Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
89
very good
896 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:
896
Reviews:
496
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
10.55%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
257
For Trade:
14
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 896 |  Reviews: 496
Photo of srw
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Booner818
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A brilliantly clear honey amber brew with a clean and attractive white head. Lacing is nice and constant. Nose instantly tells you that a Belgian IPA is in your hand. Very hoppy nose. Belgian yeast and light honeyed fruit esters fold into the mix. Banana and light apples.

Taste is Belgian IPA but at a nine tenths scale. It is drinkable and quenching. Big sweet malt backbone is broad and graced with a note of honey. Hops are big without overwhelming the Belgian character. The size of this beer is perfect for the vision. In three years it should be bigger in honey and rounder in hoppiness while allowing the yeasty fruituness to blossom. It finishes clean and dry.
The significant abv is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is dry and lightly thick. A slickness is broken up by light carbonation that scrubs the mouth.

Drinkability is deceptive. For while this brew strong, it acts like a session beer in your mouth and throat. The spicing of last years bottle is not here to help you out. This stuff just flows and flows.

 1,023 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very light gold in color. No head forming on the pour, which struck me as odd, but anyway. Smell is all hops. Taste is more of the typical Stone hopping, which is nice and appreciated. I think this is still a bit too fresh because the hops are covering up all the belgian characteristics of the beer. Will give a bottle a chance to age and settle down a bit. Very good mouthfeel, just waiting for more of the belgian traits to show themselves.

 451 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small 3/4 finger head with decent retention and a yellow color. Could be bitter and more effervescent for the style.

Smell is very clovey and has a lot of banana phenol.

Taste is very dry with some hop flavor and characteristic. The aroma of the hops is overtaken by the phenols.

This beer is very dry and crisp.

Decent example of the style with some hop flavor to keep it interesting.

 390 characters

Photo of TTripp725
3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Treebs
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle served in a CCB snifter.

A: Pours a light amber color with a frothy white head forming on the pour. Recedes slowly leaving some sticky splotches of lace down the glass.

S: Fruity and flowery hop notes some mild citrus as well. A little honey sweetness with some bready malts. Light background yeasty spice.

T: Stone fruits, fruity esters and some spicy. Light paper with some sweet malts.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. Light level of bitterness on the finish.

O: The hops were still around as well as the light spiciness from the yeast. The hops just weren't as potent, obviously, but it definitely wasn't bad.

 649 characters

Photo of Vivs85
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of carteravebrew
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

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

Pours a solid looking deep golden colour with a thin white head that leaves spotty markings on the glass.

The aroma is an excellent blend of grassy hops, generous spice, some sweet bubble gum and other candy. Come to think of it, this one's a bit bready too. Well balanced and well done.

Flavour echoes the aroma for the most part: grass notes blend a bit more with the sweetness for a welcome, slightly harsh, blended flavour. Bubble gum notes are definitely subdued quite a bit, but bread notes still come through toward the finish of each sip, where they mix with the spice notes. While there is a slight fruity flavour, I don't detect the abundance of citrus fruit that some have noted. If anything, I'd say any fruit notes seem to sway a bit toward a tart apple flavour, but that's just me. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a bit of oomph to it and a nice warming effect overall.

This is once again another nice beer in the Vertical Epic Series. Well balanced and generously but not overly hopped for a unique twist on the style. Grab some while you can...

 1,062 characters

Photo of Jho3325
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jkball01
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of imyourhero21
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of smi69
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

It pours a crystal clear and quite carbonated goldenrod yellow. A fat finger of pithy off-white head droops slowly to thin fuzz. Hillocks of lacing bump along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, sweet pale malt wafts berry and candy sugar, while piney hops join notes of banana, peach, clove, and mint. Alcohol is notable, but barely.

Upon tasting, toasted grain is sweet with sugar and a general berry feel. Also representing fruit are, again, peach and ripe banana. The hops are rife with dry grapefruit and mellow pine, and esters are in gear with clove and muted peppery spice. The alcohol is more poignant here, but warm and reasonably fitting. A very brief residual doughiness is dried out by a lingering crisp finish that's softly bitter. The style blend isn't seamless but it is tasty in its way.

Medium bodied, the peppy carbonation, peppery crispness, and nice malt flow construct a pleasant presence.

This is one aromatic beasty with hefty hops and energetic esters bringing a very assertive air to the fore. A tad on the sweet side, it's crisped before you can say Boy Howdy. Yes, the ABV is a valid concern, but it's a fairly low level obstacle as long as you're not looking to operate any heavy machinery. Age could mesh the blending, and maybe make the alcohol sneaker on the palate. So beware, but take advantage now, and later.

 1,355 characters

Photo of mschrei
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of froghop
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a semi-hazy orange-yellow with a small dirty-white head, good lacing.

smell of light grapefruit, some caramel, sweet fruit, a little pine, malt hidden in the back.

taste of hops, earthy, pineapple, peach, some berry, touch caramel, some sweet malt, slight pine.

overall this seems like a cross between a belgian strong ale and a IPA.

 348 characters

Photo of kingmaker
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of steve8robin
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened an 08.08.08 with a friend...

A: Golden honey color with murky sediment swirling around in the color. Thick 1 inch white head that fades at a medium pace.

S: Smells pretty good. Sweet malts and an earthy caramel banana flavor upfront. A heavy dry booziness in the middle with hints of grapefruit on the backend. Very good.

T: A little lacking here. A heavy dry boozy hopiness upfront. The dry texture to the brew hides the hints of grapefruit flavors in the middle. Hints of roast on the backend. Decent.

M: Very good balance of carbonation.

D: After it warms up it goes down much easier because it dulls down the heavy dry boozy hops. Good.

All in all, this was a decent brew. Not as good as the hype makes it seem IMO. Good to try once. More like a glorified mainstream brew. This one would be a good gateway beer to get into the craft beer scene.

 861 characters

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

A nice large bottle from a fine brewery.

This beer pours a medium white head over bright gold clear body. Nose was odd until it breathed a while. At first I thought it might be skunk, but mellowed out to a spice and citrus.

Taste is very much along the lines of Belgian triples or pale ales. The hop blend and taste is close with some spice and sweetness. More hop flavor than others I have had in this category. Good smooth mouth feel with a bite finish and then kind of dry.

Easy enough to drink, but I have had better.

 526 characters

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

Bottle into chalice.

Pours clear gold, almost no head, just on off-white ring.

Nose is bit of banana and clove, some apricot and citrus as well, with a wee hint of floral and resiny hops underneath. Peppery. Some alcohol. A lot going on.

Taste starts off dry, spicy, yeasty, a bit peppery, bit of alcohol, very floral, bit of apricot. Finish is dry with a lingering bitterness, yeasty.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, light body, carb still has a bit of a bite. Nice beer, quite dry, but lots of very complex flavors.

 526 characters

Photo of chugalug06
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one is WAY cloudy! Peach colored brew with soapy vanilla colored head.

Tons of chamomile, dandelion, pear, tart, lemon, apple, milk.

A want to be sour, but weird flavors and zero tartness. Sweet(but, not sugary), wet, light-medium carbonation, medicinal, antique flavors, rusty.

When I think of Asian flowers, this brew comes to mind.. It's unique and has held up well, but it's a weird brew, not much balance and flow to all the co-mingled flavors.

 458 characters

Photo of Docer
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Really not my cup of tea... 22oz. bomber poured into a glass.

Yellow and light orange color, minimal head with not much lacing.

Smells a bit of rubbing alcohol, oak, flamed pepper... and musty old cabin up in the mossy woods.

Perhaps I would like it better if I let it sit in the fridge for another 3+ years... but west coast inspired? Didn't taste it. Too peppery and spicy... a dry hop, but not a very floral one. Really an oak barrel aged flavor. Light malt presence.

Doesn't leave the mouth too dry.. woody aftertaste..

Easy to drink... doesn't taste as strong as it is.. but most likely wont buy it... not a fan of Belgiums.. not one for me to stare at for 3 years.

 675 characters

Photo of JohnnyMc
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Another one in the VE series! Just bought too!

Pours out a pretty hazy golden orange with a generous amount of a fluffy white head.

The aroma has some fruity yeast esters, a bit of spice, some clove, a bit of an orange peel, lemon zest, floral notes and a bit of bready malt.

The flavor has a decent amount of the floral and fruity esters, their is a very subtle amount of banana, clove and there is a decent white pepper type of spice. There are some faded hop type of notes, some orange rind and a bit of bready notes at the end. There is a touch of that lemon zest as well.

The body is medium and the mouthfeel is slightly creamy. The ABV is decently hidden, but I do get some warmth as it goes down. Decently bitter, but not over the top.

A Belgian Style IPA doesn't really suit this beer anymore. (I never had it fresh, but I assume it was a lot more hoppy) I would call this more along the lines of a Belgian Style Golden Ale now. It's good, but I feel like something is probably missing where the hops used to be.

 1,027 characters

Photo of bruachan
2.65/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

the head poured fairly nice but fizzled ostentatiously. i'll note that i did just wash my glass, so i will will defer in favor of the brew

the color is a light peach. OK

the aroma is fruity. very sweet and fruity--apricot. hoppy. there's a spicy tang to it, as well.

the flavor is not nice. the spice needs to mellow bigtime, which comes across incredibly sharp and tactilely, as well--it's trying to disable my tastebuds

this tastes like stone didn't intend for it to be consumed before 12.12.12. i'm all for planning for the future, but i feel like i'm chewing on tinfoil

 578 characters

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 896 ratings.
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