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RATINGS: 868   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67/5   SEASONAL: Series   IBU: 45   EST. CALORIES: 267   ABV: 8.9%
In 2008, Stone Brewmasters Steve Wagner and Mitch Steele traveled to Belgium, where they enjoyed a number of hop-forward Belgian tripels, pale ales and IPAs—beers that had taken a cue from the U.S. craft brewing movement and inspired us in return. It’s a big reason 2008’s summer season came to be known at Stone as our “Summer of the Triple.” Upon their return, they crafted Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale, the seventh beer in the 11-beer Stone Vertical Epic Ale series. Packed with floral, spicy essence from Belgian yeast plus plenty of hoppy New World character, it’s our West Coast take on hop-driven Belgian beers.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
kevinphish (31) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 11, 2008
Ahhh, 8/8/08- My wife’s birthday nonetheless.. 22oz Bottle. Pours translucent, honey-golden, with a rather light wisp of carbonation clinging to the edges of my St Feuillien goblet. A spicy, zesty, belgian yeast hits the nose- primarily clove ; and as this beauty warms, the american hoppy citrus, and tropical fruitiness start to come out much much more, as well as the banana lurking in the background. The initial burst of flavor is sweet grainy malt, candy sugar, spiciness, stone fruits (ironic?), melon, rich green hop flavor, a hit of alcohol heat ( I mean it is a well hidden 8.6, anyhow) with a well described "refreshing bitterness" .. Indeed.. A very delicious complex beer, that I’d argue might just bunk the myth of aging-The freshness will best serve the hop character that is so pleasant in this year’s version.. I suppose time will tell, but alas, CHEERS to Stone for another unique, delicious offering. The hop character alone on this one deserves some stocking up.. Underrated?

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - SEP 11, 2008
Bottle shared with Blankboy, Jerc, Garthicus, GregClow, and Hogotwn Harry, Harry’s bottle. Medium to dark yellow, small white head. Nice aroma - very hoppy, lots of lemon, very fresh. Great taste! So fresh, so hoppy, solid strong refreshing Belgian. Loved it. #2300.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mattmc1973 (479) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - SEP 10, 2008
Bomber. Pours clear golden amber, with small white head. Aroma of strong hops, grass, and cloves, not reminiscent of a Belgian at all. Taste was hoppy, spicy, and a bit biting. It grew on me as I drank it. Mouthfeel is very dry and crisp. Not bad, but you’ll only enjoy it if you like hoppy American ales. If you’re looking for a Belgian, keep looking.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
NachlamSie (3108) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 10, 2008
UPDATED: OCT 13, 2008 Bomber. Pours just a little hazy with a light orange hue and a good looking head. Wow, this is quite a hoppy Belgian styled ale. Not to mention the hop profile is straight up PNW style. Strong grapefruit and pineapple mix with banana esters. Other notes of pepper, cloves, and flowers are present. A decent level of sweetness is present in the flavor and this isn’t as hoppy on the palate as I’d hoped. Still, all the citrus action makes for a zippy, drying finish. There’s something that strikes me as candish about this, but it doesn’t become cloying. Hints at apricots, cloves, and banana are made. This is a pretty decent take on the style.
[October 12, 2008]
Bomber. Pours a hazy dark gold with a bubbly head. This stuff smells great. It’s certainly hoppy, not over the top, but hoppy. Hints of apricots, pine, pepper, and grapefruit are piercing while mellower scents of banana, clove, and fruits are present. The mouthfeel is spritzy and works well. This starts with a broad flavor encompassing hints of apricots, pot, banana, sweet fruits, and finishes dry with emphasis on lingering hop sting and earthy esters. I still like this one.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 10, 2008
22oz bottle. Slightly hazy golden orange color with a small white head. Appley malt and bubblegum ester meet a floral and citric hop character in the aroma. Candied citrus hop flavors dominate up front. Sugarly apple juice malt character peer through. Tinges of phenolic spice mark transition to the finish. Vestiges of hops combine with bubblegum and dusty yeast characters in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium, slightly drying and hot.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
guzzler67 (1615) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - SEP 10, 2008
Bright, golden/yellow appearance with a small, off white head and spotty lacing. Subtle yeasty aroma yields to well spiced hops, Well carbonated, full bodied mouthfeel. Spicy taste takes on characteristics of pitted fruit and resinous hops. Dry, bitter, lingering finish. This may be a good one to lay down for about a year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
muenster (345) - Sevierville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 10, 2008
Bomber. Pours hazy pale gold with a medium off-white head. Aroma is straight up peppery hops, some mango makes it’s way through, as well as slightly funky barnyard. Flavor isn’t in-your-face or extreme at all, especially considering Stone’s fondness for hops (which I’m not ragging on at all). Instead it’s a very well blended quite Belgian tasting creation that is moderately hopped. Citrusy fruits, a bit of caramel-like sweetness, Belgian yeast, and lots of pepper and clove are nicely balanced together. Mouthfeel is fitting for the style, and the finish is really dry. The more I drink of this, the more I like it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
dankbrewqueen (41) - Morongo Valley, California, USA - SEP 9, 2008
found this at Bev Mo (beverages and more) and then was fortunate to make it to the brewery and enjoyed it there also. another great one from Stone!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
milewide (1896) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - SEP 9, 2008
Wonderful bitter after taste, with Belgian yeast tastes upfront. Solid body and head. Gold color. Stone could enter the Belgian segment if they would brew this on a regular basis!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
theisti (3652) - Kansas, USA - SEP 9, 2008
22 oz bottle generously given to me by csbosox. Pour is a slightly hazed yellow golden with a one inch white head. Sporadic carbonation bubbles lift to the surface. Falling head leaves behind nice lacing. Aroma of fresh resin hops, floral aspects, lemon grass, and some interesting sweet Belgian yeastiness. I also get some faint nuttiness, peanut shells almost. Interesting nose. Taste is pretty sharply bitter initially, with the resin hop, and some orange peel sweetness. I get the same nuttiness mid-palate, and this follows through to a dry and dusty finish. As it warms, I get more rock candy Belgian yeastiness out of it. Some black pepper spiciness too. The palate is medium to thin, pretty slick. There isn’t a lot of sweetness in this beer, yet something was quite cloying in the finish. It’s almost a metallic grassiness (I know, I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either). Overall, this was a creative, interesting beer that was well made. Thanks for bringing this one back for me Chris.

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