Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic AleStone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
4.08/5
868 Ratings
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic AleStone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by superdedooperboy on 09-08-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
538
Ratings:
868
pDev:
10.54%
Bros Score:
4.25
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
275
Trade:
15
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 868 |  Reviews: 538
Photo of cadaugherty
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of tleifj
4/5  rDev -2%

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

This brew was served on draft at the Tap and Mallet Vertical Epic tasting event. It arrived in a tasting glass, showing a dark brown coloring, with light ruby letting up around the edges. It held a one finger head of light tan bubbles, showing great retention. Lacing was minimal, but carbonation did appear to be active. No haze or sediment was noted. The aroma gave syrupy fig and a twang of molasses against roasted coffee malts, and thick caramel malts. Chalky dryness of pales echoed somewhere on the back, with tangerine rind bite and sourness being definitely apparent. Light vanilla smoothness came out with heat, alongside hearty booziness. Our first impression was that there was a crazy depth to the malts, with nice warming burnt smokiness to balance the sweetness of fig. As we sipped, dark fig syrups, fusel booze, burnt liquid caramel, faintly toasted pale malts, metallic yeastiness, buttery diacetyls, and juicy saltiness mixed for a complex start. The peak came with added complexity of plum sugars, stronger fig sweetness, depth and metallics of coffee malts, and a lighter seaweed vegetable quality. The end was with molasses, the return of cloying sugary sweetness, a nice and enhanced depth of caramel malts, pale drying toast, and that maintained coffee smokiness. The aftertaste breathed of salt, molasses, anise, light smoke, leathers, caramel syrups, and toasty coffee malts. The body was medium to full, and the carbonation was medium. There was nice slurp and froth to the sip, with good cream and foaminess left around the mouth. This was quickly followed by an astringent drying bite, eliminating most of the initial juicy wetness. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the depth to the malts. There was such a nice roast and smoke to the coffees and caramels by the end you would swear that you were drinking separate beers. The flavor really does develop and enhance throughout the tasting, keeping you guessing until the last drops. Additionally, the big molasses and buttery qualities added oily slickness, keeping the mouth soft. This was a nice blend.

 2,152 characters

Photo of bigred89
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of SFC21
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of jakecattleco
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of harperman69
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Focusf111
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of TexAggie011
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Hoptoudrop
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of brotherloco
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of goalie33
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of mrebeka
4/5  rDev -2%

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

Looks: I was worried at first because the bottle released such a pitiful hiss of air when I removed the cap, I thought it might've gone flat. But, my fears were unfounded -- a bubbly, cappuccino-colored head rises to cap the liquid as I pour. The beer below is of the deepest purple, revealing cranberry highlights when held to a lamp. The head, now a simple but persistent ring, grips the sides of the glass tightly, leaving layers of lace.

Smells: interesting. Lots and lots of milk chocolate, sweet orange juice, plums, red wine, oak, and a hint of bananas.

Tastes: like a porter with Belgian yeast. A slight metallic tinge. Heavily roasted grains impart a chocolate char, while a surge of dark fruit sweetness hits at the swallow, while waves of chocolate and hop bitterness wash across the mouth in the aftermath. The bright flavors of orange peel, paired with the chocolate, are really working here. I'm still getting the faintest bit of grassy hops and even a little bit of vanilla and oak.

Feels: lightly carbonated, medium body, smooth. Love the way this rolls about the mouth. A slight warmth flows down the throat and warms the chest.

Drinks: Nearly a year of age seems to have done a bit of melding to this beer, and all the flavors seem to be in great balance. The sweetness never gets cloying; the bitterness never gets overpowering. Good across the board. I'm interested to see if the subtle fruit flavors remain when I open my second bottle in 2012.

 1,473 characters

Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of malfunxion
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of midlifec
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Kaveman
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 2/15/10.

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a very thick dark black. No light is getting through this beer at all. A decent-sized tan head rests on top. Great retention; left lots of webbing on the glass. Scents of chocolate malts, some yeast, mulch, dark breads, and slight booze.

Great deep body here. Moderately carbonated with a rich full finish. Complex flavors including dark chocolate, black coffee, pipe tobacco, light yeast, and just hints of the booziness I found in the nose. This wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was surprising. What a treat! I've got another bottle I'm going to sit on awhile. I'm interested to see how some of these flavors develop.

 694 characters

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

Very dark brown with ruby edges. Fine brown bubbles topped the beer, forming a thin cap. Great head retention and lots of lace. Chocolate and mild roast aromas, light hops, slightly phenolic, a bit of spice (ginger and cloves perhaps?), and vanilla. Malty flavour, again with chocolate and roast, vanilla, and spices. It still seems like a combination of ginger and cloves, but it's well balanced within the rest of the flavour profile. Some straight up malt sweetness, a little sugary, rather than toffee or caramel. Lingering licorice and chocolate. Medium to full bodied with fine carbonation, great texture. Very well hidden alcohol. This really straddles the line between a Belgian strong dark and a Belgian stout. Quite tasty and just right for a cool afternoon.

 768 characters

Photo of marct
4/5  rDev -2%

Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 868 ratings
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