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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

480 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 480
Hads: 735
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 43
Gots: 195 | 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
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Reviews: 480 | Hads: 735
Photo of jsprain1
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Glad they brought this one back, as this was originally before I really got into craft beer and never had a chance to try it.
A- Goldenrod, clear. Head is thick and white. Retention is fair. Lots of lacing.
S- leaning more toward Belgian than "west coast hopped" on the nose. Banana, peach, slight must.
T- Fruit ester forward. Banana, canned peach (in a good sense), and honey up front. Consistent through the taste with just a really faint booziness in the finish.
M- very smooth. Low carbonation. Interesting toeing of the line between slightly syrupy and creamy, on the tongue but dry in the finish.
O- loved it. The vertical epics I've had (I believe 10-12) were hit or miss. This one was a hit for me

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is being pored from their 20th Anniversary Encore Series, bottled on 8/27/15.

A - Pours a dark gold color with generous amounts of carbonation and minimal lacing.

S - Yeasty aroma, some funk, cloves, bananas, and some citrus buried in there.

T - The citrus really comes through on the palate with some peppery character (more so than the nose), banana, clove, somewhat yeasty. Coats the mouth with yeast, cloves, and peppery citrus.

M - Heavy medium body to full bodied, slippery, a little sticky on the lips, and the alcohol pokes through a little bit but more noticeable at the beginning.

O - Glad Stone brought this one back because last time I cellared the bottle too long, pretty happy to re-visit this beer and know how it should taste fresh.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly golden yellow with a frothy, foamy, white head. The nose is nice. Candied sugar up front worth some earthy citrus notes peaking out from behind. The flavor is really nice too. Dry and crisp with a delightful backbone of bitterness. It has a really nice, full mouthfeel. Normally I don't like belgian ipas, but this one is nice.

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Photo of richj1970
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 32 oz crowler into snifter.

A: Golden honey yellow with 2 finger frothy white head. Decent retention and leaving a fair amount of sticky lacing.

S: Banana and clove mixed with some floral hops. Light spiciness that reminds me of black pepper. Some earthy funk almost reminensent of a saison.

T: Hoppy and fruity with a fair amount of spices. Banana, clove, pepper and some honey sweetness.

M: Medium body and average carbonation. Finish is dry and crisp.

O: Enjoyable beer. Really glad they brought the back around and I got a chance to try it.

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Photo of chrisjws
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap at Stuft Pizza in Milpitas CA. Served in a standard pint glass that was chilled prior to serving.

A: Hazy golden color, not much head due to how high it was filled. Lots of bubbles coming from the bottom.
S: Bananas is the first scent to hit the nose, lots of banana. This is followed by yeasty spices, cloves and coriander. Bready malt in the background as well.
T: Follows the nose. Banana is very present, some hints of citrus and lots of yeast imparted spice. Some sweet malty backbone in the mid-mouth and finish. Leaves with an aftertaste of banana and rum
M: Medium mouthfeel, decent body but not too heavy. Lots of carbonation helping scrub the palate. Finishes dry.
O: Pretty decent, a little more banana dominant than I normally like in my beers. I'd get it again, but not if there's other options.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is bananas, citrus, fruit/berries and very slightly perfumed Belgian yeast. The flavor is bubblegum, citrus, hops/mild hop resin, malts and a mix of sour, bitter and heat in the finish.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(please bear in mind that this review is for a beer that is almost seven years old and was stored in a bar's back fridge)
Poured a cloudy orange body with good head and left a lace ring down the glass. The aroma really lets out yeast as well as honey, some tropical fruits and basically a candi sugar and/or malt based sweetness that a little kid would love as well as some flowery, spicy esters. Medium bodied, fluffy thickness thanks to yeast, and quite frankly this beer is not necessarily mead but it is much more honey, fruity, flowery sweet and thick than a balanced IPA b/c the hops are minimal at best. Finishes spicy and crisp and I really enjoyed this beer after so long and I like sweet beers with little hops but not everyone does, nor would I consider this an IPA now, more of a Belgian Pale or something in that vein. Still, I don't regret buying a bottle.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this sometime at the end of 2012, as part of a 03.03.03 - 12.12.12 tasting. I had meant to enter these a while ago while they were fresh and add a few extra details, but that didn't happen. Review from notes. Anyway, here we go.

3.0 A: Mildly hazed light orange color. Not much of a head formed.

4.0 S: Smells like its not really that old. Still quite hoppy with pleasant floral and citrusy notes. Sugary with peppery spiciness. Pineapple, mango, and orange stick out.

4.0 T: Tastes as good as the nose. Super surprised at how hoppy this is. Again, lots of citrus and floral. Peppery spice. Quite nice.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good spritzy carbonation.

4.0 D: This one is actually good.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a Stone snifter

A- pours a clear golden color with some floaties swimming around, small fizzy white head disappears quickly, leaving nothing bend

S- the hop bitterness has subdued after six years, giving way to some nice fruity aromas with an emphasis on apple, there's a hint of spicy peppery spice left from the addition of the yeast, notes of apple as well

T- the hops are completely gone after six years, but there are some nice fruity notes of apple, pear and berry. Very subtle spiciness remains from the yeast, finishes bone dry with more fruit on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and creamy dry finish

O- as expected, hops are gone, but the yeast lends some nice fruity notes. Still very drinkable but nothing like a Belgian IPA at this point

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Photo of BoardwalkBock
2.73/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. purchased about a week ago poured into an Ommegang goblet. Not sure of how well this bottle was conditioned, but here we go.

A: Hazy, yellow and orange. Some visible sediment at the bottom of the glass. Not a problem. Being a home brewer, I am used to seeing sediment in my beer.

S: It smells like a year old IPA. Tons of stale malt and a slight hint of whatever hops remain.

T: Taste like it smells. It just taste like a really old IPA where the malts are dominant but stale and the hops are non-existent. Yeast flavor is prominent at the end. Brings up some fruit flavors at the very end to help alleviate the awful stale taste. Pretty bad.

M: Light to medium bodied; slight carbonation but pretty faded.

O: Overall, this beer has not aged well. I remember having an 08 vertical in the summer of 09 and it was phenomenal. Also had a fresh one in 08. This, however, has just turned to a stale, bitter, tasteless beer. I saw this for 9$ and figured what the hell. Glad to have tried it, but will never seek anything besides a 12 vertical at this point ever again.

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Photo of blindtiger24
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Copper colored with a thin head.

S: Apple and cinnamon smell.

T: Orange sweetness and slight bitterness from orange peel.

M: Creamy mouthfeel that is short lived and is dried about by bitterness of the peel.

O: Fell flat in the taste and mouthfeel departments.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Five year old Eight pours with a bright orange coloring and a sizeable foam cap.

This bottle was stored properly but it smells like plastic. Lots of phenolic and alcohol make it very off-putting.

The phenolic quality holds in the taste for the beginning but subsides quickly to give a nice fruity orange, tangerines and nectarines flavor.

The feel is sprite and bubbly but smooth and full.

Fresh this may be a fantastic rendition of a Belgian IPA but time seems to have been hard on this one.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle.

A: Clear orange color with a thin white head. Nice lacing and good bubbles.

N: Caramel, toffee, mandarin orange, some oxidation, leafy hops, esters.

T: Well balanced by the bitter and sweet elements. Tastes more like a barleywine/old DIPA than a BSA

M: Sticky, medium body. Alcohol is prevalent.

O: Not too bad. Hops have faded significantly and the oxidation level is light. Still solid, but not my favorite.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.79/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

If you go online Stone publishes the recipes to all their vertical epics--that's nifty. Cloudy gold color with a thin, white insta-vanish head.

Smells like Capri Sun, light tropical fruit, bready yeast, peach rings, and sharp, but timid, citrus hop.

Heavy fermented sugar malt, clumpy citrus hop, and toasted plantains. Tropical fruit character (from yeast, not hops). Effervescent carbonation.

The hops have already faded out of this a whole lot and I can't imagine this beer holding up until 12/12/12.

Update: 6/30/13. The review above is from 2010. Now that we're going through all the Epics this was by far my favorite of the series. It doesn't hold as an IPA but there's tropical fruit out the yin yang and it makes for a great triple/bspa.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened June 2013

A - Bright gold body with a light haze. Nice, fine white head pours about a finger high. Ok retention and nice lace.

S - Unusual amount of dark dried fruits more typically found in dark belgian strong ales. Raisin, dried pear, dill, rosemary, muscat, amaretto. Little to no hop character - possibly due to age.

T - Herbal opening with thyme and rosemary. Pear and grape center with warm white booze. Touch of dry wood and a twang of cider-like acidity on the backend.

M - Silky smooth, light frame. Low carbonation, but it isn't much of a distraction.

O - More belgian light strong ale than belgian IPA, but the brew shines with a nice, well balanced flavor profile and a solid mouthfeel.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Another one in the VE series! Just bought too!

Pours out a pretty hazy golden orange with a generous amount of a fluffy white head.

The aroma has some fruity yeast esters, a bit of spice, some clove, a bit of an orange peel, lemon zest, floral notes and a bit of bready malt.

The flavor has a decent amount of the floral and fruity esters, their is a very subtle amount of banana, clove and there is a decent white pepper type of spice. There are some faded hop type of notes, some orange rind and a bit of bready notes at the end. There is a touch of that lemon zest as well.

The body is medium and the mouthfeel is slightly creamy. The ABV is decently hidden, but I do get some warmth as it goes down. Decently bitter, but not over the top.

A Belgian Style IPA doesn't really suit this beer anymore. (I never had it fresh, but I assume it was a lot more hoppy) I would call this more along the lines of a Belgian Style Golden Ale now. It's good, but I feel like something is probably missing where the hops used to be.

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Photo of n2185
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a slightly murky gold with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: Light spice notes at first followed by lots of candy sugar, caramel malts, and pear aromas. There are also some bubblegum and bread aromas mixed in.

T: Belgian spices here as well before candy sugar, sweet breads, caramel, and a light oxidation flavor kick in. The finish is yeasty with a surprising, though light, bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer isn't as light and crisp as I'd like, but avoids being too thick or sticky sweet.

O: Considering that this beer is 4.5 years old, it's not as bad as I was expecting. It's a little oxidized, but not enough so to ruin it.

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Photo of beergoot
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12. Review from notes.

A: Lighter golden color, crystal clear with a small off-white head that reduces quickly. Small bits of lacing.

S: Tons of lemons right away. A bit of orange and vanilla with a good bit of grass.

T: Again, lots of citrus - mostly lemon and orange. A bit of caramel and grainy malt.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly bitter finish.

O: Quite good, definitely surprised at how citrus forward and hoppy this beer still was. Could be my favorite of the group.

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Photo of obywan59
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden to orangey copper in color with a pure white 1 1/2 finger head that leaves a bit of nice sticky lacing. First glass was perfectly clear, but the second was rather cloudy with large sediment particles suspended throughout, but more thickly towards the top.

A little Belgian funk. Spicy citrus or faint mulled cider with honey. Spice is mainly clove. An occasional whiff of bubblegum and alcohol.

Faintly sweet but fairly dry. Cloves seem more distinct here. Some light tart citrus and a bit over balanced by a somewhat harsh bitterness in the first glass. In the second glass, the bitterness was less obtrusive.

Faint prickle from the light carbonation. Medium-full bodied. Drying to the point of astringency. Decent burn of alcohol.

The taste was the worst aspect for me, the bitterness was a detraction. The carbonation was weak, but the alcohol still seemed potent. Maybe it suffered for being in the fridge for 4 1/2 years?? I first drank this before I started doing reviews, but I'm pretty certain it was a lot better back then. It's not without merit, but If were still made, I wouldn't buy it again at this stage.

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Photo of nova009
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been waiting a long time to try this one
Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A- pours a clear and bring orangish-copper color, big fluffy two finger head appears a sticks around leaving lots of good lace along the glass, steady stream of bubbles rises to the surface

S- very floral, nice boquet, fruity belgian yeast, clove, orange peel, a slight hoppiness, a little bubblegum as well

T- creamy, lots of fruity belgian yeast, clove, pepper and the spiciness that comes with it, finishes dry with a little bit of grass, virtually all of the hop presence has dissipated

M- medium body, fairly high carbonation, starts creamy and finishes dry, the flavor hits you right in the middle of the tongue

O- this was a solid beer, I was a little ancy with the prospect of an aged IPA but this was still pretty tasty, the belgian flavors really took over, interested to see how the remaining epic bottles finish

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Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a medium golden, brilliant, with minimal cream head that dissipates into nothing.

Caramel malt, belgian yeast esters, peach, and mango come to mind. There's some slight phenolic notes.

Good belgian yeast character, peach, more malt backbone than 7. No ginger, which makes me happy. Almost wine-like. Confectioners sugar sweetness. Fairly bitter finish. Floral hops add intrigue.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

More bitter and less herbal than the 7.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yet another Vertical Epic I purchased long ago, probably at Discount Liquor.

A - Golden hazed body is topped by an off-white foam that settles to a collar, wisps, and spotty lacing.

S - Smells like an aged Belgian golden ale, with peppery, phenolic yeast notes, stone fruits, and a bit of lemon. Hops are long gone, but there isn't any overt oxidation either.

T - The taste is a bit more smoothed out, with light caramel, lemon, stone fruits, honey, and a tangy and lightly sour finish.

M - Smooth, medium-full body. Dry finish, lower carbonation, and a bit of residual alcohol heat.

D - This is the first one in the series that seemed even remotely 'Belgian'. The rest could have been confused for old English ales of some sort. Still, nothing exceptional, but at least resembles the advertised description.

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Photo of jlindros
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

had as part of a big VE tasting at the end of the world party, thanks to Mark for sharing.

Decent fizzy head, light lacing, hazzy carrot orange color.

Nose is nice Belgian again, bright malts, light tropical fruits even, hint guava and pear, malty, sweet, tangerine, etc.

Taste sweetish malts, aged tasting, fluffy, candy malts, light citrus, tangerine and pear, fluffy Belgian malts, light citrus, light esters and hint of booze.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb for the age.

Overall OK, again would probably have been much better fresh, but decent.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.