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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

696 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 696
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 174 | 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: 696 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

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.

Photo of nickfl
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jlindros
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of Slatetank
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of MasterSki
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

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

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.

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +3%
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.

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

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a really nice pilsner malt scent along with an earthy, yet fruity yeast aroma. There is also some hop bitterness as well. The taste is great as well. This is a very smooth beer with loads of character. It has a solid malt base and tastey yeast finish. It's quite bitter with a mildly earthy finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's incredibly drinkable without lacking complexity and a bit of warmth.

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass:

Pours golden with a thin white head that descends to a swirly patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of pine and citrus - American hops, for sure - with lemon and bread. The spiciness is herbal and black peppery.

Very hoppy - a good thing - pine and citrus - with black pepper that almost dominates. Some orange and graininess come through. It has a dry, almost chalky, finish. Alcohol comes through a bit.

It has a medium body with a tingle that may come from carbonation as well as spiciness.

A sipper as the pepper character is a bit much. Interesting use of American hops in a Belgian-style brew. It "works", but could blend better.

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of smcolw
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear! Pale gold color (dark straw?). Modest but lasting head. Spotty lace.

Pine cone hop aroma--floral. Excellent malt base. Very attractive.

I love stronger beers that do not have an oily alcohol base. This fits that category with a moderate grassy malt that gives way to strong hop flavors (particularly for the style). Firm body with a correspondingly above-average carbonation.

A wonder beer no matter how you look at it. It's more like a Belgian double IPA if such a thing were ever to exist.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.