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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
89
very good

694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 172 | 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: 694 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of williamherbert
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color of a (golden) lit candle. Hazy. Starts with a puffy head that takes a while to subside. Tiny bubbles. Really nice.

Dual blast of sweet, citrusy hops, and sweet Belgian spices. Woody, flowery, spicy; a dry, champagne malt. Perfumey and superior.

Strong, citrusy flavor. The spices of the flowery citrus hops mesh beautifully with the spices of the Belgian malt. A dynamite, spicy and citrusy flavor.

Fizzy in the feel like champagne. A splendid, citrusy and spicy beer. Absolutely outstanding.

williamherbert, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of asabreed
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber into a Corsendonk tulip.

Appearance: Billowing white heat with lots of carbonation popping, leaving raucous lacing in rings and clumps on the side. Slightly hazy golden body, good carbonation floating toward the top.

Smell: Lots of fruit and esters and golden Belgian aromas. Apples, cherries, both heavy citrus and piney hops with a more grapefruit backbone. Good description of a highly hopped Belgian, also completely heady and balanced. As it warms, pineapple cream cake creeps in, if there is such a thing, along with mild bubblegum, and white vinous characteristics.

Taste: Big hops and esters with tropical fruit, apples, sour cherries, mild bubblegum, spicy and pungent hops, and beautiful drippingly-so orange and grapefruit, all backed by the Golden Belgian Strong Pale Ale yeast flavors also, with fantastic balance, some banana and bubblegum coming through even more as it warms, and an insanely long and heady finish. I wonder what some years would do, but now it's great fresh.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Not cloying, but full enough to coat and let the wonderful flavors through nicely.

Drinkability: I was drinking this while Obama was giving his speech, much earlier than many people thought he would be, and for that I have to give it a perfect score. It was certainly a time to celebrate, and this was a good beer to have by my side while that was going on.

asabreed, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of beckje01
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Gold with a great creamy white head and big bubbles.

S- Wonderful fruity hops with a touch of sour notes. Very inviting.

T- Nice bitterness from the hops with a thin malt in there very good flavors.

M- Nice activity really adds to the beer, with a good thickness.

D- Drinkable and good example of the style.

beckje01, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of JoeMayo
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice clear golden yellow with a beautiful white cap on top. There wasn't much in terms of lacing, but the head was extremely soft and elegant.

S- Belgian yeast and spices hit the nose first followed by a wonderfully floral hop aroma. Citrusy and refreshing hops.

T- Very good balance of flavors. The hops truly make the beer without overpowering the classic Belgian spicy, bready yeast flavor. The hops impart a spice profile that compliments the clove flavor from the yeast as well as a floral, fruity flavor. Notes of grapefruit and crisp apple.

M- Pleasantly effervescent, soft, silky, smooth, crisp hop finish.

D- Very drinkable. I put this one down relatively quickly and the well-hidden alcohol crept up dangerously fast. Overall, I was very impressed with this hoppy Belgian hybrid.

JoeMayo, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear burnished gold with a dense two finger head of pure white. The head dissipates slowly, rings of lace clinging to the sides of the glass as it settles.

Smell: Grassy and floral hop notes up front. There's an undertone of pine that's almost medicinal. Malt is present but subdued, lending a light honey-like sweetness and a touch of lemon meringue.

Taste & mouthfeel: Light-bodied with a nice medium between sweet and dry. Flavors of candied grapefruit and jasmine at the forefront with a touch of wild honey. The finish continues the balance presented in the beginning, being neither sweet nor dry nor overly bitter. People looking for a perfectly balanced Belgian-style ale will probably love this, but I'd like a more dynamic flavor - while good, this is fairly flatline.

largadeer, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of bruachan
2.63/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

the head poured fairly nice but fizzled ostentatiously. i'll note that i did just wash my glass, so i will will defer in favor of the brew

the color is a light peach. OK

the aroma is fruity. very sweet and fruity--apricot. hoppy. there's a spicy tang to it, as well.

the flavor is not nice. the spice needs to mellow bigtime, which comes across incredibly sharp and tactilely, as well--it's trying to disable my tastebuds

this tastes like stone didn't intend for it to be consumed before 12.12.12. i'm all for planning for the future, but i feel like i'm chewing on tinfoil

bruachan, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of jwinship83
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- golden body under a small creamy looking white head that quickly subsides. even sticky lacing.

S- sweet malts, hops, and lightly of fruits

t- very heavy on citrus hops. grapefruit stands out the most. lemon maybe, and a touch of booze finish this one up.

M- very creamy and smooth with ample carbonation

D- my first of the VE line, im glad i got to try this one somewhat fresh, cant wait to see what it will eventually develop into, and what the others will be like. a cool idea stone had. i wish i had more bottles from previous years. the bottle was easily finished but i wouldnt want another just yet.

jwinship83, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of daledeee
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice large bottle from a fine brewery.

This beer pours a medium white head over bright gold clear body. Nose was odd until it breathed a while. At first I thought it might be skunk, but mellowed out to a spice and citrus.

Taste is very much along the lines of Belgian triples or pale ales. The hop blend and taste is close with some spice and sweetness. More hop flavor than others I have had in this category. Good smooth mouth feel with a bite finish and then kind of dry.

Easy enough to drink, but I have had better.

daledeee, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Austin Liquors, Shrewsbury, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" bright white head over the clear light amber brew. Head dwindles down to a skim of small bubbles, with lasting sticky lace. Aroma is sweet and spicy. Taste follows the nose, sweet maltiness upfront, spices with some citrus in the middle, and complementing hops on the close. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft over the tongue, with good drinkability. Doesn't differ much from what I remember of the last 07 I had, but anyways, still good stuff here.

ppoitras, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of flannelman808
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the bottle is a typical stone anniversary bottle, with a wordy description of the beer on the back which is somewhat insightful.

It pours a light amber color and has a frothy bone white head. The beer keeps a good head retention as well, despite being high in alcohol.

This beer has a really nice smell, I get some sweet citrus and grass/vegetation. It also has a detectable yeast characteristic.

taste is well balanced, and the alcohol is well disguised. I get a good amount of spice, and earth along with the yeast. But the beer has a nice hoppy (but not over the top) finish, which keeps the taste crisp and refreshing. overall this is a really nice beer and is very drinkable.

flannelman808, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of n00tz
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Blonde body, White head, slow stream of carbonation. Slight lace left behind.

S - Fruity freshwater and spices.

T - While it was still cold- Fruits of apple, peach and some banana(?). Spicy of pepper and some clove. Sweetness follows the spice in the aftertaste.

M - Average thickness, brings some carbonation when it hits the tongue. Decent presence that sticks to the palate.

D - Eh. I'd hope for a lot more when I have one again after cellaring it for as long as I can withhold.

n00tz, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I have to say, I fell in LOVE with this beer at the recent Belgian Beerfest in Boston. This plus the Stone Collaboration, were the clear winners of "Best in Show" for me.

The next day I went out and purchased several bottles of the Vertical Epic.

Tonight I am enjoying one with friends. (perhaps # 2 will get broken out, as well)

The beer pours with a nice 2 ½ finger white head that stay for a bit, then settles completely back into the beer. The beer, itself, is a bright clear golden color with the smallest amount of slowly rising visible carbonation. There is a scant amount of spider web lacing left behind.

The aroma is very complex and really a combination of fruits and spices. Very fresh aroma and very inviting.

The flavor just ROCKS. A wonderful combination of tropical fruits and some real nice spices. There is certainly a nice white pepper effect, but also some clove and nutmeg happening here. Sometimes reminds me of Juicy Fruit gum... (in a good way)
Pretty complex flavor and one you think about as you enjoy the glass. I really love this.

The mouth feel is fairly light in body and inviting. It brings you back for more and more.
8.6% are you kidding? I guess that speaks to the drinkability. I would have NEVER guessed that if I didn't know.

I want more. Sometimes they need to make these special releases regular beers. This would always be in my fridge.

Reagan1984, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of Mitchster
2.95/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

$7.99 for a 22oz bottle. Described as a hoppy Belgian Golden Ale, this was based upon Duvel Triple Hop. 65 IBU's. OG=1.076, 8.9% ABV

Brewed with 87% pale malt, 6.5% flaked oats, 5.5% light candi sugar syrup, 1.0% blonde candi sugar powder. Boiling hops=Simcoe and Amarillo, Flavor=Ahtanum, Dry=Simcoe and Amarillo. Fermented with White Labs WLP 570 (Belgian Golden Ale Yeast).

Pours out to a very clear golden, forming a large white head with great retention and nice sheets of lace. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is great...I like the dichotomy of the cloves and bananas from the yeast against the mango and peach imparted by the hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and mouth filling with a medium-dense body. Starts out with lots of initial hop esters of mango, peach, and grapefruit set against a stinging clove background. This fades into green bananas and burnt rubber with an unfortunate ruddiness in the middle. The lingers forever, through the moderate bitterness, and into the aftertaste. The aftertaste is of smoking PVC and wet newspapers.

This starts out great, but ends terribly. The aftertaste is pretty bad and severaly limits it's drinkability. I'm gonna have a hard time finishing this bomber. Probably the worst Vertical Epic I've had so far.

Mitchster, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of BBM
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a golden yellow with a frothy white head. Minimal lacing around the glass. The aroma is a harmonious blend of pine, citrus, and sweet banana. A hint of the wonders to come.

I'm in love with this beer. The pine hops are out in full force, but the beauty is the way they dance with the cloves and banana of the Belgian brew. As it warms, flavors become more complex, and never too sweet or too alcoholic. Vanilla, pine, citrus, and a subtle earthiness really create a unique and delicious experience.

I bought two, one I've had and another I'm going to cellar until 12-12-12... or for as long as I can hold out.

BBM, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright clear yellow gold body, with some small scattered carbonation streams. Three fingers of tight white froth. Nice lace.

Spicey nose. Peppery.

Big fruity taste. Juicy yet crisp. Spicey aftertaste.

Solid mouthfeel well balanced by its carbonation. Don't know if its light or medium but it works.

Nicely drinkable, even if Belgians aren't your thing.

It would really be a shame to keep this locked up until 12/12/12. Go ahead, drink it now.

RonfromJersey, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of nrpellegrini
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden yellow color with a haze. Great thick white head stays until the end. Awesome spiced citrus flavors. Great rich mouthfeel, smooth all the way to the end. Goes down easy, I wanted more. I would be interested to see how the taste would change had I aged it the recommended time.

Not the best tripel style but gooood. Try it

nrpellegrini, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of cameraman
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden color, with a small whispy white head. A spicy sweetness strikes the nose at first scent, with a nalty biscuity fragrance at the end. The taste starts with that malty and biscuity aroma, is the most prevalent. A spicy yeasty flavor comes out midway, then blends to a surprisingly grassy and citrus bitterness. A crispess at the front, blending to a medium bodied, that thins out at the back, but still retains that crispiness from the front. A belgian pale ale, by one of americas most aggressive brewers, this one stays on track in style, with that touch american hoppy flavor at the end.

cameraman, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color ale with a big pure white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of dry hops with some sweet malty notes also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by some sweet malt with light hoppy notes. Body is average with some good carbonation and no detectable alcohol. I thought this tasted like a dumb-down Duvel without any of the complex yeast ester and the great hoppy finish. I can't see this improving over four years thought.

Phyl21ca, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While looking for new things at Harringtons I spotted the latest VE from Stone. Why not, eh?

Poured into a Rapscallion goblet, it is a clear, striking, golden-hued bier. Carbo is abundant and steady, helping sustain a thin, fine white layer of foam atop the liquid. Lacing is attractive as well. Aroma has some fruity esters and floral hoppiness hitting the nostrils, along with a funky spiciness. Body here is in the medium range, and though the bier is not prickly on the tongue, it has an airy, foamy feel to it, light like some Hefeweizens.

Some crackery malt hits the palate, lending a touch of sweetness. More fruity action comes forth, residing strongly, to me, in the tropical range. A little mango, some pineapple... pretty nice. Hoppiness is right up there, with some rindy, citrus-like characteristics. Quite dry, and almost chalky, in the finish, there's a smidge of a spicy quality livening things up here. I can definitely see how this is a Stone version of a Belgian version of a highly-hopped Belgian Strong Pale. Interesting, to say the least. Not sure I'll get another to lay down; maybe to drink again soon. Not sure what cellaring will do to this (or for most in this series, to be honest...). Tasty right now, methinks!

Prosit!!!

4
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1088

Bierman9, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of kemoarps
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a pretty straw blonde colour, cloudy-ish disposition, with a decent head, limited lacing, and no trail down the sides of the glass.

The smell is positive, but not particularly outstanding. The citrusy hops are what jump at me initially, with a fruity body complimented by a very noticeable spice profile hilighted by some peppery undertones and is that cardamom?

The taste follows the nose's lead, carrying through on the promise of spices, citrus, and almost a little bit flowery hops. The fruit tones are also quite noticeable, predominantly an apricot sweetness, but not in an overwhelming or really 'sweet' sense. Tasty.

In terms of the mouthfeel, the carbonation plays across the tongue in an enjoyable manner, augmented by the white pepper spiciness, and washes down fairly smoothly. Tastes less alcoholic than it is. Quite enjoyable, and drinkable, not heavy considering the alcohol content, and not particularly heavy, or too bitter to drink too much of. Overall a quite enjoyable brew, with an exciting collectible intangible aspect.

kemoarps, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of kinnaird
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've probably already had about 8 bottles of this stuff since its release. I need to remember to hang on to one next time I'm shopping, but this stuff is just so damn good.

Brilliant clear, golden body with a rocky, stick gleaming head.

The aroma of this beer actually makes my mouth water. Citrus and pine from the hops. Apricot, pepper, banana, yeast, and spices from the Belgian body. Awesome.

Starts off with the fruits and spices from the aroma followed by a balanced hop bitterness. Medium body with a warming follow up.

I'm not going to consider abv in drinkability because this beer is so highly quaffable due to all the exceptional characteristics that are so thoughtfully stuffed into 22 ounces.

One of the best beers of 2008. Find and enjoy.

kinnaird, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of smcolw
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear! Pale gold color (dark straw?). Modest but lasting head. Spotty lace.

Pine cone hop aroma--floral. Excellent malt base. Very attractive.

I love stronger beers that do not have an oily alcohol base. This fits that category with a moderate grassy malt that gives way to strong hop flavors (particularly for the style). Firm body with a correspondingly above-average carbonation.

A wonder beer no matter how you look at it. It's more like a Belgian double IPA if such a thing were ever to exist.

smcolw, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of IronDjinn
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho of all places, nice to see it in the cooler of the local grocery store. The first of the Stone Epics that I've had the chance to try.

Poured into a Westmalle chalice. Gorgeous clarity to this, a brilliant clear golden peach, though not much head retention.

Clean citrus hops first on the nose, banana, bubblegum and white pepper from the yeast, some soft wheat. Layering to the aroma.

Soft mild wheat up front in the flavour, followed by some mandarin citrus, soft estery spices, more peppery towards the finish where an alcohol warmth builds rapidly from the depths, muting out the piney grapefruit of the hops, cresting within the aftertaste in a lush warming glow. Very fine, but could stand to age a fair bit.

Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, medium-bodied, a pleasant texture.

Worth the price of admission and then some, would love to try this stuff in another year and a half.

IronDjinn, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber into a Corsendonk tulip.

Pours an absolutely gorgoues, straw-golden color with massive torrents of carbonation rising to feed a well-retained, light creme colored head. Tiny yeast particulates swirl aimlessly throughout the glass, and fantastic lacing coats the inner surfaces. The aroma is everything a Belgian Pale Ale should be, especially given the West Coast hop addition: lots of citrus and tropical fruits (madarin orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and lemon). Some hops come off as grassy, while the pale malt note adds a nice balance. A touch of solvent-like alcohol hits the nose as well.

The flavor could use some smoothing over from a year or two in the cellar, but overall it's quite good. Bitter, floral hops hit the front and back of the tongue, giving way to sweetened belgian malts in the middle. A spiced, sharp grassiness hits the back of the palate and is quickly outshined by a hot boozy warmth. A bit too hot, in all honesty. The body of '08 is crisp and superbly carbonated, but the finish is just a bit too much to take, as the alcohol outshines some of the more delicate malt & hop notes. All in all, I feel like Stone did a nice job with this one, and it's a worthy addition to the vertical line-up. Given the choice, though, I'd opt for Green Flash's Le Freak when in the mood for a more drinkable West Coast interpretation of a Belgian Pale.

wagenvolks, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of KarlHungus
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Greggy for this one. It pours a clear golden color with a fluffy white head that recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is very fruity with lots of banana, yeast, and funky barnyard notes. The taste is funkier than the aroma with a good amount of fruit still coming through. The mouthfeel is slightly lighter than full bodied, with lively, refreshing carbonation. Overall, this is a very nice beer. I could easily drink this again if given the opportunity.

KarlHungus, Oct 10, 2008
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.