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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

 (RETIRED)
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RATINGS: 716   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.


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 9, 2009
No better day than 9.9.09 to enjoy this one. Pours a really dark brown that is really close to black in the glass with a huge creamy tan head that sticks around for ages and leaves excellent lacing. The aroma is sweet, roasted and hoppy all at once. I can definitely pick up the bananas from the Belgian yeast and the dark chocolate malt sweetness in the nose. The taste is good to start but gets much better as it warms. There is the large roasted chocolate malt backbone which has the layers of sweet vanilla and brown sugar on top. The finish is the only thing that doesnít ring completely true for me as there is a slightly metallic bitterness that leaves an astringent aftertaste on the palate. There may be hints of the citrus in the finish but itís definitely not easy to pick up and the metallic bitterness fades a bit as it warms. The mouthfeel is excellent, medium bodied and extremely creamy with lots of carbonation and just fills the mouth up completely with flavor. Another well-constructed beer from Stone that just misses being exceptional for me with the astringency being a little too bothersome in the finish. Outside of that, itís a wonderful blend of the Belgian yeast and toasted malts with an excellent mouthfeel.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - SEP 9, 2009
served from a bottle Very dark brown color with a foamy tan head, my first impression was how dry it was on the palate. I get some spiciness in the flavor along with roastiness. Iím not tasting any chocolate or orange.

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
skoisirius (1833) - 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 thatís 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. Itís a great tasting beer, just nothing of what it is billed to be. See again in 6 months.

3.8
   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.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (10075) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 8, 2009
DraftÖ 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.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
dchmela (2810) - 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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
PhillyBeer2112 (2621) - 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.

4.5
   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. Itís a very luxurious beer, that gets even better as it warms up. While some of the lighter Vertical Epic beers donít seem like they will get ďawesomerĒ, this beer just might be destined for greatness, with a bit of age on it.

2.8
   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.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CheersMate (1315) - 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 isnít 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 wasnít expecting this at all. I canít 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 donít notice it. I just know this is a lovely beer that has me confused; very smooth.


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