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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

474 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 474
Hads: 706
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 7.98%
Wants: 42
Gots: 179 | 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
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Reviews: 474 | Hads: 706
Photo of drewba
2.94/5  rDev -26.7%
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. (984 characters)

Photo of TKEbeerman
2.99/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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. (361 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Five year old Eight pours with a bright orange coloring and a sizeable foam cap.

This bottle was stored properly but it smells like plastic. Lots of phenolic and alcohol make it very off-putting.

The phenolic quality holds in the taste for the beginning but subsides quickly to give a nice fruity orange, tangerines and nectarines flavor.

The feel is sprite and bubbly but smooth and full.

Fresh this may be a fantastic rendition of a Belgian IPA but time seems to have been hard on this one. (496 characters)

Photo of Docer
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (675 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

$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. (1,262 characters)

Photo of HomeRunBaker
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one was a little disappointing. It looked good, a nice golden color. Smell was pretty average, I got mostly hops. The taste initially was of hops, with a citrus aftertaste. An okay beer, but not something I'd buy again, though I've got another kept to age. Hopefully the experience will improve. (300 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

Gusher! had to be decanted and served in a pitcherThe beer is radiant orange yellow hued. Fairly hazy with a small white cap. The aroma brings coriander, limes, crackers, malt, spice. The flavor is watery orange juice, light spice. Malty body and fairly light on the palate. Moderate carbonation. This was ok. (346 characters)

Photo of Freshie
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Light amber color. Very apple juice colored. Thin, light head laces the sides.

Aroma is very belgiany. Light whiffs of banana, clove, coriander, musty yeast, and herbal hop.

Taste is dry, but sweet. Herbal and citrusy hops meet dry malt backbone.

After taste is a bit watery, but as you drink warmer alcohol burn stays with you.

Not my favorite VE. Too sweet, and too dry in the after taste. (397 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sharp and fruity strong ale.

I would call it a "pungent' aroma. It is so sharp in the back of the throat I pause in mid sip. Definitely an overexuberance of Belgian flavors taking over, but unrestrained by the usual Belgian malty funk. I call it an IPA that's been jacked up with Country Time lemonade powder.

I wonder if these beers should be stored refrigerated? I bet there is a giant cooler chugging away somewhere in an industrial part of Escondido with a vast store of Verticals in suspended animation waiting for the big day. Me, I'm going to pull the ones I have left and drink 'em now. Well, not right this minute. (625 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle.

Pours a bright, clear golden orange with small white head. Dry bitter aroma with coriander, pepper, orange, lime and citrus peel. Tastes like no pulp Orange Juice with a twist of lime and... I dunno, "spice"? Medium thick and well carbonated. I was hopefully from the nose for this but the flavor is too watery and one dimensional. (346 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle.

A: Clear orange color with a thin white head. Nice lacing and good bubbles.

N: Caramel, toffee, mandarin orange, some oxidation, leafy hops, esters.

T: Well balanced by the bitter and sweet elements. Tastes more like a barleywine/old DIPA than a BSA

M: Sticky, medium body. Alcohol is prevalent.

O: Not too bad. Hops have faded significantly and the oxidation level is light. Still solid, but not my favorite. (430 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.33/5  rDev -17%
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. (632 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a slightly murky gold with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: Light spice notes at first followed by lots of candy sugar, caramel malts, and pear aromas. There are also some bubblegum and bread aromas mixed in.

T: Belgian spices here as well before candy sugar, sweet breads, caramel, and a light oxidation flavor kick in. The finish is yeasty with a surprising, though light, bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer isn't as light and crisp as I'd like, but avoids being too thick or sticky sweet.

O: Considering that this beer is 4.5 years old, it's not as bad as I was expecting. It's a little oxidized, but not enough so to ruin it. (704 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.36/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one is WAY cloudy! Peach colored brew with soapy vanilla colored head.

Tons of chamomile, dandelion, pear, tart, lemon, apple, milk.

A want to be sour, but weird flavors and zero tartness. Sweet(but, not sugary), wet, light-medium carbonation, medicinal, antique flavors, rusty.

When I think of Asian flowers, this brew comes to mind.. It's unique and has held up well, but it's a weird brew, not much balance and flow to all the co-mingled flavors. (458 characters)

Photo of bamadog
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
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. (1,619 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden-orange color with minimal white lacing.

Smell: Yeasty aroma with a bit of orange and some other spices and alcohol.

Taste: Has quite a spicy/yeasty taste which leaves an odd and bitter aftertaste. It also overpowers the bit of orange in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and a tad gritty, especially at the finish.

Drinkability: Ok, but nothing great.

Maybe this would work better with aging, but I find it less appealing than the mediocre 7.7.7 from Stone. Mind, it's not a bad beer, just not a particularly good one. The spicyness & yeastyness is rather monolithic, and it's very simplistic and obscured in the fruit tastes. It's too bad, as I was rather looking forward to it. (757 characters)

Photo of TheBeerologist
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
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. (757 characters)

Photo of blindtiger24
3.39/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Copper colored with a thin head.

S: Apple and cinnamon smell.

T: Orange sweetness and slight bitterness from orange peel.

M: Creamy mouthfeel that is short lived and is dried about by bitterness of the peel.

O: Fell flat in the taste and mouthfeel departments. (306 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looking forward to trying this one. Pours a crystal clear golden honey color with a few bubbles rising to the top and about one finger of off-white head. Head settles to a thin lace and doesn't really leave much stick.

Smell is sweet, boozy, and hoppy. Lots of honey like sweetness, and ample alcohol in the nose, as well. Hops are earthy and herbal smelling, and there is some spice and yeast going on here, too.

Taste is also quite boozy, and it's also fruity and sweet. It's bubble gum sweet, along with overripe, alcohol soaked citrus and green apples. Strong honey sweetness, as well, along with a bit of spice and some floral hops. It's slightly phenolic and medicinal, and overall it's just to sweet and boozy. There is some herbal bitterness in the finish; needs more.

Mouthfeel is between a medium and full body but feels a bit lighter than that in the mouth. It's pretty smooth but is slightly cloying. Low carbonation.

I'm disappointed in this one. I was excited about it based on the description, but it didn't really materialize. Too much alcohol, too sweet, and not enough hop flavor compared to how it was described. Like last year, I'm really not sure that I care to cellar some of these to revisit. We'll see. (1,230 characters)

Photo of BeerStine
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear light copper with minimal head and low carbonation. Smells is of caramel malts with a fruity hops undertone. Taste is a fruity hoppiness at first followed by a sweet caramel malt flavor. Mouthfeel is a medium/light with minimal carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. I would drink many of these.

Taste is borderline bananaish for me. But still a good beer. (412 characters)

Photo of SirSketch
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of an '07, '08, '09 vertical

A - Bright gold color with white foamy home and consistent bubble. Less visual carbonation than the '07, surprisingly.

S - The hop aroma definitely outlasted the year and a half of age. Alcohol is very apparent. Light maltiness gives way to some fruits.

T - Hop flavor is much less than in the aroma. Bitterness is quenching. Again, the alcohol is not trying to hide.

M/D - Smooth and slightly dry. Only the second beer in my vertical, but I much preferred the '07. (503 characters)

Photo of obywan59
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden to orangey copper in color with a pure white 1 1/2 finger head that leaves a bit of nice sticky lacing. First glass was perfectly clear, but the second was rather cloudy with large sediment particles suspended throughout, but more thickly towards the top.

A little Belgian funk. Spicy citrus or faint mulled cider with honey. Spice is mainly clove. An occasional whiff of bubblegum and alcohol.

Faintly sweet but fairly dry. Cloves seem more distinct here. Some light tart citrus and a bit over balanced by a somewhat harsh bitterness in the first glass. In the second glass, the bitterness was less obtrusive.

Faint prickle from the light carbonation. Medium-full bodied. Drying to the point of astringency. Decent burn of alcohol.

The taste was the worst aspect for me, the bitterness was a detraction. The carbonation was weak, but the alcohol still seemed potent. Maybe it suffered for being in the fridge for 4 1/2 years?? I first drank this before I started doing reviews, but I'm pretty certain it was a lot better back then. It's not without merit, but If were still made, I wouldn't buy it again at this stage. (1,138 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden-amber color, a bit hazy. Right perlage, one finger of foam.
In the smell a lot of hop, a good malt background, with a bit of honey. Citrussy, piney, resinous, grapefruit.
At the taste a malty base, and then the hop. Mint, pine, almost sharp, resinous.
Quite dry, and still drinkable.
Average body, drinkable.
Hop aftertaste, resinous, and piney.
Not bad at all, but in the end, a bit monotone. (400 characters)

Photo of JBogan
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear light golden color with a small white head and very little lacing.

Smelled sweet and with a slight alcohol presence. Can't quite pick out the scents but I think there's a bit of grape in there somewhere along with some charcoal residue.

Tastes much as it smells. Nothing offensive going on here, but nothing to rave about either.

Mouthfeel was thin and slick, and with little carbonation.

Overall this was a somewhat drinkable brew. I'm going to finish this bottle now, and save another bottle for a few years from now and see what the difference (if any) there is. For now however, I'd day that it's a nice offerening from Stone, who's brews I usually find far too sweet and boozy, almost like a hyperactive cough syrup. This one is a bit toned down, although still not a great beer. (803 characters)

Photo of seaoflament
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with almost an inch of white foam.

The aroma is a bit spicy from the yeast and also a pleasant fresh hop aroma. Sweet orange, wild flowers, honey, Belgian candy sugar, apples, and a bit of strawberry and cherry. There's also a slightly toasted and bready aroma from the malt, a little nutty too. A bit of cinnamon begins to open up. It also has an odd, chalky, pez-like aroma which loses a bit of points for me. The nose on this one is very sweet too.

Surprisingly toasted malt flavor upfront with a bunch of sweetness and a light bitter finish. Some alcohol warmth in the end too. Quite a bit of ripe orange and grapefruit too. Fruity, yeasty and a little earthy.

Smooth mouth-feel, a tad syrupy but light and lively carbonation brightens things up.

Will be interesting to see what happens to this one in a year or two. (845 characters)

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.