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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

484 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 484
Hads: 788
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 42
Gots: 218 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 484 | Hads: 788
Photo of sprucetip
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Hazy golden, very active, thick white-ish head with great retention and lots of lacing. SMELL rich sweet maltyness hits first, fruity esters, and restrained grassy hoppiness follow. Sneaky Belgian yeastiness infuses throughout. TASTE Sweet rich caramel maltiness paired with light grassy hoppy flavors and mild bitterness. Fruity esters from Belgian yeast add complexity and depth. Smooth and balanced. FEEL medium/full body, pleasant slightly slick texture, alc warming, clean and dry finish. OVERALL should be savored and shared, and is fairly filling. But it looks, smells, feels and tastes great!

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Photo of Keith238
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden in color, this brew lacked the thick creamy foam promised on the bottle. May glass may not have been as clean as I initially thought but I'm a stickler about my beer glasses so I doubt it.

S- Fantastic aroma. Very floral.

T- Again, fantastic. Spicy and well hopped. This brew has renewed my interest in Belgian triples.

M & D- Clean, crisp and dry. You will want a second bottle so buy it while you can.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 in a pretty things wine glass.

Very cloudy orange color. The cloudiness I view as just a sign of healthy yeast. It was not cloudy three years ago. mild head. Still tastes exceptional. Cheers to the brewers!

Smells of booze, pine trees and oranges. Booze is not intimidating smelling, but quite notable.

Taste is delicate, and very similar to smell. Resinous, piney, acidic, and very drinkable. The hop and yeast flavor are mended nicely. I have a hard time telling what flavor came from what. Either way it tastes delicious. After taste of American hop resin - Oranges and Spruce.

Thin mouthfeel. Acidic from either carbonation or fermentation. I like the bite though.

Someone once told me when cooking for others; make them wait an extra 30 minutes and the wait will make your meal taste that much better. I don't know if that is in play, but it an honer to drink this one.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of equal amounts light fruits - bananas and pears - and herbal, slightly citrus hops. As it warms floral hop aromas join in the mix.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front are soon joined by fresh banana and pear flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors - herbal grapefruit - enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the glass and could easily have a few of these.

Overall this was a tasty beverage and I was surprised at how well the hops held up. Definitely worth a try, even this late in the game.

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4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden yellow. small bubbly white head that dissipated quickly leaving an oily foam and great lacing.

A super hoppy Belgian. Lemon peel, orange, and piney/herbal notes. Belgian fruity funky spicy estery yeast. Slight bread below the powerful hops and yeast.

Tangy lemon peel. Funky fruity estery citrus. slightly bready pale tripel malts. Spicy herbal and resinous. Crisp floral estery bitterness and aftertaste. A small alcohol taste that melds nicely in the hoppy belgian tripel, without being very noticeable.

Dry, crisp, smooth, light to medium bodied.

Very drinkable. A great Belgian style tripel, loaded with west coast hops. I'm a big fan.

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Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ligher yellow with a decent head and enduring lacing.

S - Strong citrus & floral scents - very Belgian

T - Complex tastes with hints of fruits & floral tastes - strong tasting.

Mounthfeel - very carbonated but also smooth

D - Very strong ale. Alcohol overpowers it a bit but that is part of its charm.

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Photo of thekanna
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a gorgeous gold bordering in amber; small head dissipated quickly.

S: Strong citrus smell (I detect grapefruit) with some fresh-cut wood. Hops definitely pervade the aroma and become dominant after a few seconds.

T: Strong grapefruit bitterness followed by a nice juicy (almost lemonade or limeade-like) taste. A sweet malty backbone rears its head only slightly before the grapefruit taste dominates again, leaving a bitter finish.

M: Good carbonation and a nice, juicy body.

D: Great sipper; cuts through even the strongest flavors and a good beer to whet the appetite.

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Photo of TEXTONE
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Place of Review- home 22oz bottle

Look-White head, that dissipates rather quickly. The beer is golden with a copper tint and, a slight chill haze with almost champagne like carbonation.

The smell is floral, fruity, and hops with a slight hint of grapefruit and yeast mixed in. Another Stone offering that is pleasant to the nasal passages.

Taste of hops right away fallowed by sweet fruity/grapefruit, with a buttery alcohol flavor mixed in, then a bitter back end. Mouth feel is full and malty. All around this is nice bier to drink. It has a lot going on, definitely a complex bier. I will be recommending this bier

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear bright golden, fluffy eggshell head trails off to a thin lace. Nice cling. Nice peppery aromas, corriander mixed with some green apple and pear. Grassy hop aroma's very prominant as well. Much the same in the flavor. Hops are more assertive than your typical Belgian Golden, but here they are more of an after thought. Finishes very clean with just a touch of grassy hop flavors with some honey and green apple. The carbonation is spot on. Slight warming midway thru the glass is the only detection that your dancing with a big boy. Had lot's of fun with this. Will be interesting to see what four years on the shelf will do to this. Definatly worth seeking out for immediate consumption.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at BevMo a few weeks ago. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Yellowish-orange with a huge 2-3 finger white, fizzy head. Head has little retention, leaving just some film and lacing. Plenty of tiny bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass.

S: Big fruity nose on this one with plenty of spice. Plum or perhaps fig mixed with cinnamon sugar and nutmeg. It actually almost smells a bit like bubble gum flavor.

T: Taste is more bready than the scent, with a nice mildly hoppy finish. There is a bit of the fruitiness there, and a great spicyness that really hits at the end.

MF: Fairly thin bodied, but in no way water, and a decent amount of carbonation. Plenty of warming to go with a nice dry finish.

D: This is much better than the 07.07.07, in my opinion. Lots of good flavor which blends well and is easy to drink. Maybe not as refined as some of the other strong pale's out there, but I really enjoyed this one and would certainly drink it again.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been sitting in the cellar since late summer and so it seemed right to open one since I drank all my earlier versions and cannot do the vertical in 2012. This is a real nice Belgian style beer with some spice notes mixed in with the citrus notes found in Saisons. Kinda tasted like a combo of Duvel and Westmalle Triple. Lots of complexity and good balance made this very drinkable. Good Epic from these guys.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You all know what the bottle looks like so I won't bother. Pours out a copper yellow with almost no head at all. Smell is very sweet with hints of malt, lemon and earthy notes.

Taste is much milder than I expected. Very well integrated flavors of sugar, bread and grassy hops. Lovely drying bitterness in the middle and end. Aftertaste goes on and on. 20 plus seconds? Well balanced and easy drinking. The alcohol is so well hidden. A very "clean" beer.

A great VE in my opinion. I am not sure how this one will age as it is so well integrated now. Oh well, we will see.

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alas, this is my first Vertical Epic. Hopefully I'll get to try a few of the previous ones on tap (if not bottled) one day. I'll be sure to get hold of the final four barring a major mishap.

A: A clear, pale golden color with a thick if minimal head. There is some retention and nice lacing.

S: At first there is pear and passion fruit on the nose. As it warms up a little you get a sense of the hops, some citrusy but mainly coniferous notes. Esters also make a welcome appearance.

T: Sweetness of the malts come through right off the bat. Tasty. Just as it threatens to keel over, the hops kick in and achieve a delicious balance. The best thing is that it then stays in ale equilibrium. There are few beers that manage this.

M: Very solid. No detectable hop oils, but there is a lingering bitterness that is not overpowering in the least. Sorry Stone, I had to write that...Nice and snappily crisp. Refreshing.

D: The 8.6% ABV is hardly noticeable at first. Eventually, there is a warming sensation. I believe I could drink two of these beauties. That's saying something for a brown bomber this potent.

To conclude, I love this beer. I'm not a huge tripel fan (though I like classic Belgian pale ales like Duvel and their US compadres Damnation and Horny Devil) nor am I a major hophead. Simply put, one of the more quaffable non-dark beers I've had the pleasure of drinking. I have no idea how this will age, but I plan on finding out. It's hard to imagine that it'll get much better.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon bombers of this while out for groceries and snatched it up at just $4.75- a good price for really ANY bomber in NYC.

Poured from 22oz bottle into 300ml Krusovice goblet.

Appearance: Pours golden-amber in color with a medium-sized, very slowly dissipating off-white head that leaves some large spots of lace behind.

Smell: Smells like a very well-aged beer- sweet grapes and apples with some yeast backed up by citric and floral hop notes.

Taste: The smell doesn't give away the hoppiness of this beer too well- It starts off with bready, yeasty flavors backed up by a hint of apple, finishing rather hoppy. The finish has herbal and earthy hop flavors and a somewhat intense, yet pleasant bitterness. More yeast is detectable in the finish. After you've drank a bit of this and gotten used to the flavor, it actually starts to taste like champagne.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with balanced, very natural carbonation and a dry champagne-esque finish.

Drinkability: An older beer like this is meant to be savored, and it is a pleasure to drink. This is the first "vintage" beer I've had, yet I can detect a certain aged quality about this. Now I'm seriously considering buying some more bottles of this to cellar for longer. If you can find this beer, definitely grab it- whether it's for cellaring or for drinking.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Cork and Bottle after getting comics. I was pleasantly surprised to find it.

Appearance- golden color, little head

Smell- fruit, hops, malt

Taste- very nice and dry, hops, spice, fruit

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- very nice, i would love more

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Photo of drseamus
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice light amber body with a touch of white head.

S: Nice citrus aroma that blasts from the glass and almost completely masks the Belgian malt aroma.

T: Boy, the hops really pop out in this one. Right up front and super crisp. Right behind that after the shortest of pauses is the sweet malt. Great balance.

M: Nice and light initially with a touch more body when the malt hits.

D: Great, but I can't see how this will get better with age.

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Photo of vtfan77
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep amber with a small white head that, unfortunately, doesn't stick around very long.

S- Wow, nice melding of the American hops and Belgian yeast. The clove-like aromas from the yeast mingle nicely with the sweet citrus notes from the hops. I've found that in most beers brewed with Belgian yeast and American hops, the aromas don't seem to go well together. This beer does not have that problem. Very appealing.

T- The flavor follows in the aroma's footsteps with a bright, citrusy hop character that blends nicely with the spicy byproducts of the yeast. The malt adds a cracker-like character that keeps the beer dryer than I expected. The bitterness on the finish is actually quite light and not at all overwhelming. Once again, Stone succeeds in blending the hops and yeast where others (including Stone itself) have failed in the past.

M- Light in body with substantial carbonation. The mouthfeel is nearly perfect for this beer.

D- Yes, the alcohol is high at 8.4%, but it's masked extremely well. This, coupled with the beer's light body and crisp, refreshing character, increases the drinkability to a level that could be quite dangerous.

I really enjoyed this beer. After last year's lackluster VE offering (as well as the one the year before), I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but this was great. Up to this point, I hadn't found a beer that successfully blended the flavors of a Belgian yeast strain and American hops (at least, to my satisfaction). I've finally found one. I really don't see how this beer will get better in four years, due to the great hop character that will no doubt fade by then. I guess I'll just have to trust the masters on that one. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jamesm7485
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a very golden hue with a lighty white frothy head.

The smell has some fruit notes, honestly i cant smell much because i have a sinus infection right now.

The smell is very good light on the fruit with a belgian yeast tone

The mouthfeel is very light not too carbonated

The drinkability even with the abv is very nice

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone's Vertical Epic 08.08.08 pours a clear, deep golden body that resembles a slightly dark Pilsner-style beer. The frothy white head holds well and it leaves thick rings of craggy lace about the glass.

Hops appear in the nose: citrusy (lemony), freshly grassy, floral, and somewhat piney. I intitally thought Amarillo and Centennial. Then the fruitiness of Simcoe appeared. But apparently there's no Centennial at all, and the missing hop is Ahtanum.

Yeast also makes an appearance, and clearly indicates then what this beer is - a hoppy Belgian-style tripel that utilizes American hops. Not that that hasn't been done before, because of course the Belgians have been ahead of the curve and have been using American hops (as have the Japanese and Danish and...) for a while! Other American brewers have produced this style too. But the yeast is important. It changes it from an American ale into something else altogether... an American Belgian-style ale with American hops. ... ... ...Anyway, it's gently phenolic, fruity with an emphasis on apples and light notes of summer fruit (strawberries, melon), and just very slightly chalky, vanilla-ish, and a minor flick sulphury.

The malt base that supports it is straightforward pilsner malt (although I understand oats and sugar are used). It's clean and refined, and acts as the stage for the hops and yeast.

Overall, it's well-rounded, and more importantly, refined. In keeping this ale in check and not going overboard on any aspect of its composition, it offers a great drinkability. It's very smooth and easy to drink, but there's also a good deal of depth to it. You can almost drink it as if it was a stronger version of a Pilsner, just like you might a Duvel!!!! But beware, it does have a kick.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 picked up at the Coop today for about $6.75... poured into my New Belgium snifter... looks pretty already.

Big 2 finger foamy meringue like head... 1st pour is crystal clear gold... looks like a pilsner actually. very nice ribbons of lace.

The aroma has a really fruity quality along with some pine... I swear their have to be amarillos in there... they always remind me of Flintstone Vitamins.

Flavor is bananas and pink bubblegum.. very fruity.. not as much pine and citrus as expected... actually fairly balanced IMHO. Dry finish.. tropical fruit as it warms.. very very nice. I would seriously hesitate to call this a BSPA.. Right now, it is a Belgian IPA.. that said, I don't know how well these hops are going to be so bright.. but I am really liking this.


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Photo of brianh78
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
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...

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Photo of bilyboy65
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a fantastic release yet again. 2 years old now and still fresh. I wish I had tried one in '08 to compare it too.

A: Slightly cloudy, light amber with a pure white head. Lacing that coats the glass and a heavy film left behind. Decent carbonation to keep the head around after 2 years as well.

S: Hoppy bitterness jumps out at you with a sweet malty scent to follow right behind. Tying it together seems to be a yeasty scent riding the hops to your nose. All works together to make a very nice nose.

T: Very well balanced flavor between the hops, malts and yeast. Some pulls seem to have the sweet malts dominate and others the hops. The yeast seems to just be there to act as a blending agent. Very nice.

M: Dry medium bodied beer.

D: 22oz bottle is gone before I finished this review. :)

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.47/5  rDev +12%
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.]

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Photo of sholland119
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The best of the Vertical Epic series so far.

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a thin white head.

Smell is a combination of fresh pears and green apple with a Belgian yeast in the background.

Taste features a solid hop presence with a fresh crisp fruit underneath.

Light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Worth drinking several of these. I was not a fan of 07.07.07 and 05.05.05 was not aging well when I had it recently. This is great now, and will probably age well.


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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 484 ratings.