Stone 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone. They make beer, and I drink it. It seems like this would be a simple relationship, and it turns out, at least for these guys, it is. Sometimes beer makers try to do too much and go up in flames, and sometimes they try to do a lot and hit it out of the park every time. Stone is like the realistic girlfriend in the romance movie that the hero overlooks for the unattainable woman - yes, they have their faults, but ultimately they are in it for the long haul.

The light gold beverage has a lovely head that leaves enough lacing to let you know that beer has been here, and it knew what it was doing. The head is now a nice, patchy Mandelbrot floating on top. The aroma is a funky mix of funky yeast, coriander, orange, spices, and ... wheat. I didn't expect this to be a wheat beer, but this is a lot like the other wheat beers I've had before.

First sip is everything that the nose was but - get this - right in the mouth instead. The musty yeast is a bit much on the ass-end of the beer, but the mix of all of the ingredients that I smell play very nice for the meat of the beer - it just seems to be that the finish that is kind of off-putting. Maybe a swig will show the citrus cutting through it or something. Let's find out.

Tip-in is lemon and wheat with grass before the middle stomps in with authority. It's solid and wheaty, and it doesn't restrain itself in the least. What's more, I don't taste the yeast at all. The citrus is like a platter that is presenting the wheat, and it is actually a very nice blend. And then the finish hits with its musty yeast and cuts off the wheat in a crisp snap. Orange peels trail off from there.

Bottom Line: Enjoyable enough, but the funky yeast is just too strong for its own good.



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