Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
89
very good
896 Ratings
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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by froghop on 08-04-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
896
Reviews:
496
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
10.55%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
257
For Trade:
14
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 896 |  Reviews: 496
Photo of Cichowski
1/5  rDev -74.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of kscaldef
2/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of hopstorm
2.15/5  rDev -46%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Wow. This is my first review, and I chose to put in my 2 cents because all I saw were A and B ratings so far. Ive had alot of fantastic belgian beers- every kind of Chouffe for example, and some not so great (Delerium Noel comes to mind)... But seriously, The first thing I did was smell it when I opened the bottle, and It was like a burst of Listerine mouth-wash mixed with Belgian candi sugar. I poured it and out came the lightest colored Stone beer Ive seen, crystal clear with a thin head. Overall appearance was just what Id expect. But then i smelled it again.... Straight up Listerine! and the taste... Inhaling a tad as my mouth approached the glass I could almost choke on the alcohol and mouthwashiness. As it warms its not as intense and I can get a really crisp hop profile, but its almost minty and not the kind of flavor I generally go for. The alcohol has a little bite and drinkability is not what im used to in a belgian triple, which tend to be more hazy and full, more balanced and heavy, but still light enough to be considered "pale' and or "yellow". Anyway this beer was way to dry for the style, it seems they got way too much attenuation when the should have left in more unfermentables to stay true to the unfiltered old school belgian styles that I know and love. Stones got it locked down when it comes to Ipas, But maybe not so much triples.

 1,371 characters

Photo of CityofBals
2.25/5  rDev -43.5%

Photo of Beaver13
2.32/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is banana, musty yeast, some cloves with some spicy hops.

The flavor is a bit of a mish-mash - sweet bananas fight with peppery hops. There's also a little sweet bready malt and a little clove and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full with some light but sharp carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for this. I don't like bananas in my beer and it was strong in this one. The blend of bananas and hops was strange as well.

 572 characters

Photo of pkalix
2.45/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Photo of bruachan
2.65/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

the head poured fairly nice but fizzled ostentatiously. i'll note that i did just wash my glass, so i will will defer in favor of the brew

the color is a light peach. OK

the aroma is fruity. very sweet and fruity--apricot. hoppy. there's a spicy tang to it, as well.

the flavor is not nice. the spice needs to mellow bigtime, which comes across incredibly sharp and tactilely, as well--it's trying to disable my tastebuds

this tastes like stone didn't intend for it to be consumed before 12.12.12. i'm all for planning for the future, but i feel like i'm chewing on tinfoil

 578 characters

Photo of weezyfart
2.71/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aromas of banana, clove, and alcohol. Maybe even a hint of strawberry.

Palate keep the banana notes with some mild additional fruit characteristics.

The only problem with this strong ale is the choice of hops that shows up on the finish. It is just too bitter for its own good. I'd love to taste a more floral finish that would maybe mask the alcohol a little better.

A good beer from Stone, but not a great one. Toned down heat would do wonders.

 450 characters

Photo of BoardwalkBock
2.73/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. purchased about a week ago poured into an Ommegang goblet. Not sure of how well this bottle was conditioned, but here we go.

A: Hazy, yellow and orange. Some visible sediment at the bottom of the glass. Not a problem. Being a home brewer, I am used to seeing sediment in my beer.

S: It smells like a year old IPA. Tons of stale malt and a slight hint of whatever hops remain.

T: Taste like it smells. It just taste like a really old IPA where the malts are dominant but stale and the hops are non-existent. Yeast flavor is prominent at the end. Brings up some fruit flavors at the very end to help alleviate the awful stale taste. Pretty bad.

M: Light to medium bodied; slight carbonation but pretty faded.

O: Overall, this beer has not aged well. I remember having an 08 vertical in the summer of 09 and it was phenomenal. Also had a fresh one in 08. This, however, has just turned to a stale, bitter, tasteless beer. I saw this for 9$ and figured what the hell. Glad to have tried it, but will never seek anything besides a 12 vertical at this point ever again.

 1,075 characters

Photo of ajzy
2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.79/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

If you go online Stone publishes the recipes to all their vertical epics--that's nifty. Cloudy gold color with a thin, white insta-vanish head.

Smells like Capri Sun, light tropical fruit, bready yeast, peach rings, and sharp, but timid, citrus hop.

Heavy fermented sugar malt, clumpy citrus hop, and toasted plantains. Tropical fruit character (from yeast, not hops). Effervescent carbonation.

The hops have already faded out of this a whole lot and I can't imagine this beer holding up until 12/12/12.

Update: 6/30/13. The review above is from 2010. Now that we're going through all the Epics this was by far my favorite of the series. It doesn't hold as an IPA but there's tropical fruit out the yin yang and it makes for a great triple/bspa.

 749 characters

Photo of Philousa
2.82/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Purchased this from Lone Hill Liquor a year ago. I wouldn't have purchased something that someone else aged, but I know that Lone Hill takes good care of their product so I'm assuming it was aged properly.

Pours a very pale gold, clear with a wispy bone colored head. Tiny bubbles form with a swirl and pack in tightly until it mostly dissipates. Aroma starts with green apple, pear, white grape, and clove. Lots of sweet Belgian notes up front, almost sickeningly so. I also get a slightly papery aroma. There isn't as much carbonation as expected. I don't get much in the way of hops because of the age, I presume. So far this is turning out to be a Belgian Golden Strong. Flavor has caramel, biscuit, and honey with sweet, flowery nectar. Some allspice goes up the noes and brings out a bitter candied sugar flavor. Bitter hops are woody and earthy. Feel is appropriate for the style, finish is very dry.

This gets better as it warms. The caramel comes out and the spicy phenols calm down. I really want to try this when it's young. I think that if anyone can duplicate Houblon Chouffe's success it could be Stone. I have to dock points for saying that this should be aged, though. This is a novelty by now and a poor marketing trick. If only I knew this before I started buying the series.

 1,295 characters

Photo of Briken
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Slightly hazy golden orange with foamy white head with little retention and lacing. Spicy and citrus aroma. Flavors complimenting the aroma with apple and strong hop presence despite 2 years and a little more balanced. Semi-dry, straw and alcohol finish. Spongy, fizzy mouthfeel with poor bitter linger.

I never had a chance to taste this fresh but I imagine the strong hops may have saved this fresh. Also, it may have been improperly stored at some point since I just found it about 6 months ago in a store. Nonetheless, as is it seems to me this was a prototype for the Cali-Belgique IPA which I love and so I guess that's what it's all about for Stone, finding something good to tweak a bit for regular production.

 719 characters

Photo of Didier
2.89/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of TerryMills
2.9/5  rDev -27.1%
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 .

 402 characters

Photo of Crosling
2.92/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Yellow golden color with a quickly diminishing, heavily dense foam. Aroma is sparse, but shows some notes of banana and clove along with minor hop aromatics. Flavor is heavily sweet, boozy and is dominated by yeast (pepper, bubble gum, spice) and hops (floor cleaner, lemon, pine.)
Mouth feel is very heavy, firm and has lots of weight, unlike most Belgian styles. Had really high hopes for this one but it failed me. Overly boozy, forced, poorly balanced and it just seems very unauthentic. I was hoping for something comparable to Houblon Choffe, unfortunately, it's not even close.

 584 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this into a Portsmouth tulip glass. A vigorous pour produces an ample white head, which eventually settles down to a thin film across a pale yellowish-orange body.

The nose contains some sweet malts, a bit of hops and a somewhat candied fruit rubbery smell. Not overly pleasant. I also get some apple juice concentrate in the aroma.

The first sip very sweet, spicy and warming. Lots of estery alcohol and fruits. For a 1 year old beer there is still some pleasant hop bitterness in the background, but it is not very strong. There is still some rubber like flavor in the taste as well.

The mouthfeel is spicy and little on the thin side. The 8.6% ABV is very apparent. Drinkability is on the low side for me.

This beer is a bit of spice bomb and overly sweet. I feel like it may have been better when it was fresh off the line, with a bigger hop profile. Either way, I've got another sitting in the cellar waiting for the vertical tasting on 12.12.12. Maybe I'll be more impressed then, but for now I'll have to pass. I've had much better from Stone than this.

 1,072 characters

Photo of drewba
2.94/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Bright, translucent yellow with a half finger head after an aggressive pour. There are a few bubbles along the edges with some splotchy lacing.

S - dry pepper, grass, old citrus, yeast, green apples. Very low aroma.

T - sweet apples, pear, a hint of pepper, clove, old musty attic and plenty of yeast. It's quite sweet with just a hint of bitterness in the back end. Somehow, there is a noticeable, but small amount of alcohol heat in the back of my throat after sipping on this. This isn't a drainpour, but I'm not excited about finishing this bottle.

M - It's on the thin side, but some prickly bubbles are still there, surprisingly, after 2.5 years of being bottled.

O - I'm not sure if I would look forward to this in a vertical epic tasting at the end of 2010, but it was a fun science experiment to see how this is doing after a couple years. Most of the "ipa" qualities have died with age, this is now pretty much a sweet belgian style with a unique yeast character.

 984 characters

Photo of TKEbeerman
2.99/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Poured into my VE glass, this brew pours a murky straw color with a lot of yeast for a IPA. I guess thats what makes it belgium.
S. Light fruit, and no hops.
F. A little hops on the back of the pallet. Yeasty spic notes, but a lack of complexity.
Mf. The fullest of the VEs. Very well carbonated.
Overall, for an aged Belgium IPA I expected more complexity.

 361 characters

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of josssmith
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of aanth
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of BarrytheBear
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light yeast and spicing...fair but forgettable

46 characters

Photo of MordorMongo
3/5  rDev -24.6%

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 896 ratings.
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