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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
89
very good
490 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
490
Ratings:
873
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
10.55%
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
252
For Trade:
15
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by froghop on 08-04-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 490 | Ratings: 873
Photo of ZX6Chris
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at a Vertical Epic tasting with my friend Armand.

A-Good head, White bubbles that are larger the the previous Epic's, dissipates quickly, golden straw yellow.

S-Hop aroma, piney, citrusy.

T-Flavor follows through, a little grassy.

D-Good drinker, big flavors but very smooth.

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Photo of silentjay
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear, translucent copper with a smallish off-white head that quickly recedes to a small film, but laces well.

some peppery, fruity aromas hints at a belgian yeast while some citrusy and grassy hops back things up a bit. bananas and cloves, yah, but plenty more. Traces of a belgian tripel, but with some hops as well. not bad at all.

taste is similar to the aroma, but also adds some malts to the package. peppery and fruity with banana, clove, plum, raisin, and apple flavors added to the wheat toast and caramel malts which give way to some grassy, citrus, and earthy hops, which have probably faded a bit over the last two years. a bit of warming booze comes through on the back end. nice.

medium bodied with ample carbonation and a nice lingering bitterness.

drinks rather well. booze can be harsh at times, even though its been aged for two years. that may age out in the next couple of years when the vertical is complete. otherwise, this is a nice, hoppy tripel with plenty of complexity and flavor. will look forward to trying this again in a couple of years.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Big thanks to GoGriz for this bottle!

I missed out on this one the first time 'round. This is why trading was invented. It pours a slightly hazed golden straw topped by a finger or so of white foam. The nose comprises light hoppy grapefruit and pine, honey, ginger, clove, pepper, banana, and a light dusting of biscuit crumbs. The taste has the same elements, though the hops remain decently strong, the grapefruit blending into a lemony citrus nearer the back; and the honey is thicker, heavier, sweeter, and mixed with a dash of light caramel. The body is a heavy light/light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly crisp finish. Overall, this has aged pretty nicely (I believe), with the hops still strong enough to matter and the balance pretty well-maintained.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this right before the '09 VE came out, lets see how this is doing at 2 years old. Bomber poured into my new Chimay goblet.

Pours a nice rusty orange color with a small white head. Quickly turns to a small cap and ring, nice color though.

Smell seems pretty weak. Mostly getting a yeasty bread scent, and light fruit, lemon, and some booze.

Surprisingly still very hoppy. Lots of grapefruit, citrus, spice, sugar, candy and floral notes. Flavors and alcohol pack quite a punch the first couple sips but it's more enjoyable as it goes on, warming helps alot as well. Good, but seems a little messy overall.

Creamy, high carbonation, pretty dry and bitter. Booze taste is there the whole time but is toned down the more you finish.

I think Stone considers this a tripel but I definitely agree with the choice of Belgian IPA for style. The flavors are just about even with a huge IPA and a light Belgian. Taste is kinda crazy but a bomber wasn't too much of a problem. Hard to say how this will continue to age until 2012. I liked it enough to know I will pick up another bottle to age until then.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An attractive golden hue with a soft white head.

Smells like spice, sweet bread, honey, and citrus.

Tastes like coriander, orange peel, and honey with a lingering hop bite, that has mellowed remarkably since it's first bottling. This is almost like your ordinary above average Belgian triple.

medium body with both a sweet and bitter hops finish. Great for spring and summer mornings.

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Photo of Bfarr
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Slightly hazy golden orange with foamy white head with little retention and lacing. Spicy and citrus aroma. Flavors complimenting the aroma with apple and strong hop presence despite 2 years and a little more balanced. Semi-dry, straw and alcohol finish. Spongy, fizzy mouthfeel with poor bitter linger.

I never had a chance to taste this fresh but I imagine the strong hops may have saved this fresh. Also, it may have been improperly stored at some point since I just found it about 6 months ago in a store. Nonetheless, as is it seems to me this was a prototype for the Cali-Belgique IPA which I love and so I guess that's what it's all about for Stone, finding something good to tweak a bit for regular production.

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Photo of xaulzan
4.85/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would introduce this beer to my mother. I wouldn't even be mad if it stood her up. Maybe for a few minutes, but I could never stay mad at this gem. If it came to take my lunch money, I'd give it my debit card. If it came to borrow some eggs, I'd give it a chicken that was organically raised in an open air pen that allows chickens to frolic.

This beer is made from the seed of Zeus and the tenderness of Aphrodite. It has the abdomen of Poseidon and the voice of a golden dipped cherub, and I just found one hiding in the back of a local liquor stores shelf.

A: Poors a golden color with about a finger of creamy head.

S: Although it is a Belgian IPA, not much hop aroma left to it after aging for 2 years. Hints of grapefruit and banana-like sweetness

T: As with the smell, the hop flavor has subsided over the years. I can taste the warmth of alcohol, but not too much, it's perfect. Fruity notes in the aftertaste as well.

M: Medium bodied, still a fair amount of carbonation

D: I could drink this until I shit my pants. It's absolutely delightful. Over the years it will taste more and more like a Belgian golden than an IPA as the hop flavor and aroma fades away. It was good the day it was released, and will continue to be as it's characteristics change over the years.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon bombers of this while out for groceries and snatched it up at just $4.75- a good price for really ANY bomber in NYC.

Poured from 22oz bottle into 300ml Krusovice goblet.

Appearance: Pours golden-amber in color with a medium-sized, very slowly dissipating off-white head that leaves some large spots of lace behind.

Smell: Smells like a very well-aged beer- sweet grapes and apples with some yeast backed up by citric and floral hop notes.

Taste: The smell doesn't give away the hoppiness of this beer too well- It starts off with bready, yeasty flavors backed up by a hint of apple, finishing rather hoppy. The finish has herbal and earthy hop flavors and a somewhat intense, yet pleasant bitterness. More yeast is detectable in the finish. After you've drank a bit of this and gotten used to the flavor, it actually starts to taste like champagne.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with balanced, very natural carbonation and a dry champagne-esque finish.

Drinkability: An older beer like this is meant to be savored, and it is a pleasure to drink. This is the first "vintage" beer I've had, yet I can detect a certain aged quality about this. Now I'm seriously considering buying some more bottles of this to cellar for longer. If you can find this beer, definitely grab it- whether it's for cellaring or for drinking.

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Photo of Dotcubed
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lucky to obtain a bottle a few weeks ago.

Not in a hurry to drink it, it's been in the fridge.
Poured into a unibroue tulip glass.

Looks like an IPA, light carbonation. Clear dark golden yellow. Laceless.

Light floral, bready scent. Pleasant belgian odor. Fairly faint.

Grapefruity pungency. At almost 2 years old, this had to be a mouthful when new.
Reminds me of the gummy grapefruit candy, but with some bitterness. Remarkable. Not much of an IPA any longer.

Medium-Heavy bodied.

Good drinking if you like belgian style.

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Photo of Japerrault
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden ale. Thick white head which dissipated quickly.

S: Sweet candy-like aromas, caramel

T: Medium sweetness, caramel and bananna. Another candy flavor is noticed, kinda like juicy fruit. The lingering mild aftertaste is of toasted grain. Hops are there balancing this malty ale, but the flavors are difficult to pick out.

M: Medium body, smooth and sweet. Medium carbonation as well. Alcohol warmth noticed but not overboard.

D: Smooth, sweet, and nothing harsh make this relatively easy to drink.

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Photo of klikger
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

4 oz pour in standard pint glass

A - Cloudy-white, w/ little to no head or lacing

S - Sugar & white grapes

T - Honey, cardamom, and earthy grains compose the sweet tastes found up front. A very slight level of hops (this is a couple years old, anyway) help to balance this out. The taste is pretty complex and certainly enjoyable.

M - Medium-bodied, lightly carbed.

D - Very drinkable for 8.6% - I thought it was in the 5 or 6% range prior to being informed.

This is my first Vertical Epic, and I liked it quite a bit. I'm a hop nut, so this doesn't match up with hoppier Belgian IPAs from that respect, but the mixture of flavors is well-crafted, and this does stand out from the crowd.

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Photo of voteforgoat
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
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

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Photo of levifunk
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bomber found in the cooler of my local shop

a - rich golden color. white head.

s - hops. earthy. hint of honey.

t - big hops flavor. odd bitterness...its strong, but doesnt stay. big alcohol flavor. some citrus, but more like the rind than the fruit. thats it....it taste like grapefruit rind.

m - mouthfeel is good. its got a good lightness to it, which balances the bigger ABV

overall - not my favorite flavor, but if you like huge citrus cops, give it a try.

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Photo of chaz01
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good sized (4-5 ounce) pour at a Stone Vertical Tasting Event sponsored by Belmont Party Supplies on 5/12/2010, served in a very cool Stone Vertical Epic tasting glass.

A: Clear golden color -- beer produced the biggest foamy head of any in the series to date.

S: Hoppy citrus aroma along with some musky pine notes.

T: Pine flavors in the taste along with some musky orange flavor. More grassy hay and straw in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D: This didn't stand out in the series -- still a bit of hoppiness character to the beer which I would presume will fade over time.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This just seemed like the right thing to have with my dinner. We'll see if I keep or trade my other bottle.

A: Pale golden with lots of a/c but a relatively thins head, less than one finger. It's just off white and is small to medium bubbles. Only a little lacing. The more I look, that golden color seems almost orangeish.

S: Like really good honey. Not sweet, but like honey. This smell is quite wonderful. Not overly spiced, which I was sort of expecting, and not very belgiany, though that could be blending into the honey aromas. Maybe a little fresh baked bread? I am associating this smell with creamed honey on fresh baked ciabatta bread. Yum. I would have expected hops, but it's aged, so of course not.

T: Honey is still there, still reminding me of the creamed honey on bread, but there is now some spices going on, not sure if it's remnant hops or something like corriander, anise? While the hops aren't crazy, there is a definite reminder of a hop-burp as I like to call it. I would say this is more of a Belgian take on an American IPA than an Belgian IPA, and that's how I'm grading it.

M: The mouth is surprisingly crisp considering it didn't look very carbonated. Its working really well cutting the spiciness of my soup. It could use a little more body though.

D: Very drinkable in small amounts, it's almost too sweet for me at this point.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fortunate to be able to try this on tap at DLD.

Appearance: Poured a honey orange color, with a small 2 cm head. Not much head retention, but a little light lace stick.

Smell: Sweet aroma. Sweet malt, mellowed fruits, bananas, and citrus. Some mild spices and earthy notes as well.

Taste: The start of the sip provides a strong initial sweetness, with caramel, banana, and some citrus (orange and grapefruit) flavors. Alcohol really kicks in the middle. Although the hops have not disappeared completely, it definitely does not have typical IPA character. Soft hops remind me of orange and lemon zest. Finishes a bit spicy.

Mouthfeel: Medium/high level of carbonation, a little bit grainy. Medium body.

Drinkability: Overall I thought this was a smooth, enjoyable beer. Personally, I thought it drank more like a Tripel due to the lack of strong hoppy character.

It would have been interesting to taste when it was first brewed, as a comparison. The novelty of having one of the Epics was a great treat, even if the beer itself was not mind-blowing.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened an 08.08.08 with a friend...

A: Golden honey color with murky sediment swirling around in the color. Thick 1 inch white head that fades at a medium pace.

S: Smells pretty good. Sweet malts and an earthy caramel banana flavor upfront. A heavy dry booziness in the middle with hints of grapefruit on the backend. Very good.

T: A little lacking here. A heavy dry boozy hopiness upfront. The dry texture to the brew hides the hints of grapefruit flavors in the middle. Hints of roast on the backend. Decent.

M: Very good balance of carbonation.

D: After it warms up it goes down much easier because it dulls down the heavy dry boozy hops. Good.

All in all, this was a decent brew. Not as good as the hype makes it seem IMO. Good to try once. More like a glorified mainstream brew. This one would be a good gateway beer to get into the craft beer scene.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a glass.

A - Poured a nice thick honey orange with extremely champagne like carbonation...bubbles clinged to every side of the glass when first poured. The head resembled the carbonation and didn't hang around long.

S - Citrus notes jump out the most with a soft dry hop thing going on in the background. Also had an odd almost metallic like smell mixed in.

T - Semi-hoppy flavor with some spicey fruits. It got better as it opened up. The saisonish flavor is definitely there, but not until the beer opened up. Pretty decent Belgian IPA. Not too hoppy, but enough to compliment the other flavors.

M - Little bit bready...little bit bitter. Cooling after feel.

D - very drinkable. was a bit hoppy for my tastes at first, but as it opened it, it really got great.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let's face it, I couldn't hold off another two years!!

A: Pours a vibrant straw gold with slight haze, a creamy white head on top, leaving behind very nice lacing.

S: Sweet citrus and spicy smell, but also a bready and buttery pie crust smell in there, as well. Not much of a hop scent, unfortunately, but after this long, what do you expect?

T: Just as the nose leads on, nice blend of citrus and spice: cinnamon, coriander, delicious. There is also that buttery crust taste, similar to that in ST Pumking. Very enjoyable. A touch of bitterness and alcohol at the end.

M: Pretty thick and bready, almost syrupy; decent carbonation.

D: Very good, easy to drink a bomber, despite a pretty high ABV. I'll have to try this again in 2012.

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Photo of mactrail
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sharp and fruity strong ale.

I would call it a "pungent' aroma. It is so sharp in the back of the throat I pause in mid sip. Definitely an overexuberance of Belgian flavors taking over, but unrestrained by the usual Belgian malty funk. I call it an IPA that's been jacked up with Country Time lemonade powder.

I wonder if these beers should be stored refrigerated? I bet there is a giant cooler chugging away somewhere in an industrial part of Escondido with a vast store of Verticals in suspended animation waiting for the big day. Me, I'm going to pull the ones I have left and drink 'em now. Well, not right this minute.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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 JoePat
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a perfect golden color with a nice white head that dissipates pretty quickly but that is expected with a few years on it.
Smells earthy from the hops and a a little bit of golden raison smell.
The tast is sweet, spicy in the begining and finishes bitter.
Mouthfeel is light syrupy from the sweetness and a little dry.
Easy to drink kind of like a mix between a triple and a DIPA.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter glass

A- Poured a cloudy golden yellowish orange with a thin white head on top that dosen't last to long and leaves little lacing.

S- Floral earthy citrus hops dominate with a tropical fruity backround. Little bit of alcohol spicyness.

T- Caramel malts with a strong citrusy hop backround. Tropical fruits and slight alcohol is apparent as it warms. Very sweet overall.

M- Meduim bodied with lower carbonation and a solid bitter dry finish.

SkÅL!

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.