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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

807 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 807
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%


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
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Ratings: 807 | Reviews: 530 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Type: Draft
Glass: Snifter
From: Ciro’s Pizza in Pacific Beach (San Diego, Calif.), on Jan. 4, 2013
Price: $7.00
Misc.: N/A

Poured a black color with two fingers (when I got it) of tan head. Below average lacing on the sides, good retention on the top all the way down.

Smelled sour fruit, bourbon, vanilla, tobacco, earthy red wine, raspberries and toffee.

Tasted similar to the nose, bourbon, tobacco, earthy red wine, raspberries and chocolate.

Medium body. Thin, oily texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish.

A decent beer for sure. I would be like to try another and see if my ratings differ.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2013 23:34:13 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: half finger head on a near jet black body with slight tinge of light getting through. scattered lacing.

S: dark fruit, mostly strawberry and cherry, dark chocolate, oak

T: dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, minimal dark fruit, oak, breads.

M: full body, light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: pretty flavorful, has held over very well. complex and memorable. Nicely made.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 02:55:22 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with half a finger of light tan foam on top of a opaque, black body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - chocolate, nutty malt, and a touch of vanilla.

T - Smooth chocolate, caramel, and smoky coffee up front. Some molasses and dry roasted malt in the middle and a finish of spicy yeast, and more bakers chocolate.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - This has not only held up well, but improved dramatically with age. The dark malt is smooth and complex and it is a very well balanced, drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 02:51:57 | More by nickfl
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2013-01-03 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge

A - Almost opaque dark brown with a 1/2-finger tan head and mild lacing.

S - Fruity with tart grape, plum and light malt. Mild but nice aroma.

T - Chocolate, dark cherry, grape skin, chalk, fig, not bitter but there's a bit of roasted flavor. Very balanced. Elegant.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Smooth. Good for the style.

O - An enjoyable brew that doesn't assault the senses but has enough complexity that I kept adding to my tasting notes as I worked through the goblet. Nice.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2013 22:49:52 | More by Tucquan
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle: I was surprised I hadn’t recorded this one earlier. This one pours a dark, inky brown color. There was a bit of a light brown head on it that lingers a bit and leaves some lacing. This has a very nice nose to it. Chocolate, vanilla, yeast, spices, perhaps some orange and a hint of coffee. The taste is very good. Rich and full, with actually a touch of bitterness on top of all those malts. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, dark fruits, some spiciness, citrus. An excellent combination.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 19:41:26 | More by Boto
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 properly cellared bottle, poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing opaque black in the glass. Fine two finger light brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Delicious aroma of chocolate, dark and caramel malt, vanilla, oak and whiskey, one of the best smelling ales I've experienced. Flavor follows aroma, dominated by sweet and toasted malt, chocolate, vanilla and a touch of oak and coffee. Finish is a bit stark with charred coffee, oak and hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. An unusual Belgian influenced ale, almost approaching a Belgian stout in malt and flavor complexity. Very enjoyable and one of the best of a series that all aged remarkably well. Kudos to Stone.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 04:03:08 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass as part of a 03-03-03 to 12-12-12 tasting. (ratings are for this tasting)

A - Near opaque, dark brown in color with a finger of fizzy dark khacki head and leaving behind sparse lacing

S - Hoppy bitterness, chocolate, a bit of alcohol and some citrus.

T - Bitter chocolate, cocoa, bitter hops, citrus, spicy, coffee

M - Medium body, medium carbonation that is tingly on the tongue, bitter chocolate, smooth overall.

O - Easiest drinker of the series, bitter, dry, lightly astringent, aged well...favorite of the series.

22oz bottle, fresh off the shelf and chilled. Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours an opaque brown with two full fingers of tan, creamy head that lingers a long time, eventually leaving behind really nice lacing. 4.5

S - Very spicey, some cloves, bitter chocolate and some vanilla. Getting some citrus, after the beer warms a little bit, mostly on the inhale before the beer hits the tongue. 4.0

T - Flavor largely follows the aroma. Strong backing of chocolate flavors, cocoa powder, with a variety of flavors on top - vanilla, cloves, bubblegum, banana, vanilla. Decent amount of bitterness here too. Lots of Belgian character on this one. Somewhat alcoholic. 4.0

M - Smooth and creamy. Mild carbonation. A little bit on the thin side. Good feel overall. 4.0

D - Drinking this 22oz bottle by myself tonight. This is just about right. One full glass wasn't enough, but the extra half glass made for a perfect dose. Somewhere between a sipper and a session beer - closer to a sipper. Very interesting beer. Definitely will come back to this one again...and one more time for the vertical on New Years Eve 12/31/12... 4.0

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 21:36:44 | More by portia99
Photo of Strix
Strix

Wisconsin

4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark brown with a tan head that leaves steps of lace down the glass.

Lots going on in the nose, mostly citrus/dark chocolate but also subtle spices.

Malt, clove, vanilla, wood, orange, tangerine, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel.

Creamy, silky mouthfeel.

A beer like this makes me wish I had greater access to Stone. This dark belgian could pass for a RIS, good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 03:07:42 | More by Strix
Photo of VinnyA
VinnyA

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought a bottle from Capone's in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

A - One-finger brown head with good retention, opaque and black in color, lacing on glass.

S - Bread, sugar, chocolate and raisins

T - Had a bready taste to it, hints of toffee, some dark fruit and an alcohol taste on the back end that lingered a little bit.

M - Low carbonation, smooth, not very heavy for such a dark beer. Dry finish

O - Definitely a winter warmer. The alcohol taste is not masked well, but this is compensated by the flavor that is present as it hits the tongue. Not an overly "heavy" beer. I've sampled each Epic from '06-12 and for the darker styles, this one is only slightly above "average" for the series. the '06 is the more superior "Belgian Strong Dark Ale", in my opinion. Porter is probably a more accurate classification for this brew. A pleasure to try, but likely won't revisit this, if presented with the opportunity in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 05:22:15 | More by VinnyA
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

3.33/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark black liquid with one finger of very tan suds. Lacing here about the glass.
Aroma is very light cinnamon and star of anise and a formalahyde type smell.
Taste is a weak mishmash of sugar and charred malts with a hint of the pepper spice thrown in at the end. Not really enough going on here.
Mouthfeel is fairly clean with just a tad of sugar stickyness lingering at the end. The 8.6% is hidden well all through the tasting. The peppery feel at the back of the throat is kinda nice but that isn't enough to keep me coming back for another slug.
Overall this is another dissapointment.. It's not terrible by any means , just not noteworthy as far as good beer should be.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 21:46:20 | More by peabody
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 12.12.12
Celebrating the Vertical Epic Series

P: Dark orange-brown with tan head

S: Cocoa, chocolate orange, dairy cream, roasty malt, banana, clove, peppery spices, aged oak, timid coffee and a pinch of cayenne.

T/M: Chocolate sheet cake, cocoa powder, chocolate orange, orchard fruit, hints of vanilla bean. Creamy but grainy feel in a full body with prickly carbonation. Smooth finish of chocolate and oak.

O: Huge chocolate base with varying types and a good oak aged flavor that developed nicely. Bold flavors and one to really enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 19:51:22 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2012 14:26:24 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
CA_Infidel2o9


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a Tulip

A- jet black w/ a 1/8" quick fading brown head, nice lacing after every sip and swirl

S- dark chocolate, vanilla, red wine, floral hops, earthy, wet cardboard grows more and more intense as it warms

T- dark milk chocolate, earthy, oak, vanilla, fruit, floral hops, slight wet cardboard

M- medium body, crisp carbonation

O- sadly she is past her prime. It has so many great aromas/flavors, yet wet cardboard is ever present. As it warmed the wet cardboard scent grew so intense that i had to stop smelling it and just enjoy the flavor as it only showed up slightly in taste. Wish i had tried this fresh.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 18:15:32 | More by CA_Infidel2o9
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The body of this one is dark black with a nice amount of brown head. The above average lacing and retention of the head help make this the nicest looking beer of the evening. 4.5

The aroma starts off with vanilla, which gives way to a big roasty character. Mixed in with those is oak and weirdly some oranges. 4

The vanilla and roast hit you right up front. The booze is not featured on this beer, which was a rarity throughout the night. The finish is very roasty and a lot of chocolate is noted throughout. 4

"The body is heavy, yet carbonated very well. I found the balance of the taste made this a very drinkable beer. One that I would buy again. 4.5

Value: $3 for 4oz. You don't say! This was a steal at that price 5

My initial thoughts were, 'they should have made more stouts.' Sadly, this isn't a stout, but it's darn close as a BSDA. They really should have made more like this. 4

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 18:58:43 | More by russwbeck
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

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

On-tap for Lord Hobo's Vertical Epic Event on 12/12/12. Part of Flight "C" (09, 10, 11, 12). 5oz serving served in a flight glass.

A- Opaque jet black (probably the darkest of the series), creamy beige boardering light mocha brown head that has nice retention and leaves nice lacing.

S- Chocolate, some cocoa, light tangerines, oranges, a hint of bananas, vanilla, and yeast. About average aroma strength.

T- Chocolate, malts, tangerines, oranges, slight smokiness, a little bit of vanilla. Nice balance between chocolate and citrus, could have used a little bit more flavor.

M- Medium bodied, fairly low carbonation, goes down very easily.

O- This was a nice beer that is one of my favorites of the series. The 09 held up well with age, but I don't think it really gained all that much in my opinion (if anything it might have lost a tiny bit). Personally I liked the barrel-aged version of this a lot better, I thought the chocolate and tangerines actually came out a lot more.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2012 20:22:06 | More by jaasen64
Photo of mocktm
mocktm

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First review in a while. Probably the only Vertical Epic I'm going to pop tonight, but the one I'm most looking forward to.

Into my GBS glass, pours pitch black with an espresso colored head. Appears fairly viscous...heavy. Minor lacing and some head retention.

Real nice aromas off this one. Yeasty...light fruit dipped in dark chocolate and blended with vanilla. Some toffee/caramel undertones as well. Honestly it almost smells like a fresh banana split, super sweet and mellowed out from the cellar.

Damn delicious, possessing layers and layers of flavor. Chocolate and orange peel dominate with a Belgian yeast character meshing them together. There's some oak and vanilla creeping in the background. Really really well blended.

Relatively thick, almost a dessert beer honestly. Alcohol is not detectable in the slightest. Time did wonders for this guy.

Wish I could get more of this...damn awesome. Hope the '10-'12 I have are just as good.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 00:37:06 | More by mocktm
Photo of Reaper16
Reaper16

Alabama

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber served into a snifter

Pours a nice blackish color. It's pretty dark, as is the roasty, brown head. A pretty active, sizable head, at that.

The smell still has some of that tangerine peel quality. I figured it would fade away over the years of aging; it has, but not by as much as I figured. That citrus peel note blends pretty well with the spiced chocolate aromas. This is definitely a Belgian yeast strain.

The flavor is pretty smoothed out at this point: floral spiciness, milk chocolate, a bit of orange. I'm not in love with it, and I'm a person who loves Belgian stouts. I think what I'm looking for is more roast to match up with the phenols. As is, this is like a lesser variant of something like Boulevard Dark Truth.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 22:18:18 | More by Reaper16
Photo of Oakenator
Oakenator

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark - black in fact - with little to no light showing through. A finger of head on a 9 oz pour - cream clored. Great mouthfeel - solid carbonation up front with a rise towards the back end. Smell reveals spices and banana. Taste is sweet fruits on the front end with rich, dark malts dominating the finish. Another excellent and complex VE.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2012 23:09:42 | More by Oakenator
Photo of jbertsch
jbertsch

Massachusetts

4.83/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

Very dark brown in color. Not quite black, but extremely close. One finger of off-white head, on purpose. Could have created more head but kept it to one finger in size on purpose.

Inviting aroma of fruits, molasses, deep roasted malts, and a little booze. Almost fruitcake like.

The flavor was even better. Similar to aroma but with the volume turned up. Raisin and molasses blend with a smooth blend off sweet chocolate and faint coffee. A little belgiany yeast is underneath serving up a bit of brown sugar. Notes of cherry and cola make a noticeable appearance and linger.

Fnishes long with a beautiful equal blend of flavors lasting long, after the sip. Full mouthfeel, very smooth.

This was a real treat. A belgiany fruit laced porter is how i would describe this. It's drinking great right now... Wish I had more bottles!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 03:35:52 | More by jbertsch
Photo of colts9016
colts9016

Idaho

4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 04:20:44 | More by colts9016
Photo of GodOfBeer
GodOfBeer

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first and only Vertical Epic I will be drinking from Stone. And what an epic beer it is indeed. Aged for almost 3 years, couldn't be bothered with waiting to open it after the 12th of December..

As I pour this epic ale darkness overtakes my Duvel tulip glass. A deep dark black colour with a thick whitish-brown head that just doesn't care about fading away.

Smells of coffee, molasses, dark fruity hops, milky chocolate. Nothing really special here about the aroma. Average for a BSDA.

As I begin to taste the darkness, bitter coffee and hops overwhelm my palate. My god, this tastes more like a stout. than a belgian dark ale. But either way it is a tasty treat. I'm sure the aging helped here. Lots a dark burnt malty notes, fruity hops and thick molasses on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, thick and sassy. Very nice on the tongue, something to be savoured.

Overall a very good beer. Pretty opulent, I must say. If only I had the opportunity to try their other beers in this Epic series..

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2012 02:10:58 | More by GodOfBeer
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Close enough to the end date for the epic vertical. Review is from notes taken on 8/9/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a dark, chocolate brown with some nice ruby highlights; starts with a big, lush head that is a dark tan color; head has decent retention, eventually fades down to a thick, uneven cap; body is dark, nearly opaque; some fast, thin streams of carbonation bubble up near the sides of the glass;

Smell: Smell is solid -- some sweet and bittersweet chocolate; plenty of dark fruit -- reminiscent of sweet cherries, perhaps raisins; dark, bready and chewy maltiness to it; touch of Candi, but really well blended; sometimes I find that the Candi is overpowering and makes the beer taste a little like cough syrup, but if the taste is anything like the smell, it should avoid that perfectly.

Taste: OK, so far this is the best of the series that I've come across -- tastes a lot more like an RIS brewed with some of the Belgian ingredients (a la Dark Truth?); plenty of dark chocolate with a strong bitterness to it; a roasty, earthy and even a little nutty espresso beans; slight Belgian spiciness with the dark fruit; touch of alcoholic burn, a little more than I would have expected considering it's not quite 9% and has been sitting for three years, but it's a good flavor and adds to the overall array.

Mouthfeel: Body is pretty thick, soft and smooth; carbonation is strong and adds a touch of prickle, but overall, it's easy on the palate and avoids sharpness; a rough and gritty coating is left on the teeth; gums are left a little tingly.

Overall: I had this on tap when it was first released and thought it was great then -- even a bit more like a Belgian, I feel that some of the "stoutier" aspects have come through, even though I don't think that was intentional; an excellent beer that has held up well and I'm sure it would have held up a little longer, but hell, it's not doing anyone any good sitting on my shelf. It is a bit of a sipper, but it's not big enough to deter me from sitting through the whole bomber. Cheers to Stone, they should bring this one back under a different name.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 00:33:21 | More by bamadog
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottle date is obvious. Pours pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense tan head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, molasses, apple, biscuit, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, light char, earth, and herbal. Very nice aromas with good strength, complexity, and balance; very inviting. Taste of big chocolate, biscuit, caramel, molasses, prune, apple, roasted malt, raisin, light char, vanilla, earth, oak, and herbal. Lingering notes of dark fruit, chocolate, caramel, biscuit, light char, earth, and roasted malt on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor complexity and balance; with a very nice roasted malt flavor profile. Medium carbonation and body; with a very nice creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is completely hidden, with hardly any warming at all noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian dark ale. Great amount of complexity and robust roasted flavors; with great balance and very smooth drinking. Extremely enjoyable stuff!

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 01:39:04 | More by superspak
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black bodied beer with a smallish tan head. Not much retention, minimal lacing. Aroma is roasty, with bittersweet chocolate, orange peel, slightly vinous and fruity. There’s also a spicy note and a hint of wood or tobacco that’s kind of hard to put a finger on.

Interesting but not entirely satisfying taste; perhaps a little oxidized after 3 years in the bottle; not sure how this one will hold up till the end of the entire Vertical Epic series.
There’s dark, bitter chocolate, orange and peel flavor, as well as other more vague fruit notes; again a vinous quality, with oakiness, char, a hint of a metallic/mineral aspect; phenolic spiciness, overall very dry; could actually use a bit more sweetness. Maybe a touch chalky. Alcohol well-masked. Not terrible, just a little odd.

Medium-bodied and carbonated with that very dry finish. Feels like it could be a bit heavier and smoother in the mouth. Interesting beer I didn’t particularly love but it definitely made me think and dig in, examining its many layers.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 16:19:09 | More by tobelerone
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/4/12
*From notes

A: Rich crayon brown. A good pour yields a two finger bubbly head. It fades in time, a leaves a decent collar behind.

S: Candied Belgian sugars and cocoa. Some vanilla becomes more evident as it warms.

T: Sweet, with a grassy quality to it. More vanilla hits the mid and rides to the finish. Not half bad - this seems to have aged reasonably well.

M: Feel could use a little work. It's just not as thick and viscous as a Belgian Strong (that comes across kinda stout-like) should be.

O: One of the better VE's in the series. It's holding up well, it's tasty and something I won't have a problem putting back again in what...eight months?

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2012 21:20:30 | More by Rhettroactive
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 807 ratings.