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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

687 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 687
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 172 | FT: 12
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)
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Ratings: 687 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jletts
jletts

Washington

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

08-29-2008 00:56:40 | More by jletts
Photo of JoePat
JoePat

Kentucky

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

03-14-2010 22:45:33 | More by JoePat
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

06-15-2013 02:04:54 | More by vfgccp
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

04-17-2010 02:17:24 | More by steve8robin
Photo of d0ggnate
d0ggnate

California

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

08-15-2008 04:10:54 | More by d0ggnate
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

09-01-2008 03:32:30 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

04-26-2010 16:28:20 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.91/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

02-28-2013 02:37:53 | More by jlindros
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

09-01-2008 00:06:01 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of caddybuyer
caddybuyer

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

09-30-2010 01:03:08 | More by caddybuyer
Photo of dancinwillie
dancinwillie

Wisconsin

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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!

08-30-2008 03:52:49 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of y2j2280
y2j2280

New York

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

09-07-2009 19:10:59 | More by y2j2280
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

08-18-2010 04:06:43 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

01-31-2009 00:03:02 | More by Gavage
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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!

12-16-2009 02:15:30 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of nova009
nova009

Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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

03-08-2013 23:54:53 | More by nova009
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

01-06-2013 23:16:22 | More by russwbeck
Photo of astrasday
astrasday

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

11-28-2008 14:56:30 | More by astrasday
Photo of TaddyPorter
TaddyPorter

Delaware

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

05-09-2009 19:25:48 | More by TaddyPorter
Photo of Lepley
Lepley

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

08-22-2008 03:14:55 | More by Lepley
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

03-09-2009 15:09:26 | More by Rayek
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

08-10-2008 05:12:01 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

10-11-2008 05:30:07 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev -2%

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.

11-16-2010 17:22:15 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%

Appearance: It's crystal clear and light golden in color. Carbonation is very active and yields a foamy white head that stands about two fingers tall. It dissipated very quickly and left light lacing behind.

Smell: The nose is a little underwhelming in terms of strength. It's a little fruit and sweet up front. Smells like peach and apple mostly. It is a little spicy, but I'm not picking up much other than clove. There's a distinct earthy/grassy aspect to it. I'm sure that's, at least in part, attributed to the floral hops I'm smelling. A little yeastiness wraps it up.

Taste: Apple, pear, and peach flavors kick it off. It's sweet, but not over the top. There is some clove spiciness, but it's not as spicy as I was expecting. A little banana emerges midway through. The hops are a nice surprise. It's a mix of citric and floral varieties. But, they're flavorful and give it more character and a bit of an edge. That's a good thing considering it was sorely needing both. It's still not quite enough. It is indeed grassy and earthy. It's a little yeasty on the tail and alcohol is faintly noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and smooth. Carbonation is just about right. It's active, but retains its smooth feel. Drinkability is good, but not great. It's a little strong at 8.4%, but I won't have any trouble with the bomber.

I've got mixed feelings on this vertical release. It is a pretty solid beer that doesn't have any huge shortcomings. On the other hand, I had pretty high expectations and feel a little let down. This just doesn't have the big, kick ass character I've come to expect from Stone beers. It's still a solid beer, but just doesn't stack up well against their other releases.

08-28-2008 01:59:52 | More by prototypic
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 687 ratings.