Things have been crazy this week with that little thing called G-20 which has basically the whole world watching Pittsburgh. Next week we’re back to our regularly scheduled blogging… n’at
Throwing you a curve ball here with the planned beverages since this came in special delivery from Ohio.
Stone Vertical Epic 09-09-09
brewery: Stone Brewing Company – stonebrew.com
style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter
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.
What I think
I’m always cautious about trying this series right away because I know that I’ll end up putting one bottle in my basement. Though that didn’t work well with a flooding basement so I have to start over.
First off the pour. Thick, dark and rich creamy head. Oh yeah, we’re already off to a good start. The nose was a bland chocolate, almost like a faded scratch-n-sniff sticker from grade school. The taste was extremely complex at first as I was trying to figure out what I tasting first. A little bit of chocolate, slight vanilla and a strong banana flavor. The body was medium and finished really smooth but I think this is still a young one and will benefit greatly from some time to mature downstairs.
My advice is buy 2 bottles. Drink one now, write down some notes and then drink the second one in a year… or you can wait for 12-12-12. Either way you’ll want to sit tight and i think this has the most potential of all the VE series I’ve had to date.
Spoon’s rating: B-