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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
92
outstanding

838 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 838
Reviews: 533
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 34
Gots: 273 | 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
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Ratings: 838 | Reviews: 533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mwa423
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- It's that time of year again so time to pick up the new VE. Pours like a heavily carbonated imperial stout, jet black and some dark tan head.

S- Roasted malt some belgian yeast with mild hints of smoke

T- Starts with the malt forward flavor of an imperial stout with hints of coriander and an aftertaste of smoke.

M/D - The mouthfeel is very rich coating the mouth and tongue. I would call this as drinkable as you get with any imperial stout or smoked porter. I really could have done without the smoke.

Photo of jgasparine
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured with a 3/4" rocky tan head, which was exceptionally well-retained. Beautiful lacing throughout. The body was a dark opaque brown... almost black. Just beautiful to look at.

S- Smells Belgian... I'm getting Belgian yeast and candy sugar off the nose. It's sufficiently roasty and spicy (nutmeg?). I also conjure up memories of Torrone Italian nougat candy when sniffing this beer. Smells absolutely delicious!

T- Big and malty up front with substantial burnt candy sugar flavor... this sweetness is wonderfully balanced with dryness that seems to come more from spices than hops (strangely). The particular spice is hard to identify... it's somewhat like nutmeg. A friend suggested "Allspice"... but I cannot identify with this spice- I've never smelled it alone. Once this sublime sip is swallowed, you're rewarded with a long, spicy and dry finish. Amazing!

M- Thick and firm with tons of unattenuated sugar and lots of soft carbonation... wonderfully textured and very chewy! Again, this is just a pleasure to be sipping!

D- What's not drinkable about this beer? Nothing I suppose! This is my first Vertical Epic (and hopefully not my last). What a treat!

Photo of dragonWhale
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What the f to open? Yes, sure, why not? Not even sure if I've had a taste of this creature before.
When it pours black, I yearn for comfort. There is no quarter to be found here, the rockiness of black ice on the mountain.
Roast and wood astringency with some bitter chocolate up front and through and through. There is some dark fruited malt and orange peel somewhere in the middle of the beverage, but it fades out again and gives way to the sledge of the bitter chocolate, lasting eternally. Much more stout quality than BSDA, and it is a quality belgian imperial stout. A little less "epic" than Weyerbacher 13 or Black Albert, sure, but damn fine, and certainly will hold up well through the vertical and beyond.

Photo of RyanGoodman
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of sitarist
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep plum color, a shade away from black, almost opaque. The head is an inch thick and falls quickly to a ring consisting of huge bubbles that leave some decent lacing.

The smell of this beer is wonderful and inviting. The first thing you smell is chocolate, its a sweet chocolate, there are some sweet fruit scents as well (banana, grapes, and a hint of citrus).

It taste wine-like to me, it has fruity flavor, with faint hints of coco. The hops add a tannin like bitterness. This could use some time for the flavors to marry.

Medium body that packs a punch, its dry and has an almost astringent finish.

The drinkability is high and they don't even recommend opening this beer until at least 12-12-12.

Photo of Stunner97
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
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 !

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, split.

A: Thick oily black with a cappuccino head. Really nice lacing on this.

N: Cocoa, licorice, oxidation, char, anise, some cola and vanilla.

T: Very bitter with a balancing touch of sweetness. Heavy on the oak and hops. Hints of oxidation. Pretty nice.

M: Thick and oily. Has a full mouthfeel.

O: One of my favorites of the series. Has aged well at approximately 3 years old. More of a hoppy stout to my palate.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of ne0m00re
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

07/13/10- Had this one on-tap at Bodega.
A: Black with a thin ruby hue and good tan lacing but not a lot of head.
S: Roasted cocoa beans, sweet caramel, banana alcohol, raisins, brown sugar, oats, and very welcoming.
T: Roasted chocolate over molasses with raisins, banana, cherry, and lingering roasted malt.
M: Mildly frothy and slightly sticky.
D: Very good.

Photo of ajtorres311
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

Photo of bob727
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of bmoney
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of EFR94
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale
Stone Brewing Company
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV: 8.90 %

reviewed 10/31/09 with CG and friends @ the JamMin bar... 22oz bomber>pint glass

4.0 in all catergories

Appearance is a dark opaque color with a nice tan 1 finger head that leaves a whisper of a lace collar.
Smells of dark malts, dark coffee/chocolate aormas on a malty base aroma.
Tastes as it smells on a solid dark malty backbone.
Mouthfeel is semi-slick, low carbonation with a full body.
Drinkability is better than I expected, delicious all around heavy brew, reminds me of an imperial stout. Take this one slow - it would have rated a 5.0 but is it too full bodied of a brew to officially be "sessionable". It's also kind of pricey @ ~8 a bomber. Share the bomber a friend or friends...

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

22 oz. Bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Very dark brown almost black with a nice small 1/2” head that recedes to a 1/16” cap. Nice lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt with chocolate, those two aromas dominate the nose.

Taste: Follows the aroma with a chocolaty rich roasted malt flavor. Also getting a mild licorice flavor. Very well balanced and delicious, the flavors work very well together.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with good body and carbonation.

Overall: Very good beer, somewhere between a stout and a porter. Glad to have a few bottles tucked away.

Photo of davesway10
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, goblet,

This Belgian Porter/BSDA nearly reaches Imperial Stout territory in the looks department. Dark Porter with a cappuccino head that is pleasantly persistent.

Chunks of moderately dark chocolate, a twinge of alcohol antagonizes the tangerine peel, vanilla bean, chocolate malt. Flowery vanilla and candied orange peel deep within.

More chocolate lands on the tongue gently and flows to the back to finish with vanilla and oily tangerine peel. The slightest bit of alcohol which only helps to weld the flavors together. The Belgian yeast seems to have made a minimal impact, yielding some sweet berry and fig flavors and not trying steal the show.

This fantastic beer falls slightly in the mouthfeel. The carbonation level is appropriately low, but the body is a bit thin.

I adore this beer. I hope that I can find some more bottles when I get home to CA, because this is drinking wonderfully right now.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Very dark, but not pitch black. Tan head that dissipates quickly, but leaves some lacing.

S-Clove, banana, some moderate spiciness. Smells similar to a Belgian beer.

T-Clove, dark bitter chocolate, coffee, metalic, and some Belgian spiciness. This is one of the most unique tasting beers I've ever had.

M-Thin and carbonated.

D-Pretty drinkable even given its high abv.

Overall, I was dissapointed with this beer. I was expecting something richer, thicker, and more complex.

Photo of uziangis
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of TexAggie011
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of BBP
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours black. Quickly fading head. Good carbonation.

S- Metallic. Slightly smoky.

T- Far better than the smell would indicate. Tons of roasted malt. Good hop presence. Lots of chocolate and a little bit of coffee. Some banana as well which was worked into the flavor quite well. I don't typically like fruit in beer, but it was done well. Hints of yeast.

M- Creamy, full, and good carbonation. Just right.

D- Very easy to drink. Only slight alcohol notes. Seemed like an imperial porter.

Photo of Rothobinide
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of jmalex
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I hope it doesn't make me biased, but I was really excited for this one. The chocolate-orange combo seems really nice, and I was surprised that this is the first beer I've heard of to utilize it.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip very black with a thick, tan head. It's quite sturdy and holds well with its combination of large and small bubbles. Absolutely picture perfect with zero flaws.

SMELL: A really curious aroma that is low on the chocolate and caramels that one would expect from a porter-like beer, even a Belgian one. Instead it features coffee, quite a bit of smoke, burnt malt, and a nondescript fruitiness that doesn't really indicate orange peel or Belgian esters. Intriguing.

TASTE: Wow, that's weird. Dark, bitter black malt contributes a lot of bitterness. But it has some help from a dose of hops and maybe even the orange peel. The smokiness is there too alongside a little bit of chocolate (finally). It's not terribly Belgian though some esters are vaguely present. The finish shows a bit of the citrus peel off, melding with woody tannins to finish with a bang. It's insanely complex, really strange, and I think I like it.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium full in body with a slightly drier finish. A high carbonation level lightens the load as well, but a nice coating is left in your mouth after the swallow.

DRINKABILITY: Big beer is big. 8.9% seems about right, so this will be an all-night sipper for me. Not that I have a problem with that. With any luck, it'll last me until the replay of the Aussie-rules Grand Final in a couple hours. On second thought, that's unlikely.

This did not meet my expectations. But rather than falling short, it just goes in a complete other direction. If anything it's a must-try because of its uniqueness. Go out and get a bottle for now and a bottle for a long time down the road. This plus a bit of age will be VERY interesting and probably VERY good.

Photo of CanisMajor
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of vma
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 838 ratings.