Stone Brewing Company’s latest Vertical Epic release is now on the street and readily available. The cloak of secrecy has been lifted and we now know this latest offering is “Belgian style Imperial Porter”.
I scanned the Beer Judge Style Guidelines and was unsuccessful in locating this style. Actually I couldn’t find anything close. This is not an Imperial Porter with Belgian yeast. That would be too easy and not what we would expect from Stone.
Candi sugar, vanilla bean, and tangerine peel were added to this beautiful ale. The beer was then aged with French Oak chips.
The color of the beer is a deep brown with a generous tan head. This complex ale is multifaceted in its aromas. There are coffee and chocolate tones along with the vanilla. I am thinking some of the vanilla is from the vanilla bean and some from the oak. There are discreet banana and clove aromas that get more pronounced as I agitate my glass.
The body is medium with soft carbonation. The flavor has a huge roasted malt, roasted coffee groove going on. The banana and vanilla flavors match up perfectly.
I see 09.09.09 as a great desert beer. I could pair this up with a slice of dark chocolate cake served with a small scoop of coffee ice cream. It would be just as good after dinner with a nice Cohiba cigar.
Currently I have 3 bottles lying down in the basement. Now that I have tried 09.09.09 I am going to have to buy a case. There is no way three bottles will last me 3 years. Once again Stone Brewing Company knocks it out of the park with another world class addition to the Vertical Epic series.