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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

696 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 696
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 173 | 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
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Ratings: 696 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hustlesworth
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- bright clear golden tangerine-apricot color with a short lived foamy off white head. a thin veneer of foam remnants sit quietly on the surface and delicate wisps of lace cling to my tulip.

S- fruity, papery, and quite phenolic, with a strong band-aid/cardboard and apple skin and 'ocean' aroma that fade as the beer airs out. some citrus and spicy pepper notes as well, floral alcohol esters, and grassy-herbal hops. hints of banana push through with pineapple greens, pear, and under ripe green fruits. overall for me it leans in the wrong direction until allowed to breathe, so patience may be virtuous.

T- dominant hop flavor from start to finish, reminding me of a belgian IPA. alot of citrus, candied lemon, orange pith, acrid white grapefruit, though not unpleasant, display how the pungency of a shit ton of west coast hops can box out the subtleties that i enjoy so much in belgian style beers. yeast aromas are rather bland and are nearly unnoticeable behind the thick curtain of hops, appearing only as a faint hint of banana, white grape, and pear. it's quite a tasty brew, but my amateur palate typically expects a balance from BSPAs that allows yeast character to be slightly more prevalent. in a blind taste test, i would put a c-note on belgian IPA. finishes lightly toasty with a fresh grain flavor as the hops go from citrus to grassy and herbal and chlorophyll with a little pine.

MF- lingering hop oils but an otherwise clean finish, juicy bodied and perfect delicate prickly carbonation, mildly astringent.

D- mouth feel has me sold, and has led me to speedy consumption. i'm hung up on this one, at only 6 months old, perhaps it needed more time to mature because at this stage it is rough and hop oriented and coloring outside the lines as far as style guides go- not that that's a bad thing, but in a perfect world it would be awesome to know what's inside an $8 bottle of beer. still, good job stone, i wish i had been hip for long enough to try the past batches.

Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ORIGINAL REVIEW WHEN FRESH (rating numbers reflect this):

Consumed 08/09/08 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA.

Clear, light golden pour in a tulip glass with a two finger white head. The head subsides soon into a little layer of foam that provides moderate lacing.

The aroma is hoppy; odd for a Belgian of this style but not surprising considering the source. Muted pine and citrus mingle with cloves in the nostrils.

Flavor is somewhat sweet, dominated by clove. Hoppy notes appear near end as pepper. Only slightly dry on the palate. I'd say it compares favorably with Duvel, but doesn't equal that benchmark.

Took me a while to finish my smallish glass; this beer is heavier than it seems at first.

Very good beer and worth having if you can get it.
___

Consumed on January 20th, 2013 at a private Vertical Epic tasting.

Beer pours a light burnished gold. Slightly cloudy, it exhibits no head and lazy, minimal carbonation.

Aroma is floral and estery: mildly sweet.

Flavor has a marked wheat component and a juicy, melanoidin character. Sweet. Finish is a dash of bitter lemon.

Mouthfeel is still, thin and slightly astringent.

Seems to have held up well, but not gained anything from the aging.

APP - 2.5
SM - 3
T - 2.75
MOUTH - 2.5
OVER - 2.75

Photo of beerwolf77
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to blackearth for busting this one out of the cellar.

Poured from a bottle into my glass.

A: bright golden yellow, small white head, light soapy lace

S: sweet doughy malt, solid amount of of citrus, heavy on the oranges, light pine mixed in

T: very similar to the nose, orange essence yellow cupcakes cup to mind

M: medium body with mild carbonation

D: overall this is astyle that I just don't get. Well I get this one. Very flavorful and drinkable. I would have no problem finishing a bomber myself.

Photo of jayfarley3
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Poured a hazy golden orange color with a off white head. Smell is fruity, sweet, spicy with a hint of alcohol. Tastes of sweet malt, fruit, spices and rich hops. This beer is medium bodied and very smooth for the 8.6 abv and very drinkable.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first taste of Stone's Vertical lineup since Stone was just recently added to WI's distribution. I must say that the premise and idea is wonderful. I bought one to drink right away and one to cellar for a few years. This poured with a wonderful shiny gold color with slow rising carbonation. The first glass was remarkably clear with carbonation bubbles dancing. The second glass provided a slight trace of yeast but the sediment was very fine. The head was nicely packed and left slight dashes of lacing. The aroma was great and complex. The hops are immediately noticable and dominating yet the malty body and spicy Belgian yeast were always there to anchor the aroma and taste. As the beer warms the hops become a bit more subdued as the spicy esters and phenols come through. The taste is much like Achouffe's example with a malty taste of a tripel and a refreshing and crisp dose of American hops. Wonderful traces of sweet fruit throughout. The body and taste lacks a little bit of depth and complexity, but wonderful flavors abound. Mouthfeel is lively as the bitterness, spiciness, and sweetness make for a nice combo. The hopped-up tripel style is wonderful and it is great to see more and more brewers adding an American touch to a well done Belgian base beer. I am really looking forward to trying this after it has been cellared for a few years. With the additional hops, this should age fairly well.

Photo of kegger22
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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!

Photo of armock
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of ccrida
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of jonziefle
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BierFan
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of mwilbur
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of jakon
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of JayQue
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of TheFlern
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Viggo
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of Pauly2X
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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".

Photo of beergoot
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of WillieMoe
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of chileman13
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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...

Photo of Beejay
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of Kraken
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.