Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 688 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +10.1%
The beer pours a rich yellow gold color with good head retention and lacing. The beer looks for all the world like a Belgian trippel, which, as I found out, it would mimick in other ways as well.
On the nose this beer is very impressive. I get some cherry and honey, but with huge underlying hoppy bitterness, coupled with white and black pepper. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, and for all the world this beer reminds me of the Houblon IPA from La Chouffe. It's actually a bit richer and hoppier then the Houblon, but is also a bit less complex and lacks some of the lemon/lime. The beer is moderately sweet, but that sweetness is more then countered by the massive amount of hops in this beer. The beer is medium bodied and finishes fairly well. Abv. is pretty well disguised, though it had a warming effect near the end of the glass. Probably couldn't drink a whole lot of this stuff, but the single glass was quite good. Another impressive offering from Stone.
Edit from 3/15/13. Based on a recent vertical epic tasting at Pacific Coast Brewing. While this beer still shows some attractive cherry, orange, honey and light vanilla flavor, the flavor profile has clearly lightened up considerably since 2008. This beer is till quite charming and drinkable, but it has nothing like the hoppy bitterness and intensity of flavor it had several years ago. My current scoring of this beer was considerably below what I gave it back in 2008.
09-05-2008 16:42:08 | More by John_M
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
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.
12-19-2008 00:05:35 | More by beerthulhu
4.13/5 rDev +3.8%
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!
12-28-2008 20:36:40 | More by Viggo
3.96/5 rDev -0.5%
Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12. Review from notes.
A: Lighter golden color, crystal clear with a small off-white head that reduces quickly. Small bits of lacing.
S: Tons of lemons right away. A bit of orange and vanilla with a good bit of grass.
T: Again, lots of citrus - mostly lemon and orange. A bit of caramel and grainy malt.
M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly bitter finish.
O: Quite good, definitely surprised at how citrus forward and hoppy this beer still was. Could be my favorite of the group.
04-09-2013 23:50:39 | More by mdaschaf
4.15/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
08-27-2008 03:38:06 | More by Bighuge
4.33/5 rDev +8.8%
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.
09-12-2008 01:41:21 | More by DrJay
4.45/5 rDev +11.8%
22 picked up at the Coop today for about $6.75... poured into my New Belgium snifter... looks pretty already.
Big 2 finger foamy meringue like head... 1st pour is crystal clear gold... looks like a pilsner actually. very nice ribbons of lace.
The aroma has a really fruity quality along with some pine... I swear their have to be amarillos in there... they always remind me of Flintstone Vitamins.
Flavor is bananas and pink bubblegum.. very fruity.. not as much pine and citrus as expected... actually fairly balanced IMHO. Dry finish.. tropical fruit as it warms.. very very nice. I would seriously hesitate to call this a BSPA.. Right now, it is a Belgian IPA.. that said, I don't know how well these hops are going to be so bright.. but I am really liking this.
08-22-2008 07:08:48 | More by JohnGalt1
4.43/5 rDev +11.3%
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.
05-16-2009 19:37:29 | More by glid02
3.83/5 rDev -3.8%
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.
01-25-2009 23:08:20 | More by beertunes
3.76/5 rDev -5.5%
I was fortunate to try this last night at an epic tasting held by my good friend Mike, thanks for the opportunity MrBarleywine!
Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a smallish off white head that sticks for a bit. The aroma is lemony with a touch of hop still evident and a nice spicy and fruity aroma to balance the sweetness of a bready and sweet maltiness. The flavor is sweet and spicy with light sugar with a touch of lemon and citrus Light hop flavor still evident, but certainly faded. Moderate level of carbonation with a light body and a sweet mouthfeel. Decent brew that may have held up better than expected. Nice beer.
01-27-2013 03:17:20 | More by johnnnniee
3.98/5 rDev 0%
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.
08-10-2008 16:06:52 | More by TurdFurgison
3.78/5 rDev -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
08-10-2008 19:24:09 | More by dirtylou
3.55/5 rDev -10.8%
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.
05-29-2009 04:10:42 | More by scruffwhor
4.1/5 rDev +3%
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.
08-19-2008 03:51:48 | More by ccrida
4.28/5 rDev +7.5%
22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. 8.6% ABV, "The seventh in an epic series." "Limited Release" "Age at cellar temp 55 Degrees F or below."
Thanks to Sweemzander for this bottle!
A - A tall pour stirred up the sediment but almost nothing entered my glass which left the beer a brilliant clear golden honey color with moderate retention. The white head sprang upwards from the pour but reached only close to two fingers. Decent retention and lace characteristic of a Belgian beer.
S - The nose is almost magical. Pale malts provide minimal raw honey-like sweetness to the nose that consists mainly of a balanced yeast presence. Belgian yeast is evident with notes of spice and straw as well as light alcohol. Hops are mild but contribute a nice floral freshness with a crispness to them. A great aroma.
T - Again, pale malts provide little to this beer flavor wise. A minute honey sweetness lingers in the back. The bulk of the flavor is imparted from the Belgian yeast which gives it a herbal and floral spice that can also be attributed to the hops, a light yeast flavored kick and a lemon zest. It finish out with very mild alcohol and dry, bitter hops. Lighter on flavor, bigger on feel. Complex and delicate.
M - Medium-light bodied and crisp with a citrus zest along the sides of the tongue and a dry, bitter finish from the hops. The carbonation is near sparkling in the mouth.
D - Well brewed and balanced, the '08 is a delicate and complex Belgian brew with a good hoppy kick to the finish. Nicely done Stone. A shame I can't find more and didn't have one fresh. I'll be finishing the bottle alone with no problem and feeling good afterward too. Yum.
12-30-2009 00:36:55 | More by BeerFMAndy
4.1/5 rDev +3%
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!
12-17-2012 04:34:16 | More by LiquidAmber
3.55/5 rDev -10.8%
Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a golden yellow-orange with a two finger white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, spice, banana, caramel, and fruit hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, earth, spice, fruit, fruit hop, and subtle citrus hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Unfortunately not a whole lot on this one really stood out above some other decent brews I’ve had from the style. I really hated to see that this was the case as most of the beers from this series that I have had have been rather good. While this one wasn’t bad by any means, it just fell short of my expectations. The caramel was definitely the off-putting aspect that I picked up on that I did not enjoy very much. The rest of the beer was pretty good however. Worth your time trying if you get the chance, but there are better ones out there in the series.
01-25-2013 21:48:42 | More by thagr81us
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 688 ratings.