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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 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Elwood (3336) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Serving: Draft. Appearance: Very deep brown with ruby highlights and a creamy, brown head. Great head retention and lacing. A visual stunner! Aroma: Roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, and spice. Quite nice! Taste: Earthy, chocolate notes, some smoke, roasted malt, and a little fruitiness. Very well balanced. The alcohol is very well hidden in this one. There, but only as a warming effect. A solid bitter background helps keep everything even. Palate: Low carbonation with a medium-rich mouthfeel and a long, lightly bitter finish. Overall: I think this is the best out of the past three years and can’t wait to grab a few to stick on the shelf for aging. Great balance and well put together. Definitely give this one a go.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Darkover (1535) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 24, 2009
Dark brown with a brown head and lots of lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and belgian yeast. Flavor of roasted malts, coffee, yeast and hops.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - OCT 1, 2009
Bottle – The Wine Source. Black, tan creamy head. Complex roasted vanilla, dry oak, and mild coffee berry aromas layer well on waves of milk chocolate and guava-citrus cream. Hints of smoke emerge at room temp. Thick chocolate roast and dry wooden coffee flavors are well integrated on a soft foundation of vanilla and citrus zest. Full bodied and smooth, soft carbonation, light bittersweet finish. My favorite of the Epic’s to date…

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
bigrond (1499) - factoryville, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 1, 2009
this beer was great. Dark as night with a complex palate. This beer will warm up a cold night quickly.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Fevernova (222) - Willoughby, Ohio, USA - OCT 6, 2009
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2009 22 oz Bottle -- Pure black with a tan head. Light aromas of raisins, along with large amounts of dark chocolate. There is an intriguing creamy banana component to the nose but unfortunately it does not transfer over into the flavor of the beer. Big bold coffee accompanied by vanilla, and dark chocolate. Citrus hops are noticeable but has relatively subdued bitterness for a Stone brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ChazMania (665) - Oceanside, California, USA - OCT 7, 2009
Bomber poured into Stone sniffer type glass. Thick and lovely pour created a killer 1 finger foamy head on the glass. Aroma wafts of cocoa, malt, coffee and the mild hint of tangerine. The flavor is fantastic with vanilla coffee and slight banana and tangerine. Easily my favorite of the VE series and I must go buy some more.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ajm (1072) - Los Angeles, California, USA - OCT 9, 2009
Bottle from BevMo Pasadena. Nose of roasted coffee, sugar, cream, amaretto. Color is a deep brown-black. Flavor is the same as aroma plus Belgian chocolate and candi sugar. Really nice beer, and one of the best I have had from Stone.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - NOV 9, 2009
Bottle and served in Duval snifter: Pour deep brown with a great creamy beige head and very nice lace. The aroma is slightly resiny and herbal hops, tangerine, banana and prune, milk chocolate, light pipe tobacco and smoke, and oak. The taste is a wonderful blend of sweet malts, twangy fruit, bitter hops, hop spice and earthy woody notes. The mouth feel accents the flavor profile with a smooth medium-body yet enough sprite biting character to keep you wanting more. I love it when dark beer is properly hopped up, sort of like a Black IPA with additional spices, a nice hybrid that hits on all cylinders... MIKEY LIKEY!!! This is best VE since 2004 and only topped by the world class 2002.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerguy101 (5359) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 27, 2009
Tasted on 12/27/2009. This Belgian Strong Ale pours a very dark brown color from a 22oz bottle. Medium sized beige foamy head, with nice retention and good lacing. The aroma is chocolate, dark fruit and roasty malts. A medium bodied Belgian Strong Ale. The malts are chocolate, fruity, roasted malts and estery. The hops are citrusy and floral. Nice carbonation. Lots of interesting flavors going on here, orange, chocolate, vanilla, a touch of oak, a little banana and clove. Hides the alcohol well. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and chocolaty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
brigg (616) - 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 don’t 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.

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