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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

674 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 674
Reviews: 471
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%


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)
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Ratings: 674 | Reviews: 471 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PangaeaBeerFood
PangaeaBeerFood

New York

4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's X-mas Eve and I have a few hours with the house to myself before people swing by, so I figure it's a good time to snack, try a new beer, and finishing wrapping my gifts. I decide on Vertical Epic 08.08.08., purchased a few months back at my favorite beer store.

I started by pouring the beer into a St. Bernardus Chalice. It had little to no carbonation. I'm not sure if it has always been this way or if this is a result of aging. Crystal clear, golden and gorgeous. Looks like a white wine, with a tiny bit of patchy foam on the top.

The smell is pretty wonderful. The sweetness of the malt and citrus notes of the hops have kind of blended together into something that is simultaneously simplistic and complex. It comes together to form something vaguely reminiscent of tangerines. Slightly citrusy and sharp, but sweet and inviting.

The taste matches the smell to a T. Very similar to a white wine. Sweet up front and acidic on the back leading to a nice dry finish.

The mouthfeel is very winelike and surprisingly light. The lack of carbonation and light body really come together to form something wonderful. It is also incredibly easy to drink. I put back the first half of the 22 oz bottle in no time, then realized I had to step it back or I'd be a mess.

I've tried this with a variety of different cheeses and premade spice mixtures I have. It didn't like Stilton at all, but loved a Ras Al-Hanoot rub. I loved the pairing so much I grilled up a chicken breast right there rubbed with the spices, and tossed a small bit of the beer into the pan then served it with pita chips and pine nut hummus. It was delicious.

On the second pour (which finished the bottle), it picked up some of the yeast caked on the bottom which changed the experience entirely. The beer looks more like a Belgian Tripel or a Saison now, with a hazey, orangey color that you can't see through at all. The taste is VERY much like a Tripel, with sweetness upfront, but it is cut off abruptly by the bitter hops. Lots of hops in the nose, more so than the first pour. It also feels a bit thicker and heavier on the palate than before. It's still under-carbonated though, but in a good way, particularly with food (which is still a delicious pairing).

Overall an amazing beer. I've never had a Belgian IPA, but this reminds me a bit of Souther Tier's Unearthly IPA and, to a lesser experience, DFH's 90 minute IPA, with the sweetness and bitterness coming together brilliantly. Most interesting part about it, though, is how different the experience can be, even within the same bottle, depending on where you pour from (top or bottom). First pour was more winelike and more unique. The second pour was more traditional and less exciting, but stronger and more intense thorughout the sweetness and bitterness. Delicious either way.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 01:20:40 | More by PangaeaBeerFood
Photo of FARGO619
FARGO619

California

4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BASED ON NOTES: almost a year ago.

I'm a hophead and got some good hop notes from this one. Very happy I had the chance to try this one. I'm giving this one a good 10.

A-Good head, golden in color

S-Citrus pine with good hop aroma.

T-Earthy,but for an IPA it was so damn good. Straw, earth, wheat, hop.

D-It all jumped out, and was very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle/ 22oz.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 13:44:35 | More by FARGO619
Photo of 2LBrew
2LBrew

California

4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had heard about this beer being released by another BA and went searching for it on Tuesday to no avail. I bought this from my local Bev Mo and brought home with the bottle still being a tad bit chilled. Upon popping the top, it had a fruity smell to it. At first it reminded me of a cross between a hefeweizen and a belgium beer.
The beer was a golden clear color. It had fruity smells as well as a little hop taste. At close to 9% it was a drinkable beer but defintely will take its toll after drinking itself multiple times or itself with other beers. I was surprised to see them make it a Belgian style beer after lasts years. However I am thinking about buying a few more of these to share with friends. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2008 03:38:14 | More by 2LBrew
Photo of oscarsbrewmaster
oscarsbrewmaster

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 13:58:29 | More by oscarsbrewmaster
Photo of crazeguy
crazeguy

California

4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz Bomber into a Pilsner Glass.

Its a mango colored yellow/orange. Nice white head with good retention.

Smell is fruity, delicious, and could be mistaken for candy. I have never smelled a beer like this.

Taste, sweet and slight fruit. Its great but has a lackluster finish. Only minimally takes away from the overall experience.

Mouthfeel, zesty and nice amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is up there. Its smooth and tasty. I would keep my fridge stocked with this if it was more easily available.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2009 09:55:13 | More by crazeguy
Photo of MacDomer
MacDomer

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at From the Vine in Columbus in December, 2008. Thanks for holding this one for me, Jaimie!

Had this one with some friends over the weekend as we were enjoying a nice warm spring day in Chicago. Looks nice, bright gold with light orange highlights. Decent head and lace. The nose has mild Belgian character and nice American hoppy notes - citrus and pine. There's a good malt base with some sweetness coming through. Mid palate comes phenols and fruity Belgian esters (apple, pear, peach), complimented by a nice biscuity backdrop. Very crisp, very nice, very tasty. Perfect for a bright, warm spring day!

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 02:52:45 | More by MacDomer
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. Bomber split with friend into a pint glass. Fluffy head soapy white. Wonderful cathedral like lacing.

S. Bready and fruity. Hints of banana.

T. Hints of hops. Peppery. Light fruits appear and then recede into some malty notes. This is a very complex beer.

M. Light and crisp. Finishes on the dry side.

D. Highly quaffable, but this is meant for sipping. If it were more readily available, this would be a mainstay.

Final word: This is an amazing beer. Stone is a world class brewery. I need to secure some more to set aside for a while.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2008 23:03:55 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.61/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 12/12.

This pours a bright golden with a tightly lace foam.

There’s a light, estery aroma—a sweetly honeyed-clove character— with no discernible hop presence. The flavor is lightly sweet and … lychee! Lychee is what I’m smelling and what I’m tasting. It’s incredible, seriously. The beer has this tropical fruit characteristic which is undoubtedly lychee. And for a beer that’s four years old it’s held up exceptionally well. Delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2013 09:57:57 | More by elNopalero
Photo of BBM
BBM

New York

4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a golden yellow with a frothy white head. Minimal lacing around the glass. The aroma is a harmonious blend of pine, citrus, and sweet banana. A hint of the wonders to come.

I'm in love with this beer. The pine hops are out in full force, but the beauty is the way they dance with the cloves and banana of the Belgian brew. As it warms, flavors become more complex, and never too sweet or too alcoholic. Vanilla, pine, citrus, and a subtle earthiness really create a unique and delicious experience.

I bought two, one I've had and another I'm going to cellar until 12-12-12... or for as long as I can hold out.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 23:09:44 | More by BBM
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled several times at BCTC, and then from a small growler and enjoyed 2 days later at home (now)

From the Stone website, "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 comment heard most often by samplers at the fest was simply "WOW"

Pours clear, medium honey amber, glistening with golden and light orange shimmers, head is off white, tiny bubble and leaving scattered fine lacing.

Nose picked up plenty of mint, pineapple, melon, berries and assorted fresh fruit nuances.

Absolutely delicious creation in brewing, Belgian yeasty notes, banana, citrus, piney hops, more pineapple, a plethora of fruity notes, dry spiced up/ light peppery finish...WOW...yummy...my favorite style...(hoppy Belgian strong pale ale/tripel/whatever you want to call it)

Stone rocks and this is another fine example of their craft

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2008 19:47:42 | More by Billolick
Photo of rivertrance420
rivertrance420

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely delicious. Hints of pine, clove,honey,pear,and other spices, as well as many citrus notes. Very hoppy for the style, and very spicy. One of the best beers I have tried by Stone yet. I definitely will be purchasing more before December 12th, 2012.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 03:16:27 | More by rivertrance420
Photo of monkeylovebeer
monkeylovebeer

California

4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Although this is a relatively high-alcohol beer at 8.6%, it was incredibly smooth and drinkable.

Upon pouring, the 08.08.08 gives off a fruity nose with hints of banana. Upon first sip, the brew reveals an inspired mix of flavors.

"It has the complexity and spiciness of the Belgian yeast," Talking Bob said after taking a deep draft. "But with all the hops of a West Coast IPA."

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 04:28:29 | More by monkeylovebeer
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

4.78/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A really nice clear rich golden. Head builds up nice but recedes fairly fast. The smell has some light Belgian yeast character (phenols), not a ton of hoppiness comes out in the aroma, except maybe a bit simcoe-like smell. It really has the nice fruitiness of a belgian stong pale with a nice juicy hop kick at the end. It's not a huge abbrassive hoppiness but a very complimentary sweet cirtrus juicy hop taste. Very nice, the buzz factor is good too cause it's so drinkable yet very high in Vitamin ETOH.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2008 19:05:12 | More by MiScusi
Photo of slayer3604
slayer3604

California

4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- While pouring, a large head appeared and became a torrent of bubbles falling to the bottom of the glass to create a pale yellow body, then settling down to a one inch head. Serving temperature was 61* in a ruination glass.

S- corriander, lemon cake and a slight wisp of alpha acid.

T- The taste reminds me of the first time i ever popped a belgian candy rock in my mouth...definitely a grip of sweetness on this beer which overwhelms the fact that its 8+ percent alcohol! The sweetness gives way to unlock a fresh citrus/grapefruit dry finish. VERY good. The dryness leads to the alcohol. the warming rush was noted just a fraction of a second after taking a swig to recall "mouthfeel".

M- Loads of character. I might name a hamster VERTICAL EPIC 08 for the amount of character this thing possesses. I cannot wait for it to age (HURRY UP!). If you swish this beer around on a clean pallet you will feel bights of acidity followed by the repair of a warming smooth malt body.

D- If this wasnt such a rare beer i would drink it every day of my life.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 06:47:00 | More by slayer3604
Photo of mwa423
mwa423

Ohio

4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first Vertical Epic, and I must say I'm going back to the store to buy a case or more of it! It pours a clear golden with about a one inch head that dies down to a nice lacing.

The smell is fantastic with plenty of citrus, hops and other things I can't quite place.

I greatly enjoy the taste, it almost tastes like a hybrid between an Belgian and an IPA. Plenty of hop bite but not at all overwhelming. I couldn't taste anything that would suggest the extremely high ABV.

Palate is fantastic, goes down very smoothly, especially considering the high abv. The finish is very dry and makes your mouth water for the next sip.

Overall, this is exceptionally good beer. The taste profile is exceptionally complex and excellent, the very high ABV will get you in a good mood after one bottle and yet you can't taste it at all.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 19:39:56 | More by mwa423
Photo of xaulzan
xaulzan

California

4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would introduce this beer to my mother. I wouldn't even be mad if it stood her up. Maybe for a few minutes, but I could never stay mad at this gem. If it came to take my lunch money, I'd give it my debit card. If it came to borrow some eggs, I'd give it a chicken that was organically raised in an open air pen that allows chickens to frolic.

This beer is made from the seed of Zeus and the tenderness of Aphrodite. It has the abdomen of Poseidon and the voice of a golden dipped cherub, and I just found one hiding in the back of a local liquor stores shelf.

A: Poors a golden color with about a finger of creamy head.

S: Although it is a Belgian IPA, not much hop aroma left to it after aging for 2 years. Hints of grapefruit and banana-like sweetness

T: As with the smell, the hop flavor has subsided over the years. I can taste the warmth of alcohol, but not too much, it's perfect. Fruity notes in the aftertaste as well.

M: Medium bodied, still a fair amount of carbonation

D: I could drink this until I shit my pants. It's absolutely delightful. Over the years it will taste more and more like a Belgian golden than an IPA as the hop flavor and aroma fades away. It was good the day it was released, and will continue to be as it's characteristics change over the years.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 02:32:51 | More by xaulzan
Photo of Chodite
Chodite

Maryland

4.9/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a beer geek but not very good with reviews, terminology, etc. In fact, I've only typed up a couple of reviews on this site (though I've had 100's of quality beers in my lifetime).

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is one of my all-time faves. In fact, I bought twelve 22 oz. bombers a few months back with the intention of cellaring a few of them... only to disappoint myself by emptying the contents of the last remaining bottle just recently. I couldn't help myself.

Amazing brew with everything I love about beer. It's like a Belgian tripel on MLB steroids. Steroids = a buttload of quality hops.

Luckily, a local bar still has cold bottles available; which I purchase without hesitation and usually share with a friend. And that friend usually has never tried a Stone brew in his/her life before that evening. Lucky for that person, he/she is a Stone fan for life.

Keep up the good work Stone.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 01:27:57 | More by Chodite
Photo of cxg231
cxg231

Pennsylvania

4.97/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No time for a long-form review, as I have to rush off somewhere. But I had one of these last night, and I had to post a quick note:

This is quite possibly the best American-brewed beer that I have ever had. Some Belgian offerings may be slightly better in some areas, but this beer is truly off the charts. More than worth the price ($5.99 for 22oz).

Truly a masterpiece.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2008 01:50:23 | More by cxg231
Photo of GordonQuid
GordonQuid

Michigan

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

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 15:57:43 | More by GordonQuid
Photo of dankbrew21
dankbrew21

Missouri

5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.o8
Specifically designed to age to December 12, 2012! I can not wait that long. Hopefully I can aquire another. I was very happy to get this brought back from California. Thanks pops!

Appearance is a pale yellow/orange. Quickly receding head. Very few bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass.

Smells remind me of a hoppy Duvel! Fruity aroma, some spiciness. Strong hop scent for a belgian but I know that is how Stone does business.

Taste is amazing!! Smooooth on the tongue with a slight sharpness from the hop resins. Tastes like a Duvel with much more hops, which is an awesome thing! This beer is wonderful, buttery and sweet with a good hop kick for a strong Belgian.

I can not imagine what this beers potential is aged appropriatly to the right time. I need to get my hands on another, put it in a cool, dry, dark place and let it do it's thing! This was my most exclamatory(if thats a word) review. Get two of these, drink one now, and save one for 2012! MMM MMM MMM

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 20:44:29 | More by dankbrew21
Photo of greshdoghophead
greshdoghophead

Ohio

5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber from the sharon square fridge since the arrival poured into large snifter

A - thank god they kept it upright at the beer store all the sediment was caked on the bottom
poured thrice giving a slight bubbly head that dissapated quickly
S - awesome! in a nut shell...one could gather several aromas including angelfood cake, banana bread, cloves, lemon merenge, and pine.
T - perfection - probably atypical to a true Belgian lover but exactly what I prefer; balanced malt action with yeasty buttery notes that may be nutty and mildly peppery but mainly like a warm bath of the tropics with a side note of a breakfast cake or something perhaps of another world
M - just enough lingering to beg temptation for more yet so complex as to force the palate to wait and contemplate
D - give me more and more, the time needed to make notations is wasted in my need to get some more in my mouth - like a wet dream
I can't imagine what it would be like to wait until 12/12/12 to try them all.
I had it 07 and 08 and its better every time!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 01:21:40 | More by greshdoghophead
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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 674 ratings.