beernovice39 (3270) - Idaho, USA - OCT 1, 2009
This stuff is great. Deep complex smokey flavor.....tastes nothing like the other belgians I have had. Will try to get a case ASAP. Have no idea how/where to find the earlier ones....hint hint.....anyone? Beerdrinker79 (2188) - Idaho, USA - OCT 21, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2012 22 oz. bottle- Pours black as night, almost like a Porter or Stout with a nice creamy tan head. Tastes of chocolate malt, much more complex than the 2008. Although I hate to admit that I was expecting more, these Vertical Epic beers I hold to such a high standard, I believe Stone could never reach. So I find myself pulling back and rating the beer based on its merits and not judging based on some unreachable liquid of the gods beer that I hold in my thoughts. rerate 12-22-12- The appearance is still awesome, thick mocha colored head, the aroma is very nice, velvety chocolate, nice, stays the same, the taste is the same as the aroma, chocolatey goodness, really nice. I think this review is staying the same, a solid 4.5. philbertk (1873) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 17, 2010
Stone Brewing Company--Stone 09*09*09 Vertical Epic Ale--Ale Brewed With Spices--2009 Release--22 oz. Bottle. 8.90% ABV--50 IBU’s. (4.5 / 5.0) Porter--Belgian--Imperial- lacy espresso head. Opaque dark obsidian black color. Floral tangerine peel chocolate hop Belgian fruit ester front. Mild creamy smooth tangy sweet tart chocolate citrus vanilla orange banana clove oak coffee complex tasty body. Smooth mild spice end. Sampled 10/4/2009. $7.99 Each. joeymacaroni (309) - Wagontown, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 4, 2010
pours deep brown/black with a thick burnt sienna head. nose has spicy notes, some citrus, chocolate, and dough/yeast. a little licorice and wood in there as well. flavor is huge- lots of roasted malt, espresso with lemon, chocolate, licorice, and bread. finish is long, with notes of bitter coffee, roasted malts, and dough. glorious. scoobysnak (333) - Appleton, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 8, 2010
Great dark ooz color that bubbles in the center like a evil cauldron. And I’m not even talking about a stout. Who knew? Great bitter chocolate notes, oranges, caramel, coffee, with a great roast malt backbone. Awesome
andyhwcinc (1884) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 11, 2010
I enjoyed this at Smallbar in Chicago, IL a couple of days after a Stone promotion at said bar. This is also the first alcoholic beverage consumed after completing the Chicago Marathon, and I can’t think of a better choice for my first brew. Aroma nice vanilla tone, roasted malt. Appearance black with a thin head. Taste very smooth, unsure how lethal this actually is, great vanilla flavor, really freaking good. If I had a bottle I would pull it out for special occasions, but considering it’s limited run at this great Chicago bar, I need to enjoy at a static time. hoosiers1994 (684) - Maryland, USA - NOV 7, 2010
22oz poured into a tulip Aroma is of chocolate, roasted malt, and alcohol. The appearance is a gorgeous black with a brown head that does not last. As this beer warms, the aromas come out very well, but are closed up if cold. The taste is very complex, with notes of roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, banana esters, and woody tobacco. The palate is heavy body with little carbonation and a long complex finish. Overall, this is one of my favorites in the series. Love em. SimpsonsFan714 (3) - - DEC 9, 2012 does not count
Poured from 22 oz. bottle, in Stone Russian Imperial Stout snifter. This bottle has been aged at room temperature since it was purchased in early September 2009.
**Appearance**: Deep brown and slightly viscous. A tall, light-brown head is creamy and sticks around for a while, slowly fading to a thick ring. Leaves massive laces on the glass.
**Nose**: A hint of grapes or cherry at first, quickly, and then chocolate and a roastiness. As it warms, the chocolate becomes more pronounced and I get some vanilla and some oak.
**Mouthfeel**: Medium-to-full bodied and silky smooth. There’s not a lot of bite, but again I can tell there were hops in this fresh. It’s very clean drinking.
**Taste**: Chocolate and toasted malts, then that fades to mostly the chocolate aftertaste. A slight hint of cherry or grapes around the edges. A touch of vanilla and smoke as it warms.
**Overall**: This beer is phenomenal. It tastes like a mellow, slighly-chocolate porter. It’s smooth and very well balanced. It’s roasted malt is not too sweet at all. I love this one. It’s my favorite of the series (and I still have three more to go.)
**Room temp vs. cellar temp**: I aged this at room temperature, and it tastes phenomenal. I don’t have a cellar-temp aged bottle to which to compare this one, so I can’t say how it would have differed, but I see no reason to think it would be any better than this one. It is pure awesomeness. Nik925 (795) - USA - SEP 13, 2014
Realized we just passed another 09/09 so I thought it was time to crack this. Full and proper aging. Cellard in a dark, crawl space under the house for 3 years, then back of the fridge since then. Beautiful aroma. Appearance isn’t wildly special. Hard to explain, but the aging seems to have really benefited this one. Flavors have come together near magically. There is an obvious bias since I have owned this 5 years, but am trying to adjust for that. Just an amazing beverage. amarcero (24) - , Vermont, USA - OCT 24, 2009
Bottle. Damn good; another knock-out from a very trusted brewer. I believe they classified this as a Belgian Porter. I’m not knowledgeable enough of styles to tell, but it tasted like a sweet chocolate stout to me. My only complaint is the price. At $6.79 per 22oz bottle, it was worth it to try once, but I won’t pay that twice.