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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

697 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 697
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 42
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: 697 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of billab914
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of beerthulhu
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a medium tangerine orange with light golden hues. A 1 finger, frothy, dull white head sits atop lasting for a minute or two before dissipating to a thin film covering. A near full ecompassing lacing sticks well around the glass perimeters while a faint and lazy visible carbonation was observed.

S: sweet, fruity, with a spicy hop zestiness. Beautiful tangerine and grapefruit scents linger about against a soft spicy hop backing.

T: spicy with a dried tropical fruitiness of pineapples, and kiwi. Soft grapefruit notes with a light sugar presence sweetens things up a bit. Theres a nice spicy hoppiness with oranges, dried lemon peels, and a peppery touch that rounds things out. The finish was crisp, with a dried fruitiness leaving you wanting more.

M: a light-medium viscosity, very smooth in texture with a light carbonation presence. A big beautiful and dried tropical fruitiness with a spicy and zesty hopping provide a nice lingering fade on the tongue with just a slight hint of peppery nature.

D: Drinkability was perhaps its strongest point. A very nice and enjoyable drink. Crisp, dry with tropical fruitiness that was almost to easy to consume. Case worthy for future consumption and perhaps aging is highly recommended.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 picked up at the Coop today for about $6.75... poured into my New Belgium snifter... looks pretty already.

Big 2 finger foamy meringue like head... 1st pour is crystal clear gold... looks like a pilsner actually. very nice ribbons of lace.

The aroma has a really fruity quality along with some pine... I swear their have to be amarillos in there... they always remind me of Flintstone Vitamins.

Flavor is bananas and pink bubblegum.. very fruity.. not as much pine and citrus as expected... actually fairly balanced IMHO. Dry finish.. tropical fruit as it warms.. very very nice. I would seriously hesitate to call this a BSPA.. Right now, it is a Belgian IPA.. that said, I don't know how well these hops are going to be so bright.. but I am really liking this.

4.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

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

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a lightly hazed golden orange, touch of amber, thick white head forms, drops a lot of chunky lace on the glass, drops some rings, good retention, settles to a medium ring and a thin layer, looks pretty good. Smell is nice, very fragrant, some grapefruit and spice, toast, honey, apricot, strawberries, coriander, candi sugar, light touch of alcohol, smells pretty good. Taste is similar, some sweet biscuity malt and honey, grapefruit and floral, light fruit, some alcohol and spice, wheat, a bit yeasty in the finish, some floral, nice spicy finish, well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, slightly dry in the finish, nice spiciness, with some alcohol warmth. Nicest VE in the last couple years, I like it. Thanks Russ!

Photo of DrJay
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up in NJ a couple of weeks ago. Time to try this year's VE.
Poured a clear gold with a short white cap. The foam settled fast, leaving fine bubbles in a collar and covering the top of the beer with a few larger bubbles clumped up around the sides. Very sticky lacing, sheets at first followed by small spotty clumps at the bottom of the glass. Fruity aroma up front, tropical (not quite pineapple) and lemony with clove spiciness. As it warmed, there were earthy notes, along with grassy hops, light bread and bubblegum, mellow alcohol and white pepper. Flashes of grapefruit and pine emerged from time to time. Bitterness was present throughout, but really just formed a base for the other flavours to build on. Malt character was straightforward, a little biscuit and bready towards the end. Fruity up front, juicy fruit gum and citrus for the most part, a bit of apple and berry. Phenolic and spicy starting mid-palate and carrying through the finish. Lingering combination of bitterness, cloves, sweet fruits, and warm alcohol. Medium bodied, off-dry, carbonation added a slightly creamy texture. This is a nicely balanced beer, quite drinkable yet with a fair bit of complexity. One of the VEs that I've enjoyed the most fresh.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was fortunate to try this last night at an epic tasting held by my good friend Mike, thanks for the opportunity MrBarleywine!
Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a smallish off white head that sticks for a bit. The aroma is lemony with a touch of hop still evident and a nice spicy and fruity aroma to balance the sweetness of a bready and sweet maltiness. The flavor is sweet and spicy with light sugar with a touch of lemon and citrus Light hop flavor still evident, but certainly faded. Moderate level of carbonation with a light body and a sweet mouthfeel. Decent brew that may have held up better than expected. Nice beer.

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

Sunshiney golden yellow. Very clear. Thin frothy white head. Lace is minimal. Nice doughy and yeasty aroma. Almost like smelling a WYeast smack pack after the yeast has been pitched. Also some hints of lemon and pepper on the nose. I like this aroma. Flavor has more of the same. With lemon and pepper and doughball maltiness leading the way. Sludgey yeast cake tones. Alcohol spices things up. Hops add some depth as well. This is pretty damn drinkable as is, but with some age, the alcohol presence will probably dwindle some more even and make this pretty special.

Photo of beertunes
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into bubble pint glass (perhaps should have used chalice?). Poured with a tall, bright white head that left nice rings of lacing. A clear deep yellow, this is much paler than anticipated. The spicy, fruity aroma is typical for the style. The flavor follows the aroma closely, with the flavor not as full and rich as some others. The body is slightly thin for the style. Very drinkable, smooth and well balanced. A nicely enjoyable beer, better than average for the style.

Photo of chippo33
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber. Two finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by stone and tropical fruit with slight Belgian yeast and citrus. Flavor follows with sweet stone fruit, orange and light citrus. Finishes with a pleasant citrus rind, pineapple and a lingering hop bitterness. The herbal qualities of the hops are attenuated, but a surprising amount of bittering hops remain. Like others in this series, age has given this a nice medium body with some creaminess. I started my mini-vertical with 06 and 07 and I am very impressed with the aged versions of all three of these. I was not expecting to enjoy the lighter ones as much as I have. Great job Stone!

Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of equal amounts light fruits - bananas and pears - and herbal, slightly citrus hops. As it warms floral hop aromas join in the mix.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front are soon joined by fresh banana and pear flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors - herbal grapefruit - enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the glass and could easily have a few of these.

Overall this was a tasty beverage and I was surprised at how well the hops held up. Definitely worth a try, even this late in the game.

Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the standard Stone bomber. This year's VE is golden colored, very clear, with a thin wispy head that disappears right after birth. The aroma is a hybrid (just as described on the bottle). Lots of American hops (maybe including Amarillo?) on top of Belgian yeasty esters. The taste makes me think this is a dry-hopped tripel. The flavors are nice but the after-taste has a bitter bite to it and there's a bit of ethanol apparent as well. Maybe with age the ethanol will tone down but then so will the hops I'm guessing. I'll probably age another bottle with my other VE's just to wait for 2012 but I imagine it won't improve the beer too much.

Photo of dirtylou
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, $6.99 at riley's - had this on tap the other night at brasseri V

appearance: poured into a hopleaf tulip glass, very light golden body, quite clear with active carbonation bubbles. There is a thin layer of beige foam with full retention. This beer shines in the sunlight

smell: this one has a pretty nice belgian nose (for some reason i thought it was more of a DIPA on tap but then again, i was trashed). Corriander, white pepper, and other belgian spices are huge and well pronounced in the nose. Lemon zest, other citrus, and potent yeast round out this powerful nostril invasion

taste: the flavor falls a little flat compared to the nose...the flavor profile is full of spice - clove, corriander, white pepper. the belgian yeast is evident immediately but finishes a little flat. Interesting, but i expected more based off the nose

mouthfeel: heavily spicy, medium body

drinkability: ok

Photo of vfgccp
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened June 2013

A - Bright gold body with a light haze. Nice, fine white head pours about a finger high. Ok retention and nice lace.

S - Unusual amount of dark dried fruits more typically found in dark belgian strong ales. Raisin, dried pear, dill, rosemary, muscat, amaretto. Little to no hop character - possibly due to age.

T - Herbal opening with thyme and rosemary. Pear and grape center with warm white booze. Touch of dry wood and a twang of cider-like acidity on the backend.

M - Silky smooth, light frame. Low carbonation, but it isn't much of a distraction.

O - More belgian light strong ale than belgian IPA, but the brew shines with a nice, well balanced flavor profile and a solid mouthfeel.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Effervescant bone white head shows great aftr the pour, and slowly recedes to nothing after each sip. From the head you notice a light amber/copper mixed with sunshine pilsner yellow. The color mixed with the awesome sporadic bubbling. Mixed aroma of sweet husk malts, yeasty green apples, earthy hops, an astringent alcohol. Green apples and astringent alcohol hit the front of the palate. The earthy and herbal hops mix it up in the middle with some lightly toasted grains and some more alcohol. Great carbonation and grainy texture,but maybe a little too much booze.

Photo of ccrida
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, 08.08.08 is clear gold with a large, quickly settling white head that leaves nice lace.

Smell is very sweet, sour citrus and flowers, tangerine and clean alcohol.

Taste is not where near as sweet, there is a grassy, citrus hoppiness and bitter finish, but otherwise fairly neutral and clean, save for the slightly solvent alcohol bite. I was expecting more depth, but it's still a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, with a crispness in spite of the smooth, medium body.

Drinkability is pretty high because it's a pretty clean BSPA, not overly complex or heavy. I was expecting a big West Coast hop punch, but this one seems like it's all nobles, a little spicy and herbal but otherwise merely a compliant to the sugars and Belgian esters. Nevertheless a nice beer, but not the East meets West Belgian IPA I was expecting. Bonus points for being ready to rock on release, some of the last Epics had a roughness to them the calliing for extended cellaring. While this one should hold up, it's good now.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. 8.6% ABV, "The seventh in an epic series." "Limited Release" "Age at cellar temp 55 Degrees F or below."

Thanks to Sweemzander for this bottle!

A - A tall pour stirred up the sediment but almost nothing entered my glass which left the beer a brilliant clear golden honey color with moderate retention. The white head sprang upwards from the pour but reached only close to two fingers. Decent retention and lace characteristic of a Belgian beer.

S - The nose is almost magical. Pale malts provide minimal raw honey-like sweetness to the nose that consists mainly of a balanced yeast presence. Belgian yeast is evident with notes of spice and straw as well as light alcohol. Hops are mild but contribute a nice floral freshness with a crispness to them. A great aroma.

T - Again, pale malts provide little to this beer flavor wise. A minute honey sweetness lingers in the back. The bulk of the flavor is imparted from the Belgian yeast which gives it a herbal and floral spice that can also be attributed to the hops, a light yeast flavored kick and a lemon zest. It finish out with very mild alcohol and dry, bitter hops. Lighter on flavor, bigger on feel. Complex and delicate.

M - Medium-light bodied and crisp with a citrus zest along the sides of the tongue and a dry, bitter finish from the hops. The carbonation is near sparkling in the mouth.

D - Well brewed and balanced, the '08 is a delicate and complex Belgian brew with a good hoppy kick to the finish. Nicely done Stone. A shame I can't find more and didn't have one fresh. I'll be finishing the bottle alone with no problem and feeling good afterward too. Yum.

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 697 ratings.