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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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
elektrikjester (90) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - JUL 23, 2010
Pours an opaque dark brown, accompanied by a thin tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma is extremely prominent--the smell of alcohol is predominant, mingled with orange and chocolate. There is also some tannin present, a faint aroma of wine and grape. The taste is dense and complex, but opens up as you work through the beer and as it warms up. Alcohol dominates, but chocolate malts are discernible. Fruit and some spice is present and becomes more so. There is a roasted flavor in the aftertaste, but it gradually diminishes. Make no mistake, this is a strong ale, not a stout. But stout and porter lovers will find much to appreciate here. Mouthfeel is kind of average in comparison to the aroma and flavor. Slightly thick, and with a moderate amount of fizzy carbonation. Doesít detract from the experience, but doesnít add much. In sum, an excellent beer that lives up to the desciption. Orange and chocolate are the leading flavors, and lovers of fine liquor or red wine will find much to like, too.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
CardsFan25 (88) - - DEC 28, 2012
Great way to finish my first session at the "World of Beer." Dark with a smooth aftertaste...i canít wait until next yearís shopping trip!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Tycho52 (65) - California, USA - MAY 13, 2010
Dark chocolate color, but the taste is much crisper than itís appearance. There is a coffee & chocolate carried taste that also has a vanilla tone.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jseifer (62) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JUN 11, 2010
Pours a deep black that light canít penetrate. Smells of caramel, hops, and sadness. Very complex taste of all of the above. Good beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
HopKitty (59) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JUL 26, 2010
Color of tar, opaque, with fluffy head-laces the glass. I smell nuts. I smell stir fry, possibly a hit of sesame seed oil. Battle of different flavors stays on the palate for a looong time. Bottle at Knightly Spirits, Orlando, FL.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hellomisterp (56) - Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 19, 2009
22oz bottle. Starts with a nice foamy tan head with a pitch black body and a roasty aroma. the taste is dominated by a boozy highly carbonated with chocolate notes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
tmm313 (55) - Georgia, USA - MAY 10, 2014
Wonderful! Rich cocoa with vanilla, raisins, and hints of orange up front. Dark chocolate and dark fruits, like prune and dark cherry, follow. Finish is charred oak, citrus rind, and earthy hop spices over more dark chocolate, a little booze, and hints of licorice. Beautifully balanced and complex. Iíve given Stone some rave reviews in my day. This will be no different. Incredible complexity; incredible balance; incredible flavors. Iím super stoked to have had this masterpiece, but just as sad to know Iíll never have it again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
brendaniel (55) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 13, 2010
Poured a DARK brown with a light chocolate head and good retention. Aromas were a mild chocolate, some earthy oak, and subtle coffee notes. Flavors were consistent with the aroma, bitter chocolate, some vanilla as well. Carbonation was mild with some alcohol flavors in the finish. Not bad ... but not blown away. I think (hope) this will improve with age.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BNSLY (54) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - SEP 24, 2009
on tap sept.17th A nice dark color with a nice tan head. The aroma is of dark malts,wood,vanilla,chocolate, and hints of fruit. It has a really smooth taste, dark malt,wood,chocolate, and some spice. overall a really enjoyable beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
goldfish19 (50) - Long Island, New York, USA - SEP 16, 2009
UPDATED: OCT 7, 2009 ~Purchased this 22 oz bomber from Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY. Wow! Does this beer have an identity crisis going on here or what? Itís a Belgian Strong Ale, but no wait, itís a porter, but wait again, itís a stout! Iím a little muddle-headed as to which way Stone wanted to go with this offering? Well, I checked out Stoneís website, and it is best described as a Belgian style Imperial Porter; so I guess Iíll go with that for now. A strong smokey aroma, almost as if someone snuck a charcoal briquette into my glass when I wasnít looking. Also, I detect hints of dark chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. The taste is absolutely mind-blowing! There is so much going on here that after the first few sips it almost doesnít make sense, so I let the beer sit for a while, and things started coming together. This beer reminded me a lot of Cazeau Tournay Noire, which just so happens to be a true Belgian Stout - go figure! ~

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