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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 PangaeaBeerFood
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's X-mas Eve and I have a few hours with the house to myself before people swing by, so I figure it's a good time to snack, try a new beer, and finishing wrapping my gifts. I decide on Vertical Epic 08.08.08., purchased a few months back at my favorite beer store.

I started by pouring the beer into a St. Bernardus Chalice. It had little to no carbonation. I'm not sure if it has always been this way or if this is a result of aging. Crystal clear, golden and gorgeous. Looks like a white wine, with a tiny bit of patchy foam on the top.

The smell is pretty wonderful. The sweetness of the malt and citrus notes of the hops have kind of blended together into something that is simultaneously simplistic and complex. It comes together to form something vaguely reminiscent of tangerines. Slightly citrusy and sharp, but sweet and inviting.

The taste matches the smell to a T. Very similar to a white wine. Sweet up front and acidic on the back leading to a nice dry finish.

The mouthfeel is very winelike and surprisingly light. The lack of carbonation and light body really come together to form something wonderful. It is also incredibly easy to drink. I put back the first half of the 22 oz bottle in no time, then realized I had to step it back or I'd be a mess.

I've tried this with a variety of different cheeses and premade spice mixtures I have. It didn't like Stilton at all, but loved a Ras Al-Hanoot rub. I loved the pairing so much I grilled up a chicken breast right there rubbed with the spices, and tossed a small bit of the beer into the pan then served it with pita chips and pine nut hummus. It was delicious.

On the second pour (which finished the bottle), it picked up some of the yeast caked on the bottom which changed the experience entirely. The beer looks more like a Belgian Tripel or a Saison now, with a hazey, orangey color that you can't see through at all. The taste is VERY much like a Tripel, with sweetness upfront, but it is cut off abruptly by the bitter hops. Lots of hops in the nose, more so than the first pour. It also feels a bit thicker and heavier on the palate than before. It's still under-carbonated though, but in a good way, particularly with food (which is still a delicious pairing).

Overall an amazing beer. I've never had a Belgian IPA, but this reminds me a bit of Souther Tier's Unearthly IPA and, to a lesser experience, DFH's 90 minute IPA, with the sweetness and bitterness coming together brilliantly. Most interesting part about it, though, is how different the experience can be, even within the same bottle, depending on where you pour from (top or bottom). First pour was more winelike and more unique. The second pour was more traditional and less exciting, but stronger and more intense thorughout the sweetness and bitterness. Delicious either way.

PangaeaBeerFood, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of crazeguy
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz Bomber into a Pilsner Glass.

Its a mango colored yellow/orange. Nice white head with good retention.

Smell is fruity, delicious, and could be mistaken for candy. I have never smelled a beer like this.

Taste, sweet and slight fruit. Its great but has a lackluster finish. Only minimally takes away from the overall experience.

Mouthfeel, zesty and nice amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is up there. Its smooth and tasty. I would keep my fridge stocked with this if it was more easily available.

crazeguy, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of Yaz8
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. Pure gold color, crystal clear, generous head that left just ok lacing, but a solid film throughout. Spicy belgian yeast aromas dominate, accompanied by floral hops, spices and strong pepper. Yeasty flavors are strongest on the tongue, but also features light fruits like apricot and pear, plus a sugary sensation like a good belgian. Medium to full bodied, just the right carbonation, and pleasant malt and grapefruit aftertaste.

Yaz8, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of TEXTONE
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Place of Review- home 22oz bottle

Look-White head, that dissipates rather quickly. The beer is golden with a copper tint and, a slight chill haze with almost champagne like carbonation.

The smell is floral, fruity, and hops with a slight hint of grapefruit and yeast mixed in. Another Stone offering that is pleasant to the nasal passages.

Taste of hops right away fallowed by sweet fruity/grapefruit, with a buttery alcohol flavor mixed in, then a bitter back end. Mouth feel is full and malty. All around this is nice bier to drink. It has a lot going on, definitely a complex bier. I will be recommending this bier

TEXTONE, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of Ohmu
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Ohmu, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of rivertrance420
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely delicious. Hints of pine, clove,honey,pear,and other spices, as well as many citrus notes. Very hoppy for the style, and very spicy. One of the best beers I have tried by Stone yet. I definitely will be purchasing more before December 12th, 2012.

rivertrance420, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of HomeRunBaker
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one was a little disappointing. It looked good, a nice golden color. Smell was pretty average, I got mostly hops. The taste initially was of hops, with a citrus aftertaste. An okay beer, but not something I'd buy again, though I've got another kept to age. Hopefully the experience will improve.

HomeRunBaker, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of hopstorm
2.1/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Wow. This is my first review, and I chose to put in my 2 cents because all I saw were A and B ratings so far. Ive had alot of fantastic belgian beers- every kind of Chouffe for example, and some not so great (Delerium Noel comes to mind)... But seriously, The first thing I did was smell it when I opened the bottle, and It was like a burst of Listerine mouth-wash mixed with Belgian candi sugar. I poured it and out came the lightest colored Stone beer Ive seen, crystal clear with a thin head. Overall appearance was just what Id expect. But then i smelled it again.... Straight up Listerine! and the taste... Inhaling a tad as my mouth approached the glass I could almost choke on the alcohol and mouthwashiness. As it warms its not as intense and I can get a really crisp hop profile, but its almost minty and not the kind of flavor I generally go for. The alcohol has a little bite and drinkability is not what im used to in a belgian triple, which tend to be more hazy and full, more balanced and heavy, but still light enough to be considered "pale' and or "yellow". Anyway this beer was way to dry for the style, it seems they got way too much attenuation when the should have left in more unfermentables to stay true to the unfiltered old school belgian styles that I know and love. Stones got it locked down when it comes to Ipas, But maybe not so much triples.

hopstorm, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of brianh78
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At first I thought, "A Belgian Pale Ale? Interesting." Now I think, "Where can I get more?"

Appearance: 2 finger head, which was very slow to dissipate; translucent gold/honey color; lively carbonation

Smell: Floral and citrus hops dominated the initial smell, but there was some sweetness floating around on the back end

Taste: Hops came through first, but then the sweet malt came out. There was also some citrus and herbaceous flavor

Mouthfeel: light and effervescent

Drinkability: Definitely something I'd like to have again. It's a surprisingly easy to drink beer, considering the name and alcohol content

One glass was not enough...

brianh78, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of greshdoghophead
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber from the sharon square fridge since the arrival poured into large snifter

A - thank god they kept it upright at the beer store all the sediment was caked on the bottom
poured thrice giving a slight bubbly head that dissapated quickly
S - awesome! in a nut shell...one could gather several aromas including angelfood cake, banana bread, cloves, lemon merenge, and pine.
T - perfection - probably atypical to a true Belgian lover but exactly what I prefer; balanced malt action with yeasty buttery notes that may be nutty and mildly peppery but mainly like a warm bath of the tropics with a side note of a breakfast cake or something perhaps of another world
M - just enough lingering to beg temptation for more yet so complex as to force the palate to wait and contemplate
D - give me more and more, the time needed to make notations is wasted in my need to get some more in my mouth - like a wet dream
I can't imagine what it would be like to wait until 12/12/12 to try them all.
I had it 07 and 08 and its better every time!

greshdoghophead, May 03, 2009
Photo of y2j2280
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Looks like a typical Belgian style brew. Nice head, that disappears quickly. Lacing is decent.

S- Alcohol is present with some citrus notes and West Coast hops.

T- Taste is very unique, unlike any other Belgian I have had, but expect this from Stone. A very interesting mixture of the Belgian style and the West Coast IPA style. I get a crazy bubble gum after taste.

M- Thick and well-carbonated.

D- Drinkability is good, but not a session beer. The 8.6 abv hits you head on.

y2j2280, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of Chodite
4.9/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a beer geek but not very good with reviews, terminology, etc. In fact, I've only typed up a couple of reviews on this site (though I've had 100's of quality beers in my lifetime).

The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is one of my all-time faves. In fact, I bought twelve 22 oz. bombers a few months back with the intention of cellaring a few of them... only to disappoint myself by emptying the contents of the last remaining bottle just recently. I couldn't help myself.

Amazing brew with everything I love about beer. It's like a Belgian tripel on MLB steroids. Steroids = a buttload of quality hops.

Luckily, a local bar still has cold bottles available; which I purchase without hesitation and usually share with a friend. And that friend usually has never tried a Stone brew in his/her life before that evening. Lucky for that person, he/she is a Stone fan for life.

Keep up the good work Stone.

Chodite, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of sdub
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%

sdub, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of FrndthDuvel
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A quickly vanishing, pinkie sized head, egg white which sat briefly upon the clear golden orange ale in the Duvel tulip. Some ring and lacing which lasted awhile. Bit of spice, bit of bannana,bit of sugar,nicely distributed in the nose. Taste for me, is a nice mix between the sweetness/floral notes of a Belgian with some balancing bitterness. Nothing stunning. Perhaps a bit more on the bitter side. Ends sweet more than dry.
Alcohol seems well hidden. Seems slightly confused though as to what it wants to be. Since it was designed to last till 2012, I imagine it might smooth out a bit and become its own creation. First one I have had in awhile. Not something I would drink more than 1 at a time,or with any great regularity. Definitely would prefer the Green Flash Le Freak at this time over this if one wanted to combine IPA and Belgian. Though I do have enough to get to 012 .

FrndthDuvel, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of cxg231
4.97/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No time for a long-form review, as I have to rush off somewhere. But I had one of these last night, and I had to post a quick note:

This is quite possibly the best American-brewed beer that I have ever had. Some Belgian offerings may be slightly better in some areas, but this beer is truly off the charts. More than worth the price ($5.99 for 22oz).

Truly a masterpiece.

cxg231, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of azcat777
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours hazy, but clears up a little, which I am guessing is residual yeast from the bottle conditioning. Has a golden color with an off white head.

S: It smells of a yeast, has a grassy accents along with citrus and bananas. Also has a slight hint of hops

T: Tastes of fruits, wheat, and hops. The taste of hops stayed on my palate the longest

M: A dry, moderate carbonation. full bodied and smooth, slides across the tongue.

D: A great rendition of the belgian strong pale ale. very complex flavor I just wonder what it would taste like fully aged, but as the bottle says if you can wait that long which I couldn't.

azcat777, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of xaulzan
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would introduce this beer to my mother. I wouldn't even be mad if it stood her up. Maybe for a few minutes, but I could never stay mad at this gem. If it came to take my lunch money, I'd give it my debit card. If it came to borrow some eggs, I'd give it a chicken that was organically raised in an open air pen that allows chickens to frolic.

This beer is made from the seed of Zeus and the tenderness of Aphrodite. It has the abdomen of Poseidon and the voice of a golden dipped cherub, and I just found one hiding in the back of a local liquor stores shelf.

A: Poors a golden color with about a finger of creamy head.

S: Although it is a Belgian IPA, not much hop aroma left to it after aging for 2 years. Hints of grapefruit and banana-like sweetness

T: As with the smell, the hop flavor has subsided over the years. I can taste the warmth of alcohol, but not too much, it's perfect. Fruity notes in the aftertaste as well.

M: Medium bodied, still a fair amount of carbonation

D: I could drink this until I shit my pants. It's absolutely delightful. Over the years it will taste more and more like a Belgian golden than an IPA as the hop flavor and aroma fades away. It was good the day it was released, and will continue to be as it's characteristics change over the years.

xaulzan, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of JOEYvegas
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from Stone Brewing in Escondido into tulip type glass...

A - Strong Pale/Straw. Minimal head retention.

S - As it opens up, very sweet floral notes appear with almost a sweet fruity essence very pleasing to the nose. Cloves are definitely present. Light alcohol appearance, however this was meant to be opened in 2012, so it was meant to balance over time.

T - Initially, you get a nice spice hop followed by a pale taste. which then blends into a nice subtle fruit sweet note. Alcohol slightly present, but will fade and mesh with the other flavors with time. Very Good. Not as balanced as one would hope for, but it a very young beer.

M - Very full body. Almost catches you off-guard. Great Carbonation.

D - Unbelievably drinkable. You would never think it was remotely close to 8.6% ABV. It drinks closer to a 6% if not lower.

This beer was damn good. This was my first time tasting any of the vertical epics and completely love the idea stone has. Come 2012, this beer is going to be absolutely mind blowing.

JOEYvegas, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of oscarsbrewmaster
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow.

This is one of the most unique tasting beers I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. Distinct Belgium flavor with an explosion of American hops. This beer goes down extremely smooth, with a very clean finish. I dont think waiting for 12/12/12 is an option, this beer is too good now!

oscarsbrewmaster, Sep 30, 2008
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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.