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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 699   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jason (1675) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 19, 2009
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Elwood (2960) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Serving: Draft. 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
thill25 (231) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 19, 2009
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!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
CUJO (383) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - SEP 19, 2009
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
deyholla (5959) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - SEP 19, 2009
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Damico (2353) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 18, 2009
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
trevor211 (1298) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 18, 2009
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - SEP 18, 2009
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 18, 2009
Bottle from Midtown. Pours a deep rich brown black with a two fingers thick chocolate brown head, webby lacing. Aroma of chocolate bar and fruity esters. Medium bodied with a some slight fine fizziness to the carbonation. Flavor of dark roasted malts, countered by a semi-acrid bitterness that carries through the finish. Finish is ashy, soapy and dry, with some spicy phenols. Orange only comes out as it warms. This is a mess and extremely disappointing. I canít believe I just wasted $20 on two bottles of this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
afireinside96 (923) - Mountville, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 18, 2009
On tap at The Brass Rail. Dark brown, almost black pour with a thin khaki head. Smells roasted, coffee, licorice, citrus, and a slight Belgian yeast character. The flavor straddles a porter and stout in terms of roastedness with some coffee, yeasty esters, and a hint of citrus. Had a deep lingering bitterness. Quite good but I would imagine that 6-10 months in the cellar would do it some good. Not sure how well it will hold up on 12.12.12.

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