Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 688 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.43/5 rDev +11.3%
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.
03-07-2009 22:45:24 | More by WesWes
3.25/5 rDev -18.3%
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.
03-23-2010 04:58:57 | More by mactrail
4.1/5 rDev +3%
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.
08-18-2010 23:58:24 | More by mdfb79
3.5/5 rDev -12.1%
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.
12-03-2008 03:43:52 | More by jwc215
3.53/5 rDev -11.3%
Sampled August 2008
Pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, copper hue as it sits in my glass but shows a brilliant, bright gold color when held up to the light. The aroma has an expressively fruity, sort of children's aspirin like aroma to it that is magnified by a substantial sweetness. Weird is all I can really say, and not necessarily bad. Other aromas of juicy fruit gum, grassy grain, clean tropical fruit, ripe peach, just a hint of an herbal note, some phenolic clove. I think it is that there is a slight medicinal note in the aroma along with the clove phenolics and these, combined with how incredibly clean the hop character is (is it filtering that made the fruity hop aromas so clean?) is what gives this a children' aspirin aroma.
Tastes like bubble gum with the juicy, fruity hop notes and a clean, almost cotton candy like sweetness. This is actually surprisingly sweet tasting given the terminal gravity; I think that the fruity hop flavors tend to accentuate what sweetness is here and the fact that the fermentation profile is so clean means that the noticed alcohol note also seems to contribute to the perceived sweetness. Some phenolics and a spiciness contribute a touch of spiciness towards the finish that seems a bit turpene like and definitely has an expressive clove flavor to it. The hops contribute flavors of tropical fruit, lychee, ripe peach, and when combined with the perceived sweetness, some notes of honey-suckle are evident. While the hop character is quite dominant, there is, especially as this beer warms, a significant phenolic character to this beer, especially in the finish.
Despite being perceived as sweet this does have a nice, light body for a beer of this strength; I wouldn't call it a quaffing brew, but it does have a nice drinkability to it. It could use a bit more carbonation as I typically like my strong Golden Belgian'ish beers to be lively, though the lightish carbonation here really doesn't detract too much.
This is somehow incredibly clean, despite the noticeable fermentation character and hop notes; the malt seems almost naked somehow as it is lacking that chewy, grain note that I like to find in a good, pale, Belgian ale. This is still a good beer, it just seems to be a bit too filtered (even if it wasn't caused by the actual filtering process). I do like how this beer works as a whole, the entire experience is a bit more than a sum of its parts.
Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ
08-14-2008 03:54:53 | More by Gueuzedude
4.25/5 rDev +6.8%
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.
10-17-2008 23:21:40 | More by smcolw
3.9/5 rDev -2%
22 oz. bottle,
A: Pours orange-yellow, with a rather small white head even with an agressive pour, average head retention.
S: Strong peppery spice, definitely some ethanol that you can feel in your nose, light hops.
T: It is what it says it is, a strong Belgian pale with a brisk hop attack. Yellow apple with a big ethanol kick. Hops are there, not as overt as an IPA, but high for the style, very grassy, flavour of apricot and tangerine mix finishes the drink.
M: Light on the carbonation, phenolic, solventy, smooth.
D: A nice one from Stone, will be interesting to see how this ages, what happens with the hops and the flavours, I'll find out in 4 1/2 years. Good beer.
December 2012 Edit - Very cloudy, the head really came out here. Metallic on the nose, but blows off. Then it smells like a flower garden. The beer is very yeasty, lots of lemon and white pepper. The brisk hop attack of yesteryear is gone, but that is to be expected. Nice notes of orange, apricot, heavy spice. Still good stuff.
08-10-2008 05:12:01 | More by Halcyondays
3.9/5 rDev -2%
Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow color with a short 1/4" head that breaks apart quickly.
Smell: alcohol, yeast, and some grassy tones are up front and some fruit sweetness in the background.
Taste: nice malt profile, yeast, grass, green grapes, apples, honey, and a nice bitterness is wrapped in a warming alcohol blanket. Overall this is a bit sweet.
Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Relatively short aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.
Drinkability: this one is a slow sipper but one can quaff a few glasses of these. Decent beer but not one of my favorites in the series.
01-31-2009 00:03:02 | More by Gavage
4/5 rDev +0.5%
09/02/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.
Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2008 Anniversary release. Poured into mu Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Deep golden colored pour. Semi-creamy and frothy head about 3/4 inch in size. Leaves a nice slight foam layer during consumption. Lacing is about average with light streaks and spotting.
Smell- Smells like a typical Belgian Strong. Has lots of spices, some earth, som vanilla and some sugary notes.
Taste- Sugar hits very hard in this beer....about the only drawback I could find. A bit too sweet of a kick. Light alcohol notes, large vanilla aspect along with some tropical fruit notes as well. Overall a good flavor variance. Hops are here, but not as heavy as I thought after hearing how hoppy this years release was.
Mouthfeel- Brisk and crisp, but easy drinking with a sharp carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel.
Drinkability- Overall a very good beer per style, particularly by an American brewer. Just too sticky and too sweet. Something I don't think will really change with aging. Otherwise, pretty darn exceptional.
09-05-2008 23:41:34 | More by GClarkage
3.98/5 rDev 0%
Pours a clear golden orange color with a thick two finger foam head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing.
Sweet estery golden fruit aroma with hints of golden apple, grape, pear and banana. Slight alcohol presence with some peppery zesty spice and earthy hops.
Spicy, yeasty medium body with a lot of sweet estery fruit notes, alcohol and citrus earthy hops. Sweet golden fruit notes, especially apple and pear with a decent amount of alcohol warmth and a nice dry hoppy finish.
11-10-2009 08:47:49 | More by corby112
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 688 ratings.