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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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807 Ratings

(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 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 alyankus

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 13:52:18 | More by alyankus
Photo of Trappissed


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

This is a beautiful beer to watch as it is poured. Huge tan head with a dramatic rush of carbonation rapidly churning and rising. Almost pitch black, with a tinge of reddish brown. Smells a bit like dark chocolate milk with some roastiness, and little alcohol.

Taste is very enjoyable. Coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and perhaps a bit of citrus on the back-end. A touch of bitter astringency on the finish as well. The roasty qualities linger on. Also getting some woodsy and charcoal elements throughout. Have to mention the hint of that familiar Belgian yeast bubblegum flavor. Alcohol is adequately hidden.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Coats the palate nicely. Very pleased with this brew and glad I got an extra to cellar(or drink). I'll probably end up getting a few more.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 07:15:44 | More by Trappissed
Photo of mongodestroy


4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got it a little early from my store and got to drink it before the official release date.

Poured into a Belgian goblet style glass. Produced a head about a finger high which dissipated over a few minutes into a thin froth. Produced moderate lacing.

Aroma - Strong banana with slightly less strong hints of vanilla and roasted malt. Exotic fruits.

Taste - Classic stone hoppyness. roasty and sweet. Coffee and vanilla. Very enjoyable, but I feel as though there might be something lost in the hops. I wish the hops didnt cover up the vanilla so much.

Overall a very interesting and exciting beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 05:47:25 | More by mongodestroy
Photo of superdedooperboy


4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spotted this on the shelf of one of my local beer haunts on Saturday, 09.05.09, indicating that either the beer was distributed too early or the staff stocked the shelf early; either way, it was available a full three days before the official release date of 09.08.09, four days before the date the beer is obviously supposed to be firstly consumed, 09.09.09. I didn't make a purchase that night, and there are no sales of alcohol on Sunday in Georgia; I picked up a bottle today, and it was far too tempting not to crack it open before its official release.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter glass.

Pours ink-black and virtually opaque; it takes a real effort of glass-adjusting and light bending to get the deep brown color to show through the edges. A very small head of light tan froth appears briefly, resting atop the brew in patches with a thin crown, and leaving behind some wisps of lace as it recedes.

Light notes of roast and chocolate appear in the nose, followed by a nice whiff of citrus peel and a little banana; perhaps a touch of mango as well. Vanilla notes follow, and are expected and welcome.

Body is lighter and more effervescent than expected, with a medium-full feel and a moderate level of carbonation. Initially full of roasty and bitter chocolate notes, with a rich show of vanilla and a dry astringency, likely attributable to the French oak aging. As things warm, yeast-derived characteristics show themselves, with a complex show of spices and a bit more dry astringency. Vanilla shows itself even more, not surprising with the use of both vanilla bean and wood aging; nicely complex and delectable, and, along with a bitterness most likely from the hops, providing a bone-dry finish that leaves one thirsting for another sip. Roasted malt and a bit of slightly sweet molasses linger in the finish.

Quite a complex beer, with a full spectrum of flavors and aromas that almost directly correspond with the ingredients used, making this a nicely crafted concoction, and a style that breaks any guidelines: hailed as a Belgian-style Imperial Porter by the head brewer, it's tough to pin down. It will be nice to see how this one ages, though this seemingly fresher-than-fresh example is nothing to balk at.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 03:24:04 | More by superdedooperboy
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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 807 ratings.