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
90
outstanding

696 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 696
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 174 | FT: 13
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 696 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mntlover
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden yellow with a decent white head feed by sparse rising bubbles, falls to ring that leaves some decent lacing behind.

Aroma is wonderful sweet malty lots of fruit banana, mango ect. Nice soft west coast hops citrus and pine not overpowering but adding greatly to the wonderful aroma.

Taste is malty sweet but with strong yeast notes, fruity at first but strong earthy notes jump out front. Hops play a part with nice bitterness, citrusy. Aroma is so smooth and wonderful, but the taste is not so smooth. Too much harsh yeast that seem to overpower the brew along with hops combining to not make it so smooth. Might smooth out with age, man if it just tasted like it smelled it would be great.

Mouthfeel is great nice medium smooth, but carbonated at same time.

Drinkability is ok thought it was going to be wonderful, almost buy this one to just smell it. But taste is not as good. Had this one while ago review is from notes so it might be great now.

Photo of jonziefle
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a light golden color, clear. One finger white head, with minimal retention. Good carbonation. Not much lacing at all.

Smell: Nose of bready and yeasty, sweet malts with typical Belgian spices. Spicy fragrances of estery fruits, with bananas, cloves, and cinnamon the strongest. One way to describe the smell is that of bubblegum, strange as that sounds. Very well balanced and very appealing.

Taste: The taste follows the nose well. Nice combination of yeasty malts and spicy fruit flavors (bananas and cloves). Very mild in that no flavor overwhelms another; incredibly well balanced. Not bitter at all, very smooth; only a hint of a hop bite is up front, but nothing really at all. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden; there is no indication that the beer is 8.6%.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium bodied. Very smooth and crisp. Excellent clean finish.

Drinkability: An excellent take on a Belgian Pale. All the requisite yeasts, esters, and spiciness, in an incredibly smooth beer. Incredibly easy to drink. The alcohol is so well hidden that the beer will sneak up on you pretty quickly; a good or bad thing depending.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - An hazy orange-amber brew with a ton of carbonation and a sizable foamy head. Thick clumps of lacing cling in discordant rings all down the sides of the glass.

S - A sweet malt and aromatic floral (lilies) hops - obvious at first whiff that this is a Belgian strong pale ale.

T - Initially a burst of intense floral (lilies) hops with a bit of sweetness and a warming alcohol feel. Then it progresses to a biscuity aspect coupled with a lingering floral hop that shifts into a mild bitter floral hop flavor.

M - A little harsh, thick, and not very refreshing.

D - A little intense and strong. Fortunately, I see almost no reason to place much weight on the drinkability of this release.

Photo of jdense
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber opened before 'optimal' date-please don't turn me in to the beer police.

Hard pour resulted in two finger semi-rocky head, fairly quick dissipation on top of orange/amber clear body. A bit of funk in the nose, phenolic-ish, but dominated by juicy juicy oranges and a bit of coriander. Oranges, hibiscus, candy sugar, warming alcohol and trace of hops on the back end. Marvelous mouthfeel and carbonation. Slight lean towards tripel instead of BSA, IMHO. Not a real drinkable brew, I hope my stashed bottle makes it to 2012. Nice American version of the style.

Photo of BeerStine
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear light copper with minimal head and low carbonation. Smells is of caramel malts with a fruity hops undertone. Taste is a fruity hoppiness at first followed by a sweet caramel malt flavor. Mouthfeel is a medium/light with minimal carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. I would drink many of these.

Taste is borderline bananaish for me. But still a good beer.

Photo of greshdoghophead
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber from the sharon square fridge since the arrival poured into large snifter

A - thank god they kept it upright at the beer store all the sediment was caked on the bottom
poured thrice giving a slight bubbly head that dissapated quickly
S - awesome! in a nut shell...one could gather several aromas including angelfood cake, banana bread, cloves, lemon merenge, and pine.
T - perfection - probably atypical to a true Belgian lover but exactly what I prefer; balanced malt action with yeasty buttery notes that may be nutty and mildly peppery but mainly like a warm bath of the tropics with a side note of a breakfast cake or something perhaps of another world
M - just enough lingering to beg temptation for more yet so complex as to force the palate to wait and contemplate
D - give me more and more, the time needed to make notations is wasted in my need to get some more in my mouth - like a wet dream
I can't imagine what it would be like to wait until 12/12/12 to try them all.
I had it 07 and 08 and its better every time!

Photo of nickfl
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of white foam on a perfectly clear, golden body. The foam settles quickly and leaves good lace.

S - Peppery aroma of basil, cloves, and fennel. Some malt in the background with spicy, grassy hops.

T - Spicy, peppery yeast flavor, backed by rich pilsner malt. Distinct green pepper flavors come out in the middle along with a nice toasted note. The finish is surprisingly smooth and well balanced with nice malt character and grassy, anise like hop flavors.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A very nice, very drinkable Belgian golden. The yeast character is robust and spicy and melds perfectly with the herbal hops. The aroma is nice, but the flavor is where the beer really comes to life. This brew borders on a saison in terms of spicy character and is very drinkable.

Photo of cavedave
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The look is straw colored, a bit cloudy, glowing, topped by a thin head of almost pure white. Picture Duvel with a bit less color/head perfection.

Ah, that fragrance which brings one back immediately to the fine Belgian strong pales one has sipped in life. I'm carried by wings of apricot, belgian style yeast, alcohol, and mild spice to past enjoyments. So simple, so complex, so seductive.

Brandied apricots lead an orderly stampede of flavor. Spice, pear, alcohol hints, herbal hints, earthy tones, yeasty tones, ending in a tart, modestly bitter, tiny-bit-sweet-and-alcohol-warm finish that satisfies immensely. Lacks some of the startling complexity found in others of this style. Makes up for it by being extremely delicious.

Mouthfeel is just short of marvelous. Carbonation is just right, but it seems a bit resinous for something that isn't jump on your tongue hoppy.

Due to its wonderful flavor, drinkability is quite good, if not dangerously so.

Photo of crazeguy
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz Bomber into a Pilsner Glass.

Its a mango colored yellow/orange. Nice white head with good retention.

Smell is fruity, delicious, and could be mistaken for candy. I have never smelled a beer like this.

Taste, sweet and slight fruit. Its great but has a lackluster finish. Only minimally takes away from the overall experience.

Mouthfeel, zesty and nice amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is up there. Its smooth and tasty. I would keep my fridge stocked with this if it was more easily available.

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

pour is a light orange. medium white head. nose is pineapple, earth, lemon zest, lipton sweet tea malt with a light tea bitter. palate. american hopped. complexity fades as it settles. a sweet back in bitterness. well balanced and consistent as an american take.

Photo of dankbrew21
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of m1ked
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of berkey
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Duhast500
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of PintOHops
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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!

Photo of Nick3
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Dalem
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of philbe311
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

Photo of Chodite
4.9/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of dfillius
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of Rayek
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.