Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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89
very good
496 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:
496
Ratings:
897
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
10.55%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
257
For Trade:
14
User Reviews
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Reviews: 496 | Ratings: 897
Photo of arizcards
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from AJ's in late September for $5.99.

Beer poured an amber color with a thin white head. Nose was of grassy hops, lemon, and spices. Taste is influenced by the belgian yeast strain, saison like dryness, spices, a hint of candied sugar, and west coast hops. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. The beer easily glides across the palate. Overall drinkability is good. The first sip was a little warm but it was easy drinking with subsequent sips.

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

Peach-tinted bright brass with a short-lived, large pocked and lacy gray-bone head.
It noses of orange zest, mangoes, powdered sugar, with grassy, slightly resinous, lime-grapefruit-spruce hops. And a weird whiff of propane occasionally, but not to its detriment.
The beer ushers into the mouth with a graham cracker grainy sweetness that is quickly usurped by a melange of tropical fruit syrups. Papaya, mango, kiwi, peach, each still partially shrouded by grain. The hops enter and add like-minded bitterness of lime and grapefruit. Alcohols shears short the finish and rips the stage away from the hops with an insurgent burst of heat. It's not a deal breaker in itself, nor excessively potent tasting, but there is a definite interference from it.
The body carries a medium-full frame supported in part by the modest carbonation, which peters out over time.
I enjoy the overt, unencumbered citric tones that are everywhere in this beer, but the alcohol is a bit unmeshed at this stage. I worry that aging, while taming the booze flares, will equally lessen the attractiveness of the hopping.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

New review (9/22/09) from notes at MacGregors

A - slightly lighter in color than the '07, more gold I guess. Decent head retention, quite clear. 4.0

S - lightly fruity with a light citrus-hop aroma. Nearly like a Belgian tripel. 4.0

T - Amber malts, caramel, and a more pronounced hop presence in the finish. Touch of pear and grapefruit. 4.5

M - very smooth, light/medium bodied. 4.0

D - pretty good. I could do a goblet of this. 3.5

---

On tap at Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Review from notes.

A - poured clear golden amber, white 1" head in a goblet. Bubbles run up from the bottom of the glass 4.0

S - sweet pale malts, slightly alcoholic and a touch of piny hops. What a strange nose... I didn't detect anything else... 3.5

T - sweet maltiness and a hint of raisins. Dry and hoppy finish. Pretty boozy, the alcohol is in your face. 3.5

M - medium bodied, highly carbonated. Prickly on the tongue. 3.5

D - decent but the alcohol is a bit much. 3.0

Thoughts - this was a bit boozy. It wasn't as balanced as I expected it to be. Give it a couple more years and maybe it'll mellow out a bit.

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Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's crystal clear and light golden in color. Carbonation is very active and yields a foamy white head that stands about two fingers tall. It dissipated very quickly and left light lacing behind.

Smell: The nose is a little underwhelming in terms of strength. It's a little fruit and sweet up front. Smells like peach and apple mostly. It is a little spicy, but I'm not picking up much other than clove. There's a distinct earthy/grassy aspect to it. I'm sure that's, at least in part, attributed to the floral hops I'm smelling. A little yeastiness wraps it up.

Taste: Apple, pear, and peach flavors kick it off. It's sweet, but not over the top. There is some clove spiciness, but it's not as spicy as I was expecting. A little banana emerges midway through. The hops are a nice surprise. It's a mix of citric and floral varieties. But, they're flavorful and give it more character and a bit of an edge. That's a good thing considering it was sorely needing both. It's still not quite enough. It is indeed grassy and earthy. It's a little yeasty on the tail and alcohol is faintly noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and smooth. Carbonation is just about right. It's active, but retains its smooth feel. Drinkability is good, but not great. It's a little strong at 8.4%, but I won't have any trouble with the bomber.

I've got mixed feelings on this vertical release. It is a pretty solid beer that doesn't have any huge shortcomings. On the other hand, I had pretty high expectations and feel a little let down. This just doesn't have the big, kick ass character I've come to expect from Stone beers. It's still a solid beer, but just doesn't stack up well against their other releases.

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Photo of beergoot
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer appears a nice golden color with a small bubble, foamy white head. Floury aroma with hints of pear and apricot and a mild peppery spiciness. Nifty booze, malt, hop flavors come out with every sip; fruity esters combine with a rich malt flavors. Medium bodied, crisp and dry finish.

Bold and sharp beer with lots of interesting flavors. The hop aroma isn't very strong, but perhaps that's due to the age of the beer. Still, the grain/hop/ABV components make for an intense yet pleasurable tasting experience.

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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 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 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 KYGunner
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Five year old Eight pours with a bright orange coloring and a sizeable foam cap.

This bottle was stored properly but it smells like plastic. Lots of phenolic and alcohol make it very off-putting.

The phenolic quality holds in the taste for the beginning but subsides quickly to give a nice fruity orange, tangerines and nectarines flavor.

The feel is sprite and bubbly but smooth and full.

Fresh this may be a fantastic rendition of a Belgian IPA but time seems to have been hard on this one.

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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 tpd975
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice clear golden orange hue with a nice solid tight white head. Really nice retention but no lace. Lots of bubbles to boot.

S: Tons of fruity esters pour from the glass. Subtle notes of yeast, apple, and VERY floral hops.

T: Damn good to be honest. Wonderful marriage of sweet summer fruits, yeast, and grassy floral hops. There is a touch of spice and white pepper as well.

M: Medium in body, smooth, with amped up carbonation.

D: Good, enjoyed the entire bomber myself while lounging in the pool.

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Photo of CHickman
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged to perfection, this bottle pours a very cloudy amber / dark orange color with a lot of yeast chunks floating around in it and a ton of bubbles racing up the brew like champagne; big thick creamy 1 finger white head with tons of bubbles in it that that faded on the quick side, leaving OK spotty lacing.

Smells of funky yeast, apple, grape, spices like coriander and light allspice, biscuit, orange peel, pear that starting to rot, herbs, caramel, apricot, flowers and mild booze. The spices are mild, the fruit is sweet, and the hops peek through, but it’s the yeast funk and sweetness that jump out the most. A definite Belgian nose, it’s just too bad the hops are so subdued after all these years of aging.

Tastes really nice after 4 plus years in the bottle, with flavors that include grapefruit, apple, grape, funky yeast, spices like coriander, pepper and light allspice, biscuit, wheat bread, orange peel, soft almost rotten pear, herbs, fresh cut grass, caramel, candied sugar or light brown sugar, apricot, flowers or floral hops, and mild booze. This is a sweet beer, with lots of fruity notes, hops hanging on and peeking through, some yeast funk and malty sweetness that makes for a nice complex American version of a classic Belgian beer. There is some bitterness and it hides the ABV quite well, but the sweetness and Belgian influence allows this to be relevant after all that time aging in the bottle.

Mouthfeel is creamy and almost watery, with very mild to almost no carbonation, a medium body and a funky and yet almost bitter finish that’s on the dry side. The aftertaste is tart and almost clean, which surprised me considering the amount of stuff floating around in it. The ABV sneaks up on you as it is very well hidden, and after 4½ years this is still a fine beer.

It was a challenge to age this and not drink it until after 12.12.12, so I hope that this was how Stone intended this beer to be upon peak aging. I wish I would have had it fresh in 2008 to get the full hop blast, but I don’t have a DeLorean or a Flux Capacitor. Overall it was good and I enjoyed this effort from Stone.

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Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle.

Deep, clear, bright golden body. Finger of loose, but persistent, off-white head. Nose of caramel and biscuit malts underneath fresh pears, fruit cocktail, and sweet cherry. Solid, herbal, resinous, grassy hop aroma sits above it all. Nice.

Toasted malt and spicy, peppery hop bitterness up front. Sweet, candy and honey malt quickly develops ripe pear and pineapple flavors. Resinous, herbal hop bitterness soon joins in and provides a nice balance for the sweet fruits and alcohol. Peppery, spicy, resinous, piny, and appetizingly bitter. Finish is long and balanced. Medium to full body with a slightly syrupy feel. Probably my favorite Stone VE so far (although I haven't tried all of them yet!).

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/30/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small white head. Aroma is pretty much that of a Belgian tripel! Lots of spices, melon rind, and a slight bitterness. Flavor is a bit more hoppy than apparent in the aroma (although not overly so), fruity melon, and orange peel. Mouthfeel isn't as hearty as that of a tripel although the beer does weigh on you after awhile. Interesting at first but then a little boring. Better than the 070707 but not by much.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

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Photo of Beaver13
2.32/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is banana, musty yeast, some cloves with some spicy hops.

The flavor is a bit of a mish-mash - sweet bananas fight with peppery hops. There's also a little sweet bready malt and a little clove and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full with some light but sharp carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for this. I don't like bananas in my beer and it was strong in this one. The blend of bananas and hops was strange as well.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 12/12.

This pours a bright golden with a tightly lace foam.

There’s a light, estery aroma—a sweetly honeyed-clove character— with no discernible hop presence. The flavor is lightly sweet and … lychee! Lychee is what I’m smelling and what I’m tasting. It’s incredible, seriously. The beer has this tropical fruit characteristic which is undoubtedly lychee. And for a beer that’s four years old it’s held up exceptionally well. Delicious.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz beer was poured into a large Duvel snifter. Happy to have scored this at a liquor store the other day.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts, lots of citrus, grapefruit, and tangerine notes too. Some vanilla, spices, bready malts, and apple. All common characteristics of a tripel. This is why Belgian IPA's rock.

Taste: After 4+ years, this stuff is still tasty. All above mentioned aromas plus some subtle lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little boozy, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, subtle tingly bitterness, and quite the treat.

Overall: Wicked solid stuff. This beer could have a cleaner taste to it, but after 4 years, who cares. Might have to go to the store and buy the last remaining bottles.

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Photo of david18
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a great fan of the style itself but it delivers well on the stone taste you get in all of the brewery's beers. It's a little too hoppy to be considered a straight belgian strong but a great california style clone of the style. Would recommend.

This has turned into one of my favorite beers and is also very reasonably priced. I will be bumping up some of my numbers.

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

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - 1st pour was clear orange/yellow color with a white head that left some sticky lacing.

S - light fruit, candy and malt aromas with a good dose of Belgian yeast.

T - taste follows the smell, very good tasting brew.

M - medium bodied with mild carbonation feel.

D - crisp, refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer has been aging since i purchased it many years ago.
The beer opens with a pop and I worry a little about gusher potential, but all is well.
The beer is a clear copper hue with an eggshell white creamy head of 1 cm that fades to a sturdy edge layer soon after the beer is poured into my glass. Several lazy streams of carbonation rise up to the surface.
the aroma is lots of light fruit with melon and white grapes mixing with just a bit of biscuity malt. Any hops have long since faded and I also dont pick up any alcohol scents either.
The first sip reveals an average body and mild rolling carbonation. Smooth texture makes this beer easy to drink.
Flavor is also sweet and fruity with melon and some pear and white grape.
Some bready yeast and a bit of pepper does show some booze on the finish. It is a tasty brew and although it is pitched as an IPA, the hops are faded and I find all fruit and malt throughout.
this one aged well and another bottle would be good to open now in my opinion.

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

Pours a deep gold that is clean filtered. Minimal head on this 9 oz pour but good carbonation during consumption. Aroma is true to the style and adds a string citrus presence - maybe grapefruit. Flavor puts this in a Belgian dubbel category and the strong alcohol is well masked. More citrus and a strong dosing of hops. Very enjoyable even 4-5 years later.

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Photo of JayQue
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I liked this one!!! Poured a bright golden color with a small white head that faded to a covering of the glass. Smell was slightly malty and sweet.

Taste was very good...not the typical Belgian, but nice. This one is a slow sipper...there is malt, white grapes. perfume and sweetness. Everything balanced.

Mouthfeel is rich. Drinkability is around average. The sweetness and high abv would keep this a one-and=out beer. I bought two....doubt if the other one is going to get the chance to age.

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Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll preface this review by stating that I've found most of the VE series to be moderate disappointments. This one pours into a snifter a clear golden hued body,radiant in the alfresco evening sunlight. A vanilla cap tops it off with a sturdy head that laces generously in sheets and patches.

Aroma is fruity with notes of grapefruit and banana. Piney hops are noticed.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation with a yeasty chalk feel.

Taste is impressive. Grapefruit, a hint of bubblegum, dry hop bitterness of pine hops, and many IPA tendencies in the hop profile. Seems like a cross between a Belgian pale ale and a Belgian IPA. Finishes dry and hoppy bitter with just a hint of fruity sweetness.

Very enjoyable. First beer consumed and reviewed here on Tranquility Mountain in Claibourne County, Tennessee. This is my favorite of the Vertical Epic series. Wish I could stock up on a few of these.

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

Da Stone pours a semi-hazy amber / orange into the Corsendonk tulip. Small head pops up and quickly dies, not leaving much lace, but a small smattering of sheet around the top.

Spicy fruits in the aroma, lingering well into the quaff. Dry and crisp brew, full of malt backbone with those dried fruits of apple and pear appearing in the finish. Aged just about right during the last year. Tasting great this low temperature summer day.

Way to go once again, Stone Brewing.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22-ounce bomber bottle just copped from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
Pours a murky, hazy, bright-golden colored hue with a minimal head and minor lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Strong, characteristic Belgian Strong Pale Ale Aroma replete with honey, sugars, yeast, and of course, alcohol...
Taste, likewise, had hints of alcohol in the finish, especially considering the hefty 8.4% ABV, along with candied sugars, vanilla, honey...
Creamy, rich, full-bodied mouthfeel along with a pretty decent level of drinkability considering the hefty ABV...
Not bad, but certainly not Stone's best... I actually prefer last year's 07-07-07 over this one...

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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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