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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

474 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 474
Hads: 706
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 7.98%
Wants: 42
Gots: 180 | 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: 474 | Hads: 706
Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -6%
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. (640 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (1,075 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,003 characters)

Photo of Doppelbockulus
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the Vertical Epic glass. Omitted the yeast for the first pour.

Clear, very yellow gold with a thin film of white foam.

Smells like light grapefruit peel and yeast. The hop character is fading.

Taste is clean and semisweet with a touch of grapefruit peel.

Mouthfeel is almost flat and slightly tannic. (316 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 12/12.

This pours a bright golden with a tightly lace foam.

There’s a light, estery aroma—a sweetly honeyed-clove character— with no discernible hop presence. The flavor is lightly sweet and … lychee! Lychee is what I’m smelling and what I’m tasting. It’s incredible, seriously. The beer has this tropical fruit characteristic which is undoubtedly lychee. And for a beer that’s four years old it’s held up exceptionally well. Delicious. (465 characters)

Photo of TKEbeerman
2.99/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Poured into my VE glass, this brew pours a murky straw color with a lot of yeast for a IPA. I guess thats what makes it belgium.
S. Light fruit, and no hops.
F. A little hops on the back of the pallet. Yeasty spic notes, but a lack of complexity.
Mf. The fullest of the VEs. Very well carbonated.
Overall, for an aged Belgium IPA I expected more complexity. (361 characters)

Photo of mlazzaro
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 in a pretty things wine glass.

Very cloudy orange color. The cloudiness I view as just a sign of healthy yeast. It was not cloudy three years ago. mild head. Still tastes exceptional. Cheers to the brewers!

Smells of booze, pine trees and oranges. Booze is not intimidating smelling, but quite notable.

Taste is delicate, and very similar to smell. Resinous, piney, acidic, and very drinkable. The hop and yeast flavor are mended nicely. I have a hard time telling what flavor came from what. Either way it tastes delicious. After taste of American hop resin - Oranges and Spruce.

Thin mouthfeel. Acidic from either carbonation or fermentation. I like the bite though.

Someone once told me when cooking for others; make them wait an extra 30 minutes and the wait will make your meal taste that much better. I don't know if that is in play, but it an honer to drink this one. (886 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle.

Pours a bright, clear golden orange with small white head. Dry bitter aroma with coriander, pepper, orange, lime and citrus peel. Tastes like no pulp Orange Juice with a twist of lime and... I dunno, "spice"? Medium thick and well carbonated. I was hopefully from the nose for this but the flavor is too watery and one dimensional. (346 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

Gusher! had to be decanted and served in a pitcherThe beer is radiant orange yellow hued. Fairly hazy with a small white cap. The aroma brings coriander, limes, crackers, malt, spice. The flavor is watery orange juice, light spice. Malty body and fairly light on the palate. Moderate carbonation. This was ok. (346 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged to perfection, this bottle pours a very cloudy amber / dark orange color with a lot of yeast chunks floating around in it and a ton of bubbles racing up the brew like champagne; big thick creamy 1 finger white head with tons of bubbles in it that that faded on the quick side, leaving OK spotty lacing.

Smells of funky yeast, apple, grape, spices like coriander and light allspice, biscuit, orange peel, pear that starting to rot, herbs, caramel, apricot, flowers and mild booze. The spices are mild, the fruit is sweet, and the hops peek through, but it’s the yeast funk and sweetness that jump out the most. A definite Belgian nose, it’s just too bad the hops are so subdued after all these years of aging.

Tastes really nice after 4 plus years in the bottle, with flavors that include grapefruit, apple, grape, funky yeast, spices like coriander, pepper and light allspice, biscuit, wheat bread, orange peel, soft almost rotten pear, herbs, fresh cut grass, caramel, candied sugar or light brown sugar, apricot, flowers or floral hops, and mild booze. This is a sweet beer, with lots of fruity notes, hops hanging on and peeking through, some yeast funk and malty sweetness that makes for a nice complex American version of a classic Belgian beer. There is some bitterness and it hides the ABV quite well, but the sweetness and Belgian influence allows this to be relevant after all that time aging in the bottle.

Mouthfeel is creamy and almost watery, with very mild to almost no carbonation, a medium body and a funky and yet almost bitter finish that’s on the dry side. The aftertaste is tart and almost clean, which surprised me considering the amount of stuff floating around in it. The ABV sneaks up on you as it is very well hidden, and after 4½ years this is still a fine beer.

It was a challenge to age this and not drink it until after 12.12.12, so I hope that this was how Stone intended this beer to be upon peak aging. I wish I would have had it fresh in 2008 to get the full hop blast, but I don’t have a DeLorean or a Flux Capacitor. Overall it was good and I enjoyed this effort from Stone. (2,131 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Churchkey

This four year old IPA has a clear yellow pour with a nice white head. It has a hoppy aroma surprisingly. Some must, citrus, and banana. The taste is clean with citrus, hops, clove. It actually has a really nice balance. The Belgian comes at the backend. It has a medium body and is carbonated well. Very drinkable and one of the highlights of the night. (375 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a 07-12very vertical.

A - Poured a hazy orange hue with a half finger head that faded to leave a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of bready malts and faint Belgian fruits/esters..

T - Taste is a malt bomb with light fruits and esters. Kinda to be expected due to the age. Malts and faint esters....ehh.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated , not too shabby.

O - Overall not a bad beer just well past its prime. Solid but old. (432 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.36/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one is WAY cloudy! Peach colored brew with soapy vanilla colored head.

Tons of chamomile, dandelion, pear, tart, lemon, apple, milk.

A want to be sour, but weird flavors and zero tartness. Sweet(but, not sugary), wet, light-medium carbonation, medicinal, antique flavors, rusty.

When I think of Asian flowers, this brew comes to mind.. It's unique and has held up well, but it's a weird brew, not much balance and flow to all the co-mingled flavors. (458 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz beer was poured into a large Duvel snifter. Happy to have scored this at a liquor store the other day.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts, lots of citrus, grapefruit, and tangerine notes too. Some vanilla, spices, bready malts, and apple. All common characteristics of a tripel. This is why Belgian IPA's rock.

Taste: After 4+ years, this stuff is still tasty. All above mentioned aromas plus some subtle lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little boozy, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, subtle tingly bitterness, and quite the treat.

Overall: Wicked solid stuff. This beer could have a cleaner taste to it, but after 4 years, who cares. Might have to go to the store and buy the last remaining bottles. (889 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass.

A - Pours a pale golden color and filled with light fine sediment. A Low white head lingers briefly and leaves behind spotty lacing on the glass.

S - Citrusy oranges and lemons, lots of fruity esters, some higher alcohols that give a rather boozy impression overall.

T - Citrus up front, light lemony fruitiness, a bit boozy, nice mid-level hop bitterness.

M - Booze, thinnish-medium body with a low-mid carbonation.

O - Similar to 07-07-07, but toned down on the citrus, thinner body and more impressive hop contribution for bitterness that balances more. (608 characters)

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

Reviewed 12.12.12
Celebrating the Vertical Epic Series

P: Clear pale golden body with a thin layer of white head that leaves delicate lacing.

S: Citrus hops, honeydew, ginger, light banana phenols, spices, pippali pepper sprinkled on honey, and lemon zest.

T/M: Dirty earthy taste. White grapes, bitter apple peels, pippali pepper, pears, powdery yeast and a more vibrant flavor than the others in the series. The fresh ness really shines. Dry crisp full body with good carbonation and a clean finish of fruit rind bitterness.

O: The amarilo hop character was surprisingly vibrant and brilliantly aged. The intense flavors offered a nicely developed golden ale. Very nice and great drinkability. (701 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew was served on draft at the Tap and Mallet Vertical Epic tasting event. It arrived in a tasting glass, showing a solid golden yellow coloring. No real head was noted, but rings of white lacing punctuated the bare glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared active. The aroma gave strong Belgian yeast, citric hoppy bite, and bright phenolic plastics. With warmth came more floral and soapy hop varietals, light mustard seed, faint medicinals, and fusel booziness. Our first impression was that this beer was excellent for the style, and very soothing and mellow. As we sipped, the flavoring opened with nectary citric hops, fusel boozy bite, and juicy citric pop against toasted and chalky pale grain. The middle peaked with the bite of Belgian yeast, toasted Belgian pales, metallics and soured mash grain, and the continued background undertones of citric and lightly floral hop bitterness. The balance is superb. The finish mellows things completely, with citric rind and flesh, nectary and citric hops, pale toasty malts, and that same smooth Belgian yeast. The aftertaste breathes of a plastic phenolic bite to balance the citric and nectary hops, a sweet flash of peach and apple sugars, and the final metallic twang of yeastiness. The body was light to medium, and the carbonation was medium. There was nice froth and cream to each sip, with decent slurp and finish pop. There was no real coating or overt dryness noted. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank very nicely.

Overall, what we liked most about this brew was the flavoring. This beer is terrific for the style, with a nice bite of phenolic plastics and medicinals to hold against the bright, yet mellowed, hoppy smoothness, and malty sweetness. Things remained equally as calm through the nose and the mouthfeel. Some might find the beer light to this point, but we interpreted all this as balance and smoothness, rather than a letting up of strength. (1,954 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Going onto the second sample of the Vertical Epic flight at Tustin Brewing. A little over four years of age on this one. On to the beer:

Golden colored brew, topped with some fair lace and a patchy head. What makes the nose distinct is the dryness. It's not oxidized, smells Belgian, and rustic. Some sugar, bigger notes of leather, a few dry hops; any chance this is a Belgian IPA?

Confirmed. Despite four years of hiding, there still remain noticable traces of hops. Delecate hops which compliment the character of the overall beer, not smuther it. Leather, dry Belgian yeast, rustic. The alcohol is hidden well, and its body is smooth. Pleasantly dry in the aftertaste.

There's something about 08.08.08. I won't know how a fresh one tastes, but I know that an aged one is damn good. And I'm lucky to realize that I saved a bottle in my cellar and not realized it. (870 characters)

Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a Tulip

A- golden reddish orange w/ zero head

S- spicey fruit cocktail, citrus, viny, bubblegum, grapes, wine, grapefruit, faint cat piss

T- follows the nose

M- medium body, crisp carbonation

O- so this is the last VE of my reverse order vertical, and i'm kinda pissed. It's seems Stone didn't do their homework and everyone i have had, besides 11.11.11, have turned into a fraction of it's former self. These were specifically made to age until 12.12.12, yet the abvs are low and they actually had the audacity to make this one an IPA and expect the hops to last for 4 years? I was planning on trying to get 2-7 but i know now they are just a novelty iten at this point. For the first time, i'm very disappointed with Stone (753 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber. Two finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by stone and tropical fruit with slight Belgian yeast and citrus. Flavor follows with sweet stone fruit, orange and light citrus. Finishes with a pleasant citrus rind, pineapple and a lingering hop bitterness. The herbal qualities of the hops are attenuated, but a surprising amount of bittering hops remain. Like others in this series, age has given this a nice medium body with some creaminess. I started my mini-vertical with 06 and 07 and I am very impressed with the aged versions of all three of these. I was not expecting to enjoy the lighter ones as much as I have. Great job Stone! (739 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Lord Hobo for their Vertical Epic Event on 12/12/12. Part of Flight "B" (06, 07, 08). 5oz serving in a flight glass.

A- Completely translucent golden, decent head with nice retention that leaves nice layered lacing, fairly carbonated with very nice consistent rising carbonation bubbles. Probably the clearest, most carbonated, and the best head out of all the beers in the VE series.

S- Oranges, lemons, citrusy, some faint pepper and other spices, decently aromatic. It's amazing how citrusy this still is despite being over 4 years old.

T- Oranges, some hops, light clove, a hint of pepper, other spices that are hidden in the background, finishes with some mangoes and light lemons that are slightly bitter. Nicely balanced and still full of flavor.

M- Medium bodied, smooth, slightly juicy, very easy drinking.

O- Out of all of the beers in the VE series this is the one that surprised me the most in how well it held up. I was very skeptical going into this one seeing that it was a Belgian IPA and I thought the hops would be completely faded, but very surprisingly they were not and there was a ton of fruity juicy citrus that held up very well and provided a very nice taste. I would definitely drink this again. (1,236 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last offering in the second flight of Vertical Epics at Alewife Queens.

2008 Vertical Epic pours a translucent tangerine, with a good amount of head retention and lacing given what little foam there was to begin with. The nose is wonderfully juicy, with bubble gum and grapefruit aromas swimming together. The flavor starts out with that same plump bubble gum note. There's a relatively soft bitterness, followed by a grapefruit and mango close. The mouthfeel is solid, dry bodied and bubbly, though it could stand to be a bit more of each. As a Belgian IPA, I'm impressed by how well it's held up. (603 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold that is clean filtered. Minimal head on this 9 oz pour but good carbonation during consumption. Aroma is true to the style and adds a string citrus presence - maybe grapefruit. Flavor puts this in a Belgian dubbel category and the strong alcohol is well masked. More citrus and a strong dosing of hops. Very enjoyable even 4-5 years later. (357 characters)

Photo of TheBeerologist
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened my 08.08.08 for my 31st birthday - 08.08.12
Bottle poured into Jackie O's Munich glass

Poured a beautiful straw gold with a fluffy two finger head with some lacing on the glass

Smells like a Belgian tripel - sweet and yeasty with a bit of fruit and spices and a slight hint of citrus

The hops are still present and not totally faded as I would expect of a 4 year old belgian IPA. A bit of a coriander note and of course the belgian yeast is one of the more dominant tastes.

Smooth and moderately carbonated mouthfeel. Nothing really spectacular here though

Overall and enjoyable beer that I waited to drink until my birthday of the year the series ended, but not a really spectacular beer by any means. Happy to have saved and savored it though. (757 characters)

Photo of bamadog
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I figured that we're only a few months away from the end of the series, so what's the harm in cracking this one now? Review is from notes taken on 7/28/2012 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass. I have to say, I'm curious to see how a Belgian IPA will have held up over a 4 year span.

Appearance: Pours a golden straw color and it starts with a big head of three fingers -- very white and fluffy, like whipped egg whites that fades slowly to a rocky and fully, frothy cap; body is cloudy, but shows very strong carbonation bubbling up throughout, so the yeast definitely did its job and held up over time, here's to hoping that the flavor did as well; pillowy swaths of lacing stick around.

Smell: Light, Belgian spiciness and a touch of sweet fruit -- perhaps mango or pineapple? Toasty graininess. Not too shabby, I wish it were a little more robust, but I'll take it.

Taste: Meh. It's not awful, but not what I was hoping for (should have drank this the year I bought it...). It's got some bitterness to it, but not much hop "flavor" beyond a light touch of sweet pineapple; touch of alcohol burns through along with the spiciness mentioned in the nose. I feel that this likely would have been an outstanding beer fresh, and I can only kick myself for this, not Stone.

Mouthfeel: Body is light in weight, and the carbonation is frothy, strong and prickly; a thin sticky coating hangs around; mouth is left tingly as well as the belly from the carbonation and slight booziness to it.

Overall: Again, I can't over-emphasize that this should have been consumed fresh, but even after 4 years, it's not awful. (1,619 characters)

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.