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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

697 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 697
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
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
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Ratings: 697 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a rich yellow gold color with good head retention and lacing. The beer looks for all the world like a Belgian trippel, which, as I found out, it would mimick in other ways as well.

On the nose this beer is very impressive. I get some cherry and honey, but with huge underlying hoppy bitterness, coupled with white and black pepper. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, and for all the world this beer reminds me of the Houblon IPA from La Chouffe. It's actually a bit richer and hoppier then the Houblon, but is also a bit less complex and lacks some of the lemon/lime. The beer is moderately sweet, but that sweetness is more then countered by the massive amount of hops in this beer. The beer is medium bodied and finishes fairly well. Abv. is pretty well disguised, though it had a warming effect near the end of the glass. Probably couldn't drink a whole lot of this stuff, but the single glass was quite good. Another impressive offering from Stone.

Edit from 3/15/13. Based on a recent vertical epic tasting at Pacific Coast Brewing. While this beer still shows some attractive cherry, orange, honey and light vanilla flavor, the flavor profile has clearly lightened up considerably since 2008. This beer is till quite charming and drinkable, but it has nothing like the hoppy bitterness and intensity of flavor it had several years ago. My current scoring of this beer was considerably below what I gave it back in 2008.

Photo of Keith238
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden in color, this brew lacked the thick creamy foam promised on the bottle. May glass may not have been as clean as I initially thought but I'm a stickler about my beer glasses so I doubt it.

S- Fantastic aroma. Very floral.

T- Again, fantastic. Spicy and well hopped. This brew has renewed my interest in Belgian triples.

M & D- Clean, crisp and dry. You will want a second bottle so buy it while you can.

Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful clear golden colored ale. Tinges of amber I could almost call this peach color. Small white head forms and falls.

Quite a strong and pleasant smelling ale, I smell it quite strongly two feet away from my nose. Strong and sweet candy aroma and fruity and spicy esters dominate the aroma. Quite spicy and herbal this is one beer where the yeast esters hide whatever coriander was used in the recipe. Herbal but without any separate identities except licorice and mint.

Taste starts out mildly sweet and herbal with a sweet aftertaste. Herbal and spicy with the accent on the word herbal. Quite strong bitter for the style. Best I can ID the flavors here is Jägermeister and mint.

Mouthfeel is quite nice.

No Idea how well this will age, for me it is quite nice right now. Very Spicy and herbal example of the beer style and one I like quite a bit.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just picked these up today at State Line.

Pours a clear golden yellow color. I got about two fingers of white head. Lacing is...wait, where's the lacing? Oh well, the nice steady streams of bubbles rising up make up some for the lack of lacing.

The aroma is nice and spicy. Dry hopping is present with big citrus hop profile up front. Spicy yeast and biscuit is noticeable, also. Very inviting smell.

The flavor is sharp and spicy. Bitter grapefruit hops, sweet yeast, and a hint of biscuit. Starts with a quick hint of sweetness before being quickly overtaken by the hops. A bit peppery, as well.

The mouthfeel is a little thin and not quite as drying as I expected. Nice beer. I am interested in how it will change over time. Wait and see, I guess. Wait and see.

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bomber a 24 karat gold with a yellow lab-coat head of foam two fingers thick. After a minute the head became rocky and then descended to a thin coat of small bubbles. Broken lacing. Aromas of floral hops, honey, pineapple, spices and some other citrus. Delicious and complex nose. The flavors were equally demanding, wet hops, piney hops and resin all making it a little bitter. Hints of blueberries, white pepper and grapefruit. Develops a bubblegum like sweetness in the background as it warms up. Quite balanced for a distinctly aggressive brew. Good mouthfeel, medium body, light carbonation and quite drinkable, especially for 8.6%. Has many attributes of a legendary beer but it is very expensive ($7.99 here in Btown; as much as a six pack or growler of high quality, LOCAL craft!). It surely will age well too for those as obsessive as I!

Photo of buffettfan
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle, into my Allagash slim tulip glass.

Poured a clear yellow, with very nice head. Much lighter looking then I was expecting.

Smelled like bread, yeast, with some citrus, and pretty strong hop presence.

Tasted of hops, not too bitter, with some sweetness to balance it out.

Very drinkable beer! I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a bright honey golden slightly clouded body, forming a vibrant egg shell white head with fine bubbles quickly rising from the bottom of my Piraat chalice. Nice intricate lacing is left behind in a fine scattered pattern with each sip.

Aroma is heavily hopped dare I say Simcoe or Summits (now I've read these were Amarillo hops). Anyway a touch of green onion and grapefruit with dank weed reminds me slightly of the Green Flash DIPA, I would think this may be on par with their new Green Flash Le Freak. Some sweet malts crate a honey biscuit edge with fr4uit easters abundant from the Belgian yeast strain, some tropical pineapple with a touch of banana. Those tones are hard to detect among the frivilous hop bill.

Flavor is spicy with assertive hop bitterness, that green onion tone almost becomes spicy like a garlic note. It's not off putting it's just intense, grapefruit citrus with other fruit esters arrive short after the spiciness dies down. Still has some hot alcohol with some perfume like notes among the raw hop bitterness, I can for see this acheiving some balnce as the hops are muted in a few months. However, I'd drink this one fresh forget about 12.12.12.

Mouthfeel moderate carbonation but ample for the style not as effervescent as your current hopped up Beligans but it carries well on the palate. This style doesn't really benefit from all the hops but I did enjoy the oily textures and bitter dry finish between the yeast and the hop flavors.

Drinkability is pretty effortless, I plan to grab a few more bottles at just around or under seven bucks this is a steal. Just do yourself a favor and don't try to age this one it's drinking so well right now with the fresh hops bite.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split with my roommate 'cos i'm a loving friend and it's his birthday. Fittingly, into my Duvel glass

A: Clear golden yellow with a solid, two-finger head that leaves a little lacing. Head retention is less than stellar but this is a pretty beer

S: If this is not dry-hopped with Amarillo, hold me upside down and smack me, please. Massive dry hop aroma with citrus (tangerine and lemon) behind which there is a yeasty sweetness that's got some honey. Very, very appealing, I'm having a hard time getting my nose out of the glass

T: Starts off mildly sweet and mildly hoppy with a little citrus and a hint of spice (white pepper comes to mind) before drying up on the finish (not enough, though), leaving a pleasing bitterness. All told, maybe a little simple but enjoyable

M: Carbonation is surprisingly low and the finish is less than as dry as I'd like it to be for this style

D: Despite having a ton of bad things to say about this beer, this is ridiculously drinkable and it;s going down very easy

Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with an off white head.

S- Citrus, grassy and some yeast.

T- Citrus right up front (apples and pear) which is followed up by a spicy flavour. Tiny bit of hops in the finish.

M- Medium in body and carbonation. Well balanced.

D- I really enjoyed this one. Easy to drink

Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a crystal clear and quite carbonated goldenrod yellow. A fat finger of pithy off-white head droops slowly to thin fuzz. Hillocks of lacing bump along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, sweet pale malt wafts berry and candy sugar, while piney hops join notes of banana, peach, clove, and mint. Alcohol is notable, but barely.

Upon tasting, toasted grain is sweet with sugar and a general berry feel. Also representing fruit are, again, peach and ripe banana. The hops are rife with dry grapefruit and mellow pine, and esters are in gear with clove and muted peppery spice. The alcohol is more poignant here, but warm and reasonably fitting. A very brief residual doughiness is dried out by a lingering crisp finish that's softly bitter. The style blend isn't seamless but it is tasty in its way.

Medium bodied, the peppy carbonation, peppery crispness, and nice malt flow construct a pleasant presence.

This is one aromatic beasty with hefty hops and energetic esters bringing a very assertive air to the fore. A tad on the sweet side, it's crisped before you can say Boy Howdy. Yes, the ABV is a valid concern, but it's a fairly low level obstacle as long as you're not looking to operate any heavy machinery. Age could mesh the blending, and maybe make the alcohol sneaker on the palate. So beware, but take advantage now, and later.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Grotten chalice.

A: Fairly clear golden color. Head dissipated quickly. No real lacing.

S: Very pungent bittering hops. The sweetness is there but not as much as you would want in a Belgian IPA which is what this should be classified as.

T: Nice mix of sweetness and hoppiness. Again this should be a Belgian IPA. As it is this I will review it as such. Honestly the LaChouffe really captured the style and everyone else is catching up. Still a great beer but the hops and sweetness are not as strong as I would like.

M: Fairly average medium body. Carbonation is good.

D: I really don't see how this beer will hold up for 4 years. That being said I do have 6 bottles in the cellar. A nice example of a hard to obtain and little produced style. Very nice. Drink now though if only buying one bottle.

Photo of peabody
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out really clear with a slight yellow/amber tint. Less than a finger of white bubbles and some nice lacing around the Stone Tulip glass appears.
Smell is kinda horse blanket grassy and peppery spicey with a caramel sweetness and then the alcohol heat in the nostril.
Taste is VERY boring after the wonderful aroma.
This almost has no taste whatsoever. HMMM Mabey this needs the two years to mature before the final VE tasting.
Mouthfeel is boring but very clean. Not a lot of alcohol is in the taste or aftertaste. Some phenol remains after the drink leaves the mouth but not a lot.
Drinkability is not good at all now, hoping this kicks some major ass in two years. We will have to wait and see.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 22oz bomber pours into my tulip glass a bright golden yellow with a two finger head of creamy foam on top. Plenty of active carbonation rises up. Aromas start out with crisp malts bathed in a spicy Belgian yeast. Lots of fruity scents here with citrus, apple, melon and tropical notes. Big resinous hops are there as well. Slight bubblegum and floral notes as well. Interesting.

First sip brings the standard Belgian pale crispness that quickly moves into peppery, spicy, earthy yeast notes that battle alongside a bevy of fruity flavors. Melon, banana, apple and citrus. Flows down with a punch of resinous hop bitterness that adds some pine flavors as well. Bubblegum and clove come as afterthoughts. Finishes very dry on the palate. Tasty overall.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. There's a crisp graininess to the brew, maybe due to how dry it is overall. The bomber goes down easy enough, however this isn't my favorite of the series. There seems to be too many competing flavors here. I'll be interested to see what happens when this gets some age on it.

Photo of flexabull
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice, crystal clear, gold color with a decent white head.

Aromas are of apples, peaches, some grass, and dry white wine.

Beer has a very dry and bitter overall flavor. But it's not overpowering, and other flavors are allowed show up. Faint creamy malt sweetness, some dry fruit flavors like pear, and apple, along with some yeast spiciness, and a taste of cloves. Finish brings back the dry feel, as well as more bitterness, a s well as a pretty mineral like hop bite.

Mouthfeel is nice, very full feeling, and a carbonation level that seems about right.

Drinkability is good. This is a very complex beer. It's a bit on the strong side flavor wise right now, but I think a few years in the cellar will treat this one well.

Photo of BrewMonkey
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasted along with 07.07.07

Pours much lighter in color and more clear than the prior year's offering, a very clear straw color with similar fluffy white head as 07, though it seems to recede much faster with less lacing.

Aroma is miles apart from the 07 version, heavily dominated by hop aroma including grassiness, citrus, and something near spearmint. Some hints of nectar like sweetness behind the hops, with a fruitiness akin to melon/honeydew and clove.

Flavor is intensely clovey, with far higher levels of hop bitterness than 07. Sweetness levels balance fairly well with the bitter aspect, though the clove seems to throw things a bit off balance IMO. Mouthfeel is a bit different as well, might have liked a bit more carbonation similar to 07.

Definately a different experience. As much as I love the aroma, I'm not as nuts about the flavor, but might improve by next year if the clove subsides a bit. Its a tasty brew for sure, but might need some time to mellow out. Definately would like a bit more carbonation though.

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a Duvel Tulip. Bottle conditioned. First pour is clear, pale gold with a finger of fine bubbled white head. Interesting aroma, lemon with some spice. Some sugar also as the beer warmed. Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Malty sweetness in the start. Spice from the yeast and also spice from the hops in the finish. Fairly bitter for a Belgian style beer. Very drinkable.

Photo of tendermorsel
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a DT tulip glass.

Great foamy head on this one. The head went away as the beer warmed in the glass.

A bit of hops and banana on the nose.

This reminded me a lot of a good Belgian IPA (hommel bier). Spicy and peppery. Hoppy but not heavily hoped with the typical "west coast style" hops that Stone is famous for. I bit boozy. I can see this one aging real well.

Good work on this one Stone. Very different from there typical offerings. They left there comfort zone successfully. Recommended.

Photo of scottg
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy honey gold color with a one finger white head that dissipates quickly with little lacing. Aromas of fruity yeast, sweet orange, bubblegum and grapefruit hops. This starts with some grapefruit hops which mellows and smoothes into some vanilla and banana flavors. Light body, medium carbonation, it coats the mouth and cleanses. The hops are very well controlled and add depth making this a hightly drinkable beer.

Photo of azcat777
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours hazy, but clears up a little, which I am guessing is residual yeast from the bottle conditioning. Has a golden color with an off white head.

S: It smells of a yeast, has a grassy accents along with citrus and bananas. Also has a slight hint of hops

T: Tastes of fruits, wheat, and hops. The taste of hops stayed on my palate the longest

M: A dry, moderate carbonation. full bodied and smooth, slides across the tongue.

D: A great rendition of the belgian strong pale ale. very complex flavor I just wonder what it would taste like fully aged, but as the bottle says if you can wait that long which I couldn't.

Photo of kmeves
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a semi cloudy light golden with a medium off-white head. Aroma is medium sweet lime, lemon, grassy, malt and wheat. Flavor is big sweet wheat and malt initially then grass, herb and mint to finish. Citrus is more noticeable in the finish. Full bodied, thick texture.

Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a hazy yet clear (if that makes any sense!) golden color with a one-finger, off-white head that leaves some ropey lace behind.

S: Interesting aromas of mango/apricot, grass clippings, apple, white grape, pineapple, pear, and a hint of tangy citrus.

T: See above. Spice, white pepper, Candi sugar, fruity yeast, fresh cut grass, citrus, mango, pineapple, and alcohol.

M: Sweet and slippery at first, then abruptly astringent. Nice mix of sweet, spicy, bitter, and dry.

D: Pretty good. I liked the cut grass caracteristics of the smell and taste.

Photo of MiScusi
4.78/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A really nice clear rich golden. Head builds up nice but recedes fairly fast. The smell has some light Belgian yeast character (phenols), not a ton of hoppiness comes out in the aroma, except maybe a bit simcoe-like smell. It really has the nice fruitiness of a belgian stong pale with a nice juicy hop kick at the end. It's not a huge abbrassive hoppiness but a very complimentary sweet cirtrus juicy hop taste. Very nice, the buzz factor is good too cause it's so drinkable yet very high in Vitamin ETOH.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours an unassuming gold straw color, a thin but complete cover with some heavy lacing.

Aroma - it's like a weird combo of Pine-Sol and olives. I'm thinking Band-Aids, but there are other interesting smells weaved in there too. Hard to pick out, maybe some cellaring will clarify the nose in a future tasting.

Taste - despite an oddball nose, it tastes great. Yeasty, banana, Belgian candi front, but on the lighter side. And on purpose, as there are some other flavors floating about. A slightly funky hoppiness, an almost rye-like graininess, and a very warm abv feel that is trying to meld things together. It may be a little out-matched at this early age but as time goes by this will take some twists ands turns flavorwise. A dry, bitter bite on the swallow, this beer really has a full complement of flavor. A breath of Band-Aid on the exhale now and then, but it's so close to the banana it's hard to distinguish at times.

Mouthfeel - plenty crisp, a medium body with notable smoothness.

Drinkability - so much going on here that you will want to have a number of these set aside for a tasting in 2010 and 2012.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a distinctly clear pale yellow/slight orange with a good fluffy white head. Nose is alot of belgian yeast, and some wheat notes. Taste follows with intense yeast and spice character, also some pepper and european hops. a good spice hop profile. Unique yet subtle hop character. Some grassiness as well. interesting melding of flavor here. mouthfeel is good, but slightly dry for my taste. Drinkability is good, as it hides its abv quite well. Overall a good brew, but nothing terribly spectacular. Pick it up and see for yourself!

Photo of dancinwillie
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chalice, y'know, epic-like.

Hay colored, with a big, white, rocky head that dissipates quite rapidly. Very clear.

Aroma is all orange, grapefruit, yeast, and a little peach or apricot scent, I'm not sure which.

Big hop rocks my tongue right out of the gate, calms pretty quickly, and on further inspection: citrusy hops, orange, lemon, and some grapefruit. A pronounced doughy yeast flavor. A peppery spiciness that I attribute to the yeast, but maybe the hops? Subtle peach or apricot flavor, I still can't decide between the two. Some alcohol heat, but not overwhelming, more of a bit player.

Mouthfeel is primarily creamy, but also somewhat slick/oily too.

Overall Drinkability is high, or at least it would be if this was going to be around for any length of time, but I'm guessing that we won't see it around for much longer. Unfortunately for me, this is my first experience with the Stone Vertical Epic series, as they have just recently started distribution in my fine state of Wisconsin. But I will be buying the remaining Epic's, and along with my cellared bottle of this tasty brew, be enjoying my first vertical tasting in about 4 years or so. Tasty beverage indeed!

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 697 ratings.