Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

 
overall
98
98
style

bottling
unknown

on tap
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distribution
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RATINGS: 728   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 258   ABV: 8.6%
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.

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4.3
   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 cant wait to grab a few to stick on the shelf for aging. Great balance and well put together. Definitely give this one a go.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
thill25 (232) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Draft @ House of Beer...pours deep brown with a rich, foamy tan head. Nose of vanilla bean, coffee, citrus, and cocoa. The flavor consisted of a bitter chocolate, coffee bean layer followed by a slight sort fruit tartness. It was also very heavy on the Belgian yeast. It had a very short, dry finish with some mild carbonation. I really enjoyed this one and wouldnt hesitate to have another!

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
CUJO (383) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - SEP 19, 2009
sample: RNH: anything with the name Epic is cool with me! Pours like someone just slit the Devils wrists! or maybe that Gargoyle... Very complex nose, loads of dark fruits, aged sugars. I was surprised how thin and drinkable this beer is, yet full of flavor. Some roasted notes, dark chocolates and coffee... again the dark fruits. End has some bitters, nothing too strong. A very complex beer but not too sure this is what they were looking for... I could see this being spectacular with a little fine tuning to strengthen some flavors.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
deyholla (11016) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Bottle. Poured near black with a thick brown head. Aroma was full of malts, cocoa, caramel and roasted coffee. Flavor had cocoa notes and some burnt caramel. A hint of alcohol underneath and a kiss of vanilla and citrus. A bit thin on the tongue.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Damico (3146) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 18, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 5, 2010 Subtle and sweet, cocoa flavor. Malted, roasty flavors, but flatter than the Obamagang from Ommeganag. I didnt detect the orange flavors described unfortunately. *growler from WholeFoods SoHo...This Belgian Strong pours dark chocolate brown with a huge creamy dark cocoa fluffy head. Subtle tropical sweet aroma followed by a delicious smooth mouthful of creamy dark ale. Flavoras of chocolate, roasty malts, and a bit of pleasant bitterness from the cocoa or hops or both settle on the tongue.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
trevor211 (1678) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 18, 2009
On tap at Brouwers. Pours black. No joke. Medium tan head. Smells and tastes like I took a burnt marshmallow, made a smore out of it, and added it to a dark Belgian brew. Has some dark fruit, some candi sugar, but really isnt that sweet - the roasty toastiness takes over. Theres definitely chocolate in here, but not as much as they claim, and I dont get orange at all - I get lots of hops. Its tasty. Ill take anything from Stone. But it doesnt quite fit the description, and Im not sure what to make of it. Not one of my favorites. Thats for sure.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - SEP 18, 2009
Bottle. Dark brown pour with caramel colored head. Aroma is belgian yeast, spices, light roasted chocolate and some toasted malt. Flavor is the same, semi sweet chocolate, belgian underlay, with light roast / toast. Some bitter chocolate in the finish.

2.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
illinismitty (2271) - 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 cant believe I just wasted $20 on two bottles of this.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
afireinside96 (923) - Mountville, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 18, 2009
On tap at The Brass Rail. Dark brown, almost black pour with a thin khaki head. Smells roasted, coffee, licorice, citrus, and a slight Belgian yeast character. The flavor straddles a porter and stout in terms of roastedness with some coffee, yeasty esters, and a hint of citrus. Had a deep lingering bitterness. Quite good but I would imagine that 6-10 months in the cellar would do it some good. Not sure how well it will hold up on 12.12.12.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
MmmcKay (1052) - Brentwood, Tennessee, USA - SEP 18, 2009
DO NOT OPEN YET. Give it time....Dark, dark brown in color...almost black. Notes of anise, coriander, apricot, cardamom, dark chocolate, instant coffee, oldish coffee, bitter cocoa. Lots of fruit especially on the front of the palette and tip of the tongue. Mid palette and finish really picks up the bitter, roasty coffee and chocolate flavors. The beer is full of complexity. Truth is that it has a ridiculous amount of aromas and flavors going on. However, there does not appear to as of yet to be any focus. Lacks any sort of anchor flavor that ties in all the other flavors. This beer needs time. It needs some bottle age and some time to relax from shipping. It may have bottle shock at this point still.


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