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

706 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 706
Reviews: 476
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: 706 | Reviews: 476
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.

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

38th review on BA
bottle to tulip

App- Orange hazy sunset color with 2 finger off white head that loudly fizzled down the glass.

Smell- Huge hop notes with citrus and spice notes and that belgian strain coming through quite nicely.

Taste- This is a smooth IPA. I am very happy I found this laying around. It's slightly sweet with a flavor I just cant put my finger on but it wants me to keep drinking. Stone is very good at this Vertical series. I really want them all, too bad 02 is $750 on ebay right now.

Mouth- It's sweet but not too in your face. I find it to be a delicate balance of flavors but comes through quite nicely.

Drink- Keep this one coming. I wish they made this a full time selection. I am off to find another one to age till the VE series is over.

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

The midway point, my VE hump day.

A: The Belgian IPA is a pale golden color, quite translucent. Very little in the way of head, a few wispy strands.

S: The nose, ahh the sweet blend of tripel botanicals, strong hops and a twang of Belgian yeast. The best smeller of the night.

T: The hops are off a step, this being 2 years old and all. Luckily the tripel spices are lively and sharp. Coriander, pears and pepper create a complex flavor that coaxes the last remaining citrus oomph out of the hops. The yeast strain adds additional sweetness that, along with the hops and tripel, lend a gritty bite to the ale.

M: The mouthfeel is a study in contrasts, the bite of the hops, the sweetness of the yeast, the strength of the tripel. My favorite of the night.

D: Another whopper, too strong for its own good. I wouldn't hesitate to have a few more pints, a Belgian IPA that has aged nicely.

Photo of Phelps
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks: like liquid gold. The beer pours from the bottle a resplendent golden-orange, almost completely opaque, with a tiny head of pure white composed of fizzy soda bubbles that effervesce quickly, leaving a tiny lingering ring. No lacing to speak of.

Smells: some hops remain, imparting citrusy orange flavors. Very spicy. Coriander, pears, lemon, red apples, white peppercorns. It's odd, almost like breathing spiciness. I can feel a heat in the back of my throat as I breath in.

Tastes: enduring. Though the years have performed their work on the hops in the nose, it's amazing how well they've held up in the flavor. This is a Belgian IPA if I've ever had one. Starts fruity, with flavors of pear juice, banana, clove and maybe even some floral lavender. Then a blast of bitter, citrusy hops, with orange juice lemon zest. The flavor of sweet orange creamsicles hits at the swallow before an oddly dry finish.

Feels: whipped. Lightly carbonated, medium-bodied and pillow-soft. It's nice to just swish around the mouth.

Drinks: For a two-year-old Belgian IPA, this is exquisite. Still fruity, still hoppy, still complex. I'm not confident my second bottle will hold up until 2012, but we'll see.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Life is short, why wait until 2012. This is a re-review with a more favorable outcome.

A-pale straw with a copper tinge, with a thin white head with nice lacing.

S-Belgian yeast, grass, musk, saddle, and a hint of lemon and bananna and a bit of alcohol in the background. Very little hop aroma detected.

T-Belgian tripel yeast, fresh green apple, a hint of green grape juice, pear and corriander. Dry finish with herbal peppery hops leading the way out. The watchword here is "crisp". ABV is well hidden, and the complexity of this ale begins to shine as it warms. I expected this to be a much more highly hopped ale, and perhaps it was when it was young. It has mellowed into a very nice tripel, however, and while this is not my favorite style, I can appreciate that this is well done. In any case, this is much better than it was a year ago

M-Medium mouthfeel and carbonation

D-This is a pretty drinkable beer, and one that could sneak up on you given the ABV. .I think the Cali-Belgique hits closer to home for the West Coast meets Belgian thing, but this is a pretty nice effort.

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

Pours a golden orange colour with some white head and nice enough lacing. Smells like spicy Belgian yeast with some citrus notes. Flavour has a kick of bitterness, but also a very dry flavour to it. Nice carbonation and easy to finish off my half of the bomber.

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

Aroma is like a saison, getting pepper first of all, clove and bannanas. Golden blond colour with white Caesar head. Understated hops, lemon rind. Above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability.I think the yeast will fade out in a couple years which make it even more interesting, take the edge off the yeast.

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

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours a nice golden with a fairly short head but nice lacing. The smell is fairly light but with some nice earthy and citrusy hops. Tastes big and piney with some cream and citrus, especially on the finish. Creamy and smooth in the mouth, with a bit of prickliness at the end. Overall it's pretty nice, I particularly like the orange and cream finish- makes it taste a little like a hoppy creamsicle!

Photo of beerwolf77
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to blackearth for busting this one out of the cellar.

Poured from a bottle into my glass.

A: bright golden yellow, small white head, light soapy lace

S: sweet doughy malt, solid amount of of citrus, heavy on the oranges, light pine mixed in

T: very similar to the nose, orange essence yellow cupcakes cup to mind

M: medium body with mild carbonation

D: overall this is astyle that I just don't get. Well I get this one. Very flavorful and drinkable. I would have no problem finishing a bomber myself.

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

One from my case purchased and cellared since 08. Nice dark golden color. On the cloudy side. Thin wispy head that manages to trail spotty lace. Smell is sugary with some whisky burn in the background. Hops is much more subdued than when this was fresh. Taste is a great mix of sweet up front with bitterness on the finish. It has matured nicely and mellowed considerable since it was fresh. Nothing less than what I would expect from Stone.

Photo of bilyboy65
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a fantastic release yet again. 2 years old now and still fresh. I wish I had tried one in '08 to compare it too.

A: Slightly cloudy, light amber with a pure white head. Lacing that coats the glass and a heavy film left behind. Decent carbonation to keep the head around after 2 years as well.

S: Hoppy bitterness jumps out at you with a sweet malty scent to follow right behind. Tying it together seems to be a yeasty scent riding the hops to your nose. All works together to make a very nice nose.

T: Very well balanced flavor between the hops, malts and yeast. Some pulls seem to have the sweet malts dominate and others the hops. The yeast seems to just be there to act as a blending agent. Very nice.

M: Dry medium bodied beer.

D: 22oz bottle is gone before I finished this review. :)

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at a Vertical Epic tasting with my friend Armand.

A-Good head, White bubbles that are larger the the previous Epic's, dissipates quickly, golden straw yellow.

S-Hop aroma, piney, citrusy.

T-Flavor follows through, a little grassy.

D-Good drinker, big flavors but very smooth.

Photo of silentjay
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear, translucent copper with a smallish off-white head that quickly recedes to a small film, but laces well.

some peppery, fruity aromas hints at a belgian yeast while some citrusy and grassy hops back things up a bit. bananas and cloves, yah, but plenty more. Traces of a belgian tripel, but with some hops as well. not bad at all.

taste is similar to the aroma, but also adds some malts to the package. peppery and fruity with banana, clove, plum, raisin, and apple flavors added to the wheat toast and caramel malts which give way to some grassy, citrus, and earthy hops, which have probably faded a bit over the last two years. a bit of warming booze comes through on the back end. nice.

medium bodied with ample carbonation and a nice lingering bitterness.

drinks rather well. booze can be harsh at times, even though its been aged for two years. that may age out in the next couple of years when the vertical is complete. otherwise, this is a nice, hoppy tripel with plenty of complexity and flavor. will look forward to trying this again in a couple of years.

Photo of mdfb79
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a nice golden-amber color with high carbonation evident and one finger of off white head that doesn't last very long.

s - Smells of bananas, cloves, spices, yeast, and sticky sweet fruit malts. Some citrus came out as it warms up.

t - Tastes of bananas, citrus hops, grapefruit, oragne, spice, and yeast. A tiny bit of bitterness, but not much. More fruity malts as it warms up.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink for 8.6%.

d - The bottle says it is a Belgian tripel, while BA says it's a Belgian IPA, and I can see both sides of it. I thought it smelled pretty good and definitely like a tripel, as it didn't have a lot of hops. The taste however actually still had a lot of hops to it. Either way, it was an enjoyable beer I'd try again. Interested to see what'll happen in 2 more years.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Big thanks to GoGriz for this bottle!

I missed out on this one the first time 'round. This is why trading was invented. It pours a slightly hazed golden straw topped by a finger or so of white foam. The nose comprises light hoppy grapefruit and pine, honey, ginger, clove, pepper, banana, and a light dusting of biscuit crumbs. The taste has the same elements, though the hops remain decently strong, the grapefruit blending into a lemony citrus nearer the back; and the honey is thicker, heavier, sweeter, and mixed with a dash of light caramel. The body is a heavy light/light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly crisp finish. Overall, this has aged pretty nicely (I believe), with the hops still strong enough to matter and the balance pretty well-maintained.

Photo of Chico1985
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of dedrinker
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An attractive golden hue with a soft white head.

Smells like spice, sweet bread, honey, and citrus.

Tastes like coriander, orange peel, and honey with a lingering hop bite, that has mellowed remarkably since it's first bottling. This is almost like your ordinary above average Belgian triple.

medium body with both a sweet and bitter hops finish. Great for spring and summer mornings.

Photo of Bfarr
2.88/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Slightly hazy golden orange with foamy white head with little retention and lacing. Spicy and citrus aroma. Flavors complimenting the aroma with apple and strong hop presence despite 2 years and a little more balanced. Semi-dry, straw and alcohol finish. Spongy, fizzy mouthfeel with poor bitter linger.

I never had a chance to taste this fresh but I imagine the strong hops may have saved this fresh. Also, it may have been improperly stored at some point since I just found it about 6 months ago in a store. Nonetheless, as is it seems to me this was a prototype for the Cali-Belgique IPA which I love and so I guess that's what it's all about for Stone, finding something good to tweak a bit for regular production.

Photo of xaulzan
4.85/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

M: Medium bodied, still a fair amount of carbonation

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

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon bombers of this while out for groceries and snatched it up at just $4.75- a good price for really ANY bomber in NYC.

Poured from 22oz bottle into 300ml Krusovice goblet.

Appearance: Pours golden-amber in color with a medium-sized, very slowly dissipating off-white head that leaves some large spots of lace behind.

Smell: Smells like a very well-aged beer- sweet grapes and apples with some yeast backed up by citric and floral hop notes.

Taste: The smell doesn't give away the hoppiness of this beer too well- It starts off with bready, yeasty flavors backed up by a hint of apple, finishing rather hoppy. The finish has herbal and earthy hop flavors and a somewhat intense, yet pleasant bitterness. More yeast is detectable in the finish. After you've drank a bit of this and gotten used to the flavor, it actually starts to taste like champagne.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with balanced, very natural carbonation and a dry champagne-esque finish.

Drinkability: An older beer like this is meant to be savored, and it is a pleasure to drink. This is the first "vintage" beer I've had, yet I can detect a certain aged quality about this. Now I'm seriously considering buying some more bottles of this to cellar for longer. If you can find this beer, definitely grab it- whether it's for cellaring or for drinking.

Photo of Dotcubed
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lucky to obtain a bottle a few weeks ago.

Not in a hurry to drink it, it's been in the fridge.
Poured into a unibroue tulip glass.

Looks like an IPA, light carbonation. Clear dark golden yellow. Laceless.

Light floral, bready scent. Pleasant belgian odor. Fairly faint.

Grapefruity pungency. At almost 2 years old, this had to be a mouthful when new.
Reminds me of the gummy grapefruit candy, but with some bitterness. Remarkable. Not much of an IPA any longer.

Medium-Heavy bodied.

Good drinking if you like belgian style.

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

A: Clear golden ale. Thick white head which dissipated quickly.

S: Sweet candy-like aromas, caramel

T: Medium sweetness, caramel and bananna. Another candy flavor is noticed, kinda like juicy fruit. The lingering mild aftertaste is of toasted grain. Hops are there balancing this malty ale, but the flavors are difficult to pick out.

M: Medium body, smooth and sweet. Medium carbonation as well. Alcohol warmth noticed but not overboard.

D: Smooth, sweet, and nothing harsh make this relatively easy to drink.

Photo of klikger
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

4 oz pour in standard pint glass

A - Cloudy-white, w/ little to no head or lacing

S - Sugar & white grapes

T - Honey, cardamom, and earthy grains compose the sweet tastes found up front. A very slight level of hops (this is a couple years old, anyway) help to balance this out. The taste is pretty complex and certainly enjoyable.

M - Medium-bodied, lightly carbed.

D - Very drinkable for 8.6% - I thought it was in the 5 or 6% range prior to being informed.

This is my first Vertical Epic, and I liked it quite a bit. I'm a hop nut, so this doesn't match up with hoppier Belgian IPAs from that respect, but the mixture of flavors is well-crafted, and this does stand out from the crowd.

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

A- clear golden, very small foam.

b- smells perfumy, flowery, pleasant.

t- tastes like a belgian beer, estery, flowery, def. some sweetness but balanced out by a very strong hop presence. this is more bitter than most belgians I've had but what stone set out to do.
not a very malty feel.

m- feels slightly viscous, has the feel of something like white wine on the tongue. mild carbonation. carbonation could be stronger

d- would i swing back a few in a bar? Yeah, why not? While a good beer, I 've had other years Stone VE that I liked better, like 09/09/09

Photo of levifunk
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bomber found in the cooler of my local shop

a - rich golden color. white head.

s - hops. earthy. hint of honey.

t - big hops flavor. odd bitterness...its strong, but doesnt stay. big alcohol flavor. some citrus, but more like the rind than the fruit. thats it....it taste like grapefruit rind.

m - mouthfeel is good. its got a good lightness to it, which balances the bigger ABV

overall - not my favorite flavor, but if you like huge citrus cops, give it a try.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 706 ratings.