Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 687 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev +1.8%
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.
08-14-2008 12:32:25 | More by BEERchitect
3.53/5 rDev -11.3%
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.
10-20-2008 17:23:45 | More by Phyl21ca
3.7/5 rDev -7%
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.
11-27-2008 15:55:23 | More by mikesgroove
3.68/5 rDev -7.5%
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.
02-08-2011 01:23:01 | More by womencantsail
4.38/5 rDev +10.1%
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!
06-03-2009 04:46:42 | More by GRG1313
3.9/5 rDev -2%
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.
11-16-2010 17:22:15 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.9/5 rDev -2%
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.
08-18-2010 04:06:43 | More by TMoney2591
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
01-31-2011 22:40:31 | More by zeff80
3.8/5 rDev -4.5%
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.
11-07-2008 04:40:37 | More by largadeer
4.45/5 rDev +11.8%
Stone's Vertical Epic 08.08.08 pours a clear, deep golden body that resembles a slightly dark Pilsner-style beer. The frothy white head holds well and it leaves thick rings of craggy lace about the glass.
Hops appear in the nose: citrusy (lemony), freshly grassy, floral, and somewhat piney. I intitally thought Amarillo and Centennial. Then the fruitiness of Simcoe appeared. But apparently there's no Centennial at all, and the missing hop is Ahtanum.
Yeast also makes an appearance, and clearly indicates then what this beer is - a hoppy Belgian-style tripel that utilizes American hops. Not that that hasn't been done before, because of course the Belgians have been ahead of the curve and have been using American hops (as have the Japanese and Danish and...) for a while! Other American brewers have produced this style too. But the yeast is important. It changes it from an American ale into something else altogether... an American Belgian-style ale with American hops. ... ... ...Anyway, it's gently phenolic, fruity with an emphasis on apples and light notes of summer fruit (strawberries, melon), and just very slightly chalky, vanilla-ish, and a minor flick sulphury.
The malt base that supports it is straightforward pilsner malt (although I understand oats and sugar are used). It's clean and refined, and acts as the stage for the hops and yeast.
Overall, it's well-rounded, and more importantly, refined. In keeping this ale in check and not going overboard on any aspect of its composition, it offers a great drinkability. It's very smooth and easy to drink, but there's also a good deal of depth to it. You can almost drink it as if it was a stronger version of a Pilsner, just like you might a Duvel!!!! But beware, it does have a kick.
08-29-2008 01:30:44 | More by NeroFiddled
4.1/5 rDev +3%
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.
01-04-2009 02:08:21 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.28/5 rDev +7.5%
A - One finger of white foam on a perfectly clear, golden body. The foam settles quickly and leaves good lace.
S - Peppery aroma of basil, cloves, and fennel. Some malt in the background with spicy, grassy hops.
T - Spicy, peppery yeast flavor, backed by rich pilsner malt. Distinct green pepper flavors come out in the middle along with a nice toasted note. The finish is surprisingly smooth and well balanced with nice malt character and grassy, anise like hop flavors.
M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.
D - A very nice, very drinkable Belgian golden. The yeast character is robust and spicy and melds perfectly with the herbal hops. The aroma is nice, but the flavor is where the beer really comes to life. This brew borders on a saison in terms of spicy character and is very drinkable.
04-27-2009 04:11:08 | More by nickfl
4/5 rDev +0.5%
Appears a bright honey golden slightly clouded body, forming a vibrant egg shell white head with fine bubbles quickly rising from the bottom of my Piraat chalice. Nice intricate lacing is left behind in a fine scattered pattern with each sip.
Aroma is heavily hopped dare I say Simcoe or Summits (now I've read these were Amarillo hops). Anyway a touch of green onion and grapefruit with dank weed reminds me slightly of the Green Flash DIPA, I would think this may be on par with their new Green Flash Le Freak. Some sweet malts crate a honey biscuit edge with fr4uit easters abundant from the Belgian yeast strain, some tropical pineapple with a touch of banana. Those tones are hard to detect among the frivilous hop bill.
Flavor is spicy with assertive hop bitterness, that green onion tone almost becomes spicy like a garlic note. It's not off putting it's just intense, grapefruit citrus with other fruit esters arrive short after the spiciness dies down. Still has some hot alcohol with some perfume like notes among the raw hop bitterness, I can for see this acheiving some balnce as the hops are muted in a few months. However, I'd drink this one fresh forget about 12.12.12.
Mouthfeel moderate carbonation but ample for the style not as effervescent as your current hopped up Beligans but it carries well on the palate. This style doesn't really benefit from all the hops but I did enjoy the oily textures and bitter dry finish between the yeast and the hop flavors.
Drinkability is pretty effortless, I plan to grab a few more bottles at just around or under seven bucks this is a steal. Just do yourself a favor and don't try to age this one it's drinking so well right now with the fresh hops bite.
09-03-2008 13:07:45 | More by WVbeergeek
4.08/5 rDev +2.5%
Pours effervescent bronze with 3 fingers of pearl colored head. Average head retention& zero lacing
S: Piney, grapefruit & bananas & some appleskin as this warms
T: Grapefruit, a bit of booze warmth, apple & pear skins up front. Honey, dryness, more grapefruit& lemon as this warms. Finishes with pineapple, pears & citrussy hops in abundance, plus some fusel alcohol
MF: Slick, moderate carbonation, medium bodied & nice balance
Drinks pretty good for the abv, there is some west coast skewing on the style to be sure. Not bad, but expected more to be honest
08-15-2008 04:01:59 | More by russpowell
3.6/5 rDev -9.5%
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.
03-06-2013 04:55:19 | More by MasterSki
3.95/5 rDev -0.8%
Poured from a bottle into a Vertical Epic glass (don't you just love correct glassware). Beer is yellow, nearly no head at all, carbonation is steady with larger bubbles, minimal head falls away quickly to reveal almost no head at all, does not cover the surface of the beer.
Smell is interesting, there are combinations of Belgian style yeastiness and pine (from the hops I presume). The pine is understated, there is another spice in the aroma, almost cloves, it is hard to pin down.
Beer is thin in the mouthfeel, there is almost no forward flavor, everything is in the midpalate and finish. There is hop bitterness but it is no overstated. There is a slight aftertaste. I am curious how this beer will age. Belgian IPAs are not my favorite style, the brightness of the high alcohol often is pourly balanced with the bitterness of the hops. This beer is neither too bitter or too bright from the alcohol. It is roughly 8.5 %, I think that was a good call. Pushing 10% with a beer like this would have been too much. Enjoy.
10-05-2009 20:55:26 | More by drabmuh
4.35/5 rDev +9.3%
Poured from the chilled 22oz into a goblet + pint
A - A burnished golden that is resplendent and has excellent clarity. A rocky bone white cap crowns the ale of approx 3/4 inch w/ a very tight bead. The lace is like a doily in its symmetric pattern sticking to the glass. The second glass has a gentle haze, but you can see the minute bubbles rising to the surface.
S - The smell is a blend of herbal hops and subtle spice notes from belgian yeast almost like fresh cut sweet grass in its floral citrus element w/ a vegetal green bell pepper sweetness mixed with pear essence.
M - The texture is moderately full carbonation w/ a grainy herbal hop blend and a mild rush of alcohol warmth w/ hop astringency, but a mild malt sweetness combines w/ the medicinal texture
T - A grainy, bready malt taste at first w/ a hint of biscuit is paralleled by a candy-like sweet taste and a spicy, astringent american hop flavor. The hops have subtle citrus and there is a dry aspirin note w/ a navel orange mixed w/ white pepper. The taste continues to evolve with more grapefruit-like hop taste as it warms and mellows. Light toasted grain flavor and mild alcohol as it finishes w/ a taste like chewing on a sweet radish.
D - One of Stone's finest beers in the vertical epic series I have had and I love the combo of Belgian yeast and west coast hops. The taste is great and I especially enjoyed how it changed over time (6 months) from the time I first tasted it. This ale went well with my puple rice cracker topped with bavarian blue brie. I am looking forward to attempting the homebrew recipe on stonebrew.com
02-26-2009 20:22:13 | More by Slatetank
3.91/5 rDev -1.8%
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.
02-28-2013 02:37:53 | More by jlindros
3.74/5 rDev -6%
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.
01-26-2013 20:35:08 | More by StonedTrippin
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 687 ratings.