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RATINGS: 935   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
twitcher (298) - framingham, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 4, 2008
bottle. Pours an average appearance- pale hazy yellow color, smallish off white head that clears fast. Sweet fruits and some sharp citrus in the nose. For one of the VE series, the flavors are pretty tame. Typical Belgian strong pale- fruity phenols, smooth sugary sweetness, and some noticeable yeasty twang. Decent hop character- a nice mix of mild earthy notes, sharp citrus, and solid but not overdone bitterness. Palate is decent, though on the thin and slick side. Overall an enjoyable beer- though I can’t imagine anything good happening here in terms of ageing until all the VEs are out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 3, 2008
Bottle. I’m digging this style. Clear golden pour with quickly disappearing one finger head. This was a bit weak in the palate overall. The smell and taste were aces, though. Peaches and apricots heavy on the nose, as well as bananas and a doughy yeast smell. Similar on the tongue, but with a pretty bitter, crisp finish. Tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tjthresh (1867) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - SEP 3, 2008
Pours bright golden with an orange sheen. a decent off white head forms, but quickly dissolves to just a ring around the edge. There’s a nice Juicy Fruit hop nose with a Belgian yeast cutter. There’s a bit of a role reversal in the flavor. Belgian yeast character in the form of clove mostly, is followed by a pine finish and a lasting bitterness. Medium body and a bit slick. A bit of alcohol warmth as well. High, prickly carbonation. This one of the best Stone offering I remember in a long time. Well done.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheBeerGod (5951) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - SEP 3, 2008
Bottle. Amber pour. Small foamy white head. Aroma smacks of strong West Coast hops, citrus fruits (grapefruit mainly), some pine sap and spices. Taste is equally hoppy and citrusy. Lots of hop oils, citrus juices, orange peel, grapefruit rind, pine cones, spices, caramel, and splashes of Belgian yeast. Body is medium with some hop astringency and bitterness, soft, dense carbonation, and a touch of dryness. There’s also some oily slickness to this as well. The finish has more hops and citrus notes but there is an herbal, almost minty like aftertaste at times. This is combined with Belgian yeast notes, orange juice, grapefruits, pine sap, and caramel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
CelticBrew (912) - The Crystal Coast, North Carolina, USA - SEP 2, 2008
Poured from 22 oz bomber, a hazy, yet golden color, forming a nice off white foamy head. Aroma of yeast, bananas, hops and herbs. Flavour was full bodied, yeast, banana cloves, rock candy prevail. Reminded my of Coronados Hoppy Daze Belgian IPA style, perhaps a bit more refined. This beer was smooth and tasty, glad I got two more bottles! Stone does an excellent job here.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BBB63 (6543) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - SEP 2, 2008
Bottle and served in my NB worthy glass: Clean deep golden hue with a frothy fading head and spotty lace. The aroma has notes of resiny and herbal hop, pepper and clove, buttery bread, earthy Belgian yeast and some candi sugar. The taste is spicy and yeasty with some fruity notes and lots of pale malts in the background. At this moment this beer lacks depth of palate... but then this hop forward beer will likely not take much more that a year of aging either. IMO, this will be like many other VE and will become heavy on the oxidization in due time.

(Dearest Stone Brewers, stick to massive Quad/Abts or English Old Ales/ Barleywines for the VE lineup, thanks)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerheart (237) - Erie, Colorado, USA - SEP 2, 2008
The hops make this. It’s like a Belgian IPA--if such a thing existed. It’s a Belgian strong ale or maybe even an abbey dubbel or trippel with extreme hops. My concern with this is that by12/12/12, the hops will have fallen off. I don’t see how this beer can age well.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
m4rest88 (388) - Beverly Hills, California, USA - SEP 1, 2008
Pours with a small white head that is sitting on top of a golden, yellow hue - a very beautiful color. Aroma of spices and herbs, some molasses, some orange and lemon followed with a tad of alcohol. Initial taste is a tad yeasty, and spicy, and the finish is a bit fruity with a tad of bitterness at the very last leg. Light to the palate. A good, enjoyable hoppy beer! Stone comes through once again!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GregClow (3122) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 1, 2008
Bottle shared with HogTownHarry, blankboy, tupalev, jerc & garthicus - courtesy of HogTownHarry. Clear, bright golden with a small white head. Aroma is interesting - definitely a Belgian influence, spice and herbs, perhaps some candi sugar, a bit of citrus, and a boozy edge. Flavour is spicy and a bit yeasty, quite fruity (pineapple and apricot), very hoppy, with some grapeseed bitterness in the finish. Really enjoyable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - AUG 31, 2008
22oz from Liquormax - thanks, Nick! Frothy golden pour, very appetizing, and with a dry, hoppy aroma. Getting into the beer, there are a ton of fruit flavors, including pineapple, tangerine, and other similar flavors. Finish is not nearly as dry as I’d expect or like, but still fairly pleasant and peppery. Pleasant but nothing overwhelmingly good.

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