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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic AleStone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

807 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 807
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%


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: 807 | Reviews: 530 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of sweetbrew82
sweetbrew82

California

3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. into a pint glass

P: Jet black and almost completely opaque in the glass with a beautiful head of thick, creamy foam that holds firm and stays impressively dense. Displays some gorgeous dimples as it sinks with a rocky texture. Shows excellent retention before settling to a thin cap on top with some thick sheets of lace.

A: Huge blasts of lightly roasted malts that lend a chocolatey/mocha espresso character. Lots of vanilla in here as well, along with some subtle oak, zesty citrus peel, dark fruits, and a healthy amount of clove from the Belgian yeast. Boy, I really don't get the impression that this is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. This smells much more along the lines of an 'Imperial Belgian Porter'...

T: ...and it tastes like it too! Although, who the hell am I to say what style it is! It starts out as more of a traditional American Porter with lightly roasted malts that just ooze that same chocolatey/mocha espresso flavor, while sweet vanilla notes and dark fruits ride right underneath with subtle hints of oak peeking through nicely. Then in the middle, the Belgian yeast seems to grab this beer by the horns and transform it into an 'Imperial Belgian Porter' by imparting a slightly powdery yeast that emits that unmistakable clove flavor, along with banana and some dark fruits as well. On the back end, the addition of tangerine peels really comes to the forefront with a bittering astringency (also probably from hops) that tastes like tangerine peels dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with clove. Leaves a bitter citrusy, yeasty aftertaste that hangs on for a while.

M: This edition of Vertical Epic is medium-full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation that seems to keep it from being as silky smooth and luxuriously rich as it could be. It does have some nice creaminess under the prickles, though. While it's not chewy, it does stick to the palate enough for the flavor to grab traction.

Notes: This is a pretty good Imperial Belgian Porter. However, it seems as if the flavors are kind of disjointed in spots and never really melds together to form one cohesive unit, which hurts the flavor score. I love the sweet start, but the bitter, citrusy astringency in the back half of the mouthful becomes distracting after a while, which also makes the drinkability of this one suffer a bit as well. Good thing the fine folks at Stone brewed this one with the intention to cellar, because I think it could develop quite nicely. Maybe with some age on it, the flavors will work together more harmoniously and the bitter citric notes will calm down a bit. Here's to hoping!

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2009 23:27:22 | More by sweetbrew82
Photo of himmelhuber
himmelhuber

Arizona

3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This beer is black, nice brown foam, looks yummy!
Smell is sweet, little tangerine, little coffee, it as almost a smokey smell, lots of roasted malts.
Taste is very intense, almost overwhelming, malty, sweet, but well balanced with a lot of hops and malt bitterness.
Mouthfeel is as the taste a bit overwhelming but carbonation is good. It was no problem finishing one pint, but I did not get a second one, that would have been to much.
I think this one will get a lot better over time, it needs to mellow out a bit, now its just to much of everything.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2009 18:26:39 | More by himmelhuber
Photo of ZX6Chris
ZX6Chris

California

3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared at a Vertical Epic tasting with my friend Armand.

A-Midnight black, great tan head.

S-Roasted burnt chocolate. Coffee, horsy, barnyard. Is it supposed to taste like that?

T-Coffee, bitter, hay, horsy.

M-Smooth, well carbonated.

D-Not my favorite at all! I was hoping for a delicious stout but that's not what I got. Maybe my pallet was burnt out but I got some off flavors in this that I did not enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 01:49:37 | More by ZX6Chris
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black bodied beer with a smallish tan head. Not much retention, minimal lacing. Aroma is roasty, with bittersweet chocolate, orange peel, slightly vinous and fruity. There’s also a spicy note and a hint of wood or tobacco that’s kind of hard to put a finger on.

Interesting but not entirely satisfying taste; perhaps a little oxidized after 3 years in the bottle; not sure how this one will hold up till the end of the entire Vertical Epic series.
There’s dark, bitter chocolate, orange and peel flavor, as well as other more vague fruit notes; again a vinous quality, with oakiness, char, a hint of a metallic/mineral aspect; phenolic spiciness, overall very dry; could actually use a bit more sweetness. Maybe a touch chalky. Alcohol well-masked. Not terrible, just a little odd.

Medium-bodied and carbonated with that very dry finish. Feels like it could be a bit heavier and smoother in the mouth. Interesting beer I didn’t particularly love but it definitely made me think and dig in, examining its many layers.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 16:19:09 | More by tobelerone
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

3.61/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz into a pint

A - Brown with amber highlights. mocha head.

S - Some very nutty notes in the nose.

T- Comes off that it has sat too long. The edge is off all the flavors I think matter. The hopiness has turned offly grassy in the middle.

M - Moderate mouthfeel, lightly sticky.

O - Would have been better a while back.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 01:58:23 | More by katan
Photo of mikey711
mikey711

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I guess it is pretty fitting to enjoy this beer today.

It a very dark brown that cannot be seen through with a big tan two finger thick head. The head is very lacing, taking plenty of time to simmer.

S: Chocolate vanilla, some wheat perhaps, roastiness, fruitiness. Many things going on at once.

T: The first sip was quite a surprise. While there are alot of different aromas, it wasn't all that intense. This however was a bit like a punch in the face with big bold flavors of coffee, chocolate, vanilla. There is a nice bittern roastiness in the back ground and some fruitiness to go along with it.

M: Pretty hot. This one was fun to try but needs some time to mature. The flavors are very intense at this point.

D: I wish I had someone to share this with.

Overall, I think this was a very young beer that clearly needs more time to mellow out.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 22:37:41 | More by mikey711
Photo of ClevoPiwo
ClevoPiwo

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been anxiously awaiting this release, and am happy to be able to enjoy a glass as 09 09 09 draws to an end.

Poured into a snifter, the color is an opaque black with a decent sized tan head that left a nice lacing on its way down. You could pass this porter off as an RIS - it looks great.

The smell is pleasant and complex. Roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, yeast, peppery spice and a touch of alcohol all blend and compliment each other in an elaborate aromatic bouquet that blends elements of both Belgian dark ales and porters.

The taste definitely gets better as the beer warms, but still illustrates why the people at Stone recommend aging this (and other Vertical Epics) at least until 2012. The main thing is that the spicy flavor in the finish is a bit overpowering yet, making the overall character of the flavor rather 'hot' and markedly unbalanced. Roasted malt is evident up front along with some fruit and smooth chocolate notes. The middle and finish have a definite yeast dryness and peppery spice character, perhaps also some hop flavor coming through. The aftertaste is dry, bitter, spicy and generally hot. The alcohol is definitely discernible, warming on the way down but also contributing some heat in the taste. The one thing that is disappointing is that I don't seem to be getting any of that tangerine peel in the flavor.

Overall a very well crafted beer that exhibits some enjoyable and complex elements. The heat and spice in the finish and aftertaste is definitely a bit much, though. I am definitely looking forward to what will happen to this beer with a few years under its belt.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2009 03:54:15 | More by ClevoPiwo
Photo of Yesac
Yesac

Georgia

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

A- Dark black color. Chocolate brown head that forms a ring around the glass. One sexy looking beer in my chalice.

S- Belgian yeast, chocolate malt, caramel, bubblegum. Like a stout crossed with a dark Belgian.

T- Roasted malt.. Belgian yeast.. black licorice, caramel.

M- Medium carbonation. Medium bodied. Dry sticky finish.

D- An interesting drink. Like a nice Stone stout with Belgian yeast. I'll definitely revisit this one soon.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 03:34:06 | More by Yesac
Photo of BrewCrew2010
BrewCrew2010

Mississippi

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

A: Pours a black body with a tan head. Mild lacing on the glass with good head retention.

S: Roasted malts dominate the nose with coffee and bitter chocolate notes. Light dark fruits and some citrus.

T: Not a very complex palate, but still a nicely balanced flavor. Upfront Roasted malts balanced with the earthy hops. There are also some dark fruits, vanilla, dark chocolate, & citrus notes. Belgian yeast also plays a nice part.

M: Medium-full body; low to moderate carbonation; smooth mouthfeel.

O: Not a bad beer and a decent example for the style. I believe there are better Belgian Strong Dark Ales out there, but let's see what a few more years will do. I will drink this again obviously, but only 1 more since that's all I have left.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 01:51:21 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of writerLJBerg
writerLJBerg

Oregon

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 19:52:59 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown with a tan head, not much lacing. Aroma is chocolate, graham crackers, bananas, and a little too much spice. Flavor is part roasty and part chocolatey from the malt, with accents of citrus, vanilla, and clove. Interesting but too sweet and a little too thin.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 09:59:09 | More by illidurit
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
MrHungryMonkey

Texas

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose is softly malty with malt-fruit characteristics (grape), softly creamy. Smells pretty good, fairly light.

Pours pitch black with mild head. Looks pretty good.

Chocolaty malty and roasty bitter, slightly alcoholic, creamy smooth with medium-full body. Good amount of roasted midtones. Soft sourness, roasted malt sourness. Soft dried fruit and herbalness. Very light oak, rather understated in flavor and mildly spicy in mouthfeel. Pretty dry finish, kind of powdery dry, with cocoa nib and more roast. Tastes pretty good. Feels good. Pretty good drinkability.

A good solid stout, I don't particularly note any Belgian influence. Not worth the hype.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2009 20:23:09 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of TheSarge
TheSarge

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jet black body with a dark tan head... Sticky in appearance.

Aroma is sweet and cola like. A subtle hint of cherries. Slight copperish metallic hint too.

Very stout/porter like. Lots of coffee and chocolate... Very semi sweet.

Chewy feel upfront, oily and slick in the middle with a warm ethyl finish.

I'm not sure I'd call this a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, it's more of an English or American style dry stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2009 15:18:48 | More by TheSarge
Photo of gawylou
gawylou

California

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

[A collaborative review with relenamor]

Appearance: Dark like a fine Dutch licorice, opaque as the antithesis of a polished window. The head: macchiato tan.

Smell: Sweet and toasty, i.e. campfire s'more, but only barely so, the sweet aromas were only discernible upon repeated nasal inhalations.

Taste: In chronological order: alcohol, belgian yeast, coffee. With a bitter hoppy finish. I must note the slight chocolate flavor, reminiscent of 80% cocoa Varlhona chocolate.

Mouth-feel: A shade syrupy, and lightly carbonated. As though my mother placed tiny frolicking angels on my sunday morning pancakes.

Drinkability: Exorbitantly alcoholic tasting for only an 8.6% beer. Prior to reading the bottle, I was stumbling about attempting to pounce upon with the nearest female. Later, as a friend read me the percentage, I felt a stone cold soberness fall upon me. I felt like a fool.

Overall, save your money for some Don Perignon and fresh caviar from the seas of Iran. If you prefer to expend your capital on fine ales, may I recommend Stone's Imperial Russian Stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 00:09:28 | More by gawylou
Photo of GeezLynn
GeezLynn

Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed this one on tap last fall a couple times. Interested to see how this compares.

A: Deep black with a thin tan head that retreats to a light collar.

S: Initial alcohol burn followed by anise, coffee, oak, orange peel and a little chocolate. Lots there to enjoy, although the strong ethanol detracts somewhat.

T: Burnt chocolate malt, licorice, bitter coffee grounds and woodieness, with a little vanilla attempting to pull it together. Long bitter finish with a definite alcohol bite. A little sweetness in there with all that bitterness and roasted flavor. Complex, but harsh.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

This was much better on tap for me when I could pick out more of what I got in the smell in the flavor. This is kind of rough and hot right now (a la Stone RIS). No clue how it will turn out down the road.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 03:31:53 | More by GeezLynn
Photo of turboedtwo
turboedtwo

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 05:28:16 | More by turboedtwo
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hophead84 is wrong. This beer shouldn't get "4.5s across the board."

Pours ... black. Yeah, kind of looked like a porter or stout, actually. Black, with maybe some translucently brown edging and a surprisingly robust (for the ABV) light brown head.

Smells ... charred. Like smokey malt, some chocolate, and a bit of bitter orange and citrus. I was expecting a sweet beer from the description, and this smells like anything but.

The taste is actually sweeter than expected. A dash of coffee, a big dollop of dark and milk chocolate, and a weird bitter citrus/orange bite. Some surprising vanilla and a hint of dark fruits in there as well. Surprisingly, the citrus and orange end up counterbalancing the sweetness, rather than adding to it. The smokiness/charred malt sensation carries into the flavor, and it becomes very, very distracting after a while. Towards the end of the bottle, it almost seemed salty.

Yeah. I don't know about this one. Interesting to try, but certainly not a beer I'd want to revisit anytime soon. Maybe it's designed for aging, as the complex flavor profile and extraordinarily distracting smoky/charred aftertaste might meld or mellow.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 09:51:50 | More by Overlord
Photo of bunnyhustle
bunnyhustle

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The always anticipated VE was a bit of a let down to me. I guess it was a good let down, but still...Poured into tulip, dark as night with mocha head. Good retention and lacing. The smell was very unique I thought. A very bready and yeasty smell at first led way to a banana and bubblegum smell with some chocolate. Perhaps the most smells I've ever had in a single beer. Taste was alright but I feel it needs to age, but I guess thats what this beer is supposed to do. I think there were too many flavors to really focus on anthing particular. Chocolate, hops, orange, citrus, oak, vanilla, toasted malt...you name it! I actually thought there was a bit of smokiness to it that I did enjoy. Just a little too much. Mouthfeel was fuller but not too heavy. Overall an easy drinker. I did enjoy the beer and am very curious to see how it ages. I think this one will get much better with age.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 02:17:14 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of TheViolator666
TheViolator666

Ohio

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into Stone nonic glass.

A: Wow! Pitch black, opaque. Beautiful full 2-3inch light brown head that leaves an excellent amount of lacing.

S: Faint smell of sweet roasty malts, a bit of ethanol and some yeasty spiciness. Dark chocolate is most prevalent.

T: Sweet chocolate dominates the flavor followed by the alcohol that comes in. Complimenting the chocolate are velvety smooth notes of vanilla. The background has a fair amount of yeasty spiciness, that almost becomes a little much. The tangerine peel/zest comes in with the spiciness, but it's a bit weak. Finish leaves a nice sweetness behind.

M/D: Very full bodied and smooth. The alcohol presence isn't too bad.

A very nice beer, would love to see what a few years could do to this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 00:00:45 | More by TheViolator666
Photo of erz316
erz316

Indiana

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into maudite snifter.

A - looks more like a stout than a bsda. a good two finger head of darker tan colour. the body is pitch black. head falls down to a chunky bunch of gobs in about 2 minutes. the absolute darkness of the body puts me a bit off and makes me wonder how belgian this dark strong will be.

S - huh, well, it also smells more like a stout than a bsda. roasted malts and a touch of hops. did they really try to make this one taste belgian at all? I am quite skeptical at this point.

T - huh, well it tastes like a slightly fruity stout. its bitter like one and has the body of one. the initial taste is bitter, slightly fruity, though no where near as much as it should be. there is no spice there are no dark ripen fruits. the malts and hops are the most notable, the malts are big and roasty, while the hops are just plain bitter. the finish is hoppy and has some definite coffee bitterness. the aftertaste is quite good, if it were a stout. it is a combination of a chalky coffee bitterness, and the roasted malts, maybe even a bit chocolaty.

MF&D - body is extremely creamy and velvety. the big carbonation really coats the mouth and makes the body really chewy. it is also slightly astringent. the drinkablity is fine, but if i wanted a bsda then i would go get one that doesnt border its own style.

Where the hell is the spicy alcohol? Where is the bruised ripen fruit? What of all the yeast! I know this is supposed to be aged till 2012, but it is no where near what a belgian should be. though arguably it gets some of that alcohol character at then end, the choco-coffee malt flavour overwhelms it. I guess I need to get another and age it properly.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 00:41:05 | More by erz316
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Near black pour with a mountainous 3 finger head that is as fluffy as a marshmallow and lasts for quite a while. Good lacing left behind as well. Exceptional.

First smell is light spices and citrus mostly. Not really catching any chocolate on the nose other than weak traces of cocoa powder. Actually, scratch that...some agitation combined with a bit of warming brings out a little bit of milk chocolate.

As this first hits the lips, roasted malts and a coffee-like bitterness jump out. Odd for the style, but I guess Stone was trying for something unique here so I'm not going to fault them for going outside of style guidelines. This is more like a mix of a spicy Belgian and an hoppy porter. Although it tastes good, I'm not really picking up much of the chocolate/orange combo that they were going for which is somewhat disappointing. Just a lot of coffee bitterness, hops, burnt malts, and trace spices.

Mouthfeel is medium to full with a lot of soft carbonation. This was a decent beer, but truthfully it isn't much better or different than a good hoppy porter. Considering what Stone was going for here, I think they failed....but still made something decent in the process.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 21:31:06 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of Gtreid
Gtreid

Florida

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Almost opaque, just a hint of light brown laces the edges of the beer. The pour produces a nice latte colored head that receedes quickly and leaves some spotty lace.

A: I get bitter chocolate first, followed by oatmeal and molasses. I get a good amount of bittering aroma and some suble hints of citrus. I guess that's from the orange peel.

T: Very interesting. Very complex. I definately get the chocolate, it is very forward in the brew. The combination of the hops, citrus, and molasses create an unique biterness that I have not tasted before in a beer.

M: Agressive carbonation. Heavy body. Mouthfeel is crisp but smooth.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is limited due to the complexity of the brew. Overall, this is a very interesting and unique beer. Don't know if I've ever had this flavor profile before. I won't have my other bottle for 3 more years, so we'll see how it holds up. Skal.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 20:41:20 | More by Gtreid
Photo of Norfawkers
Norfawkers

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque brown with minimal tan head

Smell: Spicy, chocolate, malts

Taste: You can really taste the alcohol in the beer, slight toast and malt as well.

Mouthfeel: Thin and bitter throughout

Drinkability: The bitterness drowns out the flavors and spices. I'm not sure what they were going for with this beer..

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 20:10:44 | More by Norfawkers
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours very dark brown with a frothy tan head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet grainy malts, a little woody fruitiness, and some gummy yeastiness.

The flavor is sweet chocolate malts, some dark fruits with a big roasted/charred bitter finish that's fairly harsh. The mouthfeel medium to full with soft carbonation.

Overall, an interesting beer. I kept not wanting to like it, but kept changing my mind. It's a bit harsh in the bitterness, but it'll be interesting to see how this ages.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 05:27:54 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured an opaque dark mahogany (nearly black) with some dark tan head. It smelled like roasted coffee with dark chocolate and creamy yeast and nutty malt. It tasted like bitter coffee and dry dark chocolate, with copper hops and some creamy yeast and alcohol. It was somewhat thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this seemed much more like a stout than a dark Belgian ale. It was also definitely too hot fresh, with only decent flavors and without much complexity. The bottle indicates that it needs to be cellared for some years, and I agree. It's pretty messy fresh, but it will probably be much better in 2012 as intended.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 17:21:31 | More by Pencible
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 807 ratings.