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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
490 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
490
Ratings:
880
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
10.55%
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
250
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
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Reviews: 490 | Ratings: 880
Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Big thanks to GoGriz for this bottle!

I missed out on this one the first time 'round. This is why trading was invented. It pours a slightly hazed golden straw topped by a finger or so of white foam. The nose comprises light hoppy grapefruit and pine, honey, ginger, clove, pepper, banana, and a light dusting of biscuit crumbs. The taste has the same elements, though the hops remain decently strong, the grapefruit blending into a lemony citrus nearer the back; and the honey is thicker, heavier, sweeter, and mixed with a dash of light caramel. The body is a heavy light/light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly crisp finish. Overall, this has aged pretty nicely (I believe), with the hops still strong enough to matter and the balance pretty well-maintained.

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Photo of russpowell
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours effervescent bronze with 3 fingers of pearl colored head. Average head retention& zero lacing

S: Piney, grapefruit & bananas & some appleskin as this warms

T: Grapefruit, a bit of booze warmth, apple & pear skins up front. Honey, dryness, more grapefruit& lemon as this warms. Finishes with pineapple, pears & citrussy hops in abundance, plus some fusel alcohol

MF: Slick, moderate carbonation, medium bodied & nice balance

Drinks pretty good for the abv, there is some west coast skewing on the style to be sure. Not bad, but expected more to be honest

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Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear! Pale gold color (dark straw?). Modest but lasting head. Spotty lace.

Pine cone hop aroma--floral. Excellent malt base. Very attractive.

I love stronger beers that do not have an oily alcohol base. This fits that category with a moderate grassy malt that gives way to strong hop flavors (particularly for the style). Firm body with a correspondingly above-average carbonation.

A wonder beer no matter how you look at it. It's more like a Belgian double IPA if such a thing were ever to exist.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a nice golden-amber color with high carbonation evident and one finger of off white head that doesn't last very long.

s - Smells of bananas, cloves, spices, yeast, and sticky sweet fruit malts. Some citrus came out as it warms up.

t - Tastes of bananas, citrus hops, grapefruit, oragne, spice, and yeast. A tiny bit of bitterness, but not much. More fruity malts as it warms up.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink for 8.6%.

d - The bottle says it is a Belgian tripel, while BA says it's a Belgian IPA, and I can see both sides of it. I thought it smelled pretty good and definitely like a tripel, as it didn't have a lot of hops. The taste however actually still had a lot of hops to it. Either way, it was an enjoyable beer I'd try again. Interested to see what'll happen in 2 more years.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a bright honey golden slightly clouded body, forming a vibrant egg shell white head with fine bubbles quickly rising from the bottom of my Piraat chalice. Nice intricate lacing is left behind in a fine scattered pattern with each sip.

Aroma is heavily hopped dare I say Simcoe or Summits (now I've read these were Amarillo hops). Anyway a touch of green onion and grapefruit with dank weed reminds me slightly of the Green Flash DIPA, I would think this may be on par with their new Green Flash Le Freak. Some sweet malts crate a honey biscuit edge with fr4uit easters abundant from the Belgian yeast strain, some tropical pineapple with a touch of banana. Those tones are hard to detect among the frivilous hop bill.

Flavor is spicy with assertive hop bitterness, that green onion tone almost becomes spicy like a garlic note. It's not off putting it's just intense, grapefruit citrus with other fruit esters arrive short after the spiciness dies down. Still has some hot alcohol with some perfume like notes among the raw hop bitterness, I can for see this acheiving some balnce as the hops are muted in a few months. However, I'd drink this one fresh forget about 12.12.12.

Mouthfeel moderate carbonation but ample for the style not as effervescent as your current hopped up Beligans but it carries well on the palate. This style doesn't really benefit from all the hops but I did enjoy the oily textures and bitter dry finish between the yeast and the hop flavors.

Drinkability is pretty effortless, I plan to grab a few more bottles at just around or under seven bucks this is a steal. Just do yourself a favor and don't try to age this one it's drinking so well right now with the fresh hops bite.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to the Thorpes for sharing.

Gusher! had to be decanted and served in a pitcherThe beer is radiant orange yellow hued. Fairly hazy with a small white cap. The aroma brings coriander, limes, crackers, malt, spice. The flavor is watery orange juice, light spice. Malty body and fairly light on the palate. Moderate carbonation. This was ok.

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Photo of jwc215
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass:

Pours golden with a thin white head that descends to a swirly patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of pine and citrus - American hops, for sure - with lemon and bread. The spiciness is herbal and black peppery.

Very hoppy - a good thing - pine and citrus - with black pepper that almost dominates. Some orange and graininess come through. It has a dry, almost chalky, finish. Alcohol comes through a bit.

It has a medium body with a tingle that may come from carbonation as well as spiciness.

A sipper as the pepper character is a bit much. Interesting use of American hops in a Belgian-style brew. It "works", but could blend better.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yet another Vertical Epic I purchased long ago, probably at Discount Liquor.

A - Golden hazed body is topped by an off-white foam that settles to a collar, wisps, and spotty lacing.

S - Smells like an aged Belgian golden ale, with peppery, phenolic yeast notes, stone fruits, and a bit of lemon. Hops are long gone, but there isn't any overt oxidation either.

T - The taste is a bit more smoothed out, with light caramel, lemon, stone fruits, honey, and a tangy and lightly sour finish.

M - Smooth, medium-full body. Dry finish, lower carbonation, and a bit of residual alcohol heat.

D - This is the first one in the series that seemed even remotely 'Belgian'. The rest could have been confused for old English ales of some sort. Still, nothing exceptional, but at least resembles the advertised description.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was fortunate to try this last night at an epic tasting held by my good friend Mike, thanks for the opportunity MrBarleywine!
Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a smallish off white head that sticks for a bit. The aroma is lemony with a touch of hop still evident and a nice spicy and fruity aroma to balance the sweetness of a bready and sweet maltiness. The flavor is sweet and spicy with light sugar with a touch of lemon and citrus Light hop flavor still evident, but certainly faded. Moderate level of carbonation with a light body and a sweet mouthfeel. Decent brew that may have held up better than expected. Nice beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Vertical Epic glass (don't you just love correct glassware). Beer is yellow, nearly no head at all, carbonation is steady with larger bubbles, minimal head falls away quickly to reveal almost no head at all, does not cover the surface of the beer.
Smell is interesting, there are combinations of Belgian style yeastiness and pine (from the hops I presume). The pine is understated, there is another spice in the aroma, almost cloves, it is hard to pin down.
Beer is thin in the mouthfeel, there is almost no forward flavor, everything is in the midpalate and finish. There is hop bitterness but it is no overstated. There is a slight aftertaste. I am curious how this beer will age. Belgian IPAs are not my favorite style, the brightness of the high alcohol often is pourly balanced with the bitterness of the hops. This beer is neither too bitter or too bright from the alcohol. It is roughly 8.5 %, I think that was a good call. Pushing 10% with a beer like this would have been too much. Enjoy.

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Photo of Billolick
4.72/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled several times at BCTC, and then from a small growler and enjoyed 2 days later at home (now)

From the Stone website, "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 comment heard most often by samplers at the fest was simply "WOW"

Pours clear, medium honey amber, glistening with golden and light orange shimmers, head is off white, tiny bubble and leaving scattered fine lacing.

Nose picked up plenty of mint, pineapple, melon, berries and assorted fresh fruit nuances.

Absolutely delicious creation in brewing, Belgian yeasty notes, banana, citrus, piney hops, more pineapple, a plethora of fruity notes, dry spiced up/ light peppery finish...WOW...yummy...my favorite style...(hoppy Belgian strong pale ale/tripel/whatever you want to call it)

Stone rocks and this is another fine example of their craft

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09/02/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2008 Anniversary release. Poured into mu Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep golden colored pour. Semi-creamy and frothy head about 3/4 inch in size. Leaves a nice slight foam layer during consumption. Lacing is about average with light streaks and spotting.

Smell- Smells like a typical Belgian Strong. Has lots of spices, some earth, som vanilla and some sugary notes.

Taste- Sugar hits very hard in this beer....about the only drawback I could find. A bit too sweet of a kick. Light alcohol notes, large vanilla aspect along with some tropical fruit notes as well. Overall a good flavor variance. Hops are here, but not as heavy as I thought after hearing how hoppy this years release was.

Mouthfeel- Brisk and crisp, but easy drinking with a sharp carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Overall a very good beer per style, particularly by an American brewer. Just too sticky and too sweet. Something I don't think will really change with aging. Otherwise, pretty darn exceptional.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a really nice pilsner malt scent along with an earthy, yet fruity yeast aroma. There is also some hop bitterness as well. The taste is great as well. This is a very smooth beer with loads of character. It has a solid malt base and tastey yeast finish. It's quite bitter with a mildly earthy finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's incredibly drinkable without lacking complexity and a bit of warmth.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich golden brew, clear, with a billowing white head at first, then settled to a small film. A quick swirl brings it around again, modestly.
Phenolic/clove in the aroma, with some esters and lemongrass. Not overly fruity, just enough though. Some hints of sugary malt and cedar (?)

A good taste. Seems like a Belgian-yeasted-up pilsner. Estery, some noticeable malt backbone, a bit sweet, yet has the hops to kick in at the end. Good carbonation. Not sure how this would age. What would be affected the most?

Good abv cover, easy drinking..perhaps a touch syrupy. Nice spring beer. The other two will age...

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Photo of Gavage
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow color with a short 1/4" head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: alcohol, yeast, and some grassy tones are up front and some fruit sweetness in the background.

Taste: nice malt profile, yeast, grass, green grapes, apples, honey, and a nice bitterness is wrapped in a warming alcohol blanket. Overall this is a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Relatively short aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this one is a slow sipper but one can quaff a few glasses of these. Decent beer but not one of my favorites in the series.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Going onto the second sample of the Vertical Epic flight at Tustin Brewing. A little over four years of age on this one. On to the beer:

Golden colored brew, topped with some fair lace and a patchy head. What makes the nose distinct is the dryness. It's not oxidized, smells Belgian, and rustic. Some sugar, bigger notes of leather, a few dry hops; any chance this is a Belgian IPA?

Confirmed. Despite four years of hiding, there still remain noticable traces of hops. Delecate hops which compliment the character of the overall beer, not smuther it. Leather, dry Belgian yeast, rustic. The alcohol is hidden well, and its body is smooth. Pleasantly dry in the aftertaste.

There's something about 08.08.08. I won't know how a fresh one tastes, but I know that an aged one is damn good. And I'm lucky to realize that I saved a bottle in my cellar and not realized it.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Chimay goblet twce. This is about five months old at the moment.

A- Vertical epic 08 pours a bright golden color with orange spots. No head to speak of whatsoever. just a bit of very faint patches of scattered white spots. A lot of bubbles are seen rising up but not enough to cover the surface with any foam. May be an off bottle.

S- 080808 has a lot of yeast and earthy tones. Bananas and cloves and other spices. Some various flowers come out with warming. Some sweet candy with malts. A nice array of hops while this BSPA resembles somewhat of a triple style.

T- A blast of the spices such as clove and pepper and the Belgian yeast jump out at the forefront with what i'm guessing to be some strain of NW U.S hop variety. Some bready malts. More fruits than in the smell starting with banana and apple and pear. Has a dry and slighty bitter aftertaste.

M- 080808 has a dry and bitter taste with a bit of alcohol presence. This does not quite fit the bill for a triple in my mind. Goes down quite easy with a light to medium body and some carbonation. The taste rolls off the tounge and does not linger.

D- At 8% only one bottle for me in a sitting. This is my 1st try at this offering from stone and while I was not blown away I am still intrigued to try the older versions and will look out for future releases although this wont be strong on my radar. Still a good offering from stone.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled August 2008
Pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, copper hue as it sits in my glass but shows a brilliant, bright gold color when held up to the light. The aroma has an expressively fruity, sort of children's aspirin like aroma to it that is magnified by a substantial sweetness. Weird is all I can really say, and not necessarily bad. Other aromas of juicy fruit gum, grassy grain, clean tropical fruit, ripe peach, just a hint of an herbal note, some phenolic clove. I think it is that there is a slight medicinal note in the aroma along with the clove phenolics and these, combined with how incredibly clean the hop character is (is it filtering that made the fruity hop aromas so clean?) is what gives this a children' aspirin aroma.

Tastes like bubble gum with the juicy, fruity hop notes and a clean, almost cotton candy like sweetness. This is actually surprisingly sweet tasting given the terminal gravity; I think that the fruity hop flavors tend to accentuate what sweetness is here and the fact that the fermentation profile is so clean means that the noticed alcohol note also seems to contribute to the perceived sweetness. Some phenolics and a spiciness contribute a touch of spiciness towards the finish that seems a bit turpene like and definitely has an expressive clove flavor to it. The hops contribute flavors of tropical fruit, lychee, ripe peach, and when combined with the perceived sweetness, some notes of honey-suckle are evident. While the hop character is quite dominant, there is, especially as this beer warms, a significant phenolic character to this beer, especially in the finish.

Despite being perceived as sweet this does have a nice, light body for a beer of this strength; I wouldn't call it a quaffing brew, but it does have a nice drinkability to it. It could use a bit more carbonation as I typically like my strong Golden Belgian'ish beers to be lively, though the lightish carbonation here really doesn't detract too much.

This is somehow incredibly clean, despite the noticeable fermentation character and hop notes; the malt seems almost naked somehow as it is lacking that chewy, grain note that I like to find in a good, pale, Belgian ale. This is still a good beer, it just seems to be a bit too filtered (even if it wasn't caused by the actual filtering process). I do like how this beer works as a whole, the entire experience is a bit more than a sum of its parts.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Update: 22 May 10

This bottle is almost 2 years old.

Poured into a chalice a nice hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, with a nice little fizzy/creamy white head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some hop notes, and spice. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter still, with some malts, slight hop note, yeasty, and some spice note. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, not hot at all. Very Drinkable, still enjoying this brew, holding up very well.

Poured into my Stone Ruination glass a very nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, which leaves minimal sticky lacing. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some hops, and spices. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter, with some malty, hops, yeast, and some spices. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, it has a nice hoppyness to it. Well done Stone.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber. Two finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by stone and tropical fruit with slight Belgian yeast and citrus. Flavor follows with sweet stone fruit, orange and light citrus. Finishes with a pleasant citrus rind, pineapple and a lingering hop bitterness. The herbal qualities of the hops are attenuated, but a surprising amount of bittering hops remain. Like others in this series, age has given this a nice medium body with some creaminess. I started my mini-vertical with 06 and 07 and I am very impressed with the aged versions of all three of these. I was not expecting to enjoy the lighter ones as much as I have. Great job Stone!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. Bomber split with friend into a pint glass. Fluffy head soapy white. Wonderful cathedral like lacing.

S. Bready and fruity. Hints of banana.

T. Hints of hops. Peppery. Light fruits appear and then recede into some malty notes. This is a very complex beer.

M. Light and crisp. Finishes on the dry side.

D. Highly quaffable, but this is meant for sipping. If it were more readily available, this would be a mainstay.

Final word: This is an amazing beer. Stone is a world class brewery. I need to secure some more to set aside for a while.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 picked up at the Coop today for about $6.75... poured into my New Belgium snifter... looks pretty already.

Big 2 finger foamy meringue like head... 1st pour is crystal clear gold... looks like a pilsner actually. very nice ribbons of lace.

The aroma has a really fruity quality along with some pine... I swear their have to be amarillos in there... they always remind me of Flintstone Vitamins.

Flavor is bananas and pink bubblegum.. very fruity.. not as much pine and citrus as expected... actually fairly balanced IMHO. Dry finish.. tropical fruit as it warms.. very very nice. I would seriously hesitate to call this a BSPA.. Right now, it is a Belgian IPA.. that said, I don't know how well these hops are going to be so bright.. but I am really liking this.

4.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

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Photo of yourefragile
3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle.

Pours a bright, clear golden orange with small white head. Dry bitter aroma with coriander, pepper, orange, lime and citrus peel. Tastes like no pulp Orange Juice with a twist of lime and... I dunno, "spice"? Medium thick and well carbonated. I was hopefully from the nose for this but the flavor is too watery and one dimensional.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.
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