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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 173 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!

(Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 694 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of canucklehead
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been sitting in the cellar since late summer and so it seemed right to open one since I drank all my earlier versions and cannot do the vertical in 2012. This is a real nice Belgian style beer with some spice notes mixed in with the citrus notes found in Saisons. Kinda tasted like a combo of Duvel and Westmalle Triple. Lots of complexity and good balance made this very drinkable. Good Epic from these guys.

canucklehead, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of beertunes
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into bubble pint glass (perhaps should have used chalice?). Poured with a tall, bright white head that left nice rings of lacing. A clear deep yellow, this is much paler than anticipated. The spicy, fruity aroma is typical for the style. The flavor follows the aroma closely, with the flavor not as full and rich as some others. The body is slightly thin for the style. Very drinkable, smooth and well balanced. A nicely enjoyable beer, better than average for the style.

beertunes, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of jokelahoma
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle at my own house, por favor.

Poured a lovely light golden color, a decent head that seemed to last a decent while.

Aroma was a strong fruity smell, with lemon seeming to dominate, yet... in a strange way, *not* lemon. A strange citrus without being really citrusy. Hard to describe. I detected lemon among the usual Belgian fruits, mostly pear, yet with a subtle citrus bearing. Difficult to describe, yet obvious once you experience it.

Taste, however, was not lemony at all. It was all Belgian pale. Good malt up front followed almost immediately by the yeast esters with just reek of fruit, but in a good way. This isn't a "Fruit Loop" beer, but it's damned close. Very evident fruit ester of lighter fruits, like apples, pears, pomegranates, even pineapples, seem to jump up front in the taste. There's some regular malt backbone, but the yeast esters quickly pushed it aside. This is a fruity beer, without actually having any fruit in it. God love those Belgian yeasts. Hops exist only to keep the malt from overwhelming everything else, and to add the citrus to the profile. Otherwise, it's all malt and yeast esters. Pretty much as it should be.

The mouthfeel is thin, which is just about right, when you get down to it. It's not watery, but there's no real work to get this one down your gullet. It pretty much drinks itself, and that's not a bad thing, considering the style.

overall, this is a very nice representation of a Belgian Strong pale ale. Lots of esters, not a lot of hops, decent malt, but not overwhelming. About what you'd expect it to be. Stone did a good representation of the style here, and it's worth trying on the off chance you can still find one. Good stuff!

jokelahoma, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of jayfarley3
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Poured a hazy golden orange color with a off white head. Smell is fruity, sweet, spicy with a hint of alcohol. Tastes of sweet malt, fruit, spices and rich hops. This beer is medium bodied and very smooth for the 8.6 abv and very drinkable.

jayfarley3, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of KBoudreau66
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bought a 22 oz and poured into a snifter. Has a honey color with some carbonation going on. Has an excellent smell of apple with a hint of alcohol. Has an excellent hoppy taste that washes down slightly dry. This is another great beer by Stone, I definitely plan on buying at least one or two more to drink and a few extra's to save till 2012.

KBoudreau66, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of scootny
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brilliantly clear honey amber brew with a clean and attractive white head. Lacing is nice and constant. Nose instantly tells you that a Belgian IPA is in your hand. Very hoppy nose. Belgian yeast and light honeyed fruit esters fold into the mix. Banana and light apples.

Taste is Belgian IPA but at a nine tenths scale. It is drinkable and quenching. Big sweet malt backbone is broad and graced with a note of honey. Hops are big without overwhelming the Belgian character. The size of this beer is perfect for the vision. In three years it should be bigger in honey and rounder in hoppiness while allowing the yeasty fruituness to blossom. It finishes clean and dry.
The significant abv is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is dry and lightly thick. A slickness is broken up by light carbonation that scrubs the mouth.

Drinkability is deceptive. For while this brew strong, it acts like a session beer in your mouth and throat. The spicing of last years bottle is not here to help you out. This stuff just flows and flows.

scootny, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of DeepSix
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. A low amount head here. An amber color minor carbonation visible.

Sweet malts are dominant, hops are detectable here, spices here too, with some maybe some fruit.

a really balanced taste here. malts and hops pretty nicely balanced. Citrus here too, not much of those spcies and fruit I smelled but eh, I like a hops and malt, and this delivers both, pretty big. Medium mouthfeel with some carbonation noted even on the last 11oz of the bottle. Alcohol bite is noted here too.

A very good an balanced beer here, might be the most drinkable of this style I've had so far. The ABV should avoid too many, but seeing its a limited release thats probably not a huge problem for most.

DeepSix, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Light orange in color with some head tension involved that dissipates fairly quick. Smells of sweet sugar with malt, caramel apples come to mind. It is very sweet on the palate and there's a bit of the spice that can be noticed several seconds after consumption. The natural carbonation is minimal and the yeast can almost give you a headache. This beer would go great with dessert or just an after dinner drink. Would recommend to those who favor the Belgian style, this was a great interpretation and definitely well worth seeking out.

BuffaloTapHugger, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured into to reveal a "see through" golden with some rising carbonation. Head was a frothy finger size at the start but moved down to a paperclip with tight cap. Lacing was multiple small chunks and tight retention.

S: Nose was initially grassy hops added upon with Simocoe sweetness floral hops then a medicinal cough medicine gummyness which confused me all to heck or perhaps are the cloves?

T: Sweet start with tart second moving over to the finish. For a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, this is very hoppy and carbonated and not too many drinkable in many aspects. Sublte phenolic aftertastes, more hops west coast American hops coming into play. I enjoy the yeast strain of this beer but cannot put my finger on the overall flavor. Esters of apples and mild melons along with regular malt make this a very clean and refined Belgian Strong Ale.

M: Medium body but very smooth regardless of the clear character. Carbonation fades with time and slippery on the tongue.

D: This is one of the easiest Belgian Strong Pale Ale's I've ever had. While this style is quite high on the ABV category, this would be a starter that to recommend for drinkers moving into heavier neighborhoods. Very clear but still with some body and flavor.

Brianmerrilyn, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of brianh78
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At first I thought, "A Belgian Pale Ale? Interesting." Now I think, "Where can I get more?"

Appearance: 2 finger head, which was very slow to dissipate; translucent gold/honey color; lively carbonation

Smell: Floral and citrus hops dominated the initial smell, but there was some sweetness floating around on the back end

Taste: Hops came through first, but then the sweet malt came out. There was also some citrus and herbaceous flavor

Mouthfeel: light and effervescent

Drinkability: Definitely something I'd like to have again. It's a surprisingly easy to drink beer, considering the name and alcohol content

One glass was not enough...

brianh78, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of stephendedalus
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional beer. I have not picked up a Vertical Epic for a couple years, so I was a little curious as to where this year's release would take me. What's that? A Belgian Strong Pale Ale? Yes, please. And I was not disappointed...

Appearance: golden, honey-in-apricots sort of hue. Perfect, with some lively but overly animated carbonation. A legitimate head and some good lacing (esp. considering the ABV).

Smell: Floral, hoppy, slightly spicy.

Taste: Just like it smells, with a touch of sweetness, and j-u-s-t a hint of the alcohol bite. A really well-rounded beer. Dangerous, actually.

Mouthfeel: Starts smooth, fills the mouth -- smooth at the end, too, but with just enough body and hoppiness to qualify as a quality pale ale.

Drinkability: Wish I had more than one...

Another very good offering from Stone -- one worthy of being enjoyed by itself or paired with a meal. Slainte!

stephendedalus, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of gmcfarre
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a clear light orange color with a decent 1/2 inch white head. Head fades somewhat quickly to a thin layer. When tipped, laces form in sheets that fall quickly. Lack of a billowy head is somewhat disappointing.

S - Started off as a great, somewhat traditional Belgian Strong Pale Ale with its mix of floral and hoppy flavors. Typical yeasty spice is evident. Orange peel and tart green apple come to mind.

T - Starts with a mellow sweetness up front. Some citrus fruit flavor comes through on mid-palate. Yeasty spice contributes a good deal of the flavor up until finish. Tart green apple finish that is well complimented by a heavy dose of bitterness. Quite tasty and refreshing.

M - Good, moderate carbonation with a medium body. Presents a dry and somewhat chalky mouthfeel with a tacky, slightly drying finish.

D - Flavor stays rewarding throughout the life of the bomber, but high alcohol takes its toll if you're not careful. Certainly worth trying. It will be interesting to see how this ages till 12/12/12!

gmcfarre, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of Docer
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Really not my cup of tea... 22oz. bomber poured into a glass.

Yellow and light orange color, minimal head with not much lacing.

Smells a bit of rubbing alcohol, oak, flamed pepper... and musty old cabin up in the mossy woods.

Perhaps I would like it better if I let it sit in the fridge for another 3+ years... but west coast inspired? Didn't taste it. Too peppery and spicy... a dry hop, but not a very floral one. Really an oak barrel aged flavor. Light malt presence.

Doesn't leave the mouth too dry.. woody aftertaste..

Easy to drink... doesn't taste as strong as it is.. but most likely wont buy it... not a fan of Belgiums.. not one for me to stare at for 3 years.

Docer, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of umustdrink
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Yellowy orange color, visible carbonation. White head settles at an eighth inch. Small bits of lacing.

S - Pungent bubblegum, lemony citrus, peppery spice.

T/M - Starts out thick feeling with an initial citrus hop bite, then a creamy yeasty flavor. Citrus becomes sweeter with more hoppiness and a greatly increased spicy bubblegum yeast flavor. Finish leaves a long lasting spicy yeast flavor with a bit of citrus.

D - Thick mouthfeel with strong flavors, this is one to savor.

umustdrink, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of davedahl
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel: crisp and a bit boozy.

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

davedahl, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of FrndthDuvel
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
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 .

FrndthDuvel, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of hellomcfly
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep golden honey color. Very clear. Has a bright white, foamy, one finger head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Banana, cloves, spiciness, and booziness. Has some gin-like qualities as it warms.

T - Wow, very flavorful. Banana, clove, citrus, apple, flowers, bubble gum. Leaves you with a slight hop bittnerness and a peppery flavor. This beer is somewhere between a tripel, fruity cocktail, and champagne.

M - On the lighter end of medium in body. Fairly dry finish.

D - I'm not going to mind drinking the whole bomber but this certainly isn't a session beer or anything. Wish I had another bottle to age.

hellomcfly, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

jasonjlewis, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - 1st pour was clear orange/yellow color with a white head that left some sticky lacing.

S - light fruit, candy and malt aromas with a good dose of Belgian yeast.

T - taste follows the smell, very good tasting brew.

M - medium bodied with mild carbonation feel.

D - crisp, refreshing and easy to drink.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, spices, some fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out very estery, with some sweetness of apples and spices. Then there's a quick alcohol sting, followed by a Belgian yeast character that seems a bit subdued. There's a strong hops presence for the style that starts to exert itself as the beer warms and provides some balance.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium carbonation, medium body, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while, although I have a feeling that this is the type of beer that might be better with a little bit more age on it.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of bluejacket74
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both average. The aroma is citrusy hops (orange peel), tropical fruit, cloves, peppery spice and candy sugar. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some apricot and a bit of alcohol noticable too. Finishes bitter and fruity at the same time. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating, dry and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's crisp, enjoyable and not hard to drink at all. I think this is a good brew, it'll be interesting to age a couple bottles of this and see how it changes.

bluejacket74, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

S - Smells REALLY sweet, honey, malty.

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

M - Medium, good coat and carb.

D - NOt my favorite. Your mileage may vary.

srandycarter, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of JEdmund
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance
Golden yellow like a pils but with a small head; good carbonation

Smell
Belgian yeast fruitiness dominates here; not hoppy like I expected; some mild hint of spearamint

Taste & Mouthfeel
Not nearly a 50/50 split of triple and IPA; initially, I get all Belgian flavors--fruity yeast, a lot of bready malt; hops come in later with a minty quality, but is still mild; would like a LOT more hops in this one; some heat in the finish; some nice bitterness in finish later on

Overall
A bit disappointing as there's just not enough hops for me; it just doesn't come to close to the "very, very generously hopped" as described on the bottle. Maybe I didn't drink it fresh enough? Otherwise a very tasty beer. Hopefully this will be a good one for aging.

JEdmund, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of grub
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked this one up this summer at merchants in dearborn, MI.

22oz bottle. sampled dec 28/08.

pours crystal clear golden amber with a small dense white head. the head drops fairly quick and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is good. nice belgian spice. bit of orange peel. touch of honey and caramel. cracker and white bread. light alcohol. i get just a hint of something toasty in there too. light floral character, a touch perfumey.

taste is great. belgian strong pale with a dash of american ipa thrown in. medium-high bitterness level. grapefruit. orange peel. bit of pine. light belgian spice. big floral character. light alcohol. cracker and white bread. bit of biscuit. touch of caramel and honey.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. just over medium carbonation level. nice dry finish.

drinkability is great. BSPA is a good style, but not my favourite. i welcome the american twist on this one. it seems to work well. the hops probably push it more towards tripel territory, and the bigger malt base gives it that american ipa slant. still, it never loses sight of its BSPA roots. nicely balanced. good stuff.

grub, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Viggo
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a lightly hazed golden orange, touch of amber, thick white head forms, drops a lot of chunky lace on the glass, drops some rings, good retention, settles to a medium ring and a thin layer, looks pretty good. Smell is nice, very fragrant, some grapefruit and spice, toast, honey, apricot, strawberries, coriander, candi sugar, light touch of alcohol, smells pretty good. Taste is similar, some sweet biscuity malt and honey, grapefruit and floral, light fruit, some alcohol and spice, wheat, a bit yeasty in the finish, some floral, nice spicy finish, well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, slightly dry in the finish, nice spiciness, with some alcohol warmth. Nicest VE in the last couple years, I like it. Thanks Russ!

Viggo, Dec 28, 2008
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.