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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

488 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 488
Hads: 846
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 43
Gots: 240 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: 488 | Hads: 846
Photo of Murchmac
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another year, another VE.

This years offering pours with nice ring around the collar. Pretty clear, golden yellow.

Smells a fruity, white grape like almost. Very sweet.

Very fruity, hoppy, very carbonated. Dry, with a slight alcohol presence. Like a geworstameaner, (its a misspelled wine)

Sweet, fruity aftertaste, leaves the mouth dry with a heavy feeling in the middle of your tongue.

Stone is starting to slip in their anniversary beers and VE's in my opinion. This is more like a wine than beer.

In their defense, I think they achieved what they set out to do, I just dont like it...

EDIT: AFTER ONE YEAR OF AGE ON IT, IT'S FANTASTIC

At least we'll always have ruination...

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Photo of kmeves
3.7/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first beer of our 04-08 tasting...thanks PatronWizard!

A: Pours a bright golden color with a big and beautiful two-finger head. The lacing is decent and the head quickly dissipated.

S: I nice light-sweet malt with a very gentle hop profile; very well balanced.

T: Super sweet, but isn't overly sweet like an aged barleywine. A lot of Pale Ale qualities that includes that delicate Belgian touch; could have had more Belgian spices. Hides alcohol well.

M: Nearly perfect for the style....sufficient carbonation, light-body, and a slight velvety feel.

D: A good beer...not great. Could have any day of the week, but I could go without as well.

Overall: I think aging will hurt this beer, so I recommend having this brew fresh. A good beer. Cheers!

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Photo of clvand0
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden color with a tall head that falls quickly and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The first thing I get from the aroma is a pine and citrus hop character along with a touch of Belgian spicy yeast character. The flavor has big pine and citrus hops at the first, followed by the standard spicy Belgian character. Some bready malts and lingering bitterness as well. The mouthfeel is medium and the drinkability is ok. I'm not a huge fan of mixing Belgians with US hops, but that's just me.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

About a year and a half old and purchased recently. Probably wasn't stored properly, but the warehouse-like store wasn't exactly heated either. Not sure how warm it got in the summer. Anyway...

Served in a tulip. The beer is clear and golden. The head is white, a couple fingers thick and fell quickly to a film. It leaves some thin lacing. Looks pretty good.

Aroma is nice with a lot of belgian farmhouse character. There's also some faint citrus hop aroma in the background. I imagine that this was much more pronounced a year ago. There's also some fruity esters in there. The flavor is fruity and clean with the hops asserting themselves a little more. The hop bitterness comes through in the finish.

Carbonation is high, and it dries out nicely leaving very little bitterness behind. Pretty easy drinking. Wishing I got ahold of this one when it was fresh. I got a second bottle to drink on 12.12.12, trusting stone that it will hold up till then.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a white head and and spots of lacing.

S: There is still a surprising hop presence to this beer with some nice bright fruit notes, but those may be from the Belgian yeast strain. There's a bready and sugary sweetness to the nose along with some mild alcohol.

T: Quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue with citrus peel, particularly orange and tangerine. The hops are a bit grassy but provide some pine, too. A bit of pear sweetness along with the bread.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Not surprisingly, this beer is nowhere near as good as it was when it came out a couple years ago. But it's still drinkable.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

New review (9/22/09) from notes at MacGregors

A - slightly lighter in color than the '07, more gold I guess. Decent head retention, quite clear. 4.0

S - lightly fruity with a light citrus-hop aroma. Nearly like a Belgian tripel. 4.0

T - Amber malts, caramel, and a more pronounced hop presence in the finish. Touch of pear and grapefruit. 4.5

M - very smooth, light/medium bodied. 4.0

D - pretty good. I could do a goblet of this. 3.5

---

On tap at Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Review from notes.

A - poured clear golden amber, white 1" head in a goblet. Bubbles run up from the bottom of the glass 4.0

S - sweet pale malts, slightly alcoholic and a touch of piny hops. What a strange nose... I didn't detect anything else... 3.5

T - sweet maltiness and a hint of raisins. Dry and hoppy finish. Pretty boozy, the alcohol is in your face. 3.5

M - medium bodied, highly carbonated. Prickly on the tongue. 3.5

D - decent but the alcohol is a bit much. 3.0

Thoughts - this was a bit boozy. It wasn't as balanced as I expected it to be. Give it a couple more years and maybe it'll mellow out a bit.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to see this down the road at Brilbeck's already, just goes to show how good Stone's distribution is. Although I still can't find any 12th Anniversary, grr.

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear rustic gold with a fluffy two finger white head that falls to a soft layer of bubbles. A fair amount of stick is left on the sides of the glass. Smell starts off some fruits such as mango, papaya, and grapefruit. Yeast and spice graze the nose as well, a very interesting combination of aromas. Taste begins with oily hops and pepper followed by a piney zest. Spice and clove dominate midway and continue on all the way into the aftertaste. A touch of banana here and there throught on the tongue as well. Medium slick body with a flowing carbonation and slight bite from the hops. The alcohol is hidden quite well in this beer. I would classify this as a Belgian IPA. An up and coming style that is still a bit rough around the edges but still a very interesting beer.

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Photo of samie85
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 1/22/10.

A-Slightly red hued golden color with a white two finger head.

S- I'm getting lemon zest, pine, herbal bitterness, pepper, and spicy Belgian yeast.

T- Lemon and grapefruit with pepper, dry and spicy Belgian yeast, an herbal note, and clove. Pretty interesting flavor profile, but not one I'm in love with.

M-Medium bodied with pretty significant carbonation.

D-The herbal aftertaste and the high carbonation hurts the drinkability for me. It's very interesting but a little overcomplicated.

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Photo of waltonc
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last of the 2004-2008 vertical epic tasting we did last night. An outstanding evening of fine beer. The 2008 was actually the least interesting of them. This one was kind of blah.

A: light gold

S: floral, citrus, hops, spice.

T: More of the same, piney. Seems to be a belgian yeast with the added twist of California hop overkill (though this doesn't have a crazy amount of hops compared to some stone stuff)

M: medium body and carbonation

D: Just not interesting enough for me to want to drink more than a glass.

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Photo of JosephLondon
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An extra as part of a trade with msulinski, I thank you for this one!

Poured a bright golden color with a nice, foaming white crown. The head departed to nonexistence-nothing with no lace. In the nose there is mostly citrus fruit with a hint of a yeasty-malt note. The taste is actually really good upfront with fresh fruits and a good hop bite(especially since the beer is a year and a half old). This fades in the body and leaves the finish bland. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by its somewhat robust character considering its age.There is nothing to note in its feel as it is fairly flat and thin. However, this 8.6 abv brew drank wonderfully. I was shocked when I saw the abv! I thought it was around 5.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.66/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of TMB0424
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into tulip.

Poured a nice hazy gold body with peach tints and a two finger white head. Head quickly reduced to a foamy cap, leaving fairly good retention throughout.

Aroma is very reminiscent of Stone's IPA - citrus (grapefruit, orange peel), freshly squeezed lemon and hops. This is backed by a slight scent of yeast with clove. Can slightly detect alcohol, as well.

First sip, I was pretty disappointed because I only picked up the IPA aspects. After a couple more, the Belgian characteristics kicked in. The grapefruit and lemon are backed by sweet malts and honey. Hints of banana. Yeast brings a nice element as well. Finishes dry and bitter after the sweet kick-off.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with a very crisp but very dry feel to it. Carbonation is high, but it compliments everything. Although I enjoyed this brew, I couldn't have more than one pour - the sweetness just got to me. Recommended, nevertheless.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a fruity aroma that promises spiciness, like orange peels and allspice, and boasts of sweet sugars and bitter hops.

However, on the tongue, the hops are the first to emerge, exploding into grapefruit-bitter blossoms like a strong IPA. The sugars are downplayed immensely on the tongue, but still come across in the form of light fruitiness, perhaps apricots, and form a nice platform for the hoppy bitterness. There may be hints of darker flavors for some, such as tobacco or dark chocolate, as well as a nice toasted grain taste that threads its way through. The label says that this ale is "spicy, estery and fruity (from the yeast)," but by and large the hops are what take center stage, and in fact seem to throw the brew slightly off-kilter, as the deeper layers prove difficult to find against it; I mostly felt as if I were biting into the rind of a grapefruit.

Personally, I didn't mind this, as I quite like the ale's hoppy bitterness--but for anyone who already thinks that even light IPAs are too sour, this brew will only prove undrinkable. I give this 3.5 stars, with a note that it would have earned far more were it better balanced.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a Stone snifter

A- pours a clear golden color with some floaties swimming around, small fizzy white head disappears quickly, leaving nothing bend

S- the hop bitterness has subdued after six years, giving way to some nice fruity aromas with an emphasis on apple, there's a hint of spicy peppery spice left from the addition of the yeast, notes of apple as well

T- the hops are completely gone after six years, but there are some nice fruity notes of apple, pear and berry. Very subtle spiciness remains from the yeast, finishes bone dry with more fruit on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and creamy dry finish

O- as expected, hops are gone, but the yeast lends some nice fruity notes. Still very drinkable but nothing like a Belgian IPA at this point

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Photo of tedpeer
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours golden with a white head that quickly subsided to a whispy layer with ring around. No lacing.

S - Hops, citrus.

T - Fruity, hoppy, citrus. Bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium mouthfeel, highly carbonated.

D - Not well balanced.

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Photo of flexinwext
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Couldn't wait to let this sit till 2012 so I thought I'd give it a shot. Clear golden yellow. Very "belgian" aroma of sweet malts, clove, citrus and piney hops. Very complex flavor with lots sweet malt upfront. Very carbonated. The alcohol is a bit overpowering in this one which hurts the drinkability a bit, but overall very good, I wonder what some age would do?

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Photo of Klym
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone nonic. First in a little sunday morning session with Cavery (love our weekend sessions!).

A: A very hazy pale gold, almost white on the outside. Poured with unusual violence in effort to get a nice head, but only managed to get about a 1 finger head that died down soon after. Lacing is thick and foamy but most of it falls off pretty quickly.

S: Awfully yeasty at first but became more sweet as it warmed up. A very bread-like yeast with sour apple, fresh cut grass and goji berry. An intimidatingly strong smell.

T: Taste a lot like the nose with emphasis on yeast, lots of apple, and farmhouse flavors/grass. Not as much berry in the taste as in the nose. A little bit of an unpleasant bitter and acidic aftertaste.

M: An improvement in mouthfeel would be a big improvement for this beer. Carbonation is weak and mouthfeel is watery and fails to mesh with saliva in the mouth in an unpleasant way. In my opinion, the biggest weakness of this beer.

O: This is of course supposed to be aged until 2012, but I have a hard time imagining how the beer would be much improved with a year's more aging. Glad I tried it, but not great drinkability and wouldn't reach for it again unless doing the full vertical tasting in 2012.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale color with little head that leaves no lace.

Lots of cloves in the nose (which I don't like)some hints of earthy hops. Not much more than that.

Taste is a little bitterness with yeasty bread dough with earthy hops and some very interesting green apple! That's nice.

Medium to full bodied and a little dry.

Ok drinkability.

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Photo of chaz01
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good sized (4-5 ounce) pour at a Stone Vertical Tasting Event sponsored by Belmont Party Supplies on 5/12/2010, served in a very cool Stone Vertical Epic tasting glass.

A: Clear golden color -- beer produced the biggest foamy head of any in the series to date.

S: Hoppy citrus aroma along with some musky pine notes.

T: Pine flavors in the taste along with some musky orange flavor. More grassy hay and straw in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D: This didn't stand out in the series -- still a bit of hoppiness character to the beer which I would presume will fade over time.

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Photo of seangroves
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
Golden brown in color with a large white head. The beer is very clear and the head lingers.

Smell:
It smells very sweet, almost fruity close to a banana, with the aroma of the hops coming through very strongly with a suttle hint of pale malt.

Taste:
A bit unbecoming at first but the hops come through very strongly with an ending of a light pale maltiness. The hops are very strong throughout from beginning to end.

Mouthfeel:
The beer feels very light and smooth with a bit of chewiness to it afterward. Carbonation is borderline.

Drinkability:
This beer is easy to consume as it is very light to the feel and quite smooth. I may have another after.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this right before the '09 VE came out, lets see how this is doing at 2 years old. Bomber poured into my new Chimay goblet.

Pours a nice rusty orange color with a small white head. Quickly turns to a small cap and ring, nice color though.

Smell seems pretty weak. Mostly getting a yeasty bread scent, and light fruit, lemon, and some booze.

Surprisingly still very hoppy. Lots of grapefruit, citrus, spice, sugar, candy and floral notes. Flavors and alcohol pack quite a punch the first couple sips but it's more enjoyable as it goes on, warming helps alot as well. Good, but seems a little messy overall.

Creamy, high carbonation, pretty dry and bitter. Booze taste is there the whole time but is toned down the more you finish.

I think Stone considers this a tripel but I definitely agree with the choice of Belgian IPA for style. The flavors are just about even with a huge IPA and a light Belgian. Taste is kinda crazy but a bomber wasn't too much of a problem. Hard to say how this will continue to age until 2012. I liked it enough to know I will pick up another bottle to age until then.

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Photo of peabody
3.62/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Chimay goblet twce. This is about five months old at the moment.

A- Vertical epic 08 pours a bright golden color with orange spots. No head to speak of whatsoever. just a bit of very faint patches of scattered white spots. A lot of bubbles are seen rising up but not enough to cover the surface with any foam. May be an off bottle.

S- 080808 has a lot of yeast and earthy tones. Bananas and cloves and other spices. Some various flowers come out with warming. Some sweet candy with malts. A nice array of hops while this BSPA resembles somewhat of a triple style.

T- A blast of the spices such as clove and pepper and the Belgian yeast jump out at the forefront with what i'm guessing to be some strain of NW U.S hop variety. Some bready malts. More fruits than in the smell starting with banana and apple and pear. Has a dry and slighty bitter aftertaste.

M- 080808 has a dry and bitter taste with a bit of alcohol presence. This does not quite fit the bill for a triple in my mind. Goes down quite easy with a light to medium body and some carbonation. The taste rolls off the tounge and does not linger.

D- At 8% only one bottle for me in a sitting. This is my 1st try at this offering from stone and while I was not blown away I am still intrigued to try the older versions and will look out for future releases although this wont be strong on my radar. Still a good offering from stone.

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Photo of becktone
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eye: As it pours in the glass the body of the brew is clear and orange-gold in color. Poor head formation, the size of this thing is barely more than a thick blanket. Retention is pretty good though, at least the head that I have is staying put. Lacing looks to be good, the head is thicker closer to the edges of the glass where the lacing clings to it giving the head a meniscus type shape.

Nose: High levels of pine and citrus hops, for a belgian style. As the bottle states it was influenced by some type of Belgian IPA. Great malt backbone to this one. The aroma is warmer and less sweet than most belgian strong pales. This one is more earthy and herbal, but not from the yeast. The yeast is actually pretty clean.

Tongue: Pine, floral and citrus hops make up the majority of this beer's flavor profile. It is not nearly as complex as I would've liked. I'd say that this beer is imitating Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, however it is not nearly as complex or flavorful as the aforementioned. The malt backbone gives some support and a nice sweet flavor, but in my opinion there should be more from the yeast. There is some delicate malt flavor here, but I feel that the hoppiness takes away from it, either that or the delicate malts need to be more forward. Alcohol is in there as well, doesn't stand out but is noticeable after a while.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: The finish is drying. Carbonation delicate and much higher than I expected. Alcohol is slightly warming when swallowed. Carbonation makes the body feel lighter than it actually is, I'd say medium bodied. This is one I'd drink again, though I'm not sure I'll want to pay for it. It's good but nothing special. I might pick up a few more just for the hell of aging them and seeing how they progress.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.