Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

705 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 705
Reviews: 475
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 42
Gots: 174 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 705 | Reviews: 475
Photo of bamadog
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I figured that we're only a few months away from the end of the series, so what's the harm in cracking this one now? Review is from notes taken on 7/28/2012 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass. I have to say, I'm curious to see how a Belgian IPA will have held up over a 4 year span.

Appearance: Pours a golden straw color and it starts with a big head of three fingers -- very white and fluffy, like whipped egg whites that fades slowly to a rocky and fully, frothy cap; body is cloudy, but shows very strong carbonation bubbling up throughout, so the yeast definitely did its job and held up over time, here's to hoping that the flavor did as well; pillowy swaths of lacing stick around.

Smell: Light, Belgian spiciness and a touch of sweet fruit -- perhaps mango or pineapple? Toasty graininess. Not too shabby, I wish it were a little more robust, but I'll take it.

Taste: Meh. It's not awful, but not what I was hoping for (should have drank this the year I bought it...). It's got some bitterness to it, but not much hop "flavor" beyond a light touch of sweet pineapple; touch of alcohol burns through along with the spiciness mentioned in the nose. I feel that this likely would have been an outstanding beer fresh, and I can only kick myself for this, not Stone.

Mouthfeel: Body is light in weight, and the carbonation is frothy, strong and prickly; a thin sticky coating hangs around; mouth is left tingly as well as the belly from the carbonation and slight booziness to it.

Overall: Again, I can't over-emphasize that this should have been consumed fresh, but even after 4 years, it's not awful.

Photo of MadScientist
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a deep gold with a glowing haze. The off-white head produces about a finer of foam with average retention that leaves lacing on the glass.

This smells like a belgium triple brewed with American hops the hops are prominent but the the belgian yeast is right behind it. The hops smell strongly of pineapple and citrus while the yeast has a a some pepper and a bit of clove. The yeast aroma also has some mild fruity esters like oranges and peaches. There is an alcohol aroma that is soft and perfumy.

Pineapple and lemon dominate the flavor along with a moderately strong bitterness. There is malt support in following that gives me the impression that pilsner malt was used to lighten the body.

A light, fluffy body with a fine moderately low carbonation that dances on the tongue.

This beer has aged nicely, the assertive hops aroma and flavor is still there but more like a tripple with some years on it than the hops punch I crave in a young IPA. There is defiantly that pilsner malt character of a light body and faintly in the aroma and flavor.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy glowing golden amber with a puffy pure white head that fades but cathedrals. Funk, sour orange, apricot jam, and some sourness on the nose.
Tropical fruit compote, honey, papaya, and shortbread followed by slight resin and orange hops.
Gooey mango finish and funky linger. Medium, velvety, round, a bit of burn, flat, oily.

Mellowed out totally after 3.5 years. The hops are mostly gone, and the Belgian clove/phenols are not where I'd expect either. What's left is just smoothness. Not the best example of the style, but I don't mind a bit.

Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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

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

Photo of FARGO619
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Photo of scbrew
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while and it did not dissapoint! Pours yellow-gold with moderate white head. Really nice "beligian gold" aroma of clove and spice, with a lot of hop character. Hop aroma is piney and citrusy. Flavor is a delicious balance of spice and sweetness wrapped around citrus from the hops. Good carbonation. Really liked this one! Don’t know if I can save the others unitl 12-12-12.

Photo of Cavery
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into Nonic shared with Klym and SundaySour

A: Light amber with a slightly higher opacity. Two finger head with some stubbornly sticky lacing. There's some consistent belgian yeast fog, but nothing abnormal. All in all a good looking beer.

S: Yeasty earthiness, with a suggestion of apple and pair skins. The alcohol creeps up behind a late berry note. There's a really sweet and sugary brioche bread note in there.

T: Right up front I taste a young beer. Not a hotness worth complaining about, but enough heat to make it stick out for the style. That said, the beer is super clean. Light hops with no burn, and sweet yellow raisins sit atop some sweeter bread malts. Not much else, but I reiterate: very clean.

M: The mouth is a bit dead, the carbonation feels unexpectedly low. This most certainly is not intended. as it's lower carbonation borders on flatness. Definitely the ugly duckling of this beers more prominent characteristics.

O: The beer isn't ripe yet. The recommended 12/12/12 opening seems like a decent prediction of maturity. Nostradamus would approve. However, I worry about the mouth. Some more carbonation would greatly improve the balance of 08/08/08.

Photo of SundaySour
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice milky golden color, with only a teensy rim of yellowish/white foam. Looks almost like a kind of tea.

S: Sweet and fruity like woah. I get orange blossom, jasmine, and even something savory like teriyaki beef jerky. The smell is killer fresh like Dexter with a popped collar.

T: Considerably more savory than the smell, I get the taste of french bread and candied orange rind. There is a teensy bitterness in the aftertaste, but nothing I'm going to cry over. You get a dry bread finish; this is a pretty memorable and unique flavor.

M: Not particularly fizzy, and dry in the mouth like a white wine. Leaves a lingering flavor that will no doubt make you fail a breath test.

O: Fabulous initial smell and totally unique flavor, this is worth trying if you can get your greedy beer paws on them. Not my all time favorite belgian, but in it's own class.

Photo of Klym
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of jorg2619
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife and I saved this beer a special occasion and here we are. The pour was good this beer is a pale amber with a thin eradicate head that appears to be eggshell and brilliant white. The smell is a ghost of hops. I say this to mean that this beer smells like cascade or centennial hops in a bag. The hops smell is surrounded with bready and mild notes of malt. Overall this beer smells pleasant. The first draw of 08-08 is laced with the hint of hops which have long faded from 2008 and leaves the mouth with a subtle smooth triple. The malt flavors in this brew feels sweet come spicy from the yeast, and some hint just hints of oxidation. Overall I would say that waiting till 2012 to drink this beer may be a mistake. I think that this beer is at or over peek, and though I understand why advocates save these beers I would not wait any longer on this year... it tastes better now than when I had it fresh!!!!

Photo of drewba
2.94/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Bright, translucent yellow with a half finger head after an aggressive pour. There are a few bubbles along the edges with some splotchy lacing.

S - dry pepper, grass, old citrus, yeast, green apples. Very low aroma.

T - sweet apples, pear, a hint of pepper, clove, old musty attic and plenty of yeast. It's quite sweet with just a hint of bitterness in the back end. Somehow, there is a noticeable, but small amount of alcohol heat in the back of my throat after sipping on this. This isn't a drainpour, but I'm not excited about finishing this bottle.

M - It's on the thin side, but some prickly bubbles are still there, surprisingly, after 2.5 years of being bottled.

O - I'm not sure if I would look forward to this in a vertical epic tasting at the end of 2010, but it was a fun science experiment to see how this is doing after a couple years. Most of the "ipa" qualities have died with age, this is now pretty much a sweet belgian style with a unique yeast character.

Photo of birchstick
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a '06 - '10 vertical

This pours a clear yellow and a small head on it. Piney hops mixed in with some bready malts dominated the aroma. The taste had a nice combination of sweet citrus and caramel malts. Ended with a bit of spicy hops. Maybe I missed the belgian characteristics of this one or they faded away. My palate was starting to go at this point so this was the last one I reviewed, so who knows. This was a little think with a good body. This was a nice and sweet overall. The high abv was noticeable still and could use some more time, but then again this is a Belgian IPA so time definitely won't help it.

Photo of harrymel
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured to NB globe during an 06-10 VE tasting.

A: Golden, hazy with single finger fine white foam which sticks around. Decent spider lacing. Golden butterscotch look.

S: Peppercorns, green apples, belgian yeast. Floral qualities, jasmine. Decent, but not great.

T: Cloves, apples, bananas over a slightly sour amberesque ale. The beer also evolves to reveal a slight alcohol flavor. Not really a taste I would anticipate from an IPA (even belgian).

M: medium body with fine, assertive carbonation. Leaves the palate dry.

D: This is a decent beer, but not nearly as good as some of the other offerings from the series I sampled.

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a white head and and spots of lacing.

S: There is still a surprising hop presence to this beer with some nice bright fruit notes, but those may be from the Belgian yeast strain. There's a bready and sugary sweetness to the nose along with some mild alcohol.

T: Quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue with citrus peel, particularly orange and tangerine. The hops are a bit grassy but provide some pine, too. A bit of pear sweetness along with the bread.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Not surprisingly, this beer is nowhere near as good as it was when it came out a couple years ago. But it's still drinkable.

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 1-30 along with the 09 and 10.

A - Poured out a semi-cloudy, golden yellow color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled slightly phenolic with good yeasty quality. Some tropical fruits were detected, too.

T - Good spicy and yeasty first sip with sweet caramel, a sharp hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This was really good with 2+ years of age. I would've loved to try on fresh.

Photo of dragonWhale
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice, very nice. Before looking this up to review I thought I was sippin on a hoppy saison. A brilliant gold, quite clear. Estery, can'tquiteputmyfingeronit goodness. Not much Americohop presence. Very floral hops, grassy too. Nothing in the way of citrus and pine. Classy. I mean $150/hr whore classy. Very tasty with a giant alcohol finish, especially for the mere 8.6 and the 2 years that this has sat dormant, awaiting execution. Delicious. My last bottle. Had to throw it back on the wants..

Photo of mltobin
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Whole Foods Bowery.

Appearance is a hazy golden color with a thin white head.
Smell contains belgian yeast, some citrus, banana. Taste is sweet, grapefruit comes across, also some acidity, along with candied sugar. MF starts off smooth, and then picks as the sip continues & dry in the finish. Drinkability is very good on this Belgian IPA from Stone. One of my personal favorites from the few that I have consumed from the Vertical Epic series.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty glad I found this for $7 with two years already on it!

Pours a golden amber aith white head that fades quickly to almost nothing (probably because the alcohol is 8.6%)Leaves nice lacing though.

Smell isnt over powering but of lemon and orange. I think the yeast contributes a lot to the smell.

Taste and mouthfeel are great! It tastes like a citrus foreward IPA but semi subdued. The bottle conditioning makes for a great smooth creamy mouthfeel and covers the alcohol quite a bit.

Im gonna go pick up this and the 09 to let sit for another year!

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank 12.29.10 after sitting in a low 50's basement for 2 years.

Golden hazy yellow. Straw. Thick frothy head.

Very fruity tart apple aroma with a solid yeasty honey background. A tangy amount of floral/resin hops brings up the rear.

Sips with a nice little tang at first but is very fruity and smooth with a nice Belgian kick in the back. Estery and full of fruity hop notes that are subtle but leave a fruity dryness like a champagne.

Drinks juicy and light with a great bubble tingle.

Photo of YouSkeete
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this guy at my hometowns liquor store last week. Why this hole-in-the-wall have a two-year old Stone... I'll never know.

A: Cloudy bright yellow with a very slight orange tint, medium white head, lots of lacing.

S: Smooth and dry malt sweetness, large fruity body, and lots of honey sweetness. Yeast and Belgian hops are strong, but not heavy in the nose.

M: Fruity sweetness, and a boat load of bready pilsner malts, both dry and bitter yet rich and flavorful. Fruits consist of maybe apples, oranges, bananas; definitely on the lighter side. Floral notes are noticed, along with some grain and wheat undertones. Finishes syrupy and sticky.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Moderately nice finish. I have to admit i feel like there is something missing, but i can't put a finger on it.

D: definitely a great tasting brew, but not my favorite out of the VE Series.

Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: This one pours an almost clear golden color. There was a skall white head that didn't linger or leave any lacing. The aroma is nice. Some peppery spices, orange, lemon, yeastiness to the nose. The flavor is good. Somewhat like a tripel, but some hop bitterness to the finish. Some yeast, lemon, clove, orange, spiciness to the taste. Dry finish. Nice!

Photo of DovaliHops
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very slightly hazy golden color with a medium-small white head that disappears quickly. Scent is Belgian yeast, lemongrass, a little bit of hoppiness left, apples, spices, orange peel, and pear. Lots of fruitiness going on. Taste quite delicious. All the fruitiness is very present in the taste, but the hoppiness has faded away completely it seems like...maybe not completely, but damn near close. Tons of apple and pear flavors. I also get some white grape flavors that are comparable to 10-10-10. The lemon zest lingers on the palate after every sip along with some pleasant spiciness and a bit of alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and crisp. Drinkability is high. I never had this beer fresh when it was released over 2 years ago, but I think it's drinking very well right now. Gonna save the other bottle for the Epic 2012 vertical!

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly disappeared, leaving lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of oranges and spices in the nose; hints of grapefruit and yeast are also discernible.
T: Like the smell, citrus and spicy flavors dominate the overall taste, overshadowing the underlying malts. The finish has a moderate amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish and some hints of warming from the alcohol.
D: This is a beer that needs to be slowly sipped given its alcohol content and the amount of bitterness.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, bright, yellow-hued body underneath a tall, white head fed by sustained streams of fine carbonation.

Smell: Light pale malts with some small, sweetish hints, touches of florals, peaches, less-than-dry white wine and with citrusy notes of American hops, though understandably a bit curtailed from two years of quite aging in the keg.

Taste: Pale lightly malted barley with sweet, honeyed traces to it, welcoming in fruit accents of peaches, apples, grapefruits, and white grapes. Subtle florals. Medium level of hop bitterness remaining two years out pairs with the spicy clove-like phenols. Noticed vein of alcohol running through this brew. Finishes dry, warming, and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Slight overall stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: 08.08.08 runs in line with others of its ilk, like Duvel Triple Hop or Urthel Hop-It, though I'd like it with a skosh more carbonation to it to keep things moving in the mouth. Still pretty nice, though.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 705 ratings.