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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

692 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 692
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 172 | 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: 692 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RunDWP
3.93/5  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.

RunDWP, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split with my roommate 'cos i'm a loving friend and it's his birthday. Fittingly, into my Duvel glass

A: Clear golden yellow with a solid, two-finger head that leaves a little lacing. Head retention is less than stellar but this is a pretty beer

S: If this is not dry-hopped with Amarillo, hold me upside down and smack me, please. Massive dry hop aroma with citrus (tangerine and lemon) behind which there is a yeasty sweetness that's got some honey. Very, very appealing, I'm having a hard time getting my nose out of the glass

T: Starts off mildly sweet and mildly hoppy with a little citrus and a hint of spice (white pepper comes to mind) before drying up on the finish (not enough, though), leaving a pleasing bitterness. All told, maybe a little simple but enjoyable

M: Carbonation is surprisingly low and the finish is less than as dry as I'd like it to be for this style

D: Despite having a ton of bad things to say about this beer, this is ridiculously drinkable and it;s going down very easy

DefenCorps, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of jletts
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stone Vertical Epic 8/8/08
Orange sunshine in appearance. Smelled like tangerine dream and orange-cream with a bite. Awesome! I want to jump in for a swim...
Tart tangerine-citrus hops dominate the flavor, sandwiching a sweet yeasty malt between a slightly piney and peppery-citrus aftertaste. Not much alcohol perceived up front but it is present quite strongly in the aftertaste...and after-effects! Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel with decent drinkability. The alcohol is quite edgy, but will probably smooth out over time. I imagine this could be mind-blowing in a few years.

jletts, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of JoePat
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

JoePat, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of vfgccp
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

vfgccp, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of steve8robin
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened an 08.08.08 with a friend...

A: Golden honey color with murky sediment swirling around in the color. Thick 1 inch white head that fades at a medium pace.

S: Smells pretty good. Sweet malts and an earthy caramel banana flavor upfront. A heavy dry booziness in the middle with hints of grapefruit on the backend. Very good.

T: A little lacking here. A heavy dry boozy hopiness upfront. The dry texture to the brew hides the hints of grapefruit flavors in the middle. Hints of roast on the backend. Decent.

M: Very good balance of carbonation.

D: After it warms up it goes down much easier because it dulls down the heavy dry boozy hops. Good.

All in all, this was a decent brew. Not as good as the hype makes it seem IMO. Good to try once. More like a glorified mainstream brew. This one would be a good gateway beer to get into the craft beer scene.

steve8robin, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of d0ggnate
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

d0ggnate, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
3.93/5  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.

aerozeppl, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.93/5  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.

KickInTheChalice, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of dagubna
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%

dagubna, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of jlindros
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

jlindros, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

orbitalr0x, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of caddybuyer
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

caddybuyer, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of dancinwillie
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chalice, y'know, epic-like.

Hay colored, with a big, white, rocky head that dissipates quite rapidly. Very clear.

Aroma is all orange, grapefruit, yeast, and a little peach or apricot scent, I'm not sure which.

Big hop rocks my tongue right out of the gate, calms pretty quickly, and on further inspection: citrusy hops, orange, lemon, and some grapefruit. A pronounced doughy yeast flavor. A peppery spiciness that I attribute to the yeast, but maybe the hops? Subtle peach or apricot flavor, I still can't decide between the two. Some alcohol heat, but not overwhelming, more of a bit player.

Mouthfeel is primarily creamy, but also somewhat slick/oily too.

Overall Drinkability is high, or at least it would be if this was going to be around for any length of time, but I'm guessing that we won't see it around for much longer. Unfortunately for me, this is my first experience with the Stone Vertical Epic series, as they have just recently started distribution in my fine state of Wisconsin. But I will be buying the remaining Epic's, and along with my cellared bottle of this tasty brew, be enjoying my first vertical tasting in about 4 years or so. Tasty beverage indeed!

dancinwillie, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of y2j2280
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

y2j2280, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of TMoney2591
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

TMoney2591, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow color with a short 1/4" head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: alcohol, yeast, and some grassy tones are up front and some fruit sweetness in the background.

Taste: nice malt profile, yeast, grass, green grapes, apples, honey, and a nice bitterness is wrapped in a warming alcohol blanket. Overall this is a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Relatively short aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this one is a slow sipper but one can quaff a few glasses of these. Decent beer but not one of my favorites in the series.

Gavage, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of cpetrone84
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for more than a year.

A-pours a brigh hazy yellow color with two fingers of a relatively thick white head that has decent retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass

S-the nose is sweet with estery notes, champaign, a light belgian yeast and hint of clove

T-the taste starts with an earthy malt then brings an imediate taste of champaign, fruits, and just a touch of clove, the yeast comes in next with a bitterness at the finish

M-this is almost full bodied, relatively smooth and lightly syrupy, almost creamy, a slight carbonation burn at the back of the throat followed by a hint of warming from the alcohol

D-rich and creamy like mouthfeel bringing big flavors of fruit and yeast balanced with american hops (mainly bitterness towards the finish). it is solid now, can't wait for 12/12/12!

cpetrone84, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of nova009
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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

nova009, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of russwbeck
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Churchkey

This four year old IPA has a clear yellow pour with a nice white head. It has a hoppy aroma surprisingly. Some must, citrus, and banana. The taste is clean with citrus, hops, clove. It actually has a really nice balance. The Belgian comes at the backend. It has a medium body and is carbonated well. Very drinkable and one of the highlights of the night.

russwbeck, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of astrasday
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

astrasday, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of TaddyPorter
3.9/5  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.

TaddyPorter, May 09, 2009
Photo of Lepley
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured light brown, clear, a lot of carbonation with two fingers of white head that disappeared a few minutes after being poured intio the glass.
S: Light and fruity. Slightly Peachy.
T: Like sweet fruits, hoppy, a little citrus, with a bitter and alcoholic aftertaste that holds well after swallowing.
M: Smooth.
D: I enjoyed this beer but it wasn't amazing.

Lepley, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of Rayek
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep gold with fairly active carbonation. Big and foamy white cap has very nice retention and leaves patches of lace.

S: The nose came across a little weak to me. Slightly fruity and yeasty, with a heavy dose of pine. A little citrus creeps in as well.

T: An initial fruitiness is quickly replaced by a rush of pine like bitterness that's bolstered by a mild grapefruit presence. A bready maltiness rides in the background. Finishes with a lingering pine bitterness and a pleasant alcohol warmth.

M: Medium body is a touch grainy. Carbonation feels about right.

D: Yet another beer I have mixed feelings about. Overall, it is a very enjoyable brew. My issue is that doesn't it taste all that Belgian to me. Vertical is very similar to Avery Salvation by my taste buds, which is a beer that left me with the same mixed thoughts. That said, I wouldn't pass Vertical up if given another chance to drink it.

Rayek, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  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.

Halcyondays, Aug 10, 2008
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 692 ratings.