20th Anniversary Encore Series: 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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20th Anniversary Encore Series: 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale20th Anniversary Encore Series: 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
Very Good
244 Ratings
20th Anniversary Encore Series: 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale20th Anniversary Encore Series: 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
In 2008, Stone Brewmasters Steve Wagner and Mitch Steele traveled to Belgium, where they enjoyed a number of hop-forward Belgian tripels, pale ales and IPAs—beers that had taken a cue from the U.S. craft brewing movement and inspired us in return. It’s a big reason 2008’s summer season came to be known at Stone as our “Summer of the Triple.” Upon their return, they crafted Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale, the seventh beer in the 11-beer Stone Vertical Epic Ale series. Packed with floral, spicy essence from Belgian yeast plus plenty of hoppy New World character, it’s our West Coast take on hop-driven Belgian beers.

Added by ClavisAurea on 09-26-2015

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 244 |  Reviews: 62
Reviews by puboflyons:
Photo of puboflyons
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on October 25, 2015.

Golden yellow pour with a quick lasting white head. Good clarity.

Big aromas of clove, pepper, green apple, biscuit, and overripe fruit.

The taste emphasizes the pepper and spice with a funky overripe fruit finish. There is bitterness that lingers at the end. Unfortunately I missed this one in 2008 so I do not know how the reboot compares. But I am glad they brought it back.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of obywan59
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear and golden orange in color with a 1 1/2 finger whitish head that leave attractive but light lacing.

Spiced bananas and citrus with a bit of funk. Very yeasty.

Sweet and bitter with some spice and major funk that approaches being cloying. Taste of alcohol.

Medium full in body. Drying to the point of puckering at times. A pleasant burn of alcohol.

Pretty much spot on with my review of the original brewing. Except for being less verbose now, and for not mentioning the funk the first time, and for knocking up the overall a notch here. Sure, I still think the taste is the worst aspect of this brew, but Stone makes it up to you in the ABV, so in the end, I'm feeling too good to hate the beer.

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Photo of LouZ
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I never had the original version, and being a big fan of Stone I wanted to try this revisit. Pour was a nice golden color with a finger of short-lived head. Aroma was distinctly Belgian; that telltale spiciness and a note of what I can only say is lactic sourness, but not overtly strong. Taste was fine and as expected; no sourness present there, though. Feel was good. Overall, just a standard Belgian pale to me - nothing special; nothing bad. Not something I will purchase again, though.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce

Pours a clear gold, half inch of sudsy white head. Retains well.

Smells of fresh grassy malts, lemongrass, citrus, coriander, and some estery notes.

Tastes of fresh grassy malts, white grape, citrus, coriander, and grapefruit.

Medium to full body with tingly carbonation.

Pretty tasty, glad they rereleased this. Definitely worth giving it a try if you can catch it.

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Photo of ksimons
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear bright orange amber color with white rocky head that sticks to the glass. Smells of bready malts, sweet fruits, some spice, and yeast. Taste is pretty similar to the smell but with a bit more earthy hops, though the majority of the flavors are definitely malt heavy. Medium body and crisp prickly carbonation.
Overall I missed this the first time it came out so am glad I got to try it this time. I am not sure I would classify it as a Belgian IPA, tastes to me more like a straight up Tripel.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a bright orange Amber color with a lily white head so thick, that I could almost rest a penny on top of it.

S- Classic Belgian spiciness and some faint citrus.

T- Way better than I was expecting and I'm not a huge fan of trippels. Spicy and sweet. Great balance.

M- Medium-High carbonation that also coats the mouth.

D- Awesome. I'm glad I purchased another one to see if it is as good the second time as it was the first.

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Photo of SuomiHobbit
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Floral Trappist yeast flavor is off-putting.

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Photo of heddar33
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ledouge
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PSU_Mike
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy golden orange with a moderate amount of carbonation. Solid finger of off white head that slowly fades back into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A yeasty, spicy, and fruity Belgian IPA style aroma with a scent of fruits, hops, and Belgian style spices. Belgian yeast with some spice hints of clove and peppers. Citrus hop hints of orange, grapefruit, lemon, and melon. Also some floral, grassy, and piney hop hints. Belgian style fruit hints of banana, apple, pear, and white grape. Malt hints of grains and cracker. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a spicy and fruity Belgian yeast driven taste with good notes of fruits, hops, and spice. Upfront Belgian yeast with notes of clove, peppers, and funk. Good hop presence with citrus notes of grapefruit, orange, melon, and lemon. Some piney, floral, and grassy hop notes. Good fruit notes of banana, green apple, pear, and white grapes. Good notes of bubblegum. Also some malt notes of grains, straw, and cracker. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Juicy and pretty drying.

Overall: A very good take on a Belgian IPA. Good mix of fruity flavor from the yeast and hops.

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Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Clear and bright amber colored body topped by a semi-durable, white head. Decent lacing.

Aroma: citrusy hops, biscuits, spicy Belgian yeast, soft ripe fruits and a hint of funk.

Flavor: Very fruity with notes of banana, generic soft ripe fruits, toasted white bread, nutmeg and clove, Hop bitterness is mild-moderate. Perhaps more malty than average for style.

Medium body with lively carbonation; pleasant dry finish.

Overall: a very good Belgian IPA.

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Photo of timontheroad
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden yellow color. Nice one finger head with good retention and lacing. Aroma was a bit muted, with some light yeasty smells and a bit of light citrus fruity notes. Taste was big on the fruity, estery Belgian yeast flavor, with a bit of malty sweetness - just what I like in a Belgian Style Ale. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with good carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, just another good product from Stone, but what I've come to expect from them.

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Photo of alcohline_trip
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle - hard to say whether a re-brew many years later should constitute a new listing, but I'm feeling less than agreeable right now, so fuck it.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium golden amber colour, with one finger of puffy, foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves some bleeding cloud cover lace around the glass as things duly sink away.

It smells of bruised bananas, grainy, lightly doughy pale malt, white pepper and coriander spice, edgy, and slightly phenolic yeast, muddled tropical fruit, and further boozed-up citrus and peach/apricot orchard goodness. The taste is gritty, grainy pale malt, a twinge of wan caramel sweetness, sozzled banana chips, muted spice chest esters, suggestions of a persistent tropicality, dried apples, pears, peaches, and kiwi fruit, a more laid-back yeastiness than that in the nose, and more relatively understated leafy, earthy, and piney hops.

The bubbles are fairly active in their supportive and sometimes playful frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and sort of smooth, among the spice, booze, and hoppy meanderings. It finishes well off-dry, the sugary character of both malt and perceived fruit butting up against the lingering alcohol heat.

Yeah, this has a whole lot more in common with an above-average Tripel, then anything with the hop fortitude to push it into Belgian IPA territory (this is Stone?). Overall - tasty, not as hot or boozy as I might have alluded to here and there, and thus easy (if not particularly sensibly so) to drink.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottling date of 08/27/15

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and purely golden in color with a white, near finger width head. Fair retention, peeling back to a thin, consistent layer across the top.

Smell - Certainly has a strong belgian yeast presence, with funk and banana, light clove spice and a hint of estery apple character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Mild banana, funk, clove spice, fruity esters and a touch of citrus peel in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Silky and maybe even a touch creamy in texture, then a crisp, semi-dry finish.

Overall - A nice, mild belgian with a hint of citrus. Nothing particularly special, but a fine drinker nonethless.

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Photo of hreb
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a tumbler. Bottled on 08/26/15. Beer is pale yellow with slight amber hue and a very slight haze. Very large foamy white head and lots of big bubbles in the glass. Classic citrus hop aroma with a hint of yeasty Belgian / Farmhouse goodness. Flavor is a little more pronounced with the fruity / funky / estery Belgian flavors. Moderately strong carbonation works well to keep this beer light. Overall I'm noticing the revival of 08.08.08 is WAY more enjoyable than the Cali-Belgique IPA. There's definitely some more residual sugar in this brew, which gives it an almost Belgian Blond Ale kind of flavor, with more hops, obviously. Pretty tasty, would reprise again.

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Photo of mcthfg
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WoodBrew
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The Vertical Epic....8/8/8 was a decent Belgian IPA. It poured a nice copper clear with white head that did not lace. The scent had flowery appeal with spice and Belgian twang. The taste was fairly even with pine and citrus added extra to the typical beligian ipa. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall it was pretty good!

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Photo of aztraz
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bigbearx207
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent bronze with a pinky of cream colored head. Average head retnetion & lacing

S: Pears, grassyness

T: Pears, white grapes, breadyness with a little astringent grain up front. Sweet breadyness, dryness, slight bitter grain, pear & a little coriander, a little honeysuckle as well once this warms. Finishes with pears, grainy sweetness, with a little grassy bitterness

MF: Light/medium body with delicate carbonation

Pretty drinkable despite the ABV, compares well to its Belgian big brothers

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Photo of MikeThumel
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Taste more like a Belgian. Light hops and bitterness. Lots of carbonation, very yeasty, malty, yet balanced quite well. Mouthfeel is good and refreshing

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Photo of zonker17
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Golden draft pour showing little signs of carbonation. Slight lacing. Hops are main component of nose. Belgian yeast notes come through on the palate, and the mouthfeel is better than expected with the general lack of carbonation.

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20th Anniversary Encore Series: 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 244 ratings