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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 723   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 258   ABV: 8.6%
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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rajendra82 (1030) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - SEP 25, 2009
Very dark pour, opaque body, and a khaki head were more reminiscent of a RIS than a BSDA. The smell was sweet dark fruits, like plums and cherries, and some lurking hops. The taste was quite a bit more hoppy than I was expecting it to be, but the dark fruits and milk chocolate sweetness made this a very balanced beer. There was some roast grain astringency, which was most apparent at the end of each sip. The aftertaste was a bit spicy. A soft feel in the mouth, and chewy body. Not much alcohol burn. Delicious, now, and will likely get more vinous and interesting with some age.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
LilBeerDoctor (3663) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 25, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2009 Bottle. Pours black with a pretty, small chocolate colored head. Aroma of rich roasted malt, smoke, bitter chocolate, roasted nuts, and a touch of Belgian yeast. Flavor of roasted and charred malt and wood/cedar with some roasted nuts/peanut butter notes. Subtle notes of citrus eventually make their presence. Very nice, great beer from Stone. 8/4/9/4/17 [4.2/5]

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Lagunitasfan (1323) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 25, 2009
On tap at Stone 9/14. Dark brown with solid tan head. Nose is sweet and malty. Roastiness, vanilla, and dark fruit. Taste is dark fruit and maly. Strong dark roast malt leftovers coat the mouth after the rich fruitiness takes its leave. Liked it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - SEP 25, 2009
Draft. Pours a black brune body with a tan head. Licorice, chocolate, toffee, dark fruit. Hoppy but still bitter dry and roast y with a light coffee flavor. Nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
juiceisloose (1296) - Windermere, Florida, USA - SEP 25, 2009
22 oz bomber. Deep black pour with mahogany highlights topped by a foamy, khaki colored head that fades away and leaves spots of lace behind. The aroma is of rich chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruits, and vanilla. The flavor follows with rich, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and spices. The flavor is pretty roasty with a good amount of piney hop bitterness in there as well. As it warms up the vanilla beans start to come through along with the toasted oak and mellow out the roasty flavors. I donít get much orange, but all the flavors compliment each other nicely. Full bodied mouthfeel, smooth and creamy with the right amount of carbonation. Really tasty brew. Iíd like to see what some time would do for this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
dmac (5233) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - SEP 24, 2009
22 oz bomber from EZ Liquors. Pours a deep dark black with an average size to slightly smaller dark tan creamy head. Aroma on this one is roasty but did not have the chocolate aroma I was expecting, instead there was a good dose of citrus and slight wood with a faint touch of vanilla. The palate was nicely done with a full rich body and a creamy finish with rather lively carbonation that could be toned down just a touch but Im sure age will take care of that. The flavor is mostly roasty and burnt malts with slight touches of vanilla and wood. After reading the initial reviews I was expecting something much worse but this one is actually solid and Iím suprised itís listed as a Belgian Strong Ale and not a stout or porter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BNSLY (54) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - SEP 24, 2009
on tap sept.17th A nice dark color with a nice tan head. The aroma is of dark malts,wood,vanilla,chocolate, and hints of fruit. It has a really smooth taste, dark malt,wood,chocolate, and some spice. overall a really enjoyable beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Plamadude30k (122) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 24, 2009
Pours black with a good amount of tan head. The belgian character is readily evident in the nose, along with several varieties of fruits, a little chocolate, and some vanilla. This beer certainly improves as it warms, and the vanilla notes really enhance the chocolate. The tangerine is less present than some other flavors, but it is there. This is an excellent beer that will only improve with age.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 24, 2009
Fresh bomber pours a dark brown with a big frothy tan head with good retention. Aroma shows heavy chalk, cocoa powder, slight coffee component and a touch of vinousness. No Belgian yeast characteristics noticed, nor any tangerine/citrus peel stuff. Anise is in there too. Flavor is very cola like with some chocolate and vanilla. A lot going on in the flavor. I would call it complex though Iím not sure itís completely harmonious. A caramely, cocoa finish is long and dry. I think this would age well, ironically. This is interesting, for sure, I think I like it but itís kind of all over the place. I still aplaud the effort and perhaps Iíll purchase more to see how this is down the line.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HOPSHUNTER (742) - Tampa, Florida, USA - SEP 24, 2009
Bottle. A black beer with a medium sized light brown head. Nose is dominated by spicy Belgian yeast, dark fruit, and malt. Also in the aroma are notes of anise, chocolate, and a touch of vanilla. Full body with a smooth velvety mouth feel. Very complex brew lots of nutty, malty notes up front with plum and spice. As it warmed I got more chocolate, oak, and some molasses. Finishes with mild hops bitterness.

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