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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 725   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rusty (1545) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - SEP 21, 2009
Pours a deep brown with a nice brown head. Aroma is chocolate, esthers, alcohol, coffee, banana, spices, citrus, oak, nuts. Flavor is citrus, chocolate, hops, nuts, coffee, roasted malts, spices and smoke. Full on assault of the palate is imminent and it all comes together a little messy but still very interesting and enjoyable. I canít wait to see how this one ages..............fresh itís a genius mess.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
WeeHeavySD (3380) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 21, 2009
Bomber I picked up today at Henryís while grocery shopping today. This yearís wasnít quite the priority of the past years for me but I did want to try it, so I bought it. Pours black with a big tan head. Its got the look of a big dark Belgian strong or imperial stout. Nose is sweet and chocolaty with spices. Taste is sweet and chocolaty overall pretty good, vanilla and oaky smoke is there too.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
neepsntatties (1778) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 21, 2009
Got to sample a bottle of this last night. Colour... very dark garnet with a thin head. Nose... some chocolate, citrus and butyl esters. Palate... immediately sharp and metallic then cocoa mass, vanillin (not vanilla-maybe due to the metallic sensation), orange-like citrus, a roasty quality and a long finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ruskiimperial (308) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - SEP 20, 2009
On tap at Capital Ale House Innsbrook (richmond,va). The pour had some nice tan head on it, with a nice rich darkness you come to expect from a stone beer. The smell is quite sweet with hints of clove and burnt caramel. The taste mixes in the spicy-like flavor with some toffee and a bit of chocolate. I would personally consider this more of a stout with some strong belgian characteristics as the body is quite thick and darker than even a strong belgian in my opinion. On the aftertaste there is a fair amount of citrus hops that come across the otherwise sweet and spicy characteristics of this interesting brew. This may actually age well, unlike some of the other vertical epics.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jrob21 (3454) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 20, 2009
Pours intensely dark brown almost black. Aroma has a hint of citrus fruit and vanilla. Some roastiness and bittersweet sort of smells as you breathe a little deeper. Pretty smooth at first with a mostly malt presence, chocolate. Fades into a roasted coffee sort of bitterness and a touch of wood and vanilla. Finally some light citrus bitterness at the end. Not getting any straight distinct tangerine but there is some citrus, closer to orange for me working. This one will meld and age nicely I imagine.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
OldGrowth (3264) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - SEP 20, 2009
@ Tylerís Apex. Good aroma, sweet, spice, chocolate, fruity. Orangy brown color, ok head, good lace. Bitter sweet flavor, sweet and spicy, smoky, vanilla. Lite body, oily creamy mouthfeel, bitter dry finish. Tasty brew, awfully easy to drink. great mouthfeel...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MrBunn (2738) - The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 20, 2009
Bomber with thanks to gorditoabd. Whatís better yet is that this is rating 100 for this beer. Pours a dark leathery brown with a very large head and aromas of chocolate, spice and a little citrus. First sip reveals that this is pretty good stuff. A lot of bitter chocolate and orange peels. There is a pretty bitter side to this, but it works. ABV is obvious and leaves a bit of warmth in the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
egajdzis (6130) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 20, 2009
Opaque black color with a medium sized, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of cocoa, roasted malts, some smoke, vanilla oak, toast, citrus, coriander, orange peel, and some alcohol. Taste of cocoa, smoke, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, wood, pepper, citrus, orange peel, and alcohol.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
GuilTTy (728) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - SEP 20, 2009
Bottle. Finally found it at Canalís in Marlton, NJ. Very dark brown pour under a short but tight molasses brown head. Sweet aroma with mild dried fruits, roasted malt, a little coffee and plenty of bittersweet chocolate. The oak aging is apparent but not overwhelming. Hints of vanilla, lots of roasted malt, maybe cinnamon and a healthy dose of caramel. I had a hard time finding the tangerine. Certainly not as obvious to me as expected after reading about this brew on the Stoneblog. Silky texture and a sweet, long finish. Slight peppery finish. Overall a really nice beer if not a classic - at least not yet. Iíll be very interested to see how this one matures.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheAlum (6956) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - SEP 20, 2009
Draft as a guest tap on tap at FFF (Munster, IN). Pours a near black opaque pour with big brownish head that laces well. Aromas are dark fruits, raisins and plums, with a touch of Belgian malts, a faint spice, mellow candy sugars and brown sugar and faint vanilla. Initial is a bit bitter, a decent hop and light sweetness underlying, with faint dark chocolate, some good raisin and a lighter plum underneath, faint coffee and roastiness and a touch of Belgian influence. Lighter belgian candy and brown sugar than expected, a faint vanilla, and a pretty surprising dose of bittering hops on the finish. An interesting brew, certainly tasty, and nothing annoying about the yeast. Good flavors, good hops but an interesting spin. Nothing cloying, would be interesting to age. Cheers.

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