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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 721   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 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Drake (11432) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JPDIPSO (5153) - 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.

   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.

   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 (4028) - 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 (2246) - Ouray, Colorado, 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.

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