WhatNewinBooze (18) - Centennial, Colorado, USA - SEP 11, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
funkleshite (17) - California, USA - OCT 7, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is what I live for! Pours like a dark brown syrup with a medium tan head. Vanilla beans and banana spice all carried by the chocolate malts. Yeasty and spicy with the sweetness balanced by the bread and banana with no hops spared. Slight citrus notes can be found deep below the chocolate and vanilla. This is truly a special brew. Canít wait to open the next one in 2012!
Someister (17) - USA - FEB 8, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Smells like alcohol, rotten fruit, chocolate, and light notes of coffee. I donít get any of the tangerine or vanilla. Palate is thick, spicy, and slick due to the oak aging. High amounts of yeast character but finishes like a stout. Complex is a great word in describing this brew.
bikeclj (15) - Virginia, USA - JAN 13, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is a great brew chocolate notes from a dark mahogany colored beverage. Slight hop nose and taste balance a maltiness that would be pronounced otherwise. Very complex and balanced. Very good over all.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
nickmbeer (15) - Maryland, USA - OCT 16, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Cracked this open last night. 22oz bottle was laying around for about a month. Had quite the Belgian aroma. Tasted of roasted malt, chocolate, toffee and a bit of Belgian yeast. Poured very dark with a light brown head. Finish was pretty dry. Overall not one of my favorite beers, but I saw potential with aging it.
mexicelt (14) - - OCT 29, 2012
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 11/20
Smoky malt aroma with chocolate scents. Slight fermentation since bottle is three years old. Deep dark color. No light shines through. Thick four finger head with good lacing and decent retention. Coffee,smokey malt flavors followed by strong chocolate flavors. Flavors linger on palate for about 90 seconds. Excellent flavor and good thick body that is expected from this style of brew. Excellent brew. Try it if you can find it.
SamsonAle (13) - Novelty, Ohio, USA - AUG 23, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I bought a case of this on the recommendation of my distributor. It was his last one and I was glad I did.
I donít have a great nose, but the aroma came through rich and malty with citrus. The color and palate are superb with a nice head. The flavors complex and hearty. With the chocolate malts and the vanilla really coming through. No heavy alcohol taste. A very special and pleasant beer.
captaink (10) - USA - MAY 22, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours black with toffee milkshake head. Aroma on this is really great and interesting. Dark plum, banana, belgian aroma with roasted malt backbone. Tastes like a belgian style porter for whatever thatís worth. Good & good unique offering from stone.
Wactuary (6) - USA - MAR 4, 2014 does not count
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Wow! In tap at gaslight. Nose is of rich chocolate malt mingle with Belgian yeast spicy and fruity aromatics. Poured a dark rich black with a thick head that could have lingered longer. Flavor is full and complex chocolate, burnt toast and coffee malts with mild citrus hop flavor and some fruity notes. Body is medium full bit on no way cloying. Overall itís like a delicious imperial stout but with a nice Belgian character that adds and builds to the chocolaty character. Really fantastic! This example shows no negative signs of age or oxidation.
SimpsonsFan714 (3) - - DEC 9, 2012 does not count
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Poured from 22 oz. bottle, in Stone Russian Imperial Stout snifter. This bottle has been aged at room temperature since it was purchased in early September 2009.
**Appearance**: Deep brown and slightly viscous. A tall, light-brown head is creamy and sticks around for a while, slowly fading to a thick ring. Leaves massive laces on the glass.
**Nose**: A hint of grapes or cherry at first, quickly, and then chocolate and a roastiness. As it warms, the chocolate becomes more pronounced and I get some vanilla and some oak.
**Mouthfeel**: Medium-to-full bodied and silky smooth. Thereís not a lot of bite, but again I can tell there were hops in this fresh. Itís very clean drinking.
**Taste**: Chocolate and toasted malts, then that fades to mostly the chocolate aftertaste. A slight hint of cherry or grapes around the edges. A touch of vanilla and smoke as it warms.
**Overall**: This beer is phenomenal. It tastes like a mellow, slighly-chocolate porter. Itís smooth and very well balanced. Itís roasted malt is not too sweet at all. I love this one. Itís my favorite of the series (and I still have three more to go.)
**Room temp vs. cellar temp**: I aged this at room temperature, and it tastes phenomenal. I donít have a cellar-temp aged bottle to which to compare this one, so I canít say how it would have differed, but I see no reason to think it would be any better than this one. It is pure awesomeness.