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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 715   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 258   ABV: 8.6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
marcus (7296) - Sacramento, California, USA - SEP 11, 2009
This opaque black beer poured with a massive tan head and a chocolate and plum aroma. The flavor is chocolate and vanilla with a bit of spice and sourness. It’s fairly complex and quite tasty.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BOLTZ7555 (2938) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - SEP 11, 2009
Really enjoyed this one. Hershey syrup colored pour with a meringue-like tan head that peeks out above the glass. Aroma is of cocoa, roasted malt, and vanilla. Lots of charred malt accompanied by dark chocolate, and biscuit. Medium mouthfeel makes this highly drinkable. Yum. It will be interesting when it has some age on it. Will it hold up???

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
WhatNewinBooze (18) - Centennial, Colorado, USA - SEP 11, 2009
On 9-9-09 Stone brewery released the eighth edition of their Vertical Epic Series exactly 1 year, 1 month and 1 day from the previous years release. These beers are built and designed to be aged until sometime after 12-12-2012, but good luck keeping your hands off of it. This years release is a Belgium style ale brewed with spices and is in fact a complex and layered beer. This beer pours toasty brown color with a creamy caramel colored head. Aromas of vanilla, chocolate and citrus leap out of the glass and make the first sip intriguing. Smooth chocolate malts meld well with the Belgium yeast giving it slight banana flavor and hints of baking spice. The addition of tangerine peel balances the palate with notes citrus. The finish is smooth and lingering with additional flavors of vanilla and toasty french oak.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
gorditoabd (629) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 11, 2009
Bomber from BevMo Mission Valley. Pours dark brown with lathery, thick tan head that looks like it’s built to last. Aroma is of roasted malt, cocoa, a slight hint of vanilla and perhaps some elements of anise and citrus. First taste is full, dark, roasty malts, followed by a chocolate flare, then transitioning to something akin to root beer (anise?) before finishing with a carbonated citrusy-sweet, but still smooth and balanced, finish. Everything is well distributed here, and the alcohol burn is slight and only at the very end as it gets to its ultimate destination. This is a fine beer. In fact, for my money, one of the more balanced Stone products I have tasted in some time. Wish they did more like this one, and a little less of the somewhat tiresome Arrogant Bastard style...

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Drake (9999) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - SEP 11, 2009
22 ounce bottle from Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Pours a very dark brown color with a large tan head. Good head retention and lacing. The aroma is very roasty with hints of smoke, caramel, chocolate and light citrus and other fruits. Tastes is strong dark chocolate and banana with other tropical fruits, citrus, leafy hops, smoke, vanilla and faint wood notes. Very smooth with a faint but lingering hop burn. Full bodied. Nice beer.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 11, 2009
Very dark brown in color Tall slightly creamy looking aged canvas colored head. Fairly light aromas, with dark chocolate, ash, grassy to herbal hops and dark coffee. Smooth light feel. Initial sweet malt, mocha, and bit of orange juice is rather quickly displaced. MIddle is again citric, but the dark roast malt, and dark chocolate (with vanilla) come in and gradually take over. Spices noted in the finish as the acidity continues to rise. The start to finish in the brew reminds me of a pot of coffee as it seems to get more charred and bitter the long the pot sets on the burner. LInger is long and has charred malt and wood. Acidity keeps this one light on the palate, but adds to the burnt edges. Not sure how or if this one can improve, especially since I do not since a big malt depth to this one.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jblendy (519) - Hawthorne, New Jersey, USA - SEP 11, 2009
Somewhere in between guinness and youngs double chocolate. Not bad by any means, just a bit basic for Stone.

3.5
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - SEP 11, 2009
Pours dark with a thick latherous head that lingers. Aromas are off and on appealing and not so appealing. A consistent cocoa essence rally round the family. Medium nectar with good carbonation. Bitter and chocolaty. The citrus bitterness is there especially on the finish. It’s rich in cocoa yet the citrus rind component kills the buzz. A nice play on flavonoids.

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Bigmmartin (603) - Dayton, Ohio, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Rather faint aroma which contains hints of dark roast malts. Looks pretty damn good though. Dark black with a thick brown head. Flavor is a roasted malts, some coffee, and a moderate dark chocolate bitterness. Pretty good.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
LooseCannon (938) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - SEP 10, 2009
22oz bottle. Pours black in color with full foamy brown head. Aroma sweet, roasted coffee and hops. Taste dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and yeast with dry to bitter finish.


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