1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

701 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 701
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 42
Gots: 176 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 701 | Reviews: 474
Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While looking for new things at Harringtons I spotted the latest VE from Stone. Why not, eh?

Poured into a Rapscallion goblet, it is a clear, striking, golden-hued bier. Carbo is abundant and steady, helping sustain a thin, fine white layer of foam atop the liquid. Lacing is attractive as well. Aroma has some fruity esters and floral hoppiness hitting the nostrils, along with a funky spiciness. Body here is in the medium range, and though the bier is not prickly on the tongue, it has an airy, foamy feel to it, light like some Hefeweizens.

Some crackery malt hits the palate, lending a touch of sweetness. More fruity action comes forth, residing strongly, to me, in the tropical range. A little mango, some pineapple... pretty nice. Hoppiness is right up there, with some rindy, citrus-like characteristics. Quite dry, and almost chalky, in the finish, there's a smidge of a spicy quality livening things up here. I can definitely see how this is a Stone version of a Belgian version of a highly-hopped Belgian Strong Pale. Interesting, to say the least. Not sure I'll get another to lay down; maybe to drink again soon. Not sure what cellaring will do to this (or for most in this series, to be honest...). Tasty right now, methinks!

Prosit!!!

4
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1088

Photo of kemoarps
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a pretty straw blonde colour, cloudy-ish disposition, with a decent head, limited lacing, and no trail down the sides of the glass.

The smell is positive, but not particularly outstanding. The citrusy hops are what jump at me initially, with a fruity body complimented by a very noticeable spice profile hilighted by some peppery undertones and is that cardamom?

The taste follows the nose's lead, carrying through on the promise of spices, citrus, and almost a little bit flowery hops. The fruit tones are also quite noticeable, predominantly an apricot sweetness, but not in an overwhelming or really 'sweet' sense. Tasty.

In terms of the mouthfeel, the carbonation plays across the tongue in an enjoyable manner, augmented by the white pepper spiciness, and washes down fairly smoothly. Tastes less alcoholic than it is. Quite enjoyable, and drinkable, not heavy considering the alcohol content, and not particularly heavy, or too bitter to drink too much of. Overall a quite enjoyable brew, with an exciting collectible intangible aspect.

Photo of kinnaird
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've probably already had about 8 bottles of this stuff since its release. I need to remember to hang on to one next time I'm shopping, but this stuff is just so damn good.

Brilliant clear, golden body with a rocky, stick gleaming head.

The aroma of this beer actually makes my mouth water. Citrus and pine from the hops. Apricot, pepper, banana, yeast, and spices from the Belgian body. Awesome.

Starts off with the fruits and spices from the aroma followed by a balanced hop bitterness. Medium body with a warming follow up.

I'm not going to consider abv in drinkability because this beer is so highly quaffable due to all the exceptional characteristics that are so thoughtfully stuffed into 22 ounces.

One of the best beers of 2008. Find and enjoy.

Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear! Pale gold color (dark straw?). Modest but lasting head. Spotty lace.

Pine cone hop aroma--floral. Excellent malt base. Very attractive.

I love stronger beers that do not have an oily alcohol base. This fits that category with a moderate grassy malt that gives way to strong hop flavors (particularly for the style). Firm body with a correspondingly above-average carbonation.

A wonder beer no matter how you look at it. It's more like a Belgian double IPA if such a thing were ever to exist.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho of all places, nice to see it in the cooler of the local grocery store. The first of the Stone Epics that I've had the chance to try.

Poured into a Westmalle chalice. Gorgeous clarity to this, a brilliant clear golden peach, though not much head retention.

Clean citrus hops first on the nose, banana, bubblegum and white pepper from the yeast, some soft wheat. Layering to the aroma.

Soft mild wheat up front in the flavour, followed by some mandarin citrus, soft estery spices, more peppery towards the finish where an alcohol warmth builds rapidly from the depths, muting out the piney grapefruit of the hops, cresting within the aftertaste in a lush warming glow. Very fine, but could stand to age a fair bit.

Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, medium-bodied, a pleasant texture.

Worth the price of admission and then some, would love to try this stuff in another year and a half.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber into a Corsendonk tulip.

Pours an absolutely gorgoues, straw-golden color with massive torrents of carbonation rising to feed a well-retained, light creme colored head. Tiny yeast particulates swirl aimlessly throughout the glass, and fantastic lacing coats the inner surfaces. The aroma is everything a Belgian Pale Ale should be, especially given the West Coast hop addition: lots of citrus and tropical fruits (madarin orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and lemon). Some hops come off as grassy, while the pale malt note adds a nice balance. A touch of solvent-like alcohol hits the nose as well.

The flavor could use some smoothing over from a year or two in the cellar, but overall it's quite good. Bitter, floral hops hit the front and back of the tongue, giving way to sweetened belgian malts in the middle. A spiced, sharp grassiness hits the back of the palate and is quickly outshined by a hot boozy warmth. A bit too hot, in all honesty. The body of '08 is crisp and superbly carbonated, but the finish is just a bit too much to take, as the alcohol outshines some of the more delicate malt & hop notes. All in all, I feel like Stone did a nice job with this one, and it's a worthy addition to the vertical line-up. Given the choice, though, I'd opt for Green Flash's Le Freak when in the mood for a more drinkable West Coast interpretation of a Belgian Pale.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Greggy for this one. It pours a clear golden color with a fluffy white head that recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is very fruity with lots of banana, yeast, and funky barnyard notes. The taste is funkier than the aroma with a good amount of fruit still coming through. The mouthfeel is slightly lighter than full bodied, with lively, refreshing carbonation. Overall, this is a very nice beer. I could easily drink this again if given the opportunity.

Photo of Greggy
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a 2 finger head with niice lacing, blond in color with just a hint of sediment.

S- Big fruity aromas of banana, and fresh hopiness

T- Starts out sweet with notes of banana, musk mellon, and nice fresh hop oil. Finish is mainly dry with a slight residual fruitiness.

M- Nice low carb and great balance.

D- Nice easy and refreshing belgain-pale. Would love to have this gem again.

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Peach-tinted bright brass with a short-lived, large pocked and lacy gray-bone head.
It noses of orange zest, mangoes, powdered sugar, with grassy, slightly resinous, lime-grapefruit-spruce hops. And a weird whiff of propane occasionally, but not to its detriment.
The beer ushers into the mouth with a graham cracker grainy sweetness that is quickly usurped by a melange of tropical fruit syrups. Papaya, mango, kiwi, peach, each still partially shrouded by grain. The hops enter and add like-minded bitterness of lime and grapefruit. Alcohols shears short the finish and rips the stage away from the hops with an insurgent burst of heat. It's not a deal breaker in itself, nor excessively potent tasting, but there is a definite interference from it.
The body carries a medium-full frame supported in part by the modest carbonation, which peters out over time.
I enjoy the overt, unencumbered citric tones that are everywhere in this beer, but the alcohol is a bit unmeshed at this stage. I worry that aging, while taming the booze flares, will equally lessen the attractiveness of the hopping.

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

Been holding onto this one for at least a few months. Figured now is as good a time as any. Poured from the standard 22oz bottle into a 20oz pint glass. Firm pour yields 2 finger Bright white head consisting of very fine bubbles. Color is a clear pale golden amber.

Nose- Rich and grainy, full of hops notes of vanilla. Smells wonderful.

Taste- Very nice. Subtle hop bitterness very dry, like death valley in the summer time. Alcohol present, fairly hot. Nice malt sweetness. Hints of vanilla. Citrus notes from the hops. This has all the earmarks of a "typical stone brew. I am reminded of the stone IPA and Ruination in sipping on this. Personally I think this should cellar for a bit longer.

Mouthfeel- Very Zippy carbonation, dry

Drinkability- Pretty hot atm. This could use a little more time in the cellar. Very nice and shows great potential.

Photo of abfraser
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange-ish yellow with nice white head

S: Grapefruit and piney, floral hops

T: Bitter hops, spice, honey

M: Smooth, well-balanced, medium-bodied

D: Nothing to fault here.

Last of the tasting, and my least favorite. A little strong hop-wise, but my memory of it might have been influenced by the other older bottles, which had mellowed a bit. Still quite good, though.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this bottle from my trip to the Library Ale House
Poured a deep golden color with a small white head,Nose was of malt, caramel, candy and a touch of yeast and hops. Taste was was well hopped with flavors of pine and citrus with a small amount of spiciness on the end. Drinkability is really good.

Photo of waltonc
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last of the 2004-2008 vertical epic tasting we did last night. An outstanding evening of fine beer. The 2008 was actually the least interesting of them. This one was kind of blah.

A: light gold

S: floral, citrus, hops, spice.

T: More of the same, piney. Seems to be a belgian yeast with the added twist of California hop overkill (though this doesn't have a crazy amount of hops compared to some stone stuff)

M: medium body and carbonation

D: Just not interesting enough for me to want to drink more than a glass.

Photo of RedChrome
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very light haze to the golden colored beer. Inch and a half high pure white head faded only after a few minutes. Only a handful of carbonation bubbles rising. Sticky thick lace ribbons.

A nice blend of light malt and fruity sweetness with crisp hops oils. A yeast aroma is quite up front in the nose. Hops have just a hint of pine scent.

Taste loses a lot of the fruit from the aroma. Malt still carries, but there is a bit of a mint taste to it. A bit of a gritty hops bitterness.

A bit on the watered side as far as viscosity goes. Carbonation is quite effervescent on the tongue.

A good beer in the style. Would pair nicely with shrimp over salad greens. Yet another good offering from the brewery. Not the best in the style, but worth a try.

Photo of oelergud
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tall brown 1 pint 6oz glass bottle with a pry-off cap.
Golden reddish translucent body with a nice soft slightly off white dimpled head.
Good retention and lace.
Amazing smell, sweet, spiced and fruity. Banana, apple, barnyard, hay, honey molasses, grass pine and more.
Yeast flavor with banana, hay, harsh pine, sweet molasses and nuts. Good aftertaste of yeast, nuts and pine hops. Very broad smell and flavor profile.
Good mouthfeel, crisp, good coating and some residual sugars.
Good drinkability.

-Oelergud

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Update: 22 May 10

This bottle is almost 2 years old.

Poured into a chalice a nice hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, with a nice little fizzy/creamy white head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some hop notes, and spice. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter still, with some malts, slight hop note, yeasty, and some spice note. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, not hot at all. Very Drinkable, still enjoying this brew, holding up very well.

Poured into my Stone Ruination glass a very nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, which leaves minimal sticky lacing. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some hops, and spices. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter, with some malty, hops, yeast, and some spices. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, it has a nice hoppyness to it. Well done Stone.

Photo of joepais
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass it produced a fingers worth of white head that trailed away to a thick lace. The body was a clear copper brown on this ale

Aromas of bananas and piney hops filled my nose, the more it sits the more the hops become forward

Big bitter hops flavors up front. I don't know but I think this brew is a great Belgian IPA. Maybe it is a stone IPA with Belgian yeast? Because this is the first hop bomb Belgian I have ever drank. A medium mouthfeel with good carbonation on this brew with a slightly dry finish

Yes this thing is drinkable and I will be grabbing a few more .I don't think I will hold on to many of these, I will drink these puppies fresh the hops is that dam good

Photo of seangroves
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
Golden brown in color with a large white head. The beer is very clear and the head lingers.

Smell:
It smells very sweet, almost fruity close to a banana, with the aroma of the hops coming through very strongly with a suttle hint of pale malt.

Taste:
A bit unbecoming at first but the hops come through very strongly with an ending of a light pale maltiness. The hops are very strong throughout from beginning to end.

Mouthfeel:
The beer feels very light and smooth with a bit of chewiness to it afterward. Carbonation is borderline.

Drinkability:
This beer is easy to consume as it is very light to the feel and quite smooth. I may have another after.

Photo of ckaufman
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber into a Duvel tulip...

A: A clear golden amber color with a one finger off-white head full of bubbles. A moderate amount of sticky lacing with a minimal amount of head retention. Very sparkling in nature... much like a "Lucifer".

S: Very complex in the nose... there is quite a bit to take in with this beer. Lots of bread-like yeast mixed with corriander and fruity esters. Very strong elements of pine and citrus behind the typical "Belgian" aspects of this beer.

T: A sweet malty front end with yeast and spice mixed in. A noticeable hop bitterness with some traces of the alcohol in the middle and then a tart semi-dry finish in which the hops linger on for a while. A nice bitter hang.

M: Medium body with lots of resins from the high hop rate. Moderate carbonation as would be expected with a Belgian.

D: A very enjoyable beer to drink and the higher ABV is very well masked by all the other flavors and aromas contained in this beer.

I highly recomend this beer, and I am glad to say I picked up a few extras to enjoy over the next few years. I am interested to see how well the hops hold up over time.

Photo of ABHatter
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Southern Tier tulip.

Golden apricot color with a quality looking head. Disappears almost completely after a few minutes, but it also leaves a nice clingy lace on the glass.

S-This is a great smelling beer! Extremely floral hoppiness at first, As the head goes away the aroma changes drastically with Notes of apple, pear, clove, candi sugars with a musky yeast aroma.

T-Banana, pear with a biscuity like breadiness, Good spicy bitterness from the hops giving off a peppery flavor on the finish. Mouthfeel is also excellent due to the aggresive hop profile.

D- Drinkability is very good. I would most likely stop after just 1 bomber, but at over eight percent I find this to be quite enjoyable and very easy to drink.

This is a perfect example of thinking outside of the box from a world class brewery. Top Notch beer from Stone once again!

Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll preface this review by stating that I've found most of the VE series to be moderate disappointments. This one pours into a snifter a clear golden hued body,radiant in the alfresco evening sunlight. A vanilla cap tops it off with a sturdy head that laces generously in sheets and patches.

Aroma is fruity with notes of grapefruit and banana. Piney hops are noticed.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation with a yeasty chalk feel.

Taste is impressive. Grapefruit, a hint of bubblegum, dry hop bitterness of pine hops, and many IPA tendencies in the hop profile. Seems like a cross between a Belgian pale ale and a Belgian IPA. Finishes dry and hoppy bitter with just a hint of fruity sweetness.

Very enjoyable. First beer consumed and reviewed here on Tranquility Mountain in Claibourne County, Tennessee. This is my favorite of the Vertical Epic series. Wish I could stock up on a few of these.

Photo of HomeRunBaker
3.06/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one was a little disappointing. It looked good, a nice golden color. Smell was pretty average, I got mostly hops. The taste initially was of hops, with a citrus aftertaste. An okay beer, but not something I'd buy again, though I've got another kept to age. Hopefully the experience will improve.

Photo of bcm119
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden with a frothy white head. Yeasty aroma with a hit of white grape/apple fruit. Fruity and vinous at first, with a nice surge of American hop bitterness towards the back. Full on the palate with some creaminess; malts are subtle and Pils-like. The yeast brings out lots of fruit flavors you might find in a stainless steel sauvignon blanc, while adding some musty funk of its own mid palate. Finishes semi-dry with clean hops. Refreshingly dry for a Stone beer, easily consumed and complex enough to keep it interesting to the bottom of the glass.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd love to save this, and pair it with its brethren on the final tasting, but I've come in far too late, and I'll be back in the land of Oz long before the time comes. So here goes with 080808.

Pours a very light yellow-gold with good clarity, although there is a slight hint of haze to the body. Head is initially creamy thick with tiny bubbles of pure white, but this dissipates to a collar of film around the edges. Lacing is good.

Nice Belgian yeast characters on the nose, and a hint of phenolic alcohol. Light notes of herbs and wintergreen, but certainly not a big hop presence like the bottle suggests was the inspiration for the brew. More sweet and round, like the Belgian ales in this way, slightly more subdued than say La Guillotine or Duvel for example.

The hop character is more pronounced in flavour, with a decent bite of hop oil coating the mid-palate. There's a sweetness as well, quite a dry sweetness, but like the Belgians in this regard. Fair amount of heat on the back palate as well, this may fade with age. Mouthfeel is light, suitable for the style.

I know I'm drinking this before its time, and perhaps it shows, but at the moment this is a pretty run-of-the-mill Belgian Pale to me. It's drinkable enough, but I'm not sure there's enough there to even make it last another four years.

Oh well, if I'm around for 12.12.12, and happen to chance upon it, I'd still give it a go.

Photo of oscarsbrewmaster
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow.

This is one of the most unique tasting beers I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. Distinct Belgium flavor with an explosion of American hops. This beer goes down extremely smooth, with a very clean finish. I dont think waiting for 12/12/12 is an option, this beer is too good now!

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 701 ratings.