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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.
very good

485 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 485
Hads: 797
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 42
Gots: 219 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 485 | Hads: 797
Photo of portia99
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass.

A - Pours a pale golden color and filled with light fine sediment. A Low white head lingers briefly and leaves behind spotty lacing on the glass.

S - Citrusy oranges and lemons, lots of fruity esters, some higher alcohols that give a rather boozy impression overall.

T - Citrus up front, light lemony fruitiness, a bit boozy, nice mid-level hop bitterness.

M - Booze, thinnish-medium body with a low-mid carbonation.

O - Similar to 07-07-07, but toned down on the citrus, thinner body and more impressive hop contribution for bitterness that balances more.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 12.12.12
Celebrating the Vertical Epic Series

P: Clear pale golden body with a thin layer of white head that leaves delicate lacing.

S: Citrus hops, honeydew, ginger, light banana phenols, spices, pippali pepper sprinkled on honey, and lemon zest.

T/M: Dirty earthy taste. White grapes, bitter apple peels, pippali pepper, pears, powdery yeast and a more vibrant flavor than the others in the series. The fresh ness really shines. Dry crisp full body with good carbonation and a clean finish of fruit rind bitterness.

O: The amarilo hop character was surprisingly vibrant and brilliantly aged. The intense flavors offered a nicely developed golden ale. Very nice and great drinkability.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew was served on draft at the Tap and Mallet Vertical Epic tasting event. It arrived in a tasting glass, showing a solid golden yellow coloring. No real head was noted, but rings of white lacing punctuated the bare glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared active. The aroma gave strong Belgian yeast, citric hoppy bite, and bright phenolic plastics. With warmth came more floral and soapy hop varietals, light mustard seed, faint medicinals, and fusel booziness. Our first impression was that this beer was excellent for the style, and very soothing and mellow. As we sipped, the flavoring opened with nectary citric hops, fusel boozy bite, and juicy citric pop against toasted and chalky pale grain. The middle peaked with the bite of Belgian yeast, toasted Belgian pales, metallics and soured mash grain, and the continued background undertones of citric and lightly floral hop bitterness. The balance is superb. The finish mellows things completely, with citric rind and flesh, nectary and citric hops, pale toasty malts, and that same smooth Belgian yeast. The aftertaste breathes of a plastic phenolic bite to balance the citric and nectary hops, a sweet flash of peach and apple sugars, and the final metallic twang of yeastiness. The body was light to medium, and the carbonation was medium. There was nice froth and cream to each sip, with decent slurp and finish pop. There was no real coating or overt dryness noted. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank very nicely.

Overall, what we liked most about this brew was the flavoring. This beer is terrific for the style, with a nice bite of phenolic plastics and medicinals to hold against the bright, yet mellowed, hoppy smoothness, and malty sweetness. Things remained equally as calm through the nose and the mouthfeel. Some might find the beer light to this point, but we interpreted all this as balance and smoothness, rather than a letting up of strength.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Going onto the second sample of the Vertical Epic flight at Tustin Brewing. A little over four years of age on this one. On to the beer:

Golden colored brew, topped with some fair lace and a patchy head. What makes the nose distinct is the dryness. It's not oxidized, smells Belgian, and rustic. Some sugar, bigger notes of leather, a few dry hops; any chance this is a Belgian IPA?

Confirmed. Despite four years of hiding, there still remain noticable traces of hops. Delecate hops which compliment the character of the overall beer, not smuther it. Leather, dry Belgian yeast, rustic. The alcohol is hidden well, and its body is smooth. Pleasantly dry in the aftertaste.

There's something about 08.08.08. I won't know how a fresh one tastes, but I know that an aged one is damn good. And I'm lucky to realize that I saved a bottle in my cellar and not realized it.

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Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a Tulip

A- golden reddish orange w/ zero head

S- spicey fruit cocktail, citrus, viny, bubblegum, grapes, wine, grapefruit, faint cat piss

T- follows the nose

M- medium body, crisp carbonation

O- so this is the last VE of my reverse order vertical, and i'm kinda pissed. It's seems Stone didn't do their homework and everyone i have had, besides 11.11.11, have turned into a fraction of it's former self. These were specifically made to age until 12.12.12, yet the abvs are low and they actually had the audacity to make this one an IPA and expect the hops to last for 4 years? I was planning on trying to get 2-7 but i know now they are just a novelty iten at this point. For the first time, i'm very disappointed with Stone

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber. Two finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by stone and tropical fruit with slight Belgian yeast and citrus. Flavor follows with sweet stone fruit, orange and light citrus. Finishes with a pleasant citrus rind, pineapple and a lingering hop bitterness. The herbal qualities of the hops are attenuated, but a surprising amount of bittering hops remain. Like others in this series, age has given this a nice medium body with some creaminess. I started my mini-vertical with 06 and 07 and I am very impressed with the aged versions of all three of these. I was not expecting to enjoy the lighter ones as much as I have. Great job Stone!

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Photo of jaasen64
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Lord Hobo for their Vertical Epic Event on 12/12/12. Part of Flight "B" (06, 07, 08). 5oz serving in a flight glass.

A- Completely translucent golden, decent head with nice retention that leaves nice layered lacing, fairly carbonated with very nice consistent rising carbonation bubbles. Probably the clearest, most carbonated, and the best head out of all the beers in the VE series.

S- Oranges, lemons, citrusy, some faint pepper and other spices, decently aromatic. It's amazing how citrusy this still is despite being over 4 years old.

T- Oranges, some hops, light clove, a hint of pepper, other spices that are hidden in the background, finishes with some mangoes and light lemons that are slightly bitter. Nicely balanced and still full of flavor.

M- Medium bodied, smooth, slightly juicy, very easy drinking.

O- Out of all of the beers in the VE series this is the one that surprised me the most in how well it held up. I was very skeptical going into this one seeing that it was a Belgian IPA and I thought the hops would be completely faded, but very surprisingly they were not and there was a ton of fruity juicy citrus that held up very well and provided a very nice taste. I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of axeman9182
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last offering in the second flight of Vertical Epics at Alewife Queens.

2008 Vertical Epic pours a translucent tangerine, with a good amount of head retention and lacing given what little foam there was to begin with. The nose is wonderfully juicy, with bubble gum and grapefruit aromas swimming together. The flavor starts out with that same plump bubble gum note. There's a relatively soft bitterness, followed by a grapefruit and mango close. The mouthfeel is solid, dry bodied and bubbly, though it could stand to be a bit more of each. As a Belgian IPA, I'm impressed by how well it's held up.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold that is clean filtered. Minimal head on this 9 oz pour but good carbonation during consumption. Aroma is true to the style and adds a string citrus presence - maybe grapefruit. Flavor puts this in a Belgian dubbel category and the strong alcohol is well masked. More citrus and a strong dosing of hops. Very enjoyable even 4-5 years later.

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Photo of TheBeerologist
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened my 08.08.08 for my 31st birthday - 08.08.12
Bottle poured into Jackie O's Munich glass

Poured a beautiful straw gold with a fluffy two finger head with some lacing on the glass

Smells like a Belgian tripel - sweet and yeasty with a bit of fruit and spices and a slight hint of citrus

The hops are still present and not totally faded as I would expect of a 4 year old belgian IPA. A bit of a coriander note and of course the belgian yeast is one of the more dominant tastes.

Smooth and moderately carbonated mouthfeel. Nothing really spectacular here though

Overall and enjoyable beer that I waited to drink until my birthday of the year the series ended, but not a really spectacular beer by any means. Happy to have saved and savored it though.

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Photo of bamadog
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I figured that we're only a few months away from the end of the series, so what's the harm in cracking this one now? Review is from notes taken on 7/28/2012 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass. I have to say, I'm curious to see how a Belgian IPA will have held up over a 4 year span.

Appearance: Pours a golden straw color and it starts with a big head of three fingers -- very white and fluffy, like whipped egg whites that fades slowly to a rocky and fully, frothy cap; body is cloudy, but shows very strong carbonation bubbling up throughout, so the yeast definitely did its job and held up over time, here's to hoping that the flavor did as well; pillowy swaths of lacing stick around.

Smell: Light, Belgian spiciness and a touch of sweet fruit -- perhaps mango or pineapple? Toasty graininess. Not too shabby, I wish it were a little more robust, but I'll take it.

Taste: Meh. It's not awful, but not what I was hoping for (should have drank this the year I bought it...). It's got some bitterness to it, but not much hop "flavor" beyond a light touch of sweet pineapple; touch of alcohol burns through along with the spiciness mentioned in the nose. I feel that this likely would have been an outstanding beer fresh, and I can only kick myself for this, not Stone.

Mouthfeel: Body is light in weight, and the carbonation is frothy, strong and prickly; a thin sticky coating hangs around; mouth is left tingly as well as the belly from the carbonation and slight booziness to it.

Overall: Again, I can't over-emphasize that this should have been consumed fresh, but even after 4 years, it's not awful.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.35/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy glowing golden amber with a puffy pure white head that fades but cathedrals. Funk, sour orange, apricot jam, and some sourness on the nose.
Tropical fruit compote, honey, papaya, and shortbread followed by slight resin and orange hops.
Gooey mango finish and funky linger. Medium, velvety, round, a bit of burn, flat, oily.

Mellowed out totally after 3.5 years. The hops are mostly gone, and the Belgian clove/phenols are not where I'd expect either. What's left is just smoothness. Not the best example of the style, but I don't mind a bit.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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

Poured from 22 oz bottle into pint glass.
A: Pours a beautiful golden orange with high carbonation producing a 2 inch bubbly white head. Excellent retention and lacing.
S: Very pleasant fruity esters, Belgian spice, and breast yeast. Some dark dried fruit (e.g. raisin). Very fresh and appealing.
T: More hoppy than anticipated. Sharp pine and citrus hops balanced fairly well by Belgian spice, raisin bread, and fruity esters.
M: Light-medium body. Fairly soft and smooth with some carbonated tingle and a moderately bitter and dry hop finish.
D: Good drinkability from a solid brew. A nice one now, but I would anticipate less hop presence as this gets to 12.12.12 which would improve the balance and likely make this good beer exceptional.

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Photo of FARGO619
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BASED ON NOTES: almost a year ago.

I'm a hophead and got some good hop notes from this one. Very happy I had the chance to try this one. I'm giving this one a good 10.

A-Good head, golden in color

S-Citrus pine with good hop aroma.

T-Earthy,but for an IPA it was so damn good. Straw, earth, wheat, hop.

D-It all jumped out, and was very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle/ 22oz.

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Photo of scbrew
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while and it did not dissapoint! Pours yellow-gold with moderate white head. Really nice "beligian gold" aroma of clove and spice, with a lot of hop character. Hop aroma is piney and citrusy. Flavor is a delicious balance of spice and sweetness wrapped around citrus from the hops. Good carbonation. Really liked this one! Don’t know if I can save the others unitl 12-12-12.

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Photo of Cavery
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into Nonic shared with Klym and SundaySour

A: Light amber with a slightly higher opacity. Two finger head with some stubbornly sticky lacing. There's some consistent belgian yeast fog, but nothing abnormal. All in all a good looking beer.

S: Yeasty earthiness, with a suggestion of apple and pair skins. The alcohol creeps up behind a late berry note. There's a really sweet and sugary brioche bread note in there.

T: Right up front I taste a young beer. Not a hotness worth complaining about, but enough heat to make it stick out for the style. That said, the beer is super clean. Light hops with no burn, and sweet yellow raisins sit atop some sweeter bread malts. Not much else, but I reiterate: very clean.

M: The mouth is a bit dead, the carbonation feels unexpectedly low. This most certainly is not intended. as it's lower carbonation borders on flatness. Definitely the ugly duckling of this beers more prominent characteristics.

O: The beer isn't ripe yet. The recommended 12/12/12 opening seems like a decent prediction of maturity. Nostradamus would approve. However, I worry about the mouth. Some more carbonation would greatly improve the balance of 08/08/08.

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Photo of SundaySour
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice milky golden color, with only a teensy rim of yellowish/white foam. Looks almost like a kind of tea.

S: Sweet and fruity like woah. I get orange blossom, jasmine, and even something savory like teriyaki beef jerky. The smell is killer fresh like Dexter with a popped collar.

T: Considerably more savory than the smell, I get the taste of french bread and candied orange rind. There is a teensy bitterness in the aftertaste, but nothing I'm going to cry over. You get a dry bread finish; this is a pretty memorable and unique flavor.

M: Not particularly fizzy, and dry in the mouth like a white wine. Leaves a lingering flavor that will no doubt make you fail a breath test.

O: Fabulous initial smell and totally unique flavor, this is worth trying if you can get your greedy beer paws on them. Not my all time favorite belgian, but in it's own class.

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Photo of Klym
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone nonic. First in a little sunday morning session with Cavery (love our weekend sessions!).

A: A very hazy pale gold, almost white on the outside. Poured with unusual violence in effort to get a nice head, but only managed to get about a 1 finger head that died down soon after. Lacing is thick and foamy but most of it falls off pretty quickly.

S: Awfully yeasty at first but became more sweet as it warmed up. A very bread-like yeast with sour apple, fresh cut grass and goji berry. An intimidatingly strong smell.

T: Taste a lot like the nose with emphasis on yeast, lots of apple, and farmhouse flavors/grass. Not as much berry in the taste as in the nose. A little bit of an unpleasant bitter and acidic aftertaste.

M: An improvement in mouthfeel would be a big improvement for this beer. Carbonation is weak and mouthfeel is watery and fails to mesh with saliva in the mouth in an unpleasant way. In my opinion, the biggest weakness of this beer.

O: This is of course supposed to be aged until 2012, but I have a hard time imagining how the beer would be much improved with a year's more aging. Glad I tried it, but not great drinkability and wouldn't reach for it again unless doing the full vertical tasting in 2012.

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Photo of jorg2619
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife and I saved this beer a special occasion and here we are. The pour was good this beer is a pale amber with a thin eradicate head that appears to be eggshell and brilliant white. The smell is a ghost of hops. I say this to mean that this beer smells like cascade or centennial hops in a bag. The hops smell is surrounded with bready and mild notes of malt. Overall this beer smells pleasant. The first draw of 08-08 is laced with the hint of hops which have long faded from 2008 and leaves the mouth with a subtle smooth triple. The malt flavors in this brew feels sweet come spicy from the yeast, and some hint just hints of oxidation. Overall I would say that waiting till 2012 to drink this beer may be a mistake. I think that this beer is at or over peek, and though I understand why advocates save these beers I would not wait any longer on this year... it tastes better now than when I had it fresh!!!!

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Photo of drewba
2.94/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Bright, translucent yellow with a half finger head after an aggressive pour. There are a few bubbles along the edges with some splotchy lacing.

S - dry pepper, grass, old citrus, yeast, green apples. Very low aroma.

T - sweet apples, pear, a hint of pepper, clove, old musty attic and plenty of yeast. It's quite sweet with just a hint of bitterness in the back end. Somehow, there is a noticeable, but small amount of alcohol heat in the back of my throat after sipping on this. This isn't a drainpour, but I'm not excited about finishing this bottle.

M - It's on the thin side, but some prickly bubbles are still there, surprisingly, after 2.5 years of being bottled.

O - I'm not sure if I would look forward to this in a vertical epic tasting at the end of 2010, but it was a fun science experiment to see how this is doing after a couple years. Most of the "ipa" qualities have died with age, this is now pretty much a sweet belgian style with a unique yeast character.

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Photo of birchstick
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of harrymel
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured to NB globe during an 06-10 VE tasting.

A: Golden, hazy with single finger fine white foam which sticks around. Decent spider lacing. Golden butterscotch look.

S: Peppercorns, green apples, belgian yeast. Floral qualities, jasmine. Decent, but not great.

T: Cloves, apples, bananas over a slightly sour amberesque ale. The beer also evolves to reveal a slight alcohol flavor. Not really a taste I would anticipate from an IPA (even belgian).

M: medium body with fine, assertive carbonation. Leaves the palate dry.

D: This is a decent beer, but not nearly as good as some of the other offerings from the series I sampled.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a white head and and spots of lacing.

S: There is still a surprising hop presence to this beer with some nice bright fruit notes, but those may be from the Belgian yeast strain. There's a bready and sugary sweetness to the nose along with some mild alcohol.

T: Quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue with citrus peel, particularly orange and tangerine. The hops are a bit grassy but provide some pine, too. A bit of pear sweetness along with the bread.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Not surprisingly, this beer is nowhere near as good as it was when it came out a couple years ago. But it's still drinkable.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.