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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

 (RETIRED)
overall
98
98
style

bottled
available

on tap
available

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RATINGS: 701   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.


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (8914) - 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.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hopdog (8823) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 15, 2009
Poured a dark black color, with reddish/brown edges, and an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of chocolate, licorice, citrus, spices, some roastiness, fruity, and vanilla. Tastes of chocolate, vanilla, citrus, vanilla, spiciness, and some coffee in the finish.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sammy (8420) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 19, 2009
On-tap at Cole’s. Chocolate quad. Very dark Belgian chocolate brown with thick lace. Full mouthfeel. Thick lace follows. Fruity, a sipper, there is chocolate and there is bitteress in the mouth.

3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
JoeMcPhee (8314) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 20, 2009
Tap at Rattle N Hum. Deep amber-brown pour with a thick creamy tan head. The nose is loaded with rummy spiciness. Lots of plum and spice and a kiss of vanilla. There is a lot of molasses in here as well. The body is quite lean and boozy. A little bit peppery. I’m not really a huge fan of this at all. Maybe it’ll be better in the bottle.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
GT2 (8283) - San Diego County, California, USA - OCT 2, 2009
Bomber into Unibroue tulip. Looks beautiful: pretty much pitch black with a towering dark, rocky, dense, tan head that has completely insane retention and leaves sheets of lacing. Aroma is a bit of dark chocolate, molasses, smoked bacon/ham moving to a vinous, candi sugar complexity. Taste is semi-sweet chocolates, cafe latte, some burnt toast. Very much like a smoked or stout. Huge bitter finish. Not sure how cellaring this would bring out any improvements.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Drake (8029) - 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.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
BMan1113VR (7835) - Los Angeles, California, USA - OCT 29, 2009
On tap. Pours with a tan head and a very black body. Vanilla, toffee, roast and Belgian yeast on the aroma. Light citrus as well. Flavor of vanilla, tangerine, coriander, roast and tobacco. Belgian yeast. Creamy bubbles, and velvety texture. Mild alcohol presence on my empty stomach.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MartinT (7760) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 29, 2010
My Bottom Line:
Chocolate malts, lemon verbena and peppery vanilla move atop oak chip flavors in this Belgian-style Strong Ale which is more redolent of a spicy Stout than anything else.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-A creamy layer of foam covers the dark brown-hued blackness.
-The body is hefty but pillowy.
-The vanilla and French oak combine for a vinous touch in the finish.
-Roasted malts also contribute the flavor profile.

Bottle.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocLock (7743) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 22, 2009
Bottle from Frank Smith’s. Pours onyx with 2-finger brown head. Nose is a complex mix of roasty dark malt, cacao, hops, figgy fruit, licorice. Tastes dark malty, with notes of dark choc, molasses, cacao, anise, vanilla, oak, and backup coffee and hops. Gets hoppier late, with a little heat. I did not get much banana or Belgian aromas or flavors from this, and seemed to get more hops.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dogbrick (7682) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 22, 2013
On draught at Brews Cafe. Pours motor oil black with a medium tan head that diminishes steadily to an outer ring. Rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma of earthy malt, chocolate and dark fruit. Medium body with flavors of roasted malt, dark chocolate, slightly sour fruit and oak. The finish is oaky with a tart fruit aftertaste. Did not have this one when it came out, but still pretty enjoyable.


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