Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 689 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
2.8/5 rDev -29.6%
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.
01-31-2013 04:49:00 | More by Philousa
4.18/5 rDev +5%
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.
08-26-2008 01:07:12 | More by jmalex
4.08/5 rDev +2.5%
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.
10-06-2008 03:21:03 | More by RedChrome
3.88/5 rDev -2.5%
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.
04-04-2009 00:06:59 | More by PintOHops
4.15/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
07-10-2009 23:37:29 | More by Jmoore50
4.5/5 rDev +13.1%
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.
08-20-2008 08:10:16 | More by opwog
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
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.
08-23-2008 08:17:13 | More by Padron4KM
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
08-08-2008 23:58:51 | More by bunnyhustle
4.45/5 rDev +11.8%
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.
08-19-2008 01:55:07 | More by vtfan77
4.22/5 rDev +6%
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.
08-14-2008 00:10:48 | More by shroompod
3.75/5 rDev -5.8%
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.
08-09-2008 05:03:32 | More by czechsaaz
4/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
10-21-2008 01:29:31 | More by cameraman
4.2/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
03-11-2010 05:44:46 | More by Arenbeer
4.55/5 rDev +14.3%
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!
08-13-2008 01:42:11 | More by PatronWizard
3.98/5 rDev 0%
A: this beer has a nice golden sunset hue to it but with a head that dies off as quickly as it starts this was my biggest knock
S: floral notes semi herbal and fragrant but nothing that stood out as amazing.
T: this beer has a some spicyness and light carbonation but does not have the wow factor i was expecting. the taste somewhat trails off towards the finish
solid beer, yet uninspiring, its very drinkable and a solid example of a belgian strong pale ale, tis may just not be my style. give it a try but dont expect the moon
09-15-2008 04:37:45 | More by Redwood21
4/5 rDev +0.5%
Let's face it, I couldn't hold off another two years!!
A: Pours a vibrant straw gold with slight haze, a creamy white head on top, leaving behind very nice lacing.
S: Sweet citrus and spicy smell, but also a bready and buttery pie crust smell in there, as well. Not much of a hop scent, unfortunately, but after this long, what do you expect?
T: Just as the nose leads on, nice blend of citrus and spice: cinnamon, coriander, delicious. There is also that buttery crust taste, similar to that in ST Pumking. Very enjoyable. A touch of bitterness and alcohol at the end.
M: Pretty thick and bready, almost syrupy; decent carbonation.
D: Very good, easy to drink a bomber, despite a pretty high ABV. I'll have to try this again in 2012.
03-31-2010 01:53:22 | More by mostpoetsdo
4.15/5 rDev +4.3%
A- Bright, golden body with a thin white head.
S- Sweet with notes of orange and floral and piney hop aromas.
T- Follows the nose pretty well. Citrusy sweetness up front with some bready notes underneath. The floral and slightly piney hops come in then after.
M- Pretty crisp finish on a medium body.
D- A very easy-drinking beer. It's pretty much exactly what I thought a Belgian-IPA would be like. Very nice sweet-malt/hop balance.
08-13-2009 19:27:55 | More by TommyW
4.08/5 rDev +2.5%
the bottle is a typical stone anniversary bottle, with a wordy description of the beer on the back which is somewhat insightful.
It pours a light amber color and has a frothy bone white head. The beer keeps a good head retention as well, despite being high in alcohol.
This beer has a really nice smell, I get some sweet citrus and grass/vegetation. It also has a detectable yeast characteristic.
taste is well balanced, and the alcohol is well disguised. I get a good amount of spice, and earth along with the yeast. But the beer has a nice hoppy (but not over the top) finish, which keeps the taste crisp and refreshing. overall this is a really nice beer and is very drinkable.
10-27-2008 00:55:41 | More by flannelman808
4.08/5 rDev +2.5%
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.
08-12-2008 08:13:24 | More by Beerzebub
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 689 ratings.