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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

824 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 824
Reviews: 531
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 34
Gots: 268 | FT: 12
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: 824 | Reviews: 531 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

I drank this from a 22oz bomber into my Rochefort chalice.

The aroma is light mostly coffee not much else.

The taste is light a little coffee and bitter. There is a light smokiness to it.

The feel is ok, not very drinkable.

This beer is ok, nothing special.

01-10-2010 02:01:47 | More by jrallen34
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

2009 properly cellared bottle, poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing opaque black in the glass. Fine two finger light brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Delicious aroma of chocolate, dark and caramel malt, vanilla, oak and whiskey, one of the best smelling ales I've experienced. Flavor follows aroma, dominated by sweet and toasted malt, chocolate, vanilla and a touch of oak and coffee. Finish is a bit stark with charred coffee, oak and hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. An unusual Belgian influenced ale, almost approaching a Belgian stout in malt and flavor complexity. Very enjoyable and one of the best of a series that all aged remarkably well. Kudos to Stone.

12-31-2012 04:03:08 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured from 22 oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: utterly black with a two-finger beige head which clings to the glass as though for dear life. If I didn't know better, I'd call this a Russian Imperial Stout based on appearance.

Smell: the aroma is considerably more subtle than the appearance, and is one of chocolate and a tiny hint of coffee. Again, I'm expecting a stout.

Taste: now, this is a good beer. Wow. Here's the strong dark Belgian: immediate tree fruit followed by more complex esters and alcohol bite. At the end the malt is sweet and, again, has some chocolate to it. It's great now; I can only imagine the good some cellaring would do it.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a nice level of carbonion to make it good and creamy.

Drinkability: pretty drinkable, but this is an intense beer with an intense flavor.

09-24-2009 04:29:27 | More by flagmantho
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

3.88/5  rDev -4.9%

I had this on tap at the Old Chicago on Market St in Denver Sept 26, 2009.

The pint arrived with a near pitch black, actually extremely dark brown but I had to hold it up to light in the low lighted room to see that. 1/2" of foam was brownish, as expected.

I forgot which style the 09.09.09 was supposed to be so I wnet in "blind"..I found the smell very roasted malty with notes of dark chocolate and maybe a bit of some dark fruits. It smelled good and I was hoping that it would taste good as the pint was nearly $9.

I took some sips and what I got in the smell, I got in the taste. Very roasty with chcocolate notes running second, some toffee ran third, err..this wasn't a horse race, Bill! lol.

All in all, it was a tasty brew that had a good medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Drinkability? Though the alcohol wasn't a big factor, I found that 1 pint was sufficient. I guess I'd rather drink a roasty stout than a BSDA that is *that* much of roasted malt monster, if that makes any sense, which it probably doesn't. ;^)

09-27-2009 19:52:47 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +9.6%

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an appropriately dark color and impenetrable consistency. There was a half inch of light brown colored head and very good lacing.

S: A good aroma of coffee, chocolate, malt and some other spices.

T: This beer had a big taste that reminded more of a porter than of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Dark chocolate, coffee, malt, mild spices, and some other indeterminate ingredients. Complex, with lots of focus.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a very dry finish.

D: Another extremely drinkable beer from Stone.

02-23-2010 13:19:08 | More by avalon07
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

3/5  rDev -26.5%

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

03-15-2014 19:24:17 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a one finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, vanilla, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, dark fruit, sweet alcohol, wood, earth, and vanilla. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. There was definitely quite a bit going in this brew which made the complexity aspect of it really quite nice. However, there were some of the flavors that did not play well with the others especially the earthy note that I picked up on. This honestly felt quite out of place and really distracted you from some of the other pleasant notes that were going on in this one. However, this is still a really nicely done brew that has seemed to have aged quite well in its keg. I would suggest this one to others without any hesitation.

01-25-2013 21:47:05 | More by thagr81us
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, coffee, and some vanilla. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some charred malt and smoke, along with a bit of banana. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's somewhat creamy and slick with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. Also, the alcohol isn't noticable in the aroma and taste, however it does catch up to you later. I think this is a good brew, can't wait to see how this one ages.

12-28-2009 23:32:53 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

A - A very nice dark brown looking beer with a pretty big tan head. Nice retention with a decent amount of thin lacing.

S - A lot of chocolate and molasses. Dark fruit, bitter roasted malts.

T - I was nicely surprised by this drink. The cocoa is very prominent, and the fruit tasted ended up being a nice cherry flavor. Almost a chocolate covered cherry taste that was quite enjoyable. A little bit of roasted/bitter malts on the finish, that complimented quite nicely.

M - Heavier end of medium bodied with moderate carbonation that worked well.

D - Highly enjoyed and drank it quite easily, though it did seem to be a higher alcohol beer than it was, knocking this score down just a little bit.

06-06-2010 15:46:23 | More by AgentZero
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +9.1%

22 oz bomber pours a black color without much highlighting visible. Fluffy brown foam has decent retention and lacing. Neither great looking, nor has any negatives either.

Belgian trappist-like yeast greets the nose with maybe some cloves, cinnamon and cardamom spices. Chocolate maltiness is there and the hops are rather restrained for a Stone brew.

Can definitely taste some spices in here, kind of clovey and sweet cinnamon-sugar. Yeast does not seem overly estery and had some breadiness. Malts lean towards baking cocoa and a little roasty. Drinking really smooth right now, couldnt imagine it improving too much with some age as it is delicious right now. Bittering hops are in there and give it kind of an earthy, dusty grab on the finish. Just the right amount of sweetness. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer - more than I thought I would actually, and would love to snag a bottle or two more. Solid 'A' in my book...well done Stone.

07-15-2010 14:22:53 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +15.2%

Pours a dark opaque chocolaty brown with a thick, fine-bubbled tan head. Aroma is not strong but tempting, coffee-ish with a tone of unsweetened chocolate. Flavor is richer than the aroma, mainly of roast coffee with an undertone of unsweet chocolate. Each sip seems different - one has a nutty hint, one toffee and one molasses. Tingly, sassy texture leaves a finish of fine roast coffee. Pity this is a once-only offering!

09-14-2009 00:48:37 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.08/5  rDev 0%

I've been lukewarm to most of Stone's take on Belgians, but I just had to have this (don't we all

A: The pour is gorgeous, dark brown with a dense mocha colored head with excellent retention and delicate lacework. As I pour this, I notice that the head rises in a neat reverse-cascade way.

S: Chocolate and cocoa powder are the most apparent characteristics of the nose, and there is a bready, yeasty character. Toast, vanilla and a definite citrus and honey combination is present. Reserved and complex. Oak appears as it warms up

T: Opens with a mild bitter chocolate character, with a complex sweetness with honey and brown sugar. Prominent roasted malt character is present, with the bitterness and the roast playing off each other really well. The citrus character is way muted, and isn't very noticeable.Vanilla is noticeable towards the finish, where a mildly spicy character blends with the bitter finish that has a combination of chocolate and hops and a touch of tannins.

M: Medium in body with a soft, lush carbonation, this beer is excellent on the palate. The finish is delightful, I love the combination of chocolate, tannins and bitterness

D: A little rich, I'd probably be better off trying to share this, but I've got all afternoon to finish this puppy

09-26-2009 17:33:13 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of WOLFGANG
WOLFGANG

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -2%

07-08-2013 04:44:40 | More by WOLFGANG
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2%

Aromas of sweet cocoa with some lesser coffee and dark fruit characteristics. Slight hints of vanilla and herbal smells.

Rich malt, dark fruit, sweet cocoa nibs, and vanilla, all highlight the palate, but also some nice earthy hop presence, similar to the aroma. Subtle Belgian yeast qualities that only add to the complexity.

The mouthfeel is really smooth and slightly creamy, but too thin for such a big beer. The Belgian yeast should add some more to the mouthfeel but somehow does not.

Overall, this beer is a really solid offering especially for the higher ABV and extreme roastiness. Wish there was some Belgian influence, also wish I tried this fresh as well to have a comparison. Regardless it's delicious.

01-16-2011 21:24:36 | More by claspada
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%

- Pardon the abbreviated review, this was sampled at a free Stone tasting. Special thanks to Big Z's in Huntington NY -

A - Black with mocha highlights. Bone-white head.

S - Mellow marshmallow, brown sugar. Dried plum notes.

T - Nice chocolate character. Smooth toast. Gentle hop backdrop.

M - Smooth

03-12-2011 02:36:29 | More by vfgccp
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev 0%

No better day than 9.9.09 to enjoy this one.

Pours a really dark brown that is really close to black in the glass with a huge creamy tan head that sticks around for ages and leaves excellent lacing.

The aroma is sweet, roasted and hoppy all at once. I can definitely pick up the bananas from the Belgian yeast and the dark chocolate malt sweetness in the nose.

The taste is good to start but gets much better as it warms. There is the large roasted chocolate malt backbone which has the layers of sweet vanilla and brown sugar on top. The finish is the only thing that doesn't ring completely true for me as there is a slightly metallic bitterness that leaves an astringent aftertaste on the palate. There may be hints of the citrus in the finish but it's definitely not easy to pick up and the metallic bitterness fades a bit as it warms.

The mouthfeel is excellent, medium to full-bodied and extremely creamy with lots of carbonation and just fills the mouth up completely with flavor.

Another well-constructed beer from Stone that just misses being exceptional for me with the astringency being a little too bothersome in the finish. Outside of that, it's a wonderful blend of the Belgian yeast and toasted malts with an excellent mouthfeel.

09-10-2009 01:49:41 | More by gford217
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

4/5  rDev -2%

12-01-2011 03:26:05 | More by barnzy78
Photo of Haybeerman
Haybeerman

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%

A: Black; no light comes through - even on the edges. Poured less than a 1 finger chocolate-colored head that dissipated slowly. Sheets of wispy lace on the glass.

S: Semi-sweet chololate and brown sugar. Dark-colored fruits - raisins and cherries - come through. Toasted smoky malt and yeast esters too.

T: Big smokey malts and fruits. Consistent with smell, all those flavors assault the taste buds; this is a very complex beer. Very dry with warming alcohol.

M: Medium-to-Light body. Medium carbonation. Surproisingly thin and dry.

O: Very drinkable (sippable). Complexity grows and the beer changes as it warms. I have 3 more that I'll space out and see what happens with some aging.

11-08-2009 00:53:07 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%

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.

11-02-2009 09:59:09 | More by illidurit
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a tulip. Pours a dark black color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is very unique, I love it. The aroma features a lot of chocolate malts with spices, vanilla and orange peel.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark roasted malts and chocolate with a hint of banana and spices. The finish is on the bitter side. 

This one is very tasty fresh, but I imagine that it would improve greatly with some age to balance and smooth out the flavors.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodie with a good amount of carbonation. 

D-

09-26-2009 04:14:49 | More by cjgator3
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%

I am saddened that this is the first time I have seen this annual brew from Stone. But I do not believe this is available in New Hampshire where I live. I found this one on a visit to Vermont. It pours a very dark brown to almost charcola black with about a half-inch of creamy tan had that is long lasting. The aroma is of banana bread, chocolate malts, and vaguely sweet as well. The taste is a complex combo of sour hops and chocolate malts. This was a nice brew.

12-31-2009 03:25:48 | More by puboflyons
Photo of ROGUE16
ROGUE16

Delaware

5/5  rDev +22.5%

12-07-2011 16:01:32 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%

22oz. bomber served in my Bruery tulip. Poured one shade shy of black with a two-inch, frothy, khaki-colored head embedded with tiny ringlets that eventually settles into a fairly consistent skim - a thick band of lacing coated the side opposite the tilt. Nose reveals cocoa, a roasty character, perhaps a little lactose and a hint of smoke. Taste follows nose, but a little less rich than anticipated, and also a little bittering hops that comes out at the end. Mouthfeel is just shy of medium, with a light, consistent background carbonation, with something of a creamy quality in the mix. Pretty tasty, but not what I would consider a Belgian Strong Dark; closer to an American Stout. Nonetheless, a pretty tasty brew.

12-13-2009 22:09:21 | More by Jwale73
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

Florida

4.38/5  rDev +7.4%

Review from notes (9/22/09) at MacGregor's

A - poured very dark brown with short lived tan head that left a nice cap and laces well. 4.5

S - strong roasted barley and a hint of coffee beans. Some cream and caramel. Mild fruity undertones. 4.5

T - rich toasted malt, caramel, and expresso. Wow this is awesomely roasty like an intense porter. I only complain of the booziness. 4.0

M - thick and full bodied but not sticky at all. Smooth. 4.5

D - I cannot find flaw with its drinkability. 5.0

02-10-2010 14:53:17 | More by DmanGTR
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 824 ratings.