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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 712   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
thelizard (46) - Santa Barbara, California, USA - SEP 17, 2009
Bottle from Frugal MacDoogal’s in Nashville. Pours black with a brown head that stays for the length of the drink. Chocolaty aroma. Okay, the taste is something else. From what I can tell, I’ll say that it was a complex porter. A lot of coffee and chocolate tastes, but like a hint of... banana? Anyways, it was good, and I’m going to buy another bottle to age.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bitzybrew (41) - New York, New York, USA - OCT 28, 2009
Really impressed my the layers of flavor in this fine Stone brew. Although the label says that they aimed for the flavors being reminiscent of artisinal chocolates with citrus accents, there were nice flavors of oak and vanilla that played a considerable role in the complexity of the beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
JohnCoctosin (37) - California, USA - JUN 19, 2011
Another great one from Stone. Spicy and dark chocolate maltiness. Dark bubbly appearance. The 10.10.10 and 09.09.09 are amazing variations. Can’t wait to try the other years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
degowop (34) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Poured from 22 oz. bottle on 12/13/12 and enjoyed while decorating Christmas tree. Bold chocolate, malt, vanilla and oak flavors pair smoothly with Belgian yeast. Carbonation remains consistent throughout. What a beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
fistfull (30) - Halethorpe, Maryland, USA - NOV 29, 2009
Although a fan of the Stone ’stable’, this one came up a little short for me; alas, I am a Belgian Abbey/Duble/Triple/Strong Ale fanatic. The appearance was fine - nice bottle conditioned, tight-bubble structure with thick, foamy head. The aroma showcased coffee, chocolate, toast, orange, vanilla and the standard yeast produced banana notes. As taken in the nostrils repeated on the tongue. This brew had all the right makings to be ’da bomb’; however, as a whole, it came up short in the areas of balance and finish. Perhaps this will get better in the bottle as time goes by? That reminds me - I better go buy another to store away for a future rating....

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bhightow (24) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 10, 2010
chocolate, coffee, roasty, citrus, banana, vanilla, black, minimal head, light sweetness, lightly bitter, medium body, creamy, average carbonation,

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
amarcero (24) - , Vermont, USA - OCT 24, 2009
Bottle. Damn good; another knock-out from a very trusted brewer. I believe they classified this as a Belgian Porter. I’m not knowledgeable enough of styles to tell, but it tasted like a sweet chocolate stout to me. My only complaint is the price. At $6.79 per 22oz bottle, it was worth it to try once, but I won’t pay that twice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
jbender (23) - Hatboro, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 10, 2009
Enjoying a bottle on the day of brewing an attempt at its clone. Pours a dark brown with a golden creamy head. No light gets through the glass. Has a vanilla and tangerine aroma. Large body...can taste the chocolate malt and the vanilla on the end along with the tangerine. Great beer...I can only hope ours is close.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
WhatNewinBooze (18) - Centennial, Colorado, USA - SEP 11, 2009
On 9-9-09 Stone brewery released the eighth edition of their Vertical Epic Series exactly 1 year, 1 month and 1 day from the previous years release. These beers are built and designed to be aged until sometime after 12-12-2012, but good luck keeping your hands off of it. This years release is a Belgium style ale brewed with spices and is in fact a complex and layered beer. This beer pours toasty brown color with a creamy caramel colored head. Aromas of vanilla, chocolate and citrus leap out of the glass and make the first sip intriguing. Smooth chocolate malts meld well with the Belgium yeast giving it slight banana flavor and hints of baking spice. The addition of tangerine peel balances the palate with notes citrus. The finish is smooth and lingering with additional flavors of vanilla and toasty french oak.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Lakes (18) - post falls, Idaho, USA - SEP 28, 2009
Had some out of a 22oz bottle at a beer tasting. Beer has existed for a very long time so maybe there’s a reason for some (not all) of the established styles. Maybe there’s good reason that there are no (or precious few) Belgian spiced Porters. I found this beer to be just a bit “off”. There was just something about it that tasted and smelled incorrect. I was truly looking forward to it but it failed to deliver. I think the combination of the darker roasted malts with the Belgian yeast just didn’t mesh. I also question the logic behind pairing tangerine with vanilla, though either were barely noticeable. Stone makes some excellent beers. The 07/07/07 and the 08/08/08 are amoung my favorites. This one may become one of them with age but right now I don’t think it measures up.

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