1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

841 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 841
Reviews: 533
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 35
Gots: 274 | FT: 14
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:
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 added by: superdedooperboy on 09-08-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 841 | Reviews: 533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of benz08
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of BeerCon5
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark coffee-like brown color with very thin tan head.

The scent is of sweet chocolate and roasted malts.

The taste is very sweet initially, but very quickly turns to a dark chocolate, bitter coffee taste. Roasted malts and a dry bitter hop finish.

Medium bodied, dry feel with not a lot of carbonation.

This is a pretty decent beer, it is fairly complex and interesting.

Photo of JTomczak
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of TasteTester
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of SoCalStout
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of M27
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of TrevorWGrover
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of 510a
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of WanderingFool
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vertical Epic 09.09.09 pours inky black with a big, frothy tan head on top. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind a glass covered in patches and netted patterns of lace.

The aroma reminds me of a Belgian ale. Some chocolate and roasted malt with hints of orange peel, clove and pepper.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer has a soft velvet feel with a mild fizz on the sides of the tongue. The flavor is subtle and well balanced. Notes of chocolate and roasted malt with a blend of Belgian spices such as pepper and clove. It finishes with hints of dark fruit. Once gone a chocolate and clove flavor lingers on the palate.

I liked this beer. It's easy to drink and not over loaded with Belgian spices. Well balanced and tasty. I've saved a bottle to open after 12.12.12. I'm curious to see how it ages.

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hopefully this review won't be inadvertently purged like my last review of this beer was. On tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours a darkish brown color with OK head retention and decent lacing. On the nose I get an intriguing aroma of rootbeer, bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, but with a considerable hop bite in the finish (naturally; after all, this is Stone). This beer has at most moderate sweetness, and it's quickly pushed asided by the drying, hoppy bitterness on the finish. In addition, there's also something of a sour apple, cardboard flavor to this beer. Hmmmm...mouthfeel is medium bodied, and I have to say that the bittersweet chocolate and somewhat noticeable alcohol detract just a bit from this beer's drinkability.

This is a nice enough beer, though one at a sitting is probably all I could ever see myself managing.

Edit from 3/15/13. Sampled at a recent vertical epic event at Pacific Coast brewing, this beer showed its age fairly well. My score was nearly identical to what I gave this beer back in 2009, with much of the original hop bite now nicely tamed by flavors of milk chocolate, vanilla and light burnt toast. The mouthfeel was a bit thin, but that was really the only sign of "old age" in this beer.

Photo of airbag11
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Lolli1315
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first of two 09 verticals, aging the other one for three years.

A- Almost black color with a tan to light brown head. Nice head retention and lacing. Feel like this is a little darker than the majority of Belgian Strong Dark Ales, I could be wrong though.

S- So much going on in the smell, love it. Dark fruits galore including most notably cherries and plumes. Alcohol is well hidden in the fruit with sweet malt smell coming through the from start to finish.

T- The fruit tastes described sneak their way in the beginning of this beer, but quickly fade. Rather than the sweet malt in the smell, there is a bitterness that is surprising and unexpected. Alcohol does come through in the taste much more than in the smell. On the end the alcohol gives a medium body warming sensation. I'm stuck as to whether to put this at 3.5 or 4.0, would like to put it somewhere in between. The fruit flavors have begun to come out much more as the beer has warmed, don't drink this one too cold.

M- Medium mouthfeel that fits well with the beer. Not quite chewy but moving towards that direction.

D- Not to hard to finish this beer, but not sure if I would grab another one immediately after (if I could find another). Nice beer.

Photo of likeemdark
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of cadaugherty
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of tleifj
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of TheBrewo
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was served on draft at the Tap and Mallet Vertical Epic tasting event. It arrived in a tasting glass, showing a dark brown coloring, with light ruby letting up around the edges. It held a one finger head of light tan bubbles, showing great retention. Lacing was minimal, but carbonation did appear to be active. No haze or sediment was noted. The aroma gave syrupy fig and a twang of molasses against roasted coffee malts, and thick caramel malts. Chalky dryness of pales echoed somewhere on the back, with tangerine rind bite and sourness being definitely apparent. Light vanilla smoothness came out with heat, alongside hearty booziness. Our first impression was that there was a crazy depth to the malts, with nice warming burnt smokiness to balance the sweetness of fig. As we sipped, dark fig syrups, fusel booze, burnt liquid caramel, faintly toasted pale malts, metallic yeastiness, buttery diacetyls, and juicy saltiness mixed for a complex start. The peak came with added complexity of plum sugars, stronger fig sweetness, depth and metallics of coffee malts, and a lighter seaweed vegetable quality. The end was with molasses, the return of cloying sugary sweetness, a nice and enhanced depth of caramel malts, pale drying toast, and that maintained coffee smokiness. The aftertaste breathed of salt, molasses, anise, light smoke, leathers, caramel syrups, and toasty coffee malts. The body was medium to full, and the carbonation was medium. There was nice slurp and froth to the sip, with good cream and foaminess left around the mouth. This was quickly followed by an astringent drying bite, eliminating most of the initial juicy wetness. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the depth to the malts. There was such a nice roast and smoke to the coffees and caramels by the end you would swear that you were drinking separate beers. The flavor really does develop and enhance throughout the tasting, keeping you guessing until the last drops. Additionally, the big molasses and buttery qualities added oily slickness, keeping the mouth soft. This was a nice blend.

Photo of bigred89
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of SFC21
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of jakecattleco
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of harperman69
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Focusf111
4/5  rDev -2%

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 841 ratings.