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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 699   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 258   ABV: 8.6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 11, 2009
Very dark brown in color Tall slightly creamy looking aged canvas colored head. Fairly light aromas, with dark chocolate, ash, grassy to herbal hops and dark coffee. Smooth light feel. Initial sweet malt, mocha, and bit of orange juice is rather quickly displaced. MIddle is again citric, but the dark roast malt, and dark chocolate (with vanilla) come in and gradually take over. Spices noted in the finish as the acidity continues to rise. The start to finish in the brew reminds me of a pot of coffee as it seems to get more charred and bitter the long the pot sets on the burner. LInger is long and has charred malt and wood. Acidity keeps this one light on the palate, but adds to the burnt edges. Not sure how or if this one can improve, especially since I do not since a big malt depth to this one.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
arrogantb (1402) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 12, 2009
Super dark black with a good two inches of brown head, it looks like a stout. It smells a lot like malty chocolate and the taste is quite similar with the addition of a belgian yeastiness that saves this from being a stout in my mind. Still, maybe its a Belgian-style stout. I got not hint of orange-chocolate candy. This was very average to me, it was neither offensive nor impressive despite the uniqueness of the beer. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 09-13-2009 02:59:24

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 12/20
yemenmocha (658) - Glendale, Arizona, USA - SEP 15, 2009
Pours black with tan head that is modest in size, and retains a thin layer. Nose is somewhat restrained & not so assertive as far as Stone beers go, even with allowing the ale to warm up to ideal drinking temps. Soft chocolate aromas dominate with some of the vanilla bean behind the chocolate. Palate offers a big chocolate flavor with some of the subtle fruits in the background, and a fair amount of bitterness towards the finish and through the long aftertaste. I see where they’re going with the "artisanal chocolate orange" but it’s just mostly chocolate and bitterness.

3.3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 16, 2009
22oz from Sam’s, Durham. Nice dark pour, thick and graced by a big fluffy head. Strong yeasty nose at the start, but as the beer warms I’m distressed by an aroma of wet ash. Seriously, it’s ashtray and I’m not even joking (nor am I even remotely a Stone hater). Roasted malts with mild chocolate flavors, and I suppose a faint trace of the advertised fruit. Full bodied, and a pleasant tea flavor seems to be the by-product of the hops and the other ingredients. Odd, and in some ways that’s good based on the last couple years of VE. But that nose, oof. Tough to tune that out.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ernest (6031) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Bottle. Head is initially small, frothy, brown, mostly lasting. Body is dark brown to black. Aroma is moderately malty (roasted grain, chocolate), lightly hoppy (grapefruit), lightly yeasty (cobwebs), with light notes of gum, pepper, and alcohol. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately to heavily bitter. Medium to full body, watery texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic, lightly to moderately astringent. Not too bad, esp. considering the brewery...the previous two Vertical Epic beers were truly horrible, so this is a nice surprise. Aromatically pleasant, nice mix of roasty and chocolatey notes with some mild Belgian character. A bit boozy and abrasive / rough-edged in the mouth, but overall fairly decent.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - OCT 19, 2009
Dark black stout looking beer with a small bubbly head. Roasted malt in the aroma with black pepper and fennel. Vanilla in the background. Medium body with lively carbonation. Flavor is a smoky roated malt with a Belgian like yeast flavor. Overall don’t know what to make of it. Kind of lika a hybrid Porter/Belgian.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
swoopjones (5357) - Buffalo, New York, USA - OCT 20, 2009
On tap @ Coles, Buffalo NY. pours a darker black with tan head. light aromas of orange chocolate, vanilla, dried fruits, belgian yeast. Taste is orange, quad like fruitiness. seems like its trying to be too much. Chocolatey notes. Muddled chocolate quad? OK but quite interesting

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
markwise (4347) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - OCT 26, 2009
Thanks to the Tampa Crew for bringing this one. Pours dark cola brown with an off-white head. Nose is porter- dark chocolate, coffee, and roasty earthy espresso. Flavor is very similar with almost no distinction in the alleged fruitiness that was advertised. Maybe the orange will come with age... hmm.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
smith4498 (2910) - Miami, Florida, USA - OCT 30, 2009
Pours dark brown/black with tan head. Roasted malts and chocolate aromas with some smokiness. Flavors are all over the place. Roasted malts, clove, bannana, chocolate, licorice, a touch of smoke. Medium to full body with mild carbonation.

3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Fratto (2524) - Arlington, Texas, USA - OCT 30, 2009
On tap at the Flying Saucer Fort Worth. Dark with a thick, dark brown head. Smokey aroma. Barbeque and roasted malt flavor. Tingly.


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