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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 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.

   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.

   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Draft at Redlight Redlight. Pours an extremely dark, slightly translucent mahogany color with a small, foamy, khaki colored head. Spotty, splotchy lacing marks the glass. The nose is complex as can be, starting out with roasty cocoa and coffee notes, followed by piney hops, licorice, burnt grain, and dark fruit. Flavors are just as perplexing, roasty and coffee driven, with darkly burnt barley, staunch pine hops, and hints of lactic yeast. The palate is big and creamy, smoothly carbonated and semi-dry on the finish. Pretty solid brew.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
TURDFERGUSON (4027) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Bottle shared by Ethan. Meh all the way. Whats the deal with this beer? No idea what they are going for and I don’t even taste any Belgian yeast. Kind of sucks, sad to say. Kevin (below) says it best: It tastes like disappointment.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - SEP 10, 2009
A lot of roasted and chocolate aromas. Very dark black coloring. Not as heavy on the palate as most Stone beers or as most Belgian strong ales can be. The alcohol sneaks up on you. Very complex with some softening wine notes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
StefanSD (2218) - Lakeside, California, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Bottle from Henry’s market. Pours an opaque dark brown color with a medium tan head that has good retention and some lacing. The aroma is rich with Belgian yeasts, dark roasted malts and some earthy notes. The flavor consists of Belgian Dubbel style yeast with dark roast coffee, hops, vanilla, spices and dark biter chocolate. The mouthfeel is full and creamy smooth with lively carbonation. The finish is long and biter. Overall: A very tasty Belgian ale, well done Stone. This is perhaps my favorite Vertical Epic beer to date.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (12408) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Bottle from Party Source on 09/09/09. Poured clear dark brown color with a large frothy light brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted nutty malt, chocolate and tart citrus aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy chocolate bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration. Good brew that may need some age to balance.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
playitbybeer (118) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Pours dark brown almost black, may even be black with a large tan head that leaves a lacing on the glass. Smells like burnt coffee grounds, chocolate malt, dirty socks, and used dish water. Tastes kind of like it smells, burnt coffee, used dish water, and chocolate, leaves a milky feel in your mouth and the bitterness is in your face and lingering. I need a glass of water.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Pours with a gigantic chocolate milk colored head that leaves 2 inches of lacing..The beer beneath is dark brown or black, i can’t tell in this light. The nose is a hodgepodge of both banana-like belgian yeast esters, but also a lot of roasted nuts, powdered cocoa, plastic, dust, must, and a faint whisper of grape juice. So far, nothing too bad...the nose is a little weird, but enjoyable to some level...the appearance is very nice though. Now the fun begins: hmmm? Chocolate and nuts blended with banana yeast esters, and a pepperidge farms orange milano-like finish with a touch of bitterness resembling unedible flowers. Its got a mouthfeel that covers the mouth and keeps the flavors in balance but for some reason i see it getting pretty thin in a short period of aging, not sure why. Some alcohol heat creeps in in the finish. Very, uh...interesting, though it’s a little confused and muddled and, well...confused...I’m not sure if this is the same yeast they’ve used in the past because its a bit less harsh in its estery spiciness, but its still quite evident in the flavor and is a weird mix with the chocolate and nuts.

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