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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

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
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Ratings: 690 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ScottyC54
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

ScottyC54, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Growler pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear golden orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, spice, alcohol, and herbal aromas. Taste is much the same with herbal and spice flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with interesting aromas and flavors that have held up fairly well since this was brewed.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of turboedtwo
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Pours with some lacing on the sides of the glass, very golden in color. Smells sweet and piney. Tastes mildly of hops and some yeast before moving on to almost a BMC aftertaste. I hate to say that too. Feels light and crisp on the tongue. Drinks easy, it's light and refreshing.

turboedtwo, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of TXhomebrewer
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

TXhomebrewer, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of wisrarebeer
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

wisrarebeer, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of July2Nov
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

July2Nov, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of goodonya
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

goodonya, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

beernads, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of LoveStout
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

LoveStout, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of PhineasGage
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

PhineasGage, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of WOLFGANG
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

WOLFGANG, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of billab914
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

billab914, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of 2beerdogs
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

2beerdogs, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of GrindFatherBob
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

GrindFatherBob, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color ale with a big pure white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of dry hops with some sweet malty notes also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by some sweet malt with light hoppy notes. Body is average with some good carbonation and no detectable alcohol. I thought this tasted like a dumb-down Duvel without any of the complex yeast ester and the great hoppy finish. I can't see this improving over four years thought.

Phyl21ca, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Cavery
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

750ml poured into Nonic shared with Klym and SundaySour

A: Light amber with a slightly higher opacity. Two finger head with some stubbornly sticky lacing. There's some consistent belgian yeast fog, but nothing abnormal. All in all a good looking beer.

S: Yeasty earthiness, with a suggestion of apple and pair skins. The alcohol creeps up behind a late berry note. There's a really sweet and sugary brioche bread note in there.

T: Right up front I taste a young beer. Not a hotness worth complaining about, but enough heat to make it stick out for the style. That said, the beer is super clean. Light hops with no burn, and sweet yellow raisins sit atop some sweeter bread malts. Not much else, but I reiterate: very clean.

M: The mouth is a bit dead, the carbonation feels unexpectedly low. This most certainly is not intended. as it's lower carbonation borders on flatness. Definitely the ugly duckling of this beers more prominent characteristics.

O: The beer isn't ripe yet. The recommended 12/12/12 opening seems like a decent prediction of maturity. Nostradamus would approve. However, I worry about the mouth. Some more carbonation would greatly improve the balance of 08/08/08.

Cavery, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

A - Light honey, not much head, leaves ring. Small sudsy lacing.

S - Smells REALLY sweet, honey, malty.

T - Taste does not match smell. Part are true, but massacred by teh hops. Way too bitter.

M - Medium, good coat and carb.

D - NOt my favorite. Your mileage may vary.

srandycarter, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of davedahl
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

This beer was sampled from a 22oz bomber - not sure where I got it.

Appearance: With a medium-to-hard pour I get a big 3 fingers of head. White, fluffy, bubbles. Nice golden color not completely clear - haze does not clear as it warms.

Aroma: bubble gum and band aids, ripe pear and banana

Taste: more bubble gum, sweet rich carmely Belgian sugars, white pepper on finish.

Mouthfeel: crisp and a bit boozy.

Good, not great, will probably be better in year or two when the edge is off it.

davedahl, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Hazy straw/gold color with some carbonation up the glass. Head is half a finger and recedes quickly, leaving no ring and no lacing. Pretty unimpressive for a Belgian, IMO.

S: Very rich and pleasant aroma. Citrus flavors in grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Floral and perfumey, with yeast behind it. Some clove.

T: I'm having this about 1.5 years after it came out, but the citrus flavors are still quite noticeable; the hops haven't totally faded. The flavors are mostly grapefruit, pineapple, and orange, with a slight bitterness that suggests orange peel and lemon zest. It reminds me of a saison at first, actually. Bubblegum. The finish is spicy (clove and pepper).

M: Medium-bodied. It still feels a bit heavy on the palate. Carbonation is low. The finish is watery at times. I'm not totally sure what to make of this one.

D: Having essentially "verticaled" 06-09 myself, I pronounce this the worst of the 4 as of late March / early April.

Arbitrator, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

Sampled August 2008
Pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, copper hue as it sits in my glass but shows a brilliant, bright gold color when held up to the light. The aroma has an expressively fruity, sort of children's aspirin like aroma to it that is magnified by a substantial sweetness. Weird is all I can really say, and not necessarily bad. Other aromas of juicy fruit gum, grassy grain, clean tropical fruit, ripe peach, just a hint of an herbal note, some phenolic clove. I think it is that there is a slight medicinal note in the aroma along with the clove phenolics and these, combined with how incredibly clean the hop character is (is it filtering that made the fruity hop aromas so clean?) is what gives this a children' aspirin aroma.

Tastes like bubble gum with the juicy, fruity hop notes and a clean, almost cotton candy like sweetness. This is actually surprisingly sweet tasting given the terminal gravity; I think that the fruity hop flavors tend to accentuate what sweetness is here and the fact that the fermentation profile is so clean means that the noticed alcohol note also seems to contribute to the perceived sweetness. Some phenolics and a spiciness contribute a touch of spiciness towards the finish that seems a bit turpene like and definitely has an expressive clove flavor to it. The hops contribute flavors of tropical fruit, lychee, ripe peach, and when combined with the perceived sweetness, some notes of honey-suckle are evident. While the hop character is quite dominant, there is, especially as this beer warms, a significant phenolic character to this beer, especially in the finish.

Despite being perceived as sweet this does have a nice, light body for a beer of this strength; I wouldn't call it a quaffing brew, but it does have a nice drinkability to it. It could use a bit more carbonation as I typically like my strong Golden Belgian'ish beers to be lively, though the lightish carbonation here really doesn't detract too much.

This is somehow incredibly clean, despite the noticeable fermentation character and hop notes; the malt seems almost naked somehow as it is lacking that chewy, grain note that I like to find in a good, pale, Belgian ale. This is still a good beer, it just seems to be a bit too filtered (even if it wasn't caused by the actual filtering process). I do like how this beer works as a whole, the entire experience is a bit more than a sum of its parts.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Gueuzedude, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

Reviewed on 8/30/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small white head. Aroma is pretty much that of a Belgian tripel! Lots of spices, melon rind, and a slight bitterness. Flavor is a bit more hoppy than apparent in the aroma (although not overly so), fruity melon, and orange peel. Mouthfeel isn't as hearty as that of a tripel although the beer does weigh on you after awhile. Interesting at first but then a little boring. Better than the 070707 but not by much.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of Pahn
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

Picked up a bottle of this at Whole Foods at Union Square, NYC. Apparently, they ordered Vertical Epic and got sent the '08 instead of the '09 for some reason. There's probably still a few there if you're in the Manhattan area and missed this beer last year.

Anyway, 22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: 1 inch head after a rather aggressive pour (was barely 1/2 inch at first careful try). Sparse horizontal streaks of lacing remain throughout. Pours a bright, lightish amber with numerous rising bubbles.

Smell: Sweet Belgian yeast and a strong citrus scent that's disturbingly reminiscent of orange soda.

Taste: The dominant flavor is apple, with some unexpectedly mild hops (knowing Stone and reading the "Here's a Belgian golden ale but aggressively hopped!" boast on the label, I expected a much stronger hop showing). Mild though they are, the hops do provide a nice bite at the start that at least differentiates this beer from a saison or usual strong golden ale. Unfortunately, the flavor is closer to the former than the latter, which is also unexpected.

The flavor is nice, but a little one note. While some complexity does indeed make itself known, it's rarely present in the same sip. I got the apple throughout and a little citrus was also steady, while there were more occasional notes of butterscotch. The finish often was a bit soapy. There's a strong sweetness throughout, but it was a lot more garish than what you generally get from a quality strong golden ale. There's also the hint of a flavor I can't name but that I associate with many of Stone's brews (particularly Arrogant Bastard and Oaked Arrogant Bastard). Near the end I strangely detected a smokiness, which was actually quite pleasant--if it was there the whole time, this review would probably be glowing, to be honest.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good. Despite the hop bite, the feel is very creamy and nicely carbonated. My only complaint would be that the finish gets a bit sticky.

Drinkability: While the alcohol (which I found warming and went to my head rather quickly) is not very masked, the lightness of the flavor coupled with the, on the whole, great mouthfeel makes this a very refreshing golden ale. I wouldn't want more than a bottle, but it's more drinkable than the average 8+% beer.

---

In all, I was rather unimpressed by this beer. However, I expected quite a lot from it; I'm a big fan of extremely hopped beer, a bigger fan of Belgian tripels, and a lover of numerous Stone offerings. While the flavor of this beer is decent, in my opinion it was too mild for what it was intended to be, and had a few too many small flaws to work exceptionally well as something other than a hopped up golden ale. It's by no means a bad beer; if it were the first Stone brew I'd had, or the first Belgian/California mashup I'd had, I'd be impressed. However, if I were at the store now and I saw another bottle of 08.08.08 standing next to Stone's Cali-Belgique or a bottle of Houblon Chouffe, I'd pick up either of the latter any day.

As a final note, while I may be speaking beyond my beer knowledge, I can't really see how this beer would benefit from aging. The flavor could round out a bit, and the alcohol could mellow, but the beer is already too mellow as it is. Then again, I'd guess that the guys at Stone know more about how long to age a beer than I do.

Pahn, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

A - An hazy orange-amber brew with a ton of carbonation and a sizable foamy head. Thick clumps of lacing cling in discordant rings all down the sides of the glass.

S - A sweet malt and aromatic floral (lilies) hops - obvious at first whiff that this is a Belgian strong pale ale.

T - Initially a burst of intense floral (lilies) hops with a bit of sweetness and a warming alcohol feel. Then it progresses to a biscuity aspect coupled with a lingering floral hop that shifts into a mild bitter floral hop flavor.

M - A little harsh, thick, and not very refreshing.

D - A little intense and strong. Fortunately, I see almost no reason to place much weight on the drinkability of this release.

mrasskicktastic, May 04, 2009
Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%

Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a golden yellow-orange with a two finger white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, spice, banana, caramel, and fruit hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, earth, spice, fruit, fruit hop, and subtle citrus hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Unfortunately not a whole lot on this one really stood out above some other decent brews I’ve had from the style. I really hated to see that this was the case as most of the beers from this series that I have had have been rather good. While this one wasn’t bad by any means, it just fell short of my expectations. The caramel was definitely the off-putting aspect that I picked up on that I did not enjoy very much. The rest of the beer was pretty good however. Worth your time trying if you get the chance, but there are better ones out there in the series.

thagr81us, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of peabody
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%

Pours out really clear with a slight yellow/amber tint. Less than a finger of white bubbles and some nice lacing around the Stone Tulip glass appears.
Smell is kinda horse blanket grassy and peppery spicey with a caramel sweetness and then the alcohol heat in the nostril.
Taste is VERY boring after the wonderful aroma.
This almost has no taste whatsoever. HMMM Mabey this needs the two years to mature before the final VE tasting.
Mouthfeel is boring but very clean. Not a lot of alcohol is in the taste or aftertaste. Some phenol remains after the drink leaves the mouth but not a lot.
Drinkability is not good at all now, hoping this kicks some major ass in two years. We will have to wait and see.

peabody, Sep 01, 2008
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 690 ratings.