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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

480 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 480
Hads: 737
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 43
Gots: 196 | 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: 480 | Hads: 737
Photo of davedahl
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was sampled from a 22oz bomber - not sure where I got it.

Appearance: With a medium-to-hard pour I get a big 3 fingers of head. White, fluffy, bubbles. Nice golden color not completely clear - haze does not clear as it warms.

Aroma: bubble gum and band aids, ripe pear and banana

Taste: more bubble gum, sweet rich carmely Belgian sugars, white pepper on finish.

Mouthfeel: crisp and a bit boozy.

Good, not great, will probably be better in year or two when the edge is off it.

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Photo of turboedtwo
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with some lacing on the sides of the glass, very golden in color. Smells sweet and piney. Tastes mildly of hops and some yeast before moving on to almost a BMC aftertaste. I hate to say that too. Feels light and crisp on the tongue. Drinks easy, it's light and refreshing.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a golden yellow-orange with a two finger white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, spice, banana, caramel, and fruit hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, earth, spice, fruit, fruit hop, and subtle citrus hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Unfortunately not a whole lot on this one really stood out above some other decent brews I’ve had from the style. I really hated to see that this was the case as most of the beers from this series that I have had have been rather good. While this one wasn’t bad by any means, it just fell short of my expectations. The caramel was definitely the off-putting aspect that I picked up on that I did not enjoy very much. The rest of the beer was pretty good however. Worth your time trying if you get the chance, but there are better ones out there in the series.

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Photo of rudzud
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a 07-12very vertical.

A - Poured a hazy orange hue with a half finger head that faded to leave a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of bready malts and faint Belgian fruits/esters..

T - Taste is a malt bomb with light fruits and esters. Kinda to be expected due to the age. Malts and faint esters....ehh.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated , not too shabby.

O - Overall not a bad beer just well past its prime. Solid but old.

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Photo of Stockfan42
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So I guess this beer should be aged till 2012 for its full flavor experience? Well im thisty now so here goes nothing.

A light goldish, yellow pour that leaves a creamy head that slowly folds down.

Very interesting aroma. Hops and cloves dominate the smell, very malty and hints of fruit lingre in the background.

Spicy like a belgiam, not over hopped and pretty malty as well. The cloves are what im guessing give it that spicy kick. Fruity undertone with some grapefruits, taste like some banana nut bread in a way.

Pretty light feel which isnt bad for 8% and goes down alright. Maybe i'll grab some more and open it when its supposed to be to make a comparison.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Effervescant bone white head shows great aftr the pour, and slowly recedes to nothing after each sip. From the head you notice a light amber/copper mixed with sunshine pilsner yellow. The color mixed with the awesome sporadic bubbling. Mixed aroma of sweet husk malts, yeasty green apples, earthy hops, an astringent alcohol. Green apples and astringent alcohol hit the front of the palate. The earthy and herbal hops mix it up in the middle with some lightly toasted grains and some more alcohol. Great carbonation and grainy texture,but maybe a little too much booze.

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Photo of ism
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty apricot color, topped with a dense, off-white head. The most noticable thing is the hop aroma, clean and crisp, citrus with pink bubblegum, tropical fruits, and a slight clove spice. The phenols give off a slight medicinal aroma, due to the yeast and the higher fermentation temperature.

Medium body, clean on the tongue, and a gentle carbonation is not too exciting. Citrus balances the sweetness, with a bit of grassiness thrown in, and that sublime clove spice rounding it out. Finishes crisp, with a wonderful blend of citrus and grassiness, and as it warms, an increasing phenolic character that contributes clove as much as band-aids.

This is a lot cleaner and hoppier than the style I'm used to, but distinctly Stone-like. I fully appreciate it as a hophead but am unsure if the phenols truly belong in here in this manner; they are just a little too distracting. Holistically, it's a good brew, and I hate having to deconstruct it this way.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on 1/26/13
(Served in a globe glass)
A- This beer pours a clear apricot body with a slow carbonation and a thin bubbly white head that is soon gone.

S- The green pithy citrus aroma lead to a soft dry spicy quality in the finish. Some apricot ester aromas grows to a soft hint with some candy sugar hints underneath.

T- The watery taste has a spicy finish that could be hops or alcohol but is to soft to tell. There is a dry finish that has a phenolic spice and some stale malt flavor in the back of the throat after each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a big alcohol heat that grows, especially in each exhale.

O- This beer has some nice but very light apricot yeast esters and the spice hint would be nice as a secondary flavor but the big alcohol and watery taste just dominate. It does have that stale aftertaste that I have had in old abbey beers.

(Served in a chalice)
drank on 9/25/08
A- This beer pours a crystal clear apricot colored body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles and a lumpy snow white head.

S- There is a yeasty perfume nose that is followed by a slightly earthy hop note and a dry bubblegum hint to the finish.

T- This beer has a dry soft hop pungency with a club soda flavor followed by a grapefruit pith note. There is a light soapy flavor to the slight bitter finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight vinous alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms. There is a champagne fizz finish.

D- This beer has some yeasty notes and some triple and pale ale qualities but nothing that is really to interesting. I don't think this beer has much hope of improving in the next 4 years but we will see.

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Photo of zerofear13
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had Stone's 07.07.07 last year and wasn't a huge fan. This year, I think I'm going to officially stop trying these Vertical Epics. I'm just not a big fan of the flavor or the style. Pours out a gold color. Carbonated. Smells of coriander, banana, and earth-tone yeasts. Tastes follow suit. Very herb-y and spicey flavors. Not a big fan. I feel like those real prevalent hearb flavors always outdo the other tastes. Just don't really like that.

Give it a try if it's available, but only because it's rare and worth saying you've tried. Personally, if you don't like the style, this won't change your mind.

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Photo of midaszero
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Clear orange yellow with a little white head and lacing

S - Sweet hops with Belgian yeast and a little bit of spice

T - Good malts with a little bitter hops and citrus. Bitter after taste

M - Medium body with light medium carbonation

D - Pretty good but not balanced enough for me.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden in color with a bit of an orange hue. Not much head or retention, or lacing for that matter.

Smell is initially thin(too cold?) but becomes more and more inviting. Hoppy to start, and segueing to a spicy nose. A touch rich and malty and later offering some rather funky yeast notes.

Taste is decent but I sense it needs time, as is the goal of this brew. A simple sweetness is present that will surely mature, coupled with some interesting fruit and vanilla spice notes.

I find that this brew is rather dry on the finish and offers a strong carbonated close. The ABV is relatively hidden without employing a rich malty flavor.

Four years from now???

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Photo of peabody
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out really clear with a slight yellow/amber tint. Less than a finger of white bubbles and some nice lacing around the Stone Tulip glass appears.
Smell is kinda horse blanket grassy and peppery spicey with a caramel sweetness and then the alcohol heat in the nostril.
Taste is VERY boring after the wonderful aroma.
This almost has no taste whatsoever. HMMM Mabey this needs the two years to mature before the final VE tasting.
Mouthfeel is boring but very clean. Not a lot of alcohol is in the taste or aftertaste. Some phenol remains after the drink leaves the mouth but not a lot.
Drinkability is not good at all now, hoping this kicks some major ass in two years. We will have to wait and see.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Chimay goblet twce. This is about five months old at the moment.

A- Vertical epic 08 pours a bright golden color with orange spots. No head to speak of whatsoever. just a bit of very faint patches of scattered white spots. A lot of bubbles are seen rising up but not enough to cover the surface with any foam. May be an off bottle.

S- 080808 has a lot of yeast and earthy tones. Bananas and cloves and other spices. Some various flowers come out with warming. Some sweet candy with malts. A nice array of hops while this BSPA resembles somewhat of a triple style.

T- A blast of the spices such as clove and pepper and the Belgian yeast jump out at the forefront with what i'm guessing to be some strain of NW U.S hop variety. Some bready malts. More fruits than in the smell starting with banana and apple and pear. Has a dry and slighty bitter aftertaste.

M- 080808 has a dry and bitter taste with a bit of alcohol presence. This does not quite fit the bill for a triple in my mind. Goes down quite easy with a light to medium body and some carbonation. The taste rolls off the tounge and does not linger.

D- At 8% only one bottle for me in a sitting. This is my 1st try at this offering from stone and while I was not blown away I am still intrigued to try the older versions and will look out for future releases although this wont be strong on my radar. Still a good offering from stone.

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Photo of becktone
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eye: As it pours in the glass the body of the brew is clear and orange-gold in color. Poor head formation, the size of this thing is barely more than a thick blanket. Retention is pretty good though, at least the head that I have is staying put. Lacing looks to be good, the head is thicker closer to the edges of the glass where the lacing clings to it giving the head a meniscus type shape.

Nose: High levels of pine and citrus hops, for a belgian style. As the bottle states it was influenced by some type of Belgian IPA. Great malt backbone to this one. The aroma is warmer and less sweet than most belgian strong pales. This one is more earthy and herbal, but not from the yeast. The yeast is actually pretty clean.

Tongue: Pine, floral and citrus hops make up the majority of this beer's flavor profile. It is not nearly as complex as I would've liked. I'd say that this beer is imitating Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, however it is not nearly as complex or flavorful as the aforementioned. The malt backbone gives some support and a nice sweet flavor, but in my opinion there should be more from the yeast. There is some delicate malt flavor here, but I feel that the hoppiness takes away from it, either that or the delicate malts need to be more forward. Alcohol is in there as well, doesn't stand out but is noticeable after a while.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: The finish is drying. Carbonation delicate and much higher than I expected. Alcohol is slightly warming when swallowed. Carbonation makes the body feel lighter than it actually is, I'd say medium bodied. This is one I'd drink again, though I'm not sure I'll want to pay for it. It's good but nothing special. I might pick up a few more just for the hell of aging them and seeing how they progress.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yet another Vertical Epic I purchased long ago, probably at Discount Liquor.

A - Golden hazed body is topped by an off-white foam that settles to a collar, wisps, and spotty lacing.

S - Smells like an aged Belgian golden ale, with peppery, phenolic yeast notes, stone fruits, and a bit of lemon. Hops are long gone, but there isn't any overt oxidation either.

T - The taste is a bit more smoothed out, with light caramel, lemon, stone fruits, honey, and a tangy and lightly sour finish.

M - Smooth, medium-full body. Dry finish, lower carbonation, and a bit of residual alcohol heat.

D - This is the first one in the series that seemed even remotely 'Belgian'. The rest could have been confused for old English ales of some sort. Still, nothing exceptional, but at least resembles the advertised description.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this right before the '09 VE came out, lets see how this is doing at 2 years old. Bomber poured into my new Chimay goblet.

Pours a nice rusty orange color with a small white head. Quickly turns to a small cap and ring, nice color though.

Smell seems pretty weak. Mostly getting a yeasty bread scent, and light fruit, lemon, and some booze.

Surprisingly still very hoppy. Lots of grapefruit, citrus, spice, sugar, candy and floral notes. Flavors and alcohol pack quite a punch the first couple sips but it's more enjoyable as it goes on, warming helps alot as well. Good, but seems a little messy overall.

Creamy, high carbonation, pretty dry and bitter. Booze taste is there the whole time but is toned down the more you finish.

I think Stone considers this a tripel but I definitely agree with the choice of Belgian IPA for style. The flavors are just about even with a huge IPA and a light Belgian. Taste is kinda crazy but a bomber wasn't too much of a problem. Hard to say how this will continue to age until 2012. I liked it enough to know I will pick up another bottle to age until then.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a fruity aroma that promises spiciness, like orange peels and allspice, and boasts of sweet sugars and bitter hops.

However, on the tongue, the hops are the first to emerge, exploding into grapefruit-bitter blossoms like a strong IPA. The sugars are downplayed immensely on the tongue, but still come across in the form of light fruitiness, perhaps apricots, and form a nice platform for the hoppy bitterness. There may be hints of darker flavors for some, such as tobacco or dark chocolate, as well as a nice toasted grain taste that threads its way through. The label says that this ale is "spicy, estery and fruity (from the yeast)," but by and large the hops are what take center stage, and in fact seem to throw the brew slightly off-kilter, as the deeper layers prove difficult to find against it; I mostly felt as if I were biting into the rind of a grapefruit.

Personally, I didn't mind this, as I quite like the ale's hoppy bitterness--but for anyone who already thinks that even light IPAs are too sour, this brew will only prove undrinkable. I give this 3.5 stars, with a note that it would have earned far more were it better balanced.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a Stone snifter

A- pours a clear golden color with some floaties swimming around, small fizzy white head disappears quickly, leaving nothing bend

S- the hop bitterness has subdued after six years, giving way to some nice fruity aromas with an emphasis on apple, there's a hint of spicy peppery spice left from the addition of the yeast, notes of apple as well

T- the hops are completely gone after six years, but there are some nice fruity notes of apple, pear and berry. Very subtle spiciness remains from the yeast, finishes bone dry with more fruit on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and creamy dry finish

O- as expected, hops are gone, but the yeast lends some nice fruity notes. Still very drinkable but nothing like a Belgian IPA at this point

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Photo of tedpeer
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber poured into a pint glass.

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

S - Hops, citrus.

T - Fruity, hoppy, citrus. Bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium mouthfeel, highly carbonated.

D - Not well balanced.

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Photo of flexinwext
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Couldn't wait to let this sit till 2012 so I thought I'd give it a shot. Clear golden yellow. Very "belgian" aroma of sweet malts, clove, citrus and piney hops. Very complex flavor with lots sweet malt upfront. Very carbonated. The alcohol is a bit overpowering in this one which hurts the drinkability a bit, but overall very good, I wonder what some age would do?

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Photo of Klym
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone nonic. First in a little sunday morning session with Cavery (love our weekend sessions!).

A: A very hazy pale gold, almost white on the outside. Poured with unusual violence in effort to get a nice head, but only managed to get about a 1 finger head that died down soon after. Lacing is thick and foamy but most of it falls off pretty quickly.

S: Awfully yeasty at first but became more sweet as it warmed up. A very bread-like yeast with sour apple, fresh cut grass and goji berry. An intimidatingly strong smell.

T: Taste a lot like the nose with emphasis on yeast, lots of apple, and farmhouse flavors/grass. Not as much berry in the taste as in the nose. A little bit of an unpleasant bitter and acidic aftertaste.

M: An improvement in mouthfeel would be a big improvement for this beer. Carbonation is weak and mouthfeel is watery and fails to mesh with saliva in the mouth in an unpleasant way. In my opinion, the biggest weakness of this beer.

O: This is of course supposed to be aged until 2012, but I have a hard time imagining how the beer would be much improved with a year's more aging. Glad I tried it, but not great drinkability and wouldn't reach for it again unless doing the full vertical tasting in 2012.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale color with little head that leaves no lace.

Lots of cloves in the nose (which I don't like)some hints of earthy hops. Not much more than that.

Taste is a little bitterness with yeasty bread dough with earthy hops and some very interesting green apple! That's nice.

Medium to full bodied and a little dry.

Ok drinkability.

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Photo of chaz01
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good sized (4-5 ounce) pour at a Stone Vertical Tasting Event sponsored by Belmont Party Supplies on 5/12/2010, served in a very cool Stone Vertical Epic tasting glass.

A: Clear golden color -- beer produced the biggest foamy head of any in the series to date.

S: Hoppy citrus aroma along with some musky pine notes.

T: Pine flavors in the taste along with some musky orange flavor. More grassy hay and straw in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D: This didn't stand out in the series -- still a bit of hoppiness character to the beer which I would presume will fade over time.

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Photo of seangroves
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours an unassuming gold straw color, a thin but complete cover with some heavy lacing.

Aroma - it's like a weird combo of Pine-Sol and olives. I'm thinking Band-Aids, but there are other interesting smells weaved in there too. Hard to pick out, maybe some cellaring will clarify the nose in a future tasting.

Taste - despite an oddball nose, it tastes great. Yeasty, banana, Belgian candi front, but on the lighter side. And on purpose, as there are some other flavors floating about. A slightly funky hoppiness, an almost rye-like graininess, and a very warm abv feel that is trying to meld things together. It may be a little out-matched at this early age but as time goes by this will take some twists ands turns flavorwise. A dry, bitter bite on the swallow, this beer really has a full complement of flavor. A breath of Band-Aid on the exhale now and then, but it's so close to the banana it's hard to distinguish at times.

Mouthfeel - plenty crisp, a medium body with notable smoothness.

Drinkability - so much going on here that you will want to have a number of these set aside for a tasting in 2010 and 2012.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.