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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

486 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 486
Hads: 801
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 42
Gots: 219 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 486 | Hads: 801
Photo of bobhits
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. pale and fairly thin. The head comes up and goes away pretty quickly. Fizzy yellow beer?

S. Hops. No...Belgium yeast. No, some sweet malt and alcohol? Ok this beer is like a good pitcher, it keeps throwing me different signals.

T. I thought the smell was weird. Wow, first taste it's stone IPA, but with something a bit off in the back ground. Second taste, it's a Belgium triple (only not terrible like most Belgium beers). This beer honestly played with my mouth all night long. Flavors from banana, piny hops, to who knows what. This is one of the most complex and varied beers I've ever had. I still don't feel like I can make heads of tales of this.

M. Thin, but with some spices which as they warm seem to slow down the consumption of it. A good bite from the carbonation, but still overall a bit on the thin side.

D. See above. It's drinkable, not a sipper, but not a session. It's a beer that starts off and finishes differently.

I might edit my review 20 times if I drink this beer 20 times, but either way for those that don't like belgiums this is worth giving a shot. If you don't like IPA's give this a shot. If you don't like either...well just avoid it.

8/27/10 update

No change to the score. Just tasting notes a bit over 2 years in.

The stone IPA with belgium characteristics is gone. This a belgium with some american hop pretense. It's dry finishing as hell and dominated by the yeast flavors. I'll be interested to see how the hop flavors work in this in a few years once the final hop bite is completely gone and only the fruity flavors remain. It almost has a white grape flavor with a campaign like carbonation. Good? Well...I'm not loving this beer, but I'm fascinated by it.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Grape and Gourmet at Va Beach!

22 oz bomber poured into a pint.

A- pours a crisp and cold dry grassy yellow color. Reminds me of a BMC beer. Lets hope it doesnt taste the same. Virtually no head hits the top. My fiance makes fun about the finger heads.

S- hints of peach and it also smells like white grape juice. Very enticing and i am looking forward to the taste. a very strong sour smell radiates out as well.

T- a dry and sour berry taste. Unripened would bethe best to describe it. a nice hop to it. It is sour at the start and then sweet in the afteraste.

M- a thick and dry feeling. It feels more like i am drinking a dry wine than a beer.

D- i think the sourness takes away from being able to put some of these down. However, to me this beer seems more of a relaxer and a beer you have with dinner. Overall, it is a good beer.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Bright golden color with haze. Small white head and spotty lace.

Smells like peach, white grape, berries, fresh hops like orange rind and alpine herbs, biscuit, and mild bubblegum. There's also a yeasty note that's quite sharp at first but blows off after the first minute or two; some spicy yeastiness remains. Quite fresh and pleasant.

Tastes fruity and bittersweet. Nice balance between sweetness and bitterness. Hops are certainly noticeable and pleasant, but fairly restrained. Hop flavor is oily citrus rind, along with some fresh young pine and flowers. Finishes with lingering bitter citrus rind. Tasty.

Appears to be barely carbonated, but the tiny bubbles reveal themselves on the palate. Smooth, with some oiliness. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.32/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is banana, musty yeast, some cloves with some spicy hops.

The flavor is a bit of a mish-mash - sweet bananas fight with peppery hops. There's also a little sweet bready malt and a little clove and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full with some light but sharp carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for this. I don't like bananas in my beer and it was strong in this one. The blend of bananas and hops was strange as well.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$7.29 for a 22oz bottle at my local favorite. First sniffs of teh open bottle got me excited as it is hoppy, belgian, yet different. The color is pale yellow with a thin film/ring of bubbles. Hoppy citrus smells blend into belgian yeast. Bubblegum flavor, pine and yeast, yeasty, yeast. Reminds me of Duvel, pretty good. This is definitely a hoppy belgian and probably the best VE I've had so far.

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Photo of jakon
4.15/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one in my Duvel glass the head was light and frothy and some small patches of lacing. The nose had that sour bubble gum smell with a hint of pine resin. The Belgian yeast gives this ale a slight sour taste that quickly shift gears into a hoppy citrus burst of flavor!
The mouthfeel is average for this style. The drinkabilty is nice not to strong on the abv.
This one will age well in time.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very light gold in color. No head forming on the pour, which struck me as odd, but anyway. Smell is all hops. Taste is more of the typical Stone hopping, which is nice and appreciated. I think this is still a bit too fresh because the hops are covering up all the belgian characteristics of the beer. Will give a bottle a chance to age and settle down a bit. Very good mouthfeel, just waiting for more of the belgian traits to show themselves.

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Photo of charlzm
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
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

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Photo of dirtylou
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, $6.99 at riley's - had this on tap the other night at brasseri V

appearance: poured into a hopleaf tulip glass, very light golden body, quite clear with active carbonation bubbles. There is a thin layer of beige foam with full retention. This beer shines in the sunlight

smell: this one has a pretty nice belgian nose (for some reason i thought it was more of a DIPA on tap but then again, i was trashed). Corriander, white pepper, and other belgian spices are huge and well pronounced in the nose. Lemon zest, other citrus, and potent yeast round out this powerful nostril invasion

taste: the flavor falls a little flat compared to the nose...the flavor profile is full of spice - clove, corriander, white pepper. the belgian yeast is evident immediately but finishes a little flat. Interesting, but i expected more based off the nose

mouthfeel: heavily spicy, medium body

drinkability: ok

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the standard Stone bomber. This year's VE is golden colored, very clear, with a thin wispy head that disappears right after birth. The aroma is a hybrid (just as described on the bottle). Lots of American hops (maybe including Amarillo?) on top of Belgian yeasty esters. The taste makes me think this is a dry-hopped tripel. The flavors are nice but the after-taste has a bitter bite to it and there's a bit of ethanol apparent as well. Maybe with age the ethanol will tone down but then so will the hops I'm guessing. I'll probably age another bottle with my other VE's just to wait for 2012 but I imagine it won't improve the beer too much.

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Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Certainly a more solid brew than the 7/7/07 incarnation, but still needs some aging/mellowing.

Pours a billowy amber gold with a white foam head. Smells of yeast and ... hops?

Taste is mostly citrus/yeast with a bit of a hoppy bitter twang. There's a lot going on with this beer, and you can focus on about five different flavors at once.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours orange-yellow, with a rather small white head even with an agressive pour, average head retention.

S: Strong peppery spice, definitely some ethanol that you can feel in your nose, light hops.

T: It is what it says it is, a strong Belgian pale with a brisk hop attack. Yellow apple with a big ethanol kick. Hops are there, not as overt as an IPA, but high for the style, very grassy, flavour of apricot and tangerine mix finishes the drink.

M: Light on the carbonation, phenolic, solventy, smooth.

D: A nice one from Stone, will be interesting to see how this ages, what happens with the hops and the flavours, I'll find out in 4 1/2 years. Good beer.

December 2012 Edit - Very cloudy, the head really came out here. Metallic on the nose, but blows off. Then it smells like a flower garden. The beer is very yeasty, lots of lemon and white pepper. The brisk hop attack of yesteryear is gone, but that is to be expected. Nice notes of orange, apricot, heavy spice. Still good stuff.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A very golden color with no head what so ever. There is a slight haze with this beer.

S- I smell hops, clove, anise (very faintly), and the sweet smell of BBQ pork strange?!?

T- There is a strong taste of grapefruit, clove, salmon berry suckles, and yes that BBQ pork taste. It has it complexities.

M- Feels good in the mouth, makes the mouth water for sure.

D- Easy to drink, goes down smooth.

I think Stone is way above the curve with this series. For those who have all the beers in this series they will have a treat for a side by side tasting. It is a great way to release a beer with the same style. I do wish they had a higher ABV so the beer itself could stand the test of time a bit longer. I wonder how long the 2.2.2 will stand in 2012. Another great beer by a great brewing company.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange/amber color; very slight haze. Generous two inch head white held held to a quarter inch. Medium lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Herbal and piney hops. Light fruits.

T: Hoppiness really opens this up. Estery yeast provides a solid fruity footing. Mild spices carry to a dry finish. Complex and tasty.

M: Nice medium body - in a good way balancing tastes and carbonation.

D: At 8.4 ABV its dangerously drinkable. If its one or several; this is a great choice.

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a snifter, this beer pours a clear deep golden color with a tiny white head that rapidly dissipates. Each sip yields only a few spots of lacing.

S- Sweet aromas of pears, green apples, bananas, and clove are backed up by spicy Belgian yeast and piney hops. There is a very grassy and floral essence to the smell of this beer, and the alcohol becomes only slightly noticeable as the beer warms.

T- The initial taste is of sweet fruits and spicy yeast. The expected hop bitterness kicks in as the sweet and spicy flavors fade away, all of which yields a surprisingly not-so-dry finish and a lingering bitterness on the palate. There is a slight alcohol presence on the finish as well.

M- The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with very mild carbonation.

D- The 8.6% ABV is very well-integrated, and the moderate hop bitterness is pleasantly unobtrusive in the flavor profile of this beer.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The latest edition of the Stone Vertical Epic series. This one is a departure from the others Epics. The bottle notes say its their variation of a Belgian triple, inspired by the brewmasters 2008 trip to Belgium.

Pours a golden haze with a white head and good carbonation.

Nose is fruity & sweet with banana and pear.

Taste is fruity, yeasty, sweet & spicy with a good touch of alcohol. It has a spicy & nice bitter finish, giving it an overall complex taste. Kind of like a Belgian with a West Coast finish.

This one is well worth it, very drinkable, watch out for the 8.6 ABV!

With 06-08 sampled, I'd say this is best of the Epic series in that range.

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

The best of the Vertical Epic series so far.

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a thin white head.

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

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

Light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

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


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Photo of cjgator3
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bomber to Alpine lager mug on 08.08.08 on camping trip to the Cape late nite...

Pours with very light lemon-honey body-lily white soapy head disspiates quickly.

Very bready with that silage hop ambiece-some coriander, a little citrus tang. Lots of yeast and deep yet crisp malt.

A little rough around the edges - 1/2 saison, 1/2 IPA feel. Nice bitter hop pucker and citrus tang with yeast, coriander and other spices. Needs a little time or warmth?

Bready, yeasty mouthfeel. Consistent from start to finish - good cleanliness, even with a blunt, heavy malt and boiled hop backbone.

Drinks very easily but am looking for more bountiful flavor profile to match weight. Not sure what time will do to this one.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In keeping with tradition, 1st bottle on release day. (Yeah I know Stone's been releasing ahead of schedule the last few years but I hold out 'til the actual date. Superstitious I guess.)

Nice estery earthy spice nose and a great pilsner malt backbone. Hop aroma is really subdued (for Stone) but it's in there.

Golden and clear with tons of rising bubbles. Started with a light head that faded quickly to a little layer around the rim.

Drinking I get honey mostly and light hop flavor. Hop bitterness is pretty low so the malt backbone is what comes off mostly. Lots of spice and fermentation esters. I get pepper and anise. Overall though, it's kind of light on flavor.

Full bodied but the carbonation level is high enough that it isn't heavy. It feels lighter than it is.

Very drinkable now. Not overwhelming in strength or flavor. Good, but not great.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to see this down the road at Brilbeck's already, just goes to show how good Stone's distribution is. Although I still can't find any 12th Anniversary, grr.

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear rustic gold with a fluffy two finger white head that falls to a soft layer of bubbles. A fair amount of stick is left on the sides of the glass. Smell starts off some fruits such as mango, papaya, and grapefruit. Yeast and spice graze the nose as well, a very interesting combination of aromas. Taste begins with oily hops and pepper followed by a piney zest. Spice and clove dominate midway and continue on all the way into the aftertaste. A touch of banana here and there throught on the tongue as well. Medium slick body with a flowing carbonation and slight bite from the hops. The alcohol is hidden quite well in this beer. I would classify this as a Belgian IPA. An up and coming style that is still a bit rough around the edges but still a very interesting beer.

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

The next, and highly anticipated offering in the Stone Vertical Epic series. Pours golden- yellow, slightly hazy with nice fluffy white head. Retention and lacing were minimal. Smell is tricky. One sniff I'll notice amazingly fresh piney hops and the next I'll notice a pronounced citrus and fruity aroma. I would say the grapefruit dominate it the most but the subtle hops are splendid. Taste is about the same as the smell. At first I notice the yeast, bread, and fruit (banana, grapefruit, some melon) much like a "typical" Belgian, almost hefe like at times. Then at it goes down the hop bitterness hits you and you remember you're drinking a West Coast brew and not a Belgian. The carbonation is a little on the high side for a crips mouthfeel. Even though it was a little high I didnt seem to mind it. Although the alcohol is well hidden, I do notice a nice warming affect as it goes down. Overall a very nice beer and well put together. Its complex I think, at times a bit too complex for my palate, but another hit for Stone.

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Photo of ATPete
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

Pours a transparent yellow/orange color with a small white head that disappears quickly leaving some patching. Lots of visible carbonation and no yeast sediment to speak of. The nose is delightfully spicy balanced with a wonderful hoppiness. Most of the same characteristics come through while tasting. Notes of orange, chocolate, apricots, and lots of harmonious spice, the alcohol is present but definitely not dominant. The Belgian yeast plays a large role in the overall taste of the beer. The beers main character is mostly hoppy but is well balanced with some bold pale malt that really supports the flow of the beer. This one is killer, finally a Vertical Epic i will go back to! Its mouthfeel is medium/light with shy carbonation and a subtle, non offensive alcohol heat, making this one dangerously drinkable. A truly excellent beer.


i was lucky enough to sample this one on draught this weekend at BCTC up ant Ommegang. I took no notes on the draught offering but i remember saying, wow this is going to be awesome next week.

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Photo of sevopie
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Golden color with actually a tad hint of a greenish hue. Very light head that doesn't stick around too long.

Smell - Fruity and hoppy... almost vinegary.

Taste - Has a bit of the Belgian fruity yeast evident, as well as some spice. The hops are bit overboard though, but not heavily so.

Mouthfeel - Rather light on the tongue, but light on the carbonation for a Belgian. That being said, its very well rounded, as Belgian's typically have too much carbonation.

Drinkability - I'm typically not a fan of Belgian's and IPAs mixed together, I love each in their own right though. This beer is not a bad conglomeration however, and it goes down relatively smooth.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 486 ratings.