1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

686 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 686
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 171 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!

(Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 686 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dankbrew21
dankbrew21

Oregon

5/5  rDev +25.6%

Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.o8
Specifically designed to age to December 12, 2012! I can not wait that long. Hopefully I can aquire another. I was very happy to get this brought back from California. Thanks pops!

Appearance is a pale yellow/orange. Quickly receding head. Very few bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass.

Smells remind me of a hoppy Duvel! Fruity aroma, some spiciness. Strong hop scent for a belgian but I know that is how Stone does business.

Taste is amazing!! Smooooth on the tongue with a slight sharpness from the hop resins. Tastes like a Duvel with much more hops, which is an awesome thing! This beer is wonderful, buttery and sweet with a good hop kick for a strong Belgian.

I can not imagine what this beers potential is aged appropriatly to the right time. I need to get my hands on another, put it in a cool, dry, dark place and let it do it's thing! This was my most exclamatory(if thats a word) review. Get two of these, drink one now, and save one for 2012! MMM MMM MMM

04-14-2009 20:44:29 | More by dankbrew21
Photo of m1ked
m1ked

California

4.47/5  rDev +12.3%

A- Clear golden straw yellow with multiple visible streamers that are in no hurry. Thin white foamy head that fades almost into nothing. Looks like a pilsner.

S- Definetly does not smell like a pilsner. Big fruity whiff here. I get peach, honeydew, mango, pineapple. Very tropical smelling. I get some candied sugar, slight clovey yeast.

T- Iget the tropical on the tongue but with more yeasty overtones. A slight metallic astringint note in there and a slight bitter finish....the finish reminds of Le Freak a tad.

M- Seems mils bodied to me with good carbonation and a slickness on the tongue.

D- I had this when it first came out, but I forgot how tropical this one is. I don't how "true to style" it is but I don't care...I like it alot.

04-14-2009 02:57:24 | More by m1ked
Photo of berkey
berkey

California

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

I had this fresh several months ago. Thought I'd see what some age has done to it. Something seemed appropriate about having an 8/8/8 at almost exactly eight months old.

Appearance: Clear golden body. Large, beautiful, white head formed when poured into an oversized tulip pint glass. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeast, spice, floral hop notes, alcohol sugars, some citrus. .

Taste: Alcohol sweetness, citrus. Much less hops than I remember from when I had a fresh bottle. When I first tried this the Belgian yeast and hop combination vaguely reminded me of Het Anker Hopinsjoor but at this point the two beers have very little common. This is unfortunate as I really enjoy that beer. Good news is the malt profile has become much more complex with age. As this warms alcohol notes evolve into tropical fruit, thought I caught a flash of kumquat in there actually.

Drinkability: Drinks even stronger and sweeter that the listed 8.6 Abv suggests. Can't imagine having more than one bottle.

04-13-2009 06:51:28 | More by berkey
Photo of Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Poured from a 1pt. 6oz. bottle into a Harpoon 100 Barrel Series tulip glass.

The color is a very light orange/gold color with two fingers of foamy white head some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is sweet with nice malty flavor that leads into a peppery flavor that is really interesting. There is a floral flavor to the nose that comes out quite easily and takes you to visions of spring and blooming flowers.

The taste was sweet more sugary malty flavor is popping with a sweetness that is like candy. Some nice hop bitterness is there in the background to balance things out. A great floral flavor is there as well and makes me feel like I am drinking rose pedals.

The mouthfeel is really even, smooth and is quite easy drinking. This is anther good Stone beer. It is full flavor and it really great beer.

04-11-2009 18:53:04 | More by Duhast500
Photo of PintOHops
PintOHops

California

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a deep clear gold with about 1/3 an inch, whiff like head, very poor retention surprisingly. Has medium-high carbonation that dies down rather quickly during consumption, leaving a less desirable appearance. No lacing as well, which really surprised me! Overall appearance of a lager almost. Smells of Sugary dates, raisins, orange peel, and grapefruit rind. All aromas are intertwined together with pungent floral hopy goodness! All aromas seem to be semi intense, and very zesty, except for some undertones of malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Taste starts with sweet malt, fruity grape & strawberry, zesty orange peel & grapefruit rind with hints of citrus. Wonderfully intense & pungent! Finishes with robust, almost burnt like hop bitterness, hints of malt, lite citrus flavors and some alcohol burn. As it warms alcohol becomes more pronounced as well as some dryness. Mouthfeel is smooth, semi creamy and medium-full bodied. Not allot of bite on the palate either, rather more smooth.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Intense, pungent, and very floral! Words to live by when consuming a Stone brew. This beer is definitely not session friendly, and it's not supposed to be. Compared to other Stone brews, this one was a little underwhelming, or not up to par, especially with it's appearance. Still very good, very decent pungent brew from Stone, I warn everybody to be careful with this one, has a very high ABV! Great offering, I recommend you give it a try.

Cheers!

04-04-2009 00:06:59 | More by PintOHops
Photo of Nick3
Nick3

California

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

Beer poured into a Paulaner hefeweizen glass. Forms a 2 finger head that fades quickly. Color is golden and translucent, looks like a standard American lager. Smell is a very nice blend of citrus, bread, hops, and spices. Taste is a smooth malt up-front and piney while the finish is dry and hoppy. Nice carbonation through the beer. Will be curious to see what this taste like in 4 years per the note on the bottle. I'll be storing a couple.

04-02-2009 04:18:24 | More by Nick3
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%

I pour this brew with vigor and only get two fingers of creamy off white head that is pillow like as it stays nicely. Leaves a wave of lace as it slowly fades. Body is a glowing golden wheat toned hue. Nose is yeasty, actually quite doughy with some sweet citrus tones mixed in, kind of like orange marmalade. Honey like thick and sweet initially on first sip but you quickly are over taken by a hop presence that is very unique. It is like the yeasty feel carries the hop profile throughout the palate. A nice bitter feel that turns thick thanks to the yeast. This brew really reminds me of Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA but less hoppy. Mouthfeel is considerably thick but not bad. Very nicely drinkable.

03-25-2009 17:15:03 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of Dalem
Dalem

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Translucent honey blonde in color with a good amount of carbonation. An almost two finger head holds on strong eventually fading a leaving thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The scent is pretty much what you'd expect from a Belgium ale. Banana, black pepper and a creamy malt base holding it all together. The taste is right along the same lines. A contention I have with a portion of American made Belgium ales is that it seems they get a little out of hand with the spices. Sometimes the the point where it seems they want all the attention and that the brew itself is an afterthought. This keeps that all in check. The requisite Belgium yeast spiciness is right where it should be but it's doesn't seem like somebody was there throwing nutmeg and cinnamon in it over and over again to give it "it's own thing" and that's cool. As it adjusts to the glass and room temperature it hints of green apple and clove rise a bit to the surface. The finish is medium smooth leaving a slight banana tinge down the throat. If it wasn't for a warming effect as it it goes down it would be hard to believe that this is pushing 9% abv.

03-23-2009 05:51:09 | More by Dalem
Photo of 51mmz0rz
51mmz0rz

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +12.3%

A: Very clear light amber body, nice beige head with good retention. There are beautiful little bits of yeast hover throughout the glass. Looks deceptively drinkable, like a pilsener really.

S: First whiff is sweetness of the grain. Upon further sniffing a citrusy hop aroma is strong up front, which seems to pair well with the background notes from the yeast.

T: Malty sweetness followed by hoppy delight on the way down. It develops on the tongue after swallowing almost magically.

M: Fair amount of carbonation, feel good in the mouth, not too syrupy.

D: That finish keeps me coming back for more.

I had the cali-belique yesterday, and I feel this balances quite a bit better.

03-14-2009 02:15:57 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

A - One finger of pure white head fizzes and quickly fades leaving the a very delicate lace... Golden color with a slight orange hue... Every so slight bit of slow carbonation...

S - First your greeted with the a full array of citrus - Grapefruit is foremost, but is also joined by notes of orange, lemon and a hint of lime... Second, you notice the grassy earthy aromas that lie beneath... Then you are introduced to a delightful whiff of piney hops... Finally you notice a faint hint of malt...

T - A pleasant mix of citrus and piney hops... A quick burst of caramel and malt... Then the alcohol is noticeable... Final your hit with a spicy peppery final touch... Yeasty notes become noticeable during the aftertaste... Wonderfully well balanced and complex...

M - Medium bodied... Exquisite and smooth... A little pringle of carbonation on the tongue... The warmth of the alcohol is unavoidable... Delightful experience...

D - A complex sipper that makes for a wonderful experience... Slightly understated (in a good way)... An intriguing brew that makes for an enjoyable evening of beer enjoyment...

03-14-2009 02:07:44 | More by philbe311
Photo of Chodite
Chodite

Maryland

4.9/5  rDev +23.1%

I'm a beer geek but not very good with reviews, terminology, etc. In fact, I've only typed up a couple of reviews on this site (though I've had 100's of quality beers in my lifetime).

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is one of my all-time faves. In fact, I bought twelve 22 oz. bombers a few months back with the intention of cellaring a few of them... only to disappoint myself by emptying the contents of the last remaining bottle just recently. I couldn't help myself.

Amazing brew with everything I love about beer. It's like a Belgian tripel on MLB steroids. Steroids = a buttload of quality hops.

Luckily, a local bar still has cold bottles available; which I purchase without hesitation and usually share with a friend. And that friend usually has never tried a Stone brew in his/her life before that evening. Lucky for that person, he/she is a Stone fan for life.

Keep up the good work Stone.

03-13-2009 01:27:57 | More by Chodite
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%

Poured into a pint glass. Had a nice yellow color with the slightest bit of haze. Great thick and foamy head.

Smelled predominantly of belgian yeast with a touch of citrus hops. Sweet malt comes through.

The taste was outstanding. Again, the yeast comes through in typical fashion and is backed by orange, banana, and cloves.

Medium crisp body with moderate to heavy carbonation.

This is a nice, clean, refreshing beer that has loads of flavor.

I had never heard of this offering from Stone when I saw it, but wish I had. I would have bought a couple and aged one for comparison. Unfortunately, Stone doesn't distribute in Illinois and there may not be a "next time" to purchase the 8.08.08. I would definitely buy it again if the opportunity arises, as well as future releases.

03-11-2009 02:58:01 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
ElGrecoVerde

Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

An American twist on the style. Less spicy and more citrus than expected, but it works out nicely. Lemon peels, toasted bread, and smooth caramel round out the flavors. There are some spices and black pepper flavors as well, but they're a bit subdued.

Very crisp and clean. Great feel, fairly dry, and very easy to drink. If money permits, I may get another to save for 12.12.12.

03-11-2009 01:33:12 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of dfillius
dfillius

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%

Enjoyed in a pint glass.
A: Moderate pour leaves minimal white, fizzy head. Chill haze or slightly cloudy gold. More head please.
S: Honeydew melon. Man candy-esque. Hops are juicy smelling. Very complex and citrus-fruity aroma.
T: Mmmm! Fruity with hop and alcohol coming in in the aftertaste. The fruit and hop don't blend perfectly though and so I subtracted points for that. Citrus hop came up with a burp.
M: Bright, then an off flavor affiliated with heat, then bitterness.
D: This is a tasty beer on the verge of being terrific. A solid offering, I would have a few of these. Maybe I'll try to homebrew it!

03-10-2009 01:55:49 | More by dfillius
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -2%

A: Deep gold with fairly active carbonation. Big and foamy white cap has very nice retention and leaves patches of lace.

S: The nose came across a little weak to me. Slightly fruity and yeasty, with a heavy dose of pine. A little citrus creeps in as well.

T: An initial fruitiness is quickly replaced by a rush of pine like bitterness that's bolstered by a mild grapefruit presence. A bready maltiness rides in the background. Finishes with a lingering pine bitterness and a pleasant alcohol warmth.

M: Medium body is a touch grainy. Carbonation feels about right.

D: Yet another beer I have mixed feelings about. Overall, it is a very enjoyable brew. My issue is that doesn't it taste all that Belgian to me. Vertical is very similar to Avery Salvation by my taste buds, which is a beer that left me with the same mixed thoughts. That said, I wouldn't pass Vertical up if given another chance to drink it.

03-09-2009 15:09:26 | More by Rayek
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.43/5  rDev +11.3%

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a really nice pilsner malt scent along with an earthy, yet fruity yeast aroma. There is also some hop bitterness as well. The taste is great as well. This is a very smooth beer with loads of character. It has a solid malt base and tastey yeast finish. It's quite bitter with a mildly earthy finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's incredibly drinkable without lacking complexity and a bit of warmth.

03-07-2009 22:45:24 | More by WesWes
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%

This beer pours a nice deep golden color with a two finger rocky off white head. There is nice head retention leaving sticky lacing on the side. The first I noticed in the nose was belgian yeast, with a definite mixture of floral hops, and a touch of spice. The taste follows with the smell. Definite taste of belgian yeast, floral hops, perhaps clove spice on the tongue and some sweet malts. There is a very distinct floral after taste to it. This is a pretty light on the tongue at first and then gets meatier with a solid finish, medium carbonation, somewhat dry finish. This was a really nice beer!

03-06-2009 02:17:59 | More by Jayli
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

A= pours a clear amber color like a darker macro lager almost. Crystal clear. A small head forms and lasts leaving decent lacing.
S= small hop notes and some yeast spice. A sweet malt character. Also but mostly hops and yeast.
T= like a well made macro lager I think. Well hopped and a good crisp bite but also a little malty smoothness with a touch of belgian yeast. Very unique and delicious!
M= crisp and smooth I would almost say undercarbonated
D= very high. This beer is very good. Unique in how smooth and clean it is. Unlike any belgian I've had very good. Thanks to johngialt for this one very good.

03-03-2009 02:19:36 | More by jjanega08
Photo of hustlesworth
hustlesworth

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +3%

A- bright clear golden tangerine-apricot color with a short lived foamy off white head. a thin veneer of foam remnants sit quietly on the surface and delicate wisps of lace cling to my tulip.

S- fruity, papery, and quite phenolic, with a strong band-aid/cardboard and apple skin and 'ocean' aroma that fade as the beer airs out. some citrus and spicy pepper notes as well, floral alcohol esters, and grassy-herbal hops. hints of banana push through with pineapple greens, pear, and under ripe green fruits. overall for me it leans in the wrong direction until allowed to breathe, so patience may be virtuous.

T- dominant hop flavor from start to finish, reminding me of a belgian IPA. alot of citrus, candied lemon, orange pith, acrid white grapefruit, though not unpleasant, display how the pungency of a shit ton of west coast hops can box out the subtleties that i enjoy so much in belgian style beers. yeast aromas are rather bland and are nearly unnoticeable behind the thick curtain of hops, appearing only as a faint hint of banana, white grape, and pear. it's quite a tasty brew, but my amateur palate typically expects a balance from BSPAs that allows yeast character to be slightly more prevalent. in a blind taste test, i would put a c-note on belgian IPA. finishes lightly toasty with a fresh grain flavor as the hops go from citrus to grassy and herbal and chlorophyll with a little pine.

MF- lingering hop oils but an otherwise clean finish, juicy bodied and perfect delicate prickly carbonation, mildly astringent.

D- mouth feel has me sold, and has led me to speedy consumption. i'm hung up on this one, at only 6 months old, perhaps it needed more time to mature because at this stage it is rough and hop oriented and coloring outside the lines as far as style guides go- not that that's a bad thing, but in a perfect world it would be awesome to know what's inside an $8 bottle of beer. still, good job stone, i wish i had been hip for long enough to try the past batches.

03-01-2009 00:57:37 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured from the chilled 22oz into a goblet + pint

A - A burnished golden that is resplendent and has excellent clarity. A rocky bone white cap crowns the ale of approx 3/4 inch w/ a very tight bead. The lace is like a doily in its symmetric pattern sticking to the glass. The second glass has a gentle haze, but you can see the minute bubbles rising to the surface.

S - The smell is a blend of herbal hops and subtle spice notes from belgian yeast almost like fresh cut sweet grass in its floral citrus element w/ a vegetal green bell pepper sweetness mixed with pear essence.

M - The texture is moderately full carbonation w/ a grainy herbal hop blend and a mild rush of alcohol warmth w/ hop astringency, but a mild malt sweetness combines w/ the medicinal texture

T - A grainy, bready malt taste at first w/ a hint of biscuit is paralleled by a candy-like sweet taste and a spicy, astringent american hop flavor. The hops have subtle citrus and there is a dry aspirin note w/ a navel orange mixed w/ white pepper. The taste continues to evolve with more grapefruit-like hop taste as it warms and mellows. Light toasted grain flavor and mild alcohol as it finishes w/ a taste like chewing on a sweet radish.

D - One of Stone's finest beers in the vertical epic series I have had and I love the combo of Belgian yeast and west coast hops. The taste is great and I especially enjoyed how it changed over time (6 months) from the time I first tasted it. This ale went well with my puple rice cracker topped with bavarian blue brie. I am looking forward to attempting the homebrew recipe on stonebrew.com

02-26-2009 20:22:13 | More by Slatetank
Photo of WillieMoe
WillieMoe

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

Pours a slightly opaque, bubbly golden, with a hint of orange. Has a thin head that dissolves fairly quickly.

Has that heavy fruity belgian aroma.Hints of banana, mild citrus, coriander, clove and a mild bready malt.

Has a big hop taste, balanced with some citrusy wafts and bready yeast scents. A little harsh and fizzy at first, with a bit of a tang at the end. Has a medium body, and some good carbonation.

The alcohol is not hidden all that well. Is a very good drink, but a bit too big to drink continuously.

02-26-2009 02:30:13 | More by WillieMoe
Photo of Stockfan42
Stockfan42

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -10.8%

So I guess this beer should be aged till 2012 for its full flavor experience? Well im thisty now so here goes nothing.

A light goldish, yellow pour that leaves a creamy head that slowly folds down.

Very interesting aroma. Hops and cloves dominate the smell, very malty and hints of fruit lingre in the background.

Spicy like a belgiam, not over hopped and pretty malty as well. The cloves are what im guessing give it that spicy kick. Fruity undertone with some grapefruits, taste like some banana nut bread in a way.

Pretty light feel which isnt bad for 8% and goes down alright. Maybe i'll grab some more and open it when its supposed to be to make a comparison.

02-23-2009 18:53:41 | More by Stockfan42
Photo of zerofear13
zerofear13

New York

3.58/5  rDev -10.1%

Had Stone's 07.07.07 last year and wasn't a huge fan. This year, I think I'm going to officially stop trying these Vertical Epics. I'm just not a big fan of the flavor or the style. Pours out a gold color. Carbonated. Smells of coriander, banana, and earth-tone yeasts. Tastes follow suit. Very herb-y and spicey flavors. Not a big fan. I feel like those real prevalent hearb flavors always outdo the other tastes. Just don't really like that.

Give it a try if it's available, but only because it's rare and worth saying you've tried. Personally, if you don't like the style, this won't change your mind.

02-16-2009 23:11:04 | More by zerofear13
Photo of tittymcj
tittymcj

Connecticut

3.73/5  rDev -6.3%

This one poured out a very clear, crisp orange color, with light head and average lacing.

Smells like cloves primarily but also some sweet malt.

The taste, has a strong sense of hoppy bitterness, with significant coriander, a very belgian beer style taste.

Mouthfeel is very light, very energetic and springy almost. Refreshing as well. There is a lingering coriander taste in the mouth.

Drinkability is very high since it is so light and not very complex, but because I don't particularly enjoy the taste, I wouldn't necessarily drink it again.

02-16-2009 22:22:05 | More by tittymcj
Photo of joerodiii
joerodiii

New York

3.85/5  rDev -3.3%

Straw colored ale with minimum head. Aroma of Duvel-like phenolics, citrus, and hops. Hops dominate the flavor throughout. The beer tastes very highly attenuated, dry and thin. Between the thinness and dryness, I don't think I could drink a lot of this beer.

Overall, it tastes like an overhopped Duvel.

02-09-2009 23:50:37 | More by joerodiii
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 686 ratings.