Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

480 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 480
Hads: 735
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 43
Gots: 196 | FT: 16
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:
Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 480 | Hads: 735
Photo of FARGO619
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BASED ON NOTES: almost a year ago.

I'm a hophead and got some good hop notes from this one. Very happy I had the chance to try this one. I'm giving this one a good 10.

A-Good head, golden in color

S-Citrus pine with good hop aroma.

T-Earthy,but for an IPA it was so damn good. Straw, earth, wheat, hop.

D-It all jumped out, and was very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle/ 22oz.

 382 characters

Photo of flexinwext
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Couldn't wait to let this sit till 2012 so I thought I'd give it a shot. Clear golden yellow. Very "belgian" aroma of sweet malts, clove, citrus and piney hops. Very complex flavor with lots sweet malt upfront. Very carbonated. The alcohol is a bit overpowering in this one which hurts the drinkability a bit, but overall very good, I wonder what some age would do?

 365 characters

Photo of Albinoh
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good initial looks, but the head disappears a little to fast with little retention. Nice hoppy aroma that combines perfectly with the initial sweet malty and alcoholic flavors. Some crispness. Bitter at the end, I guess i was expecting more bitterness due to the fact that most stone beers are particularly bitter which I though was actually pretty good, made the beer well balanced, rich and very drinkable. The beer leaves an alcoholic aftertaste similar to the one you get after a tequila shot, less, but similar.

Nice one... the bottle specifies the beer is supposed to be drunk until 2012 I guess if i put a beer that long in the fridge the wife will trow it away at some point.

 685 characters

Photo of dankbrew21
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.o8
Specifically designed to age to December 12, 2012! I can not wait that long. Hopefully I can aquire another. I was very happy to get this brought back from California. Thanks pops!

Appearance is a pale yellow/orange. Quickly receding head. Very few bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass.

Smells remind me of a hoppy Duvel! Fruity aroma, some spiciness. Strong hop scent for a belgian but I know that is how Stone does business.

Taste is amazing!! Smooooth on the tongue with a slight sharpness from the hop resins. Tastes like a Duvel with much more hops, which is an awesome thing! This beer is wonderful, buttery and sweet with a good hop kick for a strong Belgian.

I can not imagine what this beers potential is aged appropriatly to the right time. I need to get my hands on another, put it in a cool, dry, dark place and let it do it's thing! This was my most exclamatory(if thats a word) review. Get two of these, drink one now, and save one for 2012! MMM MMM MMM

 1,011 characters

Photo of voteforgoat
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- clear golden, very small foam.

b- smells perfumy, flowery, pleasant.

t- tastes like a belgian beer, estery, flowery, def. some sweetness but balanced out by a very strong hop presence. this is more bitter than most belgians I've had but what stone set out to do.
not a very malty feel.

m- feels slightly viscous, has the feel of something like white wine on the tongue. mild carbonation. carbonation could be stronger

d- would i swing back a few in a bar? Yeah, why not? While a good beer, I 've had other years Stone VE that I liked better, like 09/09/09

 563 characters

Photo of greshdoghophead
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber from the sharon square fridge since the arrival poured into large snifter

A - thank god they kept it upright at the beer store all the sediment was caked on the bottom
poured thrice giving a slight bubbly head that dissapated quickly
S - awesome! in a nut shell...one could gather several aromas including angelfood cake, banana bread, cloves, lemon merenge, and pine.
T - perfection - probably atypical to a true Belgian lover but exactly what I prefer; balanced malt action with yeasty buttery notes that may be nutty and mildly peppery but mainly like a warm bath of the tropics with a side note of a breakfast cake or something perhaps of another world
M - just enough lingering to beg temptation for more yet so complex as to force the palate to wait and contemplate
D - give me more and more, the time needed to make notations is wasted in my need to get some more in my mouth - like a wet dream
I can't imagine what it would be like to wait until 12/12/12 to try them all.
I had it 07 and 08 and its better every time!

 1,039 characters

Photo of TonyT
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz into a Belgian Glass...V:08.08.08

Just picked up a case, to split with two other fiends.

(If the Stone Army, from the State of California Invaded Belgium and hostily took over the country of Belgium...This would be the kind of beer that Belgium would brew...)

The first thing that hit me was the hop smell, they did boast it on the bottle, but very hoppy for a Belgian (in my amateur Belgian opinion). Since I'm a hop head, this was a plus. Also there were other smells that tickled the nose.

The head was apparent, but dissipated (I did not slam it into the glass, the first try). This beer will be great with a good dinner. This is a beer that sits well and you do not feel it in your gut.

There is alot of front end, but does not hit you in the back, which is good...nice and crisp. There is a sort of woody taste and smell.

The more I drink it, the crisper it becomes.

Stone Rocks...This is not a Belgian style that boasts alot of "fruity taste", but definitely breeds the perfect hybrid of a Belgian beer with the USA West Coast feel, which Stone does so well.

 1,089 characters

Photo of ABHatter
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Southern Tier tulip.

Golden apricot color with a quality looking head. Disappears almost completely after a few minutes, but it also leaves a nice clingy lace on the glass.

S-This is a great smelling beer! Extremely floral hoppiness at first, As the head goes away the aroma changes drastically with Notes of apple, pear, clove, candi sugars with a musky yeast aroma.

T-Banana, pear with a biscuity like breadiness, Good spicy bitterness from the hops giving off a peppery flavor on the finish. Mouthfeel is also excellent due to the aggresive hop profile.

D- Drinkability is very good. I would most likely stop after just 1 bomber, but at over eight percent I find this to be quite enjoyable and very easy to drink.

This is a perfect example of thinking outside of the box from a world class brewery. Top Notch beer from Stone once again!

 862 characters

Photo of jamesm7485
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a very golden hue with a lighty white frothy head.

The smell has some fruit notes, honestly i cant smell much because i have a sinus infection right now.

The smell is very good light on the fruit with a belgian yeast tone

The mouthfeel is very light not too carbonated

The drinkability even with the abv is very nice

 334 characters

Photo of toweringpoo
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been a while since I've had this style. Not a bad choice to get me back into the style.

Looks nice. Slightly opaque bronze color. Big bubbles of carbonation coming up and hanging around the to. Head is perfectly white and dissipates quickly.

Smells really nice. Fruity belgian yeast. Grapefruit, orange, every kind of citrus I can think of; coriander, very sweet. Smells like something you'd dream up.

Tastes pretty good. I think the hops are a bit overpowering (dear god, what am I saying??) at first. However they mellow out a bit after a few sips and match well with the belgian fruitiness. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is prickly and crisp, very refreshing. Drinkability is good. I'd love to have a couple of these on a hot day...and then pass out for a few hours(the abv is a bit high, but hey don't let that stop you)

As expected, stone delivers again.

Highly Recommended.

 884 characters

Photo of BeerStine
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear light copper with minimal head and low carbonation. Smells is of caramel malts with a fruity hops undertone. Taste is a fruity hoppiness at first followed by a sweet caramel malt flavor. Mouthfeel is a medium/light with minimal carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. I would drink many of these.

Taste is borderline bananaish for me. But still a good beer.

 412 characters

Photo of SMADMS
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass

A- pour a clear golden yellow no head ultra fine carbonation left slight lacing on glass
S- Sweet and fruity. spicy (cloves) Nice belgium yeasts
T-- hoppy, the sweets follow the nose and very clean nice dry finish
M-- very lite on palete, smooth and very well balanced
D-- shocked by the 8.4 wouldn't guess it that high and that could be an issue This is good for 2-3 bombers at a time..

Nice Belgian Ale cant wait to see how it ages...hopefully I can wait

 506 characters

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

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while and it did not dissapoint! Pours yellow-gold with moderate white head. Really nice "beligian gold" aroma of clove and spice, with a lot of hop character. Hop aroma is piney and citrusy. Flavor is a delicious balance of spice and sweetness wrapped around citrus from the hops. Good carbonation. Really liked this one! Don’t know if I can save the others unitl 12-12-12.

 422 characters

Photo of TaddyPorter
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jon Winterbottom and I picked this up at Fairway after a wonderful meal with our girls at Dinosaur BBQ. I'm trying to turn Jon on to beer reviewing, so we're writing this one together.

Appearance: A touch of cloudiness and sediment in the glass. Poured with a fat single finger head, which very quickly dissipated to just a ring around the glass. Golden and light in color, and plenty inviting.

Smell: A bit of citrus up front, almost astringent hop oil bitterness, smells like a hop pellet. Fruity yeast aroma hanging behind the hops...definitely smells like a Belgian IPA, could be a dead ringer for the Houblon Chouffe.

Taste: Hits the tongue with a nice, light effervescence and then washes over it first with a citrusy, yeasty, fruity wave, and then follows up with a major hop presence with lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On the more carbonated side but not over-carbonated, it's one I could chew on for a while.

Drinkability: A little extreme on the bitterness, but it's nicely balanced by the fruity flavor of the yeast. Satisfies in an extreme beer kind of way, and we would definitely have another.

 1,114 characters

Photo of Cunningham26
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Completely clear into a large stemless wine glass. good head retention, with tiny tiny bubbles ever present.
s- great, with fruit and malts on the nose
t- crisp, with fruit and some malts, but a definite hop finish that was very enjoyable. very well balanced between a TON of different fruit and the hops
m- very light and crisp. except for the 8.6% which came through at the tail end of things, this was a really really light ale and refreshingly enjoyable on all fronts
d- with a high abv i wouldnt try finishing a second, but it's light and crisp enough that i finished one bottle pretty quickly, and could've had more (to my detriment).

overall a fantastic brew, and i hope to get another bottle and start cellering from 08/08/08 and hopefully find some back issues between now a and 2012!

 797 characters

Photo of JosephLondon
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An extra as part of a trade with msulinski, I thank you for this one!

Poured a bright golden color with a nice, foaming white crown. The head departed to nonexistence-nothing with no lace. In the nose there is mostly citrus fruit with a hint of a yeasty-malt note. The taste is actually really good upfront with fresh fruits and a good hop bite(especially since the beer is a year and a half old). This fades in the body and leaves the finish bland. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by its somewhat robust character considering its age.There is nothing to note in its feel as it is fairly flat and thin. However, this 8.6 abv brew drank wonderfully. I was shocked when I saw the abv! I thought it was around 5.

 712 characters

Photo of astrasday
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip glass. Color is bright and golden.

Scent is overwhelmingly hoppy with the sweet, fruity yeast I was expecting taking a back seat.

The taste was good. Hops dominate the palate at first and then turn into a sweet, warming spicy and sweet yeast finish. Alcohol is definitely present but not distracting.

Medium bodied with a good mouthfeel, I enjoyed drinking this one, but I don't think I would seek it out again.

 464 characters

Photo of weezyfart
2.71/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aromas of banana, clove, and alcohol. Maybe even a hint of strawberry.

Palate keep the banana notes with some mild additional fruit characteristics.

The only problem with this strong ale is the choice of hops that shows up on the finish. It is just too bitter for its own good. I'd love to taste a more floral finish that would maybe mask the alcohol a little better.

A good beer from Stone, but not a great one. Toned down heat would do wonders.

 450 characters

Photo of turboedtwo
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with some lacing on the sides of the glass, very golden in color. Smells sweet and piney. Tastes mildly of hops and some yeast before moving on to almost a BMC aftertaste. I hate to say that too. Feels light and crisp on the tongue. Drinks easy, it's light and refreshing.

 278 characters

Photo of SundaySour
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice milky golden color, with only a teensy rim of yellowish/white foam. Looks almost like a kind of tea.

S: Sweet and fruity like woah. I get orange blossom, jasmine, and even something savory like teriyaki beef jerky. The smell is killer fresh like Dexter with a popped collar.

T: Considerably more savory than the smell, I get the taste of french bread and candied orange rind. There is a teensy bitterness in the aftertaste, but nothing I'm going to cry over. You get a dry bread finish; this is a pretty memorable and unique flavor.

M: Not particularly fizzy, and dry in the mouth like a white wine. Leaves a lingering flavor that will no doubt make you fail a breath test.

O: Fabulous initial smell and totally unique flavor, this is worth trying if you can get your greedy beer paws on them. Not my all time favorite belgian, but in it's own class.

 866 characters

Photo of kinnaird
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've probably already had about 8 bottles of this stuff since its release. I need to remember to hang on to one next time I'm shopping, but this stuff is just so damn good.

Brilliant clear, golden body with a rocky, stick gleaming head.

The aroma of this beer actually makes my mouth water. Citrus and pine from the hops. Apricot, pepper, banana, yeast, and spices from the Belgian body. Awesome.

Starts off with the fruits and spices from the aroma followed by a balanced hop bitterness. Medium body with a warming follow up.

I'm not going to consider abv in drinkability because this beer is so highly quaffable due to all the exceptional characteristics that are so thoughtfully stuffed into 22 ounces.

One of the best beers of 2008. Find and enjoy.

 757 characters

Photo of seangroves
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Golden brown in color with a large white head. The beer is very clear and the head lingers.

It smells very sweet, almost fruity close to a banana, with the aroma of the hops coming through very strongly with a suttle hint of pale malt.

A bit unbecoming at first but the hops come through very strongly with an ending of a light pale maltiness. The hops are very strong throughout from beginning to end.

The beer feels very light and smooth with a bit of chewiness to it afterward. Carbonation is borderline.

This beer is easy to consume as it is very light to the feel and quite smooth. I may have another after.

 694 characters

Photo of stephendedalus
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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!

 895 characters

Photo of 2LBrew
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had heard about this beer being released by another BA and went searching for it on Tuesday to no avail. I bought this from my local Bev Mo and brought home with the bottle still being a tad bit chilled. Upon popping the top, it had a fruity smell to it. At first it reminded me of a cross between a hefeweizen and a belgium beer.
The beer was a golden clear color. It had fruity smells as well as a little hop taste. At close to 9% it was a drinkable beer but defintely will take its toll after drinking itself multiple times or itself with other beers. I was surprised to see them make it a Belgian style beer after lasts years. However I am thinking about buying a few more of these to share with friends. Cheers!

 719 characters

Photo of PangaeaBeerFood
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's X-mas Eve and I have a few hours with the house to myself before people swing by, so I figure it's a good time to snack, try a new beer, and finishing wrapping my gifts. I decide on Vertical Epic 08.08.08., purchased a few months back at my favorite beer store.

I started by pouring the beer into a St. Bernardus Chalice. It had little to no carbonation. I'm not sure if it has always been this way or if this is a result of aging. Crystal clear, golden and gorgeous. Looks like a white wine, with a tiny bit of patchy foam on the top.

The smell is pretty wonderful. The sweetness of the malt and citrus notes of the hops have kind of blended together into something that is simultaneously simplistic and complex. It comes together to form something vaguely reminiscent of tangerines. Slightly citrusy and sharp, but sweet and inviting.

The taste matches the smell to a T. Very similar to a white wine. Sweet up front and acidic on the back leading to a nice dry finish.

The mouthfeel is very winelike and surprisingly light. The lack of carbonation and light body really come together to form something wonderful. It is also incredibly easy to drink. I put back the first half of the 22 oz bottle in no time, then realized I had to step it back or I'd be a mess.

I've tried this with a variety of different cheeses and premade spice mixtures I have. It didn't like Stilton at all, but loved a Ras Al-Hanoot rub. I loved the pairing so much I grilled up a chicken breast right there rubbed with the spices, and tossed a small bit of the beer into the pan then served it with pita chips and pine nut hummus. It was delicious.

On the second pour (which finished the bottle), it picked up some of the yeast caked on the bottom which changed the experience entirely. The beer looks more like a Belgian Tripel or a Saison now, with a hazey, orangey color that you can't see through at all. The taste is VERY much like a Tripel, with sweetness upfront, but it is cut off abruptly by the bitter hops. Lots of hops in the nose, more so than the first pour. It also feels a bit thicker and heavier on the palate than before. It's still under-carbonated though, but in a good way, particularly with food (which is still a delicious pairing).

Overall an amazing beer. I've never had a Belgian IPA, but this reminds me a bit of Souther Tier's Unearthly IPA and, to a lesser experience, DFH's 90 minute IPA, with the sweetness and bitterness coming together brilliantly. Most interesting part about it, though, is how different the experience can be, even within the same bottle, depending on where you pour from (top or bottom). First pour was more winelike and more unique. The second pour was more traditional and less exciting, but stronger and more intense thorughout the sweetness and bitterness. Delicious either way.

 2,823 characters

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.