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  • Stone Vertical Epic Ale:
    The final chapter in an "Epic" series

    As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics, and twists & turns as the adventure unfolds. Now is the time to enjoy it in a "vertical" tasting side by side with its ten Stone Vertical Epic Ale brethren! Each one unique to its year of release. Each with its own "twist & turn" in the plot line. Each one released one year, one month and one day from the previous year's edition.

    Blog Posts

    Homebrew Recipe

    The Final Chapter: Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

    Vertical Epic Ale Food Pairing Recipes

    Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

    7.50% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Deep gold, orange-ish color, excellent clarity with some sediment towards end of bottle, thin creamy head

    Aroma

    Honey, caramel, citrus, spices, phenols, coriander, malt

    Taste

    Spicy hops, citrus, caramel, dried honey, sherry, orange, pepper

    Palate

    Smooth, low carbonation, creamy, some bitterness in finish

    Overall

    Much better than expected, complete with spicy aroma; definite signs of oxidation but held up well, still very enjoyable; oxidation comes out as it warms, but is subdued

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Tzatziki, cilantro lime shrimp, ceviche

    Salads

    Roasted beets w/citrus & feta, watermelon & orange, dandelion & pomegranate, pickled delicata squash

    Entrées

    Dover sole, sashimi, herbed penne w/grilled vegetables, lemon chicken

    Cheeses

    Brillat-Savarin, Humboldt Fog, Marin Rouge et Noir Brie

    Desserts

    Lemon meringue pie, apricot crisp, strawberry tart

    Cigars

    Macanudo Café Portofino, Arturo Fuente Spanish Light Candela Lonsdale

    Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale

    9.0% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Brown, slightly hazy with sediment, creamy head

    Aroma

    Dried fruit, malt, bread, wheat, bananas, spice, coriander, grains of paradise, toffee, mild oxidation

    Taste

    Really malty, molasses and caramel, hints of coriander, trace of grains of paradise, candy sweetness, some sherry-aged notes, tart wheat, some oxidation

    Palate

    Creamy, smooth, lingering bitterness, finishes dry, medium-full body, good carbonation

    Overall

    Showing a little more oxidation, aged nicely and drinks well

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Deviled eggs, 5- spice roasted cashews, crab cakes, grilled portabellos

    Soups

    Cream of celery root, beef stew, French onion

    Entrées

    Pork chops, tofu burgers, grilled salmon, bratwurst

    Cheeses

    Aged Gouda, Idiazabal, Barinaga Ranch Baserri

    Desserts

    Crèam brulée, bread pudding, butterscotch pecan cake

    Cigars

    Don Pepin Garcia Cuban Classic, Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial, Arturo Fuente Double Chateau Fuente Sun Grown

    Stone 04.04.04 Vertical Epic Ale

    8.5% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Golden, great carb head, clear, bright, effervescent

    Aroma

    Spicy, kaffir lime, banana, clove, slight oxidation

    Taste

    Fruit, lots of lime & citrus, alcohol, dried honey, wheat, bread, some tartness, very refreshing

    Palate

    Big, bold, silky, good carbonation, medium body

    Overall

    A bold golden sweet beer, amazing how prominent the lime still is

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Lemon ginger shrimp, weisswurst, chicken satay, ceviche

    Salads

    Citrus avocado, fruit salad, Greek salad

    Entrées

    Steamed mussels, Chilean sea bass, grilled chicken breast, arroz con pollo

    Cheeses

    Triple Cream Brie, Bucherondin, Cowgirl Creamery Inverness

    Desserts

    Key lime pie, strawberry shortcake, pineapple upside-down cake, lemon bars

    Cigars

    Candelas could work but otherwise not recommended

    Stone 05.05.05 Vertical Epic Ale

    8.5% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Deep amber to reddish brown, clear

    Aroma

    Chocolate, dark toffee, banana esters, candy, bread

    Taste

    Chocolate toffee, some dried fruit, anise, chocolate roastiness, dark wheat, fig, raisin, coffee, sherry, leather

    Palate

    Medium body, finished clean and dry, good carbonation, creamy, crisp, big flavor

    Overall

    Very nice, delicious.

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Buffalo sliders, hoisin/ginger beef skewers, spinach-stuffed portabellos, bacon

    Soups

    Beef and barley, goulash, cream of mushroom

    Entrées

    Prime rib, tri-tip, lamb shoulder, pork mole

    Desserts

    Fig Newtons, milk chocolate, toffee pudding, pecan pie

    Cheeses

    Morbier, Mizithra, Stilton, Winchester Gouda

    Cigars

    Casa Magna Colorado Diadema, Camacho Corojo Figurado, Padron 1964 Anniversary Series

    Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale

    8.66% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Dark mahogany, tan foam, nice clarity

    Aroma

    Roasted chocolate, complex dark malt, phenolic yeast notes, smoke, pepper, spice, light cocoa, caramel

    Taste

    Christmas spices, molasses, slightly smoky, phenols, cocoa and dark fruit

    Palate

    Crisp, creamy, medium body, good carbonation, a little sweet

    Overall

    One-dimensional, pronounced yeast characters

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Bacon-wrapped dates, lamb lollipops, walnut & Gorgonzola-stuffed figs

    Soups

    French onion, New England clam chowder, butternut squash, creamy potato w/cinnamon, nutmeg & bacon

    Entrées

    Venison, St. Louis ribs, osso bucco, beef cheeks

    Desserts

    Date & honey nut cake, spice cake, cherries jubilee

    Cheeses

    Carmody, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar

    Cigars

    Winston Churchill Chartwell, Ashton Estate Sun Grown 20 Year, 601 Box Press Maduro Toro

    Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale

    8.4% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Deep gold, some hazing, subtle carbonation

    Aroma

    Ginger, lavender, jasmine, cardamom, strong fruit, citrus peel

    Taste

    Ginger, very floral, some citrus, a little botanically bitter, sweet, spices, hint of yeast

    Palate

    Dry, bitter, some creaminess, smooth

    Overall

    Aged nicely, spices are more dialed in and well-blended, great summer beer

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Lime & coconut shrimp, apricot and chicken bruschetta, bone marrow

    Salads

    Waldorf salad, Citracado salad, arugula, pear & goat cheese

    Entrées

    Potato pierogis, paella, roasted chicken, monkfish

    Desserts

    Peach cobbler, citrus panna cotta, orange sorbet, fruit trifle

    Cheeses

    Humboldt Fog, Castelrosso, Bijou, Petit Billy

    Cigars

    Macanudo Hyde Park Cafˇ, Helix Blue Tubular

    Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

    8.6% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Golden, hazy, pale yellow, thin lace

    Aroma

    Hop notes, ginger, honeydew, light phenols, lemon, citrus notes, spice, honey, banana

    Taste

    Nice hop bitterness, citrus, strong spice, malt candy sweetness, tropical fruit, piney

    Palate

    Dry, crisp, smooth, full body, bitter

    Overall

    Held up really well, aged better than expected, hop character surprisingly bright and intense

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Shrimp cocktail, ceviche, crab cakes

    Soups

    Chicken noodle, posole, summer squash

    Entrées

    Lobster risotto, Alaskan crab legs, quail, fish tacos

    Desserts

    Lemon chiffon cake, cheesecake, orange cream parfait

    Cheeses

    Brunet, Champlain Valley Triple Cream Brie, Nettle Meadow Kunik

    Cigars

    Illusione Eperney, Cabaiguan Guapo, Don Tomas Candelas

    Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

    8.6% Alc/Vols

    Appearance

    Dark orange to deep brown, tan lacing

    Aroma

    Cocoa, banana, roasty notes, wood, aged oak, orange, vanilla

    Taste

    Chocolate, fruit, hints of vanilla, mild oak, orange

    Palate

    Full mild flavor, very smooth, creamy, good carbonation

    Overall

    A little grainy, cocoa is wonderful, flavors meld well together, better with age

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Oysters on the half shell, baby back ribs

    Soups

    Chili con carne, beef stew, jambalaya

    Entrées

    BBQ pork, rib eye, buffalo, lamb, blackened fish

    Desserts

    Dark chocolate truffles, brownies, chocolate espresso cake, tiramisu

    Cheeses

    Gorgonzola Dolce, Dante, Point Reyes Blue

    Cigars

    Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Torpedo, Diamond Crown Maximus Double Corona No.1, Liga Privada No.9

    Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

    9.5% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Golden, great clarity, good carbonation

    Aroma

    Clean, citrus notes, grapes, subtle spice, light floral notes

    Taste

    Hops, bitterness, citrus, fruit, wine grape flavors, yeast characters

    Palate

    Dry wine feel, semi-creamy, slightly syrupy, tart

    Overall

    Drinks like a beer aged in wine barrels, aged into great beer, delicious

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Bacon-wrapped grilled apricots, chicken kabobs, spring rolls

    Salads

    Waldorf salad, Citracado salad, fruit salad

    Entrées

    Rosemary chicken, halibut, penne pasta w/garden vegetables

    Desserts

    Apricot torte, peach cobbler, apple strudel

    Cheeses

    Langres, Taleggio, Murray's Cave Aged Hudson Red

    Cigars

    Macanudo Gold Label Tudor, Arturo Fuente 858 Candela, Don Tomas Candela

    Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale

    9.4% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Amber to copper, tan head, clear

    Aroma

    Chile peppers, malt, fruit, lightly phenolic, cinnamon, bell pepper, heat

    Taste

    Chile peppers, cinnamon, malt sweetness, caramel, fruit

    Palate

    Medium body, hints of heat, very balanced, nice carbonation, great mouth feel, crisp, smooth

    Overall

    A good, mild chile pepper beer, but was better fresh

    Homebrew Recipe

    View The Homebrew Recipe

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Stuffed jalapeños, pork sliders, queso fundido

    Soups

    Chili con carne, albondigas, Manhattan clam chowder

    Entrées

    Serrano ham, chicken mole, skirt steak w/chimichurri, Cajun dishes

    Desserts

    Chocolate ancho chile cake, cinnamon rolls, spiced vanilla ice cream

    Cheeses

    Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Emmentaler, Manchego, Dante

    Cigars

    Viaje Skull & Bones Daisy Cutter, Pepin Garcia Blue, Jaime Garcia Reserva Especiale

    Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

    9.0% Alc/Vol

    Appearance

    Deep black with a dark brown, foamy head.

    Aroma

    First impressions are of cinnamon and allspice, combined with fruity banana esters and hints of clove from the Belgian yeast. As the beer warms in the glass, swirl it around and take in the aromatics one more time-caramel, dark toffee and molasses notes come into play as well. The end result is a wonderful juxtaposition of roasted malts, yeast esters and baking spices.

    Taste

    Intense cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice with banana esters dominate up front. Hints of citrus arrive mid-palate, while molasses notes persevere in the finish along with a very nice dark-roasted malt dryness.

    Palate

    A full, but not sweet, extremely dry finish. Very complex with great flavor balance.

    Overall

    The aromas wafting through the brewery as we brewed this beer were amazing! We couldn't think of a better way to sign off this Epic series of beers.

    This beer will transport you to a very warm place; the house is warm, a fire's going and grandma's in the kitchen baking away.

    Suggested Pairings by "Dr." Bill Sysak

    Appetizers

    Chocolate & sea salt crostini, curry meatballs, cinnamon & sugar bacon, quail knots

    Soups

    Butternut squash, goulash, French onion

    Entrées

    Cocoa & chile-rubbed pork tenderloin, elk loin, merguez sausage, porterhouse steak, roasted goose

    Desserts

    Fruitcake, chocolate lava cake, dark chocolate-covered espresso beans

    Cheeses

    Huntsman, Shropshire Blue, Ewephoria

    Cigars

    Padron Family Reserve 45 Years "The Little Hammer," La Reloba Selección Sumatra Torpedo, La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero

    Blog Post: Vertical Epic Ale Food Pairing Recipes

    To sit in on the original tasting panel you can view the video here: Tasting panel on Livestream.com

    Tasting notes by: Greg Koch, Steve Wagner, Mitch Steele, Stephen Johnson (New Brew Thursday), Jay Brooks (Celebrator, Beer Journalist), Lee Chase (Former Stone Brewmaster, Owner Blind Lady Ale House and Automatic Brewing Co.), Todd Alström (BeerAdvocate), Jason Alström (BeerAdvocate), Joe Tucker (RateBeer), "Dr." Bill Sysak (Craft Beer Ambassador, Stone Brewing Co.)

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