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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
90
outstanding

474 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 474
Hads: 706
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 7.98%
Wants: 42
Gots: 180 | FT: 16
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 474 | Hads: 706
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lemon drop yellow with sunshine colored accents. There's nothing darker than pale malt in there, that's for sure. The alabaster colored crown looks fantastic. The upper surface is a teeming mass of glassine bubbles that leave miniscule craters when they pop. Lovely lace rounds things out in fine fashion.

I'm kicking myself for not cracking the crown before today. If I had realized that Greg and the boys brewed a highly-hopped Belgian IPA this time around, I never would have waited this long. The tropical fruitiness of the Simcoe and Amarillo hops has surely faded, but it's still wonderful. A pinch of spicy clove is nice as well. Last fall, this score probably would have been 4.5.

Even though the hops have lost some of their punching power, VE 08.08.08 is still damn good beer. It's good for the same reason that Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor, De Ranke XX Bitter, Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel and Urthel Hop-It are good... they combine pale malt, lots American hops and Belgian yeast, all wrapped up with a high-ABV bow. What's not to love? Especially if you're both a hophead and a Belgianophile, like me.

This beer isn't quite the equal of the ones mentioned above, but I'm going to cut the taste score some slack since it's my fault that I didn't experience this annual ale in its freshest and hoppiest state. The flavor profile includes sugar cookies, candied pineapple chunks, pink grapefruit, tangerine and a sprinkling of clove and white pepper. A sweet start... becomes a bittersweet middle... becomes a quasi-drying finish.

The mouthfeel almost deserves the next highest score. In the end, though, it isn't quite full enough for 'American big beer greatness' and it isn't expansive and fluffy enough for 'Belgian big beer greatness'. On the other hand, drinking quickly, although not recommended, is a cinch.

08.08.08 is the fourth straight killer beer in the Vertical Epic series. It's probably too much to ask for that Stone would release a Belgian-style IPA (this recipe will do just fine) on a year-round basis, but here's hoping. Bottom line: a fine tribute to the great Belgian IPAs. (2,115 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into my new Duvel tulip

Pours bright gold, crystal clear, with a two plus finger off-white head that hung around for a bit.

Aroma is very broad, tons of notes to pick up on. A herbal/medicinal and grassy aroma hits first, with sweet fruits (pineapple, peach, grapefruit, banana), spicy clove and a phenolic undertone. The hop profile here just kind of props itself up and sits on top of everything else. It's really unique.

A very sweet palate: bubble gum/cotton candy-like sweetness mixing with a phenolic spice give this a unique body. The bold, fruity hops really bounce off your palate and hold everything else in check. Which is just fine with this hophead.

Light body with medium-low carbonation. I like a little more carbonation from my triple's/bspa's, but in this example, there is no detraction.

If you don't like a sweet, hoppy belgian style ale, stay away. A definite sipper and pretty easy to drink at 8.4%. (944 characters)

Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange color with a white head that fades leaving a nice amount of lacing around the glass.

Smells of lemon zest, clove and some orange.

Taste starts out with a orange lemon mixed flavor, coriander, some tobacco notes, belgian yeast, spice, hoppy bitterness (not as much as you would expect) Chewy and dry finish. Lot of stuff going on in this one. Some flavors I can't seem to put a name on. Very interesting beer. Much different then others I've had but similar to Houblon Chouffe.

Many thanks to ditmier for an awesome trade! (544 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone Bistro during RBSG 08. Pours gold with a peach hue. Head is rather similar to that of fizzy yellow beers. Poor retention, little lace. Aromas of fresh tropical hops: mango, pineapple. Some banana in there as well, from the wheat. Flavors of Belgian yeast, banana, mango hops. Kind of like if someone made a fresh hop Belgian IPA. Mostly sweet with a touch of bitterness in the finish. Clean on the palate. (421 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours light brown with a frothy white head that settles to a thick cover. Decent lacing and retention.

Nose has bready malts, fruity Belgian yeast and lots of herbal and floral hops.

Taste also has a generous hop presence which is a nice surprise. More creamy malts and peppery Belgian yeast as well.

Medium body is well carbonated. Great stuff. Can't believe this is my first VE.

Even though the label says it's made to age, it was probably best fresh.

Stone should have released this as their Belgian IPA as it is much better than their so called Cali-Belgique. (573 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,025 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear! Pale gold color (dark straw?). Modest but lasting head. Spotty lace.

Pine cone hop aroma--floral. Excellent malt base. Very attractive.

I love stronger beers that do not have an oily alcohol base. This fits that category with a moderate grassy malt that gives way to strong hop flavors (particularly for the style). Firm body with a correspondingly above-average carbonation.

A wonder beer no matter how you look at it. It's more like a Belgian double IPA if such a thing were ever to exist. (501 characters)

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at a Vertical Epic tasting with my friend Armand.

A-Good head, White bubbles that are larger the the previous Epic's, dissipates quickly, golden straw yellow.

S-Hop aroma, piney, citrusy.

T-Flavor follows through, a little grassy.

D-Good drinker, big flavors but very smooth. (287 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew was served on draft at the Tap and Mallet Vertical Epic tasting event. It arrived in a tasting glass, showing a solid golden yellow coloring. No real head was noted, but rings of white lacing punctuated the bare glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared active. The aroma gave strong Belgian yeast, citric hoppy bite, and bright phenolic plastics. With warmth came more floral and soapy hop varietals, light mustard seed, faint medicinals, and fusel booziness. Our first impression was that this beer was excellent for the style, and very soothing and mellow. As we sipped, the flavoring opened with nectary citric hops, fusel boozy bite, and juicy citric pop against toasted and chalky pale grain. The middle peaked with the bite of Belgian yeast, toasted Belgian pales, metallics and soured mash grain, and the continued background undertones of citric and lightly floral hop bitterness. The balance is superb. The finish mellows things completely, with citric rind and flesh, nectary and citric hops, pale toasty malts, and that same smooth Belgian yeast. The aftertaste breathes of a plastic phenolic bite to balance the citric and nectary hops, a sweet flash of peach and apple sugars, and the final metallic twang of yeastiness. The body was light to medium, and the carbonation was medium. There was nice froth and cream to each sip, with decent slurp and finish pop. There was no real coating or overt dryness noted. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank very nicely.

Overall, what we liked most about this brew was the flavoring. This beer is terrific for the style, with a nice bite of phenolic plastics and medicinals to hold against the bright, yet mellowed, hoppy smoothness, and malty sweetness. Things remained equally as calm through the nose and the mouthfeel. Some might find the beer light to this point, but we interpreted all this as balance and smoothness, rather than a letting up of strength. (1,954 characters)

Photo of randawakes
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

IPA? wow, this is creamy and full of rich orange, faint apple and grape. This citrus abundance has some pine flavor with it. This is very sweet and will take you by storm. Pours bright opaque golden, smell isn't quite as fulfilling as the taste.

From what I recall not as good as the 07, but better than the 09. (312 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Going onto the second sample of the Vertical Epic flight at Tustin Brewing. A little over four years of age on this one. On to the beer:

Golden colored brew, topped with some fair lace and a patchy head. What makes the nose distinct is the dryness. It's not oxidized, smells Belgian, and rustic. Some sugar, bigger notes of leather, a few dry hops; any chance this is a Belgian IPA?

Confirmed. Despite four years of hiding, there still remain noticable traces of hops. Delecate hops which compliment the character of the overall beer, not smuther it. Leather, dry Belgian yeast, rustic. The alcohol is hidden well, and its body is smooth. Pleasantly dry in the aftertaste.

There's something about 08.08.08. I won't know how a fresh one tastes, but I know that an aged one is damn good. And I'm lucky to realize that I saved a bottle in my cellar and not realized it. (870 characters)

Photo of blakesell
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz low filled bottle into my favourite Belgian style glass.

Appearance- Beer pours clear and golden. Very clear, no hints of haze at all and very thin on the head, so thin that outside of the edges of the glass I was afraid I would have no carbonation and this was a botched bottle. Luckily after a swirl or two, this is clearly alright, just not as carbonated as expected. Lacing is even on the sides.

Smell- This has a very peculiar scent of Amarillo, soap, musty basement, dog piss, Belgian malts, I'm getting some oyster mushroom in here as well. This smells like a cheese pairing beer to me. I'll have to try that out after this review. A bit spicy as well, coriander, cardamom, and pear.

Taste- Banana and lightly spicy hops upfront and a very sweet Belgian flavor that I can't quite call candi. Perhaps a different kind of sugar? Turbinado? Now that I think back this tastes a whole lot like that Russian River Batch 23 I had last year. Just like that Batch 23 there are slight but hardly existent and probably just imagined oak characteristics. Very light and fruity with pears again on the flavor and a white peppery spice texture. Now that I think of it, I think I like this one better than that old Batch 23, although it's kind of unfair to judge that way.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, light, warming but not overly so, spicy, low in carbonation, medium light bodied, and effervescent.

Drinkability- This one is quite smooth. I look forward to drinking another in about four years. I think it will age well. (1,532 characters)

Photo of Albinoh
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good initial looks, but the head disappears a little to fast with little retention. Nice hoppy aroma that combines perfectly with the initial sweet malty and alcoholic flavors. Some crispness. Bitter at the end, I guess i was expecting more bitterness due to the fact that most stone beers are particularly bitter which I though was actually pretty good, made the beer well balanced, rich and very drinkable. The beer leaves an alcoholic aftertaste similar to the one you get after a tequila shot, less, but similar.

Nice one... the bottle specifies the beer is supposed to be drunk until 2012 I guess if i put a beer that long in the fridge the wife will trow it away at some point. (685 characters)

Photo of adamette
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber that I bought at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills into my Brewery Ommegang snifter.

A Pours a golden yellow translucent body with a 1 cm but quickly dissipating head. Not a bad look at all but not exemplary either.

S Flowery hops that did not overwhelm. A pleasant surprise of sweetness (malt?) as well. This smell makes me really want to drink this beer even more.

T Sweet matly citrus with nice, light hops. Repeated tastings revealed that on the back of the tongue there is a bit more bitterness than I had initially appreciated. By the end of my beer I was even perceiving that it is not unlike champagne.

M Light feel which was also a pleasant surprise.

D Very good indeed. I could easily have drank this whole bomber and if I see this beer again I will pick another one up.

Notes: I am so impressed by this "champagne of beers" which I thought might be a hop bomb from Stone. I was not expecting the malt and hops balance that make this a great beer. It has inspired me to respect Stone even more than I have before. (1,046 characters)

Photo of froghop
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a semi-hazy orange-yellow with a small dirty-white head, good lacing.

smell of light grapefruit, some caramel, sweet fruit, a little pine, malt hidden in the back.

taste of hops, earthy, pineapple, peach, some berry, touch caramel, some sweet malt, slight pine.

overall this seems like a cross between a belgian strong ale and a IPA. (348 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bottle split with a friend.

A- Poured a semi-hazy golden amber color. Got a nice 1 finger head that died away very very fast to say the least. Lacing stuck to the sides of the glass the entire beer. Still looks good after a year in the cellar.

S- Still nice piney hops smell to this along with a sweeter smelling malt backbone. Also pick up some fruit smell most oranges. Belgian yeast can be detected but nothing over the top crazy smelling which I remember there being when it first came out. I enjoy the nose of this beer more now.

T- Sweet citrus hop taste upfront that I missed in the nose. Nice suprise to say the least. Slight bready underbody in this thast sneaks up right in the middle of this beer. A sweet malt makeup with a Belgian yeast pairing balance out the middle of the beer leaving a piney hop finsh on this beer. The tail end of the ending seems a little watered down to me.

M- Medium mouthfeel to this. Nice carbonation still after the year in the cellar. Brings a rush of hops and Belgian yeast in the mouth. Leaves some hops resin on the tounge but a Belgian taste on the rest of the mouth.

D- This is a damn good drinker still after all this time in the cellar. I can't wait to let this sit some more before I go crazy and crack them all open. After I had this one I actually wanted to open a couple more. Very nice drinker to say the least. (1,390 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho of all places, nice to see it in the cooler of the local grocery store. The first of the Stone Epics that I've had the chance to try.

Poured into a Westmalle chalice. Gorgeous clarity to this, a brilliant clear golden peach, though not much head retention.

Clean citrus hops first on the nose, banana, bubblegum and white pepper from the yeast, some soft wheat. Layering to the aroma.

Soft mild wheat up front in the flavour, followed by some mandarin citrus, soft estery spices, more peppery towards the finish where an alcohol warmth builds rapidly from the depths, muting out the piney grapefruit of the hops, cresting within the aftertaste in a lush warming glow. Very fine, but could stand to age a fair bit.

Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, medium-bodied, a pleasant texture.

Worth the price of admission and then some, would love to try this stuff in another year and a half. (924 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.25/5  rDev +6%
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. (860 characters)

Photo of kmo1030
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a slightly orangey gold with a moderate white head that doesn't last too long.
the aroma has got banana, pear, grainy pale malts, corriander and a pervasive piney grapefruit hoppiness. the hoppiness isn't overpowering of the other aromas though.
the taste has got the same sort of things going on as in the aroma. you get a creamy banana, mellon and vanilla sort of flavor up front with a good dose of peppery corriander backing it up. a pear-like sweetness comes in towards the middle with some bready yeastiness in there too. middle to back the hops show up with some nice grassy grapefruit tones and a moderate bitterness. a touch boozy, but nothing to complain about. it'll even out with some time anyway.
the mouthfeel is a smooth medium to full with a moderate carbonation.
drinkability is good. one of the more pleasing epics to drink when new. this one seems like it will age well, but is very good right now. (923 characters)

Photo of nrpellegrini
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden yellow color with a haze. Great thick white head stays until the end. Awesome spiced citrus flavors. Great rich mouthfeel, smooth all the way to the end. Goes down easy, I wanted more. I would be interested to see how the taste would change had I aged it the recommended time.

Not the best tripel style but gooood. Try it (344 characters)

Photo of DeepSix
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. A low amount head here. An amber color minor carbonation visible.

Sweet malts are dominant, hops are detectable here, spices here too, with some maybe some fruit.

a really balanced taste here. malts and hops pretty nicely balanced. Citrus here too, not much of those spcies and fruit I smelled but eh, I like a hops and malt, and this delivers both, pretty big. Medium mouthfeel with some carbonation noted even on the last 11oz of the bottle. Alcohol bite is noted here too.

A very good an balanced beer here, might be the most drinkable of this style I've had so far. The ABV should avoid too many, but seeing its a limited release thats probably not a huge problem for most. (722 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a smallish head. Bits of lace trail on the glass. The aroma is delicately fruity with lychees, pears and citrus. Candy sugar sweetness and cookie dough show in the nose as well. The taste is malty and spicey like a tripel with a wonderful fruity, piney hop character the melds with the Belgian flavors very well. Mint shows with warmth, there are a lot of hop flavors going on here. The mouthfeel is creamy consistency but light bodied, love the bottle conditioning. The finish is mildly bitter and candy sugar sweet with fruity yeast esters in tow.

This is a nice hopped up Belgian ale. Very easy to drink, it doesnt taste anything like 8.6% (681 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into my Maredsous chalice. VE 08 appears a hazy bright straw yellow color with about a finger of bone white foam. Aromas and flavors consist of white grape, crisp apples, pears, spicy yeast esters, sweet biscuits, lemon peel, alcohol, mild pine notes. Excellent body with adequate carbonation, quite effervescent. The ale has a very dry and clean finish and the spiciness of the yeast leaves the tongue tingling. Very nice. (455 characters)

Photo of toweringpoo
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been a while since I've had this style. Not a bad choice to get me back into the style.

Looks nice. Slightly opaque bronze color. Big bubbles of carbonation coming up and hanging around the to. Head is perfectly white and dissipates quickly.

Smells really nice. Fruity belgian yeast. Grapefruit, orange, every kind of citrus I can think of; coriander, very sweet. Smells like something you'd dream up.

Tastes pretty good. I think the hops are a bit overpowering (dear god, what am I saying??) at first. However they mellow out a bit after a few sips and match well with the belgian fruitiness. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is prickly and crisp, very refreshing. Drinkability is good. I'd love to have a couple of these on a hot day...and then pass out for a few hours(the abv is a bit high, but hey don't let that stop you)

As expected, stone delivers again.

Highly Recommended. (884 characters)

Photo of dfillius
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
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! (614 characters)

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.