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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

690 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 690
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 172 | 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: 690 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cresant
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Duvel glass. The body was bright orange and clear. There was little head but the rising bubbles were very large.

Smell was citrus. Dust. Belgian yeast. Concrete and a large dollop of marmalade. Exactly how one would imagine a Stone's Belgian Pale Ale to smell.

Taste reflected the aromas. Marmalade and pineapple. Drying with a nice bitter aftertaste.

Moouthfeel was mild to medium carbonation. Medium viscosity. Very nice all around.

Cresant, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%

Appearance: It's crystal clear and light golden in color. Carbonation is very active and yields a foamy white head that stands about two fingers tall. It dissipated very quickly and left light lacing behind.

Smell: The nose is a little underwhelming in terms of strength. It's a little fruit and sweet up front. Smells like peach and apple mostly. It is a little spicy, but I'm not picking up much other than clove. There's a distinct earthy/grassy aspect to it. I'm sure that's, at least in part, attributed to the floral hops I'm smelling. A little yeastiness wraps it up.

Taste: Apple, pear, and peach flavors kick it off. It's sweet, but not over the top. There is some clove spiciness, but it's not as spicy as I was expecting. A little banana emerges midway through. The hops are a nice surprise. It's a mix of citric and floral varieties. But, they're flavorful and give it more character and a bit of an edge. That's a good thing considering it was sorely needing both. It's still not quite enough. It is indeed grassy and earthy. It's a little yeasty on the tail and alcohol is faintly noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and smooth. Carbonation is just about right. It's active, but retains its smooth feel. Drinkability is good, but not great. It's a little strong at 8.4%, but I won't have any trouble with the bomber.

I've got mixed feelings on this vertical release. It is a pretty solid beer that doesn't have any huge shortcomings. On the other hand, I had pretty high expectations and feel a little let down. This just doesn't have the big, kick ass character I've come to expect from Stone beers. It's still a solid beer, but just doesn't stack up well against their other releases.

prototypic, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of TEXTONE
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%

Place of Review- home 22oz bottle

Look-White head, that dissipates rather quickly. The beer is golden with a copper tint and, a slight chill haze with almost champagne like carbonation.

The smell is floral, fruity, and hops with a slight hint of grapefruit and yeast mixed in. Another Stone offering that is pleasant to the nasal passages.

Taste of hops right away fallowed by sweet fruity/grapefruit, with a buttery alcohol flavor mixed in, then a bitter back end. Mouth feel is full and malty. All around this is nice bier to drink. It has a lot going on, definitely a complex bier. I will be recommending this bier

TEXTONE, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of timtim
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

i have to agree with the previous reviewer, and say that this reminded me more of a tripel. hints of clove and cinnamon along with some fruit, some nice piney hop and a bit of pepper. we'll see where it goes from here... i'm curious to see what aging will do, but to tell the truth, i don't really see it becoming too mind blowing. i'm actually a little bummed that i spent the money, but i appreciate, respect and encourage the risk and creativity of the good folks at stone.

timtim, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.98/5  rDev 0%

This beer struck me as being quite like a tripel; but not an exceptional one. I enjoyed it quite a bit - it was spiced, mild mannered, and maybe a little more complex than is the norm in American-made tripels or Belgian golden ales, but I didn't find it to be anything spectacular.

Color was a gold/dark yellow with modest head and minimal lacing. Aroma was quite a bit hoppier than other Belgian style beers I've had, and had the requisite clove/coriander spiciness. The hops also drove flavor, which was a fair bit more complex than other beers of this style. Mouthfeel was a bit thick without losing its refreshingness. Pretty good.

I would recommend this beer. I bought this bottle at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee.

BeerBelcher, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of bennetj17
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%

Bright, clear, gold, with steady streaming carbonation. The head is a thin white foam that hols on for a minute before settling. Not much Belgian quality in the nose but it is still a nice bouquet. Lightly floral with a soft malty sweetness, clean citrus/orange twang in the background, I kind of like it.

The taste has a nice balance between bready sweet malt and solid hop bitterness. The hop flavor gets a bit medicinal though, and there is some harshness/astringence to the finish. Not bad, it takes some time getting used to the taste. As for the mouthfeel, it's light but foamy and well carbonated. Very nice.

Ultimately this beer comes close but struggles to get to the next level. The hoppiness is nice, the balance is decent, its just a bit harsh and needs some more complexity. It's certainly more promising than the past few in this series, and I do recommend trying it...

bennetj17, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

Sunshiney golden yellow. Very clear. Thin frothy white head. Lace is minimal. Nice doughy and yeasty aroma. Almost like smelling a WYeast smack pack after the yeast has been pitched. Also some hints of lemon and pepper on the nose. I like this aroma. Flavor has more of the same. With lemon and pepper and doughball maltiness leading the way. Sludgey yeast cake tones. Alcohol spices things up. Hops add some depth as well. This is pretty damn drinkable as is, but with some age, the alcohol presence will probably dwindle some more even and make this pretty special.

Bighuge, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of neenerzig
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%

Finally got around to trying a bottle of this. A bomber poured into my tulip glass. This beer pours a mainly clear, but slightly hazy deep, medium golden color with a bit of an copper/orange hue. Lots of little bubbles continuously rising up to the top of the glass. White head is the size of my thumb when poured, settling to a nice surface covering with a thick white ring lining the inside of the glass. Very nice lacing here too. Aromas of sweet malt and some definite fruit, such as apple or banana are present along with some spice, and definite hops. The taste follows suit, Sweet, spicy malt withe the aforementioned fruit followed by a definite citrus hop presence. Rounds out with a bit of a sticky, candy like taste. The sweetness comes out a bit more as the beer warms. Has a somewhat crisp, smooth, sticky, full bodied mouththfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink, especially as the beer starts to warm a bit. Another great one here from Stone. The 8.6 % ABV is well hidden tastewise but certainly starts to creep up on you when getting close to finishing a bomber of this.

Eric

neenerzig, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
4.3/5  rDev +8%

Got this one with high hopes - I'm a huge Stone fan, and also a huge BSPA fan. Good combo here.

Appearance is alright. Smallish white head over a crystal clear orange beer, with some surprising lacing as well.

Nose is fairly subtle in the hop department, with a fairly traditional Belgian pale aroma of fruity sweetness and some yeast. A good bit of orange and citrus, and maybe even some grapes. Super sweet...like candy.

Flavor-wise, first thing is first: this beer is hoppy as hell. It's got a sort of centennial pineyness too it that really comes out of nowhere. That hoppiness then balances out pretty nicely with the malty, tripel-y spicy sweetness and fruity yeastiness of your standard BSPA. Alcohol is entirely masked behind the dual sweet/bitter, although it definitely gives you that warming sensation as it drains.

Body is medium with tons of fizzy bubbles in the carbonation.

Overall, I'm a fan. Very interesting, unique Belgian, what with that obvious Stone American-hop-bomb influence, but quite nice.

soupyman10, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of Douglas14
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%

Wow...I was really thrown off guard with this one. It is much lighter than the 07, and is blatantly much hoppier. The aroma is awesome , it's hoppy yet has the sweetness of a Belgian. The taste sweet and fruity and has a nice hop bite that lasts the whole sip...it's kinda weird because it's plays with your senses, in a good way though.

Awesome beer, cool to do the vertical taste test.

Douglas14, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of mithrascruor
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%

22 oz. bomber poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden-orange color with minimal white lacing.

Smell: Yeasty aroma with a bit of orange and some other spices and alcohol.

Taste: Has quite a spicy/yeasty taste which leaves an odd and bitter aftertaste. It also overpowers the bit of orange in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and a tad gritty, especially at the finish.

Drinkability: Ok, but nothing great.

Maybe this would work better with aging, but I find it less appealing than the mediocre 7.7.7 from Stone. Mind, it's not a bad beer, just not a particularly good one. The spicyness & yeastyness is rather monolithic, and it's very simplistic and obscured in the fruit tastes. It's too bad, as I was rather looking forward to it.

mithrascruor, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of mnapier
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%

Service Glassware, Belgian 12 ounce globe. Service Temperature, 45 degrees farenheit.

Appearance, is gold & clear with a mild white foamy head and little or no lace.
To the nose citrus and some spice, along with some banana.
Tasting, I detect a little bit of dryness along with some citrus tang along with some plum.
Mouthfeel is relatively mid to medium.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer but overall I would save this for a nice autumn evening when the sun's going down and I have just finished raking leaves.

Cheers

mnapier, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of jmalex
4.18/5  rDev +5%

Smart me finally decided to make sure I have 2 bottles of this - 1 for now and 1 for later... a while later. So this is the "Now" bottle.

APPEARANCE: Pours mostly clear into a Duvel tulip. It's a few shades darker than gold, but still a nice light copper color. A one-finger white head forms on top and shrinks to a medium collar with a large island of foam floating in the middle.

SMELL: Very sweet, but only kind of Belgian. You really need to search to find any trace of bready Belgian yeast aroma. It definitely has the esters though. Orange and apricot burst out of this beer dominating the nose.

TASTE: I thought I remembered hearing this beer was generously hopped. There wasn't anything in the nose, but here it is in the flavor. It's citrusy and nicely understated too which is a pleasant surprise. The esters get to shine mirroring the smell along with a peppery spiciness to cut the sweetness a bit. And finally, any of the over-the-top sweetness perceived in the aroma is dialed down significantly in the taste. It finishes perfectly dry as it should.

MOUTHFEEL: The dryness leads to a light, crisp body which is essential for the style. Carbonation is approaching higher levels, but probably could get ramped up a bit more even.

DRINKABILITY: It drinks quite easy especially given the 8.4% ABV. The slightly cloying aroma still manages to get to me hampering this a bit.

Wow, what a nice surprise. I had expected this to be a hop bomb, but the hops are nicely balanced with the rest of the beer. Call me impressed. But Stone has the tendency to do that to me.

jmalex, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of snpub540
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%

Poured an orangish hue, kind of like what I would expect from a Hef but very clear. First pour not alot of head, just a small white ring. With an agressive pour I was able to get about an 1/8" fluffy white head. Left some nice lacing down the whole glass.

Nose was very much earthy from the yeast. During the mid of this beer I was able to pick out some floral hop aromas.

My first sips were very much dominated by a yeasty flavor. Then this beer started to get more of a spiced not to it. All the while there was a nice hop presence in the finish. I think this one will do well with some time under its belt.

Alcohol content made itself known in this beer. Had a medium body to it and coated the palate. I found it to be a little filling and one 22oz. bottle was good enough to give me a nice little buzz. I am going to have to put another one down in my cellar and see how it tastes in a few years.

snpub540, Aug 25, 2008
Photo of HalfFull
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%

Pours a crystal clear golden in color with a bit of an orange hue. Not much head or retention, or lacing for that matter.

Smell is initially thin(too cold?) but becomes more and more inviting. Hoppy to start, and segueing to a spicy nose. A touch rich and malty and later offering some rather funky yeast notes.

Taste is decent but I sense it needs time, as is the goal of this brew. A simple sweetness is present that will surely mature, coupled with some interesting fruit and vanilla spice notes.

I find that this brew is rather dry on the finish and offers a strong carbonated close. The ABV is relatively hidden without employing a rich malty flavor.

Four years from now???

HalfFull, Aug 25, 2008
Photo of dmamiano
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%

pours a crystal clear light golden yellow. Big head on the initial pour that quickly goes away, leaving a soapy presence and no lacing.
Nose is very sweet, candy like. Hints of fruit nectar. Bananas, pears and apples dominate.
Taste is very full, sweet. Big and heavy on the palate with a nice viscosity. Fruity, yeasty and very nice. Pepppery spice mixing with a Belgian hoppiness
Good beer.

dmamiano, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%

Bomber split between two pint glasses.

Semi-clear golden color, with a few floaties, and a thin white head without a lot of lacing. Aroma of ripe pear, some Christmas spice, citrus and even some white pepper. Taste is laden with alcohol, mixed with over-ripe pears and some papaya or other melon. This is pretty complex and tasty.

Big body, alcohol burn not a terrible lot of carbonation. This is pretty good, I bet it gets better with some age.

ZimZamZoom, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of mwa423
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%

This is my first Vertical Epic, and I must say I'm going back to the store to buy a case or more of it! It pours a clear golden with about a one inch head that dies down to a nice lacing.

The smell is fantastic with plenty of citrus, hops and other things I can't quite place.

I greatly enjoy the taste, it almost tastes like a hybrid between an Belgian and an IPA. Plenty of hop bite but not at all overwhelming. I couldn't taste anything that would suggest the extremely high ABV.

Palate is fantastic, goes down very smoothly, especially considering the high abv. The finish is very dry and makes your mouth water for the next sip.

Overall, this is exceptionally good beer. The taste profile is exceptionally complex and excellent, the very high ABV will get you in a good mood after one bottle and yet you can't taste it at all.

mwa423, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of Padron4KM
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%

Golden straw with a thick creamy head that quickly collapses to a thin cap. Streams of tiny champagne like bubbles rise to the surface.

Aroma is complex to say the least. Definitely banana up front with subtle tones of clove spice, layered with citrus and pine, - "You got IPA in my Belgian Golden ALE, no, you got Belgian Golden Ale in my IPA!"- Whatever happened it's interesting.

Flavor is complex as a well, peach, apricot, spice, followed up by some pine and light citrus.

Finish is long, lightly dry, piney hops and fruity malts. Nicely balanced. This one should hold up well.

Padron4KM, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of johnnieoz
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%

Alas, this is my first Vertical Epic. Hopefully I'll get to try a few of the previous ones on tap (if not bottled) one day. I'll be sure to get hold of the final four barring a major mishap.

A: A clear, pale golden color with a thick if minimal head. There is some retention and nice lacing.

S: At first there is pear and passion fruit on the nose. As it warms up a little you get a sense of the hops, some citrusy but mainly coniferous notes. Esters also make a welcome appearance.

T: Sweetness of the malts come through right off the bat. Tasty. Just as it threatens to keel over, the hops kick in and achieve a delicious balance. The best thing is that it then stays in ale equilibrium. There are few beers that manage this.

M: Very solid. No detectable hop oils, but there is a lingering bitterness that is not overpowering in the least. Sorry Stone, I had to write that...Nice and snappily crisp. Refreshing.

D: The 8.6% ABV is hardly noticeable at first. Eventually, there is a warming sensation. I believe I could drink two of these beauties. That's saying something for a brown bomber this potent.

To conclude, I love this beer. I'm not a huge tripel fan (though I like classic Belgian pale ales like Duvel and their US compadres Damnation and Horny Devil) nor am I a major hophead. Simply put, one of the more quaffable non-dark beers I've had the pleasure of drinking. I have no idea how this will age, but I plan on finding out. It's hard to imagine that it'll get much better.

johnnieoz, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%

22 picked up at the Coop today for about $6.75... poured into my New Belgium snifter... looks pretty already.

Big 2 finger foamy meringue like head... 1st pour is crystal clear gold... looks like a pilsner actually. very nice ribbons of lace.

The aroma has a really fruity quality along with some pine... I swear their have to be amarillos in there... they always remind me of Flintstone Vitamins.

Flavor is bananas and pink bubblegum.. very fruity.. not as much pine and citrus as expected... actually fairly balanced IMHO. Dry finish.. tropical fruit as it warms.. very very nice. I would seriously hesitate to call this a BSPA.. Right now, it is a Belgian IPA.. that said, I don't know how well these hops are going to be so bright.. but I am really liking this.

4.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

JohnGalt1, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of Lepley
3.9/5  rDev -2%

A: Poured light brown, clear, a lot of carbonation with two fingers of white head that disappeared a few minutes after being poured intio the glass.
S: Light and fruity. Slightly Peachy.
T: Like sweet fruits, hoppy, a little citrus, with a bitter and alcoholic aftertaste that holds well after swallowing.
M: Smooth.
D: I enjoyed this beer but it wasn't amazing.

Lepley, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of hopstorm
2.1/5  rDev -47.2%

Wow. This is my first review, and I chose to put in my 2 cents because all I saw were A and B ratings so far. Ive had alot of fantastic belgian beers- every kind of Chouffe for example, and some not so great (Delerium Noel comes to mind)... But seriously, The first thing I did was smell it when I opened the bottle, and It was like a burst of Listerine mouth-wash mixed with Belgian candi sugar. I poured it and out came the lightest colored Stone beer Ive seen, crystal clear with a thin head. Overall appearance was just what Id expect. But then i smelled it again.... Straight up Listerine! and the taste... Inhaling a tad as my mouth approached the glass I could almost choke on the alcohol and mouthwashiness. As it warms its not as intense and I can get a really crisp hop profile, but its almost minty and not the kind of flavor I generally go for. The alcohol has a little bite and drinkability is not what im used to in a belgian triple, which tend to be more hazy and full, more balanced and heavy, but still light enough to be considered "pale' and or "yellow". Anyway this beer was way to dry for the style, it seems they got way too much attenuation when the should have left in more unfermentables to stay true to the unfiltered old school belgian styles that I know and love. Stones got it locked down when it comes to Ipas, But maybe not so much triples.

hopstorm, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of Pauly2X
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

A- Deep gold with a light amber tint, wispy 1/4 finger head.

S- Sweet fruity esters interlaced with spicy/citrusy hop notes.

T- The spicy yeast character takes center stage with this brew. This is not to say that the fine malt profile with a hint of caramel and the sharp yet not too overpowering hops don't do thier job as well. The warming alcohol note becomes more evident as the beer warms up.

M- Light and rich, good carbonation.

D- Very drinkable for a high abv.

Although this may not be very traditional for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but in the realm of belgian styles what is? Great balance overall, good complexity without making you "think about it".

Pauly2X, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of kzoobrew
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%

Pours very hazy. Golden orange color will vary through out the glass. Creany white foam head with decent retention. Minimal lacing.

Looks like a Belgian and by god is smells like a Belgian. Banana's and cloves. Floral hops are coming across strong.

Sweet and spice hit first up front. The hops make there presence known shortly after. While not hopped to the hills like other Stone brews the bitterness is assertive enough.

Medium mouth feel. Crisp and smooth. Finishes rather dry.

While the flavor profile is huge and complex, the brew is not overwhelming and quite drinkable.

kzoobrew, Aug 20, 2008
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 690 ratings.