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

700 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 700
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 43
Gots: 178 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 700 | Reviews: 474 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jonziefle
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a light golden color, clear. One finger white head, with minimal retention. Good carbonation. Not much lacing at all.

Smell: Nose of bready and yeasty, sweet malts with typical Belgian spices. Spicy fragrances of estery fruits, with bananas, cloves, and cinnamon the strongest. One way to describe the smell is that of bubblegum, strange as that sounds. Very well balanced and very appealing.

Taste: The taste follows the nose well. Nice combination of yeasty malts and spicy fruit flavors (bananas and cloves). Very mild in that no flavor overwhelms another; incredibly well balanced. Not bitter at all, very smooth; only a hint of a hop bite is up front, but nothing really at all. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden; there is no indication that the beer is 8.6%.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium bodied. Very smooth and crisp. Excellent clean finish.

Drinkability: An excellent take on a Belgian Pale. All the requisite yeasts, esters, and spiciness, in an incredibly smooth beer. Incredibly easy to drink. The alcohol is so well hidden that the beer will sneak up on you pretty quickly; a good or bad thing depending.

Photo of cjgator3
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden orange color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is fruity malt (pears, mango and pineapple) with some spices. The belgian yeast is evident in the aroma producing the fruity flavors.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet and fruity with some spices dancing around on the tongue, along with the yeast and some alcohol warmth in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- A little boozy, but that is to be expected with a beer of this strength. Very good brew.

Overall, the 08 vertical epic is another fantastic beer from Stone. Recommended.

Photo of Beejay
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 2-3-13

A: Pale amber brown, a bit of white head, but not a huge amount. Slightly hazy.

S: Caramel and sweet, some light citrus fruit with some pine scents.

T: Nice sweetness, good caramel with a nice spice and citrus flavor. Some good yeasty character, and a touch of hot alcohol. All in all pretty good.

M: Medium light in body. Very active carbonation, and a dry finish.

O: Overall very nice. The flavor and mouthfeel are really nice. Even 5 years after it was brewed, this beer is pretty solid. Surprised it is still a little hot, but great.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber. Two finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by stone and tropical fruit with slight Belgian yeast and citrus. Flavor follows with sweet stone fruit, orange and light citrus. Finishes with a pleasant citrus rind, pineapple and a lingering hop bitterness. The herbal qualities of the hops are attenuated, but a surprising amount of bittering hops remain. Like others in this series, age has given this a nice medium body with some creaminess. I started my mini-vertical with 06 and 07 and I am very impressed with the aged versions of all three of these. I was not expecting to enjoy the lighter ones as much as I have. Great job Stone!

Photo of umustdrink
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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 Cresant
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Duvel glass. The body was bright orange and clear. There was little head but the rising bubbles were very large.

Smell was citrus. Dust. Belgian yeast. Concrete and a large dollop of marmalade. Exactly how one would imagine a Stone's Belgian Pale Ale to smell.

Taste reflected the aromas. Marmalade and pineapple. Drying with a nice bitter aftertaste.

Moouthfeel was mild to medium carbonation. Medium viscosity. Very nice all around.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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 charlzm
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ORIGINAL REVIEW WHEN FRESH (rating numbers reflect this):

Consumed 08/09/08 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA.

Clear, light golden pour in a tulip glass with a two finger white head. The head subsides soon into a little layer of foam that provides moderate lacing.

The aroma is hoppy; odd for a Belgian of this style but not surprising considering the source. Muted pine and citrus mingle with cloves in the nostrils.

Flavor is somewhat sweet, dominated by clove. Hoppy notes appear near end as pepper. Only slightly dry on the palate. I'd say it compares favorably with Duvel, but doesn't equal that benchmark.

Took me a while to finish my smallish glass; this beer is heavier than it seems at first.

Very good beer and worth having if you can get it.
___

Consumed on January 20th, 2013 at a private Vertical Epic tasting.

Beer pours a light burnished gold. Slightly cloudy, it exhibits no head and lazy, minimal carbonation.

Aroma is floral and estery: mildly sweet.

Flavor has a marked wheat component and a juicy, melanoidin character. Sweet. Finish is a dash of bitter lemon.

Mouthfeel is still, thin and slightly astringent.

Seems to have held up well, but not gained anything from the aging.

APP - 2.5
SM - 3
T - 2.75
MOUTH - 2.5
OVER - 2.75

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first taste of Stone's Vertical lineup since Stone was just recently added to WI's distribution. I must say that the premise and idea is wonderful. I bought one to drink right away and one to cellar for a few years. This poured with a wonderful shiny gold color with slow rising carbonation. The first glass was remarkably clear with carbonation bubbles dancing. The second glass provided a slight trace of yeast but the sediment was very fine. The head was nicely packed and left slight dashes of lacing. The aroma was great and complex. The hops are immediately noticable and dominating yet the malty body and spicy Belgian yeast were always there to anchor the aroma and taste. As the beer warms the hops become a bit more subdued as the spicy esters and phenols come through. The taste is much like Achouffe's example with a malty taste of a tripel and a refreshing and crisp dose of American hops. Wonderful traces of sweet fruit throughout. The body and taste lacks a little bit of depth and complexity, but wonderful flavors abound. Mouthfeel is lively as the bitterness, spiciness, and sweetness make for a nice combo. The hopped-up tripel style is wonderful and it is great to see more and more brewers adding an American touch to a well done Belgian base beer. I am really looking forward to trying this after it has been cellared for a few years. With the additional hops, this should age fairly well.

Photo of xgrigorix
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twenty-two ounce brown bottle.

Pale golden colour. Thin white head. Patchy lace clings nicely to the glass.

Nose is pretty interesting. A unique blend of grassy, herbal, & citrus when first poured. As it warms tropical fruit notes open up along with some notes of pine & spruce.

Really a great blend of herbal, grassy, and citrus flavours from the abundance of hops. Some spicy pepper and cloves come along as accents. Hints of something similar to anise ... but not quite. Again tropical fruit notes open up as it warms.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. A dry finish, that is noticeably astringent after a few sips.

While not exactly blowing my mind, this is certainly unique. I can't recall ever have a Belgian Golden Ale all decked out with American hops. Absolutely worth trying at least once.

Will be curious to see if this makes it to 12.12.12 for the big vertical - as the hop flavours are such a big part of the profile, I have doubts - but I would love to be proven wrong.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a nice golden-amber color with high carbonation evident and one finger of off white head that doesn't last very long.

s - Smells of bananas, cloves, spices, yeast, and sticky sweet fruit malts. Some citrus came out as it warms up.

t - Tastes of bananas, citrus hops, grapefruit, oragne, spice, and yeast. A tiny bit of bitterness, but not much. More fruity malts as it warms up.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink for 8.6%.

d - The bottle says it is a Belgian tripel, while BA says it's a Belgian IPA, and I can see both sides of it. I thought it smelled pretty good and definitely like a tripel, as it didn't have a lot of hops. The taste however actually still had a lot of hops to it. Either way, it was an enjoyable beer I'd try again. Interested to see what'll happen in 2 more years.

Photo of tendermorsel
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a DT tulip glass.

Great foamy head on this one. The head went away as the beer warmed in the glass.

A bit of hops and banana on the nose.

This reminded me a lot of a good Belgian IPA (hommel bier). Spicy and peppery. Hoppy but not heavily hoped with the typical "west coast style" hops that Stone is famous for. I bit boozy. I can see this one aging real well.

Good work on this one Stone. Very different from there typical offerings. They left there comfort zone successfully. Recommended.

Photo of BierFan
4.13/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of jmalex
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smart me finally decided to make sure I have 2 bottles of this - 1 for now and 1 for later... a while later. So this is the "Now" bottle.

APPEARANCE: Pours mostly clear into a Duvel tulip. It's a few shades darker than gold, but still a nice light copper color. A one-finger white head forms on top and shrinks to a medium collar with a large island of foam floating in the middle.

SMELL: Very sweet, but only kind of Belgian. You really need to search to find any trace of bready Belgian yeast aroma. It definitely has the esters though. Orange and apricot burst out of this beer dominating the nose.

TASTE: I thought I remembered hearing this beer was generously hopped. There wasn't anything in the nose, but here it is in the flavor. It's citrusy and nicely understated too which is a pleasant surprise. The esters get to shine mirroring the smell along with a peppery spiciness to cut the sweetness a bit. And finally, any of the over-the-top sweetness perceived in the aroma is dialed down significantly in the taste. It finishes perfectly dry as it should.

MOUTHFEEL: The dryness leads to a light, crisp body which is essential for the style. Carbonation is approaching higher levels, but probably could get ramped up a bit more even.

DRINKABILITY: It drinks quite easy especially given the 8.4% ABV. The slightly cloying aroma still manages to get to me hampering this a bit.

Wow, what a nice surprise. I had expected this to be a hop bomb, but the hops are nicely balanced with the rest of the beer. Call me impressed. But Stone has the tendency to do that to me.

Photo of chileman13
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from bomber into stone pint glass.
a- golden color with 1" white head.
a- floral hops, fruit and a twist of belguim yeast smell.
t- hoppy, fruity, dry, belguim yeast. Though I'm not a real big fan of Belguim Beers. I am a fan of Stone & have liked the Vertical Epic series. I really like this beer.
M- medium light well carbonated. Like a "butter" smooth.
D- This is the best "Belguim" I have ever had. I'm wondering why I didn't buy 2...

Photo of Pauly2X
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep gold with a light amber tint, wispy 1/4 finger head.

S- Sweet fruity esters interlaced with spicy/citrusy hop notes.

T- The spicy yeast character takes center stage with this brew. This is not to say that the fine malt profile with a hint of caramel and the sharp yet not too overpowering hops don't do thier job as well. The warming alcohol note becomes more evident as the beer warms up.

M- Light and rich, good carbonation.

D- Very drinkable for a high abv.

Although this may not be very traditional for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but in the realm of belgian styles what is? Great balance overall, good complexity without making you "think about it".

Photo of mwilbur
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into pint glass.
A: Pours a beautiful golden orange with high carbonation producing a 2 inch bubbly white head. Excellent retention and lacing.
S: Very pleasant fruity esters, Belgian spice, and breast yeast. Some dark dried fruit (e.g. raisin). Very fresh and appealing.
T: More hoppy than anticipated. Sharp pine and citrus hops balanced fairly well by Belgian spice, raisin bread, and fruity esters.
M: Light-medium body. Fairly soft and smooth with some carbonated tingle and a moderately bitter and dry hop finish.
D: Good drinkability from a solid brew. A nice one now, but I would anticipate less hop presence as this gets to 12.12.12 which would improve the balance and likely make this good beer exceptional.

Photo of jakon
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased for 6.99 on 8-10-08 at Whole Foods Tanasbourne.

This beer pours a light amber/orange color with a small sized head.

The aroma brings grassy, tropical fruit tinged hops, belgian yeast, and a hint of alcohol.

The taste is very nice. Very powerful hop flavor, but with a subdued finishing bitterness. Tastes like a fresh hop beer mixed with a SD IPA and a Saison. Well, I'm not so sure that would taste this good, but it's what I keep thinking as I sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and low on carbonation.

Overall, this was a pleasant surprise. Better than expected. Yet another unique, outstanding offering from Stone.

Photo of jdg204
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After yet another great Stone experience with 13th anniversary, I decided it was time to try more of their brews. Thus, I popped into Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem and grabbed the '08 and '09 Vertical Epics.

A: Light golden color with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing.

S: Aromas of yeast, spices, apples/pears, and hops.

T: Starts with the sweetness of apples/pears and spices. This is quickly followed by the classic bite of belgian yeast, this could be a saison at this point. Then there's the strong finish of hops, very well done and balanced. A real nice flavor but I'm not sure it differentiates from a saison enough.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, very smooth and crisp.

D: A real nice offering from Stone, very unique and enjoyable. Stone really proved their chops by taking on a Belgian and delivering with such a solid brew. Still, I'm not sure this differentiates itself as much from classic Belgian styles as the bottle indicates (basically called a Belgian/ West Coast IPA). A solid choice (not quite a must try) and a commendable addition to the Vertical Epic lineup.

Photo of TheFlern
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a very good beer but it defintely looks and smells better than it tastes.

Smell: Spicey with a hoppy background. The spice reminds me of the Stone Russian Imperial in character.

Taste: This beer is very spicey followed by a lighter hop taste which is once again reminiscent of the Stone Russian Imperial. However, this beer is much hoppier.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and lighter than you would expect given the overall spicey character of the beer.

Drinkability: It drinks smooth and finishes dry. This beer definitely has a taste that keeps you reaching for back for another sip. However, compared to the other IPAs of various styles from Stone Brewing Company I think they have let themselves down as far as drink-ability goes.

I will definitely be grabbing one of these to save until December 13th 1212.

Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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 ElGrecoVerde
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Photo of Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Da Stone pours a semi-hazy amber / orange into the Corsendonk tulip. Small head pops up and quickly dies, not leaving much lace, but a small smattering of sheet around the top.

Spicy fruits in the aroma, lingering well into the quaff. Dry and crisp brew, full of malt backbone with those dried fruits of apple and pear appearing in the finish. Aged just about right during the last year. Tasting great this low temperature summer day.

Way to go once again, Stone Brewing.

Photo of TommyW
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Bright, golden body with a thin white head.

S- Sweet with notes of orange and floral and piney hop aromas.

T- Follows the nose pretty well. Citrusy sweetness up front with some bready notes underneath. The floral and slightly piney hops come in then after.

M- Pretty crisp finish on a medium body.

D- A very easy-drinking beer. It's pretty much exactly what I thought a Belgian-IPA would be like. Very nice sweet-malt/hop balance.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 700 ratings.