Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

474 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 474
Hads: 706
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 7.98%
Wants: 42
Gots: 179 | 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: 474 | Hads: 706
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fortunate to be able to try this on tap at DLD.

Appearance: Poured a honey orange color, with a small 2 cm head. Not much head retention, but a little light lace stick.

Smell: Sweet aroma. Sweet malt, mellowed fruits, bananas, and citrus. Some mild spices and earthy notes as well.

Taste: The start of the sip provides a strong initial sweetness, with caramel, banana, and some citrus (orange and grapefruit) flavors. Alcohol really kicks in the middle. Although the hops have not disappeared completely, it definitely does not have typical IPA character. Soft hops remind me of orange and lemon zest. Finishes a bit spicy.

Mouthfeel: Medium/high level of carbonation, a little bit grainy. Medium body.

Drinkability: Overall I thought this was a smooth, enjoyable beer. Personally, I thought it drank more like a Tripel due to the lack of strong hoppy character.

It would have been interesting to taste when it was first brewed, as a comparison. The novelty of having one of the Epics was a great treat, even if the beer itself was not mind-blowing. (1,058 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened an 08.08.08 with a friend...

A: Golden honey color with murky sediment swirling around in the color. Thick 1 inch white head that fades at a medium pace.

S: Smells pretty good. Sweet malts and an earthy caramel banana flavor upfront. A heavy dry booziness in the middle with hints of grapefruit on the backend. Very good.

T: A little lacking here. A heavy dry boozy hopiness upfront. The dry texture to the brew hides the hints of grapefruit flavors in the middle. Hints of roast on the backend. Decent.

M: Very good balance of carbonation.

D: After it warms up it goes down much easier because it dulls down the heavy dry boozy hops. Good.

All in all, this was a decent brew. Not as good as the hype makes it seem IMO. Good to try once. More like a glorified mainstream brew. This one would be a good gateway beer to get into the craft beer scene. (861 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a glass.

A - Poured a nice thick honey orange with extremely champagne like carbonation...bubbles clinged to every side of the glass when first poured. The head resembled the carbonation and didn't hang around long.

S - Citrus notes jump out the most with a soft dry hop thing going on in the background. Also had an odd almost metallic like smell mixed in.

T - Semi-hoppy flavor with some spicey fruits. It got better as it opened up. The saisonish flavor is definitely there, but not until the beer opened up. Pretty decent Belgian IPA. Not too hoppy, but enough to compliment the other flavors.

M - Little bit bready...little bit bitter. Cooling after feel.

D - very drinkable. was a bit hoppy for my tastes at first, but as it opened it, it really got great. (791 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Hazy straw/gold color with some carbonation up the glass. Head is half a finger and recedes quickly, leaving no ring and no lacing. Pretty unimpressive for a Belgian, IMO.

S: Very rich and pleasant aroma. Citrus flavors in grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Floral and perfumey, with yeast behind it. Some clove.

T: I'm having this about 1.5 years after it came out, but the citrus flavors are still quite noticeable; the hops haven't totally faded. The flavors are mostly grapefruit, pineapple, and orange, with a slight bitterness that suggests orange peel and lemon zest. It reminds me of a saison at first, actually. Bubblegum. The finish is spicy (clove and pepper).

M: Medium-bodied. It still feels a bit heavy on the palate. Carbonation is low. The finish is watery at times. I'm not totally sure what to make of this one.

D: Having essentially "verticaled" 06-09 myself, I pronounce this the worst of the 4 as of late March / early April. (984 characters)

Photo of mostpoetsdo
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (739 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sharp and fruity strong ale.

I would call it a "pungent' aroma. It is so sharp in the back of the throat I pause in mid sip. Definitely an overexuberance of Belgian flavors taking over, but unrestrained by the usual Belgian malty funk. I call it an IPA that's been jacked up with Country Time lemonade powder.

I wonder if these beers should be stored refrigerated? I bet there is a giant cooler chugging away somewhere in an industrial part of Escondido with a vast store of Verticals in suspended animation waiting for the big day. Me, I'm going to pull the ones I have left and drink 'em now. Well, not right this minute. (625 characters)

Photo of mjaskula
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

About a year and a half old and purchased recently. Probably wasn't stored properly, but the warehouse-like store wasn't exactly heated either. Not sure how warm it got in the summer. Anyway...

Served in a tulip. The beer is clear and golden. The head is white, a couple fingers thick and fell quickly to a film. It leaves some thin lacing. Looks pretty good.

Aroma is nice with a lot of belgian farmhouse character. There's also some faint citrus hop aroma in the background. I imagine that this was much more pronounced a year ago. There's also some fruity esters in there. The flavor is fruity and clean with the hops asserting themselves a little more. The hop bitterness comes through in the finish.

Carbonation is high, and it dries out nicely leaving very little bitterness behind. Pretty easy drinking. Wishing I got ahold of this one when it was fresh. I got a second bottle to drink on 12.12.12, trusting stone that it will hold up till then. (955 characters)

Photo of JoePat
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a perfect golden color with a nice white head that dissipates pretty quickly but that is expected with a few years on it.
Smells earthy from the hops and a a little bit of golden raison smell.
The tast is sweet, spicy in the begining and finishes bitter.
Mouthfeel is light syrupy from the sweetness and a little dry.
Easy to drink kind of like a mix between a triple and a DIPA. (385 characters)

Photo of Arenbeer
4.17/5  rDev +4%
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! (480 characters)

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (1,376 characters)

Photo of JosephLondon
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An extra as part of a trade with msulinski, I thank you for this one!

Poured a bright golden color with a nice, foaming white crown. The head departed to nonexistence-nothing with no lace. In the nose there is mostly citrus fruit with a hint of a yeasty-malt note. The taste is actually really good upfront with fresh fruits and a good hop bite(especially since the beer is a year and a half old). This fades in the body and leaves the finish bland. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by its somewhat robust character considering its age.There is nothing to note in its feel as it is fairly flat and thin. However, this 8.6 abv brew drank wonderfully. I was shocked when I saw the abv! I thought it was around 5. (712 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

New review (9/22/09) from notes at MacGregors

A - slightly lighter in color than the '07, more gold I guess. Decent head retention, quite clear. 4.0

S - lightly fruity with a light citrus-hop aroma. Nearly like a Belgian tripel. 4.0

T - Amber malts, caramel, and a more pronounced hop presence in the finish. Touch of pear and grapefruit. 4.5

M - very smooth, light/medium bodied. 4.0

D - pretty good. I could do a goblet of this. 3.5

---

On tap at Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Review from notes.

A - poured clear golden amber, white 1" head in a goblet. Bubbles run up from the bottom of the glass 4.0

S - sweet pale malts, slightly alcoholic and a touch of piny hops. What a strange nose... I didn't detect anything else... 3.5

T - sweet maltiness and a hint of raisins. Dry and hoppy finish. Pretty boozy, the alcohol is in your face. 3.5

M - medium bodied, highly carbonated. Prickly on the tongue. 3.5

D - decent but the alcohol is a bit much. 3.0

Thoughts - this was a bit boozy. It wasn't as balanced as I expected it to be. Give it a couple more years and maybe it'll mellow out a bit. (1,111 characters)

Photo of samie85
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 1/22/10.

A-Slightly red hued golden color with a white two finger head.

S- I'm getting lemon zest, pine, herbal bitterness, pepper, and spicy Belgian yeast.

T- Lemon and grapefruit with pepper, dry and spicy Belgian yeast, an herbal note, and clove. Pretty interesting flavor profile, but not one I'm in love with.

M-Medium bodied with pretty significant carbonation.

D-The herbal aftertaste and the high carbonation hurts the drinkability for me. It's very interesting but a little overcomplicated. (546 characters)

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You all know what the bottle looks like so I won't bother. Pours out a copper yellow with almost no head at all. Smell is very sweet with hints of malt, lemon and earthy notes.

Taste is much milder than I expected. Very well integrated flavors of sugar, bread and grassy hops. Lovely drying bitterness in the middle and end. Aftertaste goes on and on. 20 plus seconds? Well balanced and easy drinking. The alcohol is so well hidden. A very "clean" beer.

A great VE in my opinion. I am not sure how this one will age as it is so well integrated now. Oh well, we will see. (573 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazed apricot with a pretty nice head. The smell is a bit of sweet malt, spices, and citrus. THe taste was quite the same with some more Belgian yeast in there, with the citrus flavors coming a bit to the front. Mouthfeel was pretty big as a result of the sweetness. Quite drinkable. (292 characters)

Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange color with a white head that fades leaving a nice amount of lacing around the glass.

Smells of lemon zest, clove and some orange.

Taste starts out with a orange lemon mixed flavor, coriander, some tobacco notes, belgian yeast, spice, hoppy bitterness (not as much as you would expect) Chewy and dry finish. Lot of stuff going on in this one. Some flavors I can't seem to put a name on. Very interesting beer. Much different then others I've had but similar to Houblon Chouffe.

Many thanks to ditmier for an awesome trade! (544 characters)

Photo of katan
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into a goblet

A - Pours a deep dark golden color, with perhaps some brownish highlights. Opaque, but not hazy. Carbonation is obviously strong, but the head wasn't as potent. Came to a quick film which dissipated immediately.

S - Starts off with a light malt sweet scent which is cut with some almost grainy astringency. A strong belgian yeast and spiciness comes through, very much reminds me of a tripel. Some phenolic hints are present.

T - Starts off with a sweet malt note and some pilsner graininess. Mid-stream gets more bitter, but really not much for a hops flavor. Only a light fruity note which also appears in the final flavors. Wouldn't consider this an IPA by the taste. Finishes with a almost orange-like and fruity banana note, which is complemented by a strong alcohol presence.

M - Strong body - very full of unferrmentables. Clinging, sweet, and almost syrupy. Carbonation is light on the tongue.

D - A fairy smooth and easy drinking beer. ABV will hurt, but it seems to represent a style that is enjoyed on a solo basis, and slowly at that. Not very filling. Maybe just a bit too sweet for a belgian IPA.

I vote this is a tripel, but Stone gets to make that call. (1,201 characters)

Photo of CHSLBrew
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A-Clear golden beer. White, oily head rose small and dissipated to an unattractive layer, quickly down to nothing.

S-Spicy, citrus-orange aromatics, slightly grassy. So much hoppiness, it seemed almost beyond Belgian-style.

T-Spicy-grapefruit-citrus hoppiness is very prominent over a clove and sweet-spicy malt. Hop bitterness, backed by something dry and yeast-influenced, is straight forward and assertive. There's a resiny hop floating around on the back of my tongue. So, so many hops, this flavor certainly overcame my lowered expectations from the appearance off the pour :D

M-Moderate carbonation. Medium-bodied beer is pushed along further by a drying, nearly puckering at times, bitterness.

D-Despite its potential difficulty due to its huge hoppiness, this beer was actually very drinkable. I find myself feeling somewhat disappointed that I'll most likely not sample this brew again.

Thanks to my girlfriend for bringing this bottle back to MN from her trip to Los Angeles. (1,024 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,669 characters)

Photo of PangaeaBeerFood
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's X-mas Eve and I have a few hours with the house to myself before people swing by, so I figure it's a good time to snack, try a new beer, and finishing wrapping my gifts. I decide on Vertical Epic 08.08.08., purchased a few months back at my favorite beer store.

I started by pouring the beer into a St. Bernardus Chalice. It had little to no carbonation. I'm not sure if it has always been this way or if this is a result of aging. Crystal clear, golden and gorgeous. Looks like a white wine, with a tiny bit of patchy foam on the top.

The smell is pretty wonderful. The sweetness of the malt and citrus notes of the hops have kind of blended together into something that is simultaneously simplistic and complex. It comes together to form something vaguely reminiscent of tangerines. Slightly citrusy and sharp, but sweet and inviting.

The taste matches the smell to a T. Very similar to a white wine. Sweet up front and acidic on the back leading to a nice dry finish.

The mouthfeel is very winelike and surprisingly light. The lack of carbonation and light body really come together to form something wonderful. It is also incredibly easy to drink. I put back the first half of the 22 oz bottle in no time, then realized I had to step it back or I'd be a mess.

I've tried this with a variety of different cheeses and premade spice mixtures I have. It didn't like Stilton at all, but loved a Ras Al-Hanoot rub. I loved the pairing so much I grilled up a chicken breast right there rubbed with the spices, and tossed a small bit of the beer into the pan then served it with pita chips and pine nut hummus. It was delicious.

On the second pour (which finished the bottle), it picked up some of the yeast caked on the bottom which changed the experience entirely. The beer looks more like a Belgian Tripel or a Saison now, with a hazey, orangey color that you can't see through at all. The taste is VERY much like a Tripel, with sweetness upfront, but it is cut off abruptly by the bitter hops. Lots of hops in the nose, more so than the first pour. It also feels a bit thicker and heavier on the palate than before. It's still under-carbonated though, but in a good way, particularly with food (which is still a delicious pairing).

Overall an amazing beer. I've never had a Belgian IPA, but this reminds me a bit of Souther Tier's Unearthly IPA and, to a lesser experience, DFH's 90 minute IPA, with the sweetness and bitterness coming together brilliantly. Most interesting part about it, though, is how different the experience can be, even within the same bottle, depending on where you pour from (top or bottom). First pour was more winelike and more unique. The second pour was more traditional and less exciting, but stronger and more intense thorughout the sweetness and bitterness. Delicious either way. (2,823 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for more than a year.

A-pours a brigh hazy yellow color with two fingers of a relatively thick white head that has decent retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass

S-the nose is sweet with estery notes, champaign, a light belgian yeast and hint of clove

T-the taste starts with an earthy malt then brings an imediate taste of champaign, fruits, and just a touch of clove, the yeast comes in next with a bitterness at the finish

M-this is almost full bodied, relatively smooth and lightly syrupy, almost creamy, a slight carbonation burn at the back of the throat followed by a hint of warming from the alcohol

D-rich and creamy like mouthfeel bringing big flavors of fruit and yeast balanced with american hops (mainly bitterness towards the finish). it is solid now, can't wait for 12/12/12! (808 characters)

Photo of Pahn
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Whole Foods at Union Square, NYC. Apparently, they ordered Vertical Epic and got sent the '08 instead of the '09 for some reason. There's probably still a few there if you're in the Manhattan area and missed this beer last year.

Anyway, 22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: 1 inch head after a rather aggressive pour (was barely 1/2 inch at first careful try). Sparse horizontal streaks of lacing remain throughout. Pours a bright, lightish amber with numerous rising bubbles.

Smell: Sweet Belgian yeast and a strong citrus scent that's disturbingly reminiscent of orange soda.

Taste: The dominant flavor is apple, with some unexpectedly mild hops (knowing Stone and reading the "Here's a Belgian golden ale but aggressively hopped!" boast on the label, I expected a much stronger hop showing). Mild though they are, the hops do provide a nice bite at the start that at least differentiates this beer from a saison or usual strong golden ale. Unfortunately, the flavor is closer to the former than the latter, which is also unexpected.

The flavor is nice, but a little one note. While some complexity does indeed make itself known, it's rarely present in the same sip. I got the apple throughout and a little citrus was also steady, while there were more occasional notes of butterscotch. The finish often was a bit soapy. There's a strong sweetness throughout, but it was a lot more garish than what you generally get from a quality strong golden ale. There's also the hint of a flavor I can't name but that I associate with many of Stone's brews (particularly Arrogant Bastard and Oaked Arrogant Bastard). Near the end I strangely detected a smokiness, which was actually quite pleasant--if it was there the whole time, this review would probably be glowing, to be honest.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good. Despite the hop bite, the feel is very creamy and nicely carbonated. My only complaint would be that the finish gets a bit sticky.

Drinkability: While the alcohol (which I found warming and went to my head rather quickly) is not very masked, the lightness of the flavor coupled with the, on the whole, great mouthfeel makes this a very refreshing golden ale. I wouldn't want more than a bottle, but it's more drinkable than the average 8+% beer.

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In all, I was rather unimpressed by this beer. However, I expected quite a lot from it; I'm a big fan of extremely hopped beer, a bigger fan of Belgian tripels, and a lover of numerous Stone offerings. While the flavor of this beer is decent, in my opinion it was too mild for what it was intended to be, and had a few too many small flaws to work exceptionally well as something other than a hopped up golden ale. It's by no means a bad beer; if it were the first Stone brew I'd had, or the first Belgian/California mashup I'd had, I'd be impressed. However, if I were at the store now and I saw another bottle of 08.08.08 standing next to Stone's Cali-Belgique or a bottle of Houblon Chouffe, I'd pick up either of the latter any day.

As a final note, while I may be speaking beyond my beer knowledge, I can't really see how this beer would benefit from aging. The flavor could round out a bit, and the alcohol could mellow, but the beer is already too mellow as it is. Then again, I'd guess that the guys at Stone know more about how long to age a beer than I do. (3,368 characters)

Photo of randawakes
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

IPA? wow, this is creamy and full of rich orange, faint apple and grape. This citrus abundance has some pine flavor with it. This is very sweet and will take you by storm. Pours bright opaque golden, smell isn't quite as fulfilling as the taste.

From what I recall not as good as the 07, but better than the 09. (312 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Delirium Tremens Tulip.

A: Finger and a half head. Resides to and eighth of an inch head.

S: Orange rind, lemon zest, bready belgian yeast, I even get a hint of vanilla.

T: Very light, sweet malt flavor. Lots of citrus flavors going on orange, lemon, grapefruit hop flavors.

M: Really well carbonated. Dry, champagne like finish. Really good.

D: Very drinkable, 8.6 abv hidden well.

One of my favorite Belgian Style IPA's. (446 characters)

Photo of sisuspeed
2.93/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this into a Portsmouth tulip glass. A vigorous pour produces an ample white head, which eventually settles down to a thin film across a pale yellowish-orange body.

The nose contains some sweet malts, a bit of hops and a somewhat candied fruit rubbery smell. Not overly pleasant. I also get some apple juice concentrate in the aroma.

The first sip very sweet, spicy and warming. Lots of estery alcohol and fruits. For a 1 year old beer there is still some pleasant hop bitterness in the background, but it is not very strong. There is still some rubber like flavor in the taste as well.

The mouthfeel is spicy and little on the thin side. The 8.6% ABV is very apparent. Drinkability is on the low side for me.

This beer is a bit of spice bomb and overly sweet. I feel like it may have been better when it was fresh off the line, with a bigger hop profile. Either way, I've got another sitting in the cellar waiting for the vertical tasting on 12.12.12. Maybe I'll be more impressed then, but for now I'll have to pass. I've had much better from Stone than this. (1,072 characters)

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.