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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

685 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 685
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 42
Gots: 170 | FT: 12
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)
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Ratings: 685 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.28/5  rDev -17.6%

22 oz bottle.

Pours a bright, clear golden orange with small white head. Dry bitter aroma with coriander, pepper, orange, lime and citrus peel. Tastes like no pulp Orange Juice with a twist of lime and... I dunno, "spice"? Medium thick and well carbonated. I was hopefully from the nose for this but the flavor is too watery and one dimensional.

01-13-2013 19:15:24 | More by yourefragile
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%

I'd love to save this, and pair it with its brethren on the final tasting, but I've come in far too late, and I'll be back in the land of Oz long before the time comes. So here goes with 080808.

Pours a very light yellow-gold with good clarity, although there is a slight hint of haze to the body. Head is initially creamy thick with tiny bubbles of pure white, but this dissipates to a collar of film around the edges. Lacing is good.

Nice Belgian yeast characters on the nose, and a hint of phenolic alcohol. Light notes of herbs and wintergreen, but certainly not a big hop presence like the bottle suggests was the inspiration for the brew. More sweet and round, like the Belgian ales in this way, slightly more subdued than say La Guillotine or Duvel for example.

The hop character is more pronounced in flavour, with a decent bite of hop oil coating the mid-palate. There's a sweetness as well, quite a dry sweetness, but like the Belgians in this regard. Fair amount of heat on the back palate as well, this may fade with age. Mouthfeel is light, suitable for the style.

I know I'm drinking this before its time, and perhaps it shows, but at the moment this is a pretty run-of-the-mill Belgian Pale to me. It's drinkable enough, but I'm not sure there's enough there to even make it last another four years.

Oh well, if I'm around for 12.12.12, and happen to chance upon it, I'd still give it a go.

10-02-2008 01:03:35 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.28/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured this bottle from my trip to the Library Ale House
Poured a deep golden color with a small white head,Nose was of malt, caramel, candy and a touch of yeast and hops. Taste was was well hopped with flavors of pine and citrus with a small amount of spiciness on the end. Drinkability is really good.

10-06-2008 22:58:03 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%

Purchased from a very good Britain-based beer shop, "Beers of Europe", through on-line order. Coming in a light brown, 1 Pt. 6Fl. Oz. bomber bottle, served lightly chilled in Hapkin's branded bulb-shaped sniffer. NOTE: the very long description on the bottle seems to suggest that this is a "Belgian Tripel dry-hopped with American hops".

A: pours a dark golden hue with almost perfect clarity, coming with very fine carbonation in support of a 1cm thick, well-lasting off-white creamy froth. Handsome!
S: richly orangey, elderflowery, gooseberry-ish (reminiscent of Pinot Grigio+Riesling!) and syrupy upfront, topped with lots of vanilla & coriander-like esters, denoting a rich base of Belgian Golden Ale (such as Duvel or La Chouffe) with its crisp fruitiness, spicy notes, and a firm but slightly cloying touch of malts. American hops are somewhat subdued in the mixture, although a lightly grapefruity aroma might be the by-product of them. Not bad, but not quite as complex as richly fruity - a tad too sweet for my preference, anyway, otherwise it could've fared better.
T: soothing and exotic fruit-estery (with hints of all the elements identified on the nose) and lightly savoury on the yeastiness, not unlike the kind of savoury-sweet touch often accompanying a Hefeweizen. Clean citric hops are beautifully intertwined with clean lager/grainy malts, helping to result in a balanced profile in the middle of the palate, before an enjoyable stream of zesty-spicy hops (more like dried tangerine-peels) with an undertone of Riesling wine expands and overtakes the palate. The tangy bitterness rests deep and low down the wings of the tongue. In the end, satisfying as well as refreshing.
M&D: the mouthfeel is so... good, demonstrating a top-class craftsmanship in handling the yeasts in this (roughly) filtered-bottle form - the carbonation is superbly clean with microscopic fizz to tingle the taste-buds, providing a key texture to underline the equally clean & focused flavour profile. In fact, the hoppiness is NOT as assertively bitter as I expected from the description on the bottle, but rather aromatic and utterly-juicy. Superbly drinkable even at this alc. strength, this is an effortlessly pleasant ale to savour, whatever the style!

07-09-2009 00:16:17 | More by wl0307
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

01-20-2013 18:55:00 | More by orangesol
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +0.5%

10-21-2013 20:49:37 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Sampled several times at BCTC, and then from a small growler and enjoyed 2 days later at home (now)

From the Stone website, "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 comment heard most often by samplers at the fest was simply "WOW"

Pours clear, medium honey amber, glistening with golden and light orange shimmers, head is off white, tiny bubble and leaving scattered fine lacing.

Nose picked up plenty of mint, pineapple, melon, berries and assorted fresh fruit nuances.

Absolutely delicious creation in brewing, Belgian yeasty notes, banana, citrus, piney hops, more pineapple, a plethora of fruity notes, dry spiced up/ light peppery finish...WOW...yummy...my favorite style...(hoppy Belgian strong pale ale/tripel/whatever you want to call it)

Stone rocks and this is another fine example of their craft

08-04-2008 19:47:42 | More by Billolick
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.22/5  rDev +6%

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours a nice golden with a fairly short head but nice lacing. The smell is fairly light but with some nice earthy and citrusy hops. Tastes big and piney with some cream and citrus, especially on the finish. Creamy and smooth in the mouth, with a bit of prickliness at the end. Overall it's pretty nice, I particularly like the orange and cream finish- makes it taste a little like a hoppy creamsicle!

09-07-2010 02:32:03 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.5%

The midway point, my VE hump day.

A: The Belgian IPA is a pale golden color, quite translucent. Very little in the way of head, a few wispy strands.

S: The nose, ahh the sweet blend of tripel botanicals, strong hops and a twang of Belgian yeast. The best smeller of the night.

T: The hops are off a step, this being 2 years old and all. Luckily the tripel spices are lively and sharp. Coriander, pears and pepper create a complex flavor that coaxes the last remaining citrus oomph out of the hops. The yeast strain adds additional sweetness that, along with the hops and tripel, lend a gritty bite to the ale.

M: The mouthfeel is a study in contrasts, the bite of the hops, the sweetness of the yeast, the strength of the tripel. My favorite of the night.

D: Another whopper, too strong for its own good. I wouldn't hesitate to have a few more pints, a Belgian IPA that has aged nicely.

10-24-2010 14:19:35 | More by akorsak
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -10.1%

Drank on 1/26/13
(Served in a globe glass)
A- This beer pours a clear apricot body with a slow carbonation and a thin bubbly white head that is soon gone.

S- The green pithy citrus aroma lead to a soft dry spicy quality in the finish. Some apricot ester aromas grows to a soft hint with some candy sugar hints underneath.

T- The watery taste has a spicy finish that could be hops or alcohol but is to soft to tell. There is a dry finish that has a phenolic spice and some stale malt flavor in the back of the throat after each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a big alcohol heat that grows, especially in each exhale.

O- This beer has some nice but very light apricot yeast esters and the spice hint would be nice as a secondary flavor but the big alcohol and watery taste just dominate. It does have that stale aftertaste that I have had in old abbey beers.

---
(Served in a chalice)
drank on 9/25/08
A- This beer pours a crystal clear apricot colored body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles and a lumpy snow white head.

S- There is a yeasty perfume nose that is followed by a slightly earthy hop note and a dry bubblegum hint to the finish.

T- This beer has a dry soft hop pungency with a club soda flavor followed by a grapefruit pith note. There is a light soapy flavor to the slight bitter finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight vinous alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms. There is a champagne fizz finish.

D- This beer has some yeasty notes and some triple and pale ale qualities but nothing that is really to interesting. I don't think this beer has much hope of improving in the next 4 years but we will see.

09-25-2008 18:54:23 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4/5  rDev +0.5%

01-01-2013 05:57:39 | More by drewone
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.22/5  rDev +6%

Beautiful clear golden colored ale. Tinges of amber I could almost call this peach color. Small white head forms and falls.

Quite a strong and pleasant smelling ale, I smell it quite strongly two feet away from my nose. Strong and sweet candy aroma and fruity and spicy esters dominate the aroma. Quite spicy and herbal this is one beer where the yeast esters hide whatever coriander was used in the recipe. Herbal but without any separate identities except licorice and mint.

Taste starts out mildly sweet and herbal with a sweet aftertaste. Herbal and spicy with the accent on the word herbal. Quite strong bitter for the style. Best I can ID the flavors here is Jägermeister and mint.

Mouthfeel is quite nice.

No Idea how well this will age, for me it is quite nice right now. Very Spicy and herbal example of the beer style and one I like quite a bit.

09-04-2008 04:43:51 | More by Zorro
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.3/5  rDev +8%

Going onto the second sample of the Vertical Epic flight at Tustin Brewing. A little over four years of age on this one. On to the beer:

Golden colored brew, topped with some fair lace and a patchy head. What makes the nose distinct is the dryness. It's not oxidized, smells Belgian, and rustic. Some sugar, bigger notes of leather, a few dry hops; any chance this is a Belgian IPA?

Confirmed. Despite four years of hiding, there still remain noticable traces of hops. Delecate hops which compliment the character of the overall beer, not smuther it. Leather, dry Belgian yeast, rustic. The alcohol is hidden well, and its body is smooth. Pleasantly dry in the aftertaste.

There's something about 08.08.08. I won't know how a fresh one tastes, but I know that an aged one is damn good. And I'm lucky to realize that I saved a bottle in my cellar and not realized it.

12-21-2012 23:10:19 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

11-09-2013 00:35:28 | More by mothman
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.33/5  rDev +8.8%

Update: 22 May 10

This bottle is almost 2 years old.

Poured into a chalice a nice hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, with a nice little fizzy/creamy white head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some hop notes, and spice. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter still, with some malts, slight hop note, yeasty, and some spice note. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, not hot at all. Very Drinkable, still enjoying this brew, holding up very well.

Poured into my Stone Ruination glass a very nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, which leaves minimal sticky lacing. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some hops, and spices. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter, with some malty, hops, yeast, and some spices. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, it has a nice hoppyness to it. Well done Stone.

10-05-2008 19:34:16 | More by Wasatch
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -8.8%

22oz bottle into a Chimay goblet twce. This is about five months old at the moment.

A- Vertical epic 08 pours a bright golden color with orange spots. No head to speak of whatsoever. just a bit of very faint patches of scattered white spots. A lot of bubbles are seen rising up but not enough to cover the surface with any foam. May be an off bottle.

S- 080808 has a lot of yeast and earthy tones. Bananas and cloves and other spices. Some various flowers come out with warming. Some sweet candy with malts. A nice array of hops while this BSPA resembles somewhat of a triple style.

T- A blast of the spices such as clove and pepper and the Belgian yeast jump out at the forefront with what i'm guessing to be some strain of NW U.S hop variety. Some bready malts. More fruits than in the smell starting with banana and apple and pear. Has a dry and slighty bitter aftertaste.

M- 080808 has a dry and bitter taste with a bit of alcohol presence. This does not quite fit the bill for a triple in my mind. Goes down quite easy with a light to medium body and some carbonation. The taste rolls off the tounge and does not linger.

D- At 8% only one bottle for me in a sitting. This is my 1st try at this offering from stone and while I was not blown away I am still intrigued to try the older versions and will look out for future releases although this wont be strong on my radar. Still a good offering from stone.

02-01-2009 04:58:03 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

10-30-2008 01:54:34 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +15.6%

A. Bomber split with friend into a pint glass. Fluffy head soapy white. Wonderful cathedral like lacing.

S. Bready and fruity. Hints of banana.

T. Hints of hops. Peppery. Light fruits appear and then recede into some malty notes. This is a very complex beer.

M. Light and crisp. Finishes on the dry side.

D. Highly quaffable, but this is meant for sipping. If it were more readily available, this would be a mainstay.

Final word: This is an amazing beer. Stone is a world class brewery. I need to secure some more to set aside for a while.

09-19-2008 23:03:55 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4/5  rDev +0.5%

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in Summer 2008. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of orange zest, lemon, apple, pear, honey, bread, pepper, light pine, light clove, floral, grass, herbal, floral earthiness, and light yeast esters. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes and yeast esters. Taste of lemon, orange zest, apple, pear, honey, bread, light pine, pepper, clove, floral, grass, and floral earthiness. Slight floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, light fruits, honey, bread, floral, grass, light pepper, light pine, herbal, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of hop flavors with yeast esters; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong ale! Very nice balance and complexity of hop flavor and yeast esters; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

02-10-2013 04:54:29 | More by superspak
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.11/5  rDev -21.9%

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

Gusher! had to be decanted and served in a pitcherThe beer is radiant orange yellow hued. Fairly hazy with a small white cap. The aroma brings coriander, limes, crackers, malt, spice. The flavor is watery orange juice, light spice. Malty body and fairly light on the palate. Moderate carbonation. This was ok.

01-12-2013 22:07:09 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Gonzoillini
Gonzoillini

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

01-01-2013 00:21:48 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

12-08-2013 05:20:34 | More by BillRoth
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

11-20-2011 03:18:08 | More by brandoman63
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Rich golden brew, clear, with a billowing white head at first, then settled to a small film. A quick swirl brings it around again, modestly.
Phenolic/clove in the aroma, with some esters and lemongrass. Not overly fruity, just enough though. Some hints of sugary malt and cedar (?)

A good taste. Seems like a Belgian-yeasted-up pilsner. Estery, some noticeable malt backbone, a bit sweet, yet has the hops to kick in at the end. Good carbonation. Not sure how this would age. What would be affected the most?

Good abv cover, easy drinking..perhaps a touch syrupy. Nice spring beer. The other two will age...

05-15-2009 16:21:58 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +10.1%

The beer pours a rich yellow gold color with good head retention and lacing. The beer looks for all the world like a Belgian trippel, which, as I found out, it would mimick in other ways as well.

On the nose this beer is very impressive. I get some cherry and honey, but with huge underlying hoppy bitterness, coupled with white and black pepper. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, and for all the world this beer reminds me of the Houblon IPA from La Chouffe. It's actually a bit richer and hoppier then the Houblon, but is also a bit less complex and lacks some of the lemon/lime. The beer is moderately sweet, but that sweetness is more then countered by the massive amount of hops in this beer. The beer is medium bodied and finishes fairly well. Abv. is pretty well disguised, though it had a warming effect near the end of the glass. Probably couldn't drink a whole lot of this stuff, but the single glass was quite good. Another impressive offering from Stone.

Edit from 3/15/13. Based on a recent vertical epic tasting at Pacific Coast Brewing. While this beer still shows some attractive cherry, orange, honey and light vanilla flavor, the flavor profile has clearly lightened up considerably since 2008. This beer is till quite charming and drinkable, but it has nothing like the hoppy bitterness and intensity of flavor it had several years ago. My current scoring of this beer was considerably below what I gave it back in 2008.

09-05-2008 16:42:08 | More by John_M
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 685 ratings.