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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: 179 | 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 clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(please bear in mind that this review is for a beer that is almost seven years old and was stored in a bar's back fridge)
Poured a cloudy orange body with good head and left a lace ring down the glass. The aroma really lets out yeast as well as honey, some tropical fruits and basically a candi sugar and/or malt based sweetness that a little kid would love as well as some flowery, spicy esters. Medium bodied, fluffy thickness thanks to yeast, and quite frankly this beer is not necessarily mead but it is much more honey, fruity, flowery sweet and thick than a balanced IPA b/c the hops are minimal at best. Finishes spicy and crisp and I really enjoyed this beer after so long and I like sweet beers with little hops but not everyone does, nor would I consider this an IPA now, more of a Belgian Pale or something in that vein. Still, I don't regret buying a bottle. (874 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this sometime at the end of 2012, as part of a 03.03.03 - 12.12.12 tasting. I had meant to enter these a while ago while they were fresh and add a few extra details, but that didn't happen. Review from notes. Anyway, here we go.

3.0 A: Mildly hazed light orange color. Not much of a head formed.

4.0 S: Smells like its not really that old. Still quite hoppy with pleasant floral and citrusy notes. Sugary with peppery spiciness. Pineapple, mango, and orange stick out.

4.0 T: Tastes as good as the nose. Super surprised at how hoppy this is. Again, lots of citrus and floral. Peppery spice. Quite nice.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good spritzy carbonation.

4.0 D: This one is actually good. (708 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.65/5  rDev -9%
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 (817 characters)

Photo of BoardwalkBock
2.73/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. purchased about a week ago poured into an Ommegang goblet. Not sure of how well this bottle was conditioned, but here we go.

A: Hazy, yellow and orange. Some visible sediment at the bottom of the glass. Not a problem. Being a home brewer, I am used to seeing sediment in my beer.

S: It smells like a year old IPA. Tons of stale malt and a slight hint of whatever hops remain.

T: Taste like it smells. It just taste like a really old IPA where the malts are dominant but stale and the hops are non-existent. Yeast flavor is prominent at the end. Brings up some fruit flavors at the very end to help alleviate the awful stale taste. Pretty bad.

M: Light to medium bodied; slight carbonation but pretty faded.

O: Overall, this beer has not aged well. I remember having an 08 vertical in the summer of 09 and it was phenomenal. Also had a fresh one in 08. This, however, has just turned to a stale, bitter, tasteless beer. I saw this for 9$ and figured what the hell. Glad to have tried it, but will never seek anything besides a 12 vertical at this point ever again. (1,075 characters)

Photo of blindtiger24
3.39/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Copper colored with a thin head.

S: Apple and cinnamon smell.

T: Orange sweetness and slight bitterness from orange peel.

M: Creamy mouthfeel that is short lived and is dried about by bitterness of the peel.

O: Fell flat in the taste and mouthfeel departments. (306 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Five year old Eight pours with a bright orange coloring and a sizeable foam cap.

This bottle was stored properly but it smells like plastic. Lots of phenolic and alcohol make it very off-putting.

The phenolic quality holds in the taste for the beginning but subsides quickly to give a nice fruity orange, tangerines and nectarines flavor.

The feel is sprite and bubbly but smooth and full.

Fresh this may be a fantastic rendition of a Belgian IPA but time seems to have been hard on this one. (496 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle.

A: Clear orange color with a thin white head. Nice lacing and good bubbles.

N: Caramel, toffee, mandarin orange, some oxidation, leafy hops, esters.

T: Well balanced by the bitter and sweet elements. Tastes more like a barleywine/old DIPA than a BSA

M: Sticky, medium body. Alcohol is prevalent.

O: Not too bad. Hops have faded significantly and the oxidation level is light. Still solid, but not my favorite. (430 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear golden orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, spice, alcohol, and herbal aromas. Taste is much the same with herbal and spice flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with interesting aromas and flavors that have held up fairly well since this was brewed. (668 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.79/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

If you go online Stone publishes the recipes to all their vertical epics--that's nifty. Cloudy gold color with a thin, white insta-vanish head.

Smells like Capri Sun, light tropical fruit, bready yeast, peach rings, and sharp, but timid, citrus hop.

Heavy fermented sugar malt, clumpy citrus hop, and toasted plantains. Tropical fruit character (from yeast, not hops). Effervescent carbonation.

The hops have already faded out of this a whole lot and I can't imagine this beer holding up until 12/12/12.

Update: 6/30/13. The review above is from 2010. Now that we're going through all the Epics this was by far my favorite of the series. It doesn't hold as an IPA but there's tropical fruit out the yin yang and it makes for a great triple/bspa. (749 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened June 2013

A - Bright gold body with a light haze. Nice, fine white head pours about a finger high. Ok retention and nice lace.

S - Unusual amount of dark dried fruits more typically found in dark belgian strong ales. Raisin, dried pear, dill, rosemary, muscat, amaretto. Little to no hop character - possibly due to age.

T - Herbal opening with thyme and rosemary. Pear and grape center with warm white booze. Touch of dry wood and a twang of cider-like acidity on the backend.

M - Silky smooth, light frame. Low carbonation, but it isn't much of a distraction.

O - More belgian light strong ale than belgian IPA, but the brew shines with a nice, well balanced flavor profile and a solid mouthfeel. (710 characters)

Photo of JohnnyMc
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Another one in the VE series! Just bought too!

Pours out a pretty hazy golden orange with a generous amount of a fluffy white head.

The aroma has some fruity yeast esters, a bit of spice, some clove, a bit of an orange peel, lemon zest, floral notes and a bit of bready malt.

The flavor has a decent amount of the floral and fruity esters, their is a very subtle amount of banana, clove and there is a decent white pepper type of spice. There are some faded hop type of notes, some orange rind and a bit of bready notes at the end. There is a touch of that lemon zest as well.

The body is medium and the mouthfeel is slightly creamy. The ABV is decently hidden, but I do get some warmth as it goes down. Decently bitter, but not over the top.

A Belgian Style IPA doesn't really suit this beer anymore. (I never had it fresh, but I assume it was a lot more hoppy) I would call this more along the lines of a Belgian Style Golden Ale now. It's good, but I feel like something is probably missing where the hops used to be. (1,027 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a slightly murky gold with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: Light spice notes at first followed by lots of candy sugar, caramel malts, and pear aromas. There are also some bubblegum and bread aromas mixed in.

T: Belgian spices here as well before candy sugar, sweet breads, caramel, and a light oxidation flavor kick in. The finish is yeasty with a surprising, though light, bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer isn't as light and crisp as I'd like, but avoids being too thick or sticky sweet.

O: Considering that this beer is 4.5 years old, it's not as bad as I was expecting. It's a little oxidized, but not enough so to ruin it. (704 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer appears a nice golden color with a small bubble, foamy white head. Floury aroma with hints of pear and apricot and a mild peppery spiciness. Nifty booze, malt, hop flavors come out with every sip; fruity esters combine with a rich malt flavors. Medium bodied, crisp and dry finish.

Bold and sharp beer with lots of interesting flavors. The hop aroma isn't very strong, but perhaps that's due to the age of the beer. Still, the grain/hop/ABV components make for an intense yet pleasurable tasting experience. (517 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12. Review from notes.

A: Lighter golden color, crystal clear with a small off-white head that reduces quickly. Small bits of lacing.

S: Tons of lemons right away. A bit of orange and vanilla with a good bit of grass.

T: Again, lots of citrus - mostly lemon and orange. A bit of caramel and grainy malt.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly bitter finish.

O: Quite good, definitely surprised at how citrus forward and hoppy this beer still was. Could be my favorite of the group. (536 characters)

Photo of obywan59
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden to orangey copper in color with a pure white 1 1/2 finger head that leaves a bit of nice sticky lacing. First glass was perfectly clear, but the second was rather cloudy with large sediment particles suspended throughout, but more thickly towards the top.

A little Belgian funk. Spicy citrus or faint mulled cider with honey. Spice is mainly clove. An occasional whiff of bubblegum and alcohol.

Faintly sweet but fairly dry. Cloves seem more distinct here. Some light tart citrus and a bit over balanced by a somewhat harsh bitterness in the first glass. In the second glass, the bitterness was less obtrusive.

Faint prickle from the light carbonation. Medium-full bodied. Drying to the point of astringency. Decent burn of alcohol.

The taste was the worst aspect for me, the bitterness was a detraction. The carbonation was weak, but the alcohol still seemed potent. Maybe it suffered for being in the fridge for 4 1/2 years?? I first drank this before I started doing reviews, but I'm pretty certain it was a lot better back then. It's not without merit, but If were still made, I wouldn't buy it again at this stage. (1,138 characters)

Photo of nova009
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been waiting a long time to try this one
Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A- pours a clear and bring orangish-copper color, big fluffy two finger head appears a sticks around leaving lots of good lace along the glass, steady stream of bubbles rises to the surface

S- very floral, nice boquet, fruity belgian yeast, clove, orange peel, a slight hoppiness, a little bubblegum as well

T- creamy, lots of fruity belgian yeast, clove, pepper and the spiciness that comes with it, finishes dry with a little bit of grass, virtually all of the hop presence has dissipated

M- medium body, fairly high carbonation, starts creamy and finishes dry, the flavor hits you right in the middle of the tongue

O- this was a solid beer, I was a little ancy with the prospect of an aged IPA but this was still pretty tasty, the belgian flavors really took over, interested to see how the remaining epic bottles finish (908 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a medium golden, brilliant, with minimal cream head that dissipates into nothing.

Caramel malt, belgian yeast esters, peach, and mango come to mind. There's some slight phenolic notes.

Good belgian yeast character, peach, more malt backbone than 7. No ginger, which makes me happy. Almost wine-like. Confectioners sugar sweetness. Fairly bitter finish. Floral hops add intrigue.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

More bitter and less herbal than the 7. (499 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yet another Vertical Epic I purchased long ago, probably at Discount Liquor.

A - Golden hazed body is topped by an off-white foam that settles to a collar, wisps, and spotty lacing.

S - Smells like an aged Belgian golden ale, with peppery, phenolic yeast notes, stone fruits, and a bit of lemon. Hops are long gone, but there isn't any overt oxidation either.

T - The taste is a bit more smoothed out, with light caramel, lemon, stone fruits, honey, and a tangy and lightly sour finish.

M - Smooth, medium-full body. Dry finish, lower carbonation, and a bit of residual alcohol heat.

D - This is the first one in the series that seemed even remotely 'Belgian'. The rest could have been confused for old English ales of some sort. Still, nothing exceptional, but at least resembles the advertised description. (813 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

had as part of a big VE tasting at the end of the world party, thanks to Mark for sharing.

Decent fizzy head, light lacing, hazzy carrot orange color.

Nose is nice Belgian again, bright malts, light tropical fruits even, hint guava and pear, malty, sweet, tangerine, etc.

Taste sweetish malts, aged tasting, fluffy, candy malts, light citrus, tangerine and pear, fluffy Belgian malts, light citrus, light esters and hint of booze.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb for the age.

Overall OK, again would probably have been much better fresh, but decent. (565 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap for the VE tasting (beers 07.07.07-12.12.12) at Pacific Coast Brewing Co. during SF Beer Week. All reviews are from my notes. Poured into a 6oz wine glass for the tasting.

Pours a golden haze amber color into the glass, in a very classically stylized take on Belgian Strong Pale Ales. If they were trying to go for a beer that looked a lot like, say, Duvel, they nailed it right on the head here, except for perhaps the lack of carbonation. However, this being nearly 5 years old, how could it not? There's some sediment in the glass, and surprisingly, some bubbles - enough to produce a thin but elegant head. Definitely thick in appearance, and the alcohol legs show themselves pretty well here on the rims of the glass. Definitely well presentable overall.

At the nose, there's an immediate burst of golden honey flavors, combined with a classic Belgian crisp graininess and well meshed malts. Definitely getting a little bit of banana and clove, although, with the aging, the spices are far more muted than one would hope (or dread). Instead, I'm getting a yeasty backbone to this is that is slightly fruity, often resembling white grapes with a little bit of wild elements to it. A little bit of citrus predominates, yet the hops are rather muted here, and there's no peppery character to speak of. Definitely sweet and bright on the nose, but sadly lacking in the hops/spices department that I love this style of beer for.

On the flavor, however, it is a different story altogether. Big yeast spicy character, melded with champagne-like flavors such as pears and honey, and a coated sugar cane backbone. The spices definitely show a bit of astringency on the palate here, but, as a result of the sweetness, the alcohol is carefully masked in this case. It is slightly boozy towards the finish, and definitely far stronger than the others I sampled in terms of the ABV being noticeable. However, it is a nicely close tribute to the BSPA style overall.

A far more straightforward VE offering without all the spices overwhelming the yeast and character of the beer. When rating to style, it's pretty solid, although once again I could not say if it was better fresh or if it has ended up more "authentic" with aging. I wish Stone would release this more as a seasonal or something. It would give me a readily available good domestic offering of the BSPA style whenever I had the craving for one. (2,418 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes on 02/02/2013.

A- Bottle pour to pint glass with a hazy golden body and a foamy white head that is about one finger in size. Decent retention and creamy thick ring leaves good lace rings.

S- Pretty weak strength overall. Mostly just get aged European spicy hops and some aged light caramel.

T- Most affected by age so far out of the VEs we tried. Still some hop character like spicy, fruity herbal Euro hops. Light caramel, lemon, oxidation and coridander.

MF- Slightly creamy feel with low-medium carbonation. Medium bitter finish.

Aged IPA feel but somewhat solid still. Herbal and floral with that aged light caramel feel. (650 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle served in a CCB snifter.

A: Pours a light amber color with a frothy white head forming on the pour. Recedes slowly leaving some sticky splotches of lace down the glass.

S: Fruity and flowery hop notes some mild citrus as well. A little honey sweetness with some bready malts. Light background yeasty spice.

T: Stone fruits, fruity esters and some spicy. Light paper with some sweet malts.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. Light level of bitterness on the finish.

O: The hops were still around as well as the light spiciness from the yeast. The hops just weren't as potent, obviously, but it definitely wasn't bad. (649 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in Summer 2008. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of orange zest, lemon, apple, pear, honey, bread, pepper, light pine, light clove, floral, grass, herbal, floral earthiness, and light yeast esters. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes and yeast esters. Taste of lemon, orange zest, apple, pear, honey, bread, light pine, pepper, clove, floral, grass, and floral earthiness. Slight floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, light fruits, honey, bread, floral, grass, light pepper, light pine, herbal, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of hop flavors with yeast esters; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong ale! Very nice balance and complexity of hop flavor and yeast esters; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering. (1,274 characters)

Photo of Beejay
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 2-3-13

A: Pale amber brown, a bit of white head, but not a huge amount. Slightly hazy.

S: Caramel and sweet, some light citrus fruit with some pine scents.

T: Nice sweetness, good caramel with a nice spice and citrus flavor. Some good yeasty character, and a touch of hot alcohol. All in all pretty good.

M: Medium light in body. Very active carbonation, and a dry finish.

O: Overall very nice. The flavor and mouthfeel are really nice. Even 5 years after it was brewed, this beer is pretty solid. Surprised it is still a little hot, but great. (562 characters)

Photo of Philousa
2.82/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Purchased this from Lone Hill Liquor a year ago. I wouldn't have purchased something that someone else aged, but I know that Lone Hill takes good care of their product so I'm assuming it was aged properly.

Pours a very pale gold, clear with a wispy bone colored head. Tiny bubbles form with a swirl and pack in tightly until it mostly dissipates. Aroma starts with green apple, pear, white grape, and clove. Lots of sweet Belgian notes up front, almost sickeningly so. I also get a slightly papery aroma. There isn't as much carbonation as expected. I don't get much in the way of hops because of the age, I presume. So far this is turning out to be a Belgian Golden Strong. Flavor has caramel, biscuit, and honey with sweet, flowery nectar. Some allspice goes up the noes and brings out a bitter candied sugar flavor. Bitter hops are woody and earthy. Feel is appropriate for the style, finish is very dry.

This gets better as it warms. The caramel comes out and the spicy phenols calm down. I really want to try this when it's young. I think that if anyone can duplicate Houblon Chouffe's success it could be Stone. I have to dock points for saying that this should be aged, though. This is a novelty by now and a poor marketing trick. If only I knew this before I started buying the series. (1,295 characters)

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