Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic AleStone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

535 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 535
Hads: 851
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 6.9%
Wants: 35
Gots: 283 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: superdedooperboy on 09-08-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 535 | Hads: 851
Photo of jfmorey
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured like a stout, very dark with a creamy tan head that disappeared slowly.

Good aroma of chocolate and spice, which continued in the taste with many flavors of coffee; citrus, complex but balanced.

Have two bombers, one for now one for later: can I resist until the 2012? (277 characters)

Photo of colts9016
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A monster three finger head that is fairly persistent. The head is medium tan color that is foamy creamy, with a nice lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is a dark brown, near black. The clarity of the beer is opaque.

Nose: A very rich dense malt that is roasted, with caramel, biscuits, and chocolate. Other aromas are coffee, bread, phenols, alcohol, peppery, raisins, and dried cherries. The hop aroma is still prevalent after three years; furthermore, the hops is perfumey, woody, and citrus.

Taste: The malt in the beer is roasted, toasted, caramel, biscuit, and bread. Other flavors is dark chocolate, espresso, phenols, alcohol, black pepper, raisins. The hops is fruity esters, perfume, wood, citrus.

The mouth feel in the beer is coating, warming, chewy, carbonated, and slightly astringent.

Overall: The body of the beer is full and the finish is lasting. This beer is awesome, it has great flavors. I am glad that I crack the bottle. (1,013 characters)

Photo of meich75
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice dark brown, almost black with a bit of tan head.

S: Roasted malts and chocolate with a bit of sweetness.

T: Everything comes together nicely in this one. Starts with a bit of chocolate with just a bit of sweet citrus finish. Liquid goodness.

M: Feels a bit lighter than it looks and tastes.

D: Drinkability is probably a little too good for a 9.5 ABV, could definitely have more of these. (400 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber purchased at Tully's in Wells, Maine, split with BA CheckMate. Pours a pitch black body with a good inch of slowly-dissipating tan head. Espresso, dark chocolate, date, nut, a touch of alcohol, and toffee characterize the aroma. Dark chocolate, espresso, fruit (mainly dates and grapes), wood, smoke, nut, with touches of caramel and toffee, spice, and just a bit of alcohol warming, though none in the flavor. Full-bodied but not viscous like some beers of this type, with ample but not overpowering carbonation. Wow. I cannot say enough good things about this beer. While I have no doubt it ages great, it tastes amazing as it is. A slam-dunk for Stone, probably the best beer I've had from them. (710 characters)

Photo of seplo
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very dark brown if not black in color with a coffee colored head witch creates a great lacing around the glass,drank out of a smuttynose big beer series glass, i found it to be a very drinkable beer for the abv, my favorite from stone brewery, thank God their not in six packs cuz i wouldnt want to know the price of it (319 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Stone pint glass
Deep, dark black cherry hue with big, thick tan head
Aroma-Chocolate cherry cordial,vanilla,coffee
Taste-Wow! A dizzying array of flavors-Dark chocolate, smoky vanilla, dark fruits, toasted malts, an underlying burnt, hoppy citrus, like charred orange wedges. A lot going on here to say the least. Awesomely complex, with a tingly, snappy, warming finish. Very smooth and drinkable, but definitely a sipper! Deliciously different and definitely worth a try.
Get some while you can!! (515 characters)

Photo of ColdBeer30
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It was dark in the bar but I want to say the color of the beer was a dark cocoa with a dark tan creamy dense head on top. It was served to me in a wide mouth Chalice. Carbonation was low from the look but there was a full thick ring of lacing.

The smell was of dark coffee grounds and espresso at first followed by chocolate of the more bitter sweet kind. Smell finishes with roasted malts and subtle grassy or leafy hops.

The taste comes in opposite. First came a blend of chocolates (dark and heavy cream milk chocolate) then the roasted malts, strong coffee (the kind you want to wake up to) and a touch of bitter or slightly briny hops which hardly lingers, there just long enough that you are looking even more forward to that next hit of cocoa.

The mouthfeel is well balanced and extremely creamy. Carbonation is pretty mild but the beer isn't flat. With everything else your mouth is experiencing you don't really even notice it.

The beer is full bodied as any porter or dark belgian would be, coming out of the tap I could drink several easily.

Seeing as this beer is meant to be aged about 3 years I am definitely going to stash one away for later. I can see the potential for it getting even better. (1,214 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed today, 9.9.13! bomber to a snifter, vintage is exactly 4 years old

Pours jet black with almost three fingers of mocha tinged foam, transparency is 0%, even on the edges when held to the light. Great lacing and retention, after three or four minutes we still have a finger of foam. Kept much of it's carbonation over the years

Smells strongly of chocolate, oak, raisin, molasses, brown sugars, vanilla and a bit of caramel malt. Not picking up much of the orange notes the bottle mentions, smells incredible though

Taste is spot on with the nose- strong upfront chocolate and vanilla that mix with the oak. The orange is next, much more present than in the aroma. Finishes with some all spice and a touch of clove. Very impressive

Feel is I think my favorite part. Very smooth and silky, almost like drinking chocolate milk. Finishes pretty well, very pleasing going down. Medium bitterness, no alcohol present. Dangerously drinkable

Overall this aged incredibly, I weep this was my only bottle (1,010 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle (of course) into a Vertical Epic Ale glass (don't you just love the correct glassware). Beer is dark, black, head is tight brown bubbles that is full at first but falls back to form a uniform layer of tiny bubbles that covers the top of the beer, lacing formed on glass. Aroma is nice. I was expecting to pick up some roasted malts in the aroma, due to the color, but instead was hit with the classic etherial aromas of a strong Belgian ale. Invites me to drink it. Second smell reveals minimal smoke and some sweetness (probably alcohol).
Delicious, not usually a fan of the darker beers but apparently I'm coming around. There are roasted malts on the back of the flavor, but the beer is full bodied and nice. It finishes with a little bit of an aftertaste. The roast builds on you as you drink. I believe this beer will age well. Looking forward to the rest of the series and 12.12.12 vertical epic ale tastings. Cheers! (945 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark opaque chocolaty brown with a thick, fine-bubbled tan head. Aroma is not strong but tempting, coffee-ish with a tone of unsweetened chocolate. Flavor is richer than the aroma, mainly of roast coffee with an undertone of unsweet chocolate. Each sip seems different - one has a nutty hint, one toffee and one molasses. Tingly, sassy texture leaves a finish of fine roast coffee. Pity this is a once-only offering! (424 characters)

Photo of tmm313
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

9.9.9 enjoyed on 1.30.14

A- Black from a distance. Darkest possible brown when you get up close. Beautiful khaki 1 finger head with excellent trailing/lacing.

S- Chocolate covered raisins! Vanilla and oak with a slight hint of booze.

T- Wonderful! Rich cocoa with vanilla, raisins, and hints of orange up front. Dark chocolate and dark fruits, like prune and dark cherry, follow. Finish is charred oak, citrus rind, and earthy hop spices over more dark chocolate, a little booze, and hints of licorice. Beautifully balanced and complex.

M- Thicker side of medium. Smooth on the tongue with subtle drying. Even the mouthfeel is balanced.

O- I've given Stone some rave reviews in my day. This will be no different. Incredible complexity; incredible balance; incredible flavors. I'm super stoked to have had this masterpiece, but just as sad to know I'll never have it again. I'm kind of new to aging beers, but if this is what usually happens, I'm all in. (962 characters)

Photo of NealVsBeer
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown, with slight head upon pouring and nice lace afterwards

S - Can really smell the chocolate malt, also hints of citrus

T - Malty, smooth and chocolatey, slight alcohol taste at the end

M - Rich and smooth on the palate

D - Very drinkable, at 8.9% I may be able to drink more than 1 but I don't see the point

This is overall a fantastic beer. Rich, smooth, and chocolately this is a terrific dessert beer. (423 characters)

Photo of cameraman
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is poured a dark brown color, with hints of garnet along the bottom of the glass. A thick half inch head, tan in color, lacing down the glass. A roasted melt scent, followed by a chocolate fragrance, with hints of Belgian yeast spiciness at the end of each scent. The chocolate come out at the front, the yeast brings the fruity esters and spiciness. Then a unique citric bitterness strikes the palate, with touches of grass and earth. The citrus flavor lingers on the palate long after each taste is gone. The texture is tad watery at the front, but grows to a rich and smooth feel, rolling across the palate. A medium dryness is left on the backend. The aroma is intoxicating, the color is very inviting. The flavor a chocolaty delight, the smooth and rich feel just adds to this very drinkable beer. (811 characters)

Photo of harrymel
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured to NB globe during 06-10 VE tasting.

A: Dark, opaque, mocha head (single finger) which sticks around. Good lacing. Sticky appearence. Good looker.

S: Cocoa, malts, anise, cocoas, coffee. I would go on, but why waste my time - this is excellent!

T: Again: cocoa, malt, anise, coffee, back end vanilla from oak. Just outstanding.

M: Heavy, lower carb. Tacky. Viscous. Resonant.

D: This was the best of the bunch. Absolutely outstanding! I will be seeking more of this out. (482 characters)

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent beer.

Appearance- black color, good tan head, good lacing, opaque

Smell- roasted malt, sweet

Taste- roasted malt, molasses, sweet

Mouthfeel- full bodied, smooth

Drinkability- excellent, I love it. I will try to pick up some more cuz it's awesome. (272 characters)

Photo of t420o
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I loved this beer! I bought the Vertical Epic 07, 08, and then 09, and did a little tasting. Wow, all of them are so good. The 09 is different than the 07, and 08. It is pitch black and tastes like the best dark chocolate you have ever had with subtle hop taste and and subtle orange tatse as well. It is very drinkable. I Highly recommend this beer. Sorry for the weak review but I just drank three bombers and i feel good (423 characters)

Photo of scootny
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge head, light brown with great retention and good lacing. A black brown fluid. This has the smell of a Belgian mocha stout. Chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel and molasses. Vanilla is tucked in there as it a touch of orange. Smoke and roasted grains. Dark sweet breads. A Belgian yeast fruitiness with overripe banana. A thick rich taste that is like the nose but much better greets your tongue. Chocolate and charcoal. Vanilla and burnt caramel. Orange and banana. More dark sweet breads with a roasted multigrain toasted crust. A clean dry finish that leaves a touch of chocolate syrup and charcoal dipped in burnt marshmellow. Hops are a touch minty and herbal. This stuff is just too good. A thick and full feel has a wonderful syrupiness that is tamed by a somewhat creamy carbonation. It is remarkably supple on the tongue. This is way too drinkable as the alcohol is so well hidden and the feel and taste encourage you to indulge to the max.

My favorite VE of the few I've had. I have all except 020202 cellaring and I hope just a few come out as good as this one is right now. Thank you Stone! I love this one! (1,123 characters)

Photo of Cresant
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Samuel Adams glass. The body was a dark dark brown. The tall, creamy, irregular head was chocolate milk colored. The fine sheets of lacing collapse down the glass.

Smell was ashes and orange peel. Cocoa powder and molasses. Interesting and not cloying.

Taste reflected the aroma a delivered so much more. Semi-sweet chocolate turns to drying organic, crispy hops. Both vanilla and chocolate finish dry and long. Very complex and tasty.

Mouthfeel was lightly powdery. Silky finish with a medium to full body. Nice. (557 characters)

Photo of JustinAniello
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with a three finger cream-colored head. Dissipates to a nice cap and lacing.

S - Heavy browned caramel and coffee aromas. Light chocolate with a mild piney hops in the background.

T - Starts as a sweet caramel and milk chocolate, turning into a browned caramel and coffee. An orange flavor briefly shows up in the transition. Nice hop bitterness lingers in the end. All the flavors are rather bold.

M - Medium body with light/medium carbonation. Goes very well with the flavors.

O - Still drinking very well more than two years after bottling. A well rounded medley of flavors and aromas, great for just sitting down and savoring. Most definitely going to try their homebrew recipe on their website. Another great beer from Stone. (756 characters)

Photo of TommyW
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Black with some faint ruby highlights coming through; bubbly, tan head.

S- Roasted malt with some burnt notes, chocolate malt and some vanilla.

T- Nice roasted/burnt malt flavor with some chocolate notes, complemented nicely with some citrus rind flavors.

M- Medium to full feel with a nice flow of flavor across the palate.

D- A unique twist on a porter; the Belgian yeast give in some very interesting qualities. Really worth trying! (442 characters)

Photo of jantonius
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Deep black Belgian Style Ale, with a creamy caramel head

S: Vanilla hints with a hint of oak

T: Roasted Malt flavor with an espresso taste with a dark chocolate finish

M: Robust mouthfeel, that melts like butter on the back of your tongue

D: This drinks more like an amazing after dinner Port and pairs well with French Vanilla Ice Cream!! (346 characters)

Photo of Zeisloft
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Max's Taphouse- Baltimore

Max's description of Stones Vertical Epic 09/09/09 was just "Dark Belgian Ale". I wasn't too sure what to think before it came to me. But I was not thinking Porter. And then I saw it. Dark as night, creamy tan head. Porter overcame my mind. Chocolate came through on the nose, with not much else. Then the taste. Definitely some chocolate, vanilla and little spice. Could use more spice to break up the chocolate. I would expect a little more hoppy bitterness from Stone (but not too much to over power everything, just enough to pull everything together). The beer was not too heavy or too light.

I would not call it a Belgian. Maybe when sitting in a cellar it will round out better, but for now it is a Porter. With that note, I normally do not like porters. Usually a porter has the burnt taste to it. The VE090909 did not. It was sweet and delicious. Although, one was enough. Not something to have a night of. (Especially at 8.5%.) I think I will try to go and grab a couple of bottles, this is a beer that should be really good on a cold night in the winter. I am thinking Christmas time. (1,138 characters)

Photo of Stunner97
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- dark black with beautiful tan head that nicely fades and disipates away,

Smell- delicious smell of sweet malts, plenty of chocolate, roasted notes, slight smokiness,little bit of citrus,

taste- very beautifully flavored beer, very sweet and malty but yet still has good firm bitter astringcy that long lingers on the finish, the finish is very long and beautifully integrated, get a slight oakiness and definite smokiness as well, no alcohol to be noticed what so ever, definite slight chocolate notes and roasted malts, can still notice the unique belgian kind of flavor still kind of there but with a beautiful bitterness to it to, what i love about this flavor on top of the long finish is just how the bitterness and sweetness are waging a battle on your palate, such balance,

Mouthfeel- Smooth slick and overall light to medium bodied, not overwhelming, but nice and soft

Drinkability- what can i say I really love this beer, its very porter like yet still has that little twinge of a belgian style beer, but this is certainly a unique american interpertation you would probably only get from someone like stone, I gotta say i really love stone and they havent disappointed me here at all, I bought a few extra to see how they are with some age as that bitterness maybe softens up a bit, beer just seems to me like would be a beautiful pair with a nice smokey bbq meal but for now ill savior sipping it on its own, cheers to stone ! (1,453 characters)

Photo of cvfish
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - This beer poured a black color that produced a fluffy tan head which had great retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were very complex, roasted malts, vanilla, bitter chocolate, sour citrus, and Belgian yeast

T - The taste of this beer was just as complex as the nose, roasted malts and bitter chocolate, vanilla, a subtle note of sour tangerine and finish with the dominate Belgian yeast

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body and a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This beer was one of the most unique and flavorful beer that I have ever had, if I had to describe this to someone it would be a Belgian Porter (687 characters)

Photo of taigor
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 8oz glass.

A - Poured jet black non-transparent color with high ruby frosty head that slowly dissipated leaving average amount of lacing around the glass.

S - Malts, coffee and chocolate scents. Very complex.

T - Slightly sweet to start with and tons of roasted malts with a coffee, dark chocolate bitter finish.

M - Full bodied with high carbonation.

D - Definitely a sipper but very enjoyable. Looks and tastes more like RIS instead of Strong Dark Ale. Highly recommend it if you can get it. (512 characters)

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 535 ratings.