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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 718   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jblendy (519) - Hawthorne, New Jersey, USA - SEP 11, 2009
Somewhere in between guinness and youngs double chocolate. Not bad by any means, just a bit basic for Stone.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - SEP 12, 2009
Surprisingly thick, dark pour. Aroma of clove, banana, coffee, chocolate. Flavor is similar. Lots of chocolate. It’s been awhile since I had Serpents stout, but this reminds me of it somewhat. Big, long alcohol burn. Kind of a mish mash of flavors, but this aint bad. This should age well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
BleacherBum (177) - Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA - SEP 16, 2009
The aroma and flavor mirror each other here. Too many flavors clashing with each other....yeast esters, citrus, chocolate, toastiness, oak, clove, molasses...etc. Too much going on, but it’s a young beer. They should wait to release beers like this for at least a year. The finish is watery thin and has a slight alcoholic burn. It’s just too young to be "balanced" or "all together". Some time would obviously do it well, but the body is still very thin (probably thanks to very active Belgian yeast). The ingredients in this beer were obviously framed for the "beer nerd" but it falls short for those of us that actually like to drink beer ready on release. I could only purchase 1 bottle and refuse to wait 1-3 years to drink it. Muddled at the moment.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
drjay44 (3091) - Salida, Colorado, USA - SEP 16, 2009
22 oz. bottle. 8.9% ABV per the bottle.. Pours a thin mocha head, with a bit of lacing over a clear, dark brown (SRM 40) body.....nose is dominated by coffee and chocolate, with a bit of vanilla and wood....taste initially is coffee bitterness, which evolves into mild sweet malt and finishes with further coffee/hop bitterness which lingers.....mouth feel is thick and creamy, and this is aided by the medium carbonation. I understand that this is young and needs some time to mature. I was still somewhat disappointed, because the kilned and heavily roasted malts really dominated more than I expected. It will be interesting to check its maturation. Also this is really on the absolute edge of the Belgian Strong category. How about calling it an Imperial Porter??

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Butters (3991) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - SEP 18, 2009
Bottle shared with slines and MmmcKay. Pours a very near black with ring of brown head. Nose is anise, coriander, chocolate, coffee. Flavor is not quite as good. It is ’overly blended’ imo. No real stand out flavors, just a melding of chocolate, oak, and citrus, maple, vanilla. I just don’t know if I can get behind this one. Semi bitter finish. Maybe this one will be better on 12/12/12....

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
bonk0076 (99) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 11, 2009
Pours black with no head and a smoke and berries in the aroma. Dark chocolate androasted malt flavor with a big lingering citrus finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
luv2brew (196) - Chesterfield, Virginia, USA - NOV 14, 2009
A good brew, a bit darker than that of years past. it has a little burntness but overalll a good beer. i have not been expecting much of these beers for the past couple of years cause they always seem to let me down. This is no exception

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
biznizness (1140) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - DEC 11, 2009
Bottle from ? I forget. Good strong dark belgian that lit me up. To me, howevs, this brew totally lacked complexity. Just didn’t really leave you thinking and tasting flavors. It just went down, got me drunk... tasted good, just not as much to it as I thought maybs. I realize its supposed to be aged 3 years but... ehhhhhh

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Juelze (1141) - Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 19, 2009
Pours a black color with medium light brown bubbly head. Aroma is of chocolate, burnt grain, light coffee and light spice. Taste is more chocolate that I expected with some Belgian spice that plays nicely with the chocolate grain. I don’t pick up a whole lot of tangerine, but there is some subtle citrus. Overall, it’s pretty good, but again, like most Stone beers, they’re good, but not great.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
NobleSquirrel (3438) - 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 don’t see this aging well at all. Meh.

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