Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

 
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RATINGS: 725   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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3.5
notalush (5883) - Lakewood, Colorado, USA - SEP 19, 2009
Pours nearly black, with a thick tan head that sinks to a soapy lace - aroma of bittersweet chocolate, roast, char, vanilla, orange, light belgian yeast character - creamy texture in the mouth - the flavor is of a heavily roasty chocolate stout brewed with belgian yeast - however, the roast and bitter chocolate notes squash most of the belgian character - some notes of vanilla sweetness - I taste no trace of oak or orange peel whatsoever - just a straight up roasty belgian stout - a pretty good one, though.

3.5
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 23, 2009
Tap at three floyds... Pours close to black with a medium frothy light beige head... Dusty chocolate aroma with citrus hop notes and even a little yeast... Chocolate and less intense roasted notes with citrus hops and mild bitterness in the finish that sticks to the mouth. Better than decent mouthfeel with a nice fluffy yahoo.

3.5
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 29, 2009
Tap @ La Jolla Brew House. Pours a deep mocha brown with a wispy tan head. Nose held hints of vanilla, oak, citrus peel and some spice. Flavor was dominated by roasted chocolate malts with citrus zest and a touch of coffee and spice. A decent brew overall, nothing to write home about IMO.

3.5
dionysus (1486) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 29, 2009
Bottle pours black in color with a fluffy beige head w/ decent lacing. Two words come to mind when I smell it. Chocolate and Vanilla! Additional oak notes are there but you have to let it warm if you plan on finding any tangerine. Flavor is basically the same as the aroma with some peat. Here’s the bottom line. It’s pretty average at the moment but something tells me that the extreme subtleness of the belgian yeast is really going to shine after it’s had some time to sit. Here’s hoping!

3.5
redave (166) - squaw valley, California, USA - OCT 1, 2009
Dark not the usual vertical epic. Very earthy flavor very different. This seems to need to want to sit for awhile, more than the others, but tasty now too. some chocolate i suppose, this is not a belgian ale it seems. more like a porter or stout. Nice lacing. Guess i need to get a couple more and have at least one sit for a bit.

3.5
IrishBoy (4212) - Bakersfield, California, USA - OCT 1, 2009
22 oz bottle from GM Liquors. Nose is smoke, chocolate, light vanilla, and background caramel. Black with a medium, long lasting, lightly lacing, cinnamon tan head. Flavor is strong smoke, some oakiness, and chocolate. Finish is smoky, more smoke than I like and I like smoked meats, too much in beer overpowers the other complexities of the beer.

3.5
GT (10000) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 2, 2009
Bomber into Unibroue tulip. Looks beautiful: pretty much pitch black with a towering dark, rocky, dense, tan head that has completely insane retention and leaves sheets of lacing. Aroma is a bit of dark chocolate, molasses, smoked bacon/ham moving to a vinous, candi sugar complexity. Taste is semi-sweet chocolates, cafe latte, some burnt toast. Very much like a smoked or stout. Huge bitter finish. Not sure how cellaring this would bring out any improvements.

3.5
obguthr (6458) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - OCT 3, 2009
No aroma. Black, with a medium tan pour, good lacing. It tastes of a weird smoked meat at first, bacon or more likely pastrami. Finishes with some raisin and black pepper. Kind of a weird beer, but kudos on the creation. Dude, I swear this is some kind of rauch/Belgian beer, but it’s pretty good. I still like 080808 better.

3.5
tokyogoat (1503) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 4, 2009
Poured a dark chocolate brown. Nose was a little weak, some chocolate, very little tangerine peel as promised, no vanilla, not much else. Taste was a little putrid at first, this beer needs to be served above cellar temps IMO. Chocolate became very smooth, there was a terrible metalic flavor when cold that went away, more tangerine, and flavors melded much better. In line with most stone vertical beers, interesting on paper, not so much in a glass.

3.5
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 6, 2009
Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even th slight touch of amber edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy tan head that slowly fades into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic chunks of dark lacing. Chocolate malt aroma with a peppery spiciness, dark fruit notes, chocolate and vanilla bean, citrus peel and subtle hops. There is a nice roasted character with some hints of burnt toast. Slightly minty with subtle earthy oak. Chewy fuller end of medium body with a slight roasty smokey maltiness and burnt toast. Lots of silky chocolate with hints of spicy peppery mint as well as some light citrus fruit and earthy oak. There are some subtle dark fruit notes as well with smooth vanilla beans. Slightly yeasty with some bread notes and subtle ripe banana. The tangerine citrus is very subtle are way overpowered by the dominant spice character as well as the darker fruits and roasted malt. Also a bit of alcohol burn warmth in the dry finish. This beer is unique and complex but they probably overreached on this one, adding too much to truly appreciate the chocolate covered citrus(tangerine) flavor they were going for. The spice character, especially is way overdone.


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