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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

674 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 674
Reviews: 471
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%


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: 674 | Reviews: 471 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12. Review from notes.

A: Lighter golden color, crystal clear with a small off-white head that reduces quickly. Small bits of lacing.

S: Tons of lemons right away. A bit of orange and vanilla with a good bit of grass.

T: Again, lots of citrus - mostly lemon and orange. A bit of caramel and grainy malt.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly bitter finish.

O: Quite good, definitely surprised at how citrus forward and hoppy this beer still was. Could be my favorite of the group.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2013 23:50:39 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

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

22-ounce bomber bottle just copped from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
Pours a murky, hazy, bright-golden colored hue with a minimal head and minor lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Strong, characteristic Belgian Strong Pale Ale Aroma replete with honey, sugars, yeast, and of course, alcohol...
Taste, likewise, had hints of alcohol in the finish, especially considering the hefty 8.4% ABV, along with candied sugars, vanilla, honey...
Creamy, rich, full-bodied mouthfeel along with a pretty decent level of drinkability considering the hefty ABV...
Not bad, but certainly not Stone's best... I actually prefer last year's 07-07-07 over this one...

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2008 19:25:31 | More by dsa7783
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

picked this one up this summer at merchants in dearborn, MI.

22oz bottle. sampled dec 28/08.

pours crystal clear golden amber with a small dense white head. the head drops fairly quick and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is good. nice belgian spice. bit of orange peel. touch of honey and caramel. cracker and white bread. light alcohol. i get just a hint of something toasty in there too. light floral character, a touch perfumey.

taste is great. belgian strong pale with a dash of american ipa thrown in. medium-high bitterness level. grapefruit. orange peel. bit of pine. light belgian spice. big floral character. light alcohol. cracker and white bread. bit of biscuit. touch of caramel and honey.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. just over medium carbonation level. nice dry finish.

drinkability is great. BSPA is a good style, but not my favourite. i welcome the american twist on this one. it seems to work well. the hops probably push it more towards tripel territory, and the bigger malt base gives it that american ipa slant. still, it never loses sight of its BSPA roots. nicely balanced. good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 20:38:32 | More by grub
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy glowing golden amber with a puffy pure white head that fades but cathedrals. Funk, sour orange, apricot jam, and some sourness on the nose.
Tropical fruit compote, honey, papaya, and shortbread followed by slight resin and orange hops.
Gooey mango finish and funky linger. Medium, velvety, round, a bit of burn, flat, oily.

Mellowed out totally after 3.5 years. The hops are mostly gone, and the Belgian clove/phenols are not where I'd expect either. What's left is just smoothness. Not the best example of the style, but I don't mind a bit.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 15:32:23 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2008 01:59:52 | More by prototypic
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a pale golden color with a small white head that dissipates quickly. Fairly similar to a Stone IPA.

S - Great aroma of Belgian yeast, sweetness, and also some citrusy hops.

T - Interesting mix of a Belgian Golden Ale and a West Coast IPA. Starts with yeast, pale malt, and candi sugar. Finishes with hop bitterness, specifically Stone's typical Simcoe/Amarillo mix.

M - Crisp and dry, but the taste really lingers, leaving you with a sugary, hoppy residue.

D - Excellent beer, but after one I felt like moving on to something else. Maybe it's just that I've been drinking Belgians all day (a.k.a. it's been a good day).

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2008 05:14:36 | More by nickd717
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

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

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a cloudy yellow/orange color. Mediocre white head formation, but the retention was excellent. Some lacing present.

(S)- Seriously sweet citrus with significant hop strength. Lemon, orange, peach, and apricot finish.

(T)- Interesting orange and apricot fruits with a respectable hop strength. Light honey sweetness in the background. Almost has a bubblegum flavor to it.

(M)- Fairly thick in texture. Sweet with slight bitterness and puckered citrus. Good carbonation.

(D)- Great flavors with an interesting citrus twist from your run of the mill IPA. The bomber didnt last long and neither will the next!

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 03:01:43 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2008 23:01:38 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Yellow golden color with a quickly diminishing, heavily dense foam. Aroma is sparse, but shows some notes of banana and clove along with minor hop aromatics. Flavor is heavily sweet, boozy and is dominated by yeast (pepper, bubble gum, spice) and hops (floor cleaner, lemon, pine.)
Mouth feel is very heavy, firm and has lots of weight, unlike most Belgian styles. Had really high hopes for this one but it failed me. Overly boozy, forced, poorly balanced and it just seems very unauthentic. I was hoping for something comparable to Houblon Choffe, unfortunately, it's not even close.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2008 15:18:32 | More by Crosling
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes on 02/02/2013.

A- Bottle pour to pint glass with a hazy golden body and a foamy white head that is about one finger in size. Decent retention and creamy thick ring leaves good lace rings.

S- Pretty weak strength overall. Mostly just get aged European spicy hops and some aged light caramel.

T- Most affected by age so far out of the VEs we tried. Still some hop character like spicy, fruity herbal Euro hops. Light caramel, lemon, oxidation and coridander.

MF- Slightly creamy feel with low-medium carbonation. Medium bitter finish.

Aged IPA feel but somewhat solid still. Herbal and floral with that aged light caramel feel.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 04:13:00 | More by cbutova
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 18:18:20 | More by harrymel
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy bubbly pale orange with a thin frothy head that diminishes to a ring but leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma is west coast hops slightly overpowering the usual Belgian yeast musk. The taste is a very complex blend of Belgian flavors such as sweet fruits, coriander, orange peel dancing nicely with citrus hops, that overpower in the finish. The beer is on the light side of medium with some warming alcohol and decent carbonation. This is certainly a unique and enjoyable beer, one I'd gladly try again.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2008 23:50:57 | More by atsprings
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

2.78/5  rDev -30.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2013 14:44:53 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

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

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into my Maredsous chalice. VE 08 appears a hazy bright straw yellow color with about a finger of bone white foam. Aromas and flavors consist of white grape, crisp apples, pears, spicy yeast esters, sweet biscuits, lemon peel, alcohol, mild pine notes. Excellent body with adequate carbonation, quite effervescent. The ale has a very dry and clean finish and the spiciness of the yeast leaves the tongue tingling. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 03:56:37 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

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

Mostly clear, golden color with some streaming bubbles moving northward at a good pace. White head is initially fairly solid, but doesn't retain very well. Pretty damn good lacing brings it up from average.

Strongly fruity aroma gives off pretty powerful, sweet notes of tropical fruit, herbs, clove, lemongrass, grain, and Band-Aid. A little bit medicinal, like the pink stuff you take when you're a kid. The strength is there, the nose is interesting, but I'm a little concerned at how sweet the flavor may be.

It is pretty sweet, and the hops don't add as much bitterness as you might expect; rather, they pour in fruits ranging from mango and peach to a hint of lemon. Good amount of spiciness, but nothing related to the hops. I notice some phenolics mostly, especially a very active clove note which dominates the finish.

Clean, light body for the size, not a style you want to be "chewy". There could definitely be a bigger carbonation presence to help with the sweetness lingering, but I'm pretty okay with the mouthfeel here.

It's a strange beer to classify by style, as it doesn't quite fit Belgian IPA, and BSPA has all sorts of connotations. I like it.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2008 04:00:58 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

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

Poured out of the bomber a 24 karat gold with a yellow lab-coat head of foam two fingers thick. After a minute the head became rocky and then descended to a thin coat of small bubbles. Broken lacing. Aromas of floral hops, honey, pineapple, spices and some other citrus. Delicious and complex nose. The flavors were equally demanding, wet hops, piney hops and resin all making it a little bitter. Hints of blueberries, white pepper and grapefruit. Develops a bubblegum like sweetness in the background as it warms up. Quite balanced for a distinctly aggressive brew. Good mouthfeel, medium body, light carbonation and quite drinkable, especially for 8.6%. Has many attributes of a legendary beer but it is very expensive ($7.99 here in Btown; as much as a six pack or growler of high quality, LOCAL craft!). It surely will age well too for those as obsessive as I!

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2008 22:21:00 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

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

Pours light brown with a frothy white head that settles to a thick cover. Decent lacing and retention.

Nose has bready malts, fruity Belgian yeast and lots of herbal and floral hops.

Taste also has a generous hop presence which is a nice surprise. More creamy malts and peppery Belgian yeast as well.

Medium body is well carbonated. Great stuff. Can't believe this is my first VE.

Even though the label says it's made to age, it was probably best fresh.

Stone should have released this as their Belgian IPA as it is much better than their so called Cali-Belgique.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2009 07:21:45 | More by rye726
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2008 05:30:07 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 03:59:30 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2010 05:41:26 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

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

Very nice golden color. Not a lot of head though a decent level of carbonation can be seen. Very clean looking beer. Quite the freshly mown grass aroma. A touch of sulfury, Belgian quality to it. Big hop bite up front flavorwise. Quite malty and an almost caramel quality to it. Lingering metallic flavor but in a good way. Yeasty and earthy qualities tend to linger. Nice body-finish is rather dry overall. Very drinkable and enjoyable, even a year later.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 02:15:14 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of armock
armock

New York

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

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of spice fruity and citrus hops

T - Starts off with some spice then gets sweet and fruity

M - This beer has a medium body with high carbonation to it

D - Another great beer from Stone thats very enjoyable to drink shared a bottle with some friends and they all agreed worth trying if you can still find it

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 20:23:06 | More by armock
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

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

This beer pours a golden color with a tall head that falls quickly and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The first thing I get from the aroma is a pine and citrus hop character along with a touch of Belgian spicy yeast character. The flavor has big pine and citrus hops at the first, followed by the standard spicy Belgian character. Some bready malts and lingering bitterness as well. The mouthfeel is medium and the drinkability is ok. I'm not a huge fan of mixing Belgians with US hops, but that's just me.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2009 15:02:06 | More by clvand0
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice deep golden color with a two finger rocky off white head. There is nice head retention leaving sticky lacing on the side. The first I noticed in the nose was belgian yeast, with a definite mixture of floral hops, and a touch of spice. The taste follows with the smell. Definite taste of belgian yeast, floral hops, perhaps clove spice on the tongue and some sweet malts. There is a very distinct floral after taste to it. This is a pretty light on the tongue at first and then gets meatier with a solid finish, medium carbonation, somewhat dry finish. This was a really nice beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 02:17:59 | More by Jayli
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

2.3/5  rDev -42.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 06:15:00 | More by Beaver13
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 674 ratings.