Stone Vertical Epic 07

I think I messed up.

I’ve had beers out of Stone Brewing, Co.from California before, and I’ve really enjoyed them.  So when I saw the Vertical Epic last week at the local distributor, I didn’t think twice about giving it a go.  What I didn’t know then was the back-story to the Vertical Epic line of brews from Stone.

Starting in 2002 they have produced a very, very small batch of ale (I’ve read in the neighborhood of 300 cases or so) that they would release on a special day.  2/2/2002, 3/3/2003, 4/4/2004 and so on.  Each individual brew was designed to be aged in the bottle until 12/12/2012 when the beer aficionado should try each with a group of fellow enthusiasts in a “vertical tasting”.  Everything from the 11-year old 2002 brew to the un-aged 2012 ale.  That was the design.  I didn’t know that.  You can read about it here, if you prefer.

Not that it would have changed when I drank the ale.  No, beer is more of an immediate thing for me rather than something I would choose to wait 11 years to quaff.  However, if I had known about the design of the ale I probably wouldn’t have purchased it in the first place.  The version I purchased was the 07 vintage.  Which means that it was probably sitting on the shelf of this beer store for the better part of the past year.  So I don’t know if it was supposed to taste the way it tasted or if it was ruined by a year in the warmth and light of this particular beer store.

Because it was nasty.  Almost un-drinkable.  Way too much of an alcohol taste for my liking without any of the sweetness or mellowness of a great malty ale.  The aroma, the inital taste, the aftertaste…nothing was good.  It was just plain awful.

I hope it was only my bottle that was ruined after a year in the store, and I ain’t waiting until 2012 to try a fully aged bottle.  But I usually like the offerings from this brewery.  Without another bottle to test it against, I gotta call foul on this one.

My Rating: 2 out of 10


3 Responses

  1. Bummer. Stone is usually reliable. Hopefully, it was a byproduct of the intention of a 2012 opening (wtf?). Thanks for the warning!

    BTW-I’m a new reader, dig the blog.

  2. Hey Viper! Thanks for stopping by.

    They go to lengths on the website on how to preserve the bottle for maximum enjoyment. I don’t think the year that it spent on a well-lit, warm shelf in a beer distributor helped any.

  3. My husband has a blog and has recently put up a post reviewing the Stone IPA from Stone Brewing, He completely loved it. So I decided to look around to see other’s opinions on it and ran across your blog. Sorry that you had such a bad experience with the Vertical. I’ll make sure to let him know of this one. Thanks for the heads up!

    Feel free to stop by & check out his review on the Stone, Thanks.

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