Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

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89
very good
490 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
490
Ratings:
870
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
13.82%
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
250
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15
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by froghop on 08-04-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 490 | Ratings: 870
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.78/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of JosephLondon
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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

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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.

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Photo of samie85
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

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Photo of katan
3.86/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.3/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of PangaeaBeerFood
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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!

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Photo of Pahn
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

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Photo of randawakes
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of sisuspeed
2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter to reveal a rich golden body and tall, airy head that dies off pretty fast. It smells very funky with a little citrusy sour. Kinda like a concentrated... farmhouse... funk. After that, though, there is some pleasant sweetness to it.

Tastes a little like it smells with the same funk flavor. After that, gentle hop character with orange notes, a little floral honey and a little light malt. The bitterness is not at all overwhelming, and if not for the little kick of it at the end, I would have pegged this one a saison. Carbonation is very precise but makes up enough of the mouthfeel to be present. Light body. Medium smoothness. Quite warming. Fairly drinkable too, except the smell for me is a bit off-putting.

I don't remember the other vertical epic tasting quite like this one. It will be interesting when it comes time for the actual vertical.

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Photo of colts9016
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a my Tripel Karmeliet glass at 37 degrees.

Appearance: A nice white foamy two finger head that has some retention to it. The body of the beer is a medium straw color with hues of orange. There is some effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is hazy.

Nose: A very rich fragrant floral bouquet, citrus (mainly grapefruit), and some wood. The malt is slightly sweet.

Taste: A deep well rounded hop flavor with grapefruit, fragrant bouquet of flowers, and wood. The malt is toasted and slightly sweet. There are notes of phenols, cloves, and a hint of banana.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated, creamy and slightly astringent. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This beer reminds me of a Belgium Tripel. It has the taste and characteristic of the Tripel, but not the complexity. It is a very good beer, and well made. Glad that I got to try it.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Hazy golden, very active, thick white-ish head with great retention and lots of lacing. SMELL rich sweet maltyness hits first, fruity esters, and restrained grassy hoppiness follow. Sneaky Belgian yeastiness infuses throughout. TASTE Sweet rich caramel maltiness paired with light grassy hoppy flavors and mild bitterness. Fruity esters from Belgian yeast add complexity and depth. Smooth and balanced. FEEL medium/full body, pleasant slightly slick texture, alc warming, clean and dry finish. OVERALL should be savored and shared, and is fairly filling. But it looks, smells, feels and tastes great!

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Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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 jeffjeff1
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Cork and Bottle after getting comics. I was pleasantly surprised to find it.

Appearance- golden color, little head

Smell- fruit, hops, malt

Taste- very nice and dry, hops, spice, fruit

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- very nice, i would love more

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Photo of TheKingsOfHop
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into tulip shaped glasses:

A: Half a fingers width of white headed foam, with a golden copper, cloudy, dense looking body to it.

S: Apricots, with a touch of grapefruit, followed by a grassy, malty presence. Then there's a bit of unexpected funk, followed by more fresh fruit.

T: At first there's a rush of grapefruit zest, and sweet apples. Then comes a balanced transition to a strong creamy toffee like backbone that finishes off dry, but elegant.

M: Smooth medium bodied, with light carbonation, very refreshing.

D: Goes down easily, extremely smooth. Could definitely see us drinking a couple of these in one sitting.

Cheers,
The Kings Of Hop

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Photo of SirSketch
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of an '07, '08, '09 vertical

A - Bright gold color with white foamy home and consistent bubble. Less visual carbonation than the '07, surprisingly.

S - The hop aroma definitely outlasted the year and a half of age. Alcohol is very apparent. Light maltiness gives way to some fruits.

T - Hop flavor is much less than in the aroma. Bitterness is quenching. Again, the alcohol is not trying to hide.

M/D - Smooth and slightly dry. Only the second beer in my vertical, but I much preferred the '07.

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Photo of bminor7
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber from Hoosick St Beverage in Troy, NY.

A - straw orange. 1 finger of foam falls leaving some lacing. slightly turbid, something which i find refreshing.

S - just like a tripel, with hops, grapefruit, cloves...

T - tastes just like a tripel as well. definitely dry like the lab indicates, not sweet like Houblon. you can tell without reading the label up here on the page, which style this is trying to be (BIPA). it is subtle...some boldness would have benefitted it, for me, though you are rewarded with more esters as the beer gains some warmth. strong hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - high carbonation, pour generously. light and crisp. alcohol strong in the aftertaste.

D - ultimately very drinkable because of its balance. i remember being excited just to learn that there was such a style (BIPA) after I had Houblon, and i continue to love them...this beer is a good contender in the category...whether intended to be so 'light' or not, a heavier hand in this brew might have put it in the top 10 for the style.

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Photo of jdg204
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After yet another great Stone experience with 13th anniversary, I decided it was time to try more of their brews. Thus, I popped into Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem and grabbed the '08 and '09 Vertical Epics.

A: Light golden color with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing.

S: Aromas of yeast, spices, apples/pears, and hops.

T: Starts with the sweetness of apples/pears and spices. This is quickly followed by the classic bite of belgian yeast, this could be a saison at this point. Then there's the strong finish of hops, very well done and balanced. A real nice flavor but I'm not sure it differentiates from a saison enough.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, very smooth and crisp.

D: A real nice offering from Stone, very unique and enjoyable. Stone really proved their chops by taking on a Belgian and delivering with such a solid brew. Still, I'm not sure this differentiates itself as much from classic Belgian styles as the bottle indicates (basically called a Belgian/ West Coast IPA). A solid choice (not quite a must try) and a commendable addition to the Vertical Epic lineup.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.