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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

485 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 485
Hads: 797
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 42
Gots: 219 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 485 | Hads: 797
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours an unassuming gold straw color, a thin but complete cover with some heavy lacing.

Aroma - it's like a weird combo of Pine-Sol and olives. I'm thinking Band-Aids, but there are other interesting smells weaved in there too. Hard to pick out, maybe some cellaring will clarify the nose in a future tasting.

Taste - despite an oddball nose, it tastes great. Yeasty, banana, Belgian candi front, but on the lighter side. And on purpose, as there are some other flavors floating about. A slightly funky hoppiness, an almost rye-like graininess, and a very warm abv feel that is trying to meld things together. It may be a little out-matched at this early age but as time goes by this will take some twists ands turns flavorwise. A dry, bitter bite on the swallow, this beer really has a full complement of flavor. A breath of Band-Aid on the exhale now and then, but it's so close to the banana it's hard to distinguish at times.

Mouthfeel - plenty crisp, a medium body with notable smoothness.

Drinkability - so much going on here that you will want to have a number of these set aside for a tasting in 2010 and 2012.

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Photo of TMB0424
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into tulip.

Poured a nice hazy gold body with peach tints and a two finger white head. Head quickly reduced to a foamy cap, leaving fairly good retention throughout.

Aroma is very reminiscent of Stone's IPA - citrus (grapefruit, orange peel), freshly squeezed lemon and hops. This is backed by a slight scent of yeast with clove. Can slightly detect alcohol, as well.

First sip, I was pretty disappointed because I only picked up the IPA aspects. After a couple more, the Belgian characteristics kicked in. The grapefruit and lemon are backed by sweet malts and honey. Hints of banana. Yeast brings a nice element as well. Finishes dry and bitter after the sweet kick-off.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with a very crisp but very dry feel to it. Carbonation is high, but it compliments everything. Although I enjoyed this brew, I couldn't have more than one pour - the sweetness just got to me. Recommended, nevertheless.

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Photo of samie85
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 1/22/10.

A-Slightly red hued golden color with a white two finger head.

S- I'm getting lemon zest, pine, herbal bitterness, pepper, and spicy Belgian yeast.

T- Lemon and grapefruit with pepper, dry and spicy Belgian yeast, an herbal note, and clove. Pretty interesting flavor profile, but not one I'm in love with.

M-Medium bodied with pretty significant carbonation.

D-The herbal aftertaste and the high carbonation hurts the drinkability for me. It's very interesting but a little overcomplicated.

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Photo of waltonc
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last of the 2004-2008 vertical epic tasting we did last night. An outstanding evening of fine beer. The 2008 was actually the least interesting of them. This one was kind of blah.

A: light gold

S: floral, citrus, hops, spice.

T: More of the same, piney. Seems to be a belgian yeast with the added twist of California hop overkill (though this doesn't have a crazy amount of hops compared to some stone stuff)

M: medium body and carbonation

D: Just not interesting enough for me to want to drink more than a glass.

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Photo of JosephLondon
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An extra as part of a trade with msulinski, I thank you for this one!

Poured a bright golden color with a nice, foaming white crown. The head departed to nonexistence-nothing with no lace. In the nose there is mostly citrus fruit with a hint of a yeasty-malt note. The taste is actually really good upfront with fresh fruits and a good hop bite(especially since the beer is a year and a half old). This fades in the body and leaves the finish bland. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by its somewhat robust character considering its age.There is nothing to note in its feel as it is fairly flat and thin. However, this 8.6 abv brew drank wonderfully. I was shocked when I saw the abv! I thought it was around 5.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

About a year and a half old and purchased recently. Probably wasn't stored properly, but the warehouse-like store wasn't exactly heated either. Not sure how warm it got in the summer. Anyway...

Served in a tulip. The beer is clear and golden. The head is white, a couple fingers thick and fell quickly to a film. It leaves some thin lacing. Looks pretty good.

Aroma is nice with a lot of belgian farmhouse character. There's also some faint citrus hop aroma in the background. I imagine that this was much more pronounced a year ago. There's also some fruity esters in there. The flavor is fruity and clean with the hops asserting themselves a little more. The hop bitterness comes through in the finish.

Carbonation is high, and it dries out nicely leaving very little bitterness behind. Pretty easy drinking. Wishing I got ahold of this one when it was fresh. I got a second bottle to drink on 12.12.12, trusting stone that it will hold up till then.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a white head and and spots of lacing.

S: There is still a surprising hop presence to this beer with some nice bright fruit notes, but those may be from the Belgian yeast strain. There's a bready and sugary sweetness to the nose along with some mild alcohol.

T: Quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue with citrus peel, particularly orange and tangerine. The hops are a bit grassy but provide some pine, too. A bit of pear sweetness along with the bread.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Not surprisingly, this beer is nowhere near as good as it was when it came out a couple years ago. But it's still drinkable.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

New review (9/22/09) from notes at MacGregors

A - slightly lighter in color than the '07, more gold I guess. Decent head retention, quite clear. 4.0

S - lightly fruity with a light citrus-hop aroma. Nearly like a Belgian tripel. 4.0

T - Amber malts, caramel, and a more pronounced hop presence in the finish. Touch of pear and grapefruit. 4.5

M - very smooth, light/medium bodied. 4.0

D - pretty good. I could do a goblet of this. 3.5


On tap at Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Review from notes.

A - poured clear golden amber, white 1" head in a goblet. Bubbles run up from the bottom of the glass 4.0

S - sweet pale malts, slightly alcoholic and a touch of piny hops. What a strange nose... I didn't detect anything else... 3.5

T - sweet maltiness and a hint of raisins. Dry and hoppy finish. Pretty boozy, the alcohol is in your face. 3.5

M - medium bodied, highly carbonated. Prickly on the tongue. 3.5

D - decent but the alcohol is a bit much. 3.0

Thoughts - this was a bit boozy. It wasn't as balanced as I expected it to be. Give it a couple more years and maybe it'll mellow out a bit.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to see this down the road at Brilbeck's already, just goes to show how good Stone's distribution is. Although I still can't find any 12th Anniversary, grr.

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear rustic gold with a fluffy two finger white head that falls to a soft layer of bubbles. A fair amount of stick is left on the sides of the glass. Smell starts off some fruits such as mango, papaya, and grapefruit. Yeast and spice graze the nose as well, a very interesting combination of aromas. Taste begins with oily hops and pepper followed by a piney zest. Spice and clove dominate midway and continue on all the way into the aftertaste. A touch of banana here and there throught on the tongue as well. Medium slick body with a flowing carbonation and slight bite from the hops. The alcohol is hidden quite well in this beer. I would classify this as a Belgian IPA. An up and coming style that is still a bit rough around the edges but still a very interesting beer.

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Photo of FrndthDuvel
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A quickly vanishing, pinkie sized head, egg white which sat briefly upon the clear golden orange ale in the Duvel tulip. Some ring and lacing which lasted awhile. Bit of spice, bit of bannana,bit of sugar,nicely distributed in the nose. Taste for me, is a nice mix between the sweetness/floral notes of a Belgian with some balancing bitterness. Nothing stunning. Perhaps a bit more on the bitter side. Ends sweet more than dry.
Alcohol seems well hidden. Seems slightly confused though as to what it wants to be. Since it was designed to last till 2012, I imagine it might smooth out a bit and become its own creation. First one I have had in awhile. Not something I would drink more than 1 at a time,or with any great regularity. Definitely would prefer the Green Flash Le Freak at this time over this if one wanted to combine IPA and Belgian. Though I do have enough to get to 012 .

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Photo of Murchmac
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another year, another VE.

This years offering pours with nice ring around the collar. Pretty clear, golden yellow.

Smells a fruity, white grape like almost. Very sweet.

Very fruity, hoppy, very carbonated. Dry, with a slight alcohol presence. Like a geworstameaner, (its a misspelled wine)

Sweet, fruity aftertaste, leaves the mouth dry with a heavy feeling in the middle of your tongue.

Stone is starting to slip in their anniversary beers and VE's in my opinion. This is more like a wine than beer.

In their defense, I think they achieved what they set out to do, I just dont like it...


At least we'll always have ruination...

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Photo of kmeves
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a semi cloudy light golden with a medium off-white head. Aroma is medium sweet lime, lemon, grassy, malt and wheat. Flavor is big sweet wheat and malt initially then grass, herb and mint to finish. Citrus is more noticeable in the finish. Full bodied, thick texture.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first beer of our 04-08 tasting...thanks PatronWizard!

A: Pours a bright golden color with a big and beautiful two-finger head. The lacing is decent and the head quickly dissipated.

S: I nice light-sweet malt with a very gentle hop profile; very well balanced.

T: Super sweet, but isn't overly sweet like an aged barleywine. A lot of Pale Ale qualities that includes that delicate Belgian touch; could have had more Belgian spices. Hides alcohol well.

M: Nearly perfect for the style....sufficient carbonation, light-body, and a slight velvety feel.

D: A good beer...not great. Could have any day of the week, but I could go without as well.

Overall: I think aging will hurt this beer, so I recommend having this brew fresh. A good beer. Cheers!

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Photo of clvand0
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden color with a tall head that falls quickly and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The first thing I get from the aroma is a pine and citrus hop character along with a touch of Belgian spicy yeast character. The flavor has big pine and citrus hops at the first, followed by the standard spicy Belgian character. Some bready malts and lingering bitterness as well. The mouthfeel is medium and the drinkability is ok. I'm not a huge fan of mixing Belgians with US hops, but that's just me.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter to reveal a rich golden body and tall, airy head that dies off pretty fast. It smells very funky with a little citrusy sour. Kinda like a concentrated... farmhouse... funk. After that, though, there is some pleasant sweetness to it.

Tastes a little like it smells with the same funk flavor. After that, gentle hop character with orange notes, a little floral honey and a little light malt. The bitterness is not at all overwhelming, and if not for the little kick of it at the end, I would have pegged this one a saison. Carbonation is very precise but makes up enough of the mouthfeel to be present. Light body. Medium smoothness. Quite warming. Fairly drinkable too, except the smell for me is a bit off-putting.

I don't remember the other vertical epic tasting quite like this one. It will be interesting when it comes time for the actual vertical.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Chimay glass. 09/26/08.

Pours a bright clear golden orange color. A moderate pour produced about half a finger of beige head that quickly receded to almost nothing. Aroma is interesting and very nice. Belgian yeast, candied sugar, sweet malty biscuit, floral hops, and hints of citrus and banana.

Taste is similar to the aroma but the hops are much more pronounced. Tastes like a Belgian IPA. The Belgian yeast flavor is there, with candied sugar and sweet malt. That's followed by a somewhat bitter citrus hop flavor. Over time the bitterness begins to overpower the Belgian characteristics, and the nice Belgian yeast flavor gets lots under the bitter hops.

Feel is well-carbonated with a medium-full body. It doesn't feel too heavy though. The finish is bone dry. Drinkability is decent. The alcohol is slightly noticeable. I wouldn't want to drink more than one of these, though finishing the bottle isn't a problem.

Overall, not bad. I'd like it much more if the hop bitterness were toned down quite a bit. Maybe in a few years...

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up these bottles right after the release but I just got around to trying this one for the first time. Served cold and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 11/25/2008.

The pour was rather uneventful for me to be honest. Nice color, light golden yellow with a very clear look to it. Lots of carbonation was apparent bubbling up from the bottom of the glass, but there was little in the way of a head on top. Light amounts of maybe a half inch that faded quickly and left the top bare for most of the session. The aroma was rather nice with a light citrus hop punch that was accented by a pepper like spiciness and hints of light earthy grains. As it warmed some light fruit notes, peaches and apples started to come through as well. Most of this did not transfer over well into the flavor though. Light grains and a touch of light fruit coming through clearly, but the rest was rather light for me. Hints of citrus hops and a touch of light pepper on the finish .Even feel, quite light actually with a good bit of lively carbonation coming in throughout. Not overly strong, as the alcohol was well hidden and this one went down with ease.

Overall I would have to say this was my least favorite of the VE series. It just needed a little more punch to really sell it.

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Photo of wd40
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Foam died pretty quickly in the glass. The taste was nicely hopped, but was not particularly rich or creamy. In fairness, I may have acquired this beer when it was already past its prime (seemed like it had been sitting in this store a while).

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

the last of my vertical series, so unless i get lucky and come across one of the real old ones, this will be it. i never had it fresh, so i cant comment on how its changed over time, although i imagine that the hop intensity and carbonation have both taken hits over the last 5 years. the pour is a slightly cloudy bright golden color with less than an inch of white head. when the heads gone, it looks about flat. the nose is hop oils and light cerealy malt, with a huge dose of belgian yeast. the hops dont have as much taste as they probably did, not very bitter at all, but theres still some citrus notes in here, and the yeast is as flavorful as ever, with some moderate spice quality to it, and a hint of banana. lacking bubbles from its age i think, that really hurts its cause, but the medium body is just right for the subtle flavors, and the finish is long and complex. overall i wasnt blown away by this, and i think its lost some of its mojo compared to the others in the series that got so much better with age, but it was still an enjoyable brew in every sense.

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Photo of tittymcj
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured out a very clear, crisp orange color, with light head and average lacing.

Smells like cloves primarily but also some sweet malt.

The taste, has a strong sense of hoppy bitterness, with significant coriander, a very belgian beer style taste.

Mouthfeel is very light, very energetic and springy almost. Refreshing as well. There is a lingering coriander taste in the mouth.

Drinkability is very high since it is so light and not very complex, but because I don't particularly enjoy the taste, I wouldn't necessarily drink it again.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich golden brew, clear, with a billowing white head at first, then settled to a small film. A quick swirl brings it around again, modestly.
Phenolic/clove in the aroma, with some esters and lemongrass. Not overly fruity, just enough though. Some hints of sugary malt and cedar (?)

A good taste. Seems like a Belgian-yeasted-up pilsner. Estery, some noticeable malt backbone, a bit sweet, yet has the hops to kick in at the end. Good carbonation. Not sure how this would age. What would be affected the most?

Good abv cover, easy drinking..perhaps a touch syrupy. Nice spring beer. The other two will age...

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Photo of bennetj17
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright, clear, gold, with steady streaming carbonation. The head is a thin white foam that hols on for a minute before settling. Not much Belgian quality in the nose but it is still a nice bouquet. Lightly floral with a soft malty sweetness, clean citrus/orange twang in the background, I kind of like it.

The taste has a nice balance between bready sweet malt and solid hop bitterness. The hop flavor gets a bit medicinal though, and there is some harshness/astringence to the finish. Not bad, it takes some time getting used to the taste. As for the mouthfeel, it's light but foamy and well carbonated. Very nice.

Ultimately this beer comes close but struggles to get to the next level. The hoppiness is nice, the balance is decent, its just a bit harsh and needs some more complexity. It's certainly more promising than the past few in this series, and I do recommend trying it...

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small 3/4 finger head with decent retention and a yellow color. Could be bitter and more effervescent for the style.

Smell is very clovey and has a lot of banana phenol.

Taste is very dry with some hop flavor and characteristic. The aroma of the hops is overtaken by the phenols.

This beer is very dry and crisp.

Decent example of the style with some hop flavor to keep it interesting.

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Photo of cbutova
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes on 02/02/2013.

A- Bottle pour to pint glass with a hazy golden body and a foamy white head that is about one finger in size. Decent retention and creamy thick ring leaves good lace rings.

S- Pretty weak strength overall. Mostly just get aged European spicy hops and some aged light caramel.

T- Most affected by age so far out of the VEs we tried. Still some hop character like spicy, fruity herbal Euro hops. Light caramel, lemon, oxidation and coridander.

MF- Slightly creamy feel with low-medium carbonation. Medium bitter finish.

Aged IPA feel but somewhat solid still. Herbal and floral with that aged light caramel feel.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was fortunate to try this last night at an epic tasting held by my good friend Mike, thanks for the opportunity MrBarleywine!
Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a smallish off white head that sticks for a bit. The aroma is lemony with a touch of hop still evident and a nice spicy and fruity aroma to balance the sweetness of a bready and sweet maltiness. The flavor is sweet and spicy with light sugar with a touch of lemon and citrus Light hop flavor still evident, but certainly faded. Moderate level of carbonation with a light body and a sweet mouthfeel. Decent brew that may have held up better than expected. Nice beer.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.