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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
89
very good

692 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 692
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
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Ratings: 692 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

mwilbur, Aug 05, 2011
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.

jakon, Aug 11, 2008
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.

JayQue, Aug 16, 2008
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.

TheFlern, Sep 16, 2009
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!

Viggo, Dec 28, 2008
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".

Pauly2X, Aug 21, 2008
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.

beergoot, Apr 28, 2013
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.

WillieMoe, Feb 26, 2009
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...

chileman13, Aug 13, 2008
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.

Beejay, Feb 03, 2013
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.

Kraken, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of jdg204
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Sunshiney golden yellow. Very clear. Thin frothy white head. Lace is minimal. Nice doughy and yeasty aroma. Almost like smelling a WYeast smack pack after the yeast has been pitched. Also some hints of lemon and pepper on the nose. I like this aroma. Flavor has more of the same. With lemon and pepper and doughball maltiness leading the way. Sludgey yeast cake tones. Alcohol spices things up. Hops add some depth as well. This is pretty damn drinkable as is, but with some age, the alcohol presence will probably dwindle some more even and make this pretty special.

Bighuge, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of TonyT
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz into a Belgian Glass...V:08.08.08

Just picked up a case, to split with two other fiends.

(If the Stone Army, from the State of California Invaded Belgium and hostily took over the country of Belgium...This would be the kind of beer that Belgium would brew...)

The first thing that hit me was the hop smell, they did boast it on the bottle, but very hoppy for a Belgian (in my amateur Belgian opinion). Since I'm a hop head, this was a plus. Also there were other smells that tickled the nose.

The head was apparent, but dissipated (I did not slam it into the glass, the first try). This beer will be great with a good dinner. This is a beer that sits well and you do not feel it in your gut.

There is alot of front end, but does not hit you in the back, which is good...nice and crisp. There is a sort of woody taste and smell.

The more I drink it, the crisper it becomes.

Stone Rocks...This is not a Belgian style that boasts alot of "fruity taste", but definitely breeds the perfect hybrid of a Belgian beer with the USA West Coast feel, which Stone does so well.

TonyT, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of TommyW
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Bright, golden body with a thin white head.

S- Sweet with notes of orange and floral and piney hop aromas.

T- Follows the nose pretty well. Citrusy sweetness up front with some bready notes underneath. The floral and slightly piney hops come in then after.

M- Pretty crisp finish on a medium body.

D- A very easy-drinking beer. It's pretty much exactly what I thought a Belgian-IPA would be like. Very nice sweet-malt/hop balance.

TommyW, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of Jmoore50
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Brewing Co. is going to make me a fan of Belgians? This is truly an amazing brewery.

The appearance was not the usual. I very rarely drink anything of a foreign style, let alone Belgian. It was straw golden yellow with a fat crisp two finger head. It was a nice yellow color, but lately I have been used to dark mysterious colors.

The smell is interesting because it does not carry those Belgian yeast characteristics as most brews of this style do. It had a malt yeast smell, but was overtaken by a hop citrus smell. That said smell is no doubtingly from the Stone hops, these great hops that makes Stone one of the best.

The taste was good but not great. It was drinkable. I could tell that it had that Belgian style heavily involved, but I rated it 4 because I really enjoyed it. It had a dry yeast taste along with a fruity hop characteristic. It was not very complex, but extremely drinkable. It was better cold than at room temp. I mostly got a light bitter mouthfeel with a Summer hop sweetness. I have never had one of these brews and I might just start seeking out the others. Nice taste and recommended for the Belgian or Stone lover.
J

Jmoore50, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of colts9016
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a my Tripel Karmeliet glass at 37 degrees.

Appearance: A nice white foamy two finger head that has some retention to it. The body of the beer is a medium straw color with hues of orange. There is some effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is hazy.

Nose: A very rich fragrant floral bouquet, citrus (mainly grapefruit), and some wood. The malt is slightly sweet.

Taste: A deep well rounded hop flavor with grapefruit, fragrant bouquet of flowers, and wood. The malt is toasted and slightly sweet. There are notes of phenols, cloves, and a hint of banana.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated, creamy and slightly astringent. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This beer reminds me of a Belgium Tripel. It has the taste and characteristic of the Tripel, but not the complexity. It is a very good beer, and well made. Glad that I got to try it.

colts9016, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of TheBCrew
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at BCTC 2008.

Pours somewhat cloudy light amber color with an off-white head and moderate amount of lacing. Aroma is sweet, fruity with some grapefruit and piney. Taste to match with a good hoppy assertiveness followed by a sweet maltiness. The Stone rep said this was a strong tripel; it was quite tasty.

TheBCrew, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of tendermorsel
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a DT tulip glass.

Great foamy head on this one. The head went away as the beer warmed in the glass.

A bit of hops and banana on the nose.

This reminded me a lot of a good Belgian IPA (hommel bier). Spicy and peppery. Hoppy but not heavily hoped with the typical "west coast style" hops that Stone is famous for. I bit boozy. I can see this one aging real well.

Good work on this one Stone. Very different from there typical offerings. They left there comfort zone successfully. Recommended.

tendermorsel, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of jmalex
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smart me finally decided to make sure I have 2 bottles of this - 1 for now and 1 for later... a while later. So this is the "Now" bottle.

APPEARANCE: Pours mostly clear into a Duvel tulip. It's a few shades darker than gold, but still a nice light copper color. A one-finger white head forms on top and shrinks to a medium collar with a large island of foam floating in the middle.

SMELL: Very sweet, but only kind of Belgian. You really need to search to find any trace of bready Belgian yeast aroma. It definitely has the esters though. Orange and apricot burst out of this beer dominating the nose.

TASTE: I thought I remembered hearing this beer was generously hopped. There wasn't anything in the nose, but here it is in the flavor. It's citrusy and nicely understated too which is a pleasant surprise. The esters get to shine mirroring the smell along with a peppery spiciness to cut the sweetness a bit. And finally, any of the over-the-top sweetness perceived in the aroma is dialed down significantly in the taste. It finishes perfectly dry as it should.

MOUTHFEEL: The dryness leads to a light, crisp body which is essential for the style. Carbonation is approaching higher levels, but probably could get ramped up a bit more even.

DRINKABILITY: It drinks quite easy especially given the 8.4% ABV. The slightly cloying aroma still manages to get to me hampering this a bit.

Wow, what a nice surprise. I had expected this to be a hop bomb, but the hops are nicely balanced with the rest of the beer. Call me impressed. But Stone has the tendency to do that to me.

jmalex, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of voteforgoat
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- clear golden, very small foam.

b- smells perfumy, flowery, pleasant.

t- tastes like a belgian beer, estery, flowery, def. some sweetness but balanced out by a very strong hop presence. this is more bitter than most belgians I've had but what stone set out to do.
not a very malty feel.

m- feels slightly viscous, has the feel of something like white wine on the tongue. mild carbonation. carbonation could be stronger

d- would i swing back a few in a bar? Yeah, why not? While a good beer, I 've had other years Stone VE that I liked better, like 09/09/09

voteforgoat, May 20, 2010
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 692 ratings.