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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 761   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.68   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 252   ABV: 8.4%
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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!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 12, 2008
I’ve had the 07 and the 06 but rated neither. This year’s version pours clear golden with a medium sized fluffy white head with pretty good retention and great lacing. Little yeast particles float around - it’s nice seeing a bottle conditioned Stone beer, wish all their stuff was. Belgian yeast is the first noticeable aroma. Lots of esters - bubble gum, pear, cotton candy. Clove also noticeable. The yeast definitely overtake the hops. I was expecting more hoppiness. Simcoe is noticeable underneath the yeast qualities, I definitely get some pine but it’s certainly not huge. Flavor is smooth, hoppier in flavor than in the nose. Mildly but pleasantly bitter - a clean bitterness. Somewhat dry finish with a little bready malt character lingering and a touch of the estery yeast character. This is just fine though like the other two epic ales I’ve had not a big standout. I like this well enough but it’s certainly not something I’m going to miss when it’s off the shelves.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BrewDad (5025) - Olympia, Washington, USA - AUG 12, 2008
22oz Bomber - Gravity Beer Market - Olympia, WA
Aroma – Great Belgian aroma with good malts . Nice Fruit like aroma quality.
Appearance – Golden in color, Thin head and hazy.
Flavor – Great malt and hops flavor the Belgian yeast was wonderful this might actually hold up for a few more years.
Palate – Great Mouthfeel, Nice texture with a Good dry finish.
Overall – A wonderful beer but will it hold up we will see I got my first few bottles to hold on to for the great 12-12-12.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
1FastSTi (3341) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 12, 2008
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%.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
Beaver (1341) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 12, 2008
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
drewbeerme (3879) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 11, 2008
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Angeloregon (2055) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 11, 2008
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
riversideAK (5626) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - AUG 11, 2008
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopson (635) - Williamsville, New York, USA - AUG 11, 2008
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
aleyin (14) - Murrieta, California, USA - AUG 11, 2008
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.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - AUG 10, 2008
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.

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