Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

474 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 474
Hads: 706
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 7.98%
Wants: 42
Gots: 179 | FT: 16
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:
Beer added by: froghop on 08-04-2008

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 474 | Hads: 706
Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for more than a year.

A-pours a brigh hazy yellow color with two fingers of a relatively thick white head that has decent retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass

S-the nose is sweet with estery notes, champaign, a light belgian yeast and hint of clove

T-the taste starts with an earthy malt then brings an imediate taste of champaign, fruits, and just a touch of clove, the yeast comes in next with a bitterness at the finish

M-this is almost full bodied, relatively smooth and lightly syrupy, almost creamy, a slight carbonation burn at the back of the throat followed by a hint of warming from the alcohol

D-rich and creamy like mouthfeel bringing big flavors of fruit and yeast balanced with american hops (mainly bitterness towards the finish). it is solid now, can't wait for 12/12/12! (808 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a golden yellow-orange with a two finger white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, spice, banana, caramel, and fruit hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, earth, spice, fruit, fruit hop, and subtle citrus hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Unfortunately not a whole lot on this one really stood out above some other decent brews I’ve had from the style. I really hated to see that this was the case as most of the beers from this series that I have had have been rather good. While this one wasn’t bad by any means, it just fell short of my expectations. The caramel was definitely the off-putting aspect that I picked up on that I did not enjoy very much. The rest of the beer was pretty good however. Worth your time trying if you get the chance, but there are better ones out there in the series. (1,003 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into my new Duvel tulip

Pours bright gold, crystal clear, with a two plus finger off-white head that hung around for a bit.

Aroma is very broad, tons of notes to pick up on. A herbal/medicinal and grassy aroma hits first, with sweet fruits (pineapple, peach, grapefruit, banana), spicy clove and a phenolic undertone. The hop profile here just kind of props itself up and sits on top of everything else. It's really unique.

A very sweet palate: bubble gum/cotton candy-like sweetness mixing with a phenolic spice give this a unique body. The bold, fruity hops really bounce off your palate and hold everything else in check. Which is just fine with this hophead.

Light body with medium-low carbonation. I like a little more carbonation from my triple's/bspa's, but in this example, there is no detraction.

If you don't like a sweet, hoppy belgian style ale, stay away. A definite sipper and pretty easy to drink at 8.4%. (944 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a cloudy yellow/orange color. Mediocre white head formation, but the retention was excellent. Some lacing present.

(S)- Seriously sweet citrus with significant hop strength. Lemon, orange, peach, and apricot finish.

(T)- Interesting orange and apricot fruits with a respectable hop strength. Light honey sweetness in the background. Almost has a bubblegum flavor to it.

(M)- Fairly thick in texture. Sweet with slight bitterness and puckered citrus. Good carbonation.

(D)- Great flavors with an interesting citrus twist from your run of the mill IPA. The bomber didnt last long and neither will the next! (688 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a medium golden, brilliant, with minimal cream head that dissipates into nothing.

Caramel malt, belgian yeast esters, peach, and mango come to mind. There's some slight phenolic notes.

Good belgian yeast character, peach, more malt backbone than 7. No ginger, which makes me happy. Almost wine-like. Confectioners sugar sweetness. Fairly bitter finish. Floral hops add intrigue.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

More bitter and less herbal than the 7. (499 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$7.29 for a 22oz bottle at my local favorite. First sniffs of teh open bottle got me excited as it is hoppy, belgian, yet different. The color is pale yellow with a thin film/ring of bubbles. Hoppy citrus smells blend into belgian yeast. Bubblegum flavor, pine and yeast, yeasty, yeast. Reminds me of Duvel, pretty good. This is definitely a hoppy belgian and probably the best VE I've had so far. (397 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a glass.

A - Poured a nice thick honey orange with extremely champagne like carbonation...bubbles clinged to every side of the glass when first poured. The head resembled the carbonation and didn't hang around long.

S - Citrus notes jump out the most with a soft dry hop thing going on in the background. Also had an odd almost metallic like smell mixed in.

T - Semi-hoppy flavor with some spicey fruits. It got better as it opened up. The saisonish flavor is definitely there, but not until the beer opened up. Pretty decent Belgian IPA. Not too hoppy, but enough to compliment the other flavors.

M - Little bit bready...little bit bitter. Cooling after feel.

D - very drinkable. was a bit hoppy for my tastes at first, but as it opened it, it really got great. (791 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear golden amber with a huge fluffy white head that hung on for ages and left good lacing.

The aroma is very fruity up front with some lemons leading the way and giving way to some apples and pears. There are lots of sweet yeasty aromas with hints of spice in the nose as well.

The taste follows the aroma and kicks the spiciness up a little bit, especially in the finish. Overall, lots light bready malts, light fruits and light citrus hops.

The mouthfeel is fairly dry with lots of carbonation. Overall, this is a very good Belgian style beer from Stone. (597 characters)

Photo of mltobin
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Whole Foods Bowery.

Appearance is a hazy golden color with a thin white head.
Smell contains belgian yeast, some citrus, banana. Taste is sweet, grapefruit comes across, also some acidity, along with candied sugar. MF starts off smooth, and then picks as the sip continues & dry in the finish. Drinkability is very good on this Belgian IPA from Stone. One of my personal favorites from the few that I have consumed from the Vertical Epic series. (464 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous pour! Deep, dark orangehoneysuckle gold with a giant white head.

Smells not quite as gorgeous. I mean I know it's a year old but the word "vertical" is right on there; you'd think it'd age well. Nice yeast, if a little dull. Good blend of pepper and light fruit. But just a bit too tame.

Tastes a little more adventurous than it smells but still really smooth and drinkable. Big pepper and spice profile, lots o' yeast, backed against a regular fruit basket of pears and plums bananas and grapes. Still, a little bit tame. (533 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, this beer was a golden color with a medium-sized white head. It had a fruity aroma, mainly apple, with a nice malt background. I also detected a bit of a floral aroma. Taste was the fruit and malt up front, a little yeast funk, some spice, finishing with a bit of hops. Fairly dry.
A likeable beer. (319 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes on 02/02/2013.

A- Bottle pour to pint glass with a hazy golden body and a foamy white head that is about one finger in size. Decent retention and creamy thick ring leaves good lace rings.

S- Pretty weak strength overall. Mostly just get aged European spicy hops and some aged light caramel.

T- Most affected by age so far out of the VEs we tried. Still some hop character like spicy, fruity herbal Euro hops. Light caramel, lemon, oxidation and coridander.

MF- Slightly creamy feel with low-medium carbonation. Medium bitter finish.

Aged IPA feel but somewhat solid still. Herbal and floral with that aged light caramel feel. (650 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone Bistro during RBSG 08. Pours gold with a peach hue. Head is rather similar to that of fizzy yellow beers. Poor retention, little lace. Aromas of fresh tropical hops: mango, pineapple. Some banana in there as well, from the wheat. Flavors of Belgian yeast, banana, mango hops. Kind of like if someone made a fresh hop Belgian IPA. Mostly sweet with a touch of bitterness in the finish. Clean on the palate. (421 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

New review (9/22/09) from notes at MacGregors

A - slightly lighter in color than the '07, more gold I guess. Decent head retention, quite clear. 4.0

S - lightly fruity with a light citrus-hop aroma. Nearly like a Belgian tripel. 4.0

T - Amber malts, caramel, and a more pronounced hop presence in the finish. Touch of pear and grapefruit. 4.5

M - very smooth, light/medium bodied. 4.0

D - pretty good. I could do a goblet of this. 3.5

---

On tap at Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Review from notes.

A - poured clear golden amber, white 1" head in a goblet. Bubbles run up from the bottom of the glass 4.0

S - sweet pale malts, slightly alcoholic and a touch of piny hops. What a strange nose... I didn't detect anything else... 3.5

T - sweet maltiness and a hint of raisins. Dry and hoppy finish. Pretty boozy, the alcohol is in your face. 3.5

M - medium bodied, highly carbonated. Prickly on the tongue. 3.5

D - decent but the alcohol is a bit much. 3.0

Thoughts - this was a bit boozy. It wasn't as balanced as I expected it to be. Give it a couple more years and maybe it'll mellow out a bit. (1,111 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Greggy for this one. It pours a clear golden color with a fluffy white head that recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is very fruity with lots of banana, yeast, and funky barnyard notes. The taste is funkier than the aroma with a good amount of fruit still coming through. The mouthfeel is slightly lighter than full bodied, with lively, refreshing carbonation. Overall, this is a very nice beer. I could easily drink this again if given the opportunity. (473 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Peach-tinted bright brass with a short-lived, large pocked and lacy gray-bone head.
It noses of orange zest, mangoes, powdered sugar, with grassy, slightly resinous, lime-grapefruit-spruce hops. And a weird whiff of propane occasionally, but not to its detriment.
The beer ushers into the mouth with a graham cracker grainy sweetness that is quickly usurped by a melange of tropical fruit syrups. Papaya, mango, kiwi, peach, each still partially shrouded by grain. The hops enter and add like-minded bitterness of lime and grapefruit. Alcohols shears short the finish and rips the stage away from the hops with an insurgent burst of heat. It's not a deal breaker in itself, nor excessively potent tasting, but there is a definite interference from it.
The body carries a medium-full frame supported in part by the modest carbonation, which peters out over time.
I enjoy the overt, unencumbered citric tones that are everywhere in this beer, but the alcohol is a bit unmeshed at this stage. I worry that aging, while taming the booze flares, will equally lessen the attractiveness of the hopping. (1,098 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale orange color with an average white head that dissipated into a light ring. The aroma is of sweet Belgian candi sugar, tropical fruit, wild flowers, pepper, and alcohol. Oh yeah, and a good shot of piney hops. Whereas the Belgian qualities reigned supreme in the aroma, the hops dominate in the flavor. Nice juicy citrus and piney hop flavor that is nicely balanced with the candi sugar and Belgian yeast. There is some booziness that comes through in the end. Definitely an Americanized Belgian style IPA, a nice compliment to the style. The feel is fairly light with tingley carbonation; a little slick and sticky. I prefer this one a touch colder. A bomber of this is plenty, definitely want to sip on this one. It has some rough edges but it quite nice. (774 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

38th review on BA
bottle to tulip

App- Orange hazy sunset color with 2 finger off white head that loudly fizzled down the glass.

Smell- Huge hop notes with citrus and spice notes and that belgian strain coming through quite nicely.

Taste- This is a smooth IPA. I am very happy I found this laying around. It's slightly sweet with a flavor I just cant put my finger on but it wants me to keep drinking. Stone is very good at this Vertical series. I really want them all, too bad 02 is $750 on ebay right now.

Mouth- It's sweet but not too in your face. I find it to be a delicate balance of flavors but comes through quite nicely.

Drink- Keep this one coming. I wish they made this a full time selection. I am off to find another one to age till the VE series is over. (772 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy glowing golden amber with a puffy pure white head that fades but cathedrals. Funk, sour orange, apricot jam, and some sourness on the nose.
Tropical fruit compote, honey, papaya, and shortbread followed by slight resin and orange hops.
Gooey mango finish and funky linger. Medium, velvety, round, a bit of burn, flat, oily.

Mellowed out totally after 3.5 years. The hops are mostly gone, and the Belgian clove/phenols are not where I'd expect either. What's left is just smoothness. Not the best example of the style, but I don't mind a bit. (548 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I have to say, I fell in LOVE with this beer at the recent Belgian Beerfest in Boston. This plus the Stone Collaboration, were the clear winners of "Best in Show" for me.

The next day I went out and purchased several bottles of the Vertical Epic.

Tonight I am enjoying one with friends. (perhaps # 2 will get broken out, as well)

The beer pours with a nice 2 ½ finger white head that stay for a bit, then settles completely back into the beer. The beer, itself, is a bright clear golden color with the smallest amount of slowly rising visible carbonation. There is a scant amount of spider web lacing left behind.

The aroma is very complex and really a combination of fruits and spices. Very fresh aroma and very inviting.

The flavor just ROCKS. A wonderful combination of tropical fruits and some real nice spices. There is certainly a nice white pepper effect, but also some clove and nutmeg happening here. Sometimes reminds me of Juicy Fruit gum... (in a good way)
Pretty complex flavor and one you think about as you enjoy the glass. I really love this.

The mouth feel is fairly light in body and inviting. It brings you back for more and more.
8.6% are you kidding? I guess that speaks to the drinkability. I would have NEVER guessed that if I didn't know.

I want more. Sometimes they need to make these special releases regular beers. This would always be in my fridge. (1,390 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice clear golden orange hue with a nice solid tight white head. Really nice retention but no lace. Lots of bubbles to boot.

S: Tons of fruity esters pour from the glass. Subtle notes of yeast, apple, and VERY floral hops.

T: Damn good to be honest. Wonderful marriage of sweet summer fruits, yeast, and grassy floral hops. There is a touch of spice and white pepper as well.

M: Medium in body, smooth, with amped up carbonation.

D: Good, enjoyed the entire bomber myself while lounging in the pool. (514 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been sitting in the cellar since late summer and so it seemed right to open one since I drank all my earlier versions and cannot do the vertical in 2012. This is a real nice Belgian style beer with some spice notes mixed in with the citrus notes found in Saisons. Kinda tasted like a combo of Duvel and Westmalle Triple. Lots of complexity and good balance made this very drinkable. Good Epic from these guys. (418 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle.

Deep, clear, bright golden body. Finger of loose, but persistent, off-white head. Nose of caramel and biscuit malts underneath fresh pears, fruit cocktail, and sweet cherry. Solid, herbal, resinous, grassy hop aroma sits above it all. Nice.

Toasted malt and spicy, peppery hop bitterness up front. Sweet, candy and honey malt quickly develops ripe pear and pineapple flavors. Resinous, herbal hop bitterness soon joins in and provides a nice balance for the sweet fruits and alcohol. Peppery, spicy, resinous, piny, and appetizingly bitter. Finish is long and balanced. Medium to full body with a slightly syrupy feel. Probably my favorite Stone VE so far (although I haven't tried all of them yet!). (717 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/30/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small white head. Aroma is pretty much that of a Belgian tripel! Lots of spices, melon rind, and a slight bitterness. Flavor is a bit more hoppy than apparent in the aroma (although not overly so), fruity melon, and orange peel. Mouthfeel isn't as hearty as that of a tripel although the beer does weigh on you after awhile. Interesting at first but then a little boring. Better than the 070707 but not by much.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5) (487 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While looking for new things at Harringtons I spotted the latest VE from Stone. Why not, eh?

Poured into a Rapscallion goblet, it is a clear, striking, golden-hued bier. Carbo is abundant and steady, helping sustain a thin, fine white layer of foam atop the liquid. Lacing is attractive as well. Aroma has some fruity esters and floral hoppiness hitting the nostrils, along with a funky spiciness. Body here is in the medium range, and though the bier is not prickly on the tongue, it has an airy, foamy feel to it, light like some Hefeweizens.

Some crackery malt hits the palate, lending a touch of sweetness. More fruity action comes forth, residing strongly, to me, in the tropical range. A little mango, some pineapple... pretty nice. Hoppiness is right up there, with some rindy, citrus-like characteristics. Quite dry, and almost chalky, in the finish, there's a smidge of a spicy quality livening things up here. I can definitely see how this is a Stone version of a Belgian version of a highly-hopped Belgian Strong Pale. Interesting, to say the least. Not sure I'll get another to lay down; maybe to drink again soon. Not sure what cellaring will do to this (or for most in this series, to be honest...). Tasty right now, methinks!

Prosit!!!

4
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1088 (1,314 characters)

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.