Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
89
very good
897 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:
897
Reviews:
497
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
10.55%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
255
For Trade:
14
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 897 |  Reviews: 497
Photo of benz08
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of RichBeer
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of Magery
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of TicoCali
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of MrVonzipper
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of tat2dhllblly
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of micstache
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Burt
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a fruity aroma that promises spiciness, like orange peels and allspice, and boasts of sweet sugars and bitter hops.

However, on the tongue, the hops are the first to emerge, exploding into grapefruit-bitter blossoms like a strong IPA. The sugars are downplayed immensely on the tongue, but still come across in the form of light fruitiness, perhaps apricots, and form a nice platform for the hoppy bitterness. There may be hints of darker flavors for some, such as tobacco or dark chocolate, as well as a nice toasted grain taste that threads its way through. The label says that this ale is "spicy, estery and fruity (from the yeast)," but by and large the hops are what take center stage, and in fact seem to throw the brew slightly off-kilter, as the deeper layers prove difficult to find against it; I mostly felt as if I were biting into the rind of a grapefruit.

Personally, I didn't mind this, as I quite like the ale's hoppy bitterness--but for anyone who already thinks that even light IPAs are too sour, this brew will only prove undrinkable. I give this 3.5 stars, with a note that it would have earned far more were it better balanced.

 1,155 characters

Photo of mwilbur
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into pint glass.
A: Pours a beautiful golden orange with high carbonation producing a 2 inch bubbly white head. Excellent retention and lacing.
S: Very pleasant fruity esters, Belgian spice, and breast yeast. Some dark dried fruit (e.g. raisin). Very fresh and appealing.
T: More hoppy than anticipated. Sharp pine and citrus hops balanced fairly well by Belgian spice, raisin bread, and fruity esters.
M: Light-medium body. Fairly soft and smooth with some carbonated tingle and a moderately bitter and dry hop finish.
D: Good drinkability from a solid brew. A nice one now, but I would anticipate less hop presence as this gets to 12.12.12 which would improve the balance and likely make this good beer exceptional.

 742 characters

Photo of FARGO619
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BASED ON NOTES: almost a year ago.

I'm a hophead and got some good hop notes from this one. Very happy I had the chance to try this one. I'm giving this one a good 10.

A-Good head, golden in color

S-Citrus pine with good hop aroma.

T-Earthy,but for an IPA it was so damn good. Straw, earth, wheat, hop.

D-It all jumped out, and was very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle/ 22oz.

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

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while and it did not dissapoint! Pours yellow-gold with moderate white head. Really nice "beligian gold" aroma of clove and spice, with a lot of hop character. Hop aroma is piney and citrusy. Flavor is a delicious balance of spice and sweetness wrapped around citrus from the hops. Good carbonation. Really liked this one! Don’t know if I can save the others unitl 12-12-12.

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Photo of Cavery
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into Nonic shared with Klym and SundaySour

A: Light amber with a slightly higher opacity. Two finger head with some stubbornly sticky lacing. There's some consistent belgian yeast fog, but nothing abnormal. All in all a good looking beer.

S: Yeasty earthiness, with a suggestion of apple and pair skins. The alcohol creeps up behind a late berry note. There's a really sweet and sugary brioche bread note in there.

T: Right up front I taste a young beer. Not a hotness worth complaining about, but enough heat to make it stick out for the style. That said, the beer is super clean. Light hops with no burn, and sweet yellow raisins sit atop some sweeter bread malts. Not much else, but I reiterate: very clean.

M: The mouth is a bit dead, the carbonation feels unexpectedly low. This most certainly is not intended. as it's lower carbonation borders on flatness. Definitely the ugly duckling of this beers more prominent characteristics.

O: The beer isn't ripe yet. The recommended 12/12/12 opening seems like a decent prediction of maturity. Nostradamus would approve. However, I worry about the mouth. Some more carbonation would greatly improve the balance of 08/08/08.

 1,191 characters

Photo of SundaySour
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice milky golden color, with only a teensy rim of yellowish/white foam. Looks almost like a kind of tea.

S: Sweet and fruity like woah. I get orange blossom, jasmine, and even something savory like teriyaki beef jerky. The smell is killer fresh like Dexter with a popped collar.

T: Considerably more savory than the smell, I get the taste of french bread and candied orange rind. There is a teensy bitterness in the aftertaste, but nothing I'm going to cry over. You get a dry bread finish; this is a pretty memorable and unique flavor.

M: Not particularly fizzy, and dry in the mouth like a white wine. Leaves a lingering flavor that will no doubt make you fail a breath test.

O: Fabulous initial smell and totally unique flavor, this is worth trying if you can get your greedy beer paws on them. Not my all time favorite belgian, but in it's own class.

 866 characters

Photo of Klym
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone nonic. First in a little sunday morning session with Cavery (love our weekend sessions!).

A: A very hazy pale gold, almost white on the outside. Poured with unusual violence in effort to get a nice head, but only managed to get about a 1 finger head that died down soon after. Lacing is thick and foamy but most of it falls off pretty quickly.

S: Awfully yeasty at first but became more sweet as it warmed up. A very bread-like yeast with sour apple, fresh cut grass and goji berry. An intimidatingly strong smell.

T: Taste a lot like the nose with emphasis on yeast, lots of apple, and farmhouse flavors/grass. Not as much berry in the taste as in the nose. A little bit of an unpleasant bitter and acidic aftertaste.

M: An improvement in mouthfeel would be a big improvement for this beer. Carbonation is weak and mouthfeel is watery and fails to mesh with saliva in the mouth in an unpleasant way. In my opinion, the biggest weakness of this beer.

O: This is of course supposed to be aged until 2012, but I have a hard time imagining how the beer would be much improved with a year's more aging. Glad I tried it, but not great drinkability and wouldn't reach for it again unless doing the full vertical tasting in 2012.

 1,247 characters

Photo of jorg2619
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife and I saved this beer a special occasion and here we are. The pour was good this beer is a pale amber with a thin eradicate head that appears to be eggshell and brilliant white. The smell is a ghost of hops. I say this to mean that this beer smells like cascade or centennial hops in a bag. The hops smell is surrounded with bready and mild notes of malt. Overall this beer smells pleasant. The first draw of 08-08 is laced with the hint of hops which have long faded from 2008 and leaves the mouth with a subtle smooth triple. The malt flavors in this brew feels sweet come spicy from the yeast, and some hint just hints of oxidation. Overall I would say that waiting till 2012 to drink this beer may be a mistake. I think that this beer is at or over peek, and though I understand why advocates save these beers I would not wait any longer on this year... it tastes better now than when I had it fresh!!!!

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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 birchstick
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a '06 - '10 vertical

This pours a clear yellow and a small head on it. Piney hops mixed in with some bready malts dominated the aroma. The taste had a nice combination of sweet citrus and caramel malts. Ended with a bit of spicy hops. Maybe I missed the belgian characteristics of this one or they faded away. My palate was starting to go at this point so this was the last one I reviewed, so who knows. This was a little think with a good body. This was a nice and sweet overall. The high abv was noticeable still and could use some more time, but then again this is a Belgian IPA so time definitely won't help it.

 624 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured to NB globe during an 06-10 VE tasting.

A: Golden, hazy with single finger fine white foam which sticks around. Decent spider lacing. Golden butterscotch look.

S: Peppercorns, green apples, belgian yeast. Floral qualities, jasmine. Decent, but not great.

T: Cloves, apples, bananas over a slightly sour amberesque ale. The beer also evolves to reveal a slight alcohol flavor. Not really a taste I would anticipate from an IPA (even belgian).

M: medium body with fine, assertive carbonation. Leaves the palate dry.

D: This is a decent beer, but not nearly as good as some of the other offerings from the series I sampled.

 632 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone

A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a white head and and spots of lacing.

S: There is still a surprising hop presence to this beer with some nice bright fruit notes, but those may be from the Belgian yeast strain. There's a bready and sugary sweetness to the nose along with some mild alcohol.

T: Quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue with citrus peel, particularly orange and tangerine. The hops are a bit grassy but provide some pine, too. A bit of pear sweetness along with the bread.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Not surprisingly, this beer is nowhere near as good as it was when it came out a couple years ago. But it's still drinkable.

 706 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
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 dragonWhale
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice, very nice. Before looking this up to review I thought I was sippin on a hoppy saison. A brilliant gold, quite clear. Estery, can'tquiteputmyfingeronit goodness. Not much Americohop presence. Very floral hops, grassy too. Nothing in the way of citrus and pine. Classy. I mean $150/hr whore classy. Very tasty with a giant alcohol finish, especially for the mere 8.6 and the 2 years that this has sat dormant, awaiting execution. Delicious. My last bottle. Had to throw it back on the wants..

 501 characters

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

Picked this up at Whole Foods Bowery.

Appearance is a hazy golden color with a thin white head.
Smell contains belgian yeast, some citrus, banana. Taste is sweet, grapefruit comes across, also some acidity, along with candied sugar. MF starts off smooth, and then picks as the sip continues & dry in the finish. Drinkability is very good on this Belgian IPA from Stone. One of my personal favorites from the few that I have consumed from the Vertical Epic series.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 897 ratings.
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