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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

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

694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 173 | 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 AlpacaAlpaca
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

AlpacaAlpaca, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of CHSLBrew
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A-Clear golden beer. White, oily head rose small and dissipated to an unattractive layer, quickly down to nothing.

S-Spicy, citrus-orange aromatics, slightly grassy. So much hoppiness, it seemed almost beyond Belgian-style.

T-Spicy-grapefruit-citrus hoppiness is very prominent over a clove and sweet-spicy malt. Hop bitterness, backed by something dry and yeast-influenced, is straight forward and assertive. There's a resiny hop floating around on the back of my tongue. So, so many hops, this flavor certainly overcame my lowered expectations from the appearance off the pour :D

M-Moderate carbonation. Medium-bodied beer is pushed along further by a drying, nearly puckering at times, bitterness.

D-Despite its potential difficulty due to its huge hoppiness, this beer was actually very drinkable. I find myself feeling somewhat disappointed that I'll most likely not sample this brew again.

Thanks to my girlfriend for bringing this bottle back to MN from her trip to Los Angeles.

CHSLBrew, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of Hopswagger
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 12.12.12
Celebrating the Vertical Epic Series

P: Clear pale golden body with a thin layer of white head that leaves delicate lacing.

S: Citrus hops, honeydew, ginger, light banana phenols, spices, pippali pepper sprinkled on honey, and lemon zest.

T/M: Dirty earthy taste. White grapes, bitter apple peels, pippali pepper, pears, powdery yeast and a more vibrant flavor than the others in the series. The fresh ness really shines. Dry crisp full body with good carbonation and a clean finish of fruit rind bitterness.

O: The amarilo hop character was surprisingly vibrant and brilliantly aged. The intense flavors offered a nicely developed golden ale. Very nice and great drinkability.

Hopswagger, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of Stockfan42
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So I guess this beer should be aged till 2012 for its full flavor experience? Well im thisty now so here goes nothing.

A light goldish, yellow pour that leaves a creamy head that slowly folds down.

Very interesting aroma. Hops and cloves dominate the smell, very malty and hints of fruit lingre in the background.

Spicy like a belgiam, not over hopped and pretty malty as well. The cloves are what im guessing give it that spicy kick. Fruity undertone with some grapefruits, taste like some banana nut bread in a way.

Pretty light feel which isnt bad for 8% and goes down alright. Maybe i'll grab some more and open it when its supposed to be to make a comparison.

Stockfan42, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of Casey10
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very Good, would be interesting to see what it would be like in a couple of years.

A - light golden color minimal head although to be honest only had a hotel glass to pour this in.

S - light smell reminded me of a crisp belgin style ale similar to delrium nocturnum perhaps

t - crisp light hides the 8.6 well.

m - again light crisp, wheat like

d very drinkable didn't blow me away but very good.

Casey10, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of thekanna
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a gorgeous gold bordering in amber; small head dissipated quickly.

S: Strong citrus smell (I detect grapefruit) with some fresh-cut wood. Hops definitely pervade the aroma and become dominant after a few seconds.

T: Strong grapefruit bitterness followed by a nice juicy (almost lemonade or limeade-like) taste. A sweet malty backbone rears its head only slightly before the grapefruit taste dominates again, leaving a bitter finish.

M: Good carbonation and a nice, juicy body.

D: Great sipper; cuts through even the strongest flavors and a good beer to whet the appetite.

thekanna, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of leodarko
3/5  rDev -24.6%

leodarko, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of JBogan
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear light golden color with a small white head and very little lacing.

Smelled sweet and with a slight alcohol presence. Can't quite pick out the scents but I think there's a bit of grape in there somewhere along with some charcoal residue.

Tastes much as it smells. Nothing offensive going on here, but nothing to rave about either.

Mouthfeel was thin and slick, and with little carbonation.

Overall this was a somewhat drinkable brew. I'm going to finish this bottle now, and save another bottle for a few years from now and see what the difference (if any) there is. For now however, I'd day that it's a nice offerening from Stone, who's brews I usually find far too sweet and boozy, almost like a hyperactive cough syrup. This one is a bit toned down, although still not a great beer.

JBogan, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden yellow. small bubbly white head that dissipated quickly leaving an oily foam and great lacing.

A super hoppy Belgian. Lemon peel, orange, and piney/herbal notes. Belgian fruity funky spicy estery yeast. Slight bread below the powerful hops and yeast.

Tangy lemon peel. Funky fruity estery citrus. slightly bready pale tripel malts. Spicy herbal and resinous. Crisp floral estery bitterness and aftertaste. A small alcohol taste that melds nicely in the hoppy belgian tripel, without being very noticeable.

Dry, crisp, smooth, light to medium bodied.

Very drinkable. A great Belgian style tripel, loaded with west coast hops. I'm a big fan.

CHILLINDYLAN, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first taste of Stone's Vertical lineup since Stone was just recently added to WI's distribution. I must say that the premise and idea is wonderful. I bought one to drink right away and one to cellar for a few years. This poured with a wonderful shiny gold color with slow rising carbonation. The first glass was remarkably clear with carbonation bubbles dancing. The second glass provided a slight trace of yeast but the sediment was very fine. The head was nicely packed and left slight dashes of lacing. The aroma was great and complex. The hops are immediately noticable and dominating yet the malty body and spicy Belgian yeast were always there to anchor the aroma and taste. As the beer warms the hops become a bit more subdued as the spicy esters and phenols come through. The taste is much like Achouffe's example with a malty taste of a tripel and a refreshing and crisp dose of American hops. Wonderful traces of sweet fruit throughout. The body and taste lacks a little bit of depth and complexity, but wonderful flavors abound. Mouthfeel is lively as the bitterness, spiciness, and sweetness make for a nice combo. The hopped-up tripel style is wonderful and it is great to see more and more brewers adding an American touch to a well done Belgian base beer. I am really looking forward to trying this after it has been cellared for a few years. With the additional hops, this should age fairly well.

ALESwhatCURESya, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of mwa423
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first Vertical Epic, and I must say I'm going back to the store to buy a case or more of it! It pours a clear golden with about a one inch head that dies down to a nice lacing.

The smell is fantastic with plenty of citrus, hops and other things I can't quite place.

I greatly enjoy the taste, it almost tastes like a hybrid between an Belgian and an IPA. Plenty of hop bite but not at all overwhelming. I couldn't taste anything that would suggest the extremely high ABV.

Palate is fantastic, goes down very smoothly, especially considering the high abv. The finish is very dry and makes your mouth water for the next sip.

Overall, this is exceptionally good beer. The taste profile is exceptionally complex and excellent, the very high ABV will get you in a good mood after one bottle and yet you can't taste it at all.

mwa423, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of dragonWhale
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice, very nice. Before looking this up to review I thought I was sippin on a hoppy saison. A brilliant gold, quite clear. Estery, can'tquiteputmyfingeronit goodness. Not much Americohop presence. Very floral hops, grassy too. Nothing in the way of citrus and pine. Classy. I mean $150/hr whore classy. Very tasty with a giant alcohol finish, especially for the mere 8.6 and the 2 years that this has sat dormant, awaiting execution. Delicious. My last bottle. Had to throw it back on the wants..

dragonWhale, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of RyanGoodman
4/5  rDev +0.5%

RyanGoodman, Feb 05, 2012
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 Sarlacc83
3.29/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle.

A: Clear orange color with a thin white head. Nice lacing and good bubbles.

N: Caramel, toffee, mandarin orange, some oxidation, leafy hops, esters.

T: Well balanced by the bitter and sweet elements. Tastes more like a barleywine/old DIPA than a BSA

M: Sticky, medium body. Alcohol is prevalent.

O: Not too bad. Hops have faded significantly and the oxidation level is light. Still solid, but not my favorite.

Sarlacc83, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of hoplover82
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale color with little head that leaves no lace.

Lots of cloves in the nose (which I don't like)some hints of earthy hops. Not much more than that.

Taste is a little bitterness with yeasty bread dough with earthy hops and some very interesting green apple! That's nice.

Medium to full bodied and a little dry.

Ok drinkability.

hoplover82, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of blakesell
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz low filled bottle into my favourite Belgian style glass.

Appearance- Beer pours clear and golden. Very clear, no hints of haze at all and very thin on the head, so thin that outside of the edges of the glass I was afraid I would have no carbonation and this was a botched bottle. Luckily after a swirl or two, this is clearly alright, just not as carbonated as expected. Lacing is even on the sides.

Smell- This has a very peculiar scent of Amarillo, soap, musty basement, dog piss, Belgian malts, I'm getting some oyster mushroom in here as well. This smells like a cheese pairing beer to me. I'll have to try that out after this review. A bit spicy as well, coriander, cardamom, and pear.

Taste- Banana and lightly spicy hops upfront and a very sweet Belgian flavor that I can't quite call candi. Perhaps a different kind of sugar? Turbinado? Now that I think back this tastes a whole lot like that Russian River Batch 23 I had last year. Just like that Batch 23 there are slight but hardly existent and probably just imagined oak characteristics. Very light and fruity with pears again on the flavor and a white peppery spice texture. Now that I think of it, I think I like this one better than that old Batch 23, although it's kind of unfair to judge that way.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, light, warming but not overly so, spicy, low in carbonation, medium light bodied, and effervescent.

Drinkability- This one is quite smooth. I look forward to drinking another in about four years. I think it will age well.

blakesell, Sep 18, 2008
Photo of bmoney
4/5  rDev +0.5%

bmoney, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of Kevlee722
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Kevlee722, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of Pauly2X
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep gold with a light amber tint, wispy 1/4 finger head.

S- Sweet fruity esters interlaced with spicy/citrusy hop notes.

T- The spicy yeast character takes center stage with this brew. This is not to say that the fine malt profile with a hint of caramel and the sharp yet not too overpowering hops don't do thier job as well. The warming alcohol note becomes more evident as the beer warms up.

M- Light and rich, good carbonation.

D- Very drinkable for a high abv.

Although this may not be very traditional for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but in the realm of belgian styles what is? Great balance overall, good complexity without making you "think about it".

Pauly2X, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of Philousa
2.8/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Purchased this from Lone Hill Liquor a year ago. I wouldn't have purchased something that someone else aged, but I know that Lone Hill takes good care of their product so I'm assuming it was aged properly.

Pours a very pale gold, clear with a wispy bone colored head. Tiny bubbles form with a swirl and pack in tightly until it mostly dissipates. Aroma starts with green apple, pear, white grape, and clove. Lots of sweet Belgian notes up front, almost sickeningly so. I also get a slightly papery aroma. There isn't as much carbonation as expected. I don't get much in the way of hops because of the age, I presume. So far this is turning out to be a Belgian Golden Strong. Flavor has caramel, biscuit, and honey with sweet, flowery nectar. Some allspice goes up the noes and brings out a bitter candied sugar flavor. Bitter hops are woody and earthy. Feel is appropriate for the style, finish is very dry.

This gets better as it warms. The caramel comes out and the spicy phenols calm down. I really want to try this when it's young. I think that if anyone can duplicate Houblon Chouffe's success it could be Stone. I have to dock points for saying that this should be aged, though. This is a novelty by now and a poor marketing trick. If only I knew this before I started buying the series.

Philousa, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of uziangis
5/5  rDev +25.6%

uziangis, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of jmalex
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smart me finally decided to make sure I have 2 bottles of this - 1 for now and 1 for later... a while later. So this is the "Now" bottle.

APPEARANCE: Pours mostly clear into a Duvel tulip. It's a few shades darker than gold, but still a nice light copper color. A one-finger white head forms on top and shrinks to a medium collar with a large island of foam floating in the middle.

SMELL: Very sweet, but only kind of Belgian. You really need to search to find any trace of bready Belgian yeast aroma. It definitely has the esters though. Orange and apricot burst out of this beer dominating the nose.

TASTE: I thought I remembered hearing this beer was generously hopped. There wasn't anything in the nose, but here it is in the flavor. It's citrusy and nicely understated too which is a pleasant surprise. The esters get to shine mirroring the smell along with a peppery spiciness to cut the sweetness a bit. And finally, any of the over-the-top sweetness perceived in the aroma is dialed down significantly in the taste. It finishes perfectly dry as it should.

MOUTHFEEL: The dryness leads to a light, crisp body which is essential for the style. Carbonation is approaching higher levels, but probably could get ramped up a bit more even.

DRINKABILITY: It drinks quite easy especially given the 8.4% ABV. The slightly cloying aroma still manages to get to me hampering this a bit.

Wow, what a nice surprise. I had expected this to be a hop bomb, but the hops are nicely balanced with the rest of the beer. Call me impressed. But Stone has the tendency to do that to me.

jmalex, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of ryser2k
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

ryser2k, Jan 02, 2013
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.