Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic

October 6, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Stone, Country: America, Grade: A-, Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Cure for the Common Cold

The say you should treat the common cold with lots of fluids, tons of medicine, and plenty of rest.  Yeah, that shit never works.  But a thing that does work is binge-drinking.  Think about it, does not heavy imbibing of beer handle the “lots” of fluids, “tons” of medicine, and, eventually, force you to have “plenty” of rest?  Swimmingly it does, I might add.

Firstly, drinking oodles and oodles of ounces of ounces of the cocktail made with two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen is so boring and unflavorful.  Not like beer.  Secondly, swallowing big ol’ horse pills of ear, nose, throat, and head pain relievers is no easy task.  Unlike throwing some beer down your gullet.  And no one likes to force themselves to rest, so why not drink yourself into a sleepy oblivion?

I mean, why do you think ER patients in intense pain are sometimes forced into a coma?  So that they won’t have to experience all the terrible things happening to them as the recover from trauma.  Why have a “lost weekend” when you’re well?  A lost weekend when you’re in tip-top shape will involve missing all sorts of fun.  Hanging with friends, partying, playing with girls, and general revelry.  When you sober up and hear what you missed while you were blacked out you’re always inevitably pissed.  But, a “lost weekend” or week, in some cases, while you’re sick?  Why that’s genius!  Start drinking heavily and next thing you know you will have missed several days of a groggy head, pulsating sinus pressure, hacking up a lung and ejecting all sorts of green stuff from your nose, as well as being forced to watch daytime TV (although “Family Feud” continues to be hypnotizingly addictive).

As someone who is currently sick from the common cold, I can tell you that nothing can and will heal this pain save time.  So, I’ll just have to ignore it.  I will have to become a sort of drunken time traveler.  Start drinking heavily right now, and next thing I know, I’ll have woken up flawlessly well on Friday morning, totally having avoided the expected misery of this week.  Like a bear hibernating through the coldly harsh months.

The only drawback to drinking while sick is that your sense of smell and taste are too FUBAR to fully enjoy the great craft beer you’re drinking.  Alas, everything does have its debits.  Then again, some beers are so aromatic and so flavorful that even a man without a face could enjoy them.  The new Stone Vertical Epic comes to mind.

I’ve kinda been down on Stone lately.  Stone was the first craft brewery I loved and I’ve long considered it THE best craft brewery in America, but lately I’ve been fairly disenchanted with them.  I was beginning to wonder if Stone could just no longer compete with some upstart breweries or whether the ubiquity of Stone products and the amount of each of them I’ve enjoyed over the years had finally made me familiarly contemptuous of them.  Glad to say that with their recent super-hopped 13th Anniversary Ale, and now especially 09.09.09, Stone is still firing on all cylinders.

09.09.09 is quite a subtly unique little beer.  Like a dubbel mixed with a banana rich weisenbock in a way.  Flavors of mixed orange and chocolate with hints of vanilla bean as well as some oakiness too.  A very nicely crafted beer and certainly not to be missed.  All hail Stone, they are certainly still the kings.  And if they had a stupid little 200 bottle special release party for some new wild ale or tequila-barreled porter, they’d go back to getting the attention they rightfully deserve.  Shit, I just hope I can get a bottle of that tequila-barreled porter!


2 Responses to “Stone 09.09.09 Vertical Epic”

  1. Aaron says:

    One of my favorite beers at GABF.

  2. Dave says:

    I’ll have to break out a bottle this week.

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