1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

690 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 690
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 172 | FT: 13
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 690 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kegger22
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Vertical 08.08.08 is my first Belgian IPA. Nice. The color was clear golden with a two finger head that quickly faded to a collar. The aroma was sweet citrus with a little alcohol as it warmed. The taste was a bittersweet citrus too, but I detected a sour taste that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but liked. Mouth feel is medium bodied and a little oily for an IPA. Drinkability: Good, I had a bomber and would have happily downed another.

kegger22, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of gmcfarre
4.1/5  rDev +3%

22 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a clear light orange color with a decent 1/2 inch white head. Head fades somewhat quickly to a thin layer. When tipped, laces form in sheets that fall quickly. Lack of a billowy head is somewhat disappointing.

S - Started off as a great, somewhat traditional Belgian Strong Pale Ale with its mix of floral and hoppy flavors. Typical yeasty spice is evident. Orange peel and tart green apple come to mind.

T - Starts with a mellow sweetness up front. Some citrus fruit flavor comes through on mid-palate. Yeasty spice contributes a good deal of the flavor up until finish. Tart green apple finish that is well complimented by a heavy dose of bitterness. Quite tasty and refreshing.

M - Good, moderate carbonation with a medium body. Presents a dry and somewhat chalky mouthfeel with a tacky, slightly drying finish.

D - Flavor stays rewarding throughout the life of the bomber, but high alcohol takes its toll if you're not careful. Certainly worth trying. It will be interesting to see how this ages till 12/12/12!

gmcfarre, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of armock
4.1/5  rDev +3%

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of spice fruity and citrus hops

T - Starts off with some spice then gets sweet and fruity

M - This beer has a medium body with high carbonation to it

D - Another great beer from Stone thats very enjoyable to drink shared a bottle with some friends and they all agreed worth trying if you can still find it

armock, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of ccrida
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, 08.08.08 is clear gold with a large, quickly settling white head that leaves nice lace.

Smell is very sweet, sour citrus and flowers, tangerine and clean alcohol.

Taste is not where near as sweet, there is a grassy, citrus hoppiness and bitter finish, but otherwise fairly neutral and clean, save for the slightly solvent alcohol bite. I was expecting more depth, but it's still a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, with a crispness in spite of the smooth, medium body.

Drinkability is pretty high because it's a pretty clean BSPA, not overly complex or heavy. I was expecting a big West Coast hop punch, but this one seems like it's all nobles, a little spicy and herbal but otherwise merely a compliant to the sugars and Belgian esters. Nevertheless a nice beer, but not the East meets West Belgian IPA I was expecting. Bonus points for being ready to rock on release, some of the last Epics had a roughness to them the calliing for extended cellaring. While this one should hold up, it's good now.

ccrida, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Pours clear, pale gold with a half inch head of white. Fine dots and smears of lacework remained after the head fell to a placid surface.

Aromatics are grassy, earthy, and spicy.
Wet hay, cedar bark, lemon pith, and menthol. Hints of peaches, melons, and dried apricots follow through.

Light bodied and crisp. The carbonation is low for the style. Quite dry and refreshing.

Cut grass, lemon-spritzed hay, white pepper, and clove studded citrus lead the palate. Lemon pith, grapefruit oil, light malt, and a hint of earthy mint with cumin follow through.

Finishes very dry, with a firm bitterness and fading apricots, peaches, and mango.

Very tasty and one of the better VE's. The low carbonation detracts a bit, and the nose suffers.
The fresher the better on this one. Drink up.

brewandbbq, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a nice golden-amber color with high carbonation evident and one finger of off white head that doesn't last very long.

s - Smells of bananas, cloves, spices, yeast, and sticky sweet fruit malts. Some citrus came out as it warms up.

t - Tastes of bananas, citrus hops, grapefruit, oragne, spice, and yeast. A tiny bit of bitterness, but not much. More fruity malts as it warms up.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink for 8.6%.

d - The bottle says it is a Belgian tripel, while BA says it's a Belgian IPA, and I can see both sides of it. I thought it smelled pretty good and definitely like a tripel, as it didn't have a lot of hops. The taste however actually still had a lot of hops to it. Either way, it was an enjoyable beer I'd try again. Interested to see what'll happen in 2 more years.

mdfb79, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +3%

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with an off white head.

S- Citrus, grassy and some yeast.

T- Citrus right up front (apples and pear) which is followed up by a spicy flavour. Tiny bit of hops in the finish.

M- Medium in body and carbonation. Well balanced.

D- I really enjoyed this one. Easy to drink

nrbw23, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of jonziefle
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Poured a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a light golden color, clear. One finger white head, with minimal retention. Good carbonation. Not much lacing at all.

Smell: Nose of bready and yeasty, sweet malts with typical Belgian spices. Spicy fragrances of estery fruits, with bananas, cloves, and cinnamon the strongest. One way to describe the smell is that of bubblegum, strange as that sounds. Very well balanced and very appealing.

Taste: The taste follows the nose well. Nice combination of yeasty malts and spicy fruit flavors (bananas and cloves). Very mild in that no flavor overwhelms another; incredibly well balanced. Not bitter at all, very smooth; only a hint of a hop bite is up front, but nothing really at all. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden; there is no indication that the beer is 8.6%.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium bodied. Very smooth and crisp. Excellent clean finish.

Drinkability: An excellent take on a Belgian Pale. All the requisite yeasts, esters, and spiciness, in an incredibly smooth beer. Incredibly easy to drink. The alcohol is so well hidden that the beer will sneak up on you pretty quickly; a good or bad thing depending.

jonziefle, May 05, 2009
Photo of BierFan
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.

BierFan, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of mwilbur
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

mwilbur, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of jakon
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

22oz bottle purchased for 6.99 on 8-10-08 at Whole Foods Tanasbourne.

This beer pours a light amber/orange color with a small sized head.

The aroma brings grassy, tropical fruit tinged hops, belgian yeast, and a hint of alcohol.

The taste is very nice. Very powerful hop flavor, but with a subdued finishing bitterness. Tastes like a fresh hop beer mixed with a SD IPA and a Saison. Well, I'm not so sure that would taste this good, but it's what I keep thinking as I sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and low on carbonation.

Overall, this was a pleasant surprise. Better than expected. Yet another unique, outstanding offering from Stone.

jakon, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of JayQue
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

I liked this one!!! Poured a bright golden color with a small white head that faded to a covering of the glass. Smell was slightly malty and sweet.

Taste was very good...not the typical Belgian, but nice. This one is a slow sipper...there is malt, white grapes. perfume and sweetness. Everything balanced.

Mouthfeel is rich. Drinkability is around average. The sweetness and high abv would keep this a one-and=out beer. I bought two....doubt if the other one is going to get the chance to age.

JayQue, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of TheFlern
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

This beer is a very good beer but it defintely looks and smells better than it tastes.

Smell: Spicey with a hoppy background. The spice reminds me of the Stone Russian Imperial in character.

Taste: This beer is very spicey followed by a lighter hop taste which is once again reminiscent of the Stone Russian Imperial. However, this beer is much hoppier.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and lighter than you would expect given the overall spicey character of the beer.

Drinkability: It drinks smooth and finishes dry. This beer definitely has a taste that keeps you reaching for back for another sip. However, compared to the other IPAs of various styles from Stone Brewing Company I think they have let themselves down as far as drink-ability goes.

I will definitely be grabbing one of these to save until December 13th 1212.

TheFlern, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of Viggo
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!

Viggo, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Pauly2X
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

A- Deep gold with a light amber tint, wispy 1/4 finger head.

S- Sweet fruity esters interlaced with spicy/citrusy hop notes.

T- The spicy yeast character takes center stage with this brew. This is not to say that the fine malt profile with a hint of caramel and the sharp yet not too overpowering hops don't do thier job as well. The warming alcohol note becomes more evident as the beer warms up.

M- Light and rich, good carbonation.

D- Very drinkable for a high abv.

Although this may not be very traditional for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but in the realm of belgian styles what is? Great balance overall, good complexity without making you "think about it".

Pauly2X, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of beergoot
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

The beer appears a nice golden color with a small bubble, foamy white head. Floury aroma with hints of pear and apricot and a mild peppery spiciness. Nifty booze, malt, hop flavors come out with every sip; fruity esters combine with a rich malt flavors. Medium bodied, crisp and dry finish.

Bold and sharp beer with lots of interesting flavors. The hop aroma isn't very strong, but perhaps that's due to the age of the beer. Still, the grain/hop/ABV components make for an intense yet pleasurable tasting experience.

beergoot, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of WillieMoe
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

Pours a slightly opaque, bubbly golden, with a hint of orange. Has a thin head that dissolves fairly quickly.

Has that heavy fruity belgian aroma.Hints of banana, mild citrus, coriander, clove and a mild bready malt.

Has a big hop taste, balanced with some citrusy wafts and bready yeast scents. A little harsh and fizzy at first, with a bit of a tang at the end. Has a medium body, and some good carbonation.

The alcohol is not hidden all that well. Is a very good drink, but a bit too big to drink continuously.

WillieMoe, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of chileman13
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

poured from bomber into stone pint glass.
a- golden color with 1" white head.
a- floral hops, fruit and a twist of belguim yeast smell.
t- hoppy, fruity, dry, belguim yeast. Though I'm not a real big fan of Belguim Beers. I am a fan of Stone & have liked the Vertical Epic series. I really like this beer.
M- medium light well carbonated. Like a "butter" smooth.
D- This is the best "Belguim" I have ever had. I'm wondering why I didn't buy 2...

chileman13, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of Beejay
4.14/5  rDev +4%

Reviewed: 2-3-13

A: Pale amber brown, a bit of white head, but not a huge amount. Slightly hazy.

S: Caramel and sweet, some light citrus fruit with some pine scents.

T: Nice sweetness, good caramel with a nice spice and citrus flavor. Some good yeasty character, and a touch of hot alcohol. All in all pretty good.

M: Medium light in body. Very active carbonation, and a dry finish.

O: Overall very nice. The flavor and mouthfeel are really nice. Even 5 years after it was brewed, this beer is pretty solid. Surprised it is still a little hot, but great.

Beejay, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of Kraken
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

Been holding onto this one for at least a few months. Figured now is as good a time as any. Poured from the standard 22oz bottle into a 20oz pint glass. Firm pour yields 2 finger Bright white head consisting of very fine bubbles. Color is a clear pale golden amber.

Nose- Rich and grainy, full of hops notes of vanilla. Smells wonderful.

Taste- Very nice. Subtle hop bitterness very dry, like death valley in the summer time. Alcohol present, fairly hot. Nice malt sweetness. Hints of vanilla. Citrus notes from the hops. This has all the earmarks of a "typical stone brew. I am reminded of the stone IPA and Ruination in sipping on this. Personally I think this should cellar for a bit longer.

Mouthfeel- Very Zippy carbonation, dry

Drinkability- Pretty hot atm. This could use a little more time in the cellar. Very nice and shows great potential.

Kraken, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of jdg204
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

After yet another great Stone experience with 13th anniversary, I decided it was time to try more of their brews. Thus, I popped into Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem and grabbed the '08 and '09 Vertical Epics.

A: Light golden color with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing.

S: Aromas of yeast, spices, apples/pears, and hops.

T: Starts with the sweetness of apples/pears and spices. This is quickly followed by the classic bite of belgian yeast, this could be a saison at this point. Then there's the strong finish of hops, very well done and balanced. A real nice flavor but I'm not sure it differentiates from a saison enough.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, very smooth and crisp.

D: A real nice offering from Stone, very unique and enjoyable. Stone really proved their chops by taking on a Belgian and delivering with such a solid brew. Still, I'm not sure this differentiates itself as much from classic Belgian styles as the bottle indicates (basically called a Belgian/ West Coast IPA). A solid choice (not quite a must try) and a commendable addition to the Vertical Epic lineup.

jdg204, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

An American twist on the style. Less spicy and more citrus than expected, but it works out nicely. Lemon peels, toasted bread, and smooth caramel round out the flavors. There are some spices and black pepper flavors as well, but they're a bit subdued.

Very crisp and clean. Great feel, fairly dry, and very easy to drink. If money permits, I may get another to save for 12.12.12.

ElGrecoVerde, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of Goliath
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours a fairly clear golden/amber color with a half inch slightly yellowed head sitting on top. Decent retention and some lacing.

The aroma is really nice. Some citrus hops up front, with a honey like sweetness. A belgian twist finishes it off showing a bit of spice, some yeast, and candy sugar.

The taste is pretty good. A nice citrus hop showing notes of sour orange and grapefruit peel that really dominate the palate, but I really dig it. However, the "Belgian" element can't be ignored. A nice spiciness and yeast quality are present as well. It's just a nice merging of styles.

Mouthfeel medium bodied with plenty of fine carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate to high. Flavor is great to me, although not necessarily true to style. Alcohol is fairly high, but it's well hidden. Just a nice beer and I'd love to see what ages will do for it.

Goliath, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of xgrigorix
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

Twenty-two ounce brown bottle.

Pale golden colour. Thin white head. Patchy lace clings nicely to the glass.

Nose is pretty interesting. A unique blend of grassy, herbal, & citrus when first poured. As it warms tropical fruit notes open up along with some notes of pine & spruce.

Really a great blend of herbal, grassy, and citrus flavours from the abundance of hops. Some spicy pepper and cloves come along as accents. Hints of something similar to anise ... but not quite. Again tropical fruit notes open up as it warms.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. A dry finish, that is noticeably astringent after a few sips.

While not exactly blowing my mind, this is certainly unique. I can't recall ever have a Belgian Golden Ale all decked out with American hops. Absolutely worth trying at least once.

Will be curious to see if this makes it to 12.12.12 for the big vertical - as the hop flavours are such a big part of the profile, I have doubts - but I would love to be proven wrong.

xgrigorix, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

Da Stone pours a semi-hazy amber / orange into the Corsendonk tulip. Small head pops up and quickly dies, not leaving much lace, but a small smattering of sheet around the top.

Spicy fruits in the aroma, lingering well into the quaff. Dry and crisp brew, full of malt backbone with those dried fruits of apple and pear appearing in the finish. Aged just about right during the last year. Tasting great this low temperature summer day.

Way to go once again, Stone Brewing.

Vancer, Jul 19, 2009
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 690 ratings.