Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale
From Stone Brewing Co. – During the brewing process we added dark candi sugar, vanilla bean, and tangerine peel to complement the flavors of the porter. The vanilla bean addition is fascinating, as it actually enhances the chocolate character from the roasted malts, and the candi sugar adds a nice hint of molasses flavor to the finish. The tangerine actually turned out to be quite subtle on the finish, and combines nicely with the chocolate malt character. We aged this beer on French oak chips, which contributes a smooth and subtle woody undertone and even more vanilla flavors.
Stone Brewing Co. – Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale – 22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. – ABV 8.6%.
Appearance: Pours a midnight brown with a small layer of froth atop.
Aroma: Unsweetened cocoa, light rosemary, fresh bread, bit of fruitiness and a new pair of leather shoes.
Taste: Roasted malts,burnt malts, chocolate covered fruits (dried pineapple and orange), wood and smoke notes, and melted caramel. I could go on forever.
Overall: Incredible. I try not to buy into the market speak printed on the bottle, but much of it is spot on. It’s a very luxurious beer, that gets even better as it warms up. While some of the lighter Vertical Epic beers don’t seem like they will get “awesomer”, this beer just might be destined for greatness, with a bit of age on it.