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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: 735
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: 735
Photo of Japerrault
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of klikger
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of voteforgoat
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
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

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Photo of levifunk
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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

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

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

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

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

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

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

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This just seemed like the right thing to have with my dinner. We'll see if I keep or trade my other bottle.

A: Pale golden with lots of a/c but a relatively thins head, less than one finger. It's just off white and is small to medium bubbles. Only a little lacing. The more I look, that golden color seems almost orangeish.

S: Like really good honey. Not sweet, but like honey. This smell is quite wonderful. Not overly spiced, which I was sort of expecting, and not very belgiany, though that could be blending into the honey aromas. Maybe a little fresh baked bread? I am associating this smell with creamed honey on fresh baked ciabatta bread. Yum. I would have expected hops, but it's aged, so of course not.

T: Honey is still there, still reminding me of the creamed honey on bread, but there is now some spices going on, not sure if it's remnant hops or something like corriander, anise? While the hops aren't crazy, there is a definite reminder of a hop-burp as I like to call it. I would say this is more of a Belgian take on an American IPA than an Belgian IPA, and that's how I'm grading it.

M: The mouth is surprisingly crisp considering it didn't look very carbonated. Its working really well cutting the spiciness of my soup. It could use a little more body though.

D: Very drinkable in small amounts, it's almost too sweet for me at this point.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fortunate to be able to try this on tap at DLD.

Appearance: Poured a honey orange color, with a small 2 cm head. Not much head retention, but a little light lace stick.

Smell: Sweet aroma. Sweet malt, mellowed fruits, bananas, and citrus. Some mild spices and earthy notes as well.

Taste: The start of the sip provides a strong initial sweetness, with caramel, banana, and some citrus (orange and grapefruit) flavors. Alcohol really kicks in the middle. Although the hops have not disappeared completely, it definitely does not have typical IPA character. Soft hops remind me of orange and lemon zest. Finishes a bit spicy.

Mouthfeel: Medium/high level of carbonation, a little bit grainy. Medium body.

Drinkability: Overall I thought this was a smooth, enjoyable beer. Personally, I thought it drank more like a Tripel due to the lack of strong hoppy character.

It would have been interesting to taste when it was first brewed, as a comparison. The novelty of having one of the Epics was a great treat, even if the beer itself was not mind-blowing.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened an 08.08.08 with a friend...

A: Golden honey color with murky sediment swirling around in the color. Thick 1 inch white head that fades at a medium pace.

S: Smells pretty good. Sweet malts and an earthy caramel banana flavor upfront. A heavy dry booziness in the middle with hints of grapefruit on the backend. Very good.

T: A little lacking here. A heavy dry boozy hopiness upfront. The dry texture to the brew hides the hints of grapefruit flavors in the middle. Hints of roast on the backend. Decent.

M: Very good balance of carbonation.

D: After it warms up it goes down much easier because it dulls down the heavy dry boozy hops. Good.

All in all, this was a decent brew. Not as good as the hype makes it seem IMO. Good to try once. More like a glorified mainstream brew. This one would be a good gateway beer to get into the craft beer scene.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a glass.

A - Poured a nice thick honey orange with extremely champagne like carbonation...bubbles clinged to every side of the glass when first poured. The head resembled the carbonation and didn't hang around long.

S - Citrus notes jump out the most with a soft dry hop thing going on in the background. Also had an odd almost metallic like smell mixed in.

T - Semi-hoppy flavor with some spicey fruits. It got better as it opened up. The saisonish flavor is definitely there, but not until the beer opened up. Pretty decent Belgian IPA. Not too hoppy, but enough to compliment the other flavors.

M - Little bit bready...little bit bitter. Cooling after feel.

D - very drinkable. was a bit hoppy for my tastes at first, but as it opened it, it really got great.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Hazy straw/gold color with some carbonation up the glass. Head is half a finger and recedes quickly, leaving no ring and no lacing. Pretty unimpressive for a Belgian, IMO.

S: Very rich and pleasant aroma. Citrus flavors in grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Floral and perfumey, with yeast behind it. Some clove.

T: I'm having this about 1.5 years after it came out, but the citrus flavors are still quite noticeable; the hops haven't totally faded. The flavors are mostly grapefruit, pineapple, and orange, with a slight bitterness that suggests orange peel and lemon zest. It reminds me of a saison at first, actually. Bubblegum. The finish is spicy (clove and pepper).

M: Medium-bodied. It still feels a bit heavy on the palate. Carbonation is low. The finish is watery at times. I'm not totally sure what to make of this one.

D: Having essentially "verticaled" 06-09 myself, I pronounce this the worst of the 4 as of late March / early April.

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

Let's face it, I couldn't hold off another two years!!

A: Pours a vibrant straw gold with slight haze, a creamy white head on top, leaving behind very nice lacing.

S: Sweet citrus and spicy smell, but also a bready and buttery pie crust smell in there, as well. Not much of a hop scent, unfortunately, but after this long, what do you expect?

T: Just as the nose leads on, nice blend of citrus and spice: cinnamon, coriander, delicious. There is also that buttery crust taste, similar to that in ST Pumking. Very enjoyable. A touch of bitterness and alcohol at the end.

M: Pretty thick and bready, almost syrupy; decent carbonation.

D: Very good, easy to drink a bomber, despite a pretty high ABV. I'll have to try this again in 2012.

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Photo of mactrail
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sharp and fruity strong ale.

I would call it a "pungent' aroma. It is so sharp in the back of the throat I pause in mid sip. Definitely an overexuberance of Belgian flavors taking over, but unrestrained by the usual Belgian malty funk. I call it an IPA that's been jacked up with Country Time lemonade powder.

I wonder if these beers should be stored refrigerated? I bet there is a giant cooler chugging away somewhere in an industrial part of Escondido with a vast store of Verticals in suspended animation waiting for the big day. Me, I'm going to pull the ones I have left and drink 'em now. Well, not right this minute.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

About a year and a half old and purchased recently. Probably wasn't stored properly, but the warehouse-like store wasn't exactly heated either. Not sure how warm it got in the summer. Anyway...

Served in a tulip. The beer is clear and golden. The head is white, a couple fingers thick and fell quickly to a film. It leaves some thin lacing. Looks pretty good.

Aroma is nice with a lot of belgian farmhouse character. There's also some faint citrus hop aroma in the background. I imagine that this was much more pronounced a year ago. There's also some fruity esters in there. The flavor is fruity and clean with the hops asserting themselves a little more. The hop bitterness comes through in the finish.

Carbonation is high, and it dries out nicely leaving very little bitterness behind. Pretty easy drinking. Wishing I got ahold of this one when it was fresh. I got a second bottle to drink on 12.12.12, trusting stone that it will hold up till then.

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Photo of JoePat
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a perfect golden color with a nice white head that dissipates pretty quickly but that is expected with a few years on it.
Smells earthy from the hops and a a little bit of golden raison smell.
The tast is sweet, spicy in the begining and finishes bitter.
Mouthfeel is light syrupy from the sweetness and a little dry.
Easy to drink kind of like a mix between a triple and a DIPA.

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

22oz bomber into a snifter glass

A- Poured a cloudy golden yellowish orange with a thin white head on top that dosen't last to long and leaves little lacing.

S- Floral earthy citrus hops dominate with a tropical fruity backround. Little bit of alcohol spicyness.

T- Caramel malts with a strong citrusy hop backround. Tropical fruits and slight alcohol is apparent as it warms. Very sweet overall.

M- Meduim bodied with lower carbonation and a solid bitter dry finish.


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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Greg for the bottle. I didn't think this beer would hold up like it did, but it was very enjoyable. I'm reviewing this as a Tripel as the bottle says, instead of a Belgian IPA.

It looks like honey in the glass, with a gold color and a complete haze. The head is solid and white and leaves great lacing on top of what turns in to a thin cap of foam.

I smelled the bottlecap after opening and it had a good amount of hops stuck to it. The beer itself lost most of these hops after 1.5 years in the bottle. There is a touch of citrus to the nose, but I'm not sure if it's from the hops or yeast. At this point, it's still less hoppy than a fresh, more conservatively hopped Belgian tripel. It does have a strong, sweet bouquet of light colored fruits like apples and pears.

The flavor is intensely sweet with pale malt and Belgian sugar. The bitterness at this point is lower than any tripel I've had, and the aged hops add a slightly medicinal bitterness in the finish. Some sweet, apple like candy flavors linger in the finish.

The mouthfeel is well carbonated with a medium body. The finish is a bit sweet because of the lacks of hops at this point, leaving a finish that isn't quite as dry as the label says. The drinkabilty is good, even though the ABV sneaks up on you. I was glad I had another pour left in the bomber. Good example of one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of JosephLondon
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An extra as part of a trade with msulinski, I thank you for this one!

Poured a bright golden color with a nice, foaming white crown. The head departed to nonexistence-nothing with no lace. In the nose there is mostly citrus fruit with a hint of a yeasty-malt note. The taste is actually really good upfront with fresh fruits and a good hop bite(especially since the beer is a year and a half old). This fades in the body and leaves the finish bland. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by its somewhat robust character considering its age.There is nothing to note in its feel as it is fairly flat and thin. However, this 8.6 abv brew drank wonderfully. I was shocked when I saw the abv! I thought it was around 5.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

New review (9/22/09) from notes at MacGregors

A - slightly lighter in color than the '07, more gold I guess. Decent head retention, quite clear. 4.0

S - lightly fruity with a light citrus-hop aroma. Nearly like a Belgian tripel. 4.0

T - Amber malts, caramel, and a more pronounced hop presence in the finish. Touch of pear and grapefruit. 4.5

M - very smooth, light/medium bodied. 4.0

D - pretty good. I could do a goblet of this. 3.5


On tap at Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Review from notes.

A - poured clear golden amber, white 1" head in a goblet. Bubbles run up from the bottom of the glass 4.0

S - sweet pale malts, slightly alcoholic and a touch of piny hops. What a strange nose... I didn't detect anything else... 3.5

T - sweet maltiness and a hint of raisins. Dry and hoppy finish. Pretty boozy, the alcohol is in your face. 3.5

M - medium bodied, highly carbonated. Prickly on the tongue. 3.5

D - decent but the alcohol is a bit much. 3.0

Thoughts - this was a bit boozy. It wasn't as balanced as I expected it to be. Give it a couple more years and maybe it'll mellow out a bit.

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Photo of samie85
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 1/22/10.

A-Slightly red hued golden color with a white two finger head.

S- I'm getting lemon zest, pine, herbal bitterness, pepper, and spicy Belgian yeast.

T- Lemon and grapefruit with pepper, dry and spicy Belgian yeast, an herbal note, and clove. Pretty interesting flavor profile, but not one I'm in love with.

M-Medium bodied with pretty significant carbonation.

D-The herbal aftertaste and the high carbonation hurts the drinkability for me. It's very interesting but a little overcomplicated.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You all know what the bottle looks like so I won't bother. Pours out a copper yellow with almost no head at all. Smell is very sweet with hints of malt, lemon and earthy notes.

Taste is much milder than I expected. Very well integrated flavors of sugar, bread and grassy hops. Lovely drying bitterness in the middle and end. Aftertaste goes on and on. 20 plus seconds? Well balanced and easy drinking. The alcohol is so well hidden. A very "clean" beer.

A great VE in my opinion. I am not sure how this one will age as it is so well integrated now. Oh well, we will see.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazed apricot with a pretty nice head. The smell is a bit of sweet malt, spices, and citrus. THe taste was quite the same with some more Belgian yeast in there, with the citrus flavors coming a bit to the front. Mouthfeel was pretty big as a result of the sweetness. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange color with a white head that fades leaving a nice amount of lacing around the glass.

Smells of lemon zest, clove and some orange.

Taste starts out with a orange lemon mixed flavor, coriander, some tobacco notes, belgian yeast, spice, hoppy bitterness (not as much as you would expect) Chewy and dry finish. Lot of stuff going on in this one. Some flavors I can't seem to put a name on. Very interesting beer. Much different then others I've had but similar to Houblon Chouffe.

Many thanks to ditmier for an awesome trade!

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Photo of katan
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into a goblet

A - Pours a deep dark golden color, with perhaps some brownish highlights. Opaque, but not hazy. Carbonation is obviously strong, but the head wasn't as potent. Came to a quick film which dissipated immediately.

S - Starts off with a light malt sweet scent which is cut with some almost grainy astringency. A strong belgian yeast and spiciness comes through, very much reminds me of a tripel. Some phenolic hints are present.

T - Starts off with a sweet malt note and some pilsner graininess. Mid-stream gets more bitter, but really not much for a hops flavor. Only a light fruity note which also appears in the final flavors. Wouldn't consider this an IPA by the taste. Finishes with a almost orange-like and fruity banana note, which is complemented by a strong alcohol presence.

M - Strong body - very full of unferrmentables. Clinging, sweet, and almost syrupy. Carbonation is light on the tongue.

D - A fairy smooth and easy drinking beer. ABV will hurt, but it seems to represent a style that is enjoyed on a solo basis, and slowly at that. Not very filling. Maybe just a bit too sweet for a belgian IPA.

I vote this is a tripel, but Stone gets to make that call.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A-Clear golden beer. White, oily head rose small and dissipated to an unattractive layer, quickly down to nothing.

S-Spicy, citrus-orange aromatics, slightly grassy. So much hoppiness, it seemed almost beyond Belgian-style.

T-Spicy-grapefruit-citrus hoppiness is very prominent over a clove and sweet-spicy malt. Hop bitterness, backed by something dry and yeast-influenced, is straight forward and assertive. There's a resiny hop floating around on the back of my tongue. So, so many hops, this flavor certainly overcame my lowered expectations from the appearance off the pour :D

M-Moderate carbonation. Medium-bodied beer is pushed along further by a drying, nearly puckering at times, bitterness.

D-Despite its potential difficulty due to its huge hoppiness, this beer was actually very drinkable. I find myself feeling somewhat disappointed that I'll most likely not sample this brew again.

Thanks to my girlfriend for bringing this bottle back to MN from her trip to Los Angeles.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. 8.6% ABV, "The seventh in an epic series." "Limited Release" "Age at cellar temp 55 Degrees F or below."

Thanks to Sweemzander for this bottle!

A - A tall pour stirred up the sediment but almost nothing entered my glass which left the beer a brilliant clear golden honey color with moderate retention. The white head sprang upwards from the pour but reached only close to two fingers. Decent retention and lace characteristic of a Belgian beer.

S - The nose is almost magical. Pale malts provide minimal raw honey-like sweetness to the nose that consists mainly of a balanced yeast presence. Belgian yeast is evident with notes of spice and straw as well as light alcohol. Hops are mild but contribute a nice floral freshness with a crispness to them. A great aroma.

T - Again, pale malts provide little to this beer flavor wise. A minute honey sweetness lingers in the back. The bulk of the flavor is imparted from the Belgian yeast which gives it a herbal and floral spice that can also be attributed to the hops, a light yeast flavored kick and a lemon zest. It finish out with very mild alcohol and dry, bitter hops. Lighter on flavor, bigger on feel. Complex and delicate.

M - Medium-light bodied and crisp with a citrus zest along the sides of the tongue and a dry, bitter finish from the hops. The carbonation is near sparkling in the mouth.

D - Well brewed and balanced, the '08 is a delicate and complex Belgian brew with a good hoppy kick to the finish. Nicely done Stone. A shame I can't find more and didn't have one fresh. I'll be finishing the bottle alone with no problem and feeling good afterward too. Yum.

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