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 cbutova
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes on 02/02/2013.

A- Bottle pour to pint glass with a hazy golden body and a foamy white head that is about one finger in size. Decent retention and creamy thick ring leaves good lace rings.

S- Pretty weak strength overall. Mostly just get aged European spicy hops and some aged light caramel.

T- Most affected by age so far out of the VEs we tried. Still some hop character like spicy, fruity herbal Euro hops. Light caramel, lemon, oxidation and coridander.

MF- Slightly creamy feel with low-medium carbonation. Medium bitter finish.

Aged IPA feel but somewhat solid still. Herbal and floral with that aged light caramel feel.

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

Poured into a tulip, this beer was a golden color with a medium-sized white head. It had a fruity aroma, mainly apple, with a nice malt background. I also detected a bit of a floral aroma. Taste was the fruit and malt up front, a little yeast funk, some spice, finishing with a bit of hops. Fairly dry.
A likeable beer.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, $6.99 at riley's - had this on tap the other night at brasseri V

appearance: poured into a hopleaf tulip glass, very light golden body, quite clear with active carbonation bubbles. There is a thin layer of beige foam with full retention. This beer shines in the sunlight

smell: this one has a pretty nice belgian nose (for some reason i thought it was more of a DIPA on tap but then again, i was trashed). Corriander, white pepper, and other belgian spices are huge and well pronounced in the nose. Lemon zest, other citrus, and potent yeast round out this powerful nostril invasion

taste: the flavor falls a little flat compared to the nose...the flavor profile is full of spice - clove, corriander, white pepper. the belgian yeast is evident immediately but finishes a little flat. Interesting, but i expected more based off the nose

mouthfeel: heavily spicy, medium body

drinkability: ok

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. 8.6% ABV, "The seventh in an epic series." "Limited Release" "Age at cellar temp 55 Degrees F or below."

Thanks to Sweemzander for this bottle!

A - A tall pour stirred up the sediment but almost nothing entered my glass which left the beer a brilliant clear golden honey color with moderate retention. The white head sprang upwards from the pour but reached only close to two fingers. Decent retention and lace characteristic of a Belgian beer.

S - The nose is almost magical. Pale malts provide minimal raw honey-like sweetness to the nose that consists mainly of a balanced yeast presence. Belgian yeast is evident with notes of spice and straw as well as light alcohol. Hops are mild but contribute a nice floral freshness with a crispness to them. A great aroma.

T - Again, pale malts provide little to this beer flavor wise. A minute honey sweetness lingers in the back. The bulk of the flavor is imparted from the Belgian yeast which gives it a herbal and floral spice that can also be attributed to the hops, a light yeast flavored kick and a lemon zest. It finish out with very mild alcohol and dry, bitter hops. Lighter on flavor, bigger on feel. Complex and delicate.

M - Medium-light bodied and crisp with a citrus zest along the sides of the tongue and a dry, bitter finish from the hops. The carbonation is near sparkling in the mouth.

D - Well brewed and balanced, the '08 is a delicate and complex Belgian brew with a good hoppy kick to the finish. Nicely done Stone. A shame I can't find more and didn't have one fresh. I'll be finishing the bottle alone with no problem and feeling good afterward too. Yum.

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

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, 08.08.08 is clear gold with a large, quickly settling white head that leaves nice lace.

Smell is very sweet, sour citrus and flowers, tangerine and clean alcohol.

Taste is not where near as sweet, there is a grassy, citrus hoppiness and bitter finish, but otherwise fairly neutral and clean, save for the slightly solvent alcohol bite. I was expecting more depth, but it's still a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, with a crispness in spite of the smooth, medium body.

Drinkability is pretty high because it's a pretty clean BSPA, not overly complex or heavy. I was expecting a big West Coast hop punch, but this one seems like it's all nobles, a little spicy and herbal but otherwise merely a compliant to the sugars and Belgian esters. Nevertheless a nice beer, but not the East meets West Belgian IPA I was expecting. Bonus points for being ready to rock on release, some of the last Epics had a roughness to them the calliing for extended cellaring. While this one should hold up, it's good now.

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

$7.29 for a 22oz bottle at my local favorite. First sniffs of teh open bottle got me excited as it is hoppy, belgian, yet different. The color is pale yellow with a thin film/ring of bubbles. Hoppy citrus smells blend into belgian yeast. Bubblegum flavor, pine and yeast, yeasty, yeast. Reminds me of Duvel, pretty good. This is definitely a hoppy belgian and probably the best VE I've had so far.

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Photo of stcules
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden-amber color, a bit hazy. Right perlage, one finger of foam.
In the smell a lot of hop, a good malt background, with a bit of honey. Citrussy, piney, resinous, grapefruit.
At the taste a malty base, and then the hop. Mint, pine, almost sharp, resinous.
Quite dry, and still drinkable.
Average body, drinkable.
Hop aftertaste, resinous, and piney.
Not bad at all, but in the end, a bit monotone.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy glowing golden amber with a puffy pure white head that fades but cathedrals. Funk, sour orange, apricot jam, and some sourness on the nose.
Tropical fruit compote, honey, papaya, and shortbread followed by slight resin and orange hops.
Gooey mango finish and funky linger. Medium, velvety, round, a bit of burn, flat, oily.

Mellowed out totally after 3.5 years. The hops are mostly gone, and the Belgian clove/phenols are not where I'd expect either. What's left is just smoothness. Not the best example of the style, but I don't mind a bit.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for more than a year.

A-pours a brigh hazy yellow color with two fingers of a relatively thick white head that has decent retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass

S-the nose is sweet with estery notes, champaign, a light belgian yeast and hint of clove

T-the taste starts with an earthy malt then brings an imediate taste of champaign, fruits, and just a touch of clove, the yeast comes in next with a bitterness at the finish

M-this is almost full bodied, relatively smooth and lightly syrupy, almost creamy, a slight carbonation burn at the back of the throat followed by a hint of warming from the alcohol

D-rich and creamy like mouthfeel bringing big flavors of fruit and yeast balanced with american hops (mainly bitterness towards the finish). it is solid now, can't wait for 12/12/12!

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Photo of mynie
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous pour! Deep, dark orangehoneysuckle gold with a giant white head.

Smells not quite as gorgeous. I mean I know it's a year old but the word "vertical" is right on there; you'd think it'd age well. Nice yeast, if a little dull. Good blend of pepper and light fruit. But just a bit too tame.

Tastes a little more adventurous than it smells but still really smooth and drinkable. Big pepper and spice profile, lots o' yeast, backed against a regular fruit basket of pears and plums bananas and grapes. Still, a little bit tame.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is bananas, citrus, fruit/berries and very slightly perfumed Belgian yeast. The flavor is bubblegum, citrus, hops/mild hop resin, malts and a mix of sour, bitter and heat in the finish.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a glass.

A - Poured a nice thick honey orange with extremely champagne like carbonation...bubbles clinged to every side of the glass when first poured. The head resembled the carbonation and didn't hang around long.

S - Citrus notes jump out the most with a soft dry hop thing going on in the background. Also had an odd almost metallic like smell mixed in.

T - Semi-hoppy flavor with some spicey fruits. It got better as it opened up. The saisonish flavor is definitely there, but not until the beer opened up. Pretty decent Belgian IPA. Not too hoppy, but enough to compliment the other flavors.

M - Little bit bready...little bit bitter. Cooling after feel.

D - very drinkable. was a bit hoppy for my tastes at first, but as it opened it, it really got great.

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

Thanks to Greggy for this one. It pours a clear golden color with a fluffy white head that recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is very fruity with lots of banana, yeast, and funky barnyard notes. The taste is funkier than the aroma with a good amount of fruit still coming through. The mouthfeel is slightly lighter than full bodied, with lively, refreshing carbonation. Overall, this is a very nice beer. I could easily drink this again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a golden yellow-orange with a two finger white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, spice, banana, caramel, and fruit hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, earth, spice, fruit, fruit hop, and subtle citrus hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Unfortunately not a whole lot on this one really stood out above some other decent brews I’ve had from the style. I really hated to see that this was the case as most of the beers from this series that I have had have been rather good. While this one wasn’t bad by any means, it just fell short of my expectations. The caramel was definitely the off-putting aspect that I picked up on that I did not enjoy very much. The rest of the beer was pretty good however. Worth your time trying if you get the chance, but there are better ones out there in the series.

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Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear golden amber with a huge fluffy white head that hung on for ages and left good lacing.

The aroma is very fruity up front with some lemons leading the way and giving way to some apples and pears. There are lots of sweet yeasty aromas with hints of spice in the nose as well.

The taste follows the aroma and kicks the spiciness up a little bit, especially in the finish. Overall, lots light bready malts, light fruits and light citrus hops.

The mouthfeel is fairly dry with lots of carbonation. Overall, this is a very good Belgian style beer from Stone.

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Photo of Gmann
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale orange color with an average white head that dissipated into a light ring. The aroma is of sweet Belgian candi sugar, tropical fruit, wild flowers, pepper, and alcohol. Oh yeah, and a good shot of piney hops. Whereas the Belgian qualities reigned supreme in the aroma, the hops dominate in the flavor. Nice juicy citrus and piney hop flavor that is nicely balanced with the candi sugar and Belgian yeast. There is some booziness that comes through in the end. Definitely an Americanized Belgian style IPA, a nice compliment to the style. The feel is fairly light with tingley carbonation; a little slick and sticky. I prefer this one a touch colder. A bomber of this is plenty, definitely want to sip on this one. It has some rough edges but it quite nice.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this sometime at the end of 2012, as part of a 03.03.03 - 12.12.12 tasting. I had meant to enter these a while ago while they were fresh and add a few extra details, but that didn't happen. Review from notes. Anyway, here we go.

3.0 A: Mildly hazed light orange color. Not much of a head formed.

4.0 S: Smells like its not really that old. Still quite hoppy with pleasant floral and citrusy notes. Sugary with peppery spiciness. Pineapple, mango, and orange stick out.

4.0 T: Tastes as good as the nose. Super surprised at how hoppy this is. Again, lots of citrus and floral. Peppery spice. Quite nice.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good spritzy carbonation.

4.0 D: This one is actually good.

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Photo of n2185
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a slightly murky gold with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: Light spice notes at first followed by lots of candy sugar, caramel malts, and pear aromas. There are also some bubblegum and bread aromas mixed in.

T: Belgian spices here as well before candy sugar, sweet breads, caramel, and a light oxidation flavor kick in. The finish is yeasty with a surprising, though light, bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer isn't as light and crisp as I'd like, but avoids being too thick or sticky sweet.

O: Considering that this beer is 4.5 years old, it's not as bad as I was expecting. It's a little oxidized, but not enough so to ruin it.

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Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone Bistro during RBSG 08. Pours gold with a peach hue. Head is rather similar to that of fizzy yellow beers. Poor retention, little lace. Aromas of fresh tropical hops: mango, pineapple. Some banana in there as well, from the wheat. Flavors of Belgian yeast, banana, mango hops. Kind of like if someone made a fresh hop Belgian IPA. Mostly sweet with a touch of bitterness in the finish. Clean on the palate.

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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 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 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 Bierman9
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While looking for new things at Harringtons I spotted the latest VE from Stone. Why not, eh?

Poured into a Rapscallion goblet, it is a clear, striking, golden-hued bier. Carbo is abundant and steady, helping sustain a thin, fine white layer of foam atop the liquid. Lacing is attractive as well. Aroma has some fruity esters and floral hoppiness hitting the nostrils, along with a funky spiciness. Body here is in the medium range, and though the bier is not prickly on the tongue, it has an airy, foamy feel to it, light like some Hefeweizens.

Some crackery malt hits the palate, lending a touch of sweetness. More fruity action comes forth, residing strongly, to me, in the tropical range. A little mango, some pineapple... pretty nice. Hoppiness is right up there, with some rindy, citrus-like characteristics. Quite dry, and almost chalky, in the finish, there's a smidge of a spicy quality livening things up here. I can definitely see how this is a Stone version of a Belgian version of a highly-hopped Belgian Strong Pale. Interesting, to say the least. Not sure I'll get another to lay down; maybe to drink again soon. Not sure what cellaring will do to this (or for most in this series, to be honest...). Tasty right now, methinks!

Prosit!!!

4
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1088

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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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