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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

695 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 695
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 174 | 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: 695 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brianh78
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At first I thought, "A Belgian Pale Ale? Interesting." Now I think, "Where can I get more?"

Appearance: 2 finger head, which was very slow to dissipate; translucent gold/honey color; lively carbonation

Smell: Floral and citrus hops dominated the initial smell, but there was some sweetness floating around on the back end

Taste: Hops came through first, but then the sweet malt came out. There was also some citrus and herbaceous flavor

Mouthfeel: light and effervescent

Drinkability: Definitely something I'd like to have again. It's a surprisingly easy to drink beer, considering the name and alcohol content

One glass was not enough...

Photo of stephendedalus
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional beer. I have not picked up a Vertical Epic for a couple years, so I was a little curious as to where this year's release would take me. What's that? A Belgian Strong Pale Ale? Yes, please. And I was not disappointed...

Appearance: golden, honey-in-apricots sort of hue. Perfect, with some lively but overly animated carbonation. A legitimate head and some good lacing (esp. considering the ABV).

Smell: Floral, hoppy, slightly spicy.

Taste: Just like it smells, with a touch of sweetness, and j-u-s-t a hint of the alcohol bite. A really well-rounded beer. Dangerous, actually.

Mouthfeel: Starts smooth, fills the mouth -- smooth at the end, too, but with just enough body and hoppiness to qualify as a quality pale ale.

Drinkability: Wish I had more than one...

Another very good offering from Stone -- one worthy of being enjoyed by itself or paired with a meal. Slainte!

Photo of gmcfarre
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a clear light orange color with a decent 1/2 inch white head. Head fades somewhat quickly to a thin layer. When tipped, laces form in sheets that fall quickly. Lack of a billowy head is somewhat disappointing.

S - Started off as a great, somewhat traditional Belgian Strong Pale Ale with its mix of floral and hoppy flavors. Typical yeasty spice is evident. Orange peel and tart green apple come to mind.

T - Starts with a mellow sweetness up front. Some citrus fruit flavor comes through on mid-palate. Yeasty spice contributes a good deal of the flavor up until finish. Tart green apple finish that is well complimented by a heavy dose of bitterness. Quite tasty and refreshing.

M - Good, moderate carbonation with a medium body. Presents a dry and somewhat chalky mouthfeel with a tacky, slightly drying finish.

D - Flavor stays rewarding throughout the life of the bomber, but high alcohol takes its toll if you're not careful. Certainly worth trying. It will be interesting to see how this ages till 12/12/12!

Photo of Docer
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Really not my cup of tea... 22oz. bomber poured into a glass.

Yellow and light orange color, minimal head with not much lacing.

Smells a bit of rubbing alcohol, oak, flamed pepper... and musty old cabin up in the mossy woods.

Perhaps I would like it better if I let it sit in the fridge for another 3+ years... but west coast inspired? Didn't taste it. Too peppery and spicy... a dry hop, but not a very floral one. Really an oak barrel aged flavor. Light malt presence.

Doesn't leave the mouth too dry.. woody aftertaste..

Easy to drink... doesn't taste as strong as it is.. but most likely wont buy it... not a fan of Belgiums.. not one for me to stare at for 3 years.

Photo of umustdrink
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Yellowy orange color, visible carbonation. White head settles at an eighth inch. Small bits of lacing.

S - Pungent bubblegum, lemony citrus, peppery spice.

T/M - Starts out thick feeling with an initial citrus hop bite, then a creamy yeasty flavor. Citrus becomes sweeter with more hoppiness and a greatly increased spicy bubblegum yeast flavor. Finish leaves a long lasting spicy yeast flavor with a bit of citrus.

D - Thick mouthfeel with strong flavors, this is one to savor.

Photo of davedahl
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was sampled from a 22oz bomber - not sure where I got it.

Appearance: With a medium-to-hard pour I get a big 3 fingers of head. White, fluffy, bubbles. Nice golden color not completely clear - haze does not clear as it warms.

Aroma: bubble gum and band aids, ripe pear and banana

Taste: more bubble gum, sweet rich carmely Belgian sugars, white pepper on finish.

Mouthfeel: crisp and a bit boozy.

Good, not great, will probably be better in year or two when the edge is off it.

Photo of FrndthDuvel
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A quickly vanishing, pinkie sized head, egg white which sat briefly upon the clear golden orange ale in the Duvel tulip. Some ring and lacing which lasted awhile. Bit of spice, bit of bannana,bit of sugar,nicely distributed in the nose. Taste for me, is a nice mix between the sweetness/floral notes of a Belgian with some balancing bitterness. Nothing stunning. Perhaps a bit more on the bitter side. Ends sweet more than dry.
Alcohol seems well hidden. Seems slightly confused though as to what it wants to be. Since it was designed to last till 2012, I imagine it might smooth out a bit and become its own creation. First one I have had in awhile. Not something I would drink more than 1 at a time,or with any great regularity. Definitely would prefer the Green Flash Le Freak at this time over this if one wanted to combine IPA and Belgian. Though I do have enough to get to 012 .

Photo of hellomcfly
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep golden honey color. Very clear. Has a bright white, foamy, one finger head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Banana, cloves, spiciness, and booziness. Has some gin-like qualities as it warms.

T - Wow, very flavorful. Banana, clove, citrus, apple, flowers, bubble gum. Leaves you with a slight hop bittnerness and a peppery flavor. This beer is somewhere between a tripel, fruity cocktail, and champagne.

M - On the lighter end of medium in body. Fairly dry finish.

D - I'm not going to mind drinking the whole bomber but this certainly isn't a session beer or anything. Wish I had another bottle to age.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small 3/4 finger head with decent retention and a yellow color. Could be bitter and more effervescent for the style.

Smell is very clovey and has a lot of banana phenol.

Taste is very dry with some hop flavor and characteristic. The aroma of the hops is overtaken by the phenols.

This beer is very dry and crisp.

Decent example of the style with some hop flavor to keep it interesting.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - 1st pour was clear orange/yellow color with a white head that left some sticky lacing.

S - light fruit, candy and malt aromas with a good dose of Belgian yeast.

T - taste follows the smell, very good tasting brew.

M - medium bodied with mild carbonation feel.

D - crisp, refreshing and easy to drink.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, spices, some fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out very estery, with some sweetness of apples and spices. Then there's a quick alcohol sting, followed by a Belgian yeast character that seems a bit subdued. There's a strong hops presence for the style that starts to exert itself as the beer warms and provides some balance.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium carbonation, medium body, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while, although I have a feeling that this is the type of beer that might be better with a little bit more age on it.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both average. The aroma is citrusy hops (orange peel), tropical fruit, cloves, peppery spice and candy sugar. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some apricot and a bit of alcohol noticable too. Finishes bitter and fruity at the same time. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating, dry and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's crisp, enjoyable and not hard to drink at all. I think this is a good brew, it'll be interesting to age a couple bottles of this and see how it changes.

Photo of srandycarter
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light honey, not much head, leaves ring. Small sudsy lacing.

S - Smells REALLY sweet, honey, malty.

T - Taste does not match smell. Part are true, but massacred by teh hops. Way too bitter.

M - Medium, good coat and carb.

D - NOt my favorite. Your mileage may vary.

Photo of JEdmund
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance
Golden yellow like a pils but with a small head; good carbonation

Smell
Belgian yeast fruitiness dominates here; not hoppy like I expected; some mild hint of spearamint

Taste & Mouthfeel
Not nearly a 50/50 split of triple and IPA; initially, I get all Belgian flavors--fruity yeast, a lot of bready malt; hops come in later with a minty quality, but is still mild; would like a LOT more hops in this one; some heat in the finish; some nice bitterness in finish later on

Overall
A bit disappointing as there's just not enough hops for me; it just doesn't come to close to the "very, very generously hopped" as described on the bottle. Maybe I didn't drink it fresh enough? Otherwise a very tasty beer. Hopefully this will be a good one for aging.

Photo of grub
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked this one up this summer at merchants in dearborn, MI.

22oz bottle. sampled dec 28/08.

pours crystal clear golden amber with a small dense white head. the head drops fairly quick and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is good. nice belgian spice. bit of orange peel. touch of honey and caramel. cracker and white bread. light alcohol. i get just a hint of something toasty in there too. light floral character, a touch perfumey.

taste is great. belgian strong pale with a dash of american ipa thrown in. medium-high bitterness level. grapefruit. orange peel. bit of pine. light belgian spice. big floral character. light alcohol. cracker and white bread. bit of biscuit. touch of caramel and honey.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. just over medium carbonation level. nice dry finish.

drinkability is great. BSPA is a good style, but not my favourite. i welcome the american twist on this one. it seems to work well. the hops probably push it more towards tripel territory, and the bigger malt base gives it that american ipa slant. still, it never loses sight of its BSPA roots. nicely balanced. good stuff.

Photo of Viggo
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a lightly hazed golden orange, touch of amber, thick white head forms, drops a lot of chunky lace on the glass, drops some rings, good retention, settles to a medium ring and a thin layer, looks pretty good. Smell is nice, very fragrant, some grapefruit and spice, toast, honey, apricot, strawberries, coriander, candi sugar, light touch of alcohol, smells pretty good. Taste is similar, some sweet biscuity malt and honey, grapefruit and floral, light fruit, some alcohol and spice, wheat, a bit yeasty in the finish, some floral, nice spicy finish, well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, slightly dry in the finish, nice spiciness, with some alcohol warmth. Nicest VE in the last couple years, I like it. Thanks Russ!

Photo of adamette
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber that I bought at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills into my Brewery Ommegang snifter.

A Pours a golden yellow translucent body with a 1 cm but quickly dissipating head. Not a bad look at all but not exemplary either.

S Flowery hops that did not overwhelm. A pleasant surprise of sweetness (malt?) as well. This smell makes me really want to drink this beer even more.

T Sweet matly citrus with nice, light hops. Repeated tastings revealed that on the back of the tongue there is a bit more bitterness than I had initially appreciated. By the end of my beer I was even perceiving that it is not unlike champagne.

M Light feel which was also a pleasant surprise.

D Very good indeed. I could easily have drank this whole bomber and if I see this beer again I will pick another one up.

Notes: I am so impressed by this "champagne of beers" which I thought might be a hop bomb from Stone. I was not expecting the malt and hops balance that make this a great beer. It has inspired me to respect Stone even more than I have before.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, this beer was a golden color with a medium-sized white head. It had a fruity aroma, mainly apple, with a nice malt background. I also detected a bit of a floral aroma. Taste was the fruit and malt up front, a little yeast funk, some spice, finishing with a bit of hops. Fairly dry.
A likeable beer.

Photo of macster
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber-orangish color. Pour creates a thin 1/2" bone white head which fades to a paper thin layer of foam. Just some spotty lacing adheres to the glass.

Aromas of light and ripe fruit such as apples, apricot, orange backed by a touch of toasted malts and fresh honey and spice.

Mouthfeel presents a touch of slickness and body, but is overall on the thinner side with a slightly elevated level of spritzy carbonation.

Flavor profile begins with a sweet and slightly tart presence of green apple, apricot and citrus backed with hints of coriander, honey and clove. A smooth biscuity malt flavor is also perceived. Finishes with a typical Stone citrusy hop presence of orange peel, lemon drops and red grapefruit.

A nice lighter, but warming and spicy beer for winter imbibing.

Photo of toweringpoo
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been a while since I've had this style. Not a bad choice to get me back into the style.

Looks nice. Slightly opaque bronze color. Big bubbles of carbonation coming up and hanging around the to. Head is perfectly white and dissipates quickly.

Smells really nice. Fruity belgian yeast. Grapefruit, orange, every kind of citrus I can think of; coriander, very sweet. Smells like something you'd dream up.

Tastes pretty good. I think the hops are a bit overpowering (dear god, what am I saying??) at first. However they mellow out a bit after a few sips and match well with the belgian fruitiness. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is prickly and crisp, very refreshing. Drinkability is good. I'd love to have a couple of these on a hot day...and then pass out for a few hours(the abv is a bit high, but hey don't let that stop you)

As expected, stone delivers again.

Highly Recommended.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seemed appropriate to open this with an Orval opener and toss it into a Gulden Draak tulip. Color is a lightly hazed sunset golden/orange, with a fluffy head of only modest proportions.

Aroma sits in the camp of beers that I also place Gumballhead and SurlyFest in--not the same style at all, but the smell of each is intensely fragrant and unabashedly hops-centric. Each is so potent that I always think of dryer sheets...which I realize doesn't sound flattering, but it's the only thing in the world I can relate it to. But 08.08.08 adds a honey-like, flowery sweetness, which keeps it from being one-dimensional.

I was super-impressed with another bottle weeks ago, as I am with this one tonight. It's got a honeyed sweetness, a very hoppy backup, with light and flowery spices adding some pizazz. Yeast does some talking, and it's that earthy, almost chalky element that lovers of Belgian ales will recognize. The honey is brought out larger by the rounded, almost syrupy texture, which holds enough carbonation to keep it swinging too much one way or the other. Ahh...this is wonderful stuff.

The text on the bottle (always read Stone's fine print!) seems to hint that this beer was inspired by Houblon Chouffe--a beautiful bit of circular inspiration when you consider it. Whether it was aimed at that particular beer or not, they pretty much hit the target while also putting their own singular Stone stamp on it--which in this case means plenty of fresh, flowery, crispy hops. Awww...yum!!

[addendum: enjoyed a nice well-aged bottle on 3/30/10, and found a particularly funky yeast element edging in, something not noticed the first time around. With that a more pungent fruity element. Still stand by the review and the rating. Delicious.]

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/30/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small white head. Aroma is pretty much that of a Belgian tripel! Lots of spices, melon rind, and a slight bitterness. Flavor is a bit more hoppy than apparent in the aroma (although not overly so), fruity melon, and orange peel. Mouthfeel isn't as hearty as that of a tripel although the beer does weigh on you after awhile. Interesting at first but then a little boring. Better than the 070707 but not by much.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

Photo of Cunningham26
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Completely clear into a large stemless wine glass. good head retention, with tiny tiny bubbles ever present.
s- great, with fruit and malts on the nose
t- crisp, with fruit and some malts, but a definite hop finish that was very enjoyable. very well balanced between a TON of different fruit and the hops
m- very light and crisp. except for the 8.6% which came through at the tail end of things, this was a really really light ale and refreshingly enjoyable on all fronts
d- with a high abv i wouldnt try finishing a second, but it's light and crisp enough that i finished one bottle pretty quickly, and could've had more (to my detriment).

overall a fantastic brew, and i hope to get another bottle and start cellering from 08/08/08 and hopefully find some back issues between now a and 2012!

Photo of beerthulhu
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a medium tangerine orange with light golden hues. A 1 finger, frothy, dull white head sits atop lasting for a minute or two before dissipating to a thin film covering. A near full ecompassing lacing sticks well around the glass perimeters while a faint and lazy visible carbonation was observed.

S: sweet, fruity, with a spicy hop zestiness. Beautiful tangerine and grapefruit scents linger about against a soft spicy hop backing.

T: spicy with a dried tropical fruitiness of pineapples, and kiwi. Soft grapefruit notes with a light sugar presence sweetens things up a bit. Theres a nice spicy hoppiness with oranges, dried lemon peels, and a peppery touch that rounds things out. The finish was crisp, with a dried fruitiness leaving you wanting more.

M: a light-medium viscosity, very smooth in texture with a light carbonation presence. A big beautiful and dried tropical fruitiness with a spicy and zesty hopping provide a nice lingering fade on the tongue with just a slight hint of peppery nature.

D: Drinkability was perhaps its strongest point. A very nice and enjoyable drink. Crisp, dry with tropical fruitiness that was almost to easy to consume. Case worthy for future consumption and perhaps aging is highly recommended.

Photo of gciccarelli
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into wine glass.

A - Pale gold with very small head.

S - Spicy aroma, high presence of yeast smell. Hoppy citrus notes and sugar smells...

T - Very balanced, very tasting, very good. Spicy notes, sweet malts, bitter hops...really, a trippel and IPA combined. Slight taste of alcohol as well. Mild bitter aftertaste, like an IPA.

M - Medium body, light carbonation, nice residue left in the mouth. Less carbonation than many belgian-style brews...but good.

D - Especially considering the high alcohol content, this is a very drinkable beer and a very tasty one at that.

I will certainly plan on picking up another few of these and aging them as they were intended to be...can only imagine them getting better with age.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 695 ratings.