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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
3.96/5
Very Good
899 Ratings
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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
498
Ratings:
899
pDev:
10.35%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
255
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 899 |  Reviews: 498
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly disappeared, leaving lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of oranges and spices in the nose; hints of grapefruit and yeast are also discernible.
T: Like the smell, citrus and spicy flavors dominate the overall taste, overshadowing the underlying malts. The finish has a moderate amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish and some hints of warming from the alcohol.
D: This is a beer that needs to be slowly sipped given its alcohol content and the amount of bitterness.

 719 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been truely seduced by the hoppy Belgian beers, so I was really excited to hear the news about this Stone brew. The sweetness of th Belgian base beer forms a nice backdrop for the sharp American hops- still the beer is not muddled or overly complex. The aromas exhibit only mild Belgian character and assertive pine and citrus notes. The maltiness and caramel sweetness shine above phenolic peppery notes, but allow a fruity ester profile to shine. Certainly more golded than a tripel, but not quite amber in color. The head formation is froathy and sticks to the glass nicely- no problems with retention and plenty of efforvescence. Flavors, as with the aroma, are heavily tilted toward a 2-row malty, caramelly, nutty, biscuity, profile rather than classic Belgian pilsner crisp profiles. This helps to tame the heat and spiciness, but also promotes the fruitiness- pears, peaches, appricots, and apples. Well attenuated and quite crisp makes the beer dangerously easy to drink, but would finish quite sweet if not for the clean dry pine and grapefruit flavors / bitterness from the hops. Overall, the beer is nice but I can't put it on the same plateau of Poppering Hommel, Houblon Chouffe, or De Rank XX Bitter because the Belgian character in this beer is too subtle and the malt profile is very different than classic base beers. Still quite nice and tasty.

 1,370 characters

Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color ale with a big pure white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of dry hops with some sweet malty notes also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by some sweet malt with light hoppy notes. Body is average with some good carbonation and no detectable alcohol. I thought this tasted like a dumb-down Duvel without any of the complex yeast ester and the great hoppy finish. I can't see this improving over four years thought.

 472 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 1-30 along with the 09 and 10.

A - Poured out a semi-cloudy, golden yellow color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled slightly phenolic with good yeasty quality. Some tropical fruits were detected, too.

T - Good spicy and yeasty first sip with sweet caramel, a sharp hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This was really good with 2+ years of age. I would've loved to try on fresh.

 497 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Boone757
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of largadeer
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear burnished gold with a dense two finger head of pure white. The head dissipates slowly, rings of lace clinging to the sides of the glass as it settles.

Smell: Grassy and floral hop notes up front. There's an undertone of pine that's almost medicinal. Malt is present but subdued, lending a light honey-like sweetness and a touch of lemon meringue.

Taste & mouthfeel: Light-bodied with a nice medium between sweet and dry. Flavors of candied grapefruit and jasmine at the forefront with a touch of wild honey. The finish continues the balance presented in the beginning, being neither sweet nor dry nor overly bitter. People looking for a perfectly balanced Belgian-style ale will probably love this, but I'd like a more dynamic flavor - while good, this is fairly flatline.

 792 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone's Vertical Epic 08.08.08 pours a clear, deep golden body that resembles a slightly dark Pilsner-style beer. The frothy white head holds well and it leaves thick rings of craggy lace about the glass.

Hops appear in the nose: citrusy (lemony), freshly grassy, floral, and somewhat piney. I intitally thought Amarillo and Centennial. Then the fruitiness of Simcoe appeared. But apparently there's no Centennial at all, and the missing hop is Ahtanum.

Yeast also makes an appearance, and clearly indicates then what this beer is - a hoppy Belgian-style tripel that utilizes American hops. Not that that hasn't been done before, because of course the Belgians have been ahead of the curve and have been using American hops (as have the Japanese and Danish and...) for a while! Other American brewers have produced this style too. But the yeast is important. It changes it from an American ale into something else altogether... an American Belgian-style ale with American hops. ... ... ...Anyway, it's gently phenolic, fruity with an emphasis on apples and light notes of summer fruit (strawberries, melon), and just very slightly chalky, vanilla-ish, and a minor flick sulphury.

The malt base that supports it is straightforward pilsner malt (although I understand oats and sugar are used). It's clean and refined, and acts as the stage for the hops and yeast.

Overall, it's well-rounded, and more importantly, refined. In keeping this ale in check and not going overboard on any aspect of its composition, it offers a great drinkability. It's very smooth and easy to drink, but there's also a good deal of depth to it. You can almost drink it as if it was a stronger version of a Pilsner, just like you might a Duvel!!!! But beware, it does have a kick.

 1,761 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

had as part of a big VE tasting at the end of the world party, thanks to Mark for sharing.

Decent fizzy head, light lacing, hazzy carrot orange color.

Nose is nice Belgian again, bright malts, light tropical fruits even, hint guava and pear, malty, sweet, tangerine, etc.

Taste sweetish malts, aged tasting, fluffy, candy malts, light citrus, tangerine and pear, fluffy Belgian malts, light citrus, light esters and hint of booze.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb for the age.

Overall OK, again would probably have been much better fresh, but decent.

 565 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, spices, some fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out very estery, with some sweetness of apples and spices. Then there's a quick alcohol sting, followed by a Belgian yeast character that seems a bit subdued. There's a strong hops presence for the style that starts to exert itself as the beer warms and provides some balance.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium carbonation, medium body, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while, although I have a feeling that this is the type of beer that might be better with a little bit more age on it.

 868 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of white foam on a perfectly clear, golden body. The foam settles quickly and leaves good lace.

S - Peppery aroma of basil, cloves, and fennel. Some malt in the background with spicy, grassy hops.

T - Spicy, peppery yeast flavor, backed by rich pilsner malt. Distinct green pepper flavors come out in the middle along with a nice toasted note. The finish is surprisingly smooth and well balanced with nice malt character and grassy, anise like hop flavors.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A very nice, very drinkable Belgian golden. The yeast character is robust and spicy and melds perfectly with the herbal hops. The aroma is nice, but the flavor is where the beer really comes to life. This brew borders on a saison in terms of spicy character and is very drinkable.

 817 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazed apricot with a pretty nice head. The smell is a bit of sweet malt, spices, and citrus. THe taste was quite the same with some more Belgian yeast in there, with the citrus flavors coming a bit to the front. Mouthfeel was pretty big as a result of the sweetness. Quite drinkable.

 292 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sharp and fruity strong ale.

I would call it a "pungent' aroma. It is so sharp in the back of the throat I pause in mid sip. Definitely an overexuberance of Belgian flavors taking over, but unrestrained by the usual Belgian malty funk. I call it an IPA that's been jacked up with Country Time lemonade powder.

I wonder if these beers should be stored refrigerated? I bet there is a giant cooler chugging away somewhere in an industrial part of Escondido with a vast store of Verticals in suspended animation waiting for the big day. Me, I'm going to pull the ones I have left and drink 'em now. Well, not right this minute.

 625 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened June 2013

A - Bright gold body with a light haze. Nice, fine white head pours about a finger high. Ok retention and nice lace.

S - Unusual amount of dark dried fruits more typically found in dark belgian strong ales. Raisin, dried pear, dill, rosemary, muscat, amaretto. Little to no hop character - possibly due to age.

T - Herbal opening with thyme and rosemary. Pear and grape center with warm white booze. Touch of dry wood and a twang of cider-like acidity on the backend.

M - Silky smooth, light frame. Low carbonation, but it isn't much of a distraction.

O - More belgian light strong ale than belgian IPA, but the brew shines with a nice, well balanced flavor profile and a solid mouthfeel.

 710 characters

Photo of billab914
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of smithj4
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 899 ratings
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