Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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492 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
492
Ratings:
886
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
14.07%
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
254
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
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Reviews: 492 | Ratings: 886
Photo of dmamiano
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a crystal clear light golden yellow. Big head on the initial pour that quickly goes away, leaving a soapy presence and no lacing.
Nose is very sweet, candy like. Hints of fruit nectar. Bananas, pears and apples dominate.
Taste is very full, sweet. Big and heavy on the palate with a nice viscosity. Fruity, yeasty and very nice. Pepppery spice mixing with a Belgian hoppiness
Good beer.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I have to say, I fell in LOVE with this beer at the recent Belgian Beerfest in Boston. This plus the Stone Collaboration, were the clear winners of "Best in Show" for me.

The next day I went out and purchased several bottles of the Vertical Epic.

Tonight I am enjoying one with friends. (perhaps # 2 will get broken out, as well)

The beer pours with a nice 2 ½ finger white head that stay for a bit, then settles completely back into the beer. The beer, itself, is a bright clear golden color with the smallest amount of slowly rising visible carbonation. There is a scant amount of spider web lacing left behind.

The aroma is very complex and really a combination of fruits and spices. Very fresh aroma and very inviting.

The flavor just ROCKS. A wonderful combination of tropical fruits and some real nice spices. There is certainly a nice white pepper effect, but also some clove and nutmeg happening here. Sometimes reminds me of Juicy Fruit gum... (in a good way)
Pretty complex flavor and one you think about as you enjoy the glass. I really love this.

The mouth feel is fairly light in body and inviting. It brings you back for more and more.
8.6% are you kidding? I guess that speaks to the drinkability. I would have NEVER guessed that if I didn't know.

I want more. Sometimes they need to make these special releases regular beers. This would always be in my fridge.

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Photo of wl0307
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from a very good Britain-based beer shop, "Beers of Europe", through on-line order. Coming in a light brown, 1 Pt. 6Fl. Oz. bomber bottle, served lightly chilled in Hapkin's branded bulb-shaped sniffer. NOTE: the very long description on the bottle seems to suggest that this is a "Belgian Tripel dry-hopped with American hops".

A: pours a dark golden hue with almost perfect clarity, coming with very fine carbonation in support of a 1cm thick, well-lasting off-white creamy froth. Handsome!
S: richly orangey, elderflowery, gooseberry-ish (reminiscent of Pinot Grigio+Riesling!) and syrupy upfront, topped with lots of vanilla & coriander-like esters, denoting a rich base of Belgian Golden Ale (such as Duvel or La Chouffe) with its crisp fruitiness, spicy notes, and a firm but slightly cloying touch of malts. American hops are somewhat subdued in the mixture, although a lightly grapefruity aroma might be the by-product of them. Not bad, but not quite as complex as richly fruity - a tad too sweet for my preference, anyway, otherwise it could've fared better.
T: soothing and exotic fruit-estery (with hints of all the elements identified on the nose) and lightly savoury on the yeastiness, not unlike the kind of savoury-sweet touch often accompanying a Hefeweizen. Clean citric hops are beautifully intertwined with clean lager/grainy malts, helping to result in a balanced profile in the middle of the palate, before an enjoyable stream of zesty-spicy hops (more like dried tangerine-peels) with an undertone of Riesling wine expands and overtakes the palate. The tangy bitterness rests deep and low down the wings of the tongue. In the end, satisfying as well as refreshing.
M&D: the mouthfeel is so... good, demonstrating a top-class craftsmanship in handling the yeasts in this (roughly) filtered-bottle form - the carbonation is superbly clean with microscopic fizz to tingle the taste-buds, providing a key texture to underline the equally clean & focused flavour profile. In fact, the hoppiness is NOT as assertively bitter as I expected from the description on the bottle, but rather aromatic and utterly-juicy. Superbly drinkable even at this alc. strength, this is an effortlessly pleasant ale to savour, whatever the style!

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright clear yellow gold body, with some small scattered carbonation streams. Three fingers of tight white froth. Nice lace.

Spicey nose. Peppery.

Big fruity taste. Juicy yet crisp. Spicey aftertaste.

Solid mouthfeel well balanced by its carbonation. Don't know if its light or medium but it works.

Nicely drinkable, even if Belgians aren't your thing.

It would really be a shame to keep this locked up until 12/12/12. Go ahead, drink it now.

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Photo of gciccarelli
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into wine glass.

A - Pale gold with very small head.

S - Spicy aroma, high presence of yeast smell. Hoppy citrus notes and sugar smells...

T - Very balanced, very tasting, very good. Spicy notes, sweet malts, bitter hops...really, a trippel and IPA combined. Slight taste of alcohol as well. Mild bitter aftertaste, like an IPA.

M - Medium body, light carbonation, nice residue left in the mouth. Less carbonation than many belgian-style brews...but good.

D - Especially considering the high alcohol content, this is a very drinkable beer and a very tasty one at that.

I will certainly plan on picking up another few of these and aging them as they were intended to be...can only imagine them getting better with age.

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Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a rich yellow gold color with good head retention and lacing. The beer looks for all the world like a Belgian trippel, which, as I found out, it would mimick in other ways as well.

On the nose this beer is very impressive. I get some cherry and honey, but with huge underlying hoppy bitterness, coupled with white and black pepper. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, and for all the world this beer reminds me of the Houblon IPA from La Chouffe. It's actually a bit richer and hoppier then the Houblon, but is also a bit less complex and lacks some of the lemon/lime. The beer is moderately sweet, but that sweetness is more then countered by the massive amount of hops in this beer. The beer is medium bodied and finishes fairly well. Abv. is pretty well disguised, though it had a warming effect near the end of the glass. Probably couldn't drink a whole lot of this stuff, but the single glass was quite good. Another impressive offering from Stone.

Edit from 3/15/13. Based on a recent vertical epic tasting at Pacific Coast Brewing. While this beer still shows some attractive cherry, orange, honey and light vanilla flavor, the flavor profile has clearly lightened up considerably since 2008. This beer is till quite charming and drinkable, but it has nothing like the hoppy bitterness and intensity of flavor it had several years ago. My current scoring of this beer was considerably below what I gave it back in 2008.

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Photo of tadowdaddy
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden clear beer with about 1/2 inch of head that retains well, ample carbonation, and minimal lacing. Carbonation in this one is a lot more than I'd have expected.

S- Lots of hops and some highly intense fruit. A bit spicy smelling as well.

T- Hoppy like a pale ale, has the fruitiness of a belgian ale. Very straightforward fruit flavors. Orange, apricot, and a bit of citrusy lemon flavor. Hops really stand out. I do not taste the alcohol at all. Additionally get some cloves and other spices in my mouth.

M- Crisp, clean. Nice bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

D- Do not taste the alcohol, so it seems very drinkable to me. The high ABV may be a downfall, but I personally do not see it as one.

Love this beer. Opened me up to a whole new style as I'm usually an IPA, IIPA guy.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Delirium Tremens Tulip.

A: Finger and a half head. Resides to and eighth of an inch head.

S: Orange rind, lemon zest, bready belgian yeast, I even get a hint of vanilla.

T: Very light, sweet malt flavor. Lots of citrus flavors going on orange, lemon, grapefruit hop flavors.

M: Really well carbonated. Dry, champagne like finish. Really good.

D: Very drinkable, 8.6 abv hidden well.

One of my favorite Belgian Style IPA's.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Hazy golden, very active, thick white-ish head with great retention and lots of lacing. SMELL rich sweet maltyness hits first, fruity esters, and restrained grassy hoppiness follow. Sneaky Belgian yeastiness infuses throughout. TASTE Sweet rich caramel maltiness paired with light grassy hoppy flavors and mild bitterness. Fruity esters from Belgian yeast add complexity and depth. Smooth and balanced. FEEL medium/full body, pleasant slightly slick texture, alc warming, clean and dry finish. OVERALL should be savored and shared, and is fairly filling. But it looks, smells, feels and tastes great!

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Photo of Keith238
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden in color, this brew lacked the thick creamy foam promised on the bottle. May glass may not have been as clean as I initially thought but I'm a stickler about my beer glasses so I doubt it.

S- Fantastic aroma. Very floral.

T- Again, fantastic. Spicy and well hopped. This brew has renewed my interest in Belgian triples.

M & D- Clean, crisp and dry. You will want a second bottle so buy it while you can.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 in a pretty things wine glass.

Very cloudy orange color. The cloudiness I view as just a sign of healthy yeast. It was not cloudy three years ago. mild head. Still tastes exceptional. Cheers to the brewers!

Smells of booze, pine trees and oranges. Booze is not intimidating smelling, but quite notable.

Taste is delicate, and very similar to smell. Resinous, piney, acidic, and very drinkable. The hop and yeast flavor are mended nicely. I have a hard time telling what flavor came from what. Either way it tastes delicious. After taste of American hop resin - Oranges and Spruce.

Thin mouthfeel. Acidic from either carbonation or fermentation. I like the bite though.

Someone once told me when cooking for others; make them wait an extra 30 minutes and the wait will make your meal taste that much better. I don't know if that is in play, but it an honer to drink this one.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of equal amounts light fruits - bananas and pears - and herbal, slightly citrus hops. As it warms floral hop aromas join in the mix.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front are soon joined by fresh banana and pear flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors - herbal grapefruit - enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the glass and could easily have a few of these.

Overall this was a tasty beverage and I was surprised at how well the hops held up. Definitely worth a try, even this late in the game.

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

Clear golden yellow. small bubbly white head that dissipated quickly leaving an oily foam and great lacing.

A super hoppy Belgian. Lemon peel, orange, and piney/herbal notes. Belgian fruity funky spicy estery yeast. Slight bread below the powerful hops and yeast.

Tangy lemon peel. Funky fruity estery citrus. slightly bready pale tripel malts. Spicy herbal and resinous. Crisp floral estery bitterness and aftertaste. A small alcohol taste that melds nicely in the hoppy belgian tripel, without being very noticeable.

Dry, crisp, smooth, light to medium bodied.

Very drinkable. A great Belgian style tripel, loaded with west coast hops. I'm a big fan.

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

A - Ligher yellow with a decent head and enduring lacing.

S - Strong citrus & floral scents - very Belgian

T - Complex tastes with hints of fruits & floral tastes - strong tasting.

Mounthfeel - very carbonated but also smooth

D - Very strong ale. Alcohol overpowers it a bit but that is part of its charm.

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

A: Pours a gorgeous gold bordering in amber; small head dissipated quickly.

S: Strong citrus smell (I detect grapefruit) with some fresh-cut wood. Hops definitely pervade the aroma and become dominant after a few seconds.

T: Strong grapefruit bitterness followed by a nice juicy (almost lemonade or limeade-like) taste. A sweet malty backbone rears its head only slightly before the grapefruit taste dominates again, leaving a bitter finish.

M: Good carbonation and a nice, juicy body.

D: Great sipper; cuts through even the strongest flavors and a good beer to whet the appetite.

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

Place of Review- home 22oz bottle

Look-White head, that dissipates rather quickly. The beer is golden with a copper tint and, a slight chill haze with almost champagne like carbonation.

The smell is floral, fruity, and hops with a slight hint of grapefruit and yeast mixed in. Another Stone offering that is pleasant to the nasal passages.

Taste of hops right away fallowed by sweet fruity/grapefruit, with a buttery alcohol flavor mixed in, then a bitter back end. Mouth feel is full and malty. All around this is nice bier to drink. It has a lot going on, definitely a complex bier. I will be recommending this bier

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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

Picked up at BevMo a few weeks ago. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Yellowish-orange with a huge 2-3 finger white, fizzy head. Head has little retention, leaving just some film and lacing. Plenty of tiny bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass.

S: Big fruity nose on this one with plenty of spice. Plum or perhaps fig mixed with cinnamon sugar and nutmeg. It actually almost smells a bit like bubble gum flavor.

T: Taste is more bready than the scent, with a nice mildly hoppy finish. There is a bit of the fruitiness there, and a great spicyness that really hits at the end.

MF: Fairly thin bodied, but in no way water, and a decent amount of carbonation. Plenty of warming to go with a nice dry finish.

D: This is much better than the 07.07.07, in my opinion. Lots of good flavor which blends well and is easy to drink. Maybe not as refined as some of the other strong pale's out there, but I really enjoyed this one and would certainly drink it again.

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

This has been sitting in the cellar since late summer and so it seemed right to open one since I drank all my earlier versions and cannot do the vertical in 2012. This is a real nice Belgian style beer with some spice notes mixed in with the citrus notes found in Saisons. Kinda tasted like a combo of Duvel and Westmalle Triple. Lots of complexity and good balance made this very drinkable. Good Epic from these guys.

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

You all know what the bottle looks like so I won't bother. Pours out a copper yellow with almost no head at all. Smell is very sweet with hints of malt, lemon and earthy notes.

Taste is much milder than I expected. Very well integrated flavors of sugar, bread and grassy hops. Lovely drying bitterness in the middle and end. Aftertaste goes on and on. 20 plus seconds? Well balanced and easy drinking. The alcohol is so well hidden. A very "clean" beer.

A great VE in my opinion. I am not sure how this one will age as it is so well integrated now. Oh well, we will see.

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

Alas, this is my first Vertical Epic. Hopefully I'll get to try a few of the previous ones on tap (if not bottled) one day. I'll be sure to get hold of the final four barring a major mishap.

A: A clear, pale golden color with a thick if minimal head. There is some retention and nice lacing.

S: At first there is pear and passion fruit on the nose. As it warms up a little you get a sense of the hops, some citrusy but mainly coniferous notes. Esters also make a welcome appearance.

T: Sweetness of the malts come through right off the bat. Tasty. Just as it threatens to keel over, the hops kick in and achieve a delicious balance. The best thing is that it then stays in ale equilibrium. There are few beers that manage this.

M: Very solid. No detectable hop oils, but there is a lingering bitterness that is not overpowering in the least. Sorry Stone, I had to write that...Nice and snappily crisp. Refreshing.

D: The 8.6% ABV is hardly noticeable at first. Eventually, there is a warming sensation. I believe I could drink two of these beauties. That's saying something for a brown bomber this potent.

To conclude, I love this beer. I'm not a huge tripel fan (though I like classic Belgian pale ales like Duvel and their US compadres Damnation and Horny Devil) nor am I a major hophead. Simply put, one of the more quaffable non-dark beers I've had the pleasure of drinking. I have no idea how this will age, but I plan on finding out. It's hard to imagine that it'll get much better.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled upon bombers of this while out for groceries and snatched it up at just $4.75- a good price for really ANY bomber in NYC.

Poured from 22oz bottle into 300ml Krusovice goblet.

Appearance: Pours golden-amber in color with a medium-sized, very slowly dissipating off-white head that leaves some large spots of lace behind.

Smell: Smells like a very well-aged beer- sweet grapes and apples with some yeast backed up by citric and floral hop notes.

Taste: The smell doesn't give away the hoppiness of this beer too well- It starts off with bready, yeasty flavors backed up by a hint of apple, finishing rather hoppy. The finish has herbal and earthy hop flavors and a somewhat intense, yet pleasant bitterness. More yeast is detectable in the finish. After you've drank a bit of this and gotten used to the flavor, it actually starts to taste like champagne.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with balanced, very natural carbonation and a dry champagne-esque finish.

Drinkability: An older beer like this is meant to be savored, and it is a pleasure to drink. This is the first "vintage" beer I've had, yet I can detect a certain aged quality about this. Now I'm seriously considering buying some more bottles of this to cellar for longer. If you can find this beer, definitely grab it- whether it's for cellaring or for drinking.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Cork and Bottle after getting comics. I was pleasantly surprised to find it.

Appearance- golden color, little head

Smell- fruit, hops, malt

Taste- very nice and dry, hops, spice, fruit

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- very nice, i would love more

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Photo of drseamus
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice light amber body with a touch of white head.

S: Nice citrus aroma that blasts from the glass and almost completely masks the Belgian malt aroma.

T: Boy, the hops really pop out in this one. Right up front and super crisp. Right behind that after the shortest of pauses is the sweet malt. Great balance.

M: Nice and light initially with a touch more body when the malt hits.

D: Great, but I can't see how this will get better with age.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 886 ratings.
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