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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 710   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 258   ABV: 8.6%
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This is quite a complex and layered beer. Bold and smooth chocolate malt flavors combine with a Belgian yeast lending tropical fruit/banana flavors and hints of spiciness, all complemented by citrus notes from an addition of tangerine peel. Rich vanilla beans add a nice counter to the chocolate malt - actually enhancing the chocolatiness. The finish is smooth, with additional traces of vanilla and toasted characters from French Oak. The goal for this edition of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale series is to be reminiscent of artisanal chocolates accentuated with orange.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chalsk (1087) - North Caldwell, New Jersey, USA - DEC 22, 2013
On the Ninth Day of Christmas 2013 the beer gods gave to me . . . a nice surprise. Pours a dark brown black with a beige foam head. A very complex aroma. Starts with roast and cherries. Banana, vanilla, caramel, chocolate and candi sugar underneath. Sweet roasty chocolate taste with a nice hop layer for balance. Cherry and vanilla on the backend. Nice medium to thick mouthfeel. I am drinking this a year past the suggested drink by date. I do think it is a pinch past its peak which is a shame. But I am still really enjoying. Very good. Love the complexity.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
EithCubes (5091) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 15, 2013
Another bomber from this series, was $7.99 from Sahara Mart back in the day. Nose is very sweet with jammy fruit, huge orange peel with heavy spice, brown sugared-caramel, earthy and very woody (it’s oak for sure), vanilla and sort of toasted chocolate, faded phenols. Pours a deep, dark brown-black with a large and rocky, dense light brown head. Taste is sultry, gorgeous chocolate, straightaway velvet that’s not too sweet, some cocoa nibs and light char, very faint ash and smouldering cinders that are just lovely. Light bitterness, light vanilla; the sweetness isn’t overbearing but is a little saccharine, and the wonderful fruit allures of the aroma are rudely backgrounded with chubby fingers. The citrus is backed off, as well, and the barrel seemed to have imparted more spicy character than the hops did resin or oil. Plump body is smooth all the way, dense in all aspects but carbonation, which is held to a minimum. Yeast activity also subdued, contributing here mostly feel and generic yeast flavor. A bit of a strange bird, this one, but reason for chocolate lovers to rejoice!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jdb288 (581) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - DEC 8, 2013
Bottle openers late 2013. Reddish brown, no head. The French oak is the star here. The aroma and flavor (almost like bacon??) comes through here. Love it. Also some light malt and sweet plum flavor. A cellar success.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jmagnus87 (2732) - Rockford, Illinois, USA - OCT 13, 2013
Bottle sampled at RBSG. From notes. Coffee and chocolate dominate this bad boy. Wow, much better than I was expecting.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
pushkinwow (2101) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 7, 2013
Bomber. Black with a mocha head. Chocolate, anise, some alcohol, quite smooth, some lactose, mild carbonation and moderate body, easy to drink, some vanilla sweetness but more bitter on the finish. Probably a little past its prime but still worth trying.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BazookaJoe (259) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - SEP 28, 2013
Pours black with a strong chocolate aroma. Sweet and flavorful body with notes of caramel and chocolate. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocJitsu (1049) - Florida, USA - SEP 27, 2013
Pours an opaque, very dark brown with a tall, well-retaining root beer head. Butterscotchy-toffee nose. Pretty slick, medium- to full-body. A bit sticky on the lips. A bit of a sting around the edges of the tongue. Chocolate chip, a bit of raisin, and some oaky flavors. Pretty good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
foosnbrews (145) - Parker, Colorado, USA - AUG 29, 2013
Beer poors black with a full tan head. Aroma has sweet fruity esters with a strong vanilla aromas and a slight bubblegum note. Flavor is a slight roast bitterness with a nice mild sweetness. Great creamy palate with a smooth finish. No real great beer. Wish I would have bought more!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sarlacc83 (950) - Oregon, USA - AUG 26, 2013
22oz bottle, split. A: Thick oily black with a cappuccino head. Really nice lacing on this. N: Cocoa, licorice, oxidation, char, anise, some cola and vanilla. T: Very bitter with a balancing touch of sweetness. Heavy on the oak and hops. Hints of oxidation. Pretty nice. M: Thick and oily. Has a full mouthfeel. O: One of my favorites of the series. Has aged well at approximately 3 years old. More of a hoppy stout to my palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Westmeister (1839) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - AUG 22, 2013
This was one of the first brews that I bought from a back cellar of a store when I first got onto this site. At almost four years old (but kept in a frig as the Stone guys did with all of their’s), I am confident it isn’t entirely oxidized, but here we go. Dark cola pour with a medium dense mocha head. Smell is sweet caramel, with intense dark fruits, some distant vanilla, cocoa, leather and tobacoo have morphed from the age I suppose. Quite magnificent. Taste is big plum/dried grape, faded chocolate, tobacco, and sad to say oxidation plays quite a part here. I think this would have been really nice originally, but even though refrigeration played a role for the last 2.5 years, this is a case where aging did not do justice.

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