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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 718   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 15/20
egajdzis (5695) - 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 (6487) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
belgianstyle (2) - , Indiana, USA - SEP 20, 2009 does not count
Very simular to Mackeson triple stout I home Brewed. Where I bumped up the Malt Taken it from the 4.9% to 8.5%. Very Malty

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - SEP 20, 2009
Bomber from Knightly Spirits (Orlando, FL). Pours a muddy dark cola brown to black with one finger tan head that settles quickly. Aroma is sweet and lightly roasted with notes of chocolate, coffee, toffee, faint ripe dark fruit, light spice, cocoa, caramel. Flavor is sweet and malty with notes of roasted and slightly burnt coffee, caramel, light toffee, light vanilla, hints of smoke and wood. Generally medium body with a roasted finish. It will be interesting to see how this one ages . . . .

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
JoeMcPhee (9004) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 20, 2009
Tap at Rattle N Hum. Deep amber-brown pour with a thick creamy tan head. The nose is loaded with rummy spiciness. Lots of plum and spice and a kiss of vanilla. There is a lot of molasses in here as well. The body is quite lean and boozy. A little bit peppery. Iím not really a huge fan of this at all. Maybe itíll be better in the bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
notalush (5512) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Pours nearly black, with a thick tan head that sinks to a soapy lace - aroma of bittersweet chocolate, roast, char, vanilla, orange, light belgian yeast character - creamy texture in the mouth - the flavor is of a heavily roasty chocolate stout brewed with belgian yeast - however, the roast and bitter chocolate notes squash most of the belgian character - some notes of vanilla sweetness - I taste no trace of oak or orange peel whatsoever - just a straight up roasty belgian stout - a pretty good one, though.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ernest (6905) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Bottle. 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ksurkin (1021) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - SEP 19, 2009
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jason (1737) - 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.

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