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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 173 | FT: 13
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:
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 added by: froghop on 08-04-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 694 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of armock
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of spice fruity and citrus hops

T - Starts off with some spice then gets sweet and fruity

M - This beer has a medium body with high carbonation to it

D - Another great beer from Stone thats very enjoyable to drink shared a bottle with some friends and they all agreed worth trying if you can still find it

armock, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Da Stone pours a semi-hazy amber / orange into the Corsendonk tulip. Small head pops up and quickly dies, not leaving much lace, but a small smattering of sheet around the top.

Spicy fruits in the aroma, lingering well into the quaff. Dry and crisp brew, full of malt backbone with those dried fruits of apple and pear appearing in the finish. Aged just about right during the last year. Tasting great this low temperature summer day.

Way to go once again, Stone Brewing.

Vancer, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of wd40
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Foam died pretty quickly in the glass. The taste was nicely hopped, but was not particularly rich or creamy. In fairness, I may have acquired this beer when it was already past its prime (seemed like it had been sitting in this store a while).

wd40, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic is a very clear, dense golden ale with a thin off-white film of a head with a few oily bubbles on it. It leaves thick sheets of lacing on the glass. There is banana/clove in the nose, along with some fruity and grassy notes. It's medium bodied and very smooth, with a clean, quick finish. It tastes tart and fruity. There are flowery hops flavors and notes of apple, banana and cherry. It's pretty phenolic. The finish and aftertaste are hot and boozy. It tastes boozier than it is.

yesyouam, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of brownbeer
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yellowish color with a thick white head.

Aroma includes fruity esters of a tripel with a subtle hoppy stone twist.

Soft carbonation and hidden alcohol make this quite easy to drink.

I thought overall it had great drinkability but kind of lacked the crisp/bold character I would have enjoyed to make this great. Well made but I wouldn't buy it again.

brownbeer, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of Jmoore50
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Brewing Co. is going to make me a fan of Belgians? This is truly an amazing brewery.

The appearance was not the usual. I very rarely drink anything of a foreign style, let alone Belgian. It was straw golden yellow with a fat crisp two finger head. It was a nice yellow color, but lately I have been used to dark mysterious colors.

The smell is interesting because it does not carry those Belgian yeast characteristics as most brews of this style do. It had a malt yeast smell, but was overtaken by a hop citrus smell. That said smell is no doubtingly from the Stone hops, these great hops that makes Stone one of the best.

The taste was good but not great. It was drinkable. I could tell that it had that Belgian style heavily involved, but I rated it 4 because I really enjoyed it. It had a dry yeast taste along with a fruity hop characteristic. It was not very complex, but extremely drinkable. It was better cold than at room temp. I mostly got a light bitter mouthfeel with a Summer hop sweetness. I have never had one of these brews and I might just start seeking out the others. Nice taste and recommended for the Belgian or Stone lover.
J

Jmoore50, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of wl0307
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
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!

wl0307, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of JOEYvegas
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from Stone Brewing in Escondido into tulip type glass...

A - Strong Pale/Straw. Minimal head retention.

S - As it opens up, very sweet floral notes appear with almost a sweet fruity essence very pleasing to the nose. Cloves are definitely present. Light alcohol appearance, however this was meant to be opened in 2012, so it was meant to balance over time.

T - Initially, you get a nice spice hop followed by a pale taste. which then blends into a nice subtle fruit sweet note. Alcohol slightly present, but will fade and mesh with the other flavors with time. Very Good. Not as balanced as one would hope for, but it a very young beer.

M - Very full body. Almost catches you off-guard. Great Carbonation.

D - Unbelievably drinkable. You would never think it was remotely close to 8.6% ABV. It drinks closer to a 6% if not lower.

This beer was damn good. This was my first time tasting any of the vertical epics and completely love the idea stone has. Come 2012, this beer is going to be absolutely mind blowing.

JOEYvegas, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz into .5l gold-leaf Swiss Boot. Bottle notes this is designed to be drank after 2012. Oops.

A- Pale yellow, little head. You couldn't ID this beer from it's pour.

S- Fruit, cloves, and cinnamon up front. Sweet and spicy.

T- Very good. Fruity, sweet, candied fleshy fruit... and a bit of pepper on the back side. Very tasty. This beer is sublime. All the components work together in a very good way.

M- full-bodied, this beer hits all parts of the tongue. The spicy aftertaste is delightful.

D- Very high. No way you can tell this beer is -/+ 8%. A great taste, this beer could get you in trouble, it tastes so good.

ShogoKawada, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ligher yellow with a decent head and enduring lacing.

S - Strong citrus & floral scents - very Belgian

T - Complex tastes with hints of fruits & floral tastes - strong tasting.

Mounthfeel - very carbonated but also smooth

D - Very strong ale. Alcohol overpowers it a bit but that is part of its charm.

BeerisfoodLLC, Jun 12, 2009
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?

flexinwext, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of Casey10
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very Good, would be interesting to see what it would be like in a couple of years.

A - light golden color minimal head although to be honest only had a hotel glass to pour this in.

S - light smell reminded me of a crisp belgin style ale similar to delrium nocturnum perhaps

t - crisp light hides the 8.6 well.

m - again light crisp, wheat like

d very drinkable didn't blow me away but very good.

Casey10, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
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!

GRG1313, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice clear golden orange hue with a nice solid tight white head. Really nice retention but no lace. Lots of bubbles to boot.

S: Tons of fruity esters pour from the glass. Subtle notes of yeast, apple, and VERY floral hops.

T: Damn good to be honest. Wonderful marriage of sweet summer fruits, yeast, and grassy floral hops. There is a touch of spice and white pepper as well.

M: Medium in body, smooth, with amped up carbonation.

D: Good, enjoyed the entire bomber myself while lounging in the pool.

tpd975, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of scruffwhor
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Effervescant bone white head shows great aftr the pour, and slowly recedes to nothing after each sip. From the head you notice a light amber/copper mixed with sunshine pilsner yellow. The color mixed with the awesome sporadic bubbling. Mixed aroma of sweet husk malts, yeasty green apples, earthy hops, an astringent alcohol. Green apples and astringent alcohol hit the front of the palate. The earthy and herbal hops mix it up in the middle with some lightly toasted grains and some more alcohol. Great carbonation and grainy texture,but maybe a little too much booze.

scruffwhor, May 29, 2009
Photo of meatmallet
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poura a clear golden yellow with a thick foamy white head.

Smell: Sweet smelling. I detect some sweet malt and banana. A light pine hop smell. Very nice.

Taste: At first there is a spice and yeast flavor up front with some sweet malts. The hops is very smooth and not overpowering, even a bit grassy.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

meatmallet, May 23, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear golden amber with a huge fluffy white head that hung on for ages and left good lacing.

The aroma is very fruity up front with some lemons leading the way and giving way to some apples and pears. There are lots of sweet yeasty aromas with hints of spice in the nose as well.

The taste follows the aroma and kicks the spiciness up a little bit, especially in the finish. Overall, lots light bready malts, light fruits and light citrus hops.

The mouthfeel is fairly dry with lots of carbonation. Overall, this is a very good Belgian style beer from Stone.

gford217, May 22, 2009
Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of equal amounts light fruits - bananas and pears - and herbal, slightly citrus hops. As it warms floral hop aromas join in the mix.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front are soon joined by fresh banana and pear flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors - herbal grapefruit - enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the glass and could easily have a few of these.

Overall this was a tasty beverage and I was surprised at how well the hops held up. Definitely worth a try, even this late in the game.

glid02, May 16, 2009
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich golden brew, clear, with a billowing white head at first, then settled to a small film. A quick swirl brings it around again, modestly.
Phenolic/clove in the aroma, with some esters and lemongrass. Not overly fruity, just enough though. Some hints of sugary malt and cedar (?)

A good taste. Seems like a Belgian-yeasted-up pilsner. Estery, some noticeable malt backbone, a bit sweet, yet has the hops to kick in at the end. Good carbonation. Not sure how this would age. What would be affected the most?

Good abv cover, easy drinking..perhaps a touch syrupy. Nice spring beer. The other two will age...

Mebuzzard, May 15, 2009
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!

OlieIPA, May 13, 2009
Photo of TaddyPorter
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jon Winterbottom and I picked this up at Fairway after a wonderful meal with our girls at Dinosaur BBQ. I'm trying to turn Jon on to beer reviewing, so we're writing this one together.

Appearance: A touch of cloudiness and sediment in the glass. Poured with a fat single finger head, which very quickly dissipated to just a ring around the glass. Golden and light in color, and plenty inviting.

Smell: A bit of citrus up front, almost astringent hop oil bitterness, smells like a hop pellet. Fruity yeast aroma hanging behind the hops...definitely smells like a Belgian IPA, could be a dead ringer for the Houblon Chouffe.

Taste: Hits the tongue with a nice, light effervescence and then washes over it first with a citrusy, yeasty, fruity wave, and then follows up with a major hop presence with lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On the more carbonated side but not over-carbonated, it's one I could chew on for a while.

Drinkability: A little extreme on the bitterness, but it's nicely balanced by the fruity flavor of the yeast. Satisfies in an extreme beer kind of way, and we would definitely have another.

TaddyPorter, May 09, 2009
Photo of MacDomer
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at From the Vine in Columbus in December, 2008. Thanks for holding this one for me, Jaimie!

Had this one with some friends over the weekend as we were enjoying a nice warm spring day in Chicago. Looks nice, bright gold with light orange highlights. Decent head and lace. The nose has mild Belgian character and nice American hoppy notes - citrus and pine. There's a good malt base with some sweetness coming through. Mid palate comes phenols and fruity Belgian esters (apple, pear, peach), complimented by a nice biscuity backdrop. Very crisp, very nice, very tasty. Perfect for a bright, warm spring day!

MacDomer, May 08, 2009
Photo of mntlover
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden yellow with a decent white head feed by sparse rising bubbles, falls to ring that leaves some decent lacing behind.

Aroma is wonderful sweet malty lots of fruit banana, mango ect. Nice soft west coast hops citrus and pine not overpowering but adding greatly to the wonderful aroma.

Taste is malty sweet but with strong yeast notes, fruity at first but strong earthy notes jump out front. Hops play a part with nice bitterness, citrusy. Aroma is so smooth and wonderful, but the taste is not so smooth. Too much harsh yeast that seem to overpower the brew along with hops combining to not make it so smooth. Might smooth out with age, man if it just tasted like it smelled it would be great.

Mouthfeel is great nice medium smooth, but carbonated at same time.

Drinkability is ok thought it was going to be wonderful, almost buy this one to just smell it. But taste is not as good. Had this one while ago review is from notes so it might be great now.

mntlover, May 05, 2009
Photo of jonziefle
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a light golden color, clear. One finger white head, with minimal retention. Good carbonation. Not much lacing at all.

Smell: Nose of bready and yeasty, sweet malts with typical Belgian spices. Spicy fragrances of estery fruits, with bananas, cloves, and cinnamon the strongest. One way to describe the smell is that of bubblegum, strange as that sounds. Very well balanced and very appealing.

Taste: The taste follows the nose well. Nice combination of yeasty malts and spicy fruit flavors (bananas and cloves). Very mild in that no flavor overwhelms another; incredibly well balanced. Not bitter at all, very smooth; only a hint of a hop bite is up front, but nothing really at all. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden; there is no indication that the beer is 8.6%.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium bodied. Very smooth and crisp. Excellent clean finish.

Drinkability: An excellent take on a Belgian Pale. All the requisite yeasts, esters, and spiciness, in an incredibly smooth beer. Incredibly easy to drink. The alcohol is so well hidden that the beer will sneak up on you pretty quickly; a good or bad thing depending.

jonziefle, May 05, 2009
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.