murky dark reddish brown, with a fluffy tan head.
lace coats the glass in a thin sheet. alcohol floats on top like a nicely aged port.
Aroma is roasty, dark fruits, some mustiness, and maybe a little alcohol.
flavor is fruity and sweet, followed by some roasty chocolate, and a little spice on the end.
Lots of flavors there but they haven’ t quite come together yet. I’ll be aging a couple 2 or 3 bottles for sure, and will re-rate in a year or 2.22 oz bomber. Pours out a murky dark reddish brown, with a fluffy tan head.

lace coats the glass in a thin sheet. alcohol floats on top like a nicely aged port.

Aroma is roasty, dark fruits, some mustiness, and maybe a little alcohol.

flavor is fruity and sweet, followed by some roasty chocolate, and a little spice on the end.

Lots of flavors there but they haven’ t quite come together yet. I’ll be aging a couple 2 or 3 bottles for sure, and will re-rate in a year or 2.

(re-rate feb 07) Flavors are coming together nicely. Roasty chocolate, spicy clove, dark fruits, yeast. Looks promising. unfortunately I only have 1 left
Original 3.5 - 4 - 3.5 - 3.5 - 3 - 3.55.

 1,168 characters

Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown. Pours almost purple. A tan head forms and holds as a steady cap. Some lace proliferates. The nose is dark fruit laden. Very fermented fruitish. Sweet. Figs. The taste is spicy. None added, but the yeast has given these impressions. At least that is what the bottle says. Sweet and dark. Brown sugar. Very natural. Very raw. Mouthfeel is medium. Drinkability is decent. This is not a chugger of a beer. Good.

 419 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

See 06.06.06 review for background story....

Well, it pours a burgandy dark with a great head. Chunks of lacing, nice looking brew.

Smell reminds me of a quad. Musty dark fruits, subtle but earthy, again with the tea leaves.

Big bite of caramel and dark fruits. Not bad but ....

Good carbonation, especially considering the age. Feels decent enough I guess.

Overall: expected EPIC, got good

 395 characters

Photo of xgrigorix
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Dark auburn brown. Fluffy beige coloured head retains quite well, and leaves some spotty lace behind.

Cloves leap right out of the glass, but are backed up by aromas of dark fruit & some funky earthy notes as well.

Cloves, phenols, & plenty spicy. Earthy hop flavours lead to a dry finish. Full bodied w/ gentle carbonation. Hoping this gets a bit more interesting with some age.

 419 characters

Photo of jerz
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of heresy22
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of dmsohyea
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Photo of palliko
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There was about an inch of foam when poured but it disappeared quickly, leaving very little lacing. The initial nose is spicy, with floral/herbal hints of ANISE/CLOVES and some caramel. SERIOUS alcohol! I am having trouble spelling! Fruity malt, and raisin dominate the first sip with Belgian phenols underlying all, with faint support from hops. Deep mahogany brown appearance, and just-right carbonation. Complex on the palate, slightly sweet but with a nice dry finish. After it mellows a while, it should balance out to be outstanding! Stone is the best brewery, bar none!

 576 characters

Photo of bca115
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of TinusTime
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darker than dark ruby brown.. Almost black with a soft off khaki head. Nose is prune with some spice and toffee in the aroma.

Taste is dark sugars and dark fruits.. Plums, prunes, molasses all over the place. Yeasty madness also enters into the mix.

Mouthfeel-- good.. Not too carbonated, it tis fine

Drinkability-- Probably the most drinkable of all the Verticle off the bat.. This thing is gonna get silly good in time. The sweetness from the sugars will prolly die down leaving this a tasty treasure.. Glad I got 6 bottles to check out how this one ages.. The 04 was better first.. but this one can sit and age and maybe maybe make it to 12 12 12

 667 characters

Photo of 99bottles
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Taken in a tulip glass, this beer is quite stunning. The body is a deep ruby-brown color and a head of light tan sits atop. The retention is very good, as the head finally settles to a persistent lace cover of the surface. Beautiful.

Smell: A deep whiff lets you know this is a Belgian for sure. Sweet, sugary malts smell of candied apples, dried fruit and hide behind the strong scent of some otherworldly yeast. Really, even without tasting this you get a sense that the yeast is driving this wagon.

Taste: Whew. What can be said? It's complex for sure. The dark malt exhibits some roasted notes, some coffee and dark chocolate. Next the phenols kick in strong and range from spicy and fruity (cherries, licorice) to biting and medicinal. Sweet, sour, spicy, even a bit of hops to add a bitter finish before the taste of yeast sweeps everything back into place. Alcohol is apparent, but they even warn you on the label that it's a "hot" beer and needs 7 years to settle. I imagine this will be an absolute gem if left to age that long. Think you've got some tastebuds? Wrap them around this for a workout.

Mouthfeel: Good body, slightly viscous but really dead on for the style. Not cloying, although the alcohol is apparent. Moderate carbonation keeps things moving.

Drinkability: I really like it. I don't know that I could have too much of it, and the bomber itself is a bit much for one person, but it's not because it aint good. It's just a handful, and a whopping good handful at that. Good for Stone. Props for including a homebrew along recipe online. Stone Brewing are fishers among men.

 1,622 characters

Photo of John1985
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ale pours with an attractive dark brown color and ample with head. Head disappears quickly without much lacing. Aroma was an incredible with scents of spicy dark bread. Taste was dominated by rich earthy malts with slight stings of alcohol at the back. Mouthfeel was rich without being cloying and was smooth and drinkable.

I am not very experienced with this style but am very glad I saved this for the last year or so. As with other reviews, I'm sure this ale would have improved for the next several years. Wish I would have bought more!

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- candi sugar, sweet malt, citrus in the finish

color- light brown amber

clarity- pours clear and dark

smell- chocolate, cake, cereal, flowers, nuttiness, biscuits

body- some hop bite still left in the front of the mouth, medium-length finish, smooth on the palate

appearance- nice off-white head when first poured, medium-light, creamy, fine lacing in glass, active carbonation throughout the session

overall impression- mellow, drinkable beer. really impressed for a beer with 7+ years of age. very approachable and still enjoyable beer. alcohol is still present

notes and comments- audible carbonation when i popped the top

beer spy- bevmo, walnut creek ca, may 2005, $4.89, 22oz

glassware: tulip

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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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