Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic AleStone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale
869 Ratings
Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic AleStone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 869 |  Reviews: 538
Photo of taez555
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a thick dark brown/black body with a very thick mocha colored head.

Nose isn't overly distinct at first. Touches of dark chocolate and roasted espresso beans, then come some faint hints of belgian sugary yeast and some very very faint touches of spice and even a little tropical fruit. As it warms a more pronounced orange, chocolate and coffee, with very faint touches of vanilla peak out. Quite a complex and unique, although extremely subtle nose.

Taste is medium to full bodied with an immediate coffee and dark chocolate, roasted malt flavor. There's a strong bitterness but it's not overpowering and actually seems to come more from the roasted dark malts than any strong unique hops. Hops are present in this beer, but don't offer any strong defining character. Very faint touches of vanilla. There's definitely a strong oak flavor to it, and the tangerine only peaks through from time to time with faint touches of an orange type fruit. Ends with a lingering dark burnt malt bitterness.

Definitely one of the most unique VE's so far. A "Belgian style" imperial porter with vanilla, oak and tangerine peels. What the fuck is with that? :-) Mad props to them though, it should be very interesting to see how this is in 2012. I can definitely see some of the bitterness toned down, and a sugary wine like quality could really accentuate the vanilla and fruit more. On to 101010. :-)

edit- Tasting note from January 2013. This may be the best of the VE's aged. It has an almost smokey flavor now. Amazing.

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Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 9/17/09.

A - Deep burnt wood-colored, almost black body with a pinky finger's width of frothy tan head that reduced to a patchy film, yielding thick, ornate cake-like lacing around the glass.

S - Chocolate, coffee, earthy and woody notes all merge together nicely with some citrusy attributes underneath it all. A hint of musty yeast creeps out, imparting a spicy character to the aroma.

T - Hints of spice and orangey citrus notes with lots of roasted malt. Very dark, earthy and woody initial flavor with plenty of coffee bitterness. Gets quite leafy and earthy in the backend and lasts through to the finish, although the hops are accompanied by some sweet chocolate for the long journey down into my gut.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth texture that's trying its best to be creamy, yet is never fully realized. Mouthfeel is perhaps a tad thin overall. Finishes with an assertive hop bite on the back of the tongue.

D - Quite a complex Vertical Epic here. Very roasty, almost like a coffee-infused Dunkel lager or Schwarzbier perhaps. While I don't have much Vertical Epic experience to releate to past releases, I found this one to be quite enjoyable.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Prime 16's CT launch party for Stone into a 12oz pint-style glass.

A: Black body with brown highlights, topped by a quarter-inch of fine brown foam with admirable retention and good lace.

S: Roasted malts up front (chocolate and coffee), backed up with some rich yeast and a hint of citrus.

T: A lot like the nose, with malt leading off ahead of a rich fruity yeast flavor and a supremely dry bitter finish. A fair amount of alcohol heat at the end. Complex, but not entirely harmonious.

M: Medium-bodied with abundant soft carbonation; nice.

D: A little bitter and hot to score well here; will probably impress with age, however.

Notes: Certainly a unique beer - I love the combination of the Belgian yeast and the roasted malts. The citrus and vanilla don't to much for me in the style, though. I get this one will be awesome in three years, though.


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Photo of riored4v
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 9/21/09

Poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black body. 1 finger, tan head. Good lacing. Fades to thin layer rather quick.

Smell is chocolately, fruity and roasty. Hints of bitter orange peel and some nice esters.

Taste has a great complexity to it. Nice bitter chocolate in the finish that is accompanied by a lingering bitterness. Hints of oak/vanilla and lots of rich chocolate and burnt malts. Slightly citrusy hop flavors. Belgian yeast characteristics come out as the brew warms.

Mouthfeel is medium in body with medium carbonation. Slightly sticky with a crisp finish.

Drinkability is good. Lingering bitterness and slight stickiness work well together, although i might be limited to just one. No signs of ABV.

Overall i really enjoyed this one. Hard to pick out all the flavors. Very complex although very easy to drink.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive pour produces a four finger thick creamy coffee stained head. Excellent retention and lacing. Body is an opaque black with ruby highlights which are picked up only when held to the light. Appearance is near perfect.

The aroma is rather unique. Unusual blend of roasted malt and chocolate in which you may find in a stout or porter along side a spicy rather fruity aroma of your typical Belgian Pale. However strange the combination may be, it works quite well. Whiffs of vanilla are intertwined which further increase the complexity.

Rich decadent chocolate flavors overwhelm the taste buds as the liquid first crosses the tongue. Roasted malt flavor with a slight char melds together with the chocolate flavors creating a very full flavor up front. Sweet citric bite shines through the darker heavy flavors add a very welcome dimension to the flavor. Vanilla flavors are subtle and smooth, seemingly playing hide and seek with you as you drink.

Full bodied with a rather creamy mouth feel. Extremely smooth.

A very satisfying brew. Rich flavors with layered complexity which I assume will only increase with age. Easy to drink while more or less being a sipper. One bottle may be more than enough for the simple fact your taste buds may experience fatigue. A masterpiece of a brew if I have ever seen one. I tip my hat to the people at Stone, fine job.

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Photo of Nickls
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Rich tan head; great retention and curtains of lacing; deep mahogany brown color; quite dense

S - Yeasty; woody; dark fruits; and only a hint of sweetness from the malt

T - Chocolately at first; dark grape/fruit flavors; richly malty; bit bittersweet and roasted; dry finish

M - Medium MF; creamier; subtle and soft carbonation

D - Good, and pretty quaffable given the overall heft; tasty and interesting

Overall, very enjoyable and interesting, but still accessible.

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Photo of taxguyjase
4.76/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The nines are very enticing - almost hypnotic. Like the Stone Demon Dude is getting into your head and ordering you to buy Stone it! Anyway, the Vertical Epic series of beers are released annually according to dates when all of the numbers are the same (i.e. 09/09/09, 08/08/08, etc...). Each beer is a different Belgian take on a beer style. There have been some Belgian Witbiers, Pale Ales, IPAs, stouts, etc... The 9/9/09 Vertical Epic is a Belgian style Porter...not two types of beer I would ever think about fusing together.

At first glance, the brew looks pitch black with a big tan head. Good retention on the head, which was nice. The complex aroma had elements of spice, orange and vanilla. So, definitely a suprise on the scent side. The flavor hits it out of the park. You get the spicy, robust kick that is combined with orange, coffee, tanginess and a hint of bitterness. It tastes like a flavorful porter had a love child with a good spicy Belgian beer. Expect an extremely smooth taste that goes down easy and leaves the aftertaste of the variety of flavors for a bit.

Would definitely pick this one up again, presuming I could find it.
This was a remarkably tasty beer - I've had it twice. Once at Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, where I got it on draft. 2nd time was in one of the bombers that I purchased. While the draft was superior, you can expect that in whatever form you get the Vertical Epic, it's good.

Oh, a note - Stone recommends that you cellar this beer until 12/12/12. Fat chance in my house. If you can hold off enjoying this beer for another 3 years, you're a better person than I.

Appearance - 5.0 - big tan head; dark; good retention
Smell - 4.0 - spicy; orange, vanilla
Taste - 5.0 - a unique blend of spicy, fruit, orange, hint of bitterness, definitely a belgian beer but stout like a porter. Weird combo but excellent
Feel - 5.0 - very smooth; goes down easy
Drinkability - 5.0 hells yea - good

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Photo of timtim
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

wow. nuff said. some great reviews. the nose is fantastic, and the vanilla really brings out the orange kind of like the smell from your mom's baking when you were a kid. taste and smell are just unbalanced perfectly for development, and i can't wait to try my other one in a few years. i kind of dig this one. more please. is it 101010 yet?

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Photo of seaoflament
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Danny for hooking me up with this bottle.

Using my New Belgium tulip for this one. The beer sits in the glass like a stout, dark and impenetrable to light. A thick two-inch layer of mocha colored foam sits on top and leaves some lacing on the sides as it falls down. Very good looking beer. About a half inch of foam retains for a long period, and a swirl brings back about an inch to life.

Light chocolate notes, like soft chocolate shavings on a cake, is the first I detect. Next would be the vanilla beans, toast, a citrus hint, and Belgian yeast esters. The aroma reminds me of having toast with a lightly roasted coffee in the morning. A touch of sweet coffee mingles with the chocolate as well as with some spiciness, like nutmeg or cinnamon, and nuts as well. After a few whiffs I am starting to pick up the toasted French oak, I guess that's were the nuttiness and hints of chocolate also come from. Interesting combination of Belgian yeast profile and the roasted malts. A little hint of cream and just a bit of alcohol in the background. I like the aroma, it's interesting. Not robust like a porter, it seems thinner with a dark candy-like touch...I'm sure it's from the dark Belgian candy sugar that thinned the body and added that slight molasses-like sweetness. A powdery sweetness begins to develop as it warms up. The citrus character of the beer grows a bit more as the beer warms up and comes across as orange, maybe you could say tangerine as I get a little tanginess at times.

More roasted in the flavor than the aroma would lead...starts out quite dry and roasted with a chocolate and toast middle, and finished dry again with more chocolate, coffee, oak tannins, and more toast. Belgian yeast fruitiness as in prunes, dates, and raisins are detected in the second sip. Darker chocolate flavors develop in the taste with a dry, oaky finish. Quite good and I think this one will get better with some time in the bottle. Just a bit too tannic, dry, and roasty right now and would like to get a little more sweetness. Hints of nuts in the aftertaste. Almost overly-roasted flavor. An orange-like flavor appears as the beer begins to warm up. I might be just a tad generous in the score, it's above average for me but not great...somewhere in the middle..."good" maybe?

High carbonation but proper for a Belgian style beer, soft on the palate with just a bit of aggression on the tongue. Medium bodied and fairly easy to drink. My favorite vertical epic so far, much better than the last two.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up my stock of this one today at State Spirits and popped one open the second I got home. Served into a chalice, this one was consumed on 09/21/2009.

Not really sure what to make of this one here. Great pour, dark as night with a big tan head on the top that would not quit. Huge lacing up and down the sides of the glass throughout really just capped it off nicely. On looks alone this was stellar. Aroma was intrsting I pick up astringent vanilla bean, molasses, hints of chocolate and a touch of citrus, maybe?? Not sure but there is something light in there for sure. Smooth, even flavor, but the bitterness seems a bit off to me. Had it stuck to the rich molasses and vanilla I think I would have been inclined to rate it much higher, still though it is a very, very good beer, no mistaking that. The citrus hop note just seems not right for me, and I try to look past that and it still creates a fine drink. Bitter aftertaste, almost an IPA like feel to it with most of the sweetness washed to the side.

Overall I thought this was good, but not great. I think with time the citrus will fade and the malts will shine leaving a fine and very sweet porter in its wake and I really look forward to it.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Damn delicious beer! Very complex surprisingly. I really dug deep for this review because of the interesting notes.

First the bottle...very distinct Stone bottle, immediately picked this up for $6.xx for a bomber at Tiger Qwikmart in Clemson, SC.

A: Pours similar to a RIS. Completely opaque mahogany. It looks black, but the mahogany highlights around the corners when held to light, say otherwise. Creamy tan/blueberry colored head that looks very creamy and tightly knit. Amazing lacing along the glass, and the head retains amazingly well. For a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, this is the best color one could ask for.

S: Very spicy nose! Very complex as well. Starts out with dry, roasted, toasted aromas that a stout would possess. Chocolate, burnt malts, coffee, molasses, and loads of dark fruits. BUT, as it opens up, a completely new side of the beer comes out. The Belgian yeasts in this are unmistakable! Once the dark stout-like notes diffuse more, the spiced Belgian yeast gives us more dark fruits (raisins, figs), bubblegum, spearmint, and a slight breadiness. When the two combine, I am blown away. Simply amazing. Slightly smokey, and slightly woody. It almost tasted like a barrel aged stout

T: Very similar to the nose, with minor exceptions. A little more citrus in the flavor. Orange, pineapple, and banana are definitely present. Really adds a Belgian note. I must say though, the bitter dark side of this beer combines amazingly with the Belgian yeasts quite well. I cannot wait to try the 2012 version (The bottle recommends to age it until around this time). The alcohol is pretty well concealed, but naturally, as it warms it becomes a little more intense. A little bitter for my liking, if only it had finished a little more refined or Belgian spicy.

MF/D: Supremely viscous! Velvety, smooth, and creamy this finishes very nice and slightly spicy. Bold and big.

The best way that I could explain this brew to someone is that its a mix between a dark/dry/semi-bitter RIS with a spicy Belgian Strong Ale. Highly recommended!!! Grab two; one for now and one for later!

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. into a pint glass

P: Jet black and almost completely opaque in the glass with a beautiful head of thick, creamy foam that holds firm and stays impressively dense. Displays some gorgeous dimples as it sinks with a rocky texture. Shows excellent retention before settling to a thin cap on top with some thick sheets of lace.

A: Huge blasts of lightly roasted malts that lend a chocolatey/mocha espresso character. Lots of vanilla in here as well, along with some subtle oak, zesty citrus peel, dark fruits, and a healthy amount of clove from the Belgian yeast. Boy, I really don't get the impression that this is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. This smells much more along the lines of an 'Imperial Belgian Porter'...

T: ...and it tastes like it too! Although, who the hell am I to say what style it is! It starts out as more of a traditional American Porter with lightly roasted malts that just ooze that same chocolatey/mocha espresso flavor, while sweet vanilla notes and dark fruits ride right underneath with subtle hints of oak peeking through nicely. Then in the middle, the Belgian yeast seems to grab this beer by the horns and transform it into an 'Imperial Belgian Porter' by imparting a slightly powdery yeast that emits that unmistakable clove flavor, along with banana and some dark fruits as well. On the back end, the addition of tangerine peels really comes to the forefront with a bittering astringency (also probably from hops) that tastes like tangerine peels dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with clove. Leaves a bitter citrusy, yeasty aftertaste that hangs on for a while.

M: This edition of Vertical Epic is medium-full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation that seems to keep it from being as silky smooth and luxuriously rich as it could be. It does have some nice creaminess under the prickles, though. While it's not chewy, it does stick to the palate enough for the flavor to grab traction.

Notes: This is a pretty good Imperial Belgian Porter. However, it seems as if the flavors are kind of disjointed in spots and never really melds together to form one cohesive unit, which hurts the flavor score. I love the sweet start, but the bitter, citrusy astringency in the back half of the mouthful becomes distracting after a while, which also makes the drinkability of this one suffer a bit as well. Good thing the fine folks at Stone brewed this one with the intention to cellar, because I think it could develop quite nicely. Maybe with some age on it, the flavors will work together more harmoniously and the bitter citric notes will calm down a bit. Here's to hoping!

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Photo of dsa7783
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Single, bomber bottle just copped for $6.49 from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Based on my review from last year, and although an entirely different beer, I was still eagerly looking-forward towards this year's annual offering...
Despite being considered as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, this beer perfectly emulated a deep, dark stout or porter pour with an intense, deep, dark, black hue, and malty, foamy, and frothy, tannish head and lacing...
Peculiar stout / dark ale aroma with slight hints of vanilla, mocha, and espresso essences... Bold, malty flavor backboned taste... Smooth and powerful (8.9% ABV) without being too cloying... A very interesting sample...
Worth a shot... What I liked best about this beer was its unobtrusive, uncloying character despite being laden with flavorful taste...

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Photo of Docer
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a fresh bottle of this last night...

- Dark porter of a brew... roasty black with a darm mocha head... quickly vanished into a swarm of mild lace.

- Roasted chocolate malt... vanilla from s unique woody character... much like a porter, but a little different in a way that is hard to describe. Tangerine peel? Can't really smell it... if it is there, it is mild. Slightly bitter scent.

- Taste is much the same as the smell... very smooth chocolate malt, almost an estery oak flavor with hints of vanilla and spice... some hop and almost coffee bitterness.

- Little dry, but overall was smooth and good... just bitter..

- Will certainly get better with age, and I am sure the bitterness will die down a bit, and give way to some real mixed flavors that were slightly masked fresh.... like the tangerine. Smooth and went down easy.

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Photo of PvtVile
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at Aces and Ales in Las Vegas.

Look: This beer pours very dark, it has a little chocolate colored head.

Smell: Smells of chocolate and malts.

Taste: A little bitterness on the tip of the tongue and a nice coat of chocolate and coffee on the back of the mouth.

Feel: This beer is kind of thick and coats the mouth.

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Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours an opaque black with a khaki head that stays around for awhile and laces the glass well.

S- Quite interesting. The nose is not that of the typical stout rather a very dark Belgian. Lots of Dark Fruits and a breadie yeast. Touches Of orange Zest to the finish.

T- Very good. The taste is of roasted malts, Then a fairly strong dark fruit tastes to it. A touch of coffee is at the finish, then as the smell went an orange peal taste to finish.

M- Medium Full Body. Right Amount of carbonation. Slightly too astringent after taste.

O- Awesome Belgian Stout. Lots of Dark Candyied fruits in the aroma and taste. Will seek out more.

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Photo of capra12
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed with Speedwayjim and Wheatman106 served out of a snifter.

Appearance: 4 fingers of light brown head, jet black with spotty lacing.

Smell: Roasted dark chocolate with subtle hints of anise.

Taste: Opens with dark chocolate as coffee bitter comes in toward the middle and last till the finish. Just as this finishes there is a subtle tangy fruit and malt profile. There is a coffee bitter/ hoppy similar to the bitterness of an orange rind aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with minimal carbonation and smooth.

Drinkability: Personally I would have this again but not in the near future. Worth the try if you havent had it.

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Photo of schinebd
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very black with a thick brown head that retains somewhat and laces a little. No highlights or translucence, just deep blackness.

S - A very inviting blend dominated by the Belgian yeast that gives the smell a dominant banana bread aroma. Underneath is roasted chocolate malt, light vanilla, and citrus, providing good complementary variety.

T - Certainly all of the flavors from the smell are there, but rather than presenting themselves, they are piled on top of each other. The roasty malts are most present. Imagine mixing a lot of your favorite foods in a bowl and eating - though it doesn't taste terrible, the flavors don't seem to complement each other or have any order. Not very enjoyable in its current state, but hopefully the flavors can mellow with age.

M - Medium carbonation, but some thick smoothness that does bring forward the chocolate and citrus that the brewer is going for and complements the medium/full body.

D - As mentioned above, the flavors work laboriously on the palette and the high ABV work against the drinkability of this beer.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with ruby highlights and 2 fingers of tan head. A thick looking head that looks like you could float a quarter on it leaves spotty lacing.

S - Oak with a touch of smoke, chocolate with citrus and orange, some holiday spices.

T - Malty with some bitterness, light banana, chocolate, citrus, vanilla and a touch of smoke.

M - Medium body with good carbonation and a lingering bitterness.

D - Interesting beer when you read the bottle but I don't think the flavors mix together very well.

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Photo of Gmann
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost near black color with a brown head that quickly settles into a light ring. Very much looks like a stout. The aroma is of roasted malt and milk chocolate and that is pretty much all that I am picking up. The taste is of a beautiful chocolate flavor, milk and dark chocolate with what I am thinking is a belgian candi sugar sweetness. There is some caramel and toffee characteristics to this brew. I believe that Stone is going for a Belgian stout on this one. The flavors are that of a stout but with none of the bitterness. A nice chewy feel with plenty of carbonation to make this quite drinkable. This is a damn tasty beer which is heavy yet drinkable. To me it is more stout like but has none of the roasted malt bitterness and is just darn delious. Good show.

# 800 y'all!!

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Photo of bunnyhustle
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The always anticipated VE was a bit of a let down to me. I guess it was a good let down, but still...Poured into tulip, dark as night with mocha head. Good retention and lacing. The smell was very unique I thought. A very bready and yeasty smell at first led way to a banana and bubblegum smell with some chocolate. Perhaps the most smells I've ever had in a single beer. Taste was alright but I feel it needs to age, but I guess thats what this beer is supposed to do. I think there were too many flavors to really focus on anthing particular. Chocolate, hops, orange, citrus, oak, vanilla, toasted name it! I actually thought there was a bit of smokiness to it that I did enjoy. Just a little too much. Mouthfeel was fuller but not too heavy. Overall an easy drinker. I did enjoy the beer and am very curious to see how it ages. I think this one will get much better with age.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Blue Point Snifter.

A: Poured an opaque black with a fluffy light brown, caramel 4 finger head that was relatively coarse. Head retention was excellent and thick lacing was very impressive.

S: Chocolate and cocoa powder, Belgian yeast, and a subtle hint of vanilla.

T: Deep roasted chocolate beginning that develops into a burnt sweet brown sugar. Roasted malts really coat the mouth and enhance the whole experience which ends similarly; roasty and a bit hoppy.

M: Medium bodied and surprisingly silky for the head that was produced. This really covered the lining of the mouth and makes the flavor last and last.

D: I've had the 07 and 08 and I've gotta say that this is the best in the last 3 years. A worthy beer and a pleasure to sip.

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Photo of t420o
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I loved this beer! I bought the Vertical Epic 07, 08, and then 09, and did a little tasting. Wow, all of them are so good. The 09 is different than the 07, and 08. It is pitch black and tastes like the best dark chocolate you have ever had with subtle hop taste and and subtle orange tatse as well. It is very drinkable. I Highly recommend this beer. Sorry for the weak review but I just drank three bombers and i feel good

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into my la chouffe tulip

a-dark cola light shines through...nice one and a half finger head espresso head...nice lacing

s-fruity and spicy..chocolate and vanilla...earthy and slightly musty at first..

t-chocolate and cocoa up front...nice subtle roasted malt in the middle...spice and coriander...cirtus

m-excellent nice and thick...chewy even...prickly from the carbonation...

d-could put away a bomber or two a night...but i think the subtlety makes this a night sipper

overall a fantastic beer...glad i bought a couple to age until the vertical is complete..

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Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 869 ratings
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