Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 687 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
3.75/5 rDev -5.8%
Small 3/4 finger head with decent retention and a yellow color. Could be bitter and more effervescent for the style.
Smell is very clovey and has a lot of banana phenol.
Taste is very dry with some hop flavor and characteristic. The aroma of the hops is overtaken by the phenols.
This beer is very dry and crisp.
Decent example of the style with some hop flavor to keep it interesting.
01-09-2009 06:25:29 | More by jasonjlewis
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.
L - 1st pour was clear orange/yellow color with a white head that left some sticky lacing.
S - light fruit, candy and malt aromas with a good dose of Belgian yeast.
T - taste follows the smell, very good tasting brew.
M - medium bodied with mild carbonation feel.
D - crisp, refreshing and easy to drink.
01-04-2009 23:35:16 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
4.1/5 rDev +3%
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.
A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, spices, some fruit and a good amount of hops.
T: The taste starts out very estery, with some sweetness of apples and spices. Then there's a quick alcohol sting, followed by a Belgian yeast character that seems a bit subdued. There's a strong hops presence for the style that starts to exert itself as the beer warms and provides some balance.
M: Smooth and very crisp, medium carbonation, medium body, clean finish.
D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while, although I have a feeling that this is the type of beer that might be better with a little bit more age on it.
01-04-2009 02:08:21 | More by TheManiacalOne
3.98/5 rDev 0%
22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both average. The aroma is citrusy hops (orange peel), tropical fruit, cloves, peppery spice and candy sugar. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some apricot and a bit of alcohol noticable too. Finishes bitter and fruity at the same time. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating, dry and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's crisp, enjoyable and not hard to drink at all. I think this is a good brew, it'll be interesting to age a couple bottles of this and see how it changes.
01-01-2009 23:56:37 | More by bluejacket74
3.53/5 rDev -11.3%
A - Light honey, not much head, leaves ring. Small sudsy lacing.
S - Smells REALLY sweet, honey, malty.
T - Taste does not match smell. Part are true, but massacred by teh hops. Way too bitter.
M - Medium, good coat and carb.
D - NOt my favorite. Your mileage may vary.
01-01-2009 06:10:10 | More by srandycarter
3.55/5 rDev -10.8%
Golden yellow like a pils but with a small head; good carbonation
Belgian yeast fruitiness dominates here; not hoppy like I expected; some mild hint of spearamint
Taste & Mouthfeel
Not nearly a 50/50 split of triple and IPA; initially, I get all Belgian flavors--fruity yeast, a lot of bready malt; hops come in later with a minty quality, but is still mild; would like a LOT more hops in this one; some heat in the finish; some nice bitterness in finish later on
A bit disappointing as there's just not enough hops for me; it just doesn't come to close to the "very, very generously hopped" as described on the bottle. Maybe I didn't drink it fresh enough? Otherwise a very tasty beer. Hopefully this will be a good one for aging.
12-29-2008 22:24:14 | More by JEdmund
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
picked this one up this summer at merchants in dearborn, MI.
22oz bottle. sampled dec 28/08.
pours crystal clear golden amber with a small dense white head. the head drops fairly quick and leaves spotty lace.
aroma is good. nice belgian spice. bit of orange peel. touch of honey and caramel. cracker and white bread. light alcohol. i get just a hint of something toasty in there too. light floral character, a touch perfumey.
taste is great. belgian strong pale with a dash of american ipa thrown in. medium-high bitterness level. grapefruit. orange peel. bit of pine. light belgian spice. big floral character. light alcohol. cracker and white bread. bit of biscuit. touch of caramel and honey.
mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. just over medium carbonation level. nice dry finish.
drinkability is great. BSPA is a good style, but not my favourite. i welcome the american twist on this one. it seems to work well. the hops probably push it more towards tripel territory, and the bigger malt base gives it that american ipa slant. still, it never loses sight of its BSPA roots. nicely balanced. good stuff.
12-28-2008 20:38:32 | More by grub
4.13/5 rDev +3.8%
22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.
Pours a lightly hazed golden orange, touch of amber, thick white head forms, drops a lot of chunky lace on the glass, drops some rings, good retention, settles to a medium ring and a thin layer, looks pretty good. Smell is nice, very fragrant, some grapefruit and spice, toast, honey, apricot, strawberries, coriander, candi sugar, light touch of alcohol, smells pretty good. Taste is similar, some sweet biscuity malt and honey, grapefruit and floral, light fruit, some alcohol and spice, wheat, a bit yeasty in the finish, some floral, nice spicy finish, well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, slightly dry in the finish, nice spiciness, with some alcohol warmth. Nicest VE in the last couple years, I like it. Thanks Russ!
12-28-2008 20:36:40 | More by Viggo
4.3/5 rDev +8%
Poured from a bomber that I bought at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills into my Brewery Ommegang snifter.
A Pours a golden yellow translucent body with a 1 cm but quickly dissipating head. Not a bad look at all but not exemplary either.
S Flowery hops that did not overwhelm. A pleasant surprise of sweetness (malt?) as well. This smell makes me really want to drink this beer even more.
T Sweet matly citrus with nice, light hops. Repeated tastings revealed that on the back of the tongue there is a bit more bitterness than I had initially appreciated. By the end of my beer I was even perceiving that it is not unlike champagne.
M Light feel which was also a pleasant surprise.
D Very good indeed. I could easily have drank this whole bomber and if I see this beer again I will pick another one up.
Notes: I am so impressed by this "champagne of beers" which I thought might be a hop bomb from Stone. I was not expecting the malt and hops balance that make this a great beer. It has inspired me to respect Stone even more than I have before.
12-28-2008 15:54:19 | More by adamette
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
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.
12-27-2008 13:46:13 | More by lordofthewiens
4.05/5 rDev +1.8%
Pours a slightly hazy amber-orangish color. Pour creates a thin 1/2" bone white head which fades to a paper thin layer of foam. Just some spotty lacing adheres to the glass.
Aromas of light and ripe fruit such as apples, apricot, orange backed by a touch of toasted malts and fresh honey and spice.
Mouthfeel presents a touch of slickness and body, but is overall on the thinner side with a slightly elevated level of spritzy carbonation.
Flavor profile begins with a sweet and slightly tart presence of green apple, apricot and citrus backed with hints of coriander, honey and clove. A smooth biscuity malt flavor is also perceived. Finishes with a typical Stone citrusy hop presence of orange peel, lemon drops and red grapefruit.
A nice lighter, but warming and spicy beer for winter imbibing.
12-27-2008 06:10:31 | More by macster
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
Been a while since I've had this style. Not a bad choice to get me back into the style.
Looks nice. Slightly opaque bronze color. Big bubbles of carbonation coming up and hanging around the to. Head is perfectly white and dissipates quickly.
Smells really nice. Fruity belgian yeast. Grapefruit, orange, every kind of citrus I can think of; coriander, very sweet. Smells like something you'd dream up.
Tastes pretty good. I think the hops are a bit overpowering (dear god, what am I saying??) at first. However they mellow out a bit after a few sips and match well with the belgian fruitiness. Very enjoyable.
Mouthfeel is prickly and crisp, very refreshing. Drinkability is good. I'd love to have a couple of these on a hot day...and then pass out for a few hours(the abv is a bit high, but hey don't let that stop you)
As expected, stone delivers again.
12-26-2008 14:36:56 | More by toweringpoo
4.47/5 rDev +12.3%
Seemed appropriate to open this with an Orval opener and toss it into a Gulden Draak tulip. Color is a lightly hazed sunset golden/orange, with a fluffy head of only modest proportions.
Aroma sits in the camp of beers that I also place Gumballhead and SurlyFest in--not the same style at all, but the smell of each is intensely fragrant and unabashedly hops-centric. Each is so potent that I always think of dryer sheets...which I realize doesn't sound flattering, but it's the only thing in the world I can relate it to. But 08.08.08 adds a honey-like, flowery sweetness, which keeps it from being one-dimensional.
I was super-impressed with another bottle weeks ago, as I am with this one tonight. It's got a honeyed sweetness, a very hoppy backup, with light and flowery spices adding some pizazz. Yeast does some talking, and it's that earthy, almost chalky element that lovers of Belgian ales will recognize. The honey is brought out larger by the rounded, almost syrupy texture, which holds enough carbonation to keep it swinging too much one way or the other. Ahh...this is wonderful stuff.
The text on the bottle (always read Stone's fine print!) seems to hint that this beer was inspired by Houblon Chouffe--a beautiful bit of circular inspiration when you consider it. Whether it was aimed at that particular beer or not, they pretty much hit the target while also putting their own singular Stone stamp on it--which in this case means plenty of fresh, flowery, crispy hops. Awww...yum!!
[addendum: enjoyed a nice well-aged bottle on 3/30/10, and found a particularly funky yeast element edging in, something not noticed the first time around. With that a more pungent fruity element. Still stand by the review and the rating. Delicious.]
12-24-2008 00:04:01 | More by Metalmonk
3.53/5 rDev -11.3%
Reviewed on 8/30/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small white head. Aroma is pretty much that of a Belgian tripel! Lots of spices, melon rind, and a slight bitterness. Flavor is a bit more hoppy than apparent in the aroma (although not overly so), fruity melon, and orange peel. Mouthfeel isn't as hearty as that of a tripel although the beer does weigh on you after awhile. Interesting at first but then a little boring. Better than the 070707 but not by much.
12-23-2008 22:03:06 | More by LilBeerDoctor
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
A- Completely clear into a large stemless wine glass. good head retention, with tiny tiny bubbles ever present.
s- great, with fruit and malts on the nose
t- crisp, with fruit and some malts, but a definite hop finish that was very enjoyable. very well balanced between a TON of different fruit and the hops
m- very light and crisp. except for the 8.6% which came through at the tail end of things, this was a really really light ale and refreshingly enjoyable on all fronts
d- with a high abv i wouldnt try finishing a second, but it's light and crisp enough that i finished one bottle pretty quickly, and could've had more (to my detriment).
overall a fantastic brew, and i hope to get another bottle and start cellering from 08/08/08 and hopefully find some back issues between now a and 2012!
12-21-2008 23:49:16 | More by Cunningham26
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
A: Poured a medium tangerine orange with light golden hues. A 1 finger, frothy, dull white head sits atop lasting for a minute or two before dissipating to a thin film covering. A near full ecompassing lacing sticks well around the glass perimeters while a faint and lazy visible carbonation was observed.
S: sweet, fruity, with a spicy hop zestiness. Beautiful tangerine and grapefruit scents linger about against a soft spicy hop backing.
T: spicy with a dried tropical fruitiness of pineapples, and kiwi. Soft grapefruit notes with a light sugar presence sweetens things up a bit. Theres a nice spicy hoppiness with oranges, dried lemon peels, and a peppery touch that rounds things out. The finish was crisp, with a dried fruitiness leaving you wanting more.
M: a light-medium viscosity, very smooth in texture with a light carbonation presence. A big beautiful and dried tropical fruitiness with a spicy and zesty hopping provide a nice lingering fade on the tongue with just a slight hint of peppery nature.
D: Drinkability was perhaps its strongest point. A very nice and enjoyable drink. Crisp, dry with tropical fruitiness that was almost to easy to consume. Case worthy for future consumption and perhaps aging is highly recommended.
12-19-2008 00:05:35 | More by beerthulhu
4.38/5 rDev +10.1%
22oz bomber poured into wine glass.
A - Pale gold with very small head.
S - Spicy aroma, high presence of yeast smell. Hoppy citrus notes and sugar smells...
T - Very balanced, very tasting, very good. Spicy notes, sweet malts, bitter hops...really, a trippel and IPA combined. Slight taste of alcohol as well. Mild bitter aftertaste, like an IPA.
M - Medium body, light carbonation, nice residue left in the mouth. Less carbonation than many belgian-style brews...but good.
D - Especially considering the high alcohol content, this is a very drinkable beer and a very tasty one at that.
I will certainly plan on picking up another few of these and aging them as they were intended to be...can only imagine them getting better with age.
12-17-2008 02:13:48 | More by gciccarelli
4.25/5 rDev +6.8%
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."
12-16-2008 18:52:13 | More by magictrokini
4.28/5 rDev +7.5%
Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a smallish head. Bits of lace trail on the glass. The aroma is delicately fruity with lychees, pears and citrus. Candy sugar sweetness and cookie dough show in the nose as well. The taste is malty and spicey like a tripel with a wonderful fruity, piney hop character the melds with the Belgian flavors very well. Mint shows with warmth, there are a lot of hop flavors going on here. The mouthfeel is creamy consistency but light bodied, love the bottle conditioning. The finish is mildly bitter and candy sugar sweet with fruity yeast esters in tow.
This is a nice hopped up Belgian ale. Very easy to drink, it doesnt taste anything like 8.6%
12-16-2008 02:18:52 | More by CAMRAhardliner
4.22/5 rDev +6%
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.
12-13-2008 23:34:17 | More by OStrungT
4.03/5 rDev +1.3%
Very good brew, this one is...
Pours a cloudy apricot color with a fluffy head..
Lovely aroma of floral hops and sweet Belgian sugars..
Super hoppy Belgian Pale Ale... I like it... The hops dominate and sort of kill that Belgian funkiness..
Very drinkable brew... Very nice...
12-13-2008 01:19:52 | More by Tilley4
4.4/5 rDev +10.6%
A- Golden clear beer with about 1/2 inch of head that retains well, ample carbonation, and minimal lacing. Carbonation in this one is a lot more than I'd have expected.
S- Lots of hops and some highly intense fruit. A bit spicy smelling as well.
T- Hoppy like a pale ale, has the fruitiness of a belgian ale. Very straightforward fruit flavors. Orange, apricot, and a bit of citrusy lemon flavor. Hops really stand out. I do not taste the alcohol at all. Additionally get some cloves and other spices in my mouth.
M- Crisp, clean. Nice bitter aftertaste in my mouth.
D- Do not taste the alcohol, so it seems very drinkable to me. The high ABV may be a downfall, but I personally do not see it as one.
Love this beer. Opened me up to a whole new style as I'm usually an IPA, IIPA guy.
12-11-2008 03:26:54 | More by tadowdaddy
5/5 rDev +25.6%
Poured from a 22oz bottle to a freshly washed goblet.
Golden in color with a fluffy white 1 inch sustaining head, ample lacing. Like the sun peering through puffy white clouds on a perfect summer day. Very alluring as many Stone brews are...
The smell is romancing; that of an Imperial IPA. Fresh cut cascade, magnum, and galena hops. Carapil, Munich malty sweetness is also in the nose along with sweet fruity esters. Extremely inviting and appetizing!
The taste is explosive on flavor! Like the aroma indicates; like an imperal IPA balanced with a malty Belgian maltyness. I can taste the high alpha hops almost one at a time and then all together; flowing perfectly into the embrace of its malt characteristics as it finish.
Perfectly complex and entertaining, thought provoking my analysis. Pure pleasure...
The mouth feel is a perfect medium body. True to the class of a Belgian Strong Ale.
Drinkability is extreme! Upon my first taste of this elixir I could hardly wait to bring the goblet back to my lips for another sample. When my bottle was finished I was sad to know I had not another to open and enjoy immediately. This may be the most perfectly balanced beer I have ever had the pleasure to drink.
I feel privileged to have experienced this fine beer. Simply embraceable for beer lovers!
Enjoy and get it on!
-Gordon Quid of the Highland Quid Clan
12-10-2008 15:57:43 | More by GordonQuid
4.13/5 rDev +3.8%
Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a cervoise.
Appearance: 2 inch white head with an aggressive pour. Despite very lively carbonation the head starts dropping kinda fast. Very nice looking clear golden body.
Smell: Very sweet and candylike. Citrus aroma from the hops. Such a big hop aroma seems kinda out of place in a higher abv Belgian style beer but it smells damn good.
Taste: Really amazing. Cloves and spices that you would expect from a Belgian tripel plus hoppiness that you would expect from an American pale ale. Wonderful combination.
Drinkability: The hop flavors make me want to chug the whole bottle. The small "8.6% Alc/Vol" printed on the bottle warns me that I probably shouldn't.
UPDATE! 08/15/09: Hops have mellowed significantly but the bitterness remains. Kind of reminds me of Duvel with the addition of cloves and an increased bitterness. Still really good stuff but I'm not sure I want to let my other bottle age alot longer.
12-10-2008 03:55:05 | More by BierFan
2.68/5 rDev -32.7%
Aromas of banana, clove, and alcohol. Maybe even a hint of strawberry.
Palate keep the banana notes with some mild additional fruit characteristics.
The only problem with this strong ale is the choice of hops that shows up on the finish. It is just too bitter for its own good. I'd love to taste a more floral finish that would maybe mask the alcohol a little better.
A good beer from Stone, but not a great one. Toned down heat would do wonders.
12-09-2008 23:31:44 | More by weezyfart
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 687 ratings.