08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
3.96/5
Very Good
903 Ratings
08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale08.08.08 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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
499
Ratings:
903
pDev:
10.35%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
256
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 903 |  Reviews: 499
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a pale gold with a creamy white head. slight haze. aroma is candied tropical fruit with some yeasty spiciness and biscuits. sweet pale malts in the entry with a nice smooth, medium hop bitterness. long complex finish. light in body for this abv, nice creamy/prickly carbonation. almost as drinkable as duvel.

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Photo of Jho3325
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jkball01
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of froghop
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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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.

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

It pours a pretty straw blonde colour, cloudy-ish disposition, with a decent head, limited lacing, and no trail down the sides of the glass.

The smell is positive, but not particularly outstanding. The citrusy hops are what jump at me initially, with a fruity body complimented by a very noticeable spice profile hilighted by some peppery undertones and is that cardamom?

The taste follows the nose's lead, carrying through on the promise of spices, citrus, and almost a little bit flowery hops. The fruit tones are also quite noticeable, predominantly an apricot sweetness, but not in an overwhelming or really 'sweet' sense. Tasty.

In terms of the mouthfeel, the carbonation plays across the tongue in an enjoyable manner, augmented by the white pepper spiciness, and washes down fairly smoothly. Tastes less alcoholic than it is. Quite enjoyable, and drinkable, not heavy considering the alcohol content, and not particularly heavy, or too bitter to drink too much of. Overall a quite enjoyable brew, with an exciting collectible intangible aspect.

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Photo of daledeee
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of SharkNado
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JohnnyMc
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.36/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of Docer
3.05/5  rDev -23%
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.

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Photo of bruachan
2.65/5  rDev -33.1%
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

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Photo of russwbeck
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Churchkey

This four year old IPA has a clear yellow pour with a nice white head. It has a hoppy aroma surprisingly. Some must, citrus, and banana. The taste is clean with citrus, hops, clove. It actually has a really nice balance. The Belgian comes at the backend. It has a medium body and is carbonated well. Very drinkable and one of the highlights of the night.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fortunate to be able to try this on tap at DLD.

Appearance: Poured a honey orange color, with a small 2 cm head. Not much head retention, but a little light lace stick.

Smell: Sweet aroma. Sweet malt, mellowed fruits, bananas, and citrus. Some mild spices and earthy notes as well.

Taste: The start of the sip provides a strong initial sweetness, with caramel, banana, and some citrus (orange and grapefruit) flavors. Alcohol really kicks in the middle. Although the hops have not disappeared completely, it definitely does not have typical IPA character. Soft hops remind me of orange and lemon zest. Finishes a bit spicy.

Mouthfeel: Medium/high level of carbonation, a little bit grainy. Medium body.

Drinkability: Overall I thought this was a smooth, enjoyable beer. Personally, I thought it drank more like a Tripel due to the lack of strong hoppy character.

It would have been interesting to taste when it was first brewed, as a comparison. The novelty of having one of the Epics was a great treat, even if the beer itself was not mind-blowing.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
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 Stoffel
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of bamadog
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I figured that we're only a few months away from the end of the series, so what's the harm in cracking this one now? Review is from notes taken on 7/28/2012 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass. I have to say, I'm curious to see how a Belgian IPA will have held up over a 4 year span.

Appearance: Pours a golden straw color and it starts with a big head of three fingers -- very white and fluffy, like whipped egg whites that fades slowly to a rocky and fully, frothy cap; body is cloudy, but shows very strong carbonation bubbling up throughout, so the yeast definitely did its job and held up over time, here's to hoping that the flavor did as well; pillowy swaths of lacing stick around.

Smell: Light, Belgian spiciness and a touch of sweet fruit -- perhaps mango or pineapple? Toasty graininess. Not too shabby, I wish it were a little more robust, but I'll take it.

Taste: Meh. It's not awful, but not what I was hoping for (should have drank this the year I bought it...). It's got some bitterness to it, but not much hop "flavor" beyond a light touch of sweet pineapple; touch of alcohol burns through along with the spiciness mentioned in the nose. I feel that this likely would have been an outstanding beer fresh, and I can only kick myself for this, not Stone.

Mouthfeel: Body is light in weight, and the carbonation is frothy, strong and prickly; a thin sticky coating hangs around; mouth is left tingly as well as the belly from the carbonation and slight booziness to it.

Overall: Again, I can't over-emphasize that this should have been consumed fresh, but even after 4 years, it's not awful.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of Beernoobie
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JRed
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange in color with thin white head that fades. Aroma of candy oranges, cotton candy, apples, grass, citrus. Tastes of citrus, bobbing for apples in booze, grass, mint, watermelon, and bitterness. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

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Photo of BuckTuckian
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of CityofBals
2.25/5  rDev -43.2%

08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 903 ratings