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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

699 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 699
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 43
Gots: 178 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 699 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first taste of Stone's Vertical lineup since Stone was just recently added to WI's distribution. I must say that the premise and idea is wonderful. I bought one to drink right away and one to cellar for a few years. This poured with a wonderful shiny gold color with slow rising carbonation. The first glass was remarkably clear with carbonation bubbles dancing. The second glass provided a slight trace of yeast but the sediment was very fine. The head was nicely packed and left slight dashes of lacing. The aroma was great and complex. The hops are immediately noticable and dominating yet the malty body and spicy Belgian yeast were always there to anchor the aroma and taste. As the beer warms the hops become a bit more subdued as the spicy esters and phenols come through. The taste is much like Achouffe's example with a malty taste of a tripel and a refreshing and crisp dose of American hops. Wonderful traces of sweet fruit throughout. The body and taste lacks a little bit of depth and complexity, but wonderful flavors abound. Mouthfeel is lively as the bitterness, spiciness, and sweetness make for a nice combo. The hopped-up tripel style is wonderful and it is great to see more and more brewers adding an American touch to a well done Belgian base beer. I am really looking forward to trying this after it has been cellared for a few years. With the additional hops, this should age fairly well.

Photo of mwa423
4.85/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first Vertical Epic, and I must say I'm going back to the store to buy a case or more of it! It pours a clear golden with about a one inch head that dies down to a nice lacing.

The smell is fantastic with plenty of citrus, hops and other things I can't quite place.

I greatly enjoy the taste, it almost tastes like a hybrid between an Belgian and an IPA. Plenty of hop bite but not at all overwhelming. I couldn't taste anything that would suggest the extremely high ABV.

Palate is fantastic, goes down very smoothly, especially considering the high abv. The finish is very dry and makes your mouth water for the next sip.

Overall, this is exceptionally good beer. The taste profile is exceptionally complex and excellent, the very high ABV will get you in a good mood after one bottle and yet you can't taste it at all.

Photo of dragonWhale
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice, very nice. Before looking this up to review I thought I was sippin on a hoppy saison. A brilliant gold, quite clear. Estery, can'tquiteputmyfingeronit goodness. Not much Americohop presence. Very floral hops, grassy too. Nothing in the way of citrus and pine. Classy. I mean $150/hr whore classy. Very tasty with a giant alcohol finish, especially for the mere 8.6 and the 2 years that this has sat dormant, awaiting execution. Delicious. My last bottle. Had to throw it back on the wants..

Photo of Kevlee722
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of RyanGoodman
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of BBM
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a golden yellow with a frothy white head. Minimal lacing around the glass. The aroma is a harmonious blend of pine, citrus, and sweet banana. A hint of the wonders to come.

I'm in love with this beer. The pine hops are out in full force, but the beauty is the way they dance with the cloves and banana of the Belgian brew. As it warms, flavors become more complex, and never too sweet or too alcoholic. Vanilla, pine, citrus, and a subtle earthiness really create a unique and delicious experience.

I bought two, one I've had and another I'm going to cellar until 12-12-12... or for as long as I can hold out.

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.32/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle.

A: Clear orange color with a thin white head. Nice lacing and good bubbles.

N: Caramel, toffee, mandarin orange, some oxidation, leafy hops, esters.

T: Well balanced by the bitter and sweet elements. Tastes more like a barleywine/old DIPA than a BSA

M: Sticky, medium body. Alcohol is prevalent.

O: Not too bad. Hops have faded significantly and the oxidation level is light. Still solid, but not my favorite.

Photo of hoplover82
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of vma
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of bmoney
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of blakesell
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of Pauly2X
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
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".

Photo of Philousa
2.82/5  rDev -29%
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.

Photo of uziangis
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of jmalex
4.13/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of Prost76
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of ryser2k
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of RedChrome
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of PintOHops
3.89/5  rDev -2%
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!

Photo of Geuzedad
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of goalie33
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Jmoore50
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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

Photo of opwog
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

Photo of obywan59
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden to orangey copper in color with a pure white 1 1/2 finger head that leaves a bit of nice sticky lacing. First glass was perfectly clear, but the second was rather cloudy with large sediment particles suspended throughout, but more thickly towards the top.

A little Belgian funk. Spicy citrus or faint mulled cider with honey. Spice is mainly clove. An occasional whiff of bubblegum and alcohol.

Faintly sweet but fairly dry. Cloves seem more distinct here. Some light tart citrus and a bit over balanced by a somewhat harsh bitterness in the first glass. In the second glass, the bitterness was less obtrusive.

Faint prickle from the light carbonation. Medium-full bodied. Drying to the point of astringency. Decent burn of alcohol.

The taste was the worst aspect for me, the bitterness was a detraction. The carbonation was weak, but the alcohol still seemed potent. Maybe it suffered for being in the fridge for 4 1/2 years?? I first drank this before I started doing reviews, but I'm pretty certain it was a lot better back then. It's not without merit, but If were still made, I wouldn't buy it again at this stage.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 699 ratings.