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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

828 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 828
Reviews: 531
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 35
Gots: 272 | 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: 828 | Reviews: 531 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Amdy
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Amdy, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of obireidkenobi
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hope I'm not breaking BA protocol by reviewing this a year later. Here it goes -

Aged 1 year to the day 09.09.10. Poured into tulip.

Appearance - Carbonation still strong. Almost 2 finger white foam head.

Smell - Chocolate nose. With some roasty coffee

Taste - Bitter baking chocolate. Coffee flavor comes through, tastes almost burnt. In a tasty way. Some dark fruiits, slight raisin. Sweetness has appeared. Spices have faded some. Which is good, bringing the above flavors forward making this beer even better. Tastes less like a Belgian in my opinion.

Mouthfeel - Not heavy. Almost typical for a stout.

Drinkability - 3/4 way through bomber, still enjoying it. Looking forward to revisiting in 2011.

obireidkenobi, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of mjgarrett2
4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler 9.25.09 (finally got around to trying the VE with a few bottles saved away)

A-Brilliant dark mahogany, just shy of a stout revealing only the faintest of light to peirce it.

S-Layered and ellusive. Normaly my weakest sense (smell), however there are a number of different scent notes that arise but are difficult to pin down. A progression of bitter moving to mellower fruit tones and firm smoked accents, however not always ordered in that way. Seemingly complex and difficult to pin down.

T-Immidiate sensating on the back of your pallet with slight bitter fruit moving forward with a port-like savory flavor and finishing with a lingering smoked profile. The progression of flavor is unexpected but finishes back in a familiar way serving to solidify its identity rather than leaving you confused.

M-Starts warm but is a bit harsh mid way through. Slow and controlled disapation after swallowing eases the sensation back towards a more normal feeling.

D-Surprisingly fresh yet unrepettative. Many beers of this complexity are wearing out their welcome near the end of the first glass. Despite its stealthy assault on your palet that leaves you a bit confused for a moment, it is well rounded and coherent. Very impressive to pull of flavors of this kind.

This is a beer that is really not supposed to be served from a growler, but it has not disappointed. I have enjoyed it thus far and look forward to how it matures in the next few years.

mjgarrett2, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of cleverbeername
4.9/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drinkin in Bordeaux glass. Large head, 1.5 inches. Moter oil appearance, tan bubbly head.

Smells wonderful, obvious coffee notes and hidden scents.

Initially mouthfeel is great, redonkulous 30 sec. plus finish. dark, roasted coffee notes with orange citrus peel undertones. Great, but young. I would recommend this now, but buy a case to cellar for a few years.

cleverbeername, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of paulieatworld
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

poured a dense brown to black into tulip with tan head. 3 fingers deep, dissipated within two minutes.

smells deeply of chocolate and coffee malts with the most subtle hints, reminiscent of a wheat ale - coriander, orange spice.

i have to disagree with the categorization of this beer as dark belgian style. it most definitely has all the makings and structure of a stout. a real mellow chocolate, reminiscent of young's dc, overflows coffee notes that interplay with orange peel, wood notes and a perfect dry finish, courtesy of the bittering hops.

gaaahhh. silky smooth and creamy mouth feel. this one just slips down the glass. such body without being cloying.

i haven't had the pleasure of becoming familiar with many of the other epics, but i gotta say, if they're anything like this one, i missed out. regardless, i think i found the perfect beer to start my cellar with.

paulieatworld, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of MaineBirdMan
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle.
half inch head
appearance: Dark brown with a coffee head.

nose: candy with a hint of coffee. Some pineapple notes came to mind.

taste: Good amount of hops on the finish. Mixed with some hints of coffee and chocolate.

mouthfeel: pleasant amount of bitterness from the hops. A nice warming feel from the alcohol. Not a whole lot of carbonation.

Drinkability: Couldn't drink too many of these. Nice to have one by the fire on a cold night.

MaineBirdMan, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of edthered413
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle into a Gulden Draak tulip glass. Pours very dark, almost black with garnet hues on the outside of the glass when help up to the light, Nice two finger head that holds up well. Smell is of chocolate, slight roasted coffee, slight vanilla and slightly orange. Taste up front is chocolate and roasted barley with some coffee, a little vanilla. I was sipping this slowly and as it warmed I could taste more of the vanilla and also some orange and some oak. Medium mouthfeel and smooth. Very drinkable but a sip and savor type of beer to me. I think this one will be better with some aging.

edthered413, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of Timman87
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Timman87, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of americajesus
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

americajesus, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of Zeisloft
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Max's Taphouse- Baltimore

Max's description of Stones Vertical Epic 09/09/09 was just "Dark Belgian Ale". I wasn't too sure what to think before it came to me. But I was not thinking Porter. And then I saw it. Dark as night, creamy tan head. Porter overcame my mind. Chocolate came through on the nose, with not much else. Then the taste. Definitely some chocolate, vanilla and little spice. Could use more spice to break up the chocolate. I would expect a little more hoppy bitterness from Stone (but not too much to over power everything, just enough to pull everything together). The beer was not too heavy or too light.

I would not call it a Belgian. Maybe when sitting in a cellar it will round out better, but for now it is a Porter. With that note, I normally do not like porters. Usually a porter has the burnt taste to it. The VE090909 did not. It was sweet and delicious. Although, one was enough. Not something to have a night of. (Especially at 8.5%.) I think I will try to go and grab a couple of bottles, this is a beer that should be really good on a cold night in the winter. I am thinking Christmas time.

Zeisloft, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of microbrew52
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

microbrew52, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of Darien
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass and quickly built up a nice 3 finger think dark tan head, very dark brown color like a Porter. Smells lightly roasted and nutty with some type of citrus smell (odd). Tastes of toasted caramel upfront with sort of a piney citrusy aftertaste, these flavors don't mesh well together in my opinion. Mouthfeel is very smooth and light to medium, just looking at this beer in the glass I expected it to be heavier but it's still nice. Very easy to drink but nothing really stands out to me and the citrus aftertaste I could do without. A good beer overall though.

Darien, May 28, 2010
Photo of dpcoz
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Originally Reviewed on 05/01/2010)

Stone vertical epic - 09/09/09 release

$8 (Pinocchio's beer garden)
Glass - yuengling black & tan pint glass
1 pt 6 fl oz

A - licorice black, no light passing through. Alabaster head that dissapates quickly.

S - mocha, cocoa, vanilla and citrusy hops. Belgian-like yeast recognizable. I think I sense some caramel as well. Nice aroma, add it to my 'candle scent series'. Belgian aspects give it that 'banana bread' aroma

T - deep roasted malts first recognizable flavor - nice combination of coffe and dark cocoa. Dark fruits, maybe vanilla. Carmel is present, coats the mouth well

M - medium to full body, not very hoppy, decent carbonation, chalky but the flavor does stay with you. Warming.

D - hey, it's a stone's product. Not one of their monster hop products but full of flavor as expected from stone. Good drink worthy of storing for a year or two or 2012 as recommended by the brewery. I will likely buy another and find the strength to store it until 2012

dpcoz, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of Fillpott
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this from a 22oz bottle that I happened upon. It poured dark w/ a mocha-colored head. Surprisingly, it didn't have any lacing. The smell was roasted malt, dark chocolate, and intense hop spice and bitterness. The taste reflected the same as the smell. Dark fruit and chocolate were evident in the taste, also. I didn't taste or smell the tangerine that was mentioned on the bottle, but I did get a slight banana smell. Vertical 090909 has a full, chewy mouth w/ plenty of complexity. It isn't for everyone, though. I am looking forward to aging the entire Vertical Epic and tasting them.

Fillpott, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of ShuliShake
4/5  rDev -2%

ShuliShake, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of jantonius
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Deep black Belgian Style Ale, with a creamy caramel head

S: Vanilla hints with a hint of oak

T: Roasted Malt flavor with an espresso taste with a dark chocolate finish

M: Robust mouthfeel, that melts like butter on the back of your tongue

D: This drinks more like an amazing after dinner Port and pairs well with French Vanilla Ice Cream!!

jantonius, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of BatsforBeer
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into oversized wine glass

Pours a shade lighter than black, half finger mocha colored head with hint of red rise and fades moderately fast to a slight slick; little lacing. Strong smell of caramels, chocolate, vanilla bean, and faint fruity esters; smells great cant wait for the first sip. Chocolate and vanilla roasted malt is complex in its notes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, toffee, strong vanilla and cappuccino, balanced nicely by citrusy and herbal hops and esters of banana and a tad bit of spice. Silky is the only way to describe the mouth feel of this amazing brew. Wow do I love this beer! To bad it is not sold on the reg, but I will have no problem finishing my bomber!

BatsforBeer, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of alyankus
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm writing this review in American in protest of the English only policy.

First off the style seems to be more like a porter not a belgian strong dark. The head is gorgeous. The lacing is so fine I would make a wedding dress out of it if it wouldn't leave me naked at the altar oh and if I wasn't a guy.

It pours a beautiful shade of dark brown with orange hues. The nose on this is slightly smoky with more dominant notes of chocolate, coffee, cloves, citrus and vanilla. The palate is is more chocolate with a less present coffee quality. As it warms it picks up more of the cloves and coriander that was in the nose finishing with a nice vanilla note.

This is without question the best vertical epic I've had and likely the the best Stone brew I've tasted to date.

alyankus, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of psyphin
2.5/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Thick and dense dark brown-black with a nice 1 inch thick tan head.

S - Citrus, dark chocolate, some malt and belgian yeast phenolics

T - The beer has too much going on and its very muddy. Chocolate hits in the forefront and citrus on the back note but inbetween is a very strange flavor resembling burnt toast.

M - Too thin for traditional belgian styles, a tad thick for a porter, but it worked together ok.

D - Not quite a drain pour but nothing I will seek out. Ive now had all the Vertical Epic series beers dating back to 04 and this is the only one that didn't blow me away.

psyphin, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of klshanks
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one a few times and am finally getting around to typing it out.

A- Very dark. Nice tan head at about 1" pouring into a tulip.

S- Strong sweet smell, with a strong alcohol smell. Didn't smell bad, but when I took a deep breath I got a little light headed.

T- Roasted coffee, caramel, candy sugar, slight tart flavor.

M- Thick but not too thick. Fairly well carbonated which dances on your tounge.

D- I wouldn't drink these all night, but had no problem finishing the 22 oz bomber, and wouldn't mind a little more after the bottle was finished.

klshanks, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of turboedtwo
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my new love, a duvel tulip. Had about a light brown head about an inch high due to my laziness. Color is a dark chocolatey brown.

Smells first off like bananas along with a touch of alcohol and chocolate.

Has a bit of a roasted coffee flavor to it with a lingering aftertaste that is slightly bitter (but not bad).

Smooth across the tongue, not much else to say.

I'm not really wowed by this but I could probably have a few of these. I'd like to try it again in a few years to see how it is, thankfully I've already got some bottles ready to age.

turboedtwo, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown with a dark tan head that pours thin but lasts

S- Citrus and dark fruits with dark malts

T- Heavy chocolate malt with dark fruit Belgian flavors from the yeast. Finishes a bit more roasty than I would have expected. Low hop flavors. The Belgian flavors battle with the dark malts. Dark malts seem to dominate the Belgian flavors too much.

M- Creamy at first then thins.

D- Very drinkable, just not as impressive as I would have hoped it had been.

thisisxxmyIPA, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of Spiderhouse
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A--Dark, oliy brown with minimal foam, but not undercarboanted.

S--Strong coffee, vanilla; a bit of bitter chocolate and some toffee. Some fruit notes too...maybe a little black cherry or plum?

T--As others have mentioned, tastes like it smells. But it has a delightful carbonation and delicious, lingering finish that echoes for a long time on the tongue.

M--Again, the carbonation lends a nice effervescence, and the bpdy is pleasingly substantial without being overbearing.

D--Very drinkable, though for my personal taste, 22 oz. is more than enough. An excellent, complex beer with very good potential. I look forward to my next glass...probably around the end of the Mayan calendar.

Procured at Whole Foods Valencia, CA

Spiderhouse, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of NealVsBeer
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown, with slight head upon pouring and nice lace afterwards

S - Can really smell the chocolate malt, also hints of citrus

T - Malty, smooth and chocolatey, slight alcohol taste at the end

M - Rich and smooth on the palate

D - Very drinkable, at 8.9% I may be able to drink more than 1 but I don't see the point

This is overall a fantastic beer. Rich, smooth, and chocolately this is a terrific dessert beer.

NealVsBeer, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of SundaySour
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this with Cavery and Klym, those morning lushes!

A: Big brown head and a murky chocolate brown color. Can't see through it at all, no snorkeling in this pond. Like a lot of other beers from Stone, it has great lacing.

S: Smells like roasted pumpkin seeds, salty dark chocolate, and a pinch of nutmeg. In fact, this would make a killer ass pie. The smell is rich and like autumn in a glass.

T: Mouth eruption! Initially tastes like walnuts, with a nice dark chocolate center and finish. This really does taste like a $10 candy bar you get somewhere called "Le Choc" or whatever.

M: Creamy and thick, not fizzy. Like a dessert, it stands on it's own.

O: This beer is powerful and delicious, like the stallion of beers.

SundaySour, Jun 19, 2011
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.