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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

698 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 698
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 42
Gots: 179 | FT: 14
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:
Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 698 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I have to say, I fell in LOVE with this beer at the recent Belgian Beerfest in Boston. This plus the Stone Collaboration, were the clear winners of "Best in Show" for me.

The next day I went out and purchased several bottles of the Vertical Epic.

Tonight I am enjoying one with friends. (perhaps # 2 will get broken out, as well)

The beer pours with a nice 2 ½ finger white head that stay for a bit, then settles completely back into the beer. The beer, itself, is a bright clear golden color with the smallest amount of slowly rising visible carbonation. There is a scant amount of spider web lacing left behind.

The aroma is very complex and really a combination of fruits and spices. Very fresh aroma and very inviting.

The flavor just ROCKS. A wonderful combination of tropical fruits and some real nice spices. There is certainly a nice white pepper effect, but also some clove and nutmeg happening here. Sometimes reminds me of Juicy Fruit gum... (in a good way)
Pretty complex flavor and one you think about as you enjoy the glass. I really love this.

The mouth feel is fairly light in body and inviting. It brings you back for more and more.
8.6% are you kidding? I guess that speaks to the drinkability. I would have NEVER guessed that if I didn't know.

I want more. Sometimes they need to make these special releases regular beers. This would always be in my fridge.

Photo of wl0307
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from a very good Britain-based beer shop, "Beers of Europe", through on-line order. Coming in a light brown, 1 Pt. 6Fl. Oz. bomber bottle, served lightly chilled in Hapkin's branded bulb-shaped sniffer. NOTE: the very long description on the bottle seems to suggest that this is a "Belgian Tripel dry-hopped with American hops".

A: pours a dark golden hue with almost perfect clarity, coming with very fine carbonation in support of a 1cm thick, well-lasting off-white creamy froth. Handsome!
S: richly orangey, elderflowery, gooseberry-ish (reminiscent of Pinot Grigio+Riesling!) and syrupy upfront, topped with lots of vanilla & coriander-like esters, denoting a rich base of Belgian Golden Ale (such as Duvel or La Chouffe) with its crisp fruitiness, spicy notes, and a firm but slightly cloying touch of malts. American hops are somewhat subdued in the mixture, although a lightly grapefruity aroma might be the by-product of them. Not bad, but not quite as complex as richly fruity - a tad too sweet for my preference, anyway, otherwise it could've fared better.
T: soothing and exotic fruit-estery (with hints of all the elements identified on the nose) and lightly savoury on the yeastiness, not unlike the kind of savoury-sweet touch often accompanying a Hefeweizen. Clean citric hops are beautifully intertwined with clean lager/grainy malts, helping to result in a balanced profile in the middle of the palate, before an enjoyable stream of zesty-spicy hops (more like dried tangerine-peels) with an undertone of Riesling wine expands and overtakes the palate. The tangy bitterness rests deep and low down the wings of the tongue. In the end, satisfying as well as refreshing.
M&D: the mouthfeel is so... good, demonstrating a top-class craftsmanship in handling the yeasts in this (roughly) filtered-bottle form - the carbonation is superbly clean with microscopic fizz to tingle the taste-buds, providing a key texture to underline the equally clean & focused flavour profile. In fact, the hoppiness is NOT as assertively bitter as I expected from the description on the bottle, but rather aromatic and utterly-juicy. Superbly drinkable even at this alc. strength, this is an effortlessly pleasant ale to savour, whatever the style!

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright clear yellow gold body, with some small scattered carbonation streams. Three fingers of tight white froth. Nice lace.

Spicey nose. Peppery.

Big fruity taste. Juicy yet crisp. Spicey aftertaste.

Solid mouthfeel well balanced by its carbonation. Don't know if its light or medium but it works.

Nicely drinkable, even if Belgians aren't your thing.

It would really be a shame to keep this locked up until 12/12/12. Go ahead, drink it now.

Photo of Greggy
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a 2 finger head with niice lacing, blond in color with just a hint of sediment.

S- Big fruity aromas of banana, and fresh hopiness

T- Starts out sweet with notes of banana, musk mellon, and nice fresh hop oil. Finish is mainly dry with a slight residual fruitiness.

M- Nice low carb and great balance.

D- Nice easy and refreshing belgain-pale. Would love to have this gem again.

Photo of stephendedalus
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional beer. I have not picked up a Vertical Epic for a couple years, so I was a little curious as to where this year's release would take me. What's that? A Belgian Strong Pale Ale? Yes, please. And I was not disappointed...

Appearance: golden, honey-in-apricots sort of hue. Perfect, with some lively but overly animated carbonation. A legitimate head and some good lacing (esp. considering the ABV).

Smell: Floral, hoppy, slightly spicy.

Taste: Just like it smells, with a touch of sweetness, and j-u-s-t a hint of the alcohol bite. A really well-rounded beer. Dangerous, actually.

Mouthfeel: Starts smooth, fills the mouth -- smooth at the end, too, but with just enough body and hoppiness to qualify as a quality pale ale.

Drinkability: Wish I had more than one...

Another very good offering from Stone -- one worthy of being enjoyed by itself or paired with a meal. Slainte!

Photo of Slatetank
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, this beer was a golden color with a medium-sized white head. It had a fruity aroma, mainly apple, with a nice malt background. I also detected a bit of a floral aroma. Taste was the fruit and malt up front, a little yeast funk, some spice, finishing with a bit of hops. Fairly dry.
A likeable beer.

Photo of Padron4KM
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Tdizzle
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a snifter, this beer pours a clear deep golden color with a tiny white head that rapidly dissipates. Each sip yields only a few spots of lacing.

S- Sweet aromas of pears, green apples, bananas, and clove are backed up by spicy Belgian yeast and piney hops. There is a very grassy and floral essence to the smell of this beer, and the alcohol becomes only slightly noticeable as the beer warms.

T- The initial taste is of sweet fruits and spicy yeast. The expected hop bitterness kicks in as the sweet and spicy flavors fade away, all of which yields a surprisingly not-so-dry finish and a lingering bitterness on the palate. There is a slight alcohol presence on the finish as well.

M- The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with very mild carbonation.

D- The 8.6% ABV is very well-integrated, and the moderate hop bitterness is pleasantly unobtrusive in the flavor profile of this beer.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazed apricot with a pretty nice head. The smell is a bit of sweet malt, spices, and citrus. THe taste was quite the same with some more Belgian yeast in there, with the citrus flavors coming a bit to the front. Mouthfeel was pretty big as a result of the sweetness. Quite drinkable.

Photo of Douglas14
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of sweemzander
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a cloudy yellow/orange color. Mediocre white head formation, but the retention was excellent. Some lacing present.

(S)- Seriously sweet citrus with significant hop strength. Lemon, orange, peach, and apricot finish.

(T)- Interesting orange and apricot fruits with a respectable hop strength. Light honey sweetness in the background. Almost has a bubblegum flavor to it.

(M)- Fairly thick in texture. Sweet with slight bitterness and puckered citrus. Good carbonation.

(D)- Great flavors with an interesting citrus twist from your run of the mill IPA. The bomber didnt last long and neither will the next!

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Wildman
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear light medium amber color and formed a small bubbly white head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. The aroma was of malt, caramel, candy and a touch of yeast and hops. The flavor was like, wow, where were all those hops hiding in the aroma. The hop flavor dominates over the malt, whereas in the aroma it was the other way around. Flavors of pine and citrus with a small amount of candy and pepper sneaking through. A good beer, just not sure where it fits.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat hazy bright golden color; not much head or carbonation, but a solid ring of lacing.

Scent of citrus, bready malts, yeast, candi sugar, and bananas. A slight scent of alcohol actually helps the scent by giving it a sharpness that makes it seem lighter than it really is.

Taste of yeast and candi sugar initially with a rush of citrus flavor coming in and blending very well. After the initial taste is some bananas and a bit of alcohol that again helps the beer by making it lighter; even with the presence of the alcohol it does not seem like it is that strong.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, with a bite from the alcohol making it refreshing.

Photo of DrJay
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up in NJ a couple of weeks ago. Time to try this year's VE.
Poured a clear gold with a short white cap. The foam settled fast, leaving fine bubbles in a collar and covering the top of the beer with a few larger bubbles clumped up around the sides. Very sticky lacing, sheets at first followed by small spotty clumps at the bottom of the glass. Fruity aroma up front, tropical (not quite pineapple) and lemony with clove spiciness. As it warmed, there were earthy notes, along with grassy hops, light bread and bubblegum, mellow alcohol and white pepper. Flashes of grapefruit and pine emerged from time to time. Bitterness was present throughout, but really just formed a base for the other flavours to build on. Malt character was straightforward, a little biscuit and bready towards the end. Fruity up front, juicy fruit gum and citrus for the most part, a bit of apple and berry. Phenolic and spicy starting mid-palate and carrying through the finish. Lingering combination of bitterness, cloves, sweet fruits, and warm alcohol. Medium bodied, off-dry, carbonation added a slightly creamy texture. This is a nicely balanced beer, quite drinkable yet with a fair bit of complexity. One of the VEs that I've enjoyed the most fresh.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - 1st pour was clear orange/yellow color with a white head that left some sticky lacing.

S - light fruit, candy and malt aromas with a good dose of Belgian yeast.

T - taste follows the smell, very good tasting brew.

M - medium bodied with mild carbonation feel.

D - crisp, refreshing and easy to drink.

Photo of Yaz8
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. Pure gold color, crystal clear, generous head that left just ok lacing, but a solid film throughout. Spicy belgian yeast aromas dominate, accompanied by floral hops, spices and strong pepper. Yeasty flavors are strongest on the tongue, but also features light fruits like apricot and pear, plus a sugary sensation like a good belgian. Medium to full bodied, just the right carbonation, and pleasant malt and grapefruit aftertaste.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very slightly hazy golden color with a medium-small white head that disappears quickly. Scent is Belgian yeast, lemongrass, a little bit of hoppiness left, apples, spices, orange peel, and pear. Lots of fruitiness going on. Taste quite delicious. All the fruitiness is very present in the taste, but the hoppiness has faded away completely it seems like...maybe not completely, but damn near close. Tons of apple and pear flavors. I also get some white grape flavors that are comparable to 10-10-10. The lemon zest lingers on the palate after every sip along with some pleasant spiciness and a bit of alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and crisp. Drinkability is high. I never had this beer fresh when it was released over 2 years ago, but I think it's drinking very well right now. Gonna save the other bottle for the Epic 2012 vertical!

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
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 BigJim5021
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange with a nice white head that settles into a persistent ring. Good lacing.

Aroma is oranges, Belgian yeast, floral hops and a slight soapiness.

Flavor is much like the smell, but more assertive. Spicy, hoppy orange juice. I can only imagine what this tasted like when it was fresh.

Good carbonation and a bone-dry finish makes for good mouthfeel.

I can only go as high as a 4.5 on drinkability simply due to price and availability. Other than those two factors, this is a wicked-tasty Houblon clone.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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 beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a medium tangerine orange with light golden hues. A 1 finger, frothy, dull white head sits atop lasting for a minute or two before dissipating to a thin film covering. A near full ecompassing lacing sticks well around the glass perimeters while a faint and lazy visible carbonation was observed.

S: sweet, fruity, with a spicy hop zestiness. Beautiful tangerine and grapefruit scents linger about against a soft spicy hop backing.

T: spicy with a dried tropical fruitiness of pineapples, and kiwi. Soft grapefruit notes with a light sugar presence sweetens things up a bit. Theres a nice spicy hoppiness with oranges, dried lemon peels, and a peppery touch that rounds things out. The finish was crisp, with a dried fruitiness leaving you wanting more.

M: a light-medium viscosity, very smooth in texture with a light carbonation presence. A big beautiful and dried tropical fruitiness with a spicy and zesty hopping provide a nice lingering fade on the tongue with just a slight hint of peppery nature.

D: Drinkability was perhaps its strongest point. A very nice and enjoyable drink. Crisp, dry with tropical fruitiness that was almost to easy to consume. Case worthy for future consumption and perhaps aging is highly recommended.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. 8.6% ABV, "The seventh in an epic series." "Limited Release" "Age at cellar temp 55 Degrees F or below."

Thanks to Sweemzander for this bottle!

A - A tall pour stirred up the sediment but almost nothing entered my glass which left the beer a brilliant clear golden honey color with moderate retention. The white head sprang upwards from the pour but reached only close to two fingers. Decent retention and lace characteristic of a Belgian beer.

S - The nose is almost magical. Pale malts provide minimal raw honey-like sweetness to the nose that consists mainly of a balanced yeast presence. Belgian yeast is evident with notes of spice and straw as well as light alcohol. Hops are mild but contribute a nice floral freshness with a crispness to them. A great aroma.

T - Again, pale malts provide little to this beer flavor wise. A minute honey sweetness lingers in the back. The bulk of the flavor is imparted from the Belgian yeast which gives it a herbal and floral spice that can also be attributed to the hops, a light yeast flavored kick and a lemon zest. It finish out with very mild alcohol and dry, bitter hops. Lighter on flavor, bigger on feel. Complex and delicate.

M - Medium-light bodied and crisp with a citrus zest along the sides of the tongue and a dry, bitter finish from the hops. The carbonation is near sparkling in the mouth.

D - Well brewed and balanced, the '08 is a delicate and complex Belgian brew with a good hoppy kick to the finish. Nicely done Stone. A shame I can't find more and didn't have one fresh. I'll be finishing the bottle alone with no problem and feeling good afterward too. Yum.

Photo of sethmeister
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright clear straw gold with 2 fingers of fluffy white head and a mere hint of lace.

Scent is citrus hops, apple and pear fruit, and yeast.

Taste is very dry. Pear and apple flesh. A peppery spice note. Spicy and mildly citric (lemon, lime) hops. A hint of grapefruit. Lovely firm hop bitterness. Some crusty bread. Long bitter astringent finish.

Mouth is crisp and dry, yet somehow a bit juicy as well.

Drinkability is excellent.

Really a nice ale. Hard to believe it has a year of aging. I wish I'd bought two and enjoyed one fresh; I'm really curious how it tasted with the fresher hops.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 698 ratings.