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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 701   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
brigg (508) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 21, 2010
(bottle) An opaque, black beer with a small brown head. Aroma of chocolate, roasted coffee, a hint of fruit, and with a kick of sweetness, and vanilla bean on the end that makes it smell somehow "complete". Body is medium, creamy and smooth with some carbonation that immediately lightens the mouthfeel - it feels so good in your mouth that you donít want to swallow, but, then again, it feels good on the throat, too; kind of feels like smooth, creamy chocolate. The alcohol is not very noticeable but creeps in in the aftertaste to have a nice, even warming sensation: not too strong, but present enough. True to the intention, the flavor is very chocolaty. Also oak, nutty, and some citrus peel. Mild sweetness up front and a dry finish. Overall experience: smooth. Some acidity, for sure, but not too much.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
coolpop (1395) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - JUN 20, 2010
Bottle. Pours very dark, nearly opaque. Aroma and flavor are sweet, cherries and orange, chocolate, a bit of spiciness. The flavor and texture are creamy and lactic, almost like a milk stout. Really delicious. I had it with a sweet dessert that really brought out the chocolate in this.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SamsonAle (13) - Novelty, Ohio, USA - AUG 23, 2010
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
bytemesis (3097) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - SEP 25, 2012
Bottle. Got ahold of this from the cellar at the Tap House Ghent. Pours dark opaque reddish black with a small brown head and little lacing. Aroma is a wonderful mix of rum, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and raisin. Flavor is chocolate, coffee, orange, molasses, caramel, and vanilla. Medium sweet with a light bitter finish. Medium body and low carbonation. Very complex beer; I wonder what it was like in 2009?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
anderson01 (201) - Idaho, USA - DEC 22, 2012
Black in color. Mocha color head. Two fingers thick.Coffee aroma with some chocolate finish. Creamy texture withbal mouthful feeling. There is a hint of chocolate. Caramel aroma sneaks out on the end. By far the best vertical epic thus far. Yummy. I love the darker beer. Glad they changed the style.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
CardsFan25 (61) - - 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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
boto (1844) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - DEC 31, 2012
22oz. bottle: I was surprised I hadnít recorded this one earlier. This one pours a dark, inky brown color. There was a bit of a light brown head on it that lingers a bit and leaves some lacing. This has a very nice nose to it. Chocolate, vanilla, yeast, spices, perhaps some orange and a hint of coffee. The taste is very good. Rich and full, with actually a touch of bitterness on top of all those malts. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, dark fruits, some spiciness, citrus. An excellent combination.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
foosnbrews (145) - Parker, Colorado, USA - AUG 29, 2013
Beer poors black with a full tan head. Aroma has sweet fruity esters with a strong vanilla aromas and a slight bubblegum note. Flavor is a slight roast bitterness with a nice mild sweetness. Great creamy palate with a smooth finish. No real great beer. Wish I would have bought more!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chalsk (1064) - North Caldwell, New Jersey, USA - DEC 22, 2013
On the Ninth Day of Christmas 2013 the beer gods gave to me . . . a nice surprise. Pours a dark brown black with a beige foam head. A very complex aroma. Starts with roast and cherries. Banana, vanilla, caramel, chocolate and candi sugar underneath. Sweet roasty chocolate taste with a nice hop layer for balance. Cherry and vanilla on the backend. Nice medium to thick mouthfeel. I am drinking this a year past the suggested drink by date. I do think it is a pinch past its peak which is a shame. But I am still really enjoying. Very good. Love the complexity.

   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.

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