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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

816 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 816
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 34
Gots: 264 | FT: 9
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: 816 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PthPndr
PthPndr

Florida

4/5  rDev -2%

01-01-2012 02:19:58 | More by PthPndr
Photo of Wisconsinality
Wisconsinality

Wisconsin

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

A- Pours almost a pitch black with very little light breaking through. About two fingers worth of head that recedes somewhat quickly but leaves nice lacing on the side of the glass.
S- A nice aroma of chocolate malt with some roasted malt is present. There is also some Belgian yeast on the tale end.
T- This is a nice complex beer that only gets better when it warms up. Toasted malt with some chocolate right off the bat. Then comes the sweet yeastiness. It says to age it a few years to get its full flavor so obviously this beer has some maturing to do.
M- This is a nice medium bodied beer that is really smooth. The carbonation is balances nicely and the finish is a little dry.
D- It goes down nice and I can only imagine how good this is going to be in a few years. Also gives a little warming sensation from the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2009 03:22:33 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of BobZ
BobZ

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Very dark brown almost black with a nice small 1/2” head that recedes to a 1/16” cap. Nice lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt with chocolate, those two aromas dominate the nose.

Taste: Follows the aroma with a chocolaty rich roasted malt flavor. Also getting a mild licorice flavor. Very well balanced and delicious, the flavors work very well together.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with good body and carbonation.

Overall: Very good beer, somewhere between a stout and a porter. Glad to have a few bottles tucked away.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 17:28:11 | More by BobZ
Photo of Brez07
Brez07

Maine

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Novare Res a few weeks back. 16oz pour into my chalice

A: Dark brown pour with a 2 finger light mocha head. Eventually shows some amber highlights. I don't get any lacing

S: Small nose, not much going on. Some dark fruit, roasted malt. Maybe some earthy notes and spice

T: Some chocolate, roasted malt, raisin. Also has a smokey and chalky presence

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation attacks the palate at first, but then clears away to reveal a creamy mouthfeel. Roasted aftertaste

D: Pretty good beer, but I don't think I'd drink much more in a sitting. I have one sitting in the cellar; it was actually the first beer I ever bought to store away, so I'm glad to see it's holding up well

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2010 14:59:22 | More by Brez07
Photo of alkemy
alkemy

Ohio

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

Pours a very dark brown. Opaque, even when held in direct light. I was able to see an auburn color on the edges of the glass. About a finger and a half of darkish tan head. Thin film stayed on top throughout the entire glass with lacing all the way down. Smells of vanilla, bitter chocolate, banana, and a hint of black licorice. Bitter chocolate in the taste along with oranges and spicy wood. Has a nice warm finish, but was never boozy. Very interesting, there is a lot going on here. I'm thinking I'm gonna to have to go get another bottle and try the aging thing.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 00:30:52 | More by alkemy
Photo of TommyW
TommyW

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Black with some faint ruby highlights coming through; bubbly, tan head.

S- Roasted malt with some burnt notes, chocolate malt and some vanilla.

T- Nice roasted/burnt malt flavor with some chocolate notes, complemented nicely with some citrus rind flavors.

M- Medium to full feel with a nice flow of flavor across the palate.

D- A unique twist on a porter; the Belgian yeast give in some very interesting qualities. Really worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 14:07:19 | More by TommyW
Photo of goalie33
goalie33

New York

4/5  rDev -2%

12-13-2012 02:26:58 | More by goalie33
Photo of wspscott
wspscott

Kentucky

3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pazzo's in a pint glass

A: Completely black with a tan head that leaves lots of lace
S: A little bit of sweetness with a hint of belgian yeast, relatively muted
T: Very roasty, some bitter hops and dark/bitter chocolate. As it warms up, the roast malts completely dominate. I think, a little too much on the roasty side. Like an unbalanced (too roasty) porter
M: A high level of carbonation helps to off-set the "thicker/creamy" malts.
D: A very complex beer on the surface, not easy to drink, but ultimately feels like it lacks depth. Definitely worth trying, but I don't think I will reach for a second one. This is a weird beer, feels unbalanced, maybe better with some age.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2009 19:29:00 | More by wspscott
Photo of scottiethebody
scottiethebody

California

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

08-25-2012 15:31:54 | More by scottiethebody
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Nearly black in appearance with a light tan head of good thickness and consistency; bordering on pillowy. The aroma has a good deal of tangerine and raspberry mixed with burnt toast and charred oak. The longer the beer warms, the more the fruit pops out actually, with a striking vanilla kick coming out, and an almost sour patch kid tartness. They really seem to have crammed a lot into the aromatics. The flavor brings the same qualities of burnt malt, oaky tannic bitterness, boozy vanilla extract,and citrus sweetness together. They aren't really working in harmony, and not as well as in the aroma. There just seems to be a little too much going on right now, but I can see that changing with some age. The mouthfeel is a little hot and astringent, with the alcohol and oak ganging up on your tongue. On the one hand, this is the third year in a row that I have thought that the Vertical epic release was a little weak and unrefined in general, but at least this one tastes like three years in the cellar might actually help it out

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 04:09:33 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of Jstark5150
Jstark5150

California

5/5  rDev +22.5%

11-19-2011 06:57:25 | More by Jstark5150
Photo of hawkmage
hawkmage

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

12-31-2011 17:27:25 | More by hawkmage
Photo of Vengeance526
Vengeance526

Louisiana

3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a moderately sized dark tan head that holds up well and leaves a good bit of lacing.

Smells of chocolate and dark fruits all around.

Taste starts with dried fruits, raisins and rig are very prominent. Some dark cherries with nutmeg and cinnamon follow and the finish reveals a hint of dark chocolate.

Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Overall, not as exciting as I had hoped but still enjoyable. Great to try but I'm not too interested in having again until it has enough age on it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2010 00:58:22 | More by Vengeance526
Photo of Lerxst
Lerxst

Florida

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a decent two finger head that faded fairly quick but left some lacing.

S-Very complex nose. Chocolate, citrus, vanilla, a bit of yeast and malt. Smells great.

T-Taste is right in line with the nose with malt, chocolate, vanilla, citrus.

M-Mouthfeel was a medium body, but thinner than expected with a bit of a harsh carb sting in the finish.

D-I enjoyed it, but can't see having more than one of these.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 13:42:46 | More by Lerxst
Photo of hyuga
hyuga

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2%

11-15-2011 05:37:29 | More by hyuga
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 jerz
jerz

California

4/5  rDev -2%

11-18-2011 05:17:07 | More by jerz
Photo of mrandypandy
mrandypandy

Georgia

3/5  rDev -26.5%

12-30-2012 18:29:53 | More by mrandypandy
Photo of josefnewsong
josefnewsong

New York

5/5  rDev +22.5%

12-04-2011 05:19:50 | More by josefnewsong
Photo of whoneeds8
whoneeds8

Texas

4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of tap into a chalice complete black with a thick tan head. Great lacing all the way down. Smelled of raisins. The taste didn't have much up front, no hops that I could tell what so ever. However the taste moved into a black liqourish taste with hints of chocolate and raisins. There was a great deal of malted sweetness to the mouthfeel with very little noticable carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2009 03:25:48 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of bca115
bca115

California

4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

02-06-2013 15:17:17 | More by bca115
Photo of RandyBoBandy
RandyBoBandy

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

01-31-2013 01:02:34 | More by RandyBoBandy
Photo of trappistlover
trappistlover

Arizona

3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(22oz bottle from AJ’s Via Linda). Pours black with red hue when held up to the light. Tan head with some lacing. Aroma has chocolate, liquid smoke, vanilla and some citrus. Taste is sweet with more citrus and some roasty bitterness. The sweetness balances the roastiness out nicely. Medium bodied with an oily texture. Bitter finish. Pretty nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 04:20:21 | More by trappistlover
Photo of thespaceman
thespaceman

Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass:'

Appearance: Pours a midnight black in color, lots of tan head here and it builds as the pour continues. Head retention is perfect and leaves nice tan lacing in the glass.

Smell: Aromas are lots of chocolate malt and raisins. Lots of darker fruit floats around here, a touch of booziness and some malt sweetness.

Taste: Hoppiness up front is pretty large, leading way to some decent doses of sweet malt, lots of chocolate, caramel and toffee. I also get alot of darker fruits like plum, prune and some dark grapes. A lighter fruit tone comes through in the finish and brightens up the hop profile. A touch of alcohol in the finish is spot on!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, carbonation is medium and the hops add just the right around of bitterness. This beer sits on the tongue perfect, not too thick yet it's bold and rich in the mouth.

Drinkability: This is an awesome limited release beer that is just begging to be aged. The mouthfeel and the sweet maltiness really makes this beer a standout. I love how the hops really balance everything out. An exceptional beer that is one of the best limited release beers I've tried this year! Very sessionable, be careful with this, it's overly drinkable for the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 01:03:20 | More by thespaceman
Photo of UA8
UA8

Washington

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

Had this on tap at flatbread

A- Pours an opaque mahogany brown with a creamy dark brown head.

S- Scents of heavily roasted malts, banana and light spices, and touch of light cocoa.

T- Leads with semi sweet malts. Midpalate hints of banana and spice touches. Finishes with a bit of smoke and chalk, also a touch of hop bitterness.

M- Moderately viscous with a nice smooth carbonation.

D- This beer sits somewhere between what I would expect of several different style pulling a bit from porter, stout, and belgian dark strong. Refreshingly different and I really think will become even more complex with some age.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2009 21:21:16 | More by UA8
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 816 ratings.