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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

696 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 696
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 174 | FT: 13
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:
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 added by: froghop on 08-04-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 696 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gciccarelli
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into wine glass.

A - Pale gold with very small head.

S - Spicy aroma, high presence of yeast smell. Hoppy citrus notes and sugar smells...

T - Very balanced, very tasting, very good. Spicy notes, sweet malts, bitter hops...really, a trippel and IPA combined. Slight taste of alcohol as well. Mild bitter aftertaste, like an IPA.

M - Medium body, light carbonation, nice residue left in the mouth. Less carbonation than many belgian-style brews...but good.

D - Especially considering the high alcohol content, this is a very drinkable beer and a very tasty one at that.

I will certainly plan on picking up another few of these and aging them as they were intended to be...can only imagine them getting better with age.

Photo of magictrokini
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I succumbed and broke one open early... and I'm glad I did. Pours oily clear gold with a minimal white head. Aroma of banana, yeast, clove, and a bucket of hops. Very sweet and resiny taste; the Belgian qualities really compliment the West-Coast IPA hopping. The Simcoe and Amarillo do well, adding the pepper and pine. Taste is closer to the Green Flash Le Freak than the eventual Stone Cali-Belgique. We'll see how this does in a few years.

This beer exposes one of my chief complaints about this site. The Vertical Epic Series is supposed to be cellared until the series is complete, then drank at the same time. Some of the earlier beers were not very good and need cellaring to improve. Yet, if one follows Stone's directions, you will never be able to properly rate this beer because it is "retired."

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

Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a smallish head. Bits of lace trail on the glass. The aroma is delicately fruity with lychees, pears and citrus. Candy sugar sweetness and cookie dough show in the nose as well. The taste is malty and spicey like a tripel with a wonderful fruity, piney hop character the melds with the Belgian flavors very well. Mint shows with warmth, there are a lot of hop flavors going on here. The mouthfeel is creamy consistency but light bodied, love the bottle conditioning. The finish is mildly bitter and candy sugar sweet with fruity yeast esters in tow.

This is a nice hopped up Belgian ale. Very easy to drink, it doesnt taste anything like 8.6%

Photo of OStrungT
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy golden yellow color, with a thin white head. The head fades slowly, leaving no lace.

This beer has a spicy aroma. It smells of earthy yeast. Some citrus aroma comes through also. It has a surprisingly hoppy aroma also.

This beer tastes spicy, with some clovey flavor and some coriander. Orange peel and lemon mix in as well. This beer has a floral hop flavor also.

This beer is full bodied. It leaves a spicy aftertaste. The carbonation is just right.

This beer would probably make a good session beer despite the higher alcohol content.

Overall: As I suspected, this beer is great. I have never been let down with Stone, and this is no exception. I am looking forward to seeing how this one holds up.

Photo of Tilley4
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good brew, this one is...

Pours a cloudy apricot color with a fluffy head..

Lovely aroma of floral hops and sweet Belgian sugars..

Super hoppy Belgian Pale Ale... I like it... The hops dominate and sort of kill that Belgian funkiness..

Very drinkable brew... Very nice...

Photo of tadowdaddy
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden clear beer with about 1/2 inch of head that retains well, ample carbonation, and minimal lacing. Carbonation in this one is a lot more than I'd have expected.

S- Lots of hops and some highly intense fruit. A bit spicy smelling as well.

T- Hoppy like a pale ale, has the fruitiness of a belgian ale. Very straightforward fruit flavors. Orange, apricot, and a bit of citrusy lemon flavor. Hops really stand out. I do not taste the alcohol at all. Additionally get some cloves and other spices in my mouth.

M- Crisp, clean. Nice bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

D- Do not taste the alcohol, so it seems very drinkable to me. The high ABV may be a downfall, but I personally do not see it as one.

Love this beer. Opened me up to a whole new style as I'm usually an IPA, IIPA guy.

Photo of GordonQuid
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle to a freshly washed goblet.

Golden in color with a fluffy white 1 inch sustaining head, ample lacing. Like the sun peering through puffy white clouds on a perfect summer day. Very alluring as many Stone brews are...

The smell is romancing; that of an Imperial IPA. Fresh cut cascade, magnum, and galena hops. Carapil, Munich malty sweetness is also in the nose along with sweet fruity esters. Extremely inviting and appetizing!

The taste is explosive on flavor! Like the aroma indicates; like an imperal IPA balanced with a malty Belgian maltyness. I can taste the high alpha hops almost one at a time and then all together; flowing perfectly into the embrace of its malt characteristics as it finish.
Perfectly complex and entertaining, thought provoking my analysis. Pure pleasure...

The mouth feel is a perfect medium body. True to the class of a Belgian Strong Ale.

Drinkability is extreme! Upon my first taste of this elixir I could hardly wait to bring the goblet back to my lips for another sample. When my bottle was finished I was sad to know I had not another to open and enjoy immediately. This may be the most perfectly balanced beer I have ever had the pleasure to drink.

I feel privileged to have experienced this fine beer. Simply embraceable for beer lovers!

Enjoy and get it on!
-Gordon Quid of the Highland Quid Clan

Photo of BierFan
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a cervoise.

Appearance: 2 inch white head with an aggressive pour. Despite very lively carbonation the head starts dropping kinda fast. Very nice looking clear golden body.

Smell: Very sweet and candylike. Citrus aroma from the hops. Such a big hop aroma seems kinda out of place in a higher abv Belgian style beer but it smells damn good.

Taste: Really amazing. Cloves and spices that you would expect from a Belgian tripel plus hoppiness that you would expect from an American pale ale. Wonderful combination.

Drinkability: The hop flavors make me want to chug the whole bottle. The small "8.6% Alc/Vol" printed on the bottle warns me that I probably shouldn't.

UPDATE! 08/15/09: Hops have mellowed significantly but the bitterness remains. Kind of reminds me of Duvel with the addition of cloves and an increased bitterness. Still really good stuff but I'm not sure I want to let my other bottle age alot longer.

Photo of weezyfart
2.68/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aromas of banana, clove, and alcohol. Maybe even a hint of strawberry.

Palate keep the banana notes with some mild additional fruit characteristics.

The only problem with this strong ale is the choice of hops that shows up on the finish. It is just too bitter for its own good. I'd love to taste a more floral finish that would maybe mask the alcohol a little better.

A good beer from Stone, but not a great one. Toned down heat would do wonders.

Photo of RunDWP
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a few bottles of this when it first came out, and now that I've had a couple, thought it was time to post my review.

Pours a lovely golden orange, with a bit of a fizzy white head, and not a lot of lacing on the tulip glass. Nice fruity aroma, somewhat dominated by apricot. The flavor is also rather fruity, again, with a lot of apricot and a citrus and slightly piney hop bitterness that gives in an astringent quality. It's a little yeasty too, and very hoppy for a Belgian Ale. The alcohol presence is a bit detectable, and this one warms you up a little as you drink it.

Photo of Vendetta
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Original Rating Date:
August 30, 2008

Pours a bit darker than a typical Belgian. Smells banana, yeasty, bready. All of the good notes that a Belgian has, with some American notes such as a much higher rate carbonation, more citric fruitiness. The high carbonation almost makes me question whether or not it's natural, but I doubt Stone would rape this brew with added CO2 like the macros do. Clearly an American take on the Belgian style, a bit of a step below pure Belgians but surely an interesting beer. Fun to drink, complex. As it warms the banana, honey, and yeastiness really comes out. There's a lot of clove punch in here also now that it's warmed. The aroma is actually more noticible now than when I opened the bottle. Very enjoyable, clearly a good deal of effort has been put into brewing this edition of Epic. Highly recommended. Get it soon before you can't find it anymore!

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

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a 2 finger white head that creams up to a small ring, with minor lacing.

Has an estery, coriander smell, with some nice zesty citrus backgrounds.

Flavor is a zesty herbal, clove, some coriander throughout, a nice citrus background, and a pretty decent grapefruit bitter finish.

A pretty dry beer, leaves a "tanginess" on the tongue. Minor carbonation lends to the overall complexity, which seems to improve as the beer warms. In fact the overall flavor improves as it warms, IMO. A pretty nice representation of this style.

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass:

Pours golden with a thin white head that descends to a swirly patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of pine and citrus - American hops, for sure - with lemon and bread. The spiciness is herbal and black peppery.

Very hoppy - a good thing - pine and citrus - with black pepper that almost dominates. Some orange and graininess come through. It has a dry, almost chalky, finish. Alcohol comes through a bit.

It has a medium body with a tingle that may come from carbonation as well as spiciness.

A sipper as the pepper character is a bit much. Interesting use of American hops in a Belgian-style brew. It "works", but could blend better.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, pale gold with a half inch head of white. Fine dots and smears of lacework remained after the head fell to a placid surface.

Aromatics are grassy, earthy, and spicy.
Wet hay, cedar bark, lemon pith, and menthol. Hints of peaches, melons, and dried apricots follow through.

Light bodied and crisp. The carbonation is low for the style. Quite dry and refreshing.

Cut grass, lemon-spritzed hay, white pepper, and clove studded citrus lead the palate. Lemon pith, grapefruit oil, light malt, and a hint of earthy mint with cumin follow through.

Finishes very dry, with a firm bitterness and fading apricots, peaches, and mango.

Very tasty and one of the better VE's. The low carbonation detracts a bit, and the nose suffers.
The fresher the better on this one. Drink up.

Photo of joe1510
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
$6.49
Steve's Liquor
Madison, WI

Stone's Vertical Epic 08.08.08 is such a perfectly clear golden that I can read every word on my computer through the glass. An easy pour yielded a couple fingers of creamy white head that seemed to fade quickly to a thin skim, fat collar and stand up island of head in the middle of the glass. Sticky thin vine-like lacing gets left behind.

The nose has a huge amount of yeasty esters including banana, bubblegum and a medicinal quality that I'm not very fond of. Pale, slightly sweet malts lay themselves down as the base while a generous hopping for the style comes across with notes of undisclosed herbs, mint and a touch of freshly cut grass. There's a layer of booziness that tickles the nose. As this beer sits it grows in complexity with green apple being one of those things. The banana just takes over too much of the nose for my liking while the booze isn't hid very well.

The flavor has some of the same characteristics as the aroma but is muddled and more medicinal. The alcohol heat lets itself be known right off the bat but fades to let the green apple, banana, and bubblegum esters come through. The hoppiness isn't quite as noticeable but does show some of the mint. The herbal qualities stand out more on the tongue than any of the other hop characteristics. Sugar cookie sweetness from the malts stay in the back and are pretty one dimensional. The flavor isn't bad but just doesn't come together like it should.

The body leans toward the lighter side of the spectrum and while the carbonation is on the higher side it never gets in the way or becomes too aggressive. Finishes slightly dry with a fruity; green apple, peach, and banana aftertaste that lingers.

For the high abv this beer drinks pretty well. The alcohol is felt but more in the chest than in the mouth. The lighter body and carbonation keep this flowing pretty easily.

This is a solid brew from Stone. I don't think I'd pick up another bottle but it was worth a try. For some reason I haven't been all that impressed with the last couple Stone releases. This beer just isn't what it could be.

Photo of tedpeer
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours golden with a white head that quickly subsided to a whispy layer with ring around. No lacing.

S - Hops, citrus.

T - Fruity, hoppy, citrus. Bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium mouthfeel, highly carbonated.

D - Not well balanced.

Photo of astrasday
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip glass. Color is bright and golden.

Scent is overwhelmingly hoppy with the sweet, fruity yeast I was expecting taking a back seat.

The taste was good. Hops dominate the palate at first and then turn into a sweet, warming spicy and sweet yeast finish. Alcohol is definitely present but not distracting.

Medium bodied with a good mouthfeel, I enjoyed drinking this one, but I don't think I would seek it out again.

Photo of midnite2sixman
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle bought at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids, MI. This one pours a hazy orange and this particular pour(probably my fault) didn't have much of a head but the beer shines like an autumn sunset.

Hops are all over the nose on this one. This is a being a hopped up belgian only the way Stone could do it. Slight citrus tones as well.

Taste is belgian triple like yeast mixed with a boatload of hops. This beer has a bitterness to it with a slight fruitiness. Citrus, hops and yeast.

Mouthfeel has a bit of tang and a slight hoppy bite but very subdued for how much hops are in this. Nice balance between the two styles.

Highly recommend this beer!

Photo of mikesgroove
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up these bottles right after the release but I just got around to trying this one for the first time. Served cold and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 11/25/2008.

The pour was rather uneventful for me to be honest. Nice color, light golden yellow with a very clear look to it. Lots of carbonation was apparent bubbling up from the bottom of the glass, but there was little in the way of a head on top. Light amounts of maybe a half inch that faded quickly and left the top bare for most of the session. The aroma was rather nice with a light citrus hop punch that was accented by a pepper like spiciness and hints of light earthy grains. As it warmed some light fruit notes, peaches and apples started to come through as well. Most of this did not transfer over well into the flavor though. Light grains and a touch of light fruit coming through clearly, but the rest was rather light for me. Hints of citrus hops and a touch of light pepper on the finish .Even feel, quite light actually with a good bit of lively carbonation coming in throughout. Not overly strong, as the alcohol was well hidden and this one went down with ease.

Overall I would have to say this was my least favorite of the VE series. It just needed a little more punch to really sell it.

Photo of monkeylovebeer
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Although this is a relatively high-alcohol beer at 8.6%, it was incredibly smooth and drinkable.

Upon pouring, the 08.08.08 gives off a fruity nose with hints of banana. Upon first sip, the brew reveals an inspired mix of flavors.

"It has the complexity and spiciness of the Belgian yeast," Talking Bob said after taking a deep draft. "But with all the hops of a West Coast IPA."

Photo of Yaz8
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. Pure gold color, crystal clear, generous head that left just ok lacing, but a solid film throughout. Spicy belgian yeast aromas dominate, accompanied by floral hops, spices and strong pepper. Yeasty flavors are strongest on the tongue, but also features light fruits like apricot and pear, plus a sugary sensation like a good belgian. Medium to full bodied, just the right carbonation, and pleasant malt and grapefruit aftertaste.

Photo of MisterClean
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with me at a homebrew day

A - Golden pour with lots of head, but dissipates quck.

S - Sour belgian sugar esters, caramel and flowery hops.

T - Another beer I can appreciate. Smell matches taste.

M - Full bodied and balanced. The taste of a sour belgian strain of yeast lingers, yum.

D - Definitely drinkable and cannot wait to open my own bottle at home now.

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

I poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. The beer is pretty, pale golden yellow with an impressive white head. The smell is fruity, yet spicy. While I enjoyed the taste of this beer I was expecting more. IMO it taste like a standard triple, I would have graded it higher if that was how it was marketed. The taste is spicy, and phenolic. I do not detect the heavy use of American hops however. This is a medium bodied beer that hides its alcohol well. A very good beer, but there are triples that are priced similarly that I enjoy more.

Photo of Grabbin2nd
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes: 9/6/08 Stone Brewing Co. Vertical Epic 8-8-08 from a 22 oz. Bomber 8.6% abv.

-1 Finger head w/a vigorous pour, head eventually dissipates
-Belgian upon entry, hops and less sweetness on the finish
-Can smell the Belgian yeast and hops at the same time
-I like it. Well balanced i think between the two styles
-A little bubblegum on the nose and tongue
-Very light in color, yet not yellow
-As it warms you can taste a little alcohol
-Overall a winner. I have 6 laying down as we speak for further review...

Photo of midaszero
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Clear orange yellow with a little white head and lacing

S - Sweet hops with Belgian yeast and a little bit of spice

T - Good malts with a little bitter hops and citrus. Bitter after taste

M - Medium body with light medium carbonation

D - Pretty good but not balanced enough for me.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.