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Beer – #1,062 – Stone – 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

It is a beer with a long name Stone 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale. A couple of weekends until the Christmas break, and it’s warm and humid, and also about to be stormy, it’s really quite contrary.  I’ve also picked something unusual from the Vinyl – the Beatles – The White Album. There are some crackers on this.

I’ve also had the 08.08.08 so I can always go and read that again for reference.

all the more alluring

This is a 650ml bottle of a beer that is 7.5% ABV, around that 225 calories a serve and is around 3.85 standard drinks in NZ

Stone 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale is brewed in Escondido, California, United States. It is brewed in the style that is  of a  Belgian Ale – Strong Pale it is of course brewed by: Stone Brewing

Sunday with Stone, well actually the Beatles, but that’s another story

In 2002 we began our groundbreaking, millennium-inspired series with Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale.

This bumped up Belgian-style wit—made all the more alluring thanks to an infusion of orange peel, coriander, a sprinkling of black pepper and a healthy dose of Centennial hops—was a bright way to begin this epic eleven-part vertical tasting.

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. Vertical Epic 02/02/02 was not brewed “to style”. Instead, we tried to create something new.

It’s triple-ish in nature, with wit character, coriander and orange peel, and has way more hops than either a Belgian triple or a Wit would. Belgian yeast was used. Belgian Strong Ale is the closest category that fits — Greg Koch, Stone Brewing CEO.

So, What could possibly go wrong?

So on opening there’s some familiar aromas, yeast, malt, which all seems fine.

Pour is a lot more to the paler orange/yellow that I expected, and it’s fairly hazy. The brilliant white and firm persistent head is lovely to look at. I don’t think this is the prettiest beer that I’e ever poured.

Aroma in the glass has some peppery notes about it, and some hint of bubblegum, which again is expected.

Taste is two things, there is that familiar Belgian style yeast and sweetness. and then there is this cloud hanging over that is really quite a juxtaposition, and that’s something that seems to be quite hoppy. The sleeve notes mention this though, so perhaps it’s just not what I was exception, or rather was expecting but not in the way that it presented itself.

I’m not so sure that I’m a fan.

There seems to be a lot of thinking about this, is it a hoppy beer, or is it something that should be sweeter softer and have perhaps an alcohol tang at the back. To get that hop harsh note at the front is confusing and a little unpleasant really.

That Belgian-ness of this gets nicer as it warms, however it’s an escalation of that hop harsh note that makes it seem futile.

I do however think that this is the beer that the brewer made, I don’t think it’s gone different, or is different to the way intended, I just don’t think it’s  the beer for me, which just shows you that you just can’t like every beer.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 of its things from the thing. It’s not that it’s a bad beer, it’s just that it’s confused, or is such that I’m confused, and I don’t really like the confusion either way.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? The local Liquorland of course.
  • Am I enjoying it? Not really, it’s harsh where it shouldn’t be.
  • Would I have another? No.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Not this one no, There’s too much work involved in explaining what this might be or should be to enjoy really.

Music for this:  The Beatles (White Album) on the Spotify player for you, on the original vinyl for me #242090


Belgian Strong Ales can vary from pale to dark brown in color, darker ales may be colored with dark candy sugar. Hop flavor can range from low to high, while hop aroma is low. The beers are medium to full-bodied and have a high alcoholic character. Types of beers included here include tripels, dubbels and ultra-strong abbey ales.


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