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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 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.

adamette, Dec 28, 2008
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.

lordofthewiens, Dec 27, 2008
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.

macster, Dec 27, 2008
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.

toweringpoo, Dec 26, 2008
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.]

Metalmonk, Dec 24, 2008
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)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
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!

Cunningham26, Dec 21, 2008
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.

beerthulhu, Dec 19, 2008
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.

gciccarelli, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I succumbed and broke one open early... and I'm glad I did. Pours oily clear gold with a minimal white head. Aroma of banana, yeast, clove, and a bucket of hops. Very sweet and resiny taste; the Belgian qualities really compliment the West-Coast IPA hopping. The Simcoe and Amarillo do well, adding the pepper and pine. Taste is closer to the Green Flash Le Freak than the eventual Stone Cali-Belgique. We'll see how this does in a few years.

This beer exposes one of my chief complaints about this site. The Vertical Epic Series is supposed to be cellared until the series is complete, then drank at the same time. Some of the earlier beers were not very good and need cellaring to improve. Yet, if one follows Stone's directions, you will never be able to properly rate this beer because it is "retired."

magictrokini, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a smallish head. Bits of lace trail on the glass. The aroma is delicately fruity with lychees, pears and citrus. Candy sugar sweetness and cookie dough show in the nose as well. The taste is malty and spicey like a tripel with a wonderful fruity, piney hop character the melds with the Belgian flavors very well. Mint shows with warmth, there are a lot of hop flavors going on here. The mouthfeel is creamy consistency but light bodied, love the bottle conditioning. The finish is mildly bitter and candy sugar sweet with fruity yeast esters in tow.

This is a nice hopped up Belgian ale. Very easy to drink, it doesnt taste anything like 8.6%

CAMRAhardliner, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of OStrungT
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy golden yellow color, with a thin white head. The head fades slowly, leaving no lace.

This beer has a spicy aroma. It smells of earthy yeast. Some citrus aroma comes through also. It has a surprisingly hoppy aroma also.

This beer tastes spicy, with some clovey flavor and some coriander. Orange peel and lemon mix in as well. This beer has a floral hop flavor also.

This beer is full bodied. It leaves a spicy aftertaste. The carbonation is just right.

This beer would probably make a good session beer despite the higher alcohol content.

Overall: As I suspected, this beer is great. I have never been let down with Stone, and this is no exception. I am looking forward to seeing how this one holds up.

OStrungT, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good brew, this one is...

Pours a cloudy apricot color with a fluffy head..

Lovely aroma of floral hops and sweet Belgian sugars..

Super hoppy Belgian Pale Ale... I like it... The hops dominate and sort of kill that Belgian funkiness..

Very drinkable brew... Very nice...

Tilley4, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of tadowdaddy
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden clear beer with about 1/2 inch of head that retains well, ample carbonation, and minimal lacing. Carbonation in this one is a lot more than I'd have expected.

S- Lots of hops and some highly intense fruit. A bit spicy smelling as well.

T- Hoppy like a pale ale, has the fruitiness of a belgian ale. Very straightforward fruit flavors. Orange, apricot, and a bit of citrusy lemon flavor. Hops really stand out. I do not taste the alcohol at all. Additionally get some cloves and other spices in my mouth.

M- Crisp, clean. Nice bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

D- Do not taste the alcohol, so it seems very drinkable to me. The high ABV may be a downfall, but I personally do not see it as one.

Love this beer. Opened me up to a whole new style as I'm usually an IPA, IIPA guy.

tadowdaddy, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of GordonQuid
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle to a freshly washed goblet.

Golden in color with a fluffy white 1 inch sustaining head, ample lacing. Like the sun peering through puffy white clouds on a perfect summer day. Very alluring as many Stone brews are...

The smell is romancing; that of an Imperial IPA. Fresh cut cascade, magnum, and galena hops. Carapil, Munich malty sweetness is also in the nose along with sweet fruity esters. Extremely inviting and appetizing!

The taste is explosive on flavor! Like the aroma indicates; like an imperal IPA balanced with a malty Belgian maltyness. I can taste the high alpha hops almost one at a time and then all together; flowing perfectly into the embrace of its malt characteristics as it finish.
Perfectly complex and entertaining, thought provoking my analysis. Pure pleasure...

The mouth feel is a perfect medium body. True to the class of a Belgian Strong Ale.

Drinkability is extreme! Upon my first taste of this elixir I could hardly wait to bring the goblet back to my lips for another sample. When my bottle was finished I was sad to know I had not another to open and enjoy immediately. This may be the most perfectly balanced beer I have ever had the pleasure to drink.

I feel privileged to have experienced this fine beer. Simply embraceable for beer lovers!

Enjoy and get it on!
-Gordon Quid of the Highland Quid Clan

GordonQuid, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of BierFan
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a cervoise.

Appearance: 2 inch white head with an aggressive pour. Despite very lively carbonation the head starts dropping kinda fast. Very nice looking clear golden body.

Smell: Very sweet and candylike. Citrus aroma from the hops. Such a big hop aroma seems kinda out of place in a higher abv Belgian style beer but it smells damn good.

Taste: Really amazing. Cloves and spices that you would expect from a Belgian tripel plus hoppiness that you would expect from an American pale ale. Wonderful combination.

Drinkability: The hop flavors make me want to chug the whole bottle. The small "8.6% Alc/Vol" printed on the bottle warns me that I probably shouldn't.

UPDATE! 08/15/09: Hops have mellowed significantly but the bitterness remains. Kind of reminds me of Duvel with the addition of cloves and an increased bitterness. Still really good stuff but I'm not sure I want to let my other bottle age alot longer.

BierFan, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of weezyfart
2.68/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aromas of banana, clove, and alcohol. Maybe even a hint of strawberry.

Palate keep the banana notes with some mild additional fruit characteristics.

The only problem with this strong ale is the choice of hops that shows up on the finish. It is just too bitter for its own good. I'd love to taste a more floral finish that would maybe mask the alcohol a little better.

A good beer from Stone, but not a great one. Toned down heat would do wonders.

weezyfart, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of RunDWP
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a few bottles of this when it first came out, and now that I've had a couple, thought it was time to post my review.

Pours a lovely golden orange, with a bit of a fizzy white head, and not a lot of lacing on the tulip glass. Nice fruity aroma, somewhat dominated by apricot. The flavor is also rather fruity, again, with a lot of apricot and a citrus and slightly piney hop bitterness that gives in an astringent quality. It's a little yeasty too, and very hoppy for a Belgian Ale. The alcohol presence is a bit detectable, and this one warms you up a little as you drink it.

RunDWP, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of Vendetta
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Original Rating Date:
August 30, 2008

Pours a bit darker than a typical Belgian. Smells banana, yeasty, bready. All of the good notes that a Belgian has, with some American notes such as a much higher rate carbonation, more citric fruitiness. The high carbonation almost makes me question whether or not it's natural, but I doubt Stone would rape this brew with added CO2 like the macros do. Clearly an American take on the Belgian style, a bit of a step below pure Belgians but surely an interesting beer. Fun to drink, complex. As it warms the banana, honey, and yeastiness really comes out. There's a lot of clove punch in here also now that it's warmed. The aroma is actually more noticible now than when I opened the bottle. Very enjoyable, clearly a good deal of effort has been put into brewing this edition of Epic. Highly recommended. Get it soon before you can't find it anymore!

Vendetta, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of Soneast
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a 2 finger white head that creams up to a small ring, with minor lacing.

Has an estery, coriander smell, with some nice zesty citrus backgrounds.

Flavor is a zesty herbal, clove, some coriander throughout, a nice citrus background, and a pretty decent grapefruit bitter finish.

A pretty dry beer, leaves a "tanginess" on the tongue. Minor carbonation lends to the overall complexity, which seems to improve as the beer warms. In fact the overall flavor improves as it warms, IMO. A pretty nice representation of this style.

Soneast, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass:

Pours golden with a thin white head that descends to a swirly patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of pine and citrus - American hops, for sure - with lemon and bread. The spiciness is herbal and black peppery.

Very hoppy - a good thing - pine and citrus - with black pepper that almost dominates. Some orange and graininess come through. It has a dry, almost chalky, finish. Alcohol comes through a bit.

It has a medium body with a tingle that may come from carbonation as well as spiciness.

A sipper as the pepper character is a bit much. Interesting use of American hops in a Belgian-style brew. It "works", but could blend better.

jwc215, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, pale gold with a half inch head of white. Fine dots and smears of lacework remained after the head fell to a placid surface.

Aromatics are grassy, earthy, and spicy.
Wet hay, cedar bark, lemon pith, and menthol. Hints of peaches, melons, and dried apricots follow through.

Light bodied and crisp. The carbonation is low for the style. Quite dry and refreshing.

Cut grass, lemon-spritzed hay, white pepper, and clove studded citrus lead the palate. Lemon pith, grapefruit oil, light malt, and a hint of earthy mint with cumin follow through.

Finishes very dry, with a firm bitterness and fading apricots, peaches, and mango.

Very tasty and one of the better VE's. The low carbonation detracts a bit, and the nose suffers.
The fresher the better on this one. Drink up.

brewandbbq, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of joe1510
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
$6.49
Steve's Liquor
Madison, WI

Stone's Vertical Epic 08.08.08 is such a perfectly clear golden that I can read every word on my computer through the glass. An easy pour yielded a couple fingers of creamy white head that seemed to fade quickly to a thin skim, fat collar and stand up island of head in the middle of the glass. Sticky thin vine-like lacing gets left behind.

The nose has a huge amount of yeasty esters including banana, bubblegum and a medicinal quality that I'm not very fond of. Pale, slightly sweet malts lay themselves down as the base while a generous hopping for the style comes across with notes of undisclosed herbs, mint and a touch of freshly cut grass. There's a layer of booziness that tickles the nose. As this beer sits it grows in complexity with green apple being one of those things. The banana just takes over too much of the nose for my liking while the booze isn't hid very well.

The flavor has some of the same characteristics as the aroma but is muddled and more medicinal. The alcohol heat lets itself be known right off the bat but fades to let the green apple, banana, and bubblegum esters come through. The hoppiness isn't quite as noticeable but does show some of the mint. The herbal qualities stand out more on the tongue than any of the other hop characteristics. Sugar cookie sweetness from the malts stay in the back and are pretty one dimensional. The flavor isn't bad but just doesn't come together like it should.

The body leans toward the lighter side of the spectrum and while the carbonation is on the higher side it never gets in the way or becomes too aggressive. Finishes slightly dry with a fruity; green apple, peach, and banana aftertaste that lingers.

For the high abv this beer drinks pretty well. The alcohol is felt but more in the chest than in the mouth. The lighter body and carbonation keep this flowing pretty easily.

This is a solid brew from Stone. I don't think I'd pick up another bottle but it was worth a try. For some reason I haven't been all that impressed with the last couple Stone releases. This beer just isn't what it could be.

joe1510, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of tedpeer
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours golden with a white head that quickly subsided to a whispy layer with ring around. No lacing.

S - Hops, citrus.

T - Fruity, hoppy, citrus. Bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium mouthfeel, highly carbonated.

D - Not well balanced.

tedpeer, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of astrasday
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip glass. Color is bright and golden.

Scent is overwhelmingly hoppy with the sweet, fruity yeast I was expecting taking a back seat.

The taste was good. Hops dominate the palate at first and then turn into a sweet, warming spicy and sweet yeast finish. Alcohol is definitely present but not distracting.

Medium bodied with a good mouthfeel, I enjoyed drinking this one, but I don't think I would seek it out again.

astrasday, Nov 28, 2008
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.