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: 43
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 474 | Hads: 706
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a distinctly clear pale yellow/slight orange with a good fluffy white head. Nose is alot of belgian yeast, and some wheat notes. Taste follows with intense yeast and spice character, also some pepper and european hops. a good spice hop profile. Unique yet subtle hop character. Some grassiness as well. interesting melding of flavor here. mouthfeel is good, but slightly dry for my taste. Drinkability is good, as it hides its abv quite well. Overall a good brew, but nothing terribly spectacular. Pick it up and see for yourself! (536 characters)

Photo of dancinwillie
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chalice, y'know, epic-like.

Hay colored, with a big, white, rocky head that dissipates quite rapidly. Very clear.

Aroma is all orange, grapefruit, yeast, and a little peach or apricot scent, I'm not sure which.

Big hop rocks my tongue right out of the gate, calms pretty quickly, and on further inspection: citrusy hops, orange, lemon, and some grapefruit. A pronounced doughy yeast flavor. A peppery spiciness that I attribute to the yeast, but maybe the hops? Subtle peach or apricot flavor, I still can't decide between the two. Some alcohol heat, but not overwhelming, more of a bit player.

Mouthfeel is primarily creamy, but also somewhat slick/oily too.

Overall Drinkability is high, or at least it would be if this was going to be around for any length of time, but I'm guessing that we won't see it around for much longer. Unfortunately for me, this is my first experience with the Stone Vertical Epic series, as they have just recently started distribution in my fine state of Wisconsin. But I will be buying the remaining Epic's, and along with my cellared bottle of this tasty brew, be enjoying my first vertical tasting in about 4 years or so. Tasty beverage indeed! (1,196 characters)

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

Twenty-two ounce brown bottle.

Pale golden colour. Thin white head. Patchy lace clings nicely to the glass.

Nose is pretty interesting. A unique blend of grassy, herbal, & citrus when first poured. As it warms tropical fruit notes open up along with some notes of pine & spruce.

Really a great blend of herbal, grassy, and citrus flavours from the abundance of hops. Some spicy pepper and cloves come along as accents. Hints of something similar to anise ... but not quite. Again tropical fruit notes open up as it warms.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. A dry finish, that is noticeably astringent after a few sips.

While not exactly blowing my mind, this is certainly unique. I can't recall ever have a Belgian Golden Ale all decked out with American hops. Absolutely worth trying at least once.

Will be curious to see if this makes it to 12.12.12 for the big vertical - as the hop flavours are such a big part of the profile, I have doubts - but I would love to be proven wrong. (991 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of dkachur at a tasting at the home of proteus93. Poured into a Brooklyn-logoed footed pilsner glass.

Appearance: Decent creamy white head, average retention, a nice yellow-orange-amber bodied beer with faint but fast carbonation and a lot of floaty yeast.

Aroma: Unusually fruity and hoppy - orange zest, ruby red grapefruit, lots of mint, and a healthy amount of sweet, lightly-roasted malt to balance. Some Belgian yeast notes as well - cloves and bananas. Very pungent and wholesome, and a really unique and well-balanced combination.

Taste: Lots of stone fruits - cherries, peaches - some nice balancing hop bitterness, Belgian candy sugar and yeast notes, lightly roasted malts, caramel, some bready grainyness, a few leafy and citrusy hop notes. Also, unfortunately, a little too powerful chemically alcohol note in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little thin, pretty creamy and even and slightly oily.

Drinkability: Far superior to the 07.07.07, in my opinion - this one was much more balanced and mellow, the spices were in check, and the aroma was really impressive. If the alcohol were toned down ever so slightly, this one would be great. (1,182 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looking forward to trying this one. Pours a crystal clear golden honey color with a few bubbles rising to the top and about one finger of off-white head. Head settles to a thin lace and doesn't really leave much stick.

Smell is sweet, boozy, and hoppy. Lots of honey like sweetness, and ample alcohol in the nose, as well. Hops are earthy and herbal smelling, and there is some spice and yeast going on here, too.

Taste is also quite boozy, and it's also fruity and sweet. It's bubble gum sweet, along with overripe, alcohol soaked citrus and green apples. Strong honey sweetness, as well, along with a bit of spice and some floral hops. It's slightly phenolic and medicinal, and overall it's just to sweet and boozy. There is some herbal bitterness in the finish; needs more.

Mouthfeel is between a medium and full body but feels a bit lighter than that in the mouth. It's pretty smooth but is slightly cloying. Low carbonation.

I'm disappointed in this one. I was excited about it based on the description, but it didn't really materialize. Too much alcohol, too sweet, and not enough hop flavor compared to how it was described. Like last year, I'm really not sure that I care to cellar some of these to revisit. We'll see. (1,230 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone's Vertical Epic 08.08.08 pours a clear, deep golden body that resembles a slightly dark Pilsner-style beer. The frothy white head holds well and it leaves thick rings of craggy lace about the glass.

Hops appear in the nose: citrusy (lemony), freshly grassy, floral, and somewhat piney. I intitally thought Amarillo and Centennial. Then the fruitiness of Simcoe appeared. But apparently there's no Centennial at all, and the missing hop is Ahtanum.

Yeast also makes an appearance, and clearly indicates then what this beer is - a hoppy Belgian-style tripel that utilizes American hops. Not that that hasn't been done before, because of course the Belgians have been ahead of the curve and have been using American hops (as have the Japanese and Danish and...) for a while! Other American brewers have produced this style too. But the yeast is important. It changes it from an American ale into something else altogether... an American Belgian-style ale with American hops. ... ... ...Anyway, it's gently phenolic, fruity with an emphasis on apples and light notes of summer fruit (strawberries, melon), and just very slightly chalky, vanilla-ish, and a minor flick sulphury.

The malt base that supports it is straightforward pilsner malt (although I understand oats and sugar are used). It's clean and refined, and acts as the stage for the hops and yeast.

Overall, it's well-rounded, and more importantly, refined. In keeping this ale in check and not going overboard on any aspect of its composition, it offers a great drinkability. It's very smooth and easy to drink, but there's also a good deal of depth to it. You can almost drink it as if it was a stronger version of a Pilsner, just like you might a Duvel!!!! But beware, it does have a kick. (1,761 characters)

Photo of jletts
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stone Vertical Epic 8/8/08
Orange sunshine in appearance. Smelled like tangerine dream and orange-cream with a bite. Awesome! I want to jump in for a swim...
Tart tangerine-citrus hops dominate the flavor, sandwiching a sweet yeasty malt between a slightly piney and peppery-citrus aftertaste. Not much alcohol perceived up front but it is present quite strongly in the aftertaste...and after-effects! Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel with decent drinkability. The alcohol is quite edgy, but will probably smooth out over time. I imagine this could be mind-blowing in a few years. (579 characters)

Photo of pinotboy007
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden with a slight white cap and not much lacing.

S - Wow! Serious grapefruit.

T/M - Beautiful how the soft grapefruit and clove creeps into the sip. The hops and alcohol are there in perfect alignment and I can see how this can age gracefully. The softness and carbonation makes for a rather elegant ale that I'm really enjoying.

D - Wonderful to drink hindered only by the high ABV. Beautiful for year 'round consumption with or without food. I'm thinking shellfish. (477 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

How come they have four 08's on the bottle? What is the fourth one for? Pours a closer to straw colored yellow with a orange hue through out. A big soft head that had great retention and lacing through out the tasting.

The nose is has a nice sweet malt backing with a subtle yeast character. To start the malt has more of a tripel like aroma with some stronger Belgian pils malt. Some Belgian esters with a light fruit, apricot, apples and a subtle sour peach. Clean yeast notes though. Some pepper and cloves as well. Hops come out more than style with some grassy notes on the back end.

The taste is on par for a sweet Trippel as well. The malt comes out with a sharp flavor with a mix of US and Belgian pils. Some full flavors as well. A nice fruitiness comes out with more of a apple/pear combo but some lighter apricot and even banana. Hops are strong for style but blend nicely with a more citrus note. Some floral esters on the back end. There is a off yeasty note that comes out more as it warms.

The body is bit off with a moderate to fuller body. Some fusel/solvent character that enhances the body. Good carbonation. Overall, some really nice characteristics but would like a clear finish. I guess I can see how it does in a few years. (1,250 characters)

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

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Duvel glass. The body was bright orange and clear. There was little head but the rising bubbles were very large.

Smell was citrus. Dust. Belgian yeast. Concrete and a large dollop of marmalade. Exactly how one would imagine a Stone's Belgian Pale Ale to smell.

Taste reflected the aromas. Marmalade and pineapple. Drying with a nice bitter aftertaste.

Moouthfeel was mild to medium carbonation. Medium viscosity. Very nice all around. (477 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's crystal clear and light golden in color. Carbonation is very active and yields a foamy white head that stands about two fingers tall. It dissipated very quickly and left light lacing behind.

Smell: The nose is a little underwhelming in terms of strength. It's a little fruit and sweet up front. Smells like peach and apple mostly. It is a little spicy, but I'm not picking up much other than clove. There's a distinct earthy/grassy aspect to it. I'm sure that's, at least in part, attributed to the floral hops I'm smelling. A little yeastiness wraps it up.

Taste: Apple, pear, and peach flavors kick it off. It's sweet, but not over the top. There is some clove spiciness, but it's not as spicy as I was expecting. A little banana emerges midway through. The hops are a nice surprise. It's a mix of citric and floral varieties. But, they're flavorful and give it more character and a bit of an edge. That's a good thing considering it was sorely needing both. It's still not quite enough. It is indeed grassy and earthy. It's a little yeasty on the tail and alcohol is faintly noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and smooth. Carbonation is just about right. It's active, but retains its smooth feel. Drinkability is good, but not great. It's a little strong at 8.4%, but I won't have any trouble with the bomber.

I've got mixed feelings on this vertical release. It is a pretty solid beer that doesn't have any huge shortcomings. On the other hand, I had pretty high expectations and feel a little let down. This just doesn't have the big, kick ass character I've come to expect from Stone beers. It's still a solid beer, but just doesn't stack up well against their other releases. (1,723 characters)

Photo of TEXTONE
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Place of Review- home 22oz bottle

Look-White head, that dissipates rather quickly. The beer is golden with a copper tint and, a slight chill haze with almost champagne like carbonation.

The smell is floral, fruity, and hops with a slight hint of grapefruit and yeast mixed in. Another Stone offering that is pleasant to the nasal passages.

Taste of hops right away fallowed by sweet fruity/grapefruit, with a buttery alcohol flavor mixed in, then a bitter back end. Mouth feel is full and malty. All around this is nice bier to drink. It has a lot going on, definitely a complex bier. I will be recommending this bier (621 characters)

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

i have to agree with the previous reviewer, and say that this reminded me more of a tripel. hints of clove and cinnamon along with some fruit, some nice piney hop and a bit of pepper. we'll see where it goes from here... i'm curious to see what aging will do, but to tell the truth, i don't really see it becoming too mind blowing. i'm actually a little bummed that i spent the money, but i appreciate, respect and encourage the risk and creativity of the good folks at stone. (476 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer struck me as being quite like a tripel; but not an exceptional one. I enjoyed it quite a bit - it was spiced, mild mannered, and maybe a little more complex than is the norm in American-made tripels or Belgian golden ales, but I didn't find it to be anything spectacular.

Color was a gold/dark yellow with modest head and minimal lacing. Aroma was quite a bit hoppier than other Belgian style beers I've had, and had the requisite clove/coriander spiciness. The hops also drove flavor, which was a fair bit more complex than other beers of this style. Mouthfeel was a bit thick without losing its refreshingness. Pretty good.

I would recommend this beer. I bought this bottle at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee. (720 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright, clear, gold, with steady streaming carbonation. The head is a thin white foam that hols on for a minute before settling. Not much Belgian quality in the nose but it is still a nice bouquet. Lightly floral with a soft malty sweetness, clean citrus/orange twang in the background, I kind of like it.

The taste has a nice balance between bready sweet malt and solid hop bitterness. The hop flavor gets a bit medicinal though, and there is some harshness/astringence to the finish. Not bad, it takes some time getting used to the taste. As for the mouthfeel, it's light but foamy and well carbonated. Very nice.

Ultimately this beer comes close but struggles to get to the next level. The hoppiness is nice, the balance is decent, its just a bit harsh and needs some more complexity. It's certainly more promising than the past few in this series, and I do recommend trying it... (887 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sunshiney golden yellow. Very clear. Thin frothy white head. Lace is minimal. Nice doughy and yeasty aroma. Almost like smelling a WYeast smack pack after the yeast has been pitched. Also some hints of lemon and pepper on the nose. I like this aroma. Flavor has more of the same. With lemon and pepper and doughball maltiness leading the way. Sludgey yeast cake tones. Alcohol spices things up. Hops add some depth as well. This is pretty damn drinkable as is, but with some age, the alcohol presence will probably dwindle some more even and make this pretty special. (567 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
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 (1,109 characters)

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

Got this one with high hopes - I'm a huge Stone fan, and also a huge BSPA fan. Good combo here.

Appearance is alright. Smallish white head over a crystal clear orange beer, with some surprising lacing as well.

Nose is fairly subtle in the hop department, with a fairly traditional Belgian pale aroma of fruity sweetness and some yeast. A good bit of orange and citrus, and maybe even some grapes. Super sweet...like candy.

Flavor-wise, first thing is first: this beer is hoppy as hell. It's got a sort of centennial pineyness too it that really comes out of nowhere. That hoppiness then balances out pretty nicely with the malty, tripel-y spicy sweetness and fruity yeastiness of your standard BSPA. Alcohol is entirely masked behind the dual sweet/bitter, although it definitely gives you that warming sensation as it drains.

Body is medium with tons of fizzy bubbles in the carbonation.

Overall, I'm a fan. Very interesting, unique Belgian, what with that obvious Stone American-hop-bomb influence, but quite nice. (1,025 characters)

Photo of Douglas14
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow...I was really thrown off guard with this one. It is much lighter than the 07, and is blatantly much hoppier. The aroma is awesome , it's hoppy yet has the sweetness of a Belgian. The taste sweet and fruity and has a nice hop bite that lasts the whole sip...it's kinda weird because it's plays with your senses, in a good way though.

Awesome beer, cool to do the vertical taste test. (388 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden-orange color with minimal white lacing.

Smell: Yeasty aroma with a bit of orange and some other spices and alcohol.

Taste: Has quite a spicy/yeasty taste which leaves an odd and bitter aftertaste. It also overpowers the bit of orange in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and a tad gritty, especially at the finish.

Drinkability: Ok, but nothing great.

Maybe this would work better with aging, but I find it less appealing than the mediocre 7.7.7 from Stone. Mind, it's not a bad beer, just not a particularly good one. The spicyness & yeastyness is rather monolithic, and it's very simplistic and obscured in the fruit tastes. It's too bad, as I was rather looking forward to it. (757 characters)

Photo of mnapier
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Service Glassware, Belgian 12 ounce globe. Service Temperature, 45 degrees farenheit.

Appearance, is gold & clear with a mild white foamy head and little or no lace.
To the nose citrus and some spice, along with some banana.
Tasting, I detect a little bit of dryness along with some citrus tang along with some plum.
Mouthfeel is relatively mid to medium.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer but overall I would save this for a nice autumn evening when the sun's going down and I have just finished raking leaves.

Cheers (519 characters)

Photo of jmalex
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smart me finally decided to make sure I have 2 bottles of this - 1 for now and 1 for later... a while later. So this is the "Now" bottle.

APPEARANCE: Pours mostly clear into a Duvel tulip. It's a few shades darker than gold, but still a nice light copper color. A one-finger white head forms on top and shrinks to a medium collar with a large island of foam floating in the middle.

SMELL: Very sweet, but only kind of Belgian. You really need to search to find any trace of bready Belgian yeast aroma. It definitely has the esters though. Orange and apricot burst out of this beer dominating the nose.

TASTE: I thought I remembered hearing this beer was generously hopped. There wasn't anything in the nose, but here it is in the flavor. It's citrusy and nicely understated too which is a pleasant surprise. The esters get to shine mirroring the smell along with a peppery spiciness to cut the sweetness a bit. And finally, any of the over-the-top sweetness perceived in the aroma is dialed down significantly in the taste. It finishes perfectly dry as it should.

MOUTHFEEL: The dryness leads to a light, crisp body which is essential for the style. Carbonation is approaching higher levels, but probably could get ramped up a bit more even.

DRINKABILITY: It drinks quite easy especially given the 8.4% ABV. The slightly cloying aroma still manages to get to me hampering this a bit.

Wow, what a nice surprise. I had expected this to be a hop bomb, but the hops are nicely balanced with the rest of the beer. Call me impressed. But Stone has the tendency to do that to me. (1,578 characters)

Photo of snpub540
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an orangish hue, kind of like what I would expect from a Hef but very clear. First pour not alot of head, just a small white ring. With an agressive pour I was able to get about an 1/8" fluffy white head. Left some nice lacing down the whole glass.

Nose was very much earthy from the yeast. During the mid of this beer I was able to pick out some floral hop aromas.

My first sips were very much dominated by a yeasty flavor. Then this beer started to get more of a spiced not to it. All the while there was a nice hop presence in the finish. I think this one will do well with some time under its belt.

Alcohol content made itself known in this beer. Had a medium body to it and coated the palate. I found it to be a little filling and one 22oz. bottle was good enough to give me a nice little buzz. I am going to have to put another one down in my cellar and see how it tastes in a few years. (903 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.61/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden in color with a bit of an orange hue. Not much head or retention, or lacing for that matter.

Smell is initially thin(too cold?) but becomes more and more inviting. Hoppy to start, and segueing to a spicy nose. A touch rich and malty and later offering some rather funky yeast notes.

Taste is decent but I sense it needs time, as is the goal of this brew. A simple sweetness is present that will surely mature, coupled with some interesting fruit and vanilla spice notes.

I find that this brew is rather dry on the finish and offers a strong carbonated close. The ABV is relatively hidden without employing a rich malty flavor.

Four years from now??? (683 characters)

Photo of dmamiano
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
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. (392 characters)

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