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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

847 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 847
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 34
Gots: 275 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 847 | Reviews: 535
Photo of rajendra82
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark pour, opaque body, and a khaki head were more reminiscent of a RIS than a BSDA. The smell was sweet dark fruits, like plums and cherries, and some lurking hops. The taste was quite a bit more hoppy than I was expecting it to be, but the dark fruits and milk chocolate sweetness made this a very balanced beer. There was some roast grain astringency, which was most apparent at the end of each sip. The aftertaste was a bit spicy. A soft feel in the mouth, and chewy body. Not much alcohol burn. Delicious, now, and will likely get more vinous and interesting with some age.

Photo of GodOfBeer
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
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..

Photo of merlin48
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a deep dark brown body that is opaque in the glass. Medium tan head leaves island chain lacing.

Interesting and complex aroma. Chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruits, ripe bananas, and some charred wood.

Medium body has a solid smooth carbonation.

Taste has a roasted coffee bitterness, dark chocolate, malty nuttiness,smoke, Belgian yeast, a hint of licorice, ripe bananas,a hint of vanilla, and some citrusy hops. Alcohol is hidden very well. I don't pick up the tangerine peel.

Very nicely done. Certainly one of the better VE's in my book. Tasty and complex.

Photo of Sangrejoven
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of heebes
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pint

Pours dark black with a thick foamy tan head. The nose is roasted chocolate, spices, light malts, sweet fruitiness. Taste is where the orange peels comes in, a bitterness in the middle still roasted malts throughout adding chocolate slightly. Very subtle and blended well tastes. Smooth and warming mouthfeel makes this a delicious beer to enjoy. I think this beer achieves what Stone set out to brew. A highlight in the series I would wager when verticals take place.

Photo of microbrew52
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What an interesting brew. Its dark in the glass with a medium brown head with fine bubbles. When trying to pull the aroma from the glass, you get a nice mix of scents that keep you intrigued. I get mostly caramel and smoke. The taste is definitely smokey with caramel coming through for the balance. The finish is dry and slightly hoppy. A great beverage that is complex and very drinkable.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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

Drank 1/27/13
(Served in a bowtie glass)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a lumpy coco tan head that sticks in sheets to the glass leaving only a thin ring of head on the beer. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide up the glass.

S- There is a chalky hint to the chocolate malt aroma with hints of deep caramel coming through as it opens.

T- The mellow chocolate malt flavor is the main player. It has some soft dark roasted coffee malt bitterness in the finish with a slight tart hint. As it opens it takes on more of a watery taste and some stale qualities in the finish. There are also some graham notes that come through as it warms. Clean finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a gentle fizz that takes on a flat texture on the tongue.

O- This beer is a bit 1-dimentional much more so that when it was fresh. I don’t get any yeast characteristics just the chocolate malt. The watery and stale taste were a bit off putting.

---
(Poured into a tulip)
drank 11/30/09
A- This beer has a jet black body with a coco powder tan head that is creamy and last for a good bit.
S- The black roasted malt notes have a cream quality to them and then give way to a stronger berry aroma with some black licorice notes.
T- The smooth chocolaty velvet flavor has some ink and dry prune qualities to it with a soft fruity note that finishes the malt. The taste of pineapple without the acid mixes with roasted bitterness in the finish. There is some tartness that comes through with the bitterness and the both linger for a moment.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol heat.
D- This beer is a big tasty stout with nice roasted qualties and a good Belgian yeast mystique that is almost fruity but not jammy.

Photo of Gmann
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost near black color with a brown head that quickly settles into a light ring. Very much looks like a stout. The aroma is of roasted malt and milk chocolate and that is pretty much all that I am picking up. The taste is of a beautiful chocolate flavor, milk and dark chocolate with what I am thinking is a belgian candi sugar sweetness. There is some caramel and toffee characteristics to this brew. I believe that Stone is going for a Belgian stout on this one. The flavors are that of a stout but with none of the bitterness. A nice chewy feel with plenty of carbonation to make this quite drinkable. This is a damn tasty beer which is heavy yet drinkable. To me it is more stout like but has none of the roasted malt bitterness and is just darn delious. Good show.

# 800 y'all!!

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

A- Pours an opaque black with a khaki head that stays around for awhile and laces the glass well.

S- Quite interesting. The nose is not that of the typical stout rather a very dark Belgian. Lots of Dark Fruits and a breadie yeast. Touches Of orange Zest to the finish.

T- Very good. The taste is of roasted malts, Then a fairly strong dark fruit tastes to it. A touch of coffee is at the finish, then as the smell went an orange peal taste to finish.

M- Medium Full Body. Right Amount of carbonation. Slightly too astringent after taste.

O- Awesome Belgian Stout. Lots of Dark Candyied fruits in the aroma and taste. Will seek out more.

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

22 oz. Real sturdy almost black pour, dark cream head, which laced nice as it was drank. Roasty aromas, heavy malt and dark chocolate. Just hints of some sort of dark fruit. Taste is a bit bitter at first, burnt malt, but mellows nicely to chocolate, malt, caramel and a light red fruit, tangerine or something. Some belgian yeast qualities, but not overly so, good since not a huge fan. Solid medium body/mouthfeel. Finish is real clean with some grassy hops and light coffee and fruit. Alcohol is non-existent. Real interesting and much better than the previous couple Epics. This should age really interstingly. Pleased, as I have been with all Stone darker brews.

Photo of riored4v
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 9/21/09

Poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black body. 1 finger, tan head. Good lacing. Fades to thin layer rather quick.

Smell is chocolately, fruity and roasty. Hints of bitter orange peel and some nice esters.

Taste has a great complexity to it. Nice bitter chocolate in the finish that is accompanied by a lingering bitterness. Hints of oak/vanilla and lots of rich chocolate and burnt malts. Slightly citrusy hop flavors. Belgian yeast characteristics come out as the brew warms.

Mouthfeel is medium in body with medium carbonation. Slightly sticky with a crisp finish.

Drinkability is good. Lingering bitterness and slight stickiness work well together, although i might be limited to just one. No signs of ABV.

Overall i really enjoyed this one. Hard to pick out all the flavors. Very complex although very easy to drink.

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

A - A very nice dark brown looking beer with a pretty big tan head. Nice retention with a decent amount of thin lacing.

S - A lot of chocolate and molasses. Dark fruit, bitter roasted malts.

T - I was nicely surprised by this drink. The cocoa is very prominent, and the fruit tasted ended up being a nice cherry flavor. Almost a chocolate covered cherry taste that was quite enjoyable. A little bit of roasted/bitter malts on the finish, that complimented quite nicely.

M - Heavier end of medium bodied with moderate carbonation that worked well.

D - Highly enjoyed and drank it quite easily, though it did seem to be a higher alcohol beer than it was, knocking this score down just a little bit.

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

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a very dark black color that produced a 3+finger foamy tan colored head with some good retention behind it. Left lacing everywhere; all the way down the glass.

(S)- Orange peel & lemon. Bits of dry cocoa. Just a tiny dash of wheaty hay & banana.

(T)- Exactly as the smell predicted, only with a much more pronounced roasted & cocoa profile. Great orange peel finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance. Definitely not your average Belgain strong dark. A bigger roasted profile with a great cocoa essence.

(D)- A big & rich Belgain Dark made with some dynamic orange & cocoa. Should only get better with age; it should mellow out some of the edges. Another fantastic brew by Stone.

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

Appearance: Beer pours into my pint glass a seriously dark chocolate-brown shade with an extremely well-retained 1 finger foamy latte-colored head that started out at about 3 fingers. It looks like a Russian Imperial Stout - full bodied with a tremendous head - instead of some of the other Belgian strong darks I've had. The beer is completely opaque. Slippery tan lacing rings the glass for awhile before sliding back into the beer.

Smell: The smell definitely clarifies the style of the beer. Really sticky, dark fruit esters, bitter, toffee-like roasted malts, and a spiciness that is kind of peppery and savory. Slight yeasty presence and just a hint of alcohol finish it off.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The spice is one of the most prominent characteristics of this beer. It comes out throughout the drink, from the moment it hits the tongue all the way into the aftertaste. It almost pricks up the tastebuds a little. It's a little spicy like ginger or pepper and it's a little savory like coriander. While the spiciness takes the focus, the rest of the flavors are also nicely present in the body. There's a really nice roasted malt that has the slightest dimension of smokiness and the slight bitterness of coffee. It is joined by a bit of a citrus hop note with the slick oiliness of piney hops. Only a hint of alcohol comes across in the aftertaste. The feel is full, dark and moderate in the mouth, and finishes with a bright fizziness from the carbonation. A slight stickiness remains on the palate afterwards.

Drinkability: Pretty high, but not as easy drinking as a Belgian strong with less spice. I prefer the bolder flavors in this version, and think it was done really well.

Photo of abuliarose
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. Body is a dark opaque brown with thick tan head. Smells roasted and smoked masking floral hop notes along with a touch of sweetness.

Tastes roasted and smoked, primarily, with a burnt caramel sweetness and solid bitterness at the end. There is some serious flavor in this beer. It gets you right up front. The bitterness is almost numbing at the end. Carbonation is fairly light and makes way for medium body with a smooth but dry mouthfeel. The tastes are all great, but so strong that I couldn't drink much of this brew unless it were ice cold. That being said, what's there is worth trying. There is a little funky plastic/rubbery aftertaste to this particular bottle.

If there could be a category for imperial or tripel belgian strong dark ale, I would totally put this beer there. For what it is, it's a beast.

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

Poured from 22 oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: utterly black with a two-finger beige head which clings to the glass as though for dear life. If I didn't know better, I'd call this a Russian Imperial Stout based on appearance.

Smell: the aroma is considerably more subtle than the appearance, and is one of chocolate and a tiny hint of coffee. Again, I'm expecting a stout.

Taste: now, this is a good beer. Wow. Here's the strong dark Belgian: immediate tree fruit followed by more complex esters and alcohol bite. At the end the malt is sweet and, again, has some chocolate to it. It's great now; I can only imagine the good some cellaring would do it.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a nice level of carbonion to make it good and creamy.

Drinkability: pretty drinkable, but this is an intense beer with an intense flavor.

Photo of nectar14
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle.

A: Like a dark porter/ light stout, nearly opaque brown with a tan head that fluffs up to 2 fingers before dissipating down to a thin layer.

S: Nose of roasted coffee beans, chocolate, and bitter citrus peel. A hint of clove in there too.

T: Best at room temp. Moderately intense chocolate, coffee, and grain. Finishes with a citrus peel bitterness, and probably a bit of hops also. Lingers nicely, but is not sticky.

M: Smooth and well carbonated, lifting the flavors up nicely. This shows some restraint.

D: The alcohol is well concealed, but it does hit ya. Easy to toss it back, though.

Really liked this. I think it's good right now, though the bottle recommends waiting until 2012. I oughta go grab a couple of more so I can go ahead and do that...

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

Dark beer. Black body. Creamy brown head with great staying power. Lacing is quite full as well. Nice blend of chocolate, malt and yeast on the nose. Main flavor in this beer is bitter chocolate. I think the vanilla bean must accentuate the chocolate, because I really don't get much vanilla. Also some char and black licorice. There is a little stray tangerine flavor if I look for it. And the french oak adds a dryness. All in all, this is really quite a complex and layered beer. It's one you have to sip and ponder to pick up all the subtleties, because they weren't there for me initially. The light body and carbonation make is quite drinkable even though it's best enjoyed slowly.

Photo of Zaplt
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Extremely thick dark appearance, brownish tones with a creamy head with decent lacing.

Smell - Fruity smell with a relatively strong alcohol presence, chocolaty as well.

Taste - Very unique, chocolate and coffee strangely mixes well with the citrus and other fruity flavors that are apparent in the beer. The Belgian yeast is subtle but well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Light carbonation and very smooth

Drinkability - Absolutely delicious, the best Stone beer out of the last 3 they have made. Keep it up stone. Particularly for the bizarre mixture of styles and flavors that they were going for - good in my opinion.

Photo of alamode
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

from notes (12-7-13):

22oz bottle to "Beer Shop" snifter...

A: semi vigorous pour yields a thin head that reduces quickly. dark and I can see it's thin as it fills the glass.

S: Belgian yeast, roasted malts and a bit of chocolate.

T: wonderful Belgian stout. no traces of the citrus.

M: thin, not much for carbonation...

D: a Great journey this has taken... Drank like a porter upon release. The citrus pooped after a year of laying up. Hung onto it's porter-like qualities thru '10 & '11. Drank like a wonderful Belgian stout in 2013...and much better than I remember it did in Dec. 2012. This was meant to age, so I am not rating based on it's categorized style. This beer went through some notable changes over 4 years and 12 bottles.

Photo of Hamburgers
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Twifiter
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

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

22oz brown bomber.

Light brown lacing wraps around the inside of the glass almost all the way down. As close to black as you can get. Chocolatey nose, dark with some burnt sugar ... Edge of citric peel and esters. Soft and smooth creamy fullish body. Dry and spicy, maltiness ranges from dark chocolate to toasted bread to light molasses. Oaky, pulls the dryness in. Citric peel, wild herbs and vanilla show a grounded complexity. Big chocolatey finish.

One of my favorites of this series, a year of cellaring did no harm either.

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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 847 ratings.