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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

696 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 696
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 41
Gots: 174 | 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: 696 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of orangesol
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of yourefragile
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden orange color with a thick two finger foam head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing.

Sweet estery golden fruit aroma with hints of golden apple, grape, pear and banana. Slight alcohol presence with some peppery zesty spice and earthy hops.

Spicy, yeasty medium body with a lot of sweet estery fruit notes, alcohol and citrus earthy hops. Sweet golden fruit notes, especially apple and pear with a decent amount of alcohol warmth and a nice dry hoppy finish.

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

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.

Photo of Billolick
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of mdaschaf
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.

Photo of wl0307
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of DoubleJ
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.11/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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

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.

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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...

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.