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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
89
very good

692 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 692
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 172 | 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: 692 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is like a saison, getting pepper first of all, clove and bannanas. Golden blond colour with white Caesar head. Understated hops, lemon rind. Above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability.I think the yeast will fade out in a couple years which make it even more interesting, take the edge off the yeast.

Sammy, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +0.5%

t0rin0, Feb 25, 2013
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.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -24.6%

djrn2, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazed apricot with a pretty nice head. The smell is a bit of sweet malt, spices, and citrus. THe taste was quite the same with some more Belgian yeast in there, with the citrus flavors coming a bit to the front. Mouthfeel was pretty big as a result of the sweetness. Quite drinkable.

Thorpe429, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +0.5%

zestar, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

nmann08, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

acurtis, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly disappeared, leaving lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of oranges and spices in the nose; hints of grapefruit and yeast are also discernible.
T: Like the smell, citrus and spicy flavors dominate the overall taste, overshadowing the underlying malts. The finish has a moderate amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish and some hints of warming from the alcohol.
D: This is a beer that needs to be slowly sipped given its alcohol content and the amount of bitterness.

metter98, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lemon drop yellow with sunshine colored accents. There's nothing darker than pale malt in there, that's for sure. The alabaster colored crown looks fantastic. The upper surface is a teeming mass of glassine bubbles that leave miniscule craters when they pop. Lovely lace rounds things out in fine fashion.

I'm kicking myself for not cracking the crown before today. If I had realized that Greg and the boys brewed a highly-hopped Belgian IPA this time around, I never would have waited this long. The tropical fruitiness of the Simcoe and Amarillo hops has surely faded, but it's still wonderful. A pinch of spicy clove is nice as well. Last fall, this score probably would have been 4.5.

Even though the hops have lost some of their punching power, VE 08.08.08 is still damn good beer. It's good for the same reason that Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor, De Ranke XX Bitter, Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel and Urthel Hop-It are good... they combine pale malt, lots American hops and Belgian yeast, all wrapped up with a high-ABV bow. What's not to love? Especially if you're both a hophead and a Belgianophile, like me.

This beer isn't quite the equal of the ones mentioned above, but I'm going to cut the taste score some slack since it's my fault that I didn't experience this annual ale in its freshest and hoppiest state. The flavor profile includes sugar cookies, candied pineapple chunks, pink grapefruit, tangerine and a sprinkling of clove and white pepper. A sweet start... becomes a bittersweet middle... becomes a quasi-drying finish.

The mouthfeel almost deserves the next highest score. In the end, though, it isn't quite full enough for 'American big beer greatness' and it isn't expansive and fluffy enough for 'Belgian big beer greatness'. On the other hand, drinking quickly, although not recommended, is a cinch.

08.08.08 is the fourth straight killer beer in the Vertical Epic series. It's probably too much to ask for that Stone would release a Belgian-style IPA (this recipe will do just fine) on a year-round basis, but here's hoping. Bottom line: a fine tribute to the great Belgian IPAs.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been truely seduced by the hoppy Belgian beers, so I was really excited to hear the news about this Stone brew. The sweetness of th Belgian base beer forms a nice backdrop for the sharp American hops- still the beer is not muddled or overly complex. The aromas exhibit only mild Belgian character and assertive pine and citrus notes. The maltiness and caramel sweetness shine above phenolic peppery notes, but allow a fruity ester profile to shine. Certainly more golded than a tripel, but not quite amber in color. The head formation is froathy and sticks to the glass nicely- no problems with retention and plenty of efforvescence. Flavors, as with the aroma, are heavily tilted toward a 2-row malty, caramelly, nutty, biscuity, profile rather than classic Belgian pilsner crisp profiles. This helps to tame the heat and spiciness, but also promotes the fruitiness- pears, peaches, appricots, and apples. Well attenuated and quite crisp makes the beer dangerously easy to drink, but would finish quite sweet if not for the clean dry pine and grapefruit flavors / bitterness from the hops. Overall, the beer is nice but I can't put it on the same plateau of Poppering Hommel, Houblon Chouffe, or De Rank XX Bitter because the Belgian character in this beer is too subtle and the malt profile is very different than classic base beers. Still quite nice and tasty.

BEERchitect, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color ale with a big pure white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of dry hops with some sweet malty notes also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by some sweet malt with light hoppy notes. Body is average with some good carbonation and no detectable alcohol. I thought this tasted like a dumb-down Duvel without any of the complex yeast ester and the great hoppy finish. I can't see this improving over four years thought.

Phyl21ca, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

mikesgroove, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

kjkinsey, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the best way to start is quoting one of the guys I was drinking with since, in summary, I share his conclusion....namely, "Beer Deluxe."
I agree. High quality; high taste.

The 08 08 08 is a light honey color with an assertive lemon/grapefruit nose. Nice balance of underlying malt but the hoppy character really carried at least this day.

Big grapefruit and lemon flavors but with a rich and bright mouthfeel. Beer tasted of quality. Big flavors and body. Complex layers of citrus.

This is an all around great food beer, as well. Don't just save these for your vertical tasting. Drink a few every now and then...good beer!

GRG1313, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

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

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

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

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

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

womencantsail, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

ygtbsm94, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, bright, yellow-hued body underneath a tall, white head fed by sustained streams of fine carbonation.

Smell: Light pale malts with some small, sweetish hints, touches of florals, peaches, less-than-dry white wine and with citrusy notes of American hops, though understandably a bit curtailed from two years of quite aging in the keg.

Taste: Pale lightly malted barley with sweet, honeyed traces to it, welcoming in fruit accents of peaches, apples, grapefruits, and white grapes. Subtle florals. Medium level of hop bitterness remaining two years out pairs with the spicy clove-like phenols. Noticed vein of alcohol running through this brew. Finishes dry, warming, and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Slight overall stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: 08.08.08 runs in line with others of its ilk, like Duvel Triple Hop or Urthel Hop-It, though I'd like it with a skosh more carbonation to it to keep things moving in the mouth. Still pretty nice, though.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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.

TMoney2591, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear burnished gold with a dense two finger head of pure white. The head dissipates slowly, rings of lace clinging to the sides of the glass as it settles.

Smell: Grassy and floral hop notes up front. There's an undertone of pine that's almost medicinal. Malt is present but subdued, lending a light honey-like sweetness and a touch of lemon meringue.

Taste & mouthfeel: Light-bodied with a nice medium between sweet and dry. Flavors of candied grapefruit and jasmine at the forefront with a touch of wild honey. The finish continues the balance presented in the beginning, being neither sweet nor dry nor overly bitter. People looking for a perfectly balanced Belgian-style ale will probably love this, but I'd like a more dynamic flavor - while good, this is fairly flatline.

largadeer, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 1-30 along with the 09 and 10.

A - Poured out a semi-cloudy, golden yellow color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled slightly phenolic with good yeasty quality. Some tropical fruits were detected, too.

T - Good spicy and yeasty first sip with sweet caramel, a sharp hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This was really good with 2+ years of age. I would've loved to try on fresh.

zeff80, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +0.5%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

SocalKicks, Jun 19, 2013
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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 692 ratings.