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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
92
outstanding

838 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 838
Reviews: 533
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 34
Gots: 274 | FT: 14
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 838 | Reviews: 533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stakem
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first experience with an Epic. I don't have the willpower to let this one sit around and age, I am throwing myself in there now.

Pours a black color with a lacy finger of tanned head. The head does not retain long and leaves only a bit of lacing on the glass. Nose has some citrus (orange-like) notes that do not seem to come from hops. It also smells of alcohol, licorice, chocolate and caramel. It has a bit of astringency about the smell as well. Taking a sip it is bitter in both the front and the finish however the middle of the taste is filled with a mild and pleasant sweetness of bitterish chocolate. It finishes quite warming and has a lingering taste of chocolate and "spice." As the beer warms, it takes on more of the bitterness and chocolate profile. However, it also has some smoky oakish qualities as well with a bit of caramel taste.

This beer is nothing like I had imaged an "Ale reminiscent of artisanal chocolates accentuated with orange" would taste like, it is a lot better. I hope I can find this beer again in the distant future...I don't have the willpower to let it sit around and not enjoy it but I would definately like to try it after it spent some quality time in the bottle aging.

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of corby112
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even th slight touch of amber edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy tan head that slowly fades into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic chunks of dark lacing.

Chocolate malt aroma with a peppery spiciness, dark fruit notes, chocolate and vanilla bean, citrus peel and subtle hops. There is a nice roasted character with some hints of burnt toast. Slightly minty with subtle earthy oak.

Chewy fuller end of medium body with a slight roasty smokey maltiness and burnt toast. Lots of silky chocolate with hints of spicy peppery mint as well as some light citrus fruit and earthy oak. There are some subtle dark fruit notes as well with smooth vanilla beans. Slightly yeasty with some bread notes and subtle ripe banana. The tangerine citrus is very subtle are way overpowered by the dominant spice character as well as the darker fruits and roasted malt. Also a bit of alcohol burn warmth in the dry finish.

This beer is unique and complex but they probably overreached on this one, adding too much to truly appreciate the chocolate covered citrus(tangerine) flavor they were going for. The spice character, especially is way overdone.

Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottle date is obvious. Pours pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense tan head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, molasses, apple, biscuit, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, light char, earth, and herbal. Very nice aromas with good strength, complexity, and balance; very inviting. Taste of big chocolate, biscuit, caramel, molasses, prune, apple, roasted malt, raisin, light char, vanilla, earth, oak, and herbal. Lingering notes of dark fruit, chocolate, caramel, biscuit, light char, earth, and roasted malt on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor complexity and balance; with a very nice roasted malt flavor profile. Medium carbonation and body; with a very nice creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is completely hidden, with hardly any warming at all noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian dark ale. Great amount of complexity and robust roasted flavors; with great balance and very smooth drinking. Extremely enjoyable stuff!

Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A welcome new beer each year, ah yes, its time for the new Stone vertical epic! Pours quite stout like, dark khaki head, great retention, tiny bubble and loads of sheeting, lace and a thick collar, great looking product. Dark malts, chocolate, and a hint of vanilla in the nose. Super smooth chocolaty brew, more dark malts, vanilla, coffee grounds. Dark and tasty. Complexity perhaps a bit on the lower then expected side. Still delicious and worth a try for all dark beer and Stone lovers. Wish I had the self control to age these babies, but it never seems to be in the cards...oh well enjoy this one now or later....

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

I always look forward to this release, and its so nice to just be ablee to drive down to my local beer store in Georgia and get this now. I like this year's release. Pours a rich dark brown, almost black. Smells of licorice and coffee with some piney hops and port wine notes in the mix. Very nice. Very smooth, and with similar tastes as the aroma, but the licorice and coffee are more muted and the piney hops are much more present. Nice bitterness in the finish. Very nice.

Photo of mothman
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Pours 1 finger of tan head. Pretty decent retention with very nice lacing. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Lots of roasted malts, nut flavors, grassy hops, chocolate, caramel, and slight coffee notes. Pretty decent.

Taste: Lots of roasted and burnt malts again. I get a bunch of burnt brown sugar and caramel flavors. Tons of grassy hops to balance it out. Nice coffee notes. Not to bad.

Mouthfeel: Roasted, smooth, and refreshing. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends super dry and roasted.

Overall, I would not age this beer. The flavors taste fine and I don't expect this one getting and better. Glad I got to try this one fresh.

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ordered a glass at Tap and Table in Emmaus - very, very tasty. This is a big chocolatey, but balanced and dry, beer with a little Belgian influence. It's not that close to the few Belgian stouts, but it's also no traditional double stout. The flavor is dominated by semi-sweet dark chocolate and cocoa powder while citrus-orange hops peek through and leave a bitter finish. Yum.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -2%

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

Poured a very dark brown color with good carbonation and a tannish head. Nose is spice, light on alcohol, vanilla, cocoa and a belgian yeast strain with some hops. Taste is so nice with cinnamon, spice, some citrus, bitter chocolate, tobacco..alot going on yet balanced ad the ABV is well hidden. Mouthfeel is nice, not to hefty or alcoholic but thought it would have been a little creamier. The spice, cocoa showed through.

Photo of ejimhof
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of mdaschaf
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

9*9*09 hopes to be reminiscent of artisanal chocolates accentuated with orange. I haven't tried the real thing, but I can try it in liquid form tonight. On to the beer:

Into a globe it goes, the beer is black...pitch black. The head is lightly tanned, has a rocky lid, and has very good retention. Spiced like licorice upfront in the nose. Very citric orange as well. Faint powdery cocoa.

This beer is more spiced than expected. Spiced upfront, then a touch of the yeast adds a layer of creamy banana. Bitter citric acid touches down and creates the bitterenss to the beer. The malt creates an astrignent bitter chocolate flavor which lightly lingers in and into the aftertaste. Very soft in the mouth, silky feel.

It doesn't remind me of a fruit infused gourmet chocolate as much as I expected. It will, however, remind me of another quality beer from Stone I've tried.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

The beer is near black with a thin beige collar. The aroma offers licorice, molasses, light spice. Smells ok. A touch of dark roast. Mild sweetness with a sturdy malt backbone. Medium bodied with a touch of chocolate. Pretty good.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap into a Weyerbacher tulip.

Nine Nine Nine holds a shoeshine black look with some mudy brown around the edges. On top the cap just barely covers the surface breaking into a bunch of scattered islands. Splattered paintball lace with a light tan line. Some good stick here and there but not strong holding. Easy to bring the head back with just some swirls.

The smell reminded me of a mix of a american porter with a touch of BSDA. Some hershey's chocolate and cocco nibs. Getting some piney hops in the back with a mix of bananers and orange peel. A bit of roasted burnt coffee in the back. I did not pick up on the Belgian yeast.

A fruity robust porter in my mind. The orange and banana mix really shows itself strong in the beginning and holds out. Some underlining spices with some Belgian yeast with alot of warming. Some piney hops onthe tounge not to overpowering. Light vanilla bean and not as much chocolate as expected. Some roast and smoke towards the back, this is good beer.

Smooth, easy and no interference from the slightly large alcohol, but some shows itself towards the end of the glass, no heat though. Slick with a medium feel and some carb felt. The finish is just a bit of every flavor integrated. Beautiful.

This is one tasty ass brew. After being very dissapointed in last years version, stone redeems itself with this unique BSDA/Porter, whatever you want to call it. I would not mind having a bottle of this to myself one day over some time and smoked meats.

Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

VE09, another Belgian-style stout.

A: The BSDA has the look of a stout, all murky and black as night. An appropriate tan-colored head lingers around.

S: The nose is sweet chocolate and roasted malts. Spices linger behind the sweetness, but it is easy to get sidetracked amongst all the dark aromas.

T: The rich chocolates, chewy malt and burnt aromas take control early. A bready graham flavor, nutty, balances out the chocolate. Spices and hops hang around, a citrusy addition to the stout.

M: The mouthfeel could pass for a few imperial stouts that I've had, a full, warming feel that seems stronger than it is.

D: Order-wise, this one falls right in the middle. I like the bold flavors but I struggle with the drinkability of dark behemoths like this.

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

Black colored beer with a strong brown head. This looks much more like a stout to me.

Strong chocolate scent and roasted malt with spices added. Spice is mostly cloves with a little ginger. Additional scents of vanilla and Irish Crème.

Starts out spice and deeply roasted malt. Spice actually tickles the tongue here. Very much like a Black and Tan made with Belgian Strong Pale Ale and Guinness Extra Stout. Not super flavorful but smooth.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky.

An OK beer but not one I will lust for. This is just OK.

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

Drank 1/27/13
(Served in a bowtie glass)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a lumpy coco tan head that sticks in sheets to the glass leaving only a thin ring of head on the beer. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide up the glass.

S- There is a chalky hint to the chocolate malt aroma with hints of deep caramel coming through as it opens.

T- The mellow chocolate malt flavor is the main player. It has some soft dark roasted coffee malt bitterness in the finish with a slight tart hint. As it opens it takes on more of a watery taste and some stale qualities in the finish. There are also some graham notes that come through as it warms. Clean finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a gentle fizz that takes on a flat texture on the tongue.

O- This beer is a bit 1-dimentional much more so that when it was fresh. I don’t get any yeast characteristics just the chocolate malt. The watery and stale taste were a bit off putting.

---
(Poured into a tulip)
drank 11/30/09
A- This beer has a jet black body with a coco powder tan head that is creamy and last for a good bit.
S- The black roasted malt notes have a cream quality to them and then give way to a stronger berry aroma with some black licorice notes.
T- The smooth chocolaty velvet flavor has some ink and dry prune qualities to it with a soft fruity note that finishes the malt. The taste of pineapple without the acid mixes with roasted bitterness in the finish. There is some tartness that comes through with the bitterness and the both linger for a moment.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol heat.
D- This beer is a big tasty stout with nice roasted qualties and a good Belgian yeast mystique that is almost fruity but not jammy.

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Please note that there is a pretty big difference between the Kegged and Bottled versions. My bottled review was lost in a data crash this is for the Kegged version only.

Poured on-tap into a snifter. Pours a dark motor oil in color with a small brownish head.

Aroma of coffee, chocolate malts, slight tobacco.

Flavor centers around a smokey/roasted malt profile. Hops have died down to just an earthy flash of bitterness. Unsweetened chocolate is on the back end, with a slight smokey/cured meat flavor. Port like wine finish. Hearty.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and drinks pretty smooth overall.

A good beer for sure, but decidedly different that its bottled counterpart, which I enjoyed more. The bottled version had more of a piney hop character and also offered more fruityness and complexities. Still, the keg has a rauchbier meets stout like character and drinks well enough.

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love me some dark Belgians. This one has a dark brown/ruby/blackish body to it with a choppy, off tan head that had density just shy of being rocky. Lacing is thin after the initial head calms down.
First aroma I got was banana, then a wave of black plum and alcohol. The banana gives way to clove and some soft vanilla hints. Very complex.
Taste is layered. A quick jolt of coffe and it's off to banana. Vanilla and lightly baked caramel moves in. Vanilla is subtle and background-ish. Bready throughout and some coriander kicks in towards the end. very soft chocolate finishes it off.
A dry finish. Alcohol is there, but it works well with flavors. This one will age well methinks

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 838 ratings.