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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 magictacosinus
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap for the VE tasting (beers 07.07.07-12.12.12) at Pacific Coast Brewing Co. during SF Beer Week. All reviews are from my notes. Poured into a 6oz wine glass for the tasting.

Pours a golden haze amber color into the glass, in a very classically stylized take on Belgian Strong Pale Ales. If they were trying to go for a beer that looked a lot like, say, Duvel, they nailed it right on the head here, except for perhaps the lack of carbonation. However, this being nearly 5 years old, how could it not? There's some sediment in the glass, and surprisingly, some bubbles - enough to produce a thin but elegant head. Definitely thick in appearance, and the alcohol legs show themselves pretty well here on the rims of the glass. Definitely well presentable overall.

At the nose, there's an immediate burst of golden honey flavors, combined with a classic Belgian crisp graininess and well meshed malts. Definitely getting a little bit of banana and clove, although, with the aging, the spices are far more muted than one would hope (or dread). Instead, I'm getting a yeasty backbone to this is that is slightly fruity, often resembling white grapes with a little bit of wild elements to it. A little bit of citrus predominates, yet the hops are rather muted here, and there's no peppery character to speak of. Definitely sweet and bright on the nose, but sadly lacking in the hops/spices department that I love this style of beer for.

On the flavor, however, it is a different story altogether. Big yeast spicy character, melded with champagne-like flavors such as pears and honey, and a coated sugar cane backbone. The spices definitely show a bit of astringency on the palate here, but, as a result of the sweetness, the alcohol is carefully masked in this case. It is slightly boozy towards the finish, and definitely far stronger than the others I sampled in terms of the ABV being noticeable. However, it is a nicely close tribute to the BSPA style overall.

A far more straightforward VE offering without all the spices overwhelming the yeast and character of the beer. When rating to style, it's pretty solid, although once again I could not say if it was better fresh or if it has ended up more "authentic" with aging. I wish Stone would release this more as a seasonal or something. It would give me a readily available good domestic offering of the BSPA style whenever I had the craving for one.

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Photo of cbutova
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes on 02/02/2013.

A- Bottle pour to pint glass with a hazy golden body and a foamy white head that is about one finger in size. Decent retention and creamy thick ring leaves good lace rings.

S- Pretty weak strength overall. Mostly just get aged European spicy hops and some aged light caramel.

T- Most affected by age so far out of the VEs we tried. Still some hop character like spicy, fruity herbal Euro hops. Light caramel, lemon, oxidation and coridander.

MF- Slightly creamy feel with low-medium carbonation. Medium bitter finish.

Aged IPA feel but somewhat solid still. Herbal and floral with that aged light caramel feel.

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Photo of Treebs
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle served in a CCB snifter.

A: Pours a light amber color with a frothy white head forming on the pour. Recedes slowly leaving some sticky splotches of lace down the glass.

S: Fruity and flowery hop notes some mild citrus as well. A little honey sweetness with some bready malts. Light background yeasty spice.

T: Stone fruits, fruity esters and some spicy. Light paper with some sweet malts.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. Light level of bitterness on the finish.

O: The hops were still around as well as the light spiciness from the yeast. The hops just weren't as potent, obviously, but it definitely wasn't bad.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in Summer 2008. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of orange zest, lemon, apple, pear, honey, bread, pepper, light pine, light clove, floral, grass, herbal, floral earthiness, and light yeast esters. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes and yeast esters. Taste of lemon, orange zest, apple, pear, honey, bread, light pine, pepper, clove, floral, grass, and floral earthiness. Slight floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, light fruits, honey, bread, floral, grass, light pepper, light pine, herbal, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of hop flavors with yeast esters; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong ale! Very nice balance and complexity of hop flavor and yeast esters; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Beejay
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of Philousa
2.82/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Purchased this from Lone Hill Liquor a year ago. I wouldn't have purchased something that someone else aged, but I know that Lone Hill takes good care of their product so I'm assuming it was aged properly.

Pours a very pale gold, clear with a wispy bone colored head. Tiny bubbles form with a swirl and pack in tightly until it mostly dissipates. Aroma starts with green apple, pear, white grape, and clove. Lots of sweet Belgian notes up front, almost sickeningly so. I also get a slightly papery aroma. There isn't as much carbonation as expected. I don't get much in the way of hops because of the age, I presume. So far this is turning out to be a Belgian Golden Strong. Flavor has caramel, biscuit, and honey with sweet, flowery nectar. Some allspice goes up the noes and brings out a bitter candied sugar flavor. Bitter hops are woody and earthy. Feel is appropriate for the style, finish is very dry.

This gets better as it warms. The caramel comes out and the spicy phenols calm down. I really want to try this when it's young. I think that if anyone can duplicate Houblon Chouffe's success it could be Stone. I have to dock points for saying that this should be aged, though. This is a novelty by now and a poor marketing trick. If only I knew this before I started buying the series.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was fortunate to try this last night at an epic tasting held by my good friend Mike, thanks for the opportunity MrBarleywine!
Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a smallish off white head that sticks for a bit. The aroma is lemony with a touch of hop still evident and a nice spicy and fruity aroma to balance the sweetness of a bready and sweet maltiness. The flavor is sweet and spicy with light sugar with a touch of lemon and citrus Light hop flavor still evident, but certainly faded. Moderate level of carbonation with a light body and a sweet mouthfeel. Decent brew that may have held up better than expected. Nice beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

the last of my vertical series, so unless i get lucky and come across one of the real old ones, this will be it. i never had it fresh, so i cant comment on how its changed over time, although i imagine that the hop intensity and carbonation have both taken hits over the last 5 years. the pour is a slightly cloudy bright golden color with less than an inch of white head. when the heads gone, it looks about flat. the nose is hop oils and light cerealy malt, with a huge dose of belgian yeast. the hops dont have as much taste as they probably did, not very bitter at all, but theres still some citrus notes in here, and the yeast is as flavorful as ever, with some moderate spice quality to it, and a hint of banana. lacking bubbles from its age i think, that really hurts its cause, but the medium body is just right for the subtle flavors, and the finish is long and complex. overall i wasnt blown away by this, and i think its lost some of its mojo compared to the others in the series that got so much better with age, but it was still an enjoyable brew in every sense.

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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 Doppelbockulus
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the Vertical Epic glass. Omitted the yeast for the first pour.

Clear, very yellow gold with a thin film of white foam.

Smells like light grapefruit peel and yeast. The hop character is fading.

Taste is clean and semisweet with a touch of grapefruit peel.

Mouthfeel is almost flat and slightly tannic.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
2.99/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Poured into my VE glass, this brew pours a murky straw color with a lot of yeast for a IPA. I guess thats what makes it belgium.
S. Light fruit, and no hops.
F. A little hops on the back of the pallet. Yeasty spic notes, but a lack of complexity.
Mf. The fullest of the VEs. Very well carbonated.
Overall, for an aged Belgium IPA I expected more complexity.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
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 yourefragile
3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle.

Pours a bright, clear golden orange with small white head. Dry bitter aroma with coriander, pepper, orange, lime and citrus peel. Tastes like no pulp Orange Juice with a twist of lime and... I dunno, "spice"? Medium thick and well carbonated. I was hopefully from the nose for this but the flavor is too watery and one dimensional.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

Gusher! had to be decanted and served in a pitcherThe beer is radiant orange yellow hued. Fairly hazy with a small white cap. The aroma brings coriander, limes, crackers, malt, spice. The flavor is watery orange juice, light spice. Malty body and fairly light on the palate. Moderate carbonation. This was ok.

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Photo of CHickman
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged to perfection, this bottle pours a very cloudy amber / dark orange color with a lot of yeast chunks floating around in it and a ton of bubbles racing up the brew like champagne; big thick creamy 1 finger white head with tons of bubbles in it that that faded on the quick side, leaving OK spotty lacing.

Smells of funky yeast, apple, grape, spices like coriander and light allspice, biscuit, orange peel, pear that starting to rot, herbs, caramel, apricot, flowers and mild booze. The spices are mild, the fruit is sweet, and the hops peek through, but it’s the yeast funk and sweetness that jump out the most. A definite Belgian nose, it’s just too bad the hops are so subdued after all these years of aging.

Tastes really nice after 4 plus years in the bottle, with flavors that include grapefruit, apple, grape, funky yeast, spices like coriander, pepper and light allspice, biscuit, wheat bread, orange peel, soft almost rotten pear, herbs, fresh cut grass, caramel, candied sugar or light brown sugar, apricot, flowers or floral hops, and mild booze. This is a sweet beer, with lots of fruity notes, hops hanging on and peeking through, some yeast funk and malty sweetness that makes for a nice complex American version of a classic Belgian beer. There is some bitterness and it hides the ABV quite well, but the sweetness and Belgian influence allows this to be relevant after all that time aging in the bottle.

Mouthfeel is creamy and almost watery, with very mild to almost no carbonation, a medium body and a funky and yet almost bitter finish that’s on the dry side. The aftertaste is tart and almost clean, which surprised me considering the amount of stuff floating around in it. The ABV sneaks up on you as it is very well hidden, and after 4½ years this is still a fine beer.

It was a challenge to age this and not drink it until after 12.12.12, so I hope that this was how Stone intended this beer to be upon peak aging. I wish I would have had it fresh in 2008 to get the full hop blast, but I don’t have a DeLorean or a Flux Capacitor. Overall it was good and I enjoyed this effort from Stone.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Churchkey

This four year old IPA has a clear yellow pour with a nice white head. It has a hoppy aroma surprisingly. Some must, citrus, and banana. The taste is clean with citrus, hops, clove. It actually has a really nice balance. The Belgian comes at the backend. It has a medium body and is carbonated well. Very drinkable and one of the highlights of the night.

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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 chugalug06
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one is WAY cloudy! Peach colored brew with soapy vanilla colored head.

Tons of chamomile, dandelion, pear, tart, lemon, apple, milk.

A want to be sour, but weird flavors and zero tartness. Sweet(but, not sugary), wet, light-medium carbonation, medicinal, antique flavors, rusty.

When I think of Asian flowers, this brew comes to mind.. It's unique and has held up well, but it's a weird brew, not much balance and flow to all the co-mingled flavors.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz beer was poured into a large Duvel snifter. Happy to have scored this at a liquor store the other day.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts, lots of citrus, grapefruit, and tangerine notes too. Some vanilla, spices, bready malts, and apple. All common characteristics of a tripel. This is why Belgian IPA's rock.

Taste: After 4+ years, this stuff is still tasty. All above mentioned aromas plus some subtle lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little boozy, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, subtle tingly bitterness, and quite the treat.

Overall: Wicked solid stuff. This beer could have a cleaner taste to it, but after 4 years, who cares. Might have to go to the store and buy the last remaining bottles.

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Photo of portia99
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Vertical Epic glass.

A - Pours a pale golden color and filled with light fine sediment. A Low white head lingers briefly and leaves behind spotty lacing on the glass.

S - Citrusy oranges and lemons, lots of fruity esters, some higher alcohols that give a rather boozy impression overall.

T - Citrus up front, light lemony fruitiness, a bit boozy, nice mid-level hop bitterness.

M - Booze, thinnish-medium body with a low-mid carbonation.

O - Similar to 07-07-07, but toned down on the citrus, thinner body and more impressive hop contribution for bitterness that balances more.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 12.12.12
Celebrating the Vertical Epic Series

P: Clear pale golden body with a thin layer of white head that leaves delicate lacing.

S: Citrus hops, honeydew, ginger, light banana phenols, spices, pippali pepper sprinkled on honey, and lemon zest.

T/M: Dirty earthy taste. White grapes, bitter apple peels, pippali pepper, pears, powdery yeast and a more vibrant flavor than the others in the series. The fresh ness really shines. Dry crisp full body with good carbonation and a clean finish of fruit rind bitterness.

O: The amarilo hop character was surprisingly vibrant and brilliantly aged. The intense flavors offered a nicely developed golden ale. Very nice and great drinkability.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew was served on draft at the Tap and Mallet Vertical Epic tasting event. It arrived in a tasting glass, showing a solid golden yellow coloring. No real head was noted, but rings of white lacing punctuated the bare glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared active. The aroma gave strong Belgian yeast, citric hoppy bite, and bright phenolic plastics. With warmth came more floral and soapy hop varietals, light mustard seed, faint medicinals, and fusel booziness. Our first impression was that this beer was excellent for the style, and very soothing and mellow. As we sipped, the flavoring opened with nectary citric hops, fusel boozy bite, and juicy citric pop against toasted and chalky pale grain. The middle peaked with the bite of Belgian yeast, toasted Belgian pales, metallics and soured mash grain, and the continued background undertones of citric and lightly floral hop bitterness. The balance is superb. The finish mellows things completely, with citric rind and flesh, nectary and citric hops, pale toasty malts, and that same smooth Belgian yeast. The aftertaste breathes of a plastic phenolic bite to balance the citric and nectary hops, a sweet flash of peach and apple sugars, and the final metallic twang of yeastiness. The body was light to medium, and the carbonation was medium. There was nice froth and cream to each sip, with decent slurp and finish pop. There was no real coating or overt dryness noted. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank very nicely.

Overall, what we liked most about this brew was the flavoring. This beer is terrific for the style, with a nice bite of phenolic plastics and medicinals to hold against the bright, yet mellowed, hoppy smoothness, and malty sweetness. Things remained equally as calm through the nose and the mouthfeel. Some might find the beer light to this point, but we interpreted all this as balance and smoothness, rather than a letting up of strength.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Going onto the second sample of the Vertical Epic flight at Tustin Brewing. A little over four years of age on this one. On to the beer:

Golden colored brew, topped with some fair lace and a patchy head. What makes the nose distinct is the dryness. It's not oxidized, smells Belgian, and rustic. Some sugar, bigger notes of leather, a few dry hops; any chance this is a Belgian IPA?

Confirmed. Despite four years of hiding, there still remain noticable traces of hops. Delecate hops which compliment the character of the overall beer, not smuther it. Leather, dry Belgian yeast, rustic. The alcohol is hidden well, and its body is smooth. Pleasantly dry in the aftertaste.

There's something about 08.08.08. I won't know how a fresh one tastes, but I know that an aged one is damn good. And I'm lucky to realize that I saved a bottle in my cellar and not realized it.

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Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a Tulip

A- golden reddish orange w/ zero head

S- spicey fruit cocktail, citrus, viny, bubblegum, grapes, wine, grapefruit, faint cat piss

T- follows the nose

M- medium body, crisp carbonation

O- so this is the last VE of my reverse order vertical, and i'm kinda pissed. It's seems Stone didn't do their homework and everyone i have had, besides 11.11.11, have turned into a fraction of it's former self. These were specifically made to age until 12.12.12, yet the abvs are low and they actually had the audacity to make this one an IPA and expect the hops to last for 4 years? I was planning on trying to get 2-7 but i know now they are just a novelty iten at this point. For the first time, i'm very disappointed with Stone

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