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

705 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 705
Reviews: 475
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 42
Gots: 174 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 705 | Reviews: 475
Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a really nice pilsner malt scent along with an earthy, yet fruity yeast aroma. There is also some hop bitterness as well. The taste is great as well. This is a very smooth beer with loads of character. It has a solid malt base and tastey yeast finish. It's quite bitter with a mildly earthy finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's incredibly drinkable without lacking complexity and a bit of warmth.

Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at BevMo a few weeks ago. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Yellowish-orange with a huge 2-3 finger white, fizzy head. Head has little retention, leaving just some film and lacing. Plenty of tiny bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass.

S: Big fruity nose on this one with plenty of spice. Plum or perhaps fig mixed with cinnamon sugar and nutmeg. It actually almost smells a bit like bubble gum flavor.

T: Taste is more bready than the scent, with a nice mildly hoppy finish. There is a bit of the fruitiness there, and a great spicyness that really hits at the end.

MF: Fairly thin bodied, but in no way water, and a decent amount of carbonation. Plenty of warming to go with a nice dry finish.

D: This is much better than the 07.07.07, in my opinion. Lots of good flavor which blends well and is easy to drink. Maybe not as refined as some of the other strong pale's out there, but I really enjoyed this one and would certainly drink it again.

Photo of canucklehead
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been sitting in the cellar since late summer and so it seemed right to open one since I drank all my earlier versions and cannot do the vertical in 2012. This is a real nice Belgian style beer with some spice notes mixed in with the citrus notes found in Saisons. Kinda tasted like a combo of Duvel and Westmalle Triple. Lots of complexity and good balance made this very drinkable. Good Epic from these guys.

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You all know what the bottle looks like so I won't bother. Pours out a copper yellow with almost no head at all. Smell is very sweet with hints of malt, lemon and earthy notes.

Taste is much milder than I expected. Very well integrated flavors of sugar, bread and grassy hops. Lovely drying bitterness in the middle and end. Aftertaste goes on and on. 20 plus seconds? Well balanced and easy drinking. The alcohol is so well hidden. A very "clean" beer.

A great VE in my opinion. I am not sure how this one will age as it is so well integrated now. Oh well, we will see.

Photo of johnnieoz
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Keith238
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

S- Fantastic aroma. Very floral.

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

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

Photo of mlazzaro
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 in a pretty things wine glass.

Very cloudy orange color. The cloudiness I view as just a sign of healthy yeast. It was not cloudy three years ago. mild head. Still tastes exceptional. Cheers to the brewers!

Smells of booze, pine trees and oranges. Booze is not intimidating smelling, but quite notable.

Taste is delicate, and very similar to smell. Resinous, piney, acidic, and very drinkable. The hop and yeast flavor are mended nicely. I have a hard time telling what flavor came from what. Either way it tastes delicious. After taste of American hop resin - Oranges and Spruce.

Thin mouthfeel. Acidic from either carbonation or fermentation. I like the bite though.

Someone once told me when cooking for others; make them wait an extra 30 minutes and the wait will make your meal taste that much better. I don't know if that is in play, but it an honer to drink this one.

Photo of sprucetip
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Hazy golden, very active, thick white-ish head with great retention and lots of lacing. SMELL rich sweet maltyness hits first, fruity esters, and restrained grassy hoppiness follow. Sneaky Belgian yeastiness infuses throughout. TASTE Sweet rich caramel maltiness paired with light grassy hoppy flavors and mild bitterness. Fruity esters from Belgian yeast add complexity and depth. Smooth and balanced. FEEL medium/full body, pleasant slightly slick texture, alc warming, clean and dry finish. OVERALL should be savored and shared, and is fairly filling. But it looks, smells, feels and tastes great!

Photo of tadowdaddy
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden clear beer with about 1/2 inch of head that retains well, ample carbonation, and minimal lacing. Carbonation in this one is a lot more than I'd have expected.

S- Lots of hops and some highly intense fruit. A bit spicy smelling as well.

T- Hoppy like a pale ale, has the fruitiness of a belgian ale. Very straightforward fruit flavors. Orange, apricot, and a bit of citrusy lemon flavor. Hops really stand out. I do not taste the alcohol at all. Additionally get some cloves and other spices in my mouth.

M- Crisp, clean. Nice bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

D- Do not taste the alcohol, so it seems very drinkable to me. The high ABV may be a downfall, but I personally do not see it as one.

Love this beer. Opened me up to a whole new style as I'm usually an IPA, IIPA guy.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Delirium Tremens Tulip.

A: Finger and a half head. Resides to and eighth of an inch head.

S: Orange rind, lemon zest, bready belgian yeast, I even get a hint of vanilla.

T: Very light, sweet malt flavor. Lots of citrus flavors going on orange, lemon, grapefruit hop flavors.

M: Really well carbonated. Dry, champagne like finish. Really good.

D: Very drinkable, 8.6 abv hidden well.

One of my favorite Belgian Style IPA's.

Photo of gciccarelli
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into wine glass.

A - Pale gold with very small head.

S - Spicy aroma, high presence of yeast smell. Hoppy citrus notes and sugar smells...

T - Very balanced, very tasting, very good. Spicy notes, sweet malts, bitter hops...really, a trippel and IPA combined. Slight taste of alcohol as well. Mild bitter aftertaste, like an IPA.

M - Medium body, light carbonation, nice residue left in the mouth. Less carbonation than many belgian-style brews...but good.

D - Especially considering the high alcohol content, this is a very drinkable beer and a very tasty one at that.

I will certainly plan on picking up another few of these and aging them as they were intended to be...can only imagine them getting better with age.

Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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

This pours a deep gold with a glowing haze. The off-white head produces about a finer of foam with average retention that leaves lacing on the glass.

This smells like a belgium triple brewed with American hops the hops are prominent but the the belgian yeast is right behind it. The hops smell strongly of pineapple and citrus while the yeast has a a some pepper and a bit of clove. The yeast aroma also has some mild fruity esters like oranges and peaches. There is an alcohol aroma that is soft and perfumy.

Pineapple and lemon dominate the flavor along with a moderately strong bitterness. There is malt support in following that gives me the impression that pilsner malt was used to lighten the body.

A light, fluffy body with a fine moderately low carbonation that dances on the tongue.

This beer has aged nicely, the assertive hops aroma and flavor is still there but more like a tripple with some years on it than the hops punch I crave in a young IPA. There is defiantly that pilsner malt character of a light body and faintly in the aroma and flavor.

Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the best way to start is quoting one of the guys I was drinking with since, in summary, I share his conclusion....namely, "Beer Deluxe."
I agree. High quality; high taste.

The 08 08 08 is a light honey color with an assertive lemon/grapefruit nose. Nice balance of underlying malt but the hoppy character really carried at least this day.

Big grapefruit and lemon flavors but with a rich and bright mouthfeel. Beer tasted of quality. Big flavors and body. Complex layers of citrus.

This is an all around great food beer, as well. Don't just save these for your vertical tasting. Drink a few every now and then...good beer!

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

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

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

Pours a deep gold that is clean filtered. Minimal head on this 9 oz pour but good carbonation during consumption. Aroma is true to the style and adds a string citrus presence - maybe grapefruit. Flavor puts this in a Belgian dubbel category and the strong alcohol is well masked. More citrus and a strong dosing of hops. Very enjoyable even 4-5 years later.

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

Bottle shared with me at a homebrew day

A - Golden pour with lots of head, but dissipates quck.

S - Sour belgian sugar esters, caramel and flowery hops.

T - Another beer I can appreciate. Smell matches taste.

M - Full bodied and balanced. The taste of a sour belgian strain of yeast lingers, yum.

D - Definitely drinkable and cannot wait to open my own bottle at home now.

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

22oz bottle

Pours a transparent yellow/orange color with a small white head that disappears quickly leaving some patching. Lots of visible carbonation and no yeast sediment to speak of. The nose is delightfully spicy balanced with a wonderful hoppiness. Most of the same characteristics come through while tasting. Notes of orange, chocolate, apricots, and lots of harmonious spice, the alcohol is present but definitely not dominant. The Belgian yeast plays a large role in the overall taste of the beer. The beers main character is mostly hoppy but is well balanced with some bold pale malt that really supports the flow of the beer. This one is killer, finally a Vertical Epic i will go back to! Its mouthfeel is medium/light with shy carbonation and a subtle, non offensive alcohol heat, making this one dangerously drinkable. A truly excellent beer.

***

i was lucky enough to sample this one on draught this weekend at BCTC up ant Ommegang. I took no notes on the draught offering but i remember saying, wow this is going to be awesome next week.

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

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.

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

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 705 ratings.