Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 03.03.03 Vertical Epic Ale

Rated 3.748 by BeerPals
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Brewed by Stone Brewing Company

Escondido, CA, United States

Style:  Belgian Strong Ale

9% Alcohol by Volume

Availability of this beer is unknown

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As with the 02.02.02, we are pleased to again make the full home-brewing recipe available on our website. We used some pretty interesting ingredients this time around...coriander (a "Belgian-style" beer favorite!), alligator pepper (wow, bite into these little gems and you get a bigtime spicy rush of flavor), and a bit of unmalted wheat and dark roasted wheat. And a blend a blend of Belgian yeast and American ale yeast. And a nice selection of high alpha hops (a decidedly non-Belgian style twist). All told it makes for a dubbelish taken-to-San-Diego-pushed-to-the-edge-and-slapped-around-a-bit beer. So, treat it gently. It's been abused enough already. Store it upright, cool and in the dark. It would enjoy a nice long rest. It will have plenty of patience. Now let's see about you...

ID: 9249 Last updated 10 years ago Added to database 18 years ago

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Overall Rank776
Overall Percentile98.4
Style Rank67 of 1172
Style Percentile94.3
Lowest Score3.2
Highest Score4.9
Average Score3.860
Weighted Score3.748
Standard Deviation0.535

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

20 Member Reviews

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  • ~WELDER~ 279 reviews
    rated 4.7 8 years ago

    Aroma: 9 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 10 | Overall: 10

    The over all is great! Could be more Crisp, but this bottle is 9years old! So, for 9 years old, this is very delicious .. Appearance is dark, cloudy and smoky... The flavor is amazing! Over the 9 years it's lost some carbonation! But not a lot! The flavor is a smoky maple bacon, sweet taste! amazing beer! CHEERS to STONE BREWERY!

  • KINGER 2328 reviews
    rated 3.2 9 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 6

    Sampled in February of 2012: Time has been fairly forgiving to this '03 selection. Dark amber to brown in color with a small tan head and little lacing. Hints of roasted malt, brown sugar, and calm Belgian yeast fruits/spices are still lingering. Soft, creamy mouth feel that likely has thinned over the years. All things considered this one is still barely holding up.///////////////// Scored this as 56666 during the draft vertical tasting and has apparantly fallen off even more than the bottle I sampled nearly 10 months ago. A bit oxidized with notes of toffee, fruits, and mild cocoa. All in all not bad for 2003, but clearly a shadow of what it likely once was. The least impressive of the offerings at the event.

  • CLASH 2576 reviews
    rated 3.9 10 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    This poured a dark copper to hazy brown color. The aroma contains some caramel, chocolate, molasses, and toffee. The flavor is rather sweet with more chocolate, caramel, and toffee. It tastes like a Heath Bar! Which is a good thing. Overall you can tell it’s a bit on the old side but it still tastes good to me!

  • BFELDMANN 1056 reviews
    rated 3.5 13 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Thanks eagle for this one. Poured was a cloudy brown color. Aroma was caramel and yeast. Flavor was much the same as it warmed it finished a bitter hops to it. Not a bad one not the best of the bunch either.

  • DOULOS31 1349 reviews
    rated 3.5 13 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Ruby brown pour with nice looking head and lacing. Wonderful aroma of caramel malts and earthy hops. First sip, taken aback by a sour fruitiness. Caramel malt base and significantly hopped and not a bad tasting beer, but the sourness was detracting. Slightly thin mouthfeel. Ok. Thanks to eaglefan538 for sharing.

  • EAGLEFAN538 2299 reviews
    rated 3.4 13 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Bottle courtesy Robert at SL. Pour was murky brown with a small thin head, pretty constant, no lacing. The aroma was light yeast behind strong caramel and brown sugar, light oxidized nose too. Flavor followed suit, more malty than anything else, slight yeasty bitter finish. Overall, a neat experience, but I still stand by my position that Stone is best at its pale ale, ipa, dipa product line than anything Belgian. Thanks, Robert!

  • ARACAUNA 2100 reviews
    rated 4.1 15 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 9 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Me gusta. I really wish I had two bottle so I could age the other one to see how it changed with age. But I'm really wondering if it would be any better with age. The appearance is just a little too brown to be ruby and the cascading bubbles almost look like golden flakes. The head is a very pale tan but forms easily and holds up nicely. Coriander is definitely evident up front as well as a peppery aroma. A bit of orange pulp wafts up as well. The flavor continues with the coriander and the pepper becomes stronger. Oddly they didn't use real pepper this time around. I guess the grains of paradise are aptly nicknamed "Alligator Pepper." Under the caramel cake malt, I'm picking up the faintest hint of banana. I'm actually a bit surprised that Stone made a beer so unabashedly not hoppy. Sure they used high alpha hops in the boil, but I'm not picking them up at all. They blend into the overall mix nicely. Very balanced, but big flavored beer. I'm actually surprised the beer is getting such low ratings here. Maybe something as subtle as a dunkel wit made by Stone throws people off, but I really like it.

  • HERBJONES 522 reviews
    rated 3.2 15 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 6 | Overall: 7

    Gotta say I was kind of let down by this one. Tried it when it was first released but didnt rate it because I felt it was to young and had not come together yet. Tried another one last night and guess what? Still just a jumbled mess. Belgian hints with yeastiness and dark fruits at first, some spiciness and then the hops come in and bludgeon everything and not in a good way. Hopefully time will be kind to this one and in 9 years it will come together.

  • EYECHARTBREW 1451 reviews
    rated 4.9 16 years ago

    Aroma: 10 | Appearance: 10 | Mouthfeel: 10 | Flavor: 10 | Overall: 9

    ~ Initial Review, 03-10-2003:
    After all the hype, and virtually stalking my local liquor stores since the 3rd of this month, I finally picked up seven bottles from the store that got their Vertical Epic 03.03.03 first. In fact, those bottles were said to be only on the shelf for about 25 minutes before I grabbed them....

    Anyway, after sending four bottles off for trading (in trade for some Double Bail Quail and Wreck The Halls), I will set two bottles aside to age. I'm thinking of drinking them in 2007 and 2012...

    Before I talk about this beer, let me just say that I didn't bother to horde any 02.02.02 -- and in fact, I thought it to be a rather lousy mish-mash of a wheat/tripel/saison.... "Jack of all trades, master of none", otherwise known (in the homebrew field) as a "clean out the closet"-type brew.

    That having been said, I didn't expect this year's Vertical Epic to live up to the hype anymore than last years. Boy was I wrong here. This beer, to put it bluntly, really rocks...!

    Deep reddish oak-like appearence, with little to any carbonation or head to speak of. In other words, par for course for a Dubbel.

    The aroma was refreashingly complex. Fruit, esters, grape(?), oak, spice -- all make an appearence here. And then the taste. All of the sensations expirenced in the aroma shine through here, and yet there is just so much more going, too. Not that I want to mindlessly parrot the label, but this does indeed taste like a Belgian Dubbel with a West Coast "hop's out the ying-yang" slant. This still says "Belgian", but complex enough to make it so much more.

    I am quite impressed with this, and I hope that folks are able to get their fair share of this to taste and enjoy.

    ~ Re-Review, 05-17-2003:
    Adjusted my marks a bit to reflect the fact that this is so much better than the 02.02.02. I can take-or-leave the 02.02.02, but will most definately stock-pile a decent sized stash of 03.03.03 for the long-term.

    ~ Re-Review, 10-07-2004:
    This is really shaping up nicely, IMO. Not quite as "over-the-top" as earlier examples seemed to me -- this strikes me as a very nice and refined Rochefort clone than anything else (and that's a very good thing, in my book!).

    Paired up nicely with some left-over Machengo, Irish Cheddar, and Edam cheeses -- the slight spiciness of the beer contrasting nicely with the rather mellow(er) cheeses quite well. Seemed to bring out some of the more subtle nuances of the beer, IMO.

    A beer that's definately in it's stride, me'thinks. Will it last until the mythical 12-12-2012 Vertical Epic Tasting? I don't know, and I don't care. `Cause for the "here-and-now", it's a damn tasty beer...!

  • BEERGUY101 5022 reviews
    rated 4.4 16 years ago

    Aroma: 10 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 9

    Dark brown color. Medium head. Aroma is malt, coriander and peppers. A full bodied ale. This beer is a frelling flavor fest. Malts are bold, slightly sweet and very smooth. It is not very hoppy, which is very unusual for a Stone Brew. But there are plenty of spices to balance it out; coriander, peppers (!), some fruits (apricots and cherries) and a touch of peat and smoke. Very smooth taste. Aging will only make this beer much better. Hides the 9% alcohol very well. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with some peppery tones. Etched Beer bottle.

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