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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

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

829 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 829
Reviews: 531
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 35
Gots: 271 | FT: 13
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 829 | Reviews: 531 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

rhoadsrage, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of AlexChillton
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

AlexChillton, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of JoelMD
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

JoelMD, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

DwnTwnBwn, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of Bung
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Bung, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

HaveUSeenMyCellar, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of user785335
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

user785335, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly viscous texture into my glass. The color is jet black. With a pour right down the middle, I get a beautiful frothy inch of creamy, dark head that is perched majestically on top of my beer, just a touch below the rim of the glass. Lacing is delicate and wispy.

S: A very complex marriage of aromas emanates from my beer. I can make out definite notes of chocolate and citrus, no surprise from what Stone told us about the style. However, there is much more as well. An almost barrel-aged vanilla character is also present, and the spicy flavors of the Belgian yeasts that have become a staple of this line pour forth.

T: Chocolate, vanilla bean, and a light mild citrus flavor that seems more like tangerine than orange provide the first impression. These three give way to the yeasty spice from the Belgian yeasts and the piney hops that are a go-to for Stone. The chocolate comes back in the finish providing a very nice balance for this beer. This is phenomenal now. I can't wait to try it aged.

M/D: The feel is smooth and resinous. Very little carbonation is present. The texture is very thick. I can't really imagine having more than one of these in one night, but I am very happy that I grabbed 2 cases of this!

NittanyBeerFan, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of javincik
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to drinking this.

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A-Color is a deep, dark brown that appears nearly opaque black when the pour is finished. Results in a towering brown head that slowly settles into little islands of thin foam.

S-Absolutely the strongest aspect of this beer. Tons of good stuff going on. Chocolate is the most prominent. Vanilla, brown sugar, bread, coriander and faint fruit aromas (banana?) also come through. Perhaps a touch of roasted coffee. Quite complex.

T-Taste is lots of chocolate up front with some coffee and a bit of roastiness. Some brown sugar and bread comes thru also, with the yeast lending "Belgian" characteristics. In the middle, I get lots of fruit flavors; some banana and orange along with less prominent citrus characteristics. Vanilla is present underneath all this with the faintest hint of some oakiness. Finishes with a nice balance of hop bitterness, roastiness, and coffee. Slight alcohol burn at the end, although nothing off putting.

M-Probably the weakest aspect. Medium bodied, low to medium carbonation. With everything going on in the nose and taste, it just feels thin in the mouth. I feel like it should be more substantial; would love some more chewiness to savor the flavor.

D-Makes a great dessert beer. The flavors really make it a sipper and something to savor, but it certainly goes down easily. There is a slight hint of alcohol in the finish, but it doesn't really detract from the drink-ability at all. The thin mouthfeel allows it to go down easier than one would think at first appearance.

Looking forward to seeing what the other bottle does in two and a half years.

javincik, May 09, 2010
Photo of FrankenBrew
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

FrankenBrew, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of riored4v
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

riored4v, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of CanisMajor
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

CanisMajor, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of MaseFace
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

MaseFace, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of AgentZero
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

AgentZero, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of sweemzander
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

sweemzander, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

drewone, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of Hanzo
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Hanzo, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of kels
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

kels, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of jaxon53
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

jaxon53, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

WolfsbaneBloom, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of robinsmv
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

robinsmv, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of ScottyC54
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

ScottyC54, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of MordorMongo
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

MordorMongo, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of UltimateLivewire
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

UltimateLivewire, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of flagmantho
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

flagmantho, Sep 24, 2009
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 829 ratings.