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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

821 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 821
Reviews: 531
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 34
Gots: 264 | FT: 10
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 821 | Reviews: 531 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dalepryor
dalepryor

Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

05-07-2013 21:43:02 | More by dalepryor
Photo of Obsidian
Obsidian

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

05-04-2013 04:40:35 | More by Obsidian
Photo of nova009
nova009

Kentucky

3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A- pours a deep dark brown the color of cola, a one finger tan head emerges and dissipates down to a covering, decent amount of bubbles pop at the surface

S- roasty dark malt, bittersweet chocolate, alcohol, candi sugar, dark fruits particularly figs and raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg

T- black coffee, cocoa nibs, vanilla, alcohol, extremely roasty and overpowers anything close to belgian flavors

M- medium body, decent carbonation, slightly creamy but finishes dry

O- Slightly disappointed in this one, the body was a bit too thin for my liking, additionally most of the belgian flavors were either non-existant or, and more likely, they dissipated over time with the aging, still drinkable but nothing to write home about

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 00:26:38 | More by nova009
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
TheBeerAlmanac

Kentucky

5/5  rDev +22.5%

04-29-2013 01:45:56 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

04-27-2013 09:18:07 | More by Kelp
Photo of AlphaKingKegger
AlphaKingKegger

Ohio

4/5  rDev -2%

04-16-2013 03:51:32 | More by AlphaKingKegger
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12, review from notes.

A: Quite dark, pretty much black with a small tan head that sticks around for a bit and leaves some random lacing down the glass.

S: Some light Belgian yeast, a bit of chocolate, roasted malt, banana, and some wood.

T: Quite similar to the aroma, some banana, more dark fruit in the flavor profile than the aroma, with a bit of chocolate, cloves, and raisins.

M: Medium bodied, maybe a little thin. Slightly dry finish.

O: This one was fine, not my favorite, but not bad overall.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2013 00:05:33 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of robbrandes
robbrandes

Oregon

4/5  rDev -2%

04-03-2013 06:07:12 | More by robbrandes
Photo of enelson
enelson

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

03-31-2013 14:28:09 | More by enelson
Photo of Buckeye982
Buckeye982

Ohio

4/5  rDev -2%

03-30-2013 02:27:41 | More by Buckeye982
Photo of bigclydeoliver
bigclydeoliver

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

03-26-2013 02:00:23 | More by bigclydeoliver
Photo of DavidRose
DavidRose

Kentucky

2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

03-24-2013 22:08:28 | More by DavidRose
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

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

11/21/2010

I went into Kroger tonight intending to get 2 10.10.10s and didn't realize that one row was still the 09s. Lucky break. I had tried this several times, but never reviewed it.

Pours darkly into my Duvel tulip, with a 1 to 1 1/2 finger tan head that recedes rather quickly to a ring around th4 glass and slight haze over the surface of the beer. Good lacing.

A wonderfully fruity, chocolaty aroma reminiscent of cheesecake. A nicely sweet Belgian aroma.

A bit of sweetness, but nearly overpowered by the bitterness. Tastes of bitter chocolate, burnt malt, and a hint of coffee. I get no hops--unusual for a Stone brew. The malts reign supreme.

Medium-bodied. Just slightly sticky. Nice warming alcohol burn in the throat.

A good drinker, but the ABV slows you down.

I took no notes, but I seem to remember this being sweeter before. Like my last homebrew (a Baltic Porter) it seems to be less sweet, more bitter, and more Kick-Ass, now.

03/21/13

This time around, I get a 4 finger tight, tan colored head that becomes chunky as it recedes, leaving some magnificent lacing. The body is black with no highlights.

Overall, the aroma reminds me of chocolate milk. Still, I can almost get my original impression of cheesecake. Hints of vanilla, chocolate, and oak, with tropical fruits and spice.

Light sweet malt upfront, but soon followed by bitter chocolate and roasted flavors. A hint of coffee, and some tart citrus aspects as well. A bit of dark molasses and vanilla shine through. Caramel and oak in the finish.

I call it medium-thick this time around. Moderate syrup becoming drying in the end. Light warming alcohol in the throat.

Not only does this beer smell like chocolate milk, but the thick tan head acturally looks like frothy chocolate milk. I think both the bitterness and the alcohol have mellowed in the two years and four months since I first reviewed this. Unlike the "08, this beer has improved, I believe it's a better beer now. I've knocked the taste up to a 4.5 from a 4.0. This is an elegant brew. Nothing harsh about it. I wish I'd saved more. I guess I'll have to brew it myself.

With 3 more of the series to resample, I'm saying this is likely the best brew of the the VEs I've tried (2007-2012)

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2013 04:58:55 | More by obywan59
Photo of Massbmx
Massbmx

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

03-16-2013 02:06:57 | More by Massbmx
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

3/5  rDev -26.5%

03-13-2013 23:15:24 | More by chippo33
Photo of DaPan
DaPan

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

03-11-2013 23:13:55 | More by DaPan
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev -2%

03-09-2013 22:57:51 | More by spycow
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Discount Liquors. Served in a tulip.

A - Dark tan foam settles to a partial cap, thick collar, and very dark brown body. Spotty lace lingers on the sides of the glass.

S - Roasted malts, lightly spicy Belgian yeast, light vanilla and oak notes. Sort of Belgian stout-esque. There's a mild aged quality to this one, but it's not particularly oxidized. Solid stuff.

T - Roasty, with notes of caramel, chocolate, dark fruits and raisins, and a touch of banana bread. Alcohol is pretty well-concealed.

M - A tad watery for the ABV. Roasty, with a dry finish, lower carbonation, and minimal alcohol presence.

D - A solid roasty dark Belgian ale. I remember liking this when it was fresh, and it's still a pretty decent brew. Would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 02:38:38 | More by MasterSki
Photo of InfernoBoss
InfernoBoss

California

4/5  rDev -2%

03-03-2013 08:05:12 | More by InfernoBoss
Photo of JoelMD
JoelMD

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

03-03-2013 01:36:22 | More by JoelMD
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.86/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A local bar put this keg on draught to celebrate the completion of the Vertical Epic series. Cost was $6.00. Served on-draught into a New Belgium branded stem-goblet in Southern California in 2013. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and very good retention for the ABV. Body colour is a nontransparent opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Raisin, vine, spice/mulled character, caramel, dark malts, must, brown or refined sugar, buried roast, and milk. A somewhat messy aroma, but a generally appealing one. Above average in strength.

T: Vinous, medicinal, and herbal. That's a hell of a shrewd start. Dark malts and caramel in the body. Vinous on the finish. Light raisin throughout. Some spicing. Chocolate malt. Some grainy bitterness in the third act. Strange indeed. It's off-putting. Too heavy on the spices; it's a bit earthy and grainy probably from nutmeg/coriander/other spices. Messy and imbalanced in classic Stone fashion. I like the experimentation, but this didn't turn out great.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and caramel heavy. Decently carbonated. Pretty good thickness.

Dr: Drinkable but underwhelming. Even aged (albeit in a keg), it leaves a lot to be desired. I wouldn't have it again. Another merely decent offering from Stone.

C

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2013 19:54:30 | More by kojevergas
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

had as part of a big VE tasting at the end of the world party, thanks to Mark for this one.

Nice fluffy dark head, creamy but only 1/3 or so finger head, light lacing, dark black color.

Nose dark malts, syrupy, caramel, over aged malts, slightly oxidized, little earthy and dirty, faint chocolate, a little chalky too.

Taste brings toffee, dark malts, char, chocolate, caramel, light chewy oats, light earthy flavors, a little yeast like spices too.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent enough carb for the age.

Overall not bad, another one that would have been better fresh or 1 year on it instead of 3.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2013 02:40:52 | More by jlindros
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap for the VE tasting (beers 07.07.07-12.12.12) at Pacific Coast Brewing Co. during SF Beer Week. All reviews are from my notes. Loved this one, so, just like the 07.07.07, I got this one in an 8oz flute glass after the first tasting.

Pours an opaque blackness, with a tiny ring right at the top. Doesn't seem to go away no matter how much time this sits around. Looking at this without knowing what it was prior to consumption, I wouldn't be able to say whether it was an imperial stout or Belgian dark hybrid ale. Definitely incredibly murky, with alcohol legs visible against the glass, and slight viscosity that retains slight bubbles whenever agitated. Definitely looks like a massive dessert beer, as if they suddenly turned chocolate pudding into one. And, based on the description, looks like they might have done just that.

At the nose, there's classic imperial stout like characteristics to this, which include dark chocolate, juicy vanilla beans, and yet, the Belgian yeast and Stone's whacked out experimentation brings out bright flavors resembling orange peel and a citrusy finish. Not as spicy as you might think, but it definitely smells rich and decadent, especially with the slightly smoked, smoothened out dessert aromas of chocolate, vanilla, and citrus. Some dark fruitiness is present here, although it's difficult to make out (figs? Raisins? Plums?), but the dark malts and alcohol sweetness melded with the zest seem to be the real winners here.

The flavor continues to dark cocoa aroma, yet far juicier and filled with smoked vanilla beans on the flavor. This is the equivalent of taking the bite out of a very dark chocolate bar filled with extra ingredients and a dab of sugar. There's not much sweetness to speak of here, in fact - the finish is quite bitter, yet balanced with all of these flavors. Oaky, dry characteristics at the finish. The Belgian yeast adds a little bit of fruity character to this, but it's far more subtle than you'd imagine. Very complex, and very drinkable for how decadent this is overall.

By far my favorite of all the VE beers I was able to try. Due to its astonishing cellar life, I would have bought a whole case of these if I had the chance. This is a rich dessert in a bottle without being to sweet or overwhelming on the palate. Just a solid, fantastically easy to drink, yet elaborate stout/BSDA hybrid overall. Like Founders' Breakfast Stout, this is a dark beer in a class of its own. Awesome stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2013 07:03:12 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -2%

02-25-2013 04:12:22 | More by t0rin0
Photo of jvillefan
jvillefan

California

3.26/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

A: A very dark body with a half finger mocha head.

S: Very mute aromas. There is subtle chocolate aromas present.

T: I have always heard people describe the taste of their beer as soy sauce but have never had that flavor in my beer...until now. Soy sauce is dominate in this beer. There is very subtle chocolate in the background of this beer.

M: Nice body with great carbonation.

O: This beer could have been great had it been able to age a little better. I believe at some point in time this was a 4.35 beer, now unfortunately, it is not even close.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 01:48:23 | More by jvillefan
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 821 ratings.