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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 714   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 258   ABV: 8.6%
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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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
skoisirius (1819) - Earth, Washington, USA - SEP 9, 2009
The VE Series returns... Pours a fairly dark brown with a fairly black hinge in there. Nose right off the bat is nothing but roast, roast, burnt roast, and some coffee. After about 10 minutes or so, the orange starts to make its way into the nostrils a tiny bit. The flavor starts out like a mild porter with some odd banana hints, and then seriously turns roasty stout on you in no time. Burnt chocolate on the end, tiny hop notes linger in the roast as well. At this point, it tastes stout, and that’s about it. It is more than likely extremely hot right now and could use some down time, but overall, not what I was expecting given the hype once again. It’s a great tasting beer, just nothing of what it is billed to be. See again in 6 months.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DuffManSW (436) - Riverside, California, USA - SEP 8, 2009
Bottle... Pours dark black with a creamy light brown head. Aroma is belgian yeast, citrus, coco powder...Flavor is lots of dark chocolate, smoke, vanilla beans and a little bit of citrus. For me the dark chocolate lingers a little bit to long. A tad bit on the thin side.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (9954) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 8, 2009
Draft… Pitch black ale with a small, creamy, khaki head. Good retention. The aroma is of charcoal, espresso, chocolate, light clove and a rumor of campfire smoke. Full-bodied and very silky with medium carbonation. The flavor is roasty, burnt and bitter with hints of spicy Belgian phenols. Reminiscent of a weizen bock. Lengthy, burnt, bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
dchmela (2763) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 8, 2009
Draft at Redlight. Pours a dark brown with a tan head. Sweet malt, sugary fruit aroma with some hop popping through. Taste is bitter hop, dry fruity citrus, lot of flavors popping through. I wish I had more time to let it warm and get more into the complex flavors. good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
PhillyBeer2112 (2600) - Oviedo, Florida, USA - SEP 8, 2009
Draft at Redlight. Very dark purple brown, essentially opaque. Smooth with flavors all over the place. Aroma is fruity and spicy with a citrus peel note emerging. Vinous and tannic at the finish, also a touch dry. Cacophonous is the word here, it seems.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
LtDan (1805) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - SEP 6, 2009
Appearance: Pours a midnight brown with a small layer of froth atop. Aroma: Unsweetened cocoa, light rosemary, fresh bread, bit of fruitiness and a new pair of leather shoes. Taste: Roasted malts,burnt malts, chocolate covered fruits (dried pineapple and orange), wood and smoke notes, and melted caramel. I could go on forever. Mouthfeel: Sexy. Overall: Incredible. I try not to buy into the market speak printed on the bottle, but much of it is spot on. It’s a very luxurious beer, that gets even better as it warms up. While some of the lighter Vertical Epic beers don’t seem like they will get “awesomer”, this beer just might be destined for greatness, with a bit of age on it.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - SEP 6, 2009
Bottle from 5 Points. Weird brew. Musty cardboard, chocolate, metallic, oak, and vanilla. A jumbled mess.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CheersMate (1312) - Fremont (Seattle), Washington, USA - SEP 5, 2009
22 oz. from Greens on Ponce De Leon. Oh sure, you want me to be cliche and drink this on 9-9-09, but you know what, it isn’t going to happen!!! I am going to have this right now. A Belgian Ale, and this poured like a friggin nice imperial stout!? Whoa, what a good looking beer. Nice black/opaque appearance. An interesting aroma...nice chocolate malts but there is that Belgian aroma as well. To tell you the truth the chocolate/roast/coffee aromas dominate. Not as pungent as I thought it would be. Wow, what an interesting flavor. I get that Belgian flavor at first, and then I get that roast/bitter/coffee flavor at the end. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I can’t believe someone mixed the Belgian and Stout variety. I am fairly intoxicated, but I know this is something new for me. The spice, banana, fruit, and other stuff they mention is soooo subtle I don’t notice it. I just know this is a lovely beer that has me confused; very smooth.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
SSSteve (3902) - - SEP 4, 2009
pours an almost opaque black. the head forms a beige colored ring around the outside of the glass. aroma suggests stout with lots of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, and coffee. flavor brings forth toast, chocolate, bitter black coffee, burnt caramel, citrus hops,. not really getting the vanilla thing here. dry, chalky, almost grassy bitter finish with a bit of heat from the alcohol.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
cmillward (497) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 4, 2009
Draft @ redlight redlight. Pours black with a brown tinge and creamy tan head, some lacing. Nose is chocolate orange, with some caramel and restrained Belgian yeast character. Flavor is chocolate, roast, yeastiness, more orange/citrus, a little spice, some alcohol towards the end of the glass and a long bitter hop finish that isn’t telegraphed elsewhere. It sounded a little kitchen sink, but this is balance and executed well.

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