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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

699 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 699
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 43
Gots: 178 | FT: 16
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:
Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 699 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopDerek
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with 1 finger of foamy off-white head into a tulip glass. Good retention leaves some lacing cling in parts. Smells of honey, apricot, Belgian spices, yeasty bread, candy, pine, and booze. Tastes of apricot, grapefruit, and lemon up front with some candied fruits like pear and apple along with honey. Belgian spices accompany yeasty bread notes before a pine and grass finish mixed with a touch of alcohol warmth. Medium-full in body with great carbonation, very effervescent. Sweet and tart with a nice lingering bitterness. Another great release for the Vertical Epic, potent stuff but enjoyable.

Photo of abfraser
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange-ish yellow with nice white head

S: Grapefruit and piney, floral hops

T: Bitter hops, spice, honey

M: Smooth, well-balanced, medium-bodied

D: Nothing to fault here.

Last of the tasting, and my least favorite. A little strong hop-wise, but my memory of it might have been influenced by the other older bottles, which had mellowed a bit. Still quite good, though.

Photo of RunDWP
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a few bottles of this when it first came out, and now that I've had a couple, thought it was time to post my review.

Pours a lovely golden orange, with a bit of a fizzy white head, and not a lot of lacing on the tulip glass. Nice fruity aroma, somewhat dominated by apricot. The flavor is also rather fruity, again, with a lot of apricot and a citrus and slightly piney hop bitterness that gives in an astringent quality. It's a little yeasty too, and very hoppy for a Belgian Ale. The alcohol presence is a bit detectable, and this one warms you up a little as you drink it.

Photo of dagubna
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of nova009
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been waiting a long time to try this one
Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A- pours a clear and bring orangish-copper color, big fluffy two finger head appears a sticks around leaving lots of good lace along the glass, steady stream of bubbles rises to the surface

S- very floral, nice boquet, fruity belgian yeast, clove, orange peel, a slight hoppiness, a little bubblegum as well

T- creamy, lots of fruity belgian yeast, clove, pepper and the spiciness that comes with it, finishes dry with a little bit of grass, virtually all of the hop presence has dissipated

M- medium body, fairly high carbonation, starts creamy and finishes dry, the flavor hits you right in the middle of the tongue

O- this was a solid beer, I was a little ancy with the prospect of an aged IPA but this was still pretty tasty, the belgian flavors really took over, interested to see how the remaining epic bottles finish

Photo of birchstick
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a '06 - '10 vertical

This pours a clear yellow and a small head on it. Piney hops mixed in with some bready malts dominated the aroma. The taste had a nice combination of sweet citrus and caramel malts. Ended with a bit of spicy hops. Maybe I missed the belgian characteristics of this one or they faded away. My palate was starting to go at this point so this was the last one I reviewed, so who knows. This was a little think with a good body. This was a nice and sweet overall. The high abv was noticeable still and could use some more time, but then again this is a Belgian IPA so time definitely won't help it.

Photo of buffettfan
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle, into my Allagash slim tulip glass.

Poured a clear yellow, with very nice head. Much lighter looking then I was expecting.

Smelled like bread, yeast, with some citrus, and pretty strong hop presence.

Tasted of hops, not too bitter, with some sweetness to balance it out.

Very drinkable beer! I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Grotten chalice.

A: Fairly clear golden color. Head dissipated quickly. No real lacing.

S: Very pungent bittering hops. The sweetness is there but not as much as you would want in a Belgian IPA which is what this should be classified as.

T: Nice mix of sweetness and hoppiness. Again this should be a Belgian IPA. As it is this I will review it as such. Honestly the LaChouffe really captured the style and everyone else is catching up. Still a great beer but the hops and sweetness are not as strong as I would like.

M: Fairly average medium body. Carbonation is good.

D: I really don't see how this beer will hold up for 4 years. That being said I do have 6 bottles in the cellar. A nice example of a hard to obtain and little produced style. Very nice. Drink now though if only buying one bottle.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fortunate to be able to try this on tap at DLD.

Appearance: Poured a honey orange color, with a small 2 cm head. Not much head retention, but a little light lace stick.

Smell: Sweet aroma. Sweet malt, mellowed fruits, bananas, and citrus. Some mild spices and earthy notes as well.

Taste: The start of the sip provides a strong initial sweetness, with caramel, banana, and some citrus (orange and grapefruit) flavors. Alcohol really kicks in the middle. Although the hops have not disappeared completely, it definitely does not have typical IPA character. Soft hops remind me of orange and lemon zest. Finishes a bit spicy.

Mouthfeel: Medium/high level of carbonation, a little bit grainy. Medium body.

Drinkability: Overall I thought this was a smooth, enjoyable beer. Personally, I thought it drank more like a Tripel due to the lack of strong hoppy character.

It would have been interesting to taste when it was first brewed, as a comparison. The novelty of having one of the Epics was a great treat, even if the beer itself was not mind-blowing.

Photo of jlindros
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

had as part of a big VE tasting at the end of the world party, thanks to Mark for sharing.

Decent fizzy head, light lacing, hazzy carrot orange color.

Nose is nice Belgian again, bright malts, light tropical fruits even, hint guava and pear, malty, sweet, tangerine, etc.

Taste sweetish malts, aged tasting, fluffy, candy malts, light citrus, tangerine and pear, fluffy Belgian malts, light citrus, light esters and hint of booze.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb for the age.

Overall OK, again would probably have been much better fresh, but decent.

Photo of JoePat
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a perfect golden color with a nice white head that dissipates pretty quickly but that is expected with a few years on it.
Smells earthy from the hops and a a little bit of golden raison smell.
The tast is sweet, spicy in the begining and finishes bitter.
Mouthfeel is light syrupy from the sweetness and a little dry.
Easy to drink kind of like a mix between a triple and a DIPA.

Photo of vfgccp
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened June 2013

A - Bright gold body with a light haze. Nice, fine white head pours about a finger high. Ok retention and nice lace.

S - Unusual amount of dark dried fruits more typically found in dark belgian strong ales. Raisin, dried pear, dill, rosemary, muscat, amaretto. Little to no hop character - possibly due to age.

T - Herbal opening with thyme and rosemary. Pear and grape center with warm white booze. Touch of dry wood and a twang of cider-like acidity on the backend.

M - Silky smooth, light frame. Low carbonation, but it isn't much of a distraction.

O - More belgian light strong ale than belgian IPA, but the brew shines with a nice, well balanced flavor profile and a solid mouthfeel.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber into a Corsendonk tulip.

Pours an absolutely gorgoues, straw-golden color with massive torrents of carbonation rising to feed a well-retained, light creme colored head. Tiny yeast particulates swirl aimlessly throughout the glass, and fantastic lacing coats the inner surfaces. The aroma is everything a Belgian Pale Ale should be, especially given the West Coast hop addition: lots of citrus and tropical fruits (madarin orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and lemon). Some hops come off as grassy, while the pale malt note adds a nice balance. A touch of solvent-like alcohol hits the nose as well.

The flavor could use some smoothing over from a year or two in the cellar, but overall it's quite good. Bitter, floral hops hit the front and back of the tongue, giving way to sweetened belgian malts in the middle. A spiced, sharp grassiness hits the back of the palate and is quickly outshined by a hot boozy warmth. A bit too hot, in all honesty. The body of '08 is crisp and superbly carbonated, but the finish is just a bit too much to take, as the alcohol outshines some of the more delicate malt & hop notes. All in all, I feel like Stone did a nice job with this one, and it's a worthy addition to the vertical line-up. Given the choice, though, I'd opt for Green Flash's Le Freak when in the mood for a more drinkable West Coast interpretation of a Belgian Pale.

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 y2j2280
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Looks like a typical Belgian style brew. Nice head, that disappears quickly. Lacing is decent.

S- Alcohol is present with some citrus notes and West Coast hops.

T- Taste is very unique, unlike any other Belgian I have had, but expect this from Stone. A very interesting mixture of the Belgian style and the West Coast IPA style. I get a crazy bubble gum after taste.

M- Thick and well-carbonated.

D- Drinkability is good, but not a session beer. The 8.6 abv hits you head on.

Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden orange color with a thick two finger foam head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing.

Sweet estery golden fruit aroma with hints of golden apple, grape, pear and banana. Slight alcohol presence with some peppery zesty spice and earthy hops.

Spicy, yeasty medium body with a lot of sweet estery fruit notes, alcohol and citrus earthy hops. Sweet golden fruit notes, especially apple and pear with a decent amount of alcohol warmth and a nice dry hoppy finish.

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

Poured this one from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip glass. Color is bright and golden.

Scent is overwhelmingly hoppy with the sweet, fruity yeast I was expecting taking a back seat.

The taste was good. Hops dominate the palate at first and then turn into a sweet, warming spicy and sweet yeast finish. Alcohol is definitely present but not distracting.

Medium bodied with a good mouthfeel, I enjoyed drinking this one, but I don't think I would seek it out again.

Photo of d0ggnate
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another year, another Epic. I've been anxious to try this year's version and can't wait to taste the variations Stone will quitely release this year.

A: A light golden/orange pour is topped with a 3/4" of pillow-like head. Effervesence is apparent.

S: A candied sugar, sweet, belgian-like smell pops out first. A hint of fruit, possibly kiwi, is noticed.

T: An intertwined flavor of hops and yeast. The light pine character of the hops mixes interestingly with the clear belgian style. Honeydew melon?

M: Great body and texture. Lasting flavor on palate and not completely overwhelming. Sofisticatedly "in your face."

D: My jury is still out on this one. While I enjoy it, I'm curious as to how it fits into my rotation. Delicious, but puzzling. I think this would best fit into a food pairing or an afternoon treat.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, bright, yellow-hued body underneath a tall, white head fed by sustained streams of fine carbonation.

Smell: Light pale malts with some small, sweetish hints, touches of florals, peaches, less-than-dry white wine and with citrusy notes of American hops, though understandably a bit curtailed from two years of quite aging in the keg.

Taste: Pale lightly malted barley with sweet, honeyed traces to it, welcoming in fruit accents of peaches, apples, grapefruits, and white grapes. Subtle florals. Medium level of hop bitterness remaining two years out pairs with the spicy clove-like phenols. Noticed vein of alcohol running through this brew. Finishes dry, warming, and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Slight overall stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: 08.08.08 runs in line with others of its ilk, like Duvel Triple Hop or Urthel Hop-It, though I'd like it with a skosh more carbonation to it to keep things moving in the mouth. Still pretty nice, though.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Grape and Gourmet at Va Beach!

22 oz bomber poured into a pint.

A- pours a crisp and cold dry grassy yellow color. Reminds me of a BMC beer. Lets hope it doesnt taste the same. Virtually no head hits the top. My fiance makes fun about the finger heads.

S- hints of peach and it also smells like white grape juice. Very enticing and i am looking forward to the taste. a very strong sour smell radiates out as well.

T- a dry and sour berry taste. Unripened would bethe best to describe it. a nice hop to it. It is sour at the start and then sweet in the afteraste.

M- a thick and dry feeling. It feels more like i am drinking a dry wine than a beer.

D- i think the sourness takes away from being able to put some of these down. However, to me this beer seems more of a relaxer and a beer you have with dinner. Overall, it is a good beer.

Photo of PintOHops
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a deep clear gold with about 1/3 an inch, whiff like head, very poor retention surprisingly. Has medium-high carbonation that dies down rather quickly during consumption, leaving a less desirable appearance. No lacing as well, which really surprised me! Overall appearance of a lager almost. Smells of Sugary dates, raisins, orange peel, and grapefruit rind. All aromas are intertwined together with pungent floral hopy goodness! All aromas seem to be semi intense, and very zesty, except for some undertones of malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Taste starts with sweet malt, fruity grape & strawberry, zesty orange peel & grapefruit rind with hints of citrus. Wonderfully intense & pungent! Finishes with robust, almost burnt like hop bitterness, hints of malt, lite citrus flavors and some alcohol burn. As it warms alcohol becomes more pronounced as well as some dryness. Mouthfeel is smooth, semi creamy and medium-full bodied. Not allot of bite on the palate either, rather more smooth.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Intense, pungent, and very floral! Words to live by when consuming a Stone brew. This beer is definitely not session friendly, and it's not supposed to be. Compared to other Stone brews, this one was a little underwhelming, or not up to par, especially with it's appearance. Still very good, very decent pungent brew from Stone, I warn everybody to be careful with this one, has a very high ABV! Great offering, I recommend you give it a try.

Cheers!

Photo of TaddyPorter
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jon Winterbottom and I picked this up at Fairway after a wonderful meal with our girls at Dinosaur BBQ. I'm trying to turn Jon on to beer reviewing, so we're writing this one together.

Appearance: A touch of cloudiness and sediment in the glass. Poured with a fat single finger head, which very quickly dissipated to just a ring around the glass. Golden and light in color, and plenty inviting.

Smell: A bit of citrus up front, almost astringent hop oil bitterness, smells like a hop pellet. Fruity yeast aroma hanging behind the hops...definitely smells like a Belgian IPA, could be a dead ringer for the Houblon Chouffe.

Taste: Hits the tongue with a nice, light effervescence and then washes over it first with a citrusy, yeasty, fruity wave, and then follows up with a major hop presence with lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On the more carbonated side but not over-carbonated, it's one I could chew on for a while.

Drinkability: A little extreme on the bitterness, but it's nicely balanced by the fruity flavor of the yeast. Satisfies in an extreme beer kind of way, and we would definitely have another.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours orange-yellow, with a rather small white head even with an agressive pour, average head retention.

S: Strong peppery spice, definitely some ethanol that you can feel in your nose, light hops.

T: It is what it says it is, a strong Belgian pale with a brisk hop attack. Yellow apple with a big ethanol kick. Hops are there, not as overt as an IPA, but high for the style, very grassy, flavour of apricot and tangerine mix finishes the drink.

M: Light on the carbonation, phenolic, solventy, smooth.

D: A nice one from Stone, will be interesting to see how this ages, what happens with the hops and the flavours, I'll find out in 4 1/2 years. Good beer.

December 2012 Edit - Very cloudy, the head really came out here. Metallic on the nose, but blows off. Then it smells like a flower garden. The beer is very yeasty, lots of lemon and white pepper. The brisk hop attack of yesteryear is gone, but that is to be expected. Nice notes of orange, apricot, heavy spice. Still good stuff.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Life is short, why wait until 2012. This is a re-review with a more favorable outcome.

A-pale straw with a copper tinge, with a thin white head with nice lacing.

S-Belgian yeast, grass, musk, saddle, and a hint of lemon and bananna and a bit of alcohol in the background. Very little hop aroma detected.

T-Belgian tripel yeast, fresh green apple, a hint of green grape juice, pear and corriander. Dry finish with herbal peppery hops leading the way out. The watchword here is "crisp". ABV is well hidden, and the complexity of this ale begins to shine as it warms. I expected this to be a much more highly hopped ale, and perhaps it was when it was young. It has mellowed into a very nice tripel, however, and while this is not my favorite style, I can appreciate that this is well done. In any case, this is much better than it was a year ago

M-Medium mouthfeel and carbonation

D-This is a pretty drinkable beer, and one that could sneak up on you given the ABV. .I think the Cali-Belgique hits closer to home for the West Coast meets Belgian thing, but this is a pretty nice effort.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Big thanks to GoGriz for this bottle!

I missed out on this one the first time 'round. This is why trading was invented. It pours a slightly hazed golden straw topped by a finger or so of white foam. The nose comprises light hoppy grapefruit and pine, honey, ginger, clove, pepper, banana, and a light dusting of biscuit crumbs. The taste has the same elements, though the hops remain decently strong, the grapefruit blending into a lemony citrus nearer the back; and the honey is thicker, heavier, sweeter, and mixed with a dash of light caramel. The body is a heavy light/light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly crisp finish. Overall, this has aged pretty nicely (I believe), with the hops still strong enough to matter and the balance pretty well-maintained.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 699 ratings.