I sampled five vintages of Roots’ Epic Ale at Belmont Station just before the holidays … and what a nice way to get things started. Roots closed earlier this year, and Epic Ale was always one of my favorites from this, Oregon’s first Organic brewery.

Each year, I’d shuffle down to the southeast pub for the bottle release and “Vertical Epic,” with the current year and all previous iterations available for tasting. I’ve heard rumor that there are a few kegs of Epic hidden away in brewer Craig’s possession, as well as some others stashed around town, but this tasting may have been the last time to try them all in one swoop. Lucky me!

Roots Epic Ale 2005 Beer Review

Beer Name: Epic Ale 2005
Brewer: Roots
Price: $2.40 (5 samples for $12)
Sampled: December 21, 2010
Rating: 5/5
Notes: Licorice – black. Like Good’N'Plenty in a glass. Quite warming. Some clove and black strap. So sad this is done, but Craig looks happy.
ABV: 14% abv
IBU: N/A
OG N/A
TG N/A
Serving Type: Draft.

Beer Name: Epic Ale 2006
Brewer: Roots
Price: $2.40 (5 samples for $12)
Sampled: December 21, 2010
Rating: 4/5
Notes: Much more clove-y, and tarragon? Has a bright, somewhat witch hazel linger. Wouldn’t want a whole pint, but a goblet would be nice. Mellow alcohol. Bubblegum?
ABV: 14% abv
IBU: N/A
OG N/A
TG N/A
Serving Type: Draft.

Beer Name: Epic Ale 2007
Brewer: Roots
Price: $2.40 (5 samples for $12)
Sampled: December 21, 2010
Rating: 2/5
Notes: Biting and yeasty. Is there some tartness in there? Tasted a bit like dregs. Even a wee bit of Band-Aid. Feels like the odd one yet. Acrid.
ABV: 14% abv
IBU: N/A
OG N/A
TG N/A
Serving Type: Draft.

Beer Name: Epic Ale 2008
Brewer: Roots
Price: $2.40 (5 samples for $12)
Sampled: December 21, 2010
Rating: 1/5
Notes: Weird – that took a cheese-y cheddar turn. Cheese-y orange crackers and black jellybeans. Not good. Where’s my 33 Cheeses? Grilled cheese.
ABV: 14% abv
IBU: N/A
OG N/A
TG N/A
Serving Type: Draft.

Beer Name: Epic Ale 2009
Brewer: Roots
Price: $2.40 (5 samples for $12)
Sampled: December 21, 2010
Rating: 3/5
Notes: Some of that cheese, but not nearly as much. Rosemary? Some yeast, but not overwhelming. Not quite as bubbly as the rest. Stronger figgy flavors.
ABV: 14% abv
IBU: N/A
OG N/A
TG N/A
Serving Type: Draft.


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