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
Reviews by stephendedalus:
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stephendedalus from Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional beer. I have not picked up a Vertical Epic for a couple years, so I was a little curious as to where this year's release would take me. What's that? A Belgian Strong Pale Ale? Yes, please. And I was not disappointed...

Appearance: golden, honey-in-apricots sort of hue. Perfect, with some lively but overly animated carbonation. A legitimate head and some good lacing (esp. considering the ABV).

Smell: Floral, hoppy, slightly spicy.

Taste: Just like it smells, with a touch of sweetness, and j-u-s-t a hint of the alcohol bite. A really well-rounded beer. Dangerous, actually.

Mouthfeel: Starts smooth, fills the mouth -- smooth at the end, too, but with just enough body and hoppiness to qualify as a quality pale ale.

Drinkability: Wish I had more than one...

Another very good offering from Stone -- one worthy of being enjoyed by itself or paired with a meal. Slainte!

Jan 15, 2009
More User Reviews:
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Magery from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Nov 16, 2011
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MisterClean from California

4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with me at a homebrew day

A - Golden pour with lots of head, but dissipates quck.

S - Sour belgian sugar esters, caramel and flowery hops.

T - Another beer I can appreciate. Smell matches taste.

M - Full bodied and balanced. The taste of a sour belgian strain of yeast lingers, yum.

D - Definitely drinkable and cannot wait to open my own bottle at home now.

Nov 23, 2008
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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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Spreetaper from New York

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

On tap at brewery. (Escondido)

Sep 29, 2015
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InsolublePancake from Georgia

4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep amber with a small white head that, unfortunately, doesn't stick around very long.

S- Wow, nice melding of the American hops and Belgian yeast. The clove-like aromas from the yeast mingle nicely with the sweet citrus notes from the hops. I've found that in most beers brewed with Belgian yeast and American hops, the aromas don't seem to go well together. This beer does not have that problem. Very appealing.

T- The flavor follows in the aroma's footsteps with a bright, citrusy hop character that blends nicely with the spicy byproducts of the yeast. The malt adds a cracker-like character that keeps the beer dryer than I expected. The bitterness on the finish is actually quite light and not at all overwhelming. Once again, Stone succeeds in blending the hops and yeast where others (including Stone itself) have failed in the past.

M- Light in body with substantial carbonation. The mouthfeel is nearly perfect for this beer.

D- Yes, the alcohol is high at 8.4%, but it's masked extremely well. This, coupled with the beer's light body and crisp, refreshing character, increases the drinkability to a level that could be quite dangerous.

I really enjoyed this beer. After last year's lackluster VE offering (as well as the one the year before), I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but this was great. Up to this point, I hadn't found a beer that successfully blended the flavors of a Belgian yeast strain and American hops (at least, to my satisfaction). I've finally found one. I really don't see how this beer will get better in four years, due to the great hop character that will no doubt fade by then. I guess I'll just have to trust the masters on that one. Highly recommended.

Aug 19, 2008
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Yaz8 from California

4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Nov 23, 2008
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mdaschaf from Indiana

3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Brouwers on 12/12/12. Review from notes.

A: Lighter golden color, crystal clear with a small off-white head that reduces quickly. Small bits of lacing.

S: Tons of lemons right away. A bit of orange and vanilla with a good bit of grass.

T: Again, lots of citrus - mostly lemon and orange. A bit of caramel and grainy malt.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly bitter finish.

O: Quite good, definitely surprised at how citrus forward and hoppy this beer still was. Could be my favorite of the group.

Apr 10, 2013
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GameOfBeers from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jul 19, 2016
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

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

This is being pored from their 20th Anniversary Encore Series, bottled on 8/27/15.

A - Pours a dark gold color with generous amounts of carbonation and minimal lacing.

S - Yeasty aroma, some funk, cloves, bananas, and some citrus buried in there.

T - The citrus really comes through on the palate with some peppery character (more so than the nose), banana, clove, somewhat yeasty. Coats the mouth with yeast, cloves, and peppery citrus.

M - Heavy medium body to full bodied, slippery, a little sticky on the lips, and the alcohol pokes through a little bit but more noticeable at the beginning.

O - Glad Stone brought this one back because last time I cellared the bottle too long, pretty happy to re-visit this beer and know how it should taste fresh.

Oct 01, 2015
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Dec 19, 2008
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ovaltine from Indiana

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

Dec 01, 2015
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JoelClark from Idaho

4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Aug 03, 2014
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Vancer from Illinois

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

Da Stone pours a semi-hazy amber / orange into the Corsendonk tulip. Small head pops up and quickly dies, not leaving much lace, but a small smattering of sheet around the top.

Spicy fruits in the aroma, lingering well into the quaff. Dry and crisp brew, full of malt backbone with those dried fruits of apple and pear appearing in the finish. Aged just about right during the last year. Tasting great this low temperature summer day.

Way to go once again, Stone Brewing.

Jul 19, 2009
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Rayek from Colorado

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep gold with fairly active carbonation. Big and foamy white cap has very nice retention and leaves patches of lace.

S: The nose came across a little weak to me. Slightly fruity and yeasty, with a heavy dose of pine. A little citrus creeps in as well.

T: An initial fruitiness is quickly replaced by a rush of pine like bitterness that's bolstered by a mild grapefruit presence. A bready maltiness rides in the background. Finishes with a lingering pine bitterness and a pleasant alcohol warmth.

M: Medium body is a touch grainy. Carbonation feels about right.

D: Yet another beer I have mixed feelings about. Overall, it is a very enjoyable brew. My issue is that doesn't it taste all that Belgian to me. Vertical is very similar to Avery Salvation by my taste buds, which is a beer that left me with the same mixed thoughts. That said, I wouldn't pass Vertical up if given another chance to drink it.

Mar 09, 2009
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lobos62 from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 11, 2016
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Dillinger from Mississippi

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

Jan 05, 2019
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Dotcubed from Arkansas

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lucky to obtain a bottle a few weeks ago.

Not in a hurry to drink it, it's been in the fridge.
Poured into a unibroue tulip glass.

Looks like an IPA, light carbonation. Clear dark golden yellow. Laceless.

Light floral, bready scent. Pleasant belgian odor. Fairly faint.

Grapefruity pungency. At almost 2 years old, this had to be a mouthful when new.
Reminds me of the gummy grapefruit candy, but with some bitterness. Remarkable. Not much of an IPA any longer.

Medium-Heavy bodied.

Good drinking if you like belgian style.

Jun 11, 2010
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philbe311 from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of pure white head fizzes and quickly fades leaving the a very delicate lace... Golden color with a slight orange hue... Every so slight bit of slow carbonation...

S - First your greeted with the a full array of citrus - Grapefruit is foremost, but is also joined by notes of orange, lemon and a hint of lime... Second, you notice the grassy earthy aromas that lie beneath... Then you are introduced to a delightful whiff of piney hops... Finally you notice a faint hint of malt...

T - A pleasant mix of citrus and piney hops... A quick burst of caramel and malt... Then the alcohol is noticeable... Final your hit with a spicy peppery final touch... Yeasty notes become noticeable during the aftertaste... Wonderfully well balanced and complex...

M - Medium bodied... Exquisite and smooth... A little pringle of carbonation on the tongue... The warmth of the alcohol is unavoidable... Delightful experience...

D - A complex sipper that makes for a wonderful experience... Slightly understated (in a good way)... An intriguing brew that makes for an enjoyable evening of beer enjoyment...

Mar 14, 2009
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tat2dhllblly from Ohio

5/5  rDev +25.3%

Nov 15, 2011
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Moonshae_D from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oct 08, 2015
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drunkmonk from North Carolina

4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear bright golden, fluffy eggshell head trails off to a thin lace. Nice cling. Nice peppery aromas, corriander mixed with some green apple and pear. Grassy hop aroma's very prominant as well. Much the same in the flavor. Hops are more assertive than your typical Belgian Golden, but here they are more of an after thought. Finishes very clean with just a touch of grassy hop flavors with some honey and green apple. The carbonation is spot on. Slight warming midway thru the glass is the only detection that your dancing with a big boy. Had lot's of fun with this. Will be interesting to see what four years on the shelf will do to this. Definatly worth seeking out for immediate consumption.

Sep 06, 2008
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slayer3604 from California

4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- While pouring, a large head appeared and became a torrent of bubbles falling to the bottom of the glass to create a pale yellow body, then settling down to a one inch head. Serving temperature was 61* in a ruination glass.

S- corriander, lemon cake and a slight wisp of alpha acid.

T- The taste reminds me of the first time i ever popped a belgian candy rock in my mouth...definitely a grip of sweetness on this beer which overwhelms the fact that its 8+ percent alcohol! The sweetness gives way to unlock a fresh citrus/grapefruit dry finish. VERY good. The dryness leads to the alcohol. the warming rush was noted just a fraction of a second after taking a swig to recall "mouthfeel".

M- Loads of character. I might name a hamster VERTICAL EPIC 08 for the amount of character this thing possesses. I cannot wait for it to age (HURRY UP!). If you swish this beer around on a clean pallet you will feel bights of acidity followed by the repair of a warming smooth malt body.

D- If this wasnt such a rare beer i would drink it every day of my life.

Aug 20, 2008
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morrowd3 from Vermont

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

Mar 01, 2016
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shekletona from Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dec 31, 2015
08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 914 ratings