Ernest (6729) - 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.
jason (1732) - 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.
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.
notalush (5360) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 19, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
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.
Elwood (3336) - 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.
GuilTTy (728) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - SEP 20, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
TheAlum (6289) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - SEP 20, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
belgianstyle (2) - , Indiana, USA - SEP 20, 2009 does not count
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very simular to Mackeson triple stout I home Brewed. Where I bumped up the Malt Taken it from the 4.9% to 8.5%.
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - SEP 20, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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 . . . .
JoeMcPhee (9004) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 20, 2009
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
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.