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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.
very good

485 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 485
Hads: 797
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 42
Gots: 219 | 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
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Reviews: 485 | Hads: 797
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this bottle from my trip to the Library Ale House
Poured a deep golden color with a small white head,Nose was of malt, caramel, candy and a touch of yeast and hops. Taste was was well hopped with flavors of pine and citrus with a small amount of spiciness on the end. Drinkability is really good.

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Photo of wl0307
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from a very good Britain-based beer shop, "Beers of Europe", through on-line order. Coming in a light brown, 1 Pt. 6Fl. Oz. bomber bottle, served lightly chilled in Hapkin's branded bulb-shaped sniffer. NOTE: the very long description on the bottle seems to suggest that this is a "Belgian Tripel dry-hopped with American hops".

A: pours a dark golden hue with almost perfect clarity, coming with very fine carbonation in support of a 1cm thick, well-lasting off-white creamy froth. Handsome!
S: richly orangey, elderflowery, gooseberry-ish (reminiscent of Pinot Grigio+Riesling!) and syrupy upfront, topped with lots of vanilla & coriander-like esters, denoting a rich base of Belgian Golden Ale (such as Duvel or La Chouffe) with its crisp fruitiness, spicy notes, and a firm but slightly cloying touch of malts. American hops are somewhat subdued in the mixture, although a lightly grapefruity aroma might be the by-product of them. Not bad, but not quite as complex as richly fruity - a tad too sweet for my preference, anyway, otherwise it could've fared better.
T: soothing and exotic fruit-estery (with hints of all the elements identified on the nose) and lightly savoury on the yeastiness, not unlike the kind of savoury-sweet touch often accompanying a Hefeweizen. Clean citric hops are beautifully intertwined with clean lager/grainy malts, helping to result in a balanced profile in the middle of the palate, before an enjoyable stream of zesty-spicy hops (more like dried tangerine-peels) with an undertone of Riesling wine expands and overtakes the palate. The tangy bitterness rests deep and low down the wings of the tongue. In the end, satisfying as well as refreshing.
M&D: the mouthfeel is so... good, demonstrating a top-class craftsmanship in handling the yeasts in this (roughly) filtered-bottle form - the carbonation is superbly clean with microscopic fizz to tingle the taste-buds, providing a key texture to underline the equally clean & focused flavour profile. In fact, the hoppiness is NOT as assertively bitter as I expected from the description on the bottle, but rather aromatic and utterly-juicy. Superbly drinkable even at this alc. strength, this is an effortlessly pleasant ale to savour, whatever the style!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on 1/26/13
(Served in a globe glass)
A- This beer pours a clear apricot body with a slow carbonation and a thin bubbly white head that is soon gone.

S- The green pithy citrus aroma lead to a soft dry spicy quality in the finish. Some apricot ester aromas grows to a soft hint with some candy sugar hints underneath.

T- The watery taste has a spicy finish that could be hops or alcohol but is to soft to tell. There is a dry finish that has a phenolic spice and some stale malt flavor in the back of the throat after each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a big alcohol heat that grows, especially in each exhale.

O- This beer has some nice but very light apricot yeast esters and the spice hint would be nice as a secondary flavor but the big alcohol and watery taste just dominate. It does have that stale aftertaste that I have had in old abbey beers.

(Served in a chalice)
drank on 9/25/08
A- This beer pours a crystal clear apricot colored body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles and a lumpy snow white head.

S- There is a yeasty perfume nose that is followed by a slightly earthy hop note and a dry bubblegum hint to the finish.

T- This beer has a dry soft hop pungency with a club soda flavor followed by a grapefruit pith note. There is a light soapy flavor to the slight bitter finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight vinous alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms. There is a champagne fizz finish.

D- This beer has some yeasty notes and some triple and pale ale qualities but nothing that is really to interesting. I don't think this beer has much hope of improving in the next 4 years but we will see.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber. Two finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by stone and tropical fruit with slight Belgian yeast and citrus. Flavor follows with sweet stone fruit, orange and light citrus. Finishes with a pleasant citrus rind, pineapple and a lingering hop bitterness. The herbal qualities of the hops are attenuated, but a surprising amount of bittering hops remain. Like others in this series, age has given this a nice medium body with some creaminess. I started my mini-vertical with 06 and 07 and I am very impressed with the aged versions of all three of these. I was not expecting to enjoy the lighter ones as much as I have. Great job Stone!

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The midway point, my VE hump day.

A: The Belgian IPA is a pale golden color, quite translucent. Very little in the way of head, a few wispy strands.

S: The nose, ahh the sweet blend of tripel botanicals, strong hops and a twang of Belgian yeast. The best smeller of the night.

T: The hops are off a step, this being 2 years old and all. Luckily the tripel spices are lively and sharp. Coriander, pears and pepper create a complex flavor that coaxes the last remaining citrus oomph out of the hops. The yeast strain adds additional sweetness that, along with the hops and tripel, lend a gritty bite to the ale.

M: The mouthfeel is a study in contrasts, the bite of the hops, the sweetness of the yeast, the strength of the tripel. My favorite of the night.

D: Another whopper, too strong for its own good. I wouldn't hesitate to have a few more pints, a Belgian IPA that has aged nicely.

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Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden orange color with a thick two finger foam head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing.

Sweet estery golden fruit aroma with hints of golden apple, grape, pear and banana. Slight alcohol presence with some peppery zesty spice and earthy hops.

Spicy, yeasty medium body with a lot of sweet estery fruit notes, alcohol and citrus earthy hops. Sweet golden fruit notes, especially apple and pear with a decent amount of alcohol warmth and a nice dry hoppy finish.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a medium tangerine orange with light golden hues. A 1 finger, frothy, dull white head sits atop lasting for a minute or two before dissipating to a thin film covering. A near full ecompassing lacing sticks well around the glass perimeters while a faint and lazy visible carbonation was observed.

S: sweet, fruity, with a spicy hop zestiness. Beautiful tangerine and grapefruit scents linger about against a soft spicy hop backing.

T: spicy with a dried tropical fruitiness of pineapples, and kiwi. Soft grapefruit notes with a light sugar presence sweetens things up a bit. Theres a nice spicy hoppiness with oranges, dried lemon peels, and a peppery touch that rounds things out. The finish was crisp, with a dried fruitiness leaving you wanting more.

M: a light-medium viscosity, very smooth in texture with a light carbonation presence. A big beautiful and dried tropical fruitiness with a spicy and zesty hopping provide a nice lingering fade on the tongue with just a slight hint of peppery nature.

D: Drinkability was perhaps its strongest point. A very nice and enjoyable drink. Crisp, dry with tropical fruitiness that was almost to easy to consume. Case worthy for future consumption and perhaps aging is highly recommended.

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Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Austin Liquors, Shrewsbury, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" bright white head over the clear light amber brew. Head dwindles down to a skim of small bubbles, with lasting sticky lace. Aroma is sweet and spicy. Taste follows the nose, sweet maltiness upfront, spices with some citrus in the middle, and complementing hops on the close. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft over the tongue, with good drinkability. Doesn't differ much from what I remember of the last 07 I had, but anyways, still good stuff here.

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Photo of beertunes
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into bubble pint glass (perhaps should have used chalice?). Poured with a tall, bright white head that left nice rings of lacing. A clear deep yellow, this is much paler than anticipated. The spicy, fruity aroma is typical for the style. The flavor follows the aroma closely, with the flavor not as full and rich as some others. The body is slightly thin for the style. Very drinkable, smooth and well balanced. A nicely enjoyable beer, better than average for the style.

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Photo of DrJay
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up in NJ a couple of weeks ago. Time to try this year's VE.
Poured a clear gold with a short white cap. The foam settled fast, leaving fine bubbles in a collar and covering the top of the beer with a few larger bubbles clumped up around the sides. Very sticky lacing, sheets at first followed by small spotty clumps at the bottom of the glass. Fruity aroma up front, tropical (not quite pineapple) and lemony with clove spiciness. As it warmed, there were earthy notes, along with grassy hops, light bread and bubblegum, mellow alcohol and white pepper. Flashes of grapefruit and pine emerged from time to time. Bitterness was present throughout, but really just formed a base for the other flavours to build on. Malt character was straightforward, a little biscuit and bready towards the end. Fruity up front, juicy fruit gum and citrus for the most part, a bit of apple and berry. Phenolic and spicy starting mid-palate and carrying through the finish. Lingering combination of bitterness, cloves, sweet fruits, and warm alcohol. Medium bodied, off-dry, carbonation added a slightly creamy texture. This is a nicely balanced beer, quite drinkable yet with a fair bit of complexity. One of the VEs that I've enjoyed the most fresh.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden orange color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is fruity malt (pears, mango and pineapple) with some spices. The belgian yeast is evident in the aroma producing the fruity flavors.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet and fruity with some spices dancing around on the tongue, along with the yeast and some alcohol warmth in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- A little boozy, but that is to be expected with a beer of this strength. Very good brew.

Overall, the 08 vertical epic is another fantastic beer from Stone. Recommended.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange/amber color; very slight haze. Generous two inch head white held held to a quarter inch. Medium lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Herbal and piney hops. Light fruits.

T: Hoppiness really opens this up. Estery yeast provides a solid fruity footing. Mild spices carry to a dry finish. Complex and tasty.

M: Nice medium body - in a good way balancing tastes and carbonation.

D: At 8.4 ABV its dangerously drinkable. If its one or several; this is a great choice.

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Photo of rudzud
3.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a 07-12very vertical.

A - Poured a hazy orange hue with a half finger head that faded to leave a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of bready malts and faint Belgian fruits/esters..

T - Taste is a malt bomb with light fruits and esters. Kinda to be expected due to the age. Malts and faint esters....ehh.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated , not too shabby.

O - Overall not a bad beer just well past its prime. Solid but old.

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Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a lightly hazed golden orange, touch of amber, thick white head forms, drops a lot of chunky lace on the glass, drops some rings, good retention, settles to a medium ring and a thin layer, looks pretty good. Smell is nice, very fragrant, some grapefruit and spice, toast, honey, apricot, strawberries, coriander, candi sugar, light touch of alcohol, smells pretty good. Taste is similar, some sweet biscuity malt and honey, grapefruit and floral, light fruit, some alcohol and spice, wheat, a bit yeasty in the finish, some floral, nice spicy finish, well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, slightly dry in the finish, nice spiciness, with some alcohol warmth. Nicest VE in the last couple years, I like it. Thanks Russ!

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

Sunshiney golden yellow. Very clear. Thin frothy white head. Lace is minimal. Nice doughy and yeasty aroma. Almost like smelling a WYeast smack pack after the yeast has been pitched. Also some hints of lemon and pepper on the nose. I like this aroma. Flavor has more of the same. With lemon and pepper and doughball maltiness leading the way. Sludgey yeast cake tones. Alcohol spices things up. Hops add some depth as well. This is pretty damn drinkable as is, but with some age, the alcohol presence will probably dwindle some more even and make this pretty special.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both average. The aroma is citrusy hops (orange peel), tropical fruit, cloves, peppery spice and candy sugar. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some apricot and a bit of alcohol noticable too. Finishes bitter and fruity at the same time. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating, dry and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's crisp, enjoyable and not hard to drink at all. I think this is a good brew, it'll be interesting to age a couple bottles of this and see how it changes.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.57/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Effervescant bone white head shows great aftr the pour, and slowly recedes to nothing after each sip. From the head you notice a light amber/copper mixed with sunshine pilsner yellow. The color mixed with the awesome sporadic bubbling. Mixed aroma of sweet husk malts, yeasty green apples, earthy hops, an astringent alcohol. Green apples and astringent alcohol hit the front of the palate. The earthy and herbal hops mix it up in the middle with some lightly toasted grains and some more alcohol. Great carbonation and grainy texture,but maybe a little too much booze.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a cloudy yellow/orange color. Mediocre white head formation, but the retention was excellent. Some lacing present.

(S)- Seriously sweet citrus with significant hop strength. Lemon, orange, peach, and apricot finish.

(T)- Interesting orange and apricot fruits with a respectable hop strength. Light honey sweetness in the background. Almost has a bubblegum flavor to it.

(M)- Fairly thick in texture. Sweet with slight bitterness and puckered citrus. Good carbonation.

(D)- Great flavors with an interesting citrus twist from your run of the mill IPA. The bomber didnt last long and neither will the next!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the standard Stone bomber. This year's VE is golden colored, very clear, with a thin wispy head that disappears right after birth. The aroma is a hybrid (just as described on the bottle). Lots of American hops (maybe including Amarillo?) on top of Belgian yeasty esters. The taste makes me think this is a dry-hopped tripel. The flavors are nice but the after-taste has a bitter bite to it and there's a bit of ethanol apparent as well. Maybe with age the ethanol will tone down but then so will the hops I'm guessing. I'll probably age another bottle with my other VE's just to wait for 2012 but I imagine it won't improve the beer too much.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(please bear in mind that this review is for a beer that is almost seven years old and was stored in a bar's back fridge)
Poured a cloudy orange body with good head and left a lace ring down the glass. The aroma really lets out yeast as well as honey, some tropical fruits and basically a candi sugar and/or malt based sweetness that a little kid would love as well as some flowery, spicy esters. Medium bodied, fluffy thickness thanks to yeast, and quite frankly this beer is not necessarily mead but it is much more honey, fruity, flowery sweet and thick than a balanced IPA b/c the hops are minimal at best. Finishes spicy and crisp and I really enjoyed this beer after so long and I like sweet beers with little hops but not everyone does, nor would I consider this an IPA now, more of a Belgian Pale or something in that vein. Still, I don't regret buying a bottle.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of equal amounts light fruits - bananas and pears - and herbal, slightly citrus hops. As it warms floral hop aromas join in the mix.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front are soon joined by fresh banana and pear flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors - herbal grapefruit - enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the glass and could easily have a few of these.

Overall this was a tasty beverage and I was surprised at how well the hops held up. Definitely worth a try, even this late in the game.

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Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a medium golden, brilliant, with minimal cream head that dissipates into nothing.

Caramel malt, belgian yeast esters, peach, and mango come to mind. There's some slight phenolic notes.

Good belgian yeast character, peach, more malt backbone than 7. No ginger, which makes me happy. Almost wine-like. Confectioners sugar sweetness. Fairly bitter finish. Floral hops add intrigue.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

More bitter and less herbal than the 7.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split with my roommate 'cos i'm a loving friend and it's his birthday. Fittingly, into my Duvel glass

A: Clear golden yellow with a solid, two-finger head that leaves a little lacing. Head retention is less than stellar but this is a pretty beer

S: If this is not dry-hopped with Amarillo, hold me upside down and smack me, please. Massive dry hop aroma with citrus (tangerine and lemon) behind which there is a yeasty sweetness that's got some honey. Very, very appealing, I'm having a hard time getting my nose out of the glass

T: Starts off mildly sweet and mildly hoppy with a little citrus and a hint of spice (white pepper comes to mind) before drying up on the finish (not enough, though), leaving a pleasing bitterness. All told, maybe a little simple but enjoyable

M: Carbonation is surprisingly low and the finish is less than as dry as I'd like it to be for this style

D: Despite having a ton of bad things to say about this beer, this is ridiculously drinkable and it;s going down very easy

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Photo of dirtylou
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, $6.99 at riley's - had this on tap the other night at brasseri V

appearance: poured into a hopleaf tulip glass, very light golden body, quite clear with active carbonation bubbles. There is a thin layer of beige foam with full retention. This beer shines in the sunlight

smell: this one has a pretty nice belgian nose (for some reason i thought it was more of a DIPA on tap but then again, i was trashed). Corriander, white pepper, and other belgian spices are huge and well pronounced in the nose. Lemon zest, other citrus, and potent yeast round out this powerful nostril invasion

taste: the flavor falls a little flat compared to the nose...the flavor profile is full of spice - clove, corriander, white pepper. the belgian yeast is evident immediately but finishes a little flat. Interesting, but i expected more based off the nose

mouthfeel: heavily spicy, medium body

drinkability: ok

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Photo of ccrida
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, 08.08.08 is clear gold with a large, quickly settling white head that leaves nice lace.

Smell is very sweet, sour citrus and flowers, tangerine and clean alcohol.

Taste is not where near as sweet, there is a grassy, citrus hoppiness and bitter finish, but otherwise fairly neutral and clean, save for the slightly solvent alcohol bite. I was expecting more depth, but it's still a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, with a crispness in spite of the smooth, medium body.

Drinkability is pretty high because it's a pretty clean BSPA, not overly complex or heavy. I was expecting a big West Coast hop punch, but this one seems like it's all nobles, a little spicy and herbal but otherwise merely a compliant to the sugars and Belgian esters. Nevertheless a nice beer, but not the East meets West Belgian IPA I was expecting. Bonus points for being ready to rock on release, some of the last Epics had a roughness to them the calliing for extended cellaring. While this one should hold up, it's good now.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.