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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

694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 173 | 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: 694 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hoplover82
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale color with little head that leaves no lace.

Lots of cloves in the nose (which I don't like)some hints of earthy hops. Not much more than that.

Taste is a little bitterness with yeasty bread dough with earthy hops and some very interesting green apple! That's nice.

Medium to full bodied and a little dry.

Ok drinkability.

hoplover82, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of blakesell
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz low filled bottle into my favourite Belgian style glass.

Appearance- Beer pours clear and golden. Very clear, no hints of haze at all and very thin on the head, so thin that outside of the edges of the glass I was afraid I would have no carbonation and this was a botched bottle. Luckily after a swirl or two, this is clearly alright, just not as carbonated as expected. Lacing is even on the sides.

Smell- This has a very peculiar scent of Amarillo, soap, musty basement, dog piss, Belgian malts, I'm getting some oyster mushroom in here as well. This smells like a cheese pairing beer to me. I'll have to try that out after this review. A bit spicy as well, coriander, cardamom, and pear.

Taste- Banana and lightly spicy hops upfront and a very sweet Belgian flavor that I can't quite call candi. Perhaps a different kind of sugar? Turbinado? Now that I think back this tastes a whole lot like that Russian River Batch 23 I had last year. Just like that Batch 23 there are slight but hardly existent and probably just imagined oak characteristics. Very light and fruity with pears again on the flavor and a white peppery spice texture. Now that I think of it, I think I like this one better than that old Batch 23, although it's kind of unfair to judge that way.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, light, warming but not overly so, spicy, low in carbonation, medium light bodied, and effervescent.

Drinkability- This one is quite smooth. I look forward to drinking another in about four years. I think it will age well.

blakesell, Sep 18, 2008
Photo of bmoney
4/5  rDev +0.5%

bmoney, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of Kevlee722
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Kevlee722, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of Pauly2X
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep gold with a light amber tint, wispy 1/4 finger head.

S- Sweet fruity esters interlaced with spicy/citrusy hop notes.

T- The spicy yeast character takes center stage with this brew. This is not to say that the fine malt profile with a hint of caramel and the sharp yet not too overpowering hops don't do thier job as well. The warming alcohol note becomes more evident as the beer warms up.

M- Light and rich, good carbonation.

D- Very drinkable for a high abv.

Although this may not be very traditional for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but in the realm of belgian styles what is? Great balance overall, good complexity without making you "think about it".

Pauly2X, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of Philousa
2.8/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Purchased this from Lone Hill Liquor a year ago. I wouldn't have purchased something that someone else aged, but I know that Lone Hill takes good care of their product so I'm assuming it was aged properly.

Pours a very pale gold, clear with a wispy bone colored head. Tiny bubbles form with a swirl and pack in tightly until it mostly dissipates. Aroma starts with green apple, pear, white grape, and clove. Lots of sweet Belgian notes up front, almost sickeningly so. I also get a slightly papery aroma. There isn't as much carbonation as expected. I don't get much in the way of hops because of the age, I presume. So far this is turning out to be a Belgian Golden Strong. Flavor has caramel, biscuit, and honey with sweet, flowery nectar. Some allspice goes up the noes and brings out a bitter candied sugar flavor. Bitter hops are woody and earthy. Feel is appropriate for the style, finish is very dry.

This gets better as it warms. The caramel comes out and the spicy phenols calm down. I really want to try this when it's young. I think that if anyone can duplicate Houblon Chouffe's success it could be Stone. I have to dock points for saying that this should be aged, though. This is a novelty by now and a poor marketing trick. If only I knew this before I started buying the series.

Philousa, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of uziangis
5/5  rDev +25.6%

uziangis, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of jmalex
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smart me finally decided to make sure I have 2 bottles of this - 1 for now and 1 for later... a while later. So this is the "Now" bottle.

APPEARANCE: Pours mostly clear into a Duvel tulip. It's a few shades darker than gold, but still a nice light copper color. A one-finger white head forms on top and shrinks to a medium collar with a large island of foam floating in the middle.

SMELL: Very sweet, but only kind of Belgian. You really need to search to find any trace of bready Belgian yeast aroma. It definitely has the esters though. Orange and apricot burst out of this beer dominating the nose.

TASTE: I thought I remembered hearing this beer was generously hopped. There wasn't anything in the nose, but here it is in the flavor. It's citrusy and nicely understated too which is a pleasant surprise. The esters get to shine mirroring the smell along with a peppery spiciness to cut the sweetness a bit. And finally, any of the over-the-top sweetness perceived in the aroma is dialed down significantly in the taste. It finishes perfectly dry as it should.

MOUTHFEEL: The dryness leads to a light, crisp body which is essential for the style. Carbonation is approaching higher levels, but probably could get ramped up a bit more even.

DRINKABILITY: It drinks quite easy especially given the 8.4% ABV. The slightly cloying aroma still manages to get to me hampering this a bit.

Wow, what a nice surprise. I had expected this to be a hop bomb, but the hops are nicely balanced with the rest of the beer. Call me impressed. But Stone has the tendency to do that to me.

jmalex, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of ryser2k
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

ryser2k, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of RedChrome
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very light haze to the golden colored beer. Inch and a half high pure white head faded only after a few minutes. Only a handful of carbonation bubbles rising. Sticky thick lace ribbons.

A nice blend of light malt and fruity sweetness with crisp hops oils. A yeast aroma is quite up front in the nose. Hops have just a hint of pine scent.

Taste loses a lot of the fruit from the aroma. Malt still carries, but there is a bit of a mint taste to it. A bit of a gritty hops bitterness.

A bit on the watered side as far as viscosity goes. Carbonation is quite effervescent on the tongue.

A good beer in the style. Would pair nicely with shrimp over salad greens. Yet another good offering from the brewery. Not the best in the style, but worth a try.

RedChrome, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of PintOHops
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a deep clear gold with about 1/3 an inch, whiff like head, very poor retention surprisingly. Has medium-high carbonation that dies down rather quickly during consumption, leaving a less desirable appearance. No lacing as well, which really surprised me! Overall appearance of a lager almost. Smells of Sugary dates, raisins, orange peel, and grapefruit rind. All aromas are intertwined together with pungent floral hopy goodness! All aromas seem to be semi intense, and very zesty, except for some undertones of malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Taste starts with sweet malt, fruity grape & strawberry, zesty orange peel & grapefruit rind with hints of citrus. Wonderfully intense & pungent! Finishes with robust, almost burnt like hop bitterness, hints of malt, lite citrus flavors and some alcohol burn. As it warms alcohol becomes more pronounced as well as some dryness. Mouthfeel is smooth, semi creamy and medium-full bodied. Not allot of bite on the palate either, rather more smooth.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Intense, pungent, and very floral! Words to live by when consuming a Stone brew. This beer is definitely not session friendly, and it's not supposed to be. Compared to other Stone brews, this one was a little underwhelming, or not up to par, especially with it's appearance. Still very good, very decent pungent brew from Stone, I warn everybody to be careful with this one, has a very high ABV! Great offering, I recommend you give it a try.

Cheers!

PintOHops, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of Jmoore50
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Brewing Co. is going to make me a fan of Belgians? This is truly an amazing brewery.

The appearance was not the usual. I very rarely drink anything of a foreign style, let alone Belgian. It was straw golden yellow with a fat crisp two finger head. It was a nice yellow color, but lately I have been used to dark mysterious colors.

The smell is interesting because it does not carry those Belgian yeast characteristics as most brews of this style do. It had a malt yeast smell, but was overtaken by a hop citrus smell. That said smell is no doubtingly from the Stone hops, these great hops that makes Stone one of the best.

The taste was good but not great. It was drinkable. I could tell that it had that Belgian style heavily involved, but I rated it 4 because I really enjoyed it. It had a dry yeast taste along with a fruity hop characteristic. It was not very complex, but extremely drinkable. It was better cold than at room temp. I mostly got a light bitter mouthfeel with a Summer hop sweetness. I have never had one of these brews and I might just start seeking out the others. Nice taste and recommended for the Belgian or Stone lover.
J

Jmoore50, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of goalie33
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

goalie33, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of opwog
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now listening to: Jose Feliciano - Chico and the Man

I previously did a review of this in bottle, but the tap was different enough that it is worth noting. The head held up much better from a tap pour than it did when I was pouring from bottle, at home. Also, there were tastes of sour and fruit that were present in the tap version, that I never tasted at all in the bottle, through any stage of the process. All of this made the mouthfeel and drinkability that much better.

opwog, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of Geuzedad
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Geuzedad, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of Padron4KM
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden straw with a thick creamy head that quickly collapses to a thin cap. Streams of tiny champagne like bubbles rise to the surface.

Aroma is complex to say the least. Definitely banana up front with subtle tones of clove spice, layered with citrus and pine, - "You got IPA in my Belgian Golden ALE, no, you got Belgian Golden Ale in my IPA!"- Whatever happened it's interesting.

Flavor is complex as a well, peach, apricot, spice, followed up by some pine and light citrus.

Finish is long, lightly dry, piney hops and fruity malts. Nicely balanced. This one should hold up well.

Padron4KM, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The next, and highly anticipated offering in the Stone Vertical Epic series. Pours golden- yellow, slightly hazy with nice fluffy white head. Retention and lacing were minimal. Smell is tricky. One sniff I'll notice amazingly fresh piney hops and the next I'll notice a pronounced citrus and fruity aroma. I would say the grapefruit dominate it the most but the subtle hops are splendid. Taste is about the same as the smell. At first I notice the yeast, bread, and fruit (banana, grapefruit, some melon) much like a "typical" Belgian, almost hefe like at times. Then at it goes down the hop bitterness hits you and you remember you're drinking a West Coast brew and not a Belgian. The carbonation is a little on the high side for a crips mouthfeel. Even though it was a little high I didnt seem to mind it. Although the alcohol is well hidden, I do notice a nice warming affect as it goes down. Overall a very nice beer and well put together. Its complex I think, at times a bit too complex for my palate, but another hit for Stone.

bunnyhustle, Aug 09, 2008
Photo of vtfan77
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep amber with a small white head that, unfortunately, doesn't stick around very long.

S- Wow, nice melding of the American hops and Belgian yeast. The clove-like aromas from the yeast mingle nicely with the sweet citrus notes from the hops. I've found that in most beers brewed with Belgian yeast and American hops, the aromas don't seem to go well together. This beer does not have that problem. Very appealing.

T- The flavor follows in the aroma's footsteps with a bright, citrusy hop character that blends nicely with the spicy byproducts of the yeast. The malt adds a cracker-like character that keeps the beer dryer than I expected. The bitterness on the finish is actually quite light and not at all overwhelming. Once again, Stone succeeds in blending the hops and yeast where others (including Stone itself) have failed in the past.

M- Light in body with substantial carbonation. The mouthfeel is nearly perfect for this beer.

D- Yes, the alcohol is high at 8.4%, but it's masked extremely well. This, coupled with the beer's light body and crisp, refreshing character, increases the drinkability to a level that could be quite dangerous.

I really enjoyed this beer. After last year's lackluster VE offering (as well as the one the year before), I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but this was great. Up to this point, I hadn't found a beer that successfully blended the flavors of a Belgian yeast strain and American hops (at least, to my satisfaction). I've finally found one. I really don't see how this beer will get better in four years, due to the great hop character that will no doubt fade by then. I guess I'll just have to trust the masters on that one. Highly recommended.

vtfan77, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of shroompod
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear pale yellow in color. Smallish head , some lacing.

Slight apple fruitiness in nose. Caramel sweetness.

Again , some more apples in the taste. Hop bitterness is apparent, but toned down.

Medium body finishes dry. Decent carbonation.

Overall a very nice beer, I'm not sure about agability though.

shroompod, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of czechsaaz
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In keeping with tradition, 1st bottle on release day. (Yeah I know Stone's been releasing ahead of schedule the last few years but I hold out 'til the actual date. Superstitious I guess.)

Nice estery earthy spice nose and a great pilsner malt backbone. Hop aroma is really subdued (for Stone) but it's in there.

Golden and clear with tons of rising bubbles. Started with a light head that faded quickly to a little layer around the rim.

Drinking I get honey mostly and light hop flavor. Hop bitterness is pretty low so the malt backbone is what comes off mostly. Lots of spice and fermentation esters. I get pepper and anise. Overall though, it's kind of light on flavor.

Full bodied but the carbonation level is high enough that it isn't heavy. It feels lighter than it is.

Very drinkable now. Not overwhelming in strength or flavor. Good, but not great.

czechsaaz, Aug 09, 2008
Photo of cameraman
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden color, with a small whispy white head. A spicy sweetness strikes the nose at first scent, with a nalty biscuity fragrance at the end. The taste starts with that malty and biscuity aroma, is the most prevalent. A spicy yeasty flavor comes out midway, then blends to a surprisingly grassy and citrus bitterness. A crispess at the front, blending to a medium bodied, that thins out at the back, but still retains that crispiness from the front. A belgian pale ale, by one of americas most aggressive brewers, this one stays on track in style, with that touch american hoppy flavor at the end.

cameraman, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of Arenbeer
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter glass

A- Poured a cloudy golden yellowish orange with a thin white head on top that dosen't last to long and leaves little lacing.

S- Floral earthy citrus hops dominate with a tropical fruity backround. Little bit of alcohol spicyness.

T- Caramel malts with a strong citrusy hop backround. Tropical fruits and slight alcohol is apparent as it warms. Very sweet overall.

M- Meduim bodied with lower carbonation and a solid bitter dry finish.

SkÅL!

Arenbeer, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of PatronWizard
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I'm fairly new to true craft beers. Went with a buddy to BevMo on August 8, 2008 to find this little nugget waiting for me. Grabbed a few bombers...

It's now August 12, 2008. I've been patiently aging this puppy for 4 days and it's time.

Pours a pure gold. 24 karat baby. Frothy white head that hung out for a second, not too much lacing. First impression of appearance was good but not stellar.

Then I took a whiff. Smells like hops and dank ass green bud. And pine cones. Maybe a very slight fruity smell. Bananas? Maybe some cloves as well. Extremely pleasing! In my limited ultra-beer experiences, this is one of the best smelling beers I've had.

Then I took a sip. Tastes like hops and dank ass green bud. Truly tasty, me likey. That ever so slight bit of banana and clove may be present...or it may not. Trippin.

Extremely drinkable. I say that now, almost halfway through. Can't even tell that it's a monster 8.5%. I may be singing a different tune by the end. Next time I'll set out two of these because, hey, I'd be lying if I said I didn't appreciate a good buzz.

I think this beer is an awesome representation. Half the bomber and I'm feeling downright jolly! Call me an uncultured, ill-mannered lout, but this is one of the best beers I have ever had. Love it! And to think I have so many more treats waiting in my cupboard alone. CAN'T WAIT to hit all of the BA top 100.

OK, finished typing the above from my notes while continuing to enjoy this remarkable beast. Got about 3 or 4 ounces left and I feel like a champ. Opinion has only strengthened: this is good shit! And it still smells like dank ass green bud!

PatronWizard, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of Beerzebub
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Bright golden color with haze. Small white head and spotty lace.

Smells like peach, white grape, berries, fresh hops like orange rind and alpine herbs, biscuit, and mild bubblegum. There's also a yeasty note that's quite sharp at first but blows off after the first minute or two; some spicy yeastiness remains. Quite fresh and pleasant.

Tastes fruity and bittersweet. Nice balance between sweetness and bitterness. Hops are certainly noticeable and pleasant, but fairly restrained. Hop flavor is oily citrus rind, along with some fresh young pine and flowers. Finishes with lingering bitter citrus rind. Tasty.

Appears to be barely carbonated, but the tiny bubbles reveal themselves on the palate. Smooth, with some oiliness. Quite drinkable.

Beerzebub, Aug 12, 2008
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.