Now that I’ve had my first STONE VERTICAL EPIC – last year’s, which we reviewed a few weeks ago – I’m all in. Let’s do this. I’ll be drinking them as long as they keep making them (mark your calendars for October 10th next year). This year’s is nothing like what I expected, but even in its “young” state, it’s amazing. I’d call it something like a Belgian-style smoked ale, maybe a dubbel crossed with a hefeweizen with a little rauchbier action as well. Any of you had one yet? What do you call it? STONE themselves say “Belgian-style imperial porter”. Really, we’re all just making this up and pretending we know what we’re talking about, aren’t we?
STONE VERTICAL EPIC 9-9-09 was enjoyed on draft at Downtown Johnny Brown’s in San Diego, CA. When I mentioned to Todd, the owner, that it tasted like a banana-infused dubbel, he gave me a big long, “nahhhhhhh, that’s not it at all”. I guess you have to love a beer that keeps the pundits guessing. There are tastes of chocolate mixed in with the banana, as well as that rich, smoked malty flavor that I’d say defines it overall. It is clean and smooth and very fresh. It runs about 9% alcohol, so an unshared bomber of this might set you back for the night and have you to bed early. You know what? I’m going to try that out and see. This is an excellent beer, definitely one we each need to hoard and stock up for the winter. 9/10.