Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

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BA SCORE
89
very good

697 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 697
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 41
Gots: 174 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!

(Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 697 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Massbmx:
Photo of Massbmx
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a deep gold with a glowing haze. The off-white head produces about a finer of foam with average retention that leaves lacing on the glass.

This smells like a belgium triple brewed with American hops the hops are prominent but the the belgian yeast is right behind it. The hops smell strongly of pineapple and citrus while the yeast has a a some pepper and a bit of clove. The yeast aroma also has some mild fruity esters like oranges and peaches. There is an alcohol aroma that is soft and perfumy.

Pineapple and lemon dominate the flavor along with a moderately strong bitterness. There is malt support in following that gives me the impression that pilsner malt was used to lighten the body.

A light, fluffy body with a fine moderately low carbonation that dances on the tongue.

This beer has aged nicely, the assertive hops aroma and flavor is still there but more like a tripple with some years on it than the hops punch I crave in a young IPA. There is defiantly that pilsner malt character of a light body and faintly in the aroma and flavor.

Photo of brownbeer
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yellowish color with a thick white head.

Aroma includes fruity esters of a tripel with a subtle hoppy stone twist.

Soft carbonation and hidden alcohol make this quite easy to drink.

I thought overall it had great drinkability but kind of lacked the crisp/bold character I would have enjoyed to make this great. Well made but I wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 22oz bomber pours into my tulip glass a bright golden yellow with a two finger head of creamy foam on top. Plenty of active carbonation rises up. Aromas start out with crisp malts bathed in a spicy Belgian yeast. Lots of fruity scents here with citrus, apple, melon and tropical notes. Big resinous hops are there as well. Slight bubblegum and floral notes as well. Interesting.

First sip brings the standard Belgian pale crispness that quickly moves into peppery, spicy, earthy yeast notes that battle alongside a bevy of fruity flavors. Melon, banana, apple and citrus. Flows down with a punch of resinous hop bitterness that adds some pine flavors as well. Bubblegum and clove come as afterthoughts. Finishes very dry on the palate. Tasty overall.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. There's a crisp graininess to the brew, maybe due to how dry it is overall. The bomber goes down easy enough, however this isn't my favorite of the series. There seems to be too many competing flavors here. I'll be interested to see what happens when this gets some age on it.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, this beer was a golden color with a medium-sized white head. It had a fruity aroma, mainly apple, with a nice malt background. I also detected a bit of a floral aroma. Taste was the fruit and malt up front, a little yeast funk, some spice, finishing with a bit of hops. Fairly dry.
A likeable beer.

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Beaver13
2.3/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is banana, musty yeast, some cloves with some spicy hops.

The flavor is a bit of a mish-mash - sweet bananas fight with peppery hops. There's also a little sweet bready malt and a little clove and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full with some light but sharp carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for this. I don't like bananas in my beer and it was strong in this one. The blend of bananas and hops was strange as well.

Photo of bigdipip
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll preface this review by stating that I've found most of the VE series to be moderate disappointments. This one pours into a snifter a clear golden hued body,radiant in the alfresco evening sunlight. A vanilla cap tops it off with a sturdy head that laces generously in sheets and patches.

Aroma is fruity with notes of grapefruit and banana. Piney hops are noticed.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation with a yeasty chalk feel.

Taste is impressive. Grapefruit, a hint of bubblegum, dry hop bitterness of pine hops, and many IPA tendencies in the hop profile. Seems like a cross between a Belgian pale ale and a Belgian IPA. Finishes dry and hoppy bitter with just a hint of fruity sweetness.

Very enjoyable. First beer consumed and reviewed here on Tranquility Mountain in Claibourne County, Tennessee. This is my favorite of the Vertical Epic series. Wish I could stock up on a few of these.

Photo of Billolick
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled several times at BCTC, and then from a small growler and enjoyed 2 days later at home (now)

From the Stone website, "The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe)."

The comment heard most often by samplers at the fest was simply "WOW"

Pours clear, medium honey amber, glistening with golden and light orange shimmers, head is off white, tiny bubble and leaving scattered fine lacing.

Nose picked up plenty of mint, pineapple, melon, berries and assorted fresh fruit nuances.

Absolutely delicious creation in brewing, Belgian yeasty notes, banana, citrus, piney hops, more pineapple, a plethora of fruity notes, dry spiced up/ light peppery finish...WOW...yummy...my favorite style...(hoppy Belgian strong pale ale/tripel/whatever you want to call it)

Stone rocks and this is another fine example of their craft

Photo of magictrokini
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I succumbed and broke one open early... and I'm glad I did. Pours oily clear gold with a minimal white head. Aroma of banana, yeast, clove, and a bucket of hops. Very sweet and resiny taste; the Belgian qualities really compliment the West-Coast IPA hopping. The Simcoe and Amarillo do well, adding the pepper and pine. Taste is closer to the Green Flash Le Freak than the eventual Stone Cali-Belgique. We'll see how this does in a few years.

This beer exposes one of my chief complaints about this site. The Vertical Epic Series is supposed to be cellared until the series is complete, then drank at the same time. Some of the earlier beers were not very good and need cellaring to improve. Yet, if one follows Stone's directions, you will never be able to properly rate this beer because it is "retired."

Photo of jamesm7485
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a very golden hue with a lighty white frothy head.

The smell has some fruit notes, honestly i cant smell much because i have a sinus infection right now.

The smell is very good light on the fruit with a belgian yeast tone

The mouthfeel is very light not too carbonated

The drinkability even with the abv is very nice

Photo of Kraken
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been holding onto this one for at least a few months. Figured now is as good a time as any. Poured from the standard 22oz bottle into a 20oz pint glass. Firm pour yields 2 finger Bright white head consisting of very fine bubbles. Color is a clear pale golden amber.

Nose- Rich and grainy, full of hops notes of vanilla. Smells wonderful.

Taste- Very nice. Subtle hop bitterness very dry, like death valley in the summer time. Alcohol present, fairly hot. Nice malt sweetness. Hints of vanilla. Citrus notes from the hops. This has all the earmarks of a "typical stone brew. I am reminded of the stone IPA and Ruination in sipping on this. Personally I think this should cellar for a bit longer.

Mouthfeel- Very Zippy carbonation, dry

Drinkability- Pretty hot atm. This could use a little more time in the cellar. Very nice and shows great potential.

Photo of jondeelee
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a fruity aroma that promises spiciness, like orange peels and allspice, and boasts of sweet sugars and bitter hops.

However, on the tongue, the hops are the first to emerge, exploding into grapefruit-bitter blossoms like a strong IPA. The sugars are downplayed immensely on the tongue, but still come across in the form of light fruitiness, perhaps apricots, and form a nice platform for the hoppy bitterness. There may be hints of darker flavors for some, such as tobacco or dark chocolate, as well as a nice toasted grain taste that threads its way through. The label says that this ale is "spicy, estery and fruity (from the yeast)," but by and large the hops are what take center stage, and in fact seem to throw the brew slightly off-kilter, as the deeper layers prove difficult to find against it; I mostly felt as if I were biting into the rind of a grapefruit.

Personally, I didn't mind this, as I quite like the ale's hoppy bitterness--but for anyone who already thinks that even light IPAs are too sour, this brew will only prove undrinkable. I give this 3.5 stars, with a note that it would have earned far more were it better balanced.

Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of TKEbeerman
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Poured into my VE glass, this brew pours a murky straw color with a lot of yeast for a IPA. I guess thats what makes it belgium.
S. Light fruit, and no hops.
F. A little hops on the back of the pallet. Yeasty spic notes, but a lack of complexity.
Mf. The fullest of the VEs. Very well carbonated.
Overall, for an aged Belgium IPA I expected more complexity.

Photo of ryser2k
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a bright honey golden slightly clouded body, forming a vibrant egg shell white head with fine bubbles quickly rising from the bottom of my Piraat chalice. Nice intricate lacing is left behind in a fine scattered pattern with each sip.

Aroma is heavily hopped dare I say Simcoe or Summits (now I've read these were Amarillo hops). Anyway a touch of green onion and grapefruit with dank weed reminds me slightly of the Green Flash DIPA, I would think this may be on par with their new Green Flash Le Freak. Some sweet malts crate a honey biscuit edge with fr4uit easters abundant from the Belgian yeast strain, some tropical pineapple with a touch of banana. Those tones are hard to detect among the frivilous hop bill.

Flavor is spicy with assertive hop bitterness, that green onion tone almost becomes spicy like a garlic note. It's not off putting it's just intense, grapefruit citrus with other fruit esters arrive short after the spiciness dies down. Still has some hot alcohol with some perfume like notes among the raw hop bitterness, I can for see this acheiving some balnce as the hops are muted in a few months. However, I'd drink this one fresh forget about 12.12.12.

Mouthfeel moderate carbonation but ample for the style not as effervescent as your current hopped up Beligans but it carries well on the palate. This style doesn't really benefit from all the hops but I did enjoy the oily textures and bitter dry finish between the yeast and the hop flavors.

Drinkability is pretty effortless, I plan to grab a few more bottles at just around or under seven bucks this is a steal. Just do yourself a favor and don't try to age this one it's drinking so well right now with the fresh hops bite.

Photo of OStrungT
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy golden yellow color, with a thin white head. The head fades slowly, leaving no lace.

This beer has a spicy aroma. It smells of earthy yeast. Some citrus aroma comes through also. It has a surprisingly hoppy aroma also.

This beer tastes spicy, with some clovey flavor and some coriander. Orange peel and lemon mix in as well. This beer has a floral hop flavor also.

This beer is full bodied. It leaves a spicy aftertaste. The carbonation is just right.

This beer would probably make a good session beer despite the higher alcohol content.

Overall: As I suspected, this beer is great. I have never been let down with Stone, and this is no exception. I am looking forward to seeing how this one holds up.

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of equal amounts light fruits - bananas and pears - and herbal, slightly citrus hops. As it warms floral hop aromas join in the mix.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front are soon joined by fresh banana and pear flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors - herbal grapefruit - enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the glass and could easily have a few of these.

Overall this was a tasty beverage and I was surprised at how well the hops held up. Definitely worth a try, even this late in the game.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on 1/26/13
(Served in a globe glass)
A- This beer pours a clear apricot body with a slow carbonation and a thin bubbly white head that is soon gone.

S- The green pithy citrus aroma lead to a soft dry spicy quality in the finish. Some apricot ester aromas grows to a soft hint with some candy sugar hints underneath.

T- The watery taste has a spicy finish that could be hops or alcohol but is to soft to tell. There is a dry finish that has a phenolic spice and some stale malt flavor in the back of the throat after each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a big alcohol heat that grows, especially in each exhale.

O- This beer has some nice but very light apricot yeast esters and the spice hint would be nice as a secondary flavor but the big alcohol and watery taste just dominate. It does have that stale aftertaste that I have had in old abbey beers.

---
(Served in a chalice)
drank on 9/25/08
A- This beer pours a crystal clear apricot colored body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles and a lumpy snow white head.

S- There is a yeasty perfume nose that is followed by a slightly earthy hop note and a dry bubblegum hint to the finish.

T- This beer has a dry soft hop pungency with a club soda flavor followed by a grapefruit pith note. There is a light soapy flavor to the slight bitter finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight vinous alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms. There is a champagne fizz finish.

D- This beer has some yeasty notes and some triple and pale ale qualities but nothing that is really to interesting. I don't think this beer has much hope of improving in the next 4 years but we will see.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 697 ratings.