Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 687 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
2.1/5 rDev -47.2%
Wow. This is my first review, and I chose to put in my 2 cents because all I saw were A and B ratings so far. Ive had alot of fantastic belgian beers- every kind of Chouffe for example, and some not so great (Delerium Noel comes to mind)... But seriously, The first thing I did was smell it when I opened the bottle, and It was like a burst of Listerine mouth-wash mixed with Belgian candi sugar. I poured it and out came the lightest colored Stone beer Ive seen, crystal clear with a thin head. Overall appearance was just what Id expect. But then i smelled it again.... Straight up Listerine! and the taste... Inhaling a tad as my mouth approached the glass I could almost choke on the alcohol and mouthwashiness. As it warms its not as intense and I can get a really crisp hop profile, but its almost minty and not the kind of flavor I generally go for. The alcohol has a little bite and drinkability is not what im used to in a belgian triple, which tend to be more hazy and full, more balanced and heavy, but still light enough to be considered "pale' and or "yellow". Anyway this beer was way to dry for the style, it seems they got way too much attenuation when the should have left in more unfermentables to stay true to the unfiltered old school belgian styles that I know and love. Stones got it locked down when it comes to Ipas, But maybe not so much triples.
08-22-2008 01:55:54 | More by hopstorm
2.3/5 rDev -42.2%
22 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.
The aroma is banana, musty yeast, some cloves with some spicy hops.
The flavor is a bit of a mish-mash - sweet bananas fight with peppery hops. There's also a little sweet bready malt and a little clove and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full with some light but sharp carbonation.
Overall, I didn't really care for this. I don't like bananas in my beer and it was strong in this one. The blend of bananas and hops was strange as well.
08-12-2008 06:15:00 | More by Beaver13
District of Columbia
2.63/5 rDev -33.9%
the head poured fairly nice but fizzled ostentatiously. i'll note that i did just wash my glass, so i will will defer in favor of the brew
the color is a light peach. OK
the aroma is fruity. very sweet and fruity--apricot. hoppy. there's a spicy tang to it, as well.
the flavor is not nice. the spice needs to mellow bigtime, which comes across incredibly sharp and tactilely, as well--it's trying to disable my tastebuds
this tastes like stone didn't intend for it to be consumed before 12.12.12. i'm all for planning for the future, but i feel like i'm chewing on tinfoil
11-03-2008 04:25:23 | More by bruachan
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
2.71/5 rDev -31.9%
22 oz. purchased about a week ago poured into an Ommegang goblet. Not sure of how well this bottle was conditioned, but here we go.
A: Hazy, yellow and orange. Some visible sediment at the bottom of the glass. Not a problem. Being a home brewer, I am used to seeing sediment in my beer.
S: It smells like a year old IPA. Tons of stale malt and a slight hint of whatever hops remain.
T: Taste like it smells. It just taste like a really old IPA where the malts are dominant but stale and the hops are non-existent. Yeast flavor is prominent at the end. Brings up some fruit flavors at the very end to help alleviate the awful stale taste. Pretty bad.
M: Light to medium bodied; slight carbonation but pretty faded.
O: Overall, this beer has not aged well. I remember having an 08 vertical in the summer of 09 and it was phenomenal. Also had a fresh one in 08. This, however, has just turned to a stale, bitter, tasteless beer. I saw this for 9$ and figured what the hell. Glad to have tried it, but will never seek anything besides a 12 vertical at this point ever again.
02-13-2014 23:07:36 | More by BoardwalkBock
2.78/5 rDev -30.2%
If you go online Stone publishes the recipes to all their vertical epics--that's nifty. Cloudy gold color with a thin, white insta-vanish head.
Smells like Capri Sun, light tropical fruit, bready yeast, peach rings, and sharp, but timid, citrus hop.
Heavy fermented sugar malt, clumpy citrus hop, and toasted plantains. Tropical fruit character (from yeast, not hops). Effervescent carbonation.
The hops have already faded out of this a whole lot and I can't imagine this beer holding up until 12/12/12.
Update: 6/30/13. The review above is from 2010. Now that we're going through all the Epics this was by far my favorite of the series. It doesn't hold as an IPA but there's tropical fruit out the yin yang and it makes for a great triple/bspa.
06-30-2013 14:44:53 | More by donkeyrunner
2.8/5 rDev -29.6%
Purchased this from Lone Hill Liquor a year ago. I wouldn't have purchased something that someone else aged, but I know that Lone Hill takes good care of their product so I'm assuming it was aged properly.
Pours a very pale gold, clear with a wispy bone colored head. Tiny bubbles form with a swirl and pack in tightly until it mostly dissipates. Aroma starts with green apple, pear, white grape, and clove. Lots of sweet Belgian notes up front, almost sickeningly so. I also get a slightly papery aroma. There isn't as much carbonation as expected. I don't get much in the way of hops because of the age, I presume. So far this is turning out to be a Belgian Golden Strong. Flavor has caramel, biscuit, and honey with sweet, flowery nectar. Some allspice goes up the noes and brings out a bitter candied sugar flavor. Bitter hops are woody and earthy. Feel is appropriate for the style, finish is very dry.
This gets better as it warms. The caramel comes out and the spicy phenols calm down. I really want to try this when it's young. I think that if anyone can duplicate Houblon Chouffe's success it could be Stone. I have to dock points for saying that this should be aged, though. This is a novelty by now and a poor marketing trick. If only I knew this before I started buying the series.
01-31-2013 04:49:00 | More by Philousa
2.88/5 rDev -27.6%
Slightly hazy golden orange with foamy white head with little retention and lacing. Spicy and citrus aroma. Flavors complimenting the aroma with apple and strong hop presence despite 2 years and a little more balanced. Semi-dry, straw and alcohol finish. Spongy, fizzy mouthfeel with poor bitter linger.
I never had a chance to taste this fresh but I imagine the strong hops may have saved this fresh. Also, it may have been improperly stored at some point since I just found it about 6 months ago in a store. Nonetheless, as is it seems to me this was a prototype for the Cali-Belgique IPA which I love and so I guess that's what it's all about for Stone, finding something good to tweak a bit for regular production.
08-09-2010 01:07:58 | More by Bfarr
2.93/5 rDev -26.4%
Poured this into a Portsmouth tulip glass. A vigorous pour produces an ample white head, which eventually settles down to a thin film across a pale yellowish-orange body.
The nose contains some sweet malts, a bit of hops and a somewhat candied fruit rubbery smell. Not overly pleasant. I also get some apple juice concentrate in the aroma.
The first sip very sweet, spicy and warming. Lots of estery alcohol and fruits. For a 1 year old beer there is still some pleasant hop bitterness in the background, but it is not very strong. There is still some rubber like flavor in the taste as well.
The mouthfeel is spicy and little on the thin side. The 8.6% ABV is very apparent. Drinkability is on the low side for me.
This beer is a bit of spice bomb and overly sweet. I feel like it may have been better when it was fresh off the line, with a bigger hop profile. Either way, I've got another sitting in the cellar waiting for the vertical tasting on 12.12.12. Maybe I'll be more impressed then, but for now I'll have to pass. I've had much better from Stone than this.
11-14-2009 19:35:47 | More by sisuspeed
2.93/5 rDev -26.4%
Yellow golden color with a quickly diminishing, heavily dense foam. Aroma is sparse, but shows some notes of banana and clove along with minor hop aromatics. Flavor is heavily sweet, boozy and is dominated by yeast (pepper, bubble gum, spice) and hops (floor cleaner, lemon, pine.)
Mouth feel is very heavy, firm and has lots of weight, unlike most Belgian styles. Had really high hopes for this one but it failed me. Overly boozy, forced, poorly balanced and it just seems very unauthentic. I was hoping for something comparable to Houblon Choffe, unfortunately, it's not even close.
08-06-2008 15:18:32 | More by Crosling
2.93/5 rDev -26.4%
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.
05-15-2011 03:16:09 | More by drewba
2.95/5 rDev -25.9%
$7.99 for a 22oz bottle. Described as a hoppy Belgian Golden Ale, this was based upon Duvel Triple Hop. 65 IBU's. OG=1.076, 8.9% ABV
Brewed with 87% pale malt, 6.5% flaked oats, 5.5% light candi sugar syrup, 1.0% blonde candi sugar powder. Boiling hops=Simcoe and Amarillo, Flavor=Ahtanum, Dry=Simcoe and Amarillo. Fermented with White Labs WLP 570 (Belgian Golden Ale Yeast).
Pours out to a very clear golden, forming a large white head with great retention and nice sheets of lace. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is great...I like the dichotomy of the cloves and bananas from the yeast against the mango and peach imparted by the hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and mouth filling with a medium-dense body. Starts out with lots of initial hop esters of mango, peach, and grapefruit set against a stinging clove background. This fades into green bananas and burnt rubber with an unfortunate ruddiness in the middle. The lingers forever, through the moderate bitterness, and into the aftertaste. The aftertaste is of smoking PVC and wet newspapers.
This starts out great, but ends terribly. The aftertaste is pretty bad and severaly limits it's drinkability. I'm gonna have a hard time finishing this bomber. Probably the worst Vertical Epic I've had so far.
10-24-2008 01:02:10 | More by Mitchster
3/5 rDev -24.6%
A. Poured into my VE glass, this brew pours a murky straw color with a lot of yeast for a IPA. I guess thats what makes it belgium.
S. Light fruit, and no hops.
F. A little hops on the back of the pallet. Yeasty spic notes, but a lack of complexity.
Mf. The fullest of the VEs. Very well carbonated.
Overall, for an aged Belgium IPA I expected more complexity.
01-19-2013 02:54:26 | More by TKEbeerman
3/5 rDev -24.6%
Really not my cup of tea... 22oz. bomber poured into a glass.
Yellow and light orange color, minimal head with not much lacing.
Smells a bit of rubbing alcohol, oak, flamed pepper... and musty old cabin up in the mossy woods.
Perhaps I would like it better if I let it sit in the fridge for another 3+ years... but west coast inspired? Didn't taste it. Too peppery and spicy... a dry hop, but not a very floral one. Really an oak barrel aged flavor. Light malt presence.
Doesn't leave the mouth too dry.. woody aftertaste..
Easy to drink... doesn't taste as strong as it is.. but most likely wont buy it... not a fan of Belgiums.. not one for me to stare at for 3 years.
01-13-2009 03:19:32 | More by Docer
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 687 ratings.