08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
Stone Brewing

08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
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IPA - Belgian
3.99 | pDev: 10.28%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
Notes: 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!
Reviews: 503 | Ratings: 914 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bleague
bleague from California

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was cleaning out my basement and found a couple of cases of Vertical Ale. Started with the latter years and not much a fan of dark beers. The 2010 blond was flat and sweet. The 2008 had great carbonation, mouth and taste. Pour was very hazy with lots a yeast floating around. I really enjoyed this beer, hard to believe after sitting 12 plus years in a bottle it is still good.

Jan 28, 2021
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TheRougeBastard from North Carolina

4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is based on the "Encore" edition bottled in 2015. Aged extremely well for an ABV % below 10%. The Beligan notes, i.e., sweetness really come through very nicely. Very well made ale!

Sep 16, 2018
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bdevilbullet from Alabama

3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased back in '08. Opened today.

Pours clear and copper in color. Still effervescent 10 years later. Tastes of mellow bitterness interlaced with sweetness. Muted Belgian spices present throughout.

Jul 06, 2018
Photo of Steve1315
Steve1315 from California

3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had the reissue or “Encore”. Unusually sweet but good flavor. Bitterness was as to be expected. I bought a couple bottles and will buy more if I see them again.

Dec 18, 2017
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear medium Amber. Very good looking. Smell has a fruity and slight honey sweet yeast and make. Light hop bitterness. Nice honey smell.
Taste is good. More bitter with lighter sweet honey taste. Light Belgian spices.
Feel medium. Biting carbonation.
Very good. Nice Belgian notes.

Sep 15, 2017
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poisoneddwarf from Idaho

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rating from 9/28/09. 22 oz bottle into a Trappist glass. I tried this last year shortly after it was released. I remember loving it then, and my reaction is the same today. Excellent beer! I had to buy it and compare it to the 9.9.09 which I just bought. Aroma is bursting with pepper, clove; smells Belgian definitely. Pours a hazy orange with not much head. Very spicy brew. I taste pepper and that somewhat indescribable distinctive aftertaste that beers which have been cellared seem to always have. Next up: 9.9.09. Can’t wait til 2012! 8,3,9,5,18 = 4.3

Re-rate on 6/4/11. Bomber shared with brenn79, poured into tulip. I drank one of these when it was released (before I joined Ratebeer) and bought an extra one to age to 2012 back then, but I don’t remember anything about it. Looking back, I guess I rated one in 2009, which escapes my memory. Much to our surprise, my brother found an extra one (along with an ’07) in his cellar so we’re gonna (re) rate it. Pours faintly hazy gold with a medium head that falls in a couple of minutes. Nose is spicy and smells a bit old; too sweet. Taste is spicy and sweet. Carbonation is low, body is medium-full. Better than the ’07 but it was definitely better fresher. 6,3,8,4,16 = 3.7

12/22/12 re-rate: Pours clear golden with some floaties and a small off-white head. Aroma is faint caramel malt, some clove, a little wet dog and oxidation. Taste is lightly sweet and finishes with a lingering hoppy bitterness. I’m getting some fruity apple flavors; a little boozy. Carbonation is soft. This was better fresh...but hold on! There’s a total brett presence towards the bottom of the bottle--very nice. It raised my score quite a bit. 7/3/8/3/17

Jun 10, 2017
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Sak3 from Connecticut

4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: A fairly deep orange to brown that I can see my fingers through as an even darker hue. There was little to no head with a soft pour and as the beer sits I can see a hefty amount of carbonation to this.
Smell: This fills my nose with spices and a solid kick of alcohol to it.
Taste: The taste presented here is full of a wide range of fruits with a gentle finish of spices.
Feeling: Light on the alcohol but the carbonation is VERY present throughout this drink.
Overall: A good beer but wasn't anything to write home about.

Mar 15, 2017
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TerryMills from Tennessee

2.9/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into globe glass.

2 finger thick creamy white head with lots of thick lacing, head doesn't fade either.

Smell is mostly citrusy malt with some alcohol smell.

Taste is pretty disappointing , taste like too many spices to even describe and overwhelming rotted orange flavor.

Feel is very nice, medium body with a creaminess .

Overall I do not like this beer, wouldn't buy again or recommend .

Dec 20, 2016
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drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened November 2016
Look - cloudy copper color with a good lasting head
Smell - sweet Carmel strong booze. Smells like a strong ale
Taste - sweet Carmel but with some hops left even though it's been aged.
Feel - fairly light but expected with aging.
Overall - fantastic beer!

Nov 15, 2016
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zeppedled from Wisconsin

4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Fantastic copper color, light head, smooth taste and a great aftertaste. Tastes like a smooth lager, mixed with a smooth belgian ale and a taste of hops. Great beer, must try it!

Nov 12, 2016
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BWood from California

3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: great head from a hard pour. Lacing is nice..

S: smells nice. Yeast and earth.

T: after 2 bad beers today this is refreshing. Solid ale taste. Belgian taste without the spice. Yeast ale dominated.

F: slight bitter linger. Nothing extraordinary here.

O: another great showing from Stone. They never disappoint. Try this .

Sep 07, 2016
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dabeerbuddha from Canada (ON)

3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to @Byronic.
Served chilled in a tulip.
Easy pour with a generous and steady ivory head.
Slightly muted aroma. Sweetness and breadiness.
Flavour is banana with spice, with yeast notes.
Firm and solid mouth feel.
A solid beer for its style.

Aug 18, 2016
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer has been aging since i purchased it many years ago.
The beer opens with a pop and I worry a little about gusher potential, but all is well.
The beer is a clear copper hue with an eggshell white creamy head of 1 cm that fades to a sturdy edge layer soon after the beer is poured into my glass. Several lazy streams of carbonation rise up to the surface.
the aroma is lots of light fruit with melon and white grapes mixing with just a bit of biscuity malt. Any hops have long since faded and I also dont pick up any alcohol scents either.
The first sip reveals an average body and mild rolling carbonation. Smooth texture makes this beer easy to drink.
Flavor is also sweet and fruity with melon and some pear and white grape.
Some bready yeast and a bit of pepper does show some booze on the finish. It is a tasty brew and although it is pitched as an IPA, the hops are faded and I find all fruit and malt throughout.
this one aged well and another bottle would be good to open now in my opinion.

Jul 05, 2016
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a fizzy two-finger white head. The head settles into a small ring leaving some spotty soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is candied sugar, banana, and Belgian yeast.

T - The taste is Belgian yeast, banana, orange peel, and clove. There are bitter hops and white pepper in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Crisp mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - A solid offering from Stone.

Feb 20, 2016
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a bottle of the encore edition. Smell is lemon and grain with slight caramel and grapefruit. Taste is lemon, orange, grapefruit with dank and powerful hops. Malts are of the golden variety. Ok but nothing mind blowing

Jan 30, 2016
Photo of puck1225
puck1225 from Texas

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft into a tulip glass. Nice clear yellow with a thick white head and good lacing. Sweet smell and nice crisp feel. Slightly bitter, but also fruity with tastes of lemon and orange. A good beer.

Jan 09, 2016
Photo of dd43
dd43 from Connecticut

3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the rare brewery provided beer descriptions that actually tells you what you will taste in a manner more succinctly and accurately than what most of us would come up with in a review. I tend not to gravitate towards assertively hopped Belgian styles but I thought this one was rather tasty and highly drinkable. Almost makes me wonder why Stone doesn't experiment more with Belgian yeast strains and malt bases.

While I wouldn't normally recommend letting a highly hopped beer age, those who are really seeking out more of a Belgian strong pale in this one can achieve that by sitting this on a dark cool shelf for three to six months to let the Amarillo and simcoe fade out a bit.

Dec 22, 2015
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zizouandyuki from Texas

4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased yesterday and poured today from growler.

L: Amber with great clarity
S: Floral with a hint of citrus - maybe grapefruit? Also a slight hint of cinnamon
T: Far less bitter than expected, but perhaps that's the 'Belgian' part of the IPA. Slightly sweet upfront with the bitterness following.
F: Bigger body than expected, but still crisp. Would not describe as heavy or full bodied, but one of the heavier IPAs I've tried.

Overall, it's a great beer. There's some taste missing upfront, but overall this is a very good beer.

Dec 02, 2015
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tkdchampxi from New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

ORIGINAL 08.08.08, cellared and poured into a wine glass. I had this side-by-side with a new ENCORE 08.08.08

The biggest difference between the two beers was color. This one was much darker than the ENCORE version. Picked up a slight bit of dark fruit over the last 7 years, as well as losing some carbonation.

Overall, the differences were surprisingly subtle. Without the side-by-side comparison, I'd have trouble tell these two beers apart.

Dec 01, 2015
Photo of RickS95
RickS95 from Indiana

3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bit darker than I expected with an orangey golden color. It's extremely clear, there not a hint of chill haze or cloudiness. Thin white head with moderate retention.

The Belgian yeast shines, while the banana notes are present, the concoction of yeast and hops gave me a bit of peach in the air as well, mixed with a strong note of alcohol.

A bit more hoppy than I'd have guessed. For being a Belgian knock off, it had an American taste as the hops were the star. I swear I got some peach in the taste as well.

It was a bit on the bitter side. The alcohol made a pretty good hit as well. The finish was very dry as the alcohol seemingly burned the tongue dry.

A typical good beer from Stone. Glad I got to try this.

Nov 29, 2015
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed form the growler via Jungle Jim's labeled as 8.8.8 ENCORE in a snifter.

This fine ale pours a luminous deep golden hue with a nice head of white foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin layer, and modest lacing. Nose of heavy citrus fruit notes of pineapple, lemon zest, light spice of white pepper, spicy hop notes, and yeasty goodness. Flavors exceed the nose with sweet candy sugars to the front followed by juicy spicy hops with citrus and light pine notes that fade to a light pepper and clove note like a fresh baked spice cake. Finish is medium dry with good carbonation. Substantial and VERY good.

Glad to see Stone re-release some of these treasures.


Nov 25, 2015
Photo of JRed
JRed from New Jersey

3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange in color with thin white head that fades. Aroma of candy oranges, cotton candy, apples, grass, citrus. Tastes of citrus, bobbing for apples in booze, grass, mint, watermelon, and bitterness. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Nov 08, 2015
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Apellonious from North Carolina

4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz "encore" bomber bottled 9/1/15 poured into a tulip glass.

A - Mainly clear with a touch of haze, orange/gold with a one finger head that moves to creamy ring of lace.

S - Banana, clove, tripel like yeast.

T - Bubble gum, citrus/peach, banana/clove, mild spices.

M - Carbonation is medium, somewhat smooth. Stays crisp, not drying.

O - I missed this the first go around, so I am glad they revisited it. A good blend.

Oct 31, 2015
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at PreFunk. From first sniff, this an excellent Belgian. Big herbal, yeasty bouquet, follows with snappy, spicy taste. Silky golden body brings the whole thing together. Awesome!I

Oct 30, 2015
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jsprain1 from Minnesota

4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Glad they brought this one back, as this was originally before I really got into craft beer and never had a chance to try it.
A- Goldenrod, clear. Head is thick and white. Retention is fair. Lots of lacing.
S- leaning more toward Belgian than "west coast hopped" on the nose. Banana, peach, slight must.
T- Fruit ester forward. Banana, canned peach (in a good sense), and honey up front. Consistent through the taste with just a really faint booziness in the finish.
M- very smooth. Low carbonation. Interesting toeing of the line between slightly syrupy and creamy, on the tongue but dry in the finish.
O- loved it. The vertical epics I've had (I believe 10-12) were hit or miss. This one was a hit for me

Oct 06, 2015
08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 914 ratings