• Josh

Beer Review: Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

This evening, I cracked open the coveted Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale. This particular ale is a witbier, created by Stone Brewing Companyin February of 2002. According to Stone, at one time, this beer was ‘easily the rarest and most highly sought-after beer they have ever brewed’. It’s hard to come by the original, but Stone re-released the 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale as a part of its 20th Anniversary Encore Series last year.

The beer poured a beautiful honey-like, pale golden color. It was transparent and moderately carbonated, with a very frothy and large white head. On the nose I detected that famous Belgian Yeast scent which is a staple in witbiers. Along with that yeasty smell came notes of banana and clove. In addition, I detected a slight sweetness, almost citrusy flavor. Lastly, there was a faint hoppiness detected at the conclusion of the smell.

The beer definitely did not disappoint in taste. It was definitely a crisp witbier, having that muted wheaty taste with notes of banana and clove. In addition, faint notes of orange and coriander were tasted which I feel complimented the standard witbier flavor very well. I couldn’t help but taste a subtle hoppiness in this witbier as well. Now, this was not the hoppiness you would taste in an Pale Ale or IPA—this was much more subtle. It almost served as a unexpected compliment, presenting itself at the end of the taste to enhance the flavor of this great brew.

Stone Brewing did an incredible job with this brew. It was not a standard witbier by any means. The brewers definitely took a risk on this one, and you can experience it with each smell and taste. Cheers to a great witbier and the innovation that made it all possible!

DISCLAIMER: Beer is a wonderful thing, but it must be enjoyed responsibly. Please enjoy responsibly both for yourself and for those around you. Also, if you are under 21 years of age, thank you for stopping by. Feel free to learn from some of this content, but please wait until you are of legal age to enjoy beer.

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