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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

485 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 485
Hads: 794
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 42
Gots: 219 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 485 | Hads: 794
Photo of bminor7
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber from Hoosick St Beverage in Troy, NY.

A - straw orange. 1 finger of foam falls leaving some lacing. slightly turbid, something which i find refreshing.

S - just like a tripel, with hops, grapefruit, cloves...

T - tastes just like a tripel as well. definitely dry like the lab indicates, not sweet like Houblon. you can tell without reading the label up here on the page, which style this is trying to be (BIPA). it is subtle...some boldness would have benefitted it, for me, though you are rewarded with more esters as the beer gains some warmth. strong hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - high carbonation, pour generously. light and crisp. alcohol strong in the aftertaste.

D - ultimately very drinkable because of its balance. i remember being excited just to learn that there was such a style (BIPA) after I had Houblon, and i continue to love them...this beer is a good contender in the category...whether intended to be so 'light' or not, a heavier hand in this brew might have put it in the top 10 for the style.

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Photo of n00tz
3.79/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- While pouring, a large head appeared and became a torrent of bubbles falling to the bottom of the glass to create a pale yellow body, then settling down to a one inch head. Serving temperature was 61* in a ruination glass.

S- corriander, lemon cake and a slight wisp of alpha acid.

T- The taste reminds me of the first time i ever popped a belgian candy rock in my mouth...definitely a grip of sweetness on this beer which overwhelms the fact that its 8+ percent alcohol! The sweetness gives way to unlock a fresh citrus/grapefruit dry finish. VERY good. The dryness leads to the alcohol. the warming rush was noted just a fraction of a second after taking a swig to recall "mouthfeel".

M- Loads of character. I might name a hamster VERTICAL EPIC 08 for the amount of character this thing possesses. I cannot wait for it to age (HURRY UP!). If you swish this beer around on a clean pallet you will feel bights of acidity followed by the repair of a warming smooth malt body.

D- If this wasnt such a rare beer i would drink it every day of my life.

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Photo of TheBeerologist
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened my 08.08.08 for my 31st birthday - 08.08.12
Bottle poured into Jackie O's Munich glass

Poured a beautiful straw gold with a fluffy two finger head with some lacing on the glass

Smells like a Belgian tripel - sweet and yeasty with a bit of fruit and spices and a slight hint of citrus

The hops are still present and not totally faded as I would expect of a 4 year old belgian IPA. A bit of a coriander note and of course the belgian yeast is one of the more dominant tastes.

Smooth and moderately carbonated mouthfeel. Nothing really spectacular here though

Overall and enjoyable beer that I waited to drink until my birthday of the year the series ended, but not a really spectacular beer by any means. Happy to have saved and savored it though.

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Photo of nova009
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been waiting a long time to try this one
Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A- pours a clear and bring orangish-copper color, big fluffy two finger head appears a sticks around leaving lots of good lace along the glass, steady stream of bubbles rises to the surface

S- very floral, nice boquet, fruity belgian yeast, clove, orange peel, a slight hoppiness, a little bubblegum as well

T- creamy, lots of fruity belgian yeast, clove, pepper and the spiciness that comes with it, finishes dry with a little bit of grass, virtually all of the hop presence has dissipated

M- medium body, fairly high carbonation, starts creamy and finishes dry, the flavor hits you right in the middle of the tongue

O- this was a solid beer, I was a little ancy with the prospect of an aged IPA but this was still pretty tasty, the belgian flavors really took over, interested to see how the remaining epic bottles finish

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at a Vertical Epic tasting with my friend Armand.

A-Good head, White bubbles that are larger the the previous Epic's, dissipates quickly, golden straw yellow.

S-Hop aroma, piney, citrusy.

T-Flavor follows through, a little grassy.

D-Good drinker, big flavors but very smooth.

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

22oz bottle purchased for 6.99 on 8-10-08 at Whole Foods Tanasbourne.

This beer pours a light amber/orange color with a small sized head.

The aroma brings grassy, tropical fruit tinged hops, belgian yeast, and a hint of alcohol.

The taste is very nice. Very powerful hop flavor, but with a subdued finishing bitterness. Tastes like a fresh hop beer mixed with a SD IPA and a Saison. Well, I'm not so sure that would taste this good, but it's what I keep thinking as I sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and low on carbonation.

Overall, this was a pleasant surprise. Better than expected. Yet another unique, outstanding offering from Stone.

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Photo of midnite2sixman
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

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Photo of Nick3
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured into a Paulaner hefeweizen glass. Forms a 2 finger head that fades quickly. Color is golden and translucent, looks like a standard American lager. Smell is a very nice blend of citrus, bread, hops, and spices. Taste is a smooth malt up-front and piney while the finish is dry and hoppy. Nice carbonation through the beer. Will be curious to see what this taste like in 4 years per the note on the bottle. I'll be storing a couple.

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a DT tulip glass.

Great foamy head on this one. The head went away as the beer warmed in the glass.

A bit of hops and banana on the nose.

This reminded me a lot of a good Belgian IPA (hommel bier). Spicy and peppery. Hoppy but not heavily hoped with the typical "west coast style" hops that Stone is famous for. I bit boozy. I can see this one aging real well.

Good work on this one Stone. Very different from there typical offerings. They left there comfort zone successfully. Recommended.

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alas, this is my first Vertical Epic. Hopefully I'll get to try a few of the previous ones on tap (if not bottled) one day. I'll be sure to get hold of the final four barring a major mishap.

A: A clear, pale golden color with a thick if minimal head. There is some retention and nice lacing.

S: At first there is pear and passion fruit on the nose. As it warms up a little you get a sense of the hops, some citrusy but mainly coniferous notes. Esters also make a welcome appearance.

T: Sweetness of the malts come through right off the bat. Tasty. Just as it threatens to keel over, the hops kick in and achieve a delicious balance. The best thing is that it then stays in ale equilibrium. There are few beers that manage this.

M: Very solid. No detectable hop oils, but there is a lingering bitterness that is not overpowering in the least. Sorry Stone, I had to write that...Nice and snappily crisp. Refreshing.

D: The 8.6% ABV is hardly noticeable at first. Eventually, there is a warming sensation. I believe I could drink two of these beauties. That's saying something for a brown bomber this potent.

To conclude, I love this beer. I'm not a huge tripel fan (though I like classic Belgian pale ales like Duvel and their US compadres Damnation and Horny Devil) nor am I a major hophead. Simply put, one of the more quaffable non-dark beers I've had the pleasure of drinking. I have no idea how this will age, but I plan on finding out. It's hard to imagine that it'll get much better.

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Photo of WillieMoe
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly opaque, bubbly golden, with a hint of orange. Has a thin head that dissolves fairly quickly.

Has that heavy fruity belgian aroma.Hints of banana, mild citrus, coriander, clove and a mild bready malt.

Has a big hop taste, balanced with some citrusy wafts and bready yeast scents. A little harsh and fizzy at first, with a bit of a tang at the end. Has a medium body, and some good carbonation.

The alcohol is not hidden all that well. Is a very good drink, but a bit too big to drink continuously.

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Photo of zerofear13
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had Stone's 07.07.07 last year and wasn't a huge fan. This year, I think I'm going to officially stop trying these Vertical Epics. I'm just not a big fan of the flavor or the style. Pours out a gold color. Carbonated. Smells of coriander, banana, and earth-tone yeasts. Tastes follow suit. Very herb-y and spicey flavors. Not a big fan. I feel like those real prevalent hearb flavors always outdo the other tastes. Just don't really like that.

Give it a try if it's available, but only because it's rare and worth saying you've tried. Personally, if you don't like the style, this won't change your mind.

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear bright golden, fluffy eggshell head trails off to a thin lace. Nice cling. Nice peppery aromas, corriander mixed with some green apple and pear. Grassy hop aroma's very prominant as well. Much the same in the flavor. Hops are more assertive than your typical Belgian Golden, but here they are more of an after thought. Finishes very clean with just a touch of grassy hop flavors with some honey and green apple. The carbonation is spot on. Slight warming midway thru the glass is the only detection that your dancing with a big boy. Had lot's of fun with this. Will be interesting to see what four years on the shelf will do to this. Definatly worth seeking out for immediate consumption.

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Photo of cannabanaceae
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. This is the first of my epics having past it up for many a year. Let the epic begin..

Look was light carbonated with a nice white head dissipating to nothing.

Smell was of toasted sugar,with a classic belgium yeast aroma.

Taste was the perfect amount of carbonation in the mouth. A lightly sweet overtone. sweet malt, candi sugar. A nice bitter finish that lingers around in your mouth. Seems very easy drinking for the ABV%

I was pretty impressed for this hybrid beer. I think I will try to age this one until 12/2012. I reget not partaking in this epic beer .Let the collection begin....,,,

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Photo of TMB0424
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into tulip.

Poured a nice hazy gold body with peach tints and a two finger white head. Head quickly reduced to a foamy cap, leaving fairly good retention throughout.

Aroma is very reminiscent of Stone's IPA - citrus (grapefruit, orange peel), freshly squeezed lemon and hops. This is backed by a slight scent of yeast with clove. Can slightly detect alcohol, as well.

First sip, I was pretty disappointed because I only picked up the IPA aspects. After a couple more, the Belgian characteristics kicked in. The grapefruit and lemon are backed by sweet malts and honey. Hints of banana. Yeast brings a nice element as well. Finishes dry and bitter after the sweet kick-off.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with a very crisp but very dry feel to it. Carbonation is high, but it compliments everything. Although I enjoyed this brew, I couldn't have more than one pour - the sweetness just got to me. Recommended, nevertheless.

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Photo of Dalem
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent honey blonde in color with a good amount of carbonation. An almost two finger head holds on strong eventually fading a leaving thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The scent is pretty much what you'd expect from a Belgium ale. Banana, black pepper and a creamy malt base holding it all together. The taste is right along the same lines. A contention I have with a portion of American made Belgium ales is that it seems they get a little out of hand with the spices. Sometimes the the point where it seems they want all the attention and that the brew itself is an afterthought. This keeps that all in check. The requisite Belgium yeast spiciness is right where it should be but it's doesn't seem like somebody was there throwing nutmeg and cinnamon in it over and over again to give it "it's own thing" and that's cool. As it adjusts to the glass and room temperature it hints of green apple and clove rise a bit to the surface. The finish is medium smooth leaving a slight banana tinge down the throat. If it wasn't for a warming effect as it it goes down it would be hard to believe that this is pushing 9% abv.

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Photo of Keith238
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden in color, this brew lacked the thick creamy foam promised on the bottle. May glass may not have been as clean as I initially thought but I'm a stickler about my beer glasses so I doubt it.

S- Fantastic aroma. Very floral.

T- Again, fantastic. Spicy and well hopped. This brew has renewed my interest in Belgian triples.

M & D- Clean, crisp and dry. You will want a second bottle so buy it while you can.

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Photo of hellomcfly
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep golden honey color. Very clear. Has a bright white, foamy, one finger head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Banana, cloves, spiciness, and booziness. Has some gin-like qualities as it warms.

T - Wow, very flavorful. Banana, clove, citrus, apple, flowers, bubble gum. Leaves you with a slight hop bittnerness and a peppery flavor. This beer is somewhere between a tripel, fruity cocktail, and champagne.

M - On the lighter end of medium in body. Fairly dry finish.

D - I'm not going to mind drinking the whole bomber but this certainly isn't a session beer or anything. Wish I had another bottle to age.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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...

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Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ligher yellow with a decent head and enduring lacing.

S - Strong citrus & floral scents - very Belgian

T - Complex tastes with hints of fruits & floral tastes - strong tasting.

Mounthfeel - very carbonated but also smooth

D - Very strong ale. Alcohol overpowers it a bit but that is part of its charm.

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Photo of randawakes
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

IPA? wow, this is creamy and full of rich orange, faint apple and grape. This citrus abundance has some pine flavor with it. This is very sweet and will take you by storm. Pours bright opaque golden, smell isn't quite as fulfilling as the taste.

From what I recall not as good as the 07, but better than the 09.

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Photo of BrewMonkey
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasted along with 07.07.07

Pours much lighter in color and more clear than the prior year's offering, a very clear straw color with similar fluffy white head as 07, though it seems to recede much faster with less lacing.

Aroma is miles apart from the 07 version, heavily dominated by hop aroma including grassiness, citrus, and something near spearmint. Some hints of nectar like sweetness behind the hops, with a fruitiness akin to melon/honeydew and clove.

Flavor is intensely clovey, with far higher levels of hop bitterness than 07. Sweetness levels balance fairly well with the bitter aspect, though the clove seems to throw things a bit off balance IMO. Mouthfeel is a bit different as well, might have liked a bit more carbonation similar to 07.

Definately a different experience. As much as I love the aroma, I'm not as nuts about the flavor, but might improve by next year if the clove subsides a bit. Its a tasty brew for sure, but might need some time to mellow out. Definately would like a bit more carbonation though.

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Photo of blindtiger24
3.39/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

4oz draft pour into a tulip glass.

A: Copper colored with a thin head.

S: Apple and cinnamon smell.

T: Orange sweetness and slight bitterness from orange peel.

M: Creamy mouthfeel that is short lived and is dried about by bitterness of the peel.

O: Fell flat in the taste and mouthfeel departments.

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Photo of KBoudreau66
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bought a 22 oz and poured into a snifter. Has a honey color with some carbonation going on. Has an excellent smell of apple with a hint of alcohol. Has an excellent hoppy taste that washes down slightly dry. This is another great beer by Stone, I definitely plan on buying at least one or two more to drink and a few extra's to save till 2012.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.