1FastSTi (3338) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 12, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap. Pours to a clear pale 24k gold body with a thin creamy white head. The aroma is very fruity. Pineapple, apricots, some Leffe-like yeasts, peaches. The flavor is fruity and Belgian yeast estery. Yeasts meets west coast style hops. Nicely balanced bitterness. Apricots, plantains, and sweet mangoes. Very balanced and surprisingly non-alcoholic for 8.4%.
Beaver (1311) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 12, 2008
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
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.
drewbeerme (3879) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 11, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
on tap at the Pre-GTMW Stone event at BrasserieV. pours clear golden with white head. nose is perfumy, grapefruit, green, and leafy. flavor is rather green, grapefruit, melon, sweet matls and estery yeast finish. mouth feel is a tad heavy. not great but probably the best VE in a while, although I couldn’t imagine this doing anything positive with age.
Angeloregon (2055) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 11, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from By the Bottle in Vancouver, WA--Poured a Rich golden copper body. Cloudy with a big white head. Nose of floral Pacific Northwest hops and Phenolic esters. Clove, banana, sugar, fruits, and pine resin. I would have liked this beer better if there was not Belgian yeast in it. Not bad, though.
riversideAK (5625) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - AUG 11, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a light hazy golden with a good head and sticky lacing. Aroma of west coast hops - grapefruit and pine as well as spicy esters. More bitter citrus hops are upfront and followed by sweet fruity and spicy esters. I really like hopped up Belgians. There was a touch of noticeable alcohol that made me a little warm. I really enjoyed this one.
hopson (635) - Williamsville, New York, USA - AUG 11, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle- overwhelming spicy notes dominate along with sharp bitterness. Hops are there in the background, in sort of a piney/resiny way, but they are totally lost by the yeast produced flavors. Would try again, but not as good as I was hoping.
aleyin (14) - Murrieta, California, USA - AUG 11, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz bottle. Golden with white creamy head. Citrus, malty, hops in aroma and taste. Dry, slightly bitter and refreshing. I will buy a couple to store if I can resist the urge. Tastes of an IPA at this point as Stone says this is one to wait upon.I think this will age nicely to become another Stone classic.
TAR (2503) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - AUG 10, 2008
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Yellow gold. Vigorous poor yields merely a one-finger head which rapidly fizzles into an unattractive wispy ring. Notes of lemon cake, mango, candy sugar, and clovelike phenols invade the olfactory. Light whiff of white grapefruit and resin. Very muted aroma. Carbonation quickly disperses as it briskly pricks the palate. Very sodalike. Immediately-apparent medicinal sting of alcohol is intensified by spicy esters and clovelike phenolics. Rather raspy and graceless, particularly at the swallow, as a highly disharmonious combo of high-alpha hops and peppery fusels warm the gullet and burns the throat. Rigid dab of aspirin and resin further tarnish things at the core which is entirely hollow and devoid of depth. Poorly extracted malts lend absolutely no complementary qualities as they sorely lack vibrancy and softness. Alcohol and candy sugar remnants completely stymie any potential brightness. With the exception of some mild leafiness and citric rind flavors, the hops couldn’t possibly be duller or more lifeless. Quick finish comes and goes, revealing ghostlike notes of citrus and a gullet-warming mix of clove and fusel alcohol. Wow, something went horribly awry here. Four ounces were tough to stomach. Absolutely horrendous execution and riddled with flaws. Sorry, but until Stone can devise a quality recipe, and learn how to coax nuance from their yeast, malt, and hops, they should just abandon this style of beer (Belgian-style goldens) until they do more homework.
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - AUG 10, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Surprisingly pale golden color. Nice, spicy, hoppy nose. Taste is really nice, much as you would expect, a nice flavor of Belgian candy up front, with a bitter hoppy finish. I got a nice blast of simcoe from this one. I am pleasantly surprised. Probably the best Vertical Epic I have had thus far.
wajacobs (26) - USA - AUG 10, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A pale golden ale with a strong amenican hop aroma (piney and grapefruit). The flavor decidely hoppy with some strong spicy notes and a light malt background. the overall mouthfeel is light but the spiciness lingers awhile. my bottle of 080808 suffered from poor head retention and could use more carbonation.