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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 725   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 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 (4046) - 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 donít 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 (2375) - Ouray, Colorado, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Bottle from Henryís 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 (13469) - 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 canít 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 itís a little confused and muddled and, well...confused...Iím not sure if this is the same yeast theyíve 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 9, 2009
bomber on 09/09/09... couldnít resist drinking this on this day... pours a dark black with a huge 3 finger tan head... a beauty.... nice aroma filled with spice, banana, big roasted chocolate malts and a touch of orange. the Belgian yeast comes through from the nose to the finish.... really nice blend between the roasted malts and the yeast bringing lighter fruit elements forward... while keeping the big roasted malt character intact. medium body throughout with some spice up front with a bit of vanilla while the back is dominated by the chocolate malt... big citrus notes on the finish... my favorite Vertical Epic Ale in the past 3 years... for those of you who donít like it - you can send me your other bottles.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 3/20
Kevin (2192) - New Mexico, USA - SEP 9, 2009
bottle-obviously. will post notes later on if i feel like it, but felt like doing a rating on a beer that is named for lumpyís birthday, on lumpyís birthday. hereís to you brother. letís hope this turns out better than some of our earlier parties. coffee body with a brown head. black mexican looking just like lumpy( except for the black and mexican part). smells like burnt coffee(allegro) wet paper, and sadness. this tastes like burnt coffee, solvent, whiteout, coffee candy, disappointment, and just plain old bad. roast is very strong. a bit of lime in the finish. this is very similar to a homebrew i did. we called it the abomination, cause it was. this tastes similar, that is not an analogy anyone should be proud of. i already have cases of my abomination to get through and i donít have to pay for it. i sure as hell donít want to pay 6.99 for a taste of a bad beer. but damnit, i have to have a few more purchased for already planned events. way to go guys. know that there is an established market and take advantage of it. might as well call this vertical epic part IV the beerdom menace. fuck.

   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.

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