Ernest (5605) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 19, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Head is initially small, frothy, brown, mostly lasting.
Body is dark brown to black.
Aroma is moderately malty (roasted grain, chocolate), lightly hoppy (grapefruit), lightly yeasty (cobwebs), with light notes of gum, pepper, and alcohol.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately to heavily bitter.
Medium to full body, watery texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic, lightly to moderately astringent.
Not too bad, esp. considering the brewery...the previous two Vertical Epic beers were truly horrible, so this is a nice surprise. Aromatically pleasant, nice mix of roasty and chocolatey notes with some mild Belgian character. A bit boozy and abrasive / rough-edged in the mouth, but overall fairly decent.
ksurkin (1021) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - SEP 19, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
bomber from grape & gourmet. pours a beautiful onyx with a solid, dark tan head and great lacing. aroma is very nice with dark, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and bitter coffee with hints of orange peel, belgian yeast, earthy hops, and spice. flavor is very good, if this brew were meant to be a porter, with big, smooth notes of roasted malts, espresso, cocoa, dark fruits, and smoked almonds with just the faintest hint of orange peel and belgian yeast on the back end. palate is medium bodied and nicely carbonated with a lingering, roasted, malty finish. overall, this brew is quite tasty but lacking a bit of attitude that i expected from stone and some of the flavors i expected from the description. iíll have to try another bottle, i think.
jason (1670) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 19, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Poured a nice black boady with beautiful head. Aroma was a direct hit in the face of bubblegum, cloves and spices, yeast. Flavor is light bublegum, yeast, chocolate, vanilla and citrus. Very unusual as I can possibly see this being a few styles with my first experince of one bottle - Belgian Stout, Black Saison, Belgian Strong and even possibly a Baltic Porter. No offense to Stone but this doesnít seem to be in their typical assortment of beer creations and in a blind taste I would never guess it would be made by them. Aging would be interesting but I think it should be drank fresh.
Elwood (2490) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - SEP 19, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Appearance: Very deep brown with ruby highlights and a creamy, brown head. Great head retention and lacing. A visual stunner!
Aroma: Roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, and spice. Quite nice!
Taste: Earthy, chocolate notes, some smoke, roasted malt, and a little fruitiness. Very well balanced. The alcohol is very well hidden in this one. There, but only as a warming effect. A solid bitter background helps keep everything even.
Palate: Low carbonation with a medium-rich mouthfeel and a long, lightly bitter finish.
Overall: I think this is the best out of the past three years and canít wait to grab a few to stick on the shelf for aging. Great balance and well put together. Definitely give this one a go.
thill25 (231) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 19, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft @ House of Beer...pours deep brown with a rich, foamy tan head. Nose of vanilla bean, coffee, citrus, and cocoa. The flavor consisted of a bitter chocolate, coffee bean layer followed by a slight sort fruit tartness. It was also very heavy on the Belgian yeast. It had a very short, dry finish with some mild carbonation. I really enjoyed this one and wouldnít hesitate to have another!
CUJO (383) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - SEP 19, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
sample: RNH: anything with the name Epic is cool with me! Pours like someone just slit the Devilís wrists! or maybe that Gargoyle... Very complex nose, loads of dark fruits, aged sugars. I was surprised how thin and drinkable this beer is, yet full of flavor. Some roasted notes, dark chocolates and coffee... again the dark fruits. End has some bitters, nothing too strong. A very complex beer but not too sure this is what they were looking for... I could see this being spectacular with a little fine tuning to strengthen some flavors.
deyholla (4782) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - SEP 19, 2009
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Poured near black with a thick brown head. Aroma was full of malts, cocoa, caramel and roasted coffee. Flavor had cocoa notes and some burnt caramel. A hint of alcohol underneath and a kiss of vanilla and citrus. A bit thin on the tongue.
Damico (1914) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 18, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 5, 2010 Subtle and sweet, cocoa flavor. Malted, roasty flavors, but flatter than the Obamagang from Ommeganag. I didnít detect the orange flavors described unfortunately.
*growler from WholeFoods SoHo...This Belgian Strong pours dark chocolate brown with a huge creamy dark cocoa fluffy head. Subtle tropical sweet aroma followed by a delicious smooth mouthful of creamy dark ale. Flavoras of chocolate, roasty malts, and a bit of pleasant bitterness from the cocoa or hops or both settle on the tongue.
trevor211 (1187) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 18, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap at Brouwerís. Pours black. No joke. Medium tan head. Smells and tastes like I took a burnt marshmallow, made a símore out of it, and added it to a dark Belgian brew. Has some dark fruit, some candi sugar, but really isnít that sweet - the roasty toastiness takes over. Thereís definitely chocolate in here, but not as much as they claim, and I donít get orange at all - I get lots of hops. Itís tasty. Iíll take anything from Stone. But it doesnít quite fit the description, and Iím not sure what to make of it. Not one of my favorites. Thatís for sure.
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - SEP 18, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Dark brown pour with caramel colored head. Aroma is belgian yeast, spices, light roasted chocolate and some toasted malt. Flavor is the same, semi sweet chocolate, belgian underlay, with light roast / toast. Some bitter chocolate in the finish.