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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.
very good

483 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 483
Hads: 787
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 41
Gots: 218 | 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: 483 | Hads: 787
Photo of BrewMonkey
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasted along with 07.07.07

Pours much lighter in color and more clear than the prior year's offering, a very clear straw color with similar fluffy white head as 07, though it seems to recede much faster with less lacing.

Aroma is miles apart from the 07 version, heavily dominated by hop aroma including grassiness, citrus, and something near spearmint. Some hints of nectar like sweetness behind the hops, with a fruitiness akin to melon/honeydew and clove.

Flavor is intensely clovey, with far higher levels of hop bitterness than 07. Sweetness levels balance fairly well with the bitter aspect, though the clove seems to throw things a bit off balance IMO. Mouthfeel is a bit different as well, might have liked a bit more carbonation similar to 07.

Definately a different experience. As much as I love the aroma, I'm not as nuts about the flavor, but might improve by next year if the clove subsides a bit. Its a tasty brew for sure, but might need some time to mellow out. Definately would like a bit more carbonation though.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a Duvel Tulip. Bottle conditioned. First pour is clear, pale gold with a finger of fine bubbled white head. Interesting aroma, lemon with some spice. Some sugar also as the beer warmed. Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Malty sweetness in the start. Spice from the yeast and also spice from the hops in the finish. Fairly bitter for a Belgian style beer. Very drinkable.

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

Poured into a DT tulip glass.

Great foamy head on this one. The head went away as the beer warmed in the glass.

A bit of hops and banana on the nose.

This reminded me a lot of a good Belgian IPA (hommel bier). Spicy and peppery. Hoppy but not heavily hoped with the typical "west coast style" hops that Stone is famous for. I bit boozy. I can see this one aging real well.

Good work on this one Stone. Very different from there typical offerings. They left there comfort zone successfully. Recommended.

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Photo of scottg
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy honey gold color with a one finger white head that dissipates quickly with little lacing. Aromas of fruity yeast, sweet orange, bubblegum and grapefruit hops. This starts with some grapefruit hops which mellows and smoothes into some vanilla and banana flavors. Light body, medium carbonation, it coats the mouth and cleanses. The hops are very well controlled and add depth making this a hightly drinkable beer.

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Photo of azcat777
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours hazy, but clears up a little, which I am guessing is residual yeast from the bottle conditioning. Has a golden color with an off white head.

S: It smells of a yeast, has a grassy accents along with citrus and bananas. Also has a slight hint of hops

T: Tastes of fruits, wheat, and hops. The taste of hops stayed on my palate the longest

M: A dry, moderate carbonation. full bodied and smooth, slides across the tongue.

D: A great rendition of the belgian strong pale ale. very complex flavor I just wonder what it would taste like fully aged, but as the bottle says if you can wait that long which I couldn't.

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Photo of kmeves
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a semi cloudy light golden with a medium off-white head. Aroma is medium sweet lime, lemon, grassy, malt and wheat. Flavor is big sweet wheat and malt initially then grass, herb and mint to finish. Citrus is more noticeable in the finish. Full bodied, thick texture.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a hazy yet clear (if that makes any sense!) golden color with a one-finger, off-white head that leaves some ropey lace behind.

S: Interesting aromas of mango/apricot, grass clippings, apple, white grape, pineapple, pear, and a hint of tangy citrus.

T: See above. Spice, white pepper, Candi sugar, fruity yeast, fresh cut grass, citrus, mango, pineapple, and alcohol.

M: Sweet and slippery at first, then abruptly astringent. Nice mix of sweet, spicy, bitter, and dry.

D: Pretty good. I liked the cut grass caracteristics of the smell and taste.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A really nice clear rich golden. Head builds up nice but recedes fairly fast. The smell has some light Belgian yeast character (phenols), not a ton of hoppiness comes out in the aroma, except maybe a bit simcoe-like smell. It really has the nice fruitiness of a belgian stong pale with a nice juicy hop kick at the end. It's not a huge abbrassive hoppiness but a very complimentary sweet cirtrus juicy hop taste. Very nice, the buzz factor is good too cause it's so drinkable yet very high in Vitamin ETOH.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours an unassuming gold straw color, a thin but complete cover with some heavy lacing.

Aroma - it's like a weird combo of Pine-Sol and olives. I'm thinking Band-Aids, but there are other interesting smells weaved in there too. Hard to pick out, maybe some cellaring will clarify the nose in a future tasting.

Taste - despite an oddball nose, it tastes great. Yeasty, banana, Belgian candi front, but on the lighter side. And on purpose, as there are some other flavors floating about. A slightly funky hoppiness, an almost rye-like graininess, and a very warm abv feel that is trying to meld things together. It may be a little out-matched at this early age but as time goes by this will take some twists ands turns flavorwise. A dry, bitter bite on the swallow, this beer really has a full complement of flavor. A breath of Band-Aid on the exhale now and then, but it's so close to the banana it's hard to distinguish at times.

Mouthfeel - plenty crisp, a medium body with notable smoothness.

Drinkability - so much going on here that you will want to have a number of these set aside for a tasting in 2010 and 2012.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

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Photo of dancinwillie
3.87/5  rDev -3%
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!

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of number1bum
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of jletts
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of Cresant
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of TEXTONE
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
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

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Photo of timtim
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.75/5  rDev -6%
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...

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Photo of Bighuge
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 483 ratings.