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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hapjydeuce (998) - Carlsbad, California, USA - SEP 14, 2009
Bottled, tasted on 9/13/09. Deep brown color with a black center. Produces a beautiful, thick creamy tan head upon pouring. Lots of spotty lace stuck to my snifter. Lovely aroma that is loaded with chocolate banana, roasted malt and vanilla. Flavor follows suit nicely, beginning with sweet dark fruits, transitioning into robust and moderately bitter chocolates, followed by vanilla and light notes of charred wood. Body is medium thickness, with alcohol content nicely hidden. A nice dryness touches off the palate after flavor fades. Lasting notes of chocolates and spice linger for a good while after each sip. This could be a winner if aged to 2012. We shall see...

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
nbutler11 (1267) - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - SEP 14, 2009
Bottle from Whole Foods and on tap at Papago. Pours a roasted coffee color with a nice brown head. Very earthy in appearance. Smells of seared ham and toasted malt. Tastes of fruit cake up front, malt and bakers cocoa dominate the mid, and smoke lingers on the finish. The best beer I’ve had in the vertical series so far.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
adrian910ss (2565) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 14, 2009
22 oz bomber. Pours a very deep brown bordering on black color with a thick and creamy light brown head. Aroma of cocoa, dry chocolate malt, and tea biscuits. Taste of cocoa, dry chocolate, charred malt and tea biscuits. One of the better Vertical Epics.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
danielcurtis81 (1519) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 13, 2009
Served on tap at Stone World Bistro. Appearance is a deep clear black with a small tan head. Nose is heavy with Belgium yeast, a lot of biscuit. Flavors start being very mellow biscuit tones. As the beer warms the true flavors come out with some dutch chocolate and light coffee flavors. Need to re-sample this guy as well as age before I give my final impressions.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
paiste2002 (186) - Saugus, California, USA - SEP 13, 2009
Pours black as night with a smallish tan head. Aroma is coffee, vanilla and chocolate. Flavor is huge chocolate, coffee, with a touch of citrus. Finish is oaky vanilla bean. This in bourbon barrels for 6 months, OMG! Great brew!!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Cybercat (5123) - Georgia, USA - SEP 13, 2009
Pours a dark opaque chocolaty brown with a thick, fine-bubbled tan head. Aroma is not strong but tempting, coffee-ish with a tone of unsweetened chocolate. Flavor is richer than the aroma, mainly of roast coffee with an undertone of unsweet chocolate. Each sip seems different - one has a nutty hint, one toffee and one molasses. Tingly, sassy texture leaves a finish of fine roast coffee. Pity this is a once-only offering!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JFURYCAT (1079) - East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 13, 2009
I really dig this one: miles ahead of last’s years brew. The coffee tinged chocolate aligned with plum-like fruits in an expresso finish are nice. The tobacco-esque bitterness underneath (the oak methinks) might be a bit overdone but the rest holds.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - SEP 13, 2009
Black with a creamy tan head. Chocolate, banana, and vanilla aroma as advertised. Tastes of chocolate nibs, citrus, dark roasted coffee notes with vanilla and some spice, maybe cinnamon.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - SEP 13, 2009
Pours a deep brown almost black with a medium creamy/bubbly deep tan head that laced. Aroma of orange, Belgian yeast easters, fruity and spicy yeast notes, some roasted malt and chocolate character. Flavor of deep roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, orange, banana and clove, fruity yeast notes from the Belgian yeast. Chocolate notes linger and the orange accent it nicely.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
mwelsh13 (499) - Maryland, USA - SEP 13, 2009
Bottle pours deep black with a light tan, creamy head. Nice aroma of chocolate, coffee/espresso, and tobacco. Solid body with a robust body of chocolate and roasted malts. Deep chocolate flavor but not sweet chocolate. More bittersweet. Smooth body for the amount of alcohol. Easy going down and very enjoyable. My favorite out of the last few years version. Not sure how it will age.

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