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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 715   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 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
playitbybeer (118) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 10, 2009
Pours dark brown almost black, may even be black with a large tan head that leaves a lacing on the glass. Smells like burnt coffee grounds, chocolate malt, dirty socks, and used dish water. Tastes kind of like it smells, burnt coffee, used dish water, and chocolate, leaves a milky feel in your mouth and the bitterness is in your face and lingering. I need a glass of water.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
JoeMcPhee (8837) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 20, 2009
Tap at Rattle N Hum. Deep amber-brown pour with a thick creamy tan head. The nose is loaded with rummy spiciness. Lots of plum and spice and a kiss of vanilla. There is a lot of molasses in here as well. The body is quite lean and boozy. A little bit peppery. Iím not really a huge fan of this at all. Maybe itíll be better in the bottle.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 18, 2009
22oz bottle. I canít believe this beer has such a high score. Pours dark brown with a medium sized, creamy, light brown head with good lace. Smells very smokey with a hint of burnt rubber and a touch of malt sweetness. Tastes roasty and burned and slightly sour. Some roasty and sweet malts through the middle and more burning on the finish. Medium body, good carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Treebs (872) - , Illinois, USA - FEB 17, 2013
22 oz. bottle served in a CCB snifter. A: Pours a dark brown color, almost opaque with a tan head forming on the pour. Recedes quickly to a thin ring and splotchy lace. S: Roasted malts with some light chocolate undertones and a little anise. Thereís some earthy greeness to it as well. T: Dark fruit, prunes and some roast. A light chocolate is noticeable, but unfortunately this one is slightly oxidized as well. Light cardboard with some woody oak and dirty earthiness. M: Medium heavy bodied with a medium low carbonation level. Roasted and dry finish. O: There was an odd earthiness to it and the French oak didnít mesh well. Slight oxidation detracted from the overall "enjoyment" as well. Serving type: bottle

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
rumproasts (3758) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - APR 23, 2013
Tap. Near black with small head. Chocolate and cardboard. Wish I hadnít read a previous review, or I probably wouldnít taste the cardboard, but now I canít get past it. My least favorite of the Epics Iíve had.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
nerdrocker101 (102) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 16, 2009
Bottle. I love Stone as much as the next guy, but I did not enjoy this beer and I was so looking forward to it. We were pairing it up with some smores on a trip to a cabin and I thought it would be wonderful. I picked up on the notes of bitter chocolate, vanilla, and light hints of citrus from the peel, but I found it to be chalky and dry. I trust Stone and Iím giving them the benefit of doubt. They say not to drink it until 12-12-2012, so Iíll get another bottle and hold on to it and re-rate it in a few years

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 18, 2009
Bottle from Midtown. Pours a deep rich brown black with a two fingers thick chocolate brown head, webby lacing. Aroma of chocolate bar and fruity esters. Medium bodied with a some slight fine fizziness to the carbonation. Flavor of dark roasted malts, countered by a semi-acrid bitterness that carries through the finish. Finish is ashy, soapy and dry, with some spicy phenols. Orange only comes out as it warms. This is a mess and extremely disappointing. I canít believe I just wasted $20 on two bottles of this.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Lakes (18) - post falls, Idaho, USA - SEP 28, 2009
Had some out of a 22oz bottle at a beer tasting. Beer has existed for a very long time so maybe thereís a reason for some (not all) of the established styles. Maybe thereís good reason that there are no (or precious few) Belgian spiced Porters. I found this beer to be just a bit ďoffĒ. There was just something about it that tasted and smelled incorrect. I was truly looking forward to it but it failed to deliver. I think the combination of the darker roasted malts with the Belgian yeast just didnít mesh. I also question the logic behind pairing tangerine with vanilla, though either were barely noticeable. Stone makes some excellent beers. The 07/07/07 and the 08/08/08 are amoung my favorites. This one may become one of them with age but right now I donít think it measures up.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
nick76 (4304) - Tampa, Florida, USA - OCT 1, 2009
The aroma is strong with toasted bread, coffee, malt, wood, and vanilla. The appearance is dark brown with a tan head. The flavor is like the aroma with a bitter finish. The palate is smooth. Overall itís good but not great.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 10/20
41cubs (249) - , New Jersey, USA - OCT 7, 2009
The whole deal seems to green to be approached right now but Iíve only got one bottle so: Aroma is natural greens (like dandelion), triple sec and black pepper. Flavor is something burnt that I just canít place, smokey and tannic with a drying effect almost immediately. The mouthfeel is most unique. The feel is gritty effervesence, almost like the liquid equivilant of smoke. Chalky might not be a bad word and with a medium body I oddly enjoy the texture. Aging might be the key here. Thank You Stone. 2009 22 oz.

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