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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
89
very good

692 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 692
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 172 | 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: 692 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
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 goalie33
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

goalie33, Dec 13, 2012
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 Redwood21
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Redwood21, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of mostpoetsdo
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

mostpoetsdo, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of TommyW
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

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.

TommyW, Aug 13, 2009
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
Photo of flannelman808
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

flannelman808, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of obywan59
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

obywan59, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

AlpacaAlpaca, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Greg for the bottle. I didn't think this beer would hold up like it did, but it was very enjoyable. I'm reviewing this as a Tripel as the bottle says, instead of a Belgian IPA.

It looks like honey in the glass, with a gold color and a complete haze. The head is solid and white and leaves great lacing on top of what turns in to a thin cap of foam.

I smelled the bottlecap after opening and it had a good amount of hops stuck to it. The beer itself lost most of these hops after 1.5 years in the bottle. There is a touch of citrus to the nose, but I'm not sure if it's from the hops or yeast. At this point, it's still less hoppy than a fresh, more conservatively hopped Belgian tripel. It does have a strong, sweet bouquet of light colored fruits like apples and pears.

The flavor is intensely sweet with pale malt and Belgian sugar. The bitterness at this point is lower than any tripel I've had, and the aged hops add a slightly medicinal bitterness in the finish. Some sweet, apple like candy flavors linger in the finish.

The mouthfeel is well carbonated with a medium body. The finish is a bit sweet because of the lacks of hops at this point, leaving a finish that isn't quite as dry as the label says. The drinkabilty is good, even though the ABV sneaks up on you. I was glad I had another pour left in the bomber. Good example of one of my favorite styles.

jeffthecheff, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Jstark5150
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Jstark5150, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of xgrigorix
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twenty-two ounce brown bottle.

Pale golden colour. Thin white head. Patchy lace clings nicely to the glass.

Nose is pretty interesting. A unique blend of grassy, herbal, & citrus when first poured. As it warms tropical fruit notes open up along with some notes of pine & spruce.

Really a great blend of herbal, grassy, and citrus flavours from the abundance of hops. Some spicy pepper and cloves come along as accents. Hints of something similar to anise ... but not quite. Again tropical fruit notes open up as it warms.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. A dry finish, that is noticeably astringent after a few sips.

While not exactly blowing my mind, this is certainly unique. I can't recall ever have a Belgian Golden Ale all decked out with American hops. Absolutely worth trying at least once.

Will be curious to see if this makes it to 12.12.12 for the big vertical - as the hop flavours are such a big part of the profile, I have doubts - but I would love to be proven wrong.

xgrigorix, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of hawkmage
4/5  rDev +0.5%

hawkmage, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of beertardis
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

beertardis, May 07, 2013
Photo of jerz
3/5  rDev -24.6%

jerz, Nov 18, 2011
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 692 ratings.