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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: 740
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 43
Gots: 202 | 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: 740
Photo of jzeilinger
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is being pored from their 20th Anniversary Encore Series, bottled on 8/27/15.

A - Pours a dark gold color with generous amounts of carbonation and minimal lacing.

S - Yeasty aroma, some funk, cloves, bananas, and some citrus buried in there.

T - The citrus really comes through on the palate with some peppery character (more so than the nose), banana, clove, somewhat yeasty. Coats the mouth with yeast, cloves, and peppery citrus.

M - Heavy medium body to full bodied, slippery, a little sticky on the lips, and the alcohol pokes through a little bit but more noticeable at the beginning.

O - Glad Stone brought this one back because last time I cellared the bottle too long, pretty happy to re-visit this beer and know how it should taste fresh.

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

This has been sitting in the cellar since late summer and so it seemed right to open one since I drank all my earlier versions and cannot do the vertical in 2012. This is a real nice Belgian style beer with some spice notes mixed in with the citrus notes found in Saisons. Kinda tasted like a combo of Duvel and Westmalle Triple. Lots of complexity and good balance made this very drinkable. Good Epic from these guys.

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Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle.

Deep, clear, bright golden body. Finger of loose, but persistent, off-white head. Nose of caramel and biscuit malts underneath fresh pears, fruit cocktail, and sweet cherry. Solid, herbal, resinous, grassy hop aroma sits above it all. Nice.

Toasted malt and spicy, peppery hop bitterness up front. Sweet, candy and honey malt quickly develops ripe pear and pineapple flavors. Resinous, herbal hop bitterness soon joins in and provides a nice balance for the sweet fruits and alcohol. Peppery, spicy, resinous, piny, and appetizingly bitter. Finish is long and balanced. Medium to full body with a slightly syrupy feel. Probably my favorite Stone VE so far (although I haven't tried all of them yet!).

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/30/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small white head. Aroma is pretty much that of a Belgian tripel! Lots of spices, melon rind, and a slight bitterness. Flavor is a bit more hoppy than apparent in the aroma (although not overly so), fruity melon, and orange peel. Mouthfeel isn't as hearty as that of a tripel although the beer does weigh on you after awhile. Interesting at first but then a little boring. Better than the 070707 but not by much.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

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Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's crystal clear and light golden in color. Carbonation is very active and yields a foamy white head that stands about two fingers tall. It dissipated very quickly and left light lacing behind.

Smell: The nose is a little underwhelming in terms of strength. It's a little fruit and sweet up front. Smells like peach and apple mostly. It is a little spicy, but I'm not picking up much other than clove. There's a distinct earthy/grassy aspect to it. I'm sure that's, at least in part, attributed to the floral hops I'm smelling. A little yeastiness wraps it up.

Taste: Apple, pear, and peach flavors kick it off. It's sweet, but not over the top. There is some clove spiciness, but it's not as spicy as I was expecting. A little banana emerges midway through. The hops are a nice surprise. It's a mix of citric and floral varieties. But, they're flavorful and give it more character and a bit of an edge. That's a good thing considering it was sorely needing both. It's still not quite enough. It is indeed grassy and earthy. It's a little yeasty on the tail and alcohol is faintly noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and smooth. Carbonation is just about right. It's active, but retains its smooth feel. Drinkability is good, but not great. It's a little strong at 8.4%, but I won't have any trouble with the bomber.

I've got mixed feelings on this vertical release. It is a pretty solid beer that doesn't have any huge shortcomings. On the other hand, I had pretty high expectations and feel a little let down. This just doesn't have the big, kick ass character I've come to expect from Stone beers. It's still a solid beer, but just doesn't stack up well against their other releases.

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

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - 1st pour was clear orange/yellow color with a white head that left some sticky lacing.

S - light fruit, candy and malt aromas with a good dose of Belgian yeast.

T - taste follows the smell, very good tasting brew.

M - medium bodied with mild carbonation feel.

D - crisp, refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of david18
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a great fan of the style itself but it delivers well on the stone taste you get in all of the brewery's beers. It's a little too hoppy to be considered a straight belgian strong but a great california style clone of the style. Would recommend.

This has turned into one of my favorite beers and is also very reasonably priced. I will be bumping up some of my numbers.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold that is clean filtered. Minimal head on this 9 oz pour but good carbonation during consumption. Aroma is true to the style and adds a string citrus presence - maybe grapefruit. Flavor puts this in a Belgian dubbel category and the strong alcohol is well masked. More citrus and a strong dosing of hops. Very enjoyable even 4-5 years later.

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Photo of kwjd
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll preface this review by stating that I've found most of the VE series to be moderate disappointments. This one pours into a snifter a clear golden hued body,radiant in the alfresco evening sunlight. A vanilla cap tops it off with a sturdy head that laces generously in sheets and patches.

Aroma is fruity with notes of grapefruit and banana. Piney hops are noticed.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation with a yeasty chalk feel.

Taste is impressive. Grapefruit, a hint of bubblegum, dry hop bitterness of pine hops, and many IPA tendencies in the hop profile. Seems like a cross between a Belgian pale ale and a Belgian IPA. Finishes dry and hoppy bitter with just a hint of fruity sweetness.

Very enjoyable. First beer consumed and reviewed here on Tranquility Mountain in Claibourne County, Tennessee. This is my favorite of the Vertical Epic series. Wish I could stock up on a few of these.

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Photo of Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Da Stone pours a semi-hazy amber / orange into the Corsendonk tulip. Small head pops up and quickly dies, not leaving much lace, but a small smattering of sheet around the top.

Spicy fruits in the aroma, lingering well into the quaff. Dry and crisp brew, full of malt backbone with those dried fruits of apple and pear appearing in the finish. Aged just about right during the last year. Tasting great this low temperature summer day.

Way to go once again, Stone Brewing.

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Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours an unassuming gold straw color, a thin but complete cover with some heavy lacing.

Aroma - it's like a weird combo of Pine-Sol and olives. I'm thinking Band-Aids, but there are other interesting smells weaved in there too. Hard to pick out, maybe some cellaring will clarify the nose in a future tasting.

Taste - despite an oddball nose, it tastes great. Yeasty, banana, Belgian candi front, but on the lighter side. And on purpose, as there are some other flavors floating about. A slightly funky hoppiness, an almost rye-like graininess, and a very warm abv feel that is trying to meld things together. It may be a little out-matched at this early age but as time goes by this will take some twists ands turns flavorwise. A dry, bitter bite on the swallow, this beer really has a full complement of flavor. A breath of Band-Aid on the exhale now and then, but it's so close to the banana it's hard to distinguish at times.

Mouthfeel - plenty crisp, a medium body with notable smoothness.

Drinkability - so much going on here that you will want to have a number of these set aside for a tasting in 2010 and 2012.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light honey, not much head, leaves ring. Small sudsy lacing.

S - Smells REALLY sweet, honey, malty.

T - Taste does not match smell. Part are true, but massacred by teh hops. Way too bitter.

M - Medium, good coat and carb.

D - NOt my favorite. Your mileage may vary.

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Photo of harrymel
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pours a very nice, crystal clear, gold color with a decent white head.

Aromas are of apples, peaches, some grass, and dry white wine.

Beer has a very dry and bitter overall flavor. But it's not overpowering, and other flavors are allowed show up. Faint creamy malt sweetness, some dry fruit flavors like pear, and apple, along with some yeast spiciness, and a taste of cloves. Finish brings back the dry feel, as well as more bitterness, a s well as a pretty mineral like hop bite.

Mouthfeel is nice, very full feeling, and a carbonation level that seems about right.

Drinkability is good. This is a very complex beer. It's a bit on the strong side flavor wise right now, but I think a few years in the cellar will treat this one well.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seemed appropriate to open this with an Orval opener and toss it into a Gulden Draak tulip. Color is a lightly hazed sunset golden/orange, with a fluffy head of only modest proportions.

Aroma sits in the camp of beers that I also place Gumballhead and SurlyFest in--not the same style at all, but the smell of each is intensely fragrant and unabashedly hops-centric. Each is so potent that I always think of dryer sheets...which I realize doesn't sound flattering, but it's the only thing in the world I can relate it to. But 08.08.08 adds a honey-like, flowery sweetness, which keeps it from being one-dimensional.

I was super-impressed with another bottle weeks ago, as I am with this one tonight. It's got a honeyed sweetness, a very hoppy backup, with light and flowery spices adding some pizazz. Yeast does some talking, and it's that earthy, almost chalky element that lovers of Belgian ales will recognize. The honey is brought out larger by the rounded, almost syrupy texture, which holds enough carbonation to keep it swinging too much one way or the other. Ahh...this is wonderful stuff.

The text on the bottle (always read Stone's fine print!) seems to hint that this beer was inspired by Houblon Chouffe--a beautiful bit of circular inspiration when you consider it. Whether it was aimed at that particular beer or not, they pretty much hit the target while also putting their own singular Stone stamp on it--which in this case means plenty of fresh, flowery, crispy hops. Awww...yum!!

[addendum: enjoyed a nice well-aged bottle on 3/30/10, and found a particularly funky yeast element edging in, something not noticed the first time around. With that a more pungent fruity element. Still stand by the review and the rating. Delicious.]

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Photo of Mitchster
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Five year old Eight pours with a bright orange coloring and a sizeable foam cap.

This bottle was stored properly but it smells like plastic. Lots of phenolic and alcohol make it very off-putting.

The phenolic quality holds in the taste for the beginning but subsides quickly to give a nice fruity orange, tangerines and nectarines flavor.

The feel is sprite and bubbly but smooth and full.

Fresh this may be a fantastic rendition of a Belgian IPA but time seems to have been hard on this one.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a hazy yet clear (if that makes any sense!) golden color with a one-finger, off-white head that leaves some ropey lace behind.

S: Interesting aromas of mango/apricot, grass clippings, apple, white grape, pineapple, pear, and a hint of tangy citrus.

T: See above. Spice, white pepper, Candi sugar, fruity yeast, fresh cut grass, citrus, mango, pineapple, and alcohol.

M: Sweet and slippery at first, then abruptly astringent. Nice mix of sweet, spicy, bitter, and dry.

D: Pretty good. I liked the cut grass caracteristics of the smell and taste.

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Photo of arizcards
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from AJ's in late September for $5.99.

Beer poured an amber color with a thin white head. Nose was of grassy hops, lemon, and spices. Taste is influenced by the belgian yeast strain, saison like dryness, spices, a hint of candied sugar, and west coast hops. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. The beer easily glides across the palate. Overall drinkability is good. The first sip was a little warm but it was easy drinking with subsequent sips.

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Photo of Floydster
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle purchased from Cooke's for seven dollars, split with my dad last night, poured into my Stone pint glass, could not resist drinking the 080808 for my 888th review, yes I am a dork

A-Golden yellow color that was surprisingly light, big 1 3/4 inch white foamy head that went away rather quickly, some retention, some lacing as well
S-Earthiness, bubble gum, perfume, sweet yeast, candy, bread, pepper, clove, banana, lots of citrus, stinky hops, grapes, malts, and pears
T-Starts off more like a Belgian with sugary yeast and a wide mix of fruits, bready with a fair amount of chewiness in the middle, hops dominated the finish and are both dry and full of citrus, tangerines stick out in the aftertaste to me, definitely some bubble gum later on to go with a good amount of spices, coriander is there but I could not smell it all which was weird, sweetens as it warms, hops fade a little bit towards the end but still nicely balanced with the malt for its style
M-Sweet, somewhat dry, spicy, and citrusy mouthfeel, medium bodied, looked slightly murky through the large amount of carbonation, tasted sparkling at times, taste lingers a little bit
D-Alcohol was hidden so well in this, thought it was like five percent while drinking it, smooth and not heavy on the stomach, could have drank the bottle and then some, enjoyable

Hoppier than the last few vertical epics, will be revisiting several times, this one will definitely mellow out with age but I do not know if that will necessarily be a good thing, makes it interesting to see American hops in a Belgian-style beer, would not believe how flavorful this is by looking at in a glass, recommended

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Photo of Beaver13
2.32/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is banana, musty yeast, some cloves with some spicy hops.

The flavor is a bit of a mish-mash - sweet bananas fight with peppery hops. There's also a little sweet bready malt and a little clove and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full with some light but sharp carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for this. I don't like bananas in my beer and it was strong in this one. The blend of bananas and hops was strange as well.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.79/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

If you go online Stone publishes the recipes to all their vertical epics--that's nifty. Cloudy gold color with a thin, white insta-vanish head.

Smells like Capri Sun, light tropical fruit, bready yeast, peach rings, and sharp, but timid, citrus hop.

Heavy fermented sugar malt, clumpy citrus hop, and toasted plantains. Tropical fruit character (from yeast, not hops). Effervescent carbonation.

The hops have already faded out of this a whole lot and I can't imagine this beer holding up until 12/12/12.

Update: 6/30/13. The review above is from 2010. Now that we're going through all the Epics this was by far my favorite of the series. It doesn't hold as an IPA but there's tropical fruit out the yin yang and it makes for a great triple/bspa.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 12/12.

This pours a bright golden with a tightly lace foam.

There’s a light, estery aroma—a sweetly honeyed-clove character— with no discernible hop presence. The flavor is lightly sweet and … lychee! Lychee is what I’m smelling and what I’m tasting. It’s incredible, seriously. The beer has this tropical fruit characteristic which is undoubtedly lychee. And for a beer that’s four years old it’s held up exceptionally well. Delicious.

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