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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 702   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 2, 2010
Draft at Twisted Spoke. Pours black with a tan head. Nose is alright, slight citrus and bread. Estery notes as well. Some roast also. On taste, a touch of smoke, orange peel, burnt bread and a metallic tinge. I donít see this aging well at all. Meh.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Nikiel (877) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 21, 2010
While I generally donít care too much for imperial stouts (or similar styles), this dark, chocolaty but not too coffeey beer has a lot going for it. There is a very sweet nose that masks the bitterness of the hops and chocolate malts, but compliments the oaky and vaguely vanillay flavors.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
arminjewell (6175) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 27, 2010
Pours deep opaque black with thin off white head, aroma is big fruit and tangerine with some belgian yeast character. Taste changes drastically as it warms. Cold, it taste solely of tripel-like fruit and tangerine, but when warm there is a big chocolate and vanilla portion, leaving a dry taste in your mouth that is surprisingly bitter. Nice and complex, my favorite VE yet.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
5000 (6300) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - FEB 19, 2011
Bottle:   Nearly black, very heavy dark brown, large frothy beige head, super sticky lacing.   Faint smokey aroma, hints of coffee and dark chocolate.   Hmmm, wondering about this one with that charred wood aspect.   Aspects of peat, charred wood, acrid (heavily burnt) coffee beans, dark chocolate, and acidic citrus peel.   I was really looking forward to this one, but it seems a mess.   Just looking at the description it appears as if they tried to make this a peanut butter jelly honey banana chocolate cherry sandwich.   Too much going on, and that smoke aspect is not what I would expect out of a Belgian Strong Ale.   Decent body and mouthfeel, certainly isnít thin.   Dry dark chocolate finish, with a lactose like sweetness.   Still that underlying charred wood.   Too many things that just donít work well together in my opinion.   Creative, but just tries too hard.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Smurf2055 (1399) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 15, 2012
Pours black with a four finger tan head, more carbonation than I expected for a two year old beer. Smell is fruity belgium flavors. Taste is bitter coffee with a hint of citrus. Medium bodied. Interesting but age doesnít help it much.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ICEatALAMO (938) - Troy, Michigan, USA - AUG 12, 2012
Draft. Pours dark with a think creamy brown head. The aroma os some chocolate and malt. The taste is unique. Subtle chocolate notes with a little spiciness to it. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jonas (5639) - Garching b. MŁnchen, GERMANY - SEP 28, 2012
Bottle. Dark chocolate, cigar, smoke, molassis. Black, brown capucino lace. Medium to light body, dry roasty, choc and espresso. Rich with a quick coffee finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
CapFlu (4521) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - SEP 28, 2012
(22oz bottle) Courtesy of Left4Beer. Pours a small, almond coloured head atop a deep brown body. Spicy and sweet. Somewhat salty with a lasting alcoholic bite. --- reviewed on RateBeer.com

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
HighWine (952) - Whalezbro, Illinois, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Bottle to Chimay glass. Dark brownpour, splotchy light brown head. Aroma of bakers chocolate and oak. Dark roastiness, bittersweet chocolate with vanilla bean flavors. I get a touch of oxidation in the finish but other tasters did not. Bitter roast lingers in the back of the mouth.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
tcane7 (1664) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2012
Draft at Stone. Pours deep brown with thin tan head. Nose of chocolate, vanilla, figs, dark fruit. Taste is more of the same with some roasted malt.

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