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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

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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.

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Reviews: 492 | Ratings: 888
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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..

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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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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty glad I found this for $7 with two years already on it!

Pours a golden amber aith white head that fades quickly to almost nothing (probably because the alcohol is 8.6%)Leaves nice lacing though.

Smell isnt over powering but of lemon and orange. I think the yeast contributes a lot to the smell.

Taste and mouthfeel are great! It tastes like a citrus foreward IPA but semi subdued. The bottle conditioning makes for a great smooth creamy mouthfeel and covers the alcohol quite a bit.

Im gonna go pick up this and the 09 to let sit for another year!

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

Drank 12.29.10 after sitting in a low 50's basement for 2 years.

Golden hazy yellow. Straw. Thick frothy head.

Very fruity tart apple aroma with a solid yeasty honey background. A tangy amount of floral/resin hops brings up the rear.

Sips with a nice little tang at first but is very fruity and smooth with a nice Belgian kick in the back. Estery and full of fruity hop notes that are subtle but leave a fruity dryness like a champagne.

Drinks juicy and light with a great bubble tingle.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this guy at my hometowns liquor store last week. Why this hole-in-the-wall have a two-year old Stone... I'll never know.

A: Cloudy bright yellow with a very slight orange tint, medium white head, lots of lacing.

S: Smooth and dry malt sweetness, large fruity body, and lots of honey sweetness. Yeast and Belgian hops are strong, but not heavy in the nose.

M: Fruity sweetness, and a boat load of bready pilsner malts, both dry and bitter yet rich and flavorful. Fruits consist of maybe apples, oranges, bananas; definitely on the lighter side. Floral notes are noticed, along with some grain and wheat undertones. Finishes syrupy and sticky.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Moderately nice finish. I have to admit i feel like there is something missing, but i can't put a finger on it.

D: definitely a great tasting brew, but not my favorite out of the VE Series.

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Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: This one pours an almost clear golden color. There was a skall white head that didn't linger or leave any lacing. The aroma is nice. Some peppery spices, orange, lemon, yeastiness to the nose. The flavor is good. Somewhat like a tripel, but some hop bitterness to the finish. Some yeast, lemon, clove, orange, spiciness to the taste. Dry finish. Nice!

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very slightly hazy golden color with a medium-small white head that disappears quickly. Scent is Belgian yeast, lemongrass, a little bit of hoppiness left, apples, spices, orange peel, and pear. Lots of fruitiness going on. Taste quite delicious. All the fruitiness is very present in the taste, but the hoppiness has faded away completely it seems like...maybe not completely, but damn near close. Tons of apple and pear flavors. I also get some white grape flavors that are comparable to 10-10-10. The lemon zest lingers on the palate after every sip along with some pleasant spiciness and a bit of alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and crisp. Drinkability is high. I never had this beer fresh when it was released over 2 years ago, but I think it's drinking very well right now. Gonna save the other bottle for the Epic 2012 vertical!

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, bright, yellow-hued body underneath a tall, white head fed by sustained streams of fine carbonation.

Smell: Light pale malts with some small, sweetish hints, touches of florals, peaches, less-than-dry white wine and with citrusy notes of American hops, though understandably a bit curtailed from two years of quite aging in the keg.

Taste: Pale lightly malted barley with sweet, honeyed traces to it, welcoming in fruit accents of peaches, apples, grapefruits, and white grapes. Subtle florals. Medium level of hop bitterness remaining two years out pairs with the spicy clove-like phenols. Noticed vein of alcohol running through this brew. Finishes dry, warming, and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Slight overall stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: 08.08.08 runs in line with others of its ilk, like Duvel Triple Hop or Urthel Hop-It, though I'd like it with a skosh more carbonation to it to keep things moving in the mouth. Still pretty nice, though.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

38th review on BA
bottle to tulip

App- Orange hazy sunset color with 2 finger off white head that loudly fizzled down the glass.

Smell- Huge hop notes with citrus and spice notes and that belgian strain coming through quite nicely.

Taste- This is a smooth IPA. I am very happy I found this laying around. It's slightly sweet with a flavor I just cant put my finger on but it wants me to keep drinking. Stone is very good at this Vertical series. I really want them all, too bad 02 is $750 on ebay right now.

Mouth- It's sweet but not too in your face. I find it to be a delicate balance of flavors but comes through quite nicely.

Drink- Keep this one coming. I wish they made this a full time selection. I am off to find another one to age till the VE series is over.

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

The midway point, my VE hump day.

A: The Belgian IPA is a pale golden color, quite translucent. Very little in the way of head, a few wispy strands.

S: The nose, ahh the sweet blend of tripel botanicals, strong hops and a twang of Belgian yeast. The best smeller of the night.

T: The hops are off a step, this being 2 years old and all. Luckily the tripel spices are lively and sharp. Coriander, pears and pepper create a complex flavor that coaxes the last remaining citrus oomph out of the hops. The yeast strain adds additional sweetness that, along with the hops and tripel, lend a gritty bite to the ale.

M: The mouthfeel is a study in contrasts, the bite of the hops, the sweetness of the yeast, the strength of the tripel. My favorite of the night.

D: Another whopper, too strong for its own good. I wouldn't hesitate to have a few more pints, a Belgian IPA that has aged nicely.

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Photo of Phelps
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks: like liquid gold. The beer pours from the bottle a resplendent golden-orange, almost completely opaque, with a tiny head of pure white composed of fizzy soda bubbles that effervesce quickly, leaving a tiny lingering ring. No lacing to speak of.

Smells: some hops remain, imparting citrusy orange flavors. Very spicy. Coriander, pears, lemon, red apples, white peppercorns. It's odd, almost like breathing spiciness. I can feel a heat in the back of my throat as I breath in.

Tastes: enduring. Though the years have performed their work on the hops in the nose, it's amazing how well they've held up in the flavor. This is a Belgian IPA if I've ever had one. Starts fruity, with flavors of pear juice, banana, clove and maybe even some floral lavender. Then a blast of bitter, citrusy hops, with orange juice lemon zest. The flavor of sweet orange creamsicles hits at the swallow before an oddly dry finish.

Feels: whipped. Lightly carbonated, medium-bodied and pillow-soft. It's nice to just swish around the mouth.

Drinks: For a two-year-old Belgian IPA, this is exquisite. Still fruity, still hoppy, still complex. I'm not confident my second bottle will hold up until 2012, but we'll see.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Life is short, why wait until 2012. This is a re-review with a more favorable outcome.

A-pale straw with a copper tinge, with a thin white head with nice lacing.

S-Belgian yeast, grass, musk, saddle, and a hint of lemon and bananna and a bit of alcohol in the background. Very little hop aroma detected.

T-Belgian tripel yeast, fresh green apple, a hint of green grape juice, pear and corriander. Dry finish with herbal peppery hops leading the way out. The watchword here is "crisp". ABV is well hidden, and the complexity of this ale begins to shine as it warms. I expected this to be a much more highly hopped ale, and perhaps it was when it was young. It has mellowed into a very nice tripel, however, and while this is not my favorite style, I can appreciate that this is well done. In any case, this is much better than it was a year ago

M-Medium mouthfeel and carbonation

D-This is a pretty drinkable beer, and one that could sneak up on you given the ABV. .I think the Cali-Belgique hits closer to home for the West Coast meets Belgian thing, but this is a pretty nice effort.

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Photo of kwjd
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange colour with some white head and nice enough lacing. Smells like spicy Belgian yeast with some citrus notes. Flavour has a kick of bitterness, but also a very dry flavour to it. Nice carbonation and easy to finish off my half of the bomber.

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

Aroma is like a saison, getting pepper first of all, clove and bannanas. Golden blond colour with white Caesar head. Understated hops, lemon rind. Above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability.I think the yeast will fade out in a couple years which make it even more interesting, take the edge off the yeast.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours a nice golden with a fairly short head but nice lacing. The smell is fairly light but with some nice earthy and citrusy hops. Tastes big and piney with some cream and citrus, especially on the finish. Creamy and smooth in the mouth, with a bit of prickliness at the end. Overall it's pretty nice, I particularly like the orange and cream finish- makes it taste a little like a hoppy creamsicle!

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to blackearth for busting this one out of the cellar.

Poured from a bottle into my glass.

A: bright golden yellow, small white head, light soapy lace

S: sweet doughy malt, solid amount of of citrus, heavy on the oranges, light pine mixed in

T: very similar to the nose, orange essence yellow cupcakes cup to mind

M: medium body with mild carbonation

D: overall this is astyle that I just don't get. Well I get this one. Very flavorful and drinkable. I would have no problem finishing a bomber myself.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 888 ratings.
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