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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
90
outstanding

694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
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 Dalem
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent honey blonde in color with a good amount of carbonation. An almost two finger head holds on strong eventually fading a leaving thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The scent is pretty much what you'd expect from a Belgium ale. Banana, black pepper and a creamy malt base holding it all together. The taste is right along the same lines. A contention I have with a portion of American made Belgium ales is that it seems they get a little out of hand with the spices. Sometimes the the point where it seems they want all the attention and that the brew itself is an afterthought. This keeps that all in check. The requisite Belgium yeast spiciness is right where it should be but it's doesn't seem like somebody was there throwing nutmeg and cinnamon in it over and over again to give it "it's own thing" and that's cool. As it adjusts to the glass and room temperature it hints of green apple and clove rise a bit to the surface. The finish is medium smooth leaving a slight banana tinge down the throat. If it wasn't for a warming effect as it it goes down it would be hard to believe that this is pushing 9% abv.

Dalem, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very clear light amber body, nice beige head with good retention. There are beautiful little bits of yeast hover throughout the glass. Looks deceptively drinkable, like a pilsener really.

S: First whiff is sweetness of the grain. Upon further sniffing a citrusy hop aroma is strong up front, which seems to pair well with the background notes from the yeast.

T: Malty sweetness followed by hoppy delight on the way down. It develops on the tongue after swallowing almost magically.

M: Fair amount of carbonation, feel good in the mouth, not too syrupy.

D: That finish keeps me coming back for more.

I had the cali-belique yesterday, and I feel this balances quite a bit better.

51mmz0rz, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of philbe311
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of pure white head fizzes and quickly fades leaving the a very delicate lace... Golden color with a slight orange hue... Every so slight bit of slow carbonation...

S - First your greeted with the a full array of citrus - Grapefruit is foremost, but is also joined by notes of orange, lemon and a hint of lime... Second, you notice the grassy earthy aromas that lie beneath... Then you are introduced to a delightful whiff of piney hops... Finally you notice a faint hint of malt...

T - A pleasant mix of citrus and piney hops... A quick burst of caramel and malt... Then the alcohol is noticeable... Final your hit with a spicy peppery final touch... Yeasty notes become noticeable during the aftertaste... Wonderfully well balanced and complex...

M - Medium bodied... Exquisite and smooth... A little pringle of carbonation on the tongue... The warmth of the alcohol is unavoidable... Delightful experience...

D - A complex sipper that makes for a wonderful experience... Slightly understated (in a good way)... An intriguing brew that makes for an enjoyable evening of beer enjoyment...

philbe311, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of Chodite
4.9/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a beer geek but not very good with reviews, terminology, etc. In fact, I've only typed up a couple of reviews on this site (though I've had 100's of quality beers in my lifetime).

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is one of my all-time faves. In fact, I bought twelve 22 oz. bombers a few months back with the intention of cellaring a few of them... only to disappoint myself by emptying the contents of the last remaining bottle just recently. I couldn't help myself.

Amazing brew with everything I love about beer. It's like a Belgian tripel on MLB steroids. Steroids = a buttload of quality hops.

Luckily, a local bar still has cold bottles available; which I purchase without hesitation and usually share with a friend. And that friend usually has never tried a Stone brew in his/her life before that evening. Lucky for that person, he/she is a Stone fan for life.

Keep up the good work Stone.

Chodite, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of Vonerichs
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Had a nice yellow color with the slightest bit of haze. Great thick and foamy head.

Smelled predominantly of belgian yeast with a touch of citrus hops. Sweet malt comes through.

The taste was outstanding. Again, the yeast comes through in typical fashion and is backed by orange, banana, and cloves.

Medium crisp body with moderate to heavy carbonation.

This is a nice, clean, refreshing beer that has loads of flavor.

I had never heard of this offering from Stone when I saw it, but wish I had. I would have bought a couple and aged one for comparison. Unfortunately, Stone doesn't distribute in Illinois and there may not be a "next time" to purchase the 8.08.08. I would definitely buy it again if the opportunity arises, as well as future releases.

Vonerichs, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An American twist on the style. Less spicy and more citrus than expected, but it works out nicely. Lemon peels, toasted bread, and smooth caramel round out the flavors. There are some spices and black pepper flavors as well, but they're a bit subdued.

Very crisp and clean. Great feel, fairly dry, and very easy to drink. If money permits, I may get another to save for 12.12.12.

ElGrecoVerde, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of dfillius
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a pint glass.
A: Moderate pour leaves minimal white, fizzy head. Chill haze or slightly cloudy gold. More head please.
S: Honeydew melon. Man candy-esque. Hops are juicy smelling. Very complex and citrus-fruity aroma.
T: Mmmm! Fruity with hop and alcohol coming in in the aftertaste. The fruit and hop don't blend perfectly though and so I subtracted points for that. Citrus hop came up with a burp.
M: Bright, then an off flavor affiliated with heat, then bitterness.
D: This is a tasty beer on the verge of being terrific. A solid offering, I would have a few of these. Maybe I'll try to homebrew it!

dfillius, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of Rayek
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep gold with fairly active carbonation. Big and foamy white cap has very nice retention and leaves patches of lace.

S: The nose came across a little weak to me. Slightly fruity and yeasty, with a heavy dose of pine. A little citrus creeps in as well.

T: An initial fruitiness is quickly replaced by a rush of pine like bitterness that's bolstered by a mild grapefruit presence. A bready maltiness rides in the background. Finishes with a lingering pine bitterness and a pleasant alcohol warmth.

M: Medium body is a touch grainy. Carbonation feels about right.

D: Yet another beer I have mixed feelings about. Overall, it is a very enjoyable brew. My issue is that doesn't it taste all that Belgian to me. Vertical is very similar to Avery Salvation by my taste buds, which is a beer that left me with the same mixed thoughts. That said, I wouldn't pass Vertical up if given another chance to drink it.

Rayek, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

WesWes, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of Jayli
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice deep golden color with a two finger rocky off white head. There is nice head retention leaving sticky lacing on the side. The first I noticed in the nose was belgian yeast, with a definite mixture of floral hops, and a touch of spice. The taste follows with the smell. Definite taste of belgian yeast, floral hops, perhaps clove spice on the tongue and some sweet malts. There is a very distinct floral after taste to it. This is a pretty light on the tongue at first and then gets meatier with a solid finish, medium carbonation, somewhat dry finish. This was a really nice beer!

Jayli, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A= pours a clear amber color like a darker macro lager almost. Crystal clear. A small head forms and lasts leaving decent lacing.
S= small hop notes and some yeast spice. A sweet malt character. Also but mostly hops and yeast.
T= like a well made macro lager I think. Well hopped and a good crisp bite but also a little malty smoothness with a touch of belgian yeast. Very unique and delicious!
M= crisp and smooth I would almost say undercarbonated
D= very high. This beer is very good. Unique in how smooth and clean it is. Unlike any belgian I've had very good. Thanks to johngialt for this one very good.

jjanega08, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of hustlesworth
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- bright clear golden tangerine-apricot color with a short lived foamy off white head. a thin veneer of foam remnants sit quietly on the surface and delicate wisps of lace cling to my tulip.

S- fruity, papery, and quite phenolic, with a strong band-aid/cardboard and apple skin and 'ocean' aroma that fade as the beer airs out. some citrus and spicy pepper notes as well, floral alcohol esters, and grassy-herbal hops. hints of banana push through with pineapple greens, pear, and under ripe green fruits. overall for me it leans in the wrong direction until allowed to breathe, so patience may be virtuous.

T- dominant hop flavor from start to finish, reminding me of a belgian IPA. alot of citrus, candied lemon, orange pith, acrid white grapefruit, though not unpleasant, display how the pungency of a shit ton of west coast hops can box out the subtleties that i enjoy so much in belgian style beers. yeast aromas are rather bland and are nearly unnoticeable behind the thick curtain of hops, appearing only as a faint hint of banana, white grape, and pear. it's quite a tasty brew, but my amateur palate typically expects a balance from BSPAs that allows yeast character to be slightly more prevalent. in a blind taste test, i would put a c-note on belgian IPA. finishes lightly toasty with a fresh grain flavor as the hops go from citrus to grassy and herbal and chlorophyll with a little pine.

MF- lingering hop oils but an otherwise clean finish, juicy bodied and perfect delicate prickly carbonation, mildly astringent.

D- mouth feel has me sold, and has led me to speedy consumption. i'm hung up on this one, at only 6 months old, perhaps it needed more time to mature because at this stage it is rough and hop oriented and coloring outside the lines as far as style guides go- not that that's a bad thing, but in a perfect world it would be awesome to know what's inside an $8 bottle of beer. still, good job stone, i wish i had been hip for long enough to try the past batches.

hustlesworth, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the chilled 22oz into a goblet + pint

A - A burnished golden that is resplendent and has excellent clarity. A rocky bone white cap crowns the ale of approx 3/4 inch w/ a very tight bead. The lace is like a doily in its symmetric pattern sticking to the glass. The second glass has a gentle haze, but you can see the minute bubbles rising to the surface.

S - The smell is a blend of herbal hops and subtle spice notes from belgian yeast almost like fresh cut sweet grass in its floral citrus element w/ a vegetal green bell pepper sweetness mixed with pear essence.

M - The texture is moderately full carbonation w/ a grainy herbal hop blend and a mild rush of alcohol warmth w/ hop astringency, but a mild malt sweetness combines w/ the medicinal texture

T - A grainy, bready malt taste at first w/ a hint of biscuit is paralleled by a candy-like sweet taste and a spicy, astringent american hop flavor. The hops have subtle citrus and there is a dry aspirin note w/ a navel orange mixed w/ white pepper. The taste continues to evolve with more grapefruit-like hop taste as it warms and mellows. Light toasted grain flavor and mild alcohol as it finishes w/ a taste like chewing on a sweet radish.

D - One of Stone's finest beers in the vertical epic series I have had and I love the combo of Belgian yeast and west coast hops. The taste is great and I especially enjoyed how it changed over time (6 months) from the time I first tasted it. This ale went well with my puple rice cracker topped with bavarian blue brie. I am looking forward to attempting the homebrew recipe on stonebrew.com

Slatetank, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of WillieMoe
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly opaque, bubbly golden, with a hint of orange. Has a thin head that dissolves fairly quickly.

Has that heavy fruity belgian aroma.Hints of banana, mild citrus, coriander, clove and a mild bready malt.

Has a big hop taste, balanced with some citrusy wafts and bready yeast scents. A little harsh and fizzy at first, with a bit of a tang at the end. Has a medium body, and some good carbonation.

The alcohol is not hidden all that well. Is a very good drink, but a bit too big to drink continuously.

WillieMoe, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of Stockfan42
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So I guess this beer should be aged till 2012 for its full flavor experience? Well im thisty now so here goes nothing.

A light goldish, yellow pour that leaves a creamy head that slowly folds down.

Very interesting aroma. Hops and cloves dominate the smell, very malty and hints of fruit lingre in the background.

Spicy like a belgiam, not over hopped and pretty malty as well. The cloves are what im guessing give it that spicy kick. Fruity undertone with some grapefruits, taste like some banana nut bread in a way.

Pretty light feel which isnt bad for 8% and goes down alright. Maybe i'll grab some more and open it when its supposed to be to make a comparison.

Stockfan42, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of zerofear13
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had Stone's 07.07.07 last year and wasn't a huge fan. This year, I think I'm going to officially stop trying these Vertical Epics. I'm just not a big fan of the flavor or the style. Pours out a gold color. Carbonated. Smells of coriander, banana, and earth-tone yeasts. Tastes follow suit. Very herb-y and spicey flavors. Not a big fan. I feel like those real prevalent hearb flavors always outdo the other tastes. Just don't really like that.

Give it a try if it's available, but only because it's rare and worth saying you've tried. Personally, if you don't like the style, this won't change your mind.

zerofear13, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of tittymcj
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured out a very clear, crisp orange color, with light head and average lacing.

Smells like cloves primarily but also some sweet malt.

The taste, has a strong sense of hoppy bitterness, with significant coriander, a very belgian beer style taste.

Mouthfeel is very light, very energetic and springy almost. Refreshing as well. There is a lingering coriander taste in the mouth.

Drinkability is very high since it is so light and not very complex, but because I don't particularly enjoy the taste, I wouldn't necessarily drink it again.

tittymcj, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of joerodiii
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Straw colored ale with minimum head. Aroma of Duvel-like phenolics, citrus, and hops. Hops dominate the flavor throughout. The beer tastes very highly attenuated, dry and thin. Between the thinness and dryness, I don't think I could drink a lot of this beer.

Overall, it tastes like an overhopped Duvel.

joerodiii, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of hoplover82
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale color with little head that leaves no lace.

Lots of cloves in the nose (which I don't like)some hints of earthy hops. Not much more than that.

Taste is a little bitterness with yeasty bread dough with earthy hops and some very interesting green apple! That's nice.

Medium to full bodied and a little dry.

Ok drinkability.

hoplover82, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a pale gold with a creamy white head. slight haze. aroma is candied tropical fruit with some yeasty spiciness and biscuits. sweet pale malts in the entry with a nice smooth, medium hop bitterness. long complex finish. light in body for this abv, nice creamy/prickly carbonation. almost as drinkable as duvel.

MrMcGibblets, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into chalice.

Pours clear gold, almost no head, just on off-white ring.

Nose is bit of banana and clove, some apricot and citrus as well, with a wee hint of floral and resiny hops underneath. Peppery. Some alcohol. A lot going on.

Taste starts off dry, spicy, yeasty, a bit peppery, bit of alcohol, very floral, bit of apricot. Finish is dry with a lingering bitterness, yeasty.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, light body, carb still has a bit of a bite. Nice beer, quite dry, but lots of very complex flavors.

JohnQVegas, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Chimay goblet twce. This is about five months old at the moment.

A- Vertical epic 08 pours a bright golden color with orange spots. No head to speak of whatsoever. just a bit of very faint patches of scattered white spots. A lot of bubbles are seen rising up but not enough to cover the surface with any foam. May be an off bottle.

S- 080808 has a lot of yeast and earthy tones. Bananas and cloves and other spices. Some various flowers come out with warming. Some sweet candy with malts. A nice array of hops while this BSPA resembles somewhat of a triple style.

T- A blast of the spices such as clove and pepper and the Belgian yeast jump out at the forefront with what i'm guessing to be some strain of NW U.S hop variety. Some bready malts. More fruits than in the smell starting with banana and apple and pear. Has a dry and slighty bitter aftertaste.

M- 080808 has a dry and bitter taste with a bit of alcohol presence. This does not quite fit the bill for a triple in my mind. Goes down quite easy with a light to medium body and some carbonation. The taste rolls off the tounge and does not linger.

D- At 8% only one bottle for me in a sitting. This is my 1st try at this offering from stone and while I was not blown away I am still intrigued to try the older versions and will look out for future releases although this wont be strong on my radar. Still a good offering from stone.

BARFLYB, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of bum732
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden orange with decent head that dissipates quickly. Smells of sweet malt, citrusy orange and lemon, faint clove, peppery hops, definite alcohol, A nice light but flavorful malt sweetness is quickly followed by a very pronounced hop bitterness at the end. Finishes fairly sweet, but somewhat crisp by the noticeable alcohol presence. Good carbonation.

A decent belgian ale, somewhat comparable to Duvel. Definitely more aggresively hopped and a very noticeable alcohol taste. Would love to see what happens to this beer in a couple years.

bum732, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow color with a short 1/4" head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: alcohol, yeast, and some grassy tones are up front and some fruit sweetness in the background.

Taste: nice malt profile, yeast, grass, green grapes, apples, honey, and a nice bitterness is wrapped in a warming alcohol blanket. Overall this is a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Relatively short aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this one is a slow sipper but one can quaff a few glasses of these. Decent beer but not one of my favorites in the series.

Gavage, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of TMB0424
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into tulip.

Poured a nice hazy gold body with peach tints and a two finger white head. Head quickly reduced to a foamy cap, leaving fairly good retention throughout.

Aroma is very reminiscent of Stone's IPA - citrus (grapefruit, orange peel), freshly squeezed lemon and hops. This is backed by a slight scent of yeast with clove. Can slightly detect alcohol, as well.

First sip, I was pretty disappointed because I only picked up the IPA aspects. After a couple more, the Belgian characteristics kicked in. The grapefruit and lemon are backed by sweet malts and honey. Hints of banana. Yeast brings a nice element as well. Finishes dry and bitter after the sweet kick-off.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with a very crisp but very dry feel to it. Carbonation is high, but it compliments everything. Although I enjoyed this brew, I couldn't have more than one pour - the sweetness just got to me. Recommended, nevertheless.

TMB0424, Jan 30, 2009
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.