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RATINGS: 926   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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 29, 2008
tap at some place in madison, day prior to GTMW....pours a clear golden yellow brown with a thin soapy white head.... citrusy grapefruit hops, a little bit more sweet in nature, make up the aroma.... fragrant citrus flavors with some residual sugars which sweeten things up a bit. good mouthfeel. not sure if i got too many of the spices that everyone is mentioning though.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
sneagrams3 (2337) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - AUG 29, 2008
The Dan Journal #234. Tasted 8/26/08. 22oz bomber. Filtered with a golden hue. White brainy head. Floral aromas with nutty, spicy and bitter notes. Full bodied with a big effervescence. Bright and sticky yet sooth. Tastes fresh. Slightly woody. Tingling finish. Good now, but might need some time to meld.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
rallison (116) - USA - AUG 29, 2008
Smells mostly of lavender and coriander. Tastes pleasant. Lavender notes are still strong backed by a sweet malt presence. Nice, balancing West Coast Hop presence that somehow works very well with Stone’s choice of yeast and Belgian spices. Having had an earlier, experimental Belgian IPA from them, this is much better. Carbonation is strong but appropriate and drinkability is good.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
rayOfBeer (674) - El Cerrito, California, USA - AUG 29, 2008
Poured from bottle bomber a golden with minimal white head. Aroma is malty with a touch of spice clove and sweet malt. Flavor is sweet caramel with spice such as clove, pepper, a touch of bubble gum, and maybe a taste of banana. Palate at this point is sweet and spicy. Good carbonation with surprising hop flavors for this style of beer. Over ok. One can only hope that this combo will gel into a great beer with aging.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TOSG55 (223) - Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 28, 2008
Bottle (bought at a Whole Foods for $8.08, ha). Pours a clear yellow-orange with a slight head. Aroma of Belgian yeast and American hops. The flavor is complex: it starts out with flavors typical of a Belgian Strong Ale (though with more malt sweetness and less pronounced yeastiness), then the bitter American hops begin to dominate. The aftertaste is bready, and slightly soapy. The mouthfeel is unremarkable, without the creaminess of most Belgian Strong ales. This is certainly a more interesting beer than last year’s incarnation of the Vertical Epic, but not as enjoyable of one.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jmuhops (669) - Winchester, Virginia, USA - AUG 28, 2008
Pours hazy orange-gold with a two-finger head. Pretty standard Tripel aroma: very yeasty, with lots of fruit esters, wheat, and a touch of bubblegum. Further concentration reveals a grassiness just below the surface. The flavor is spicier--a bunch of cardamom and white pepper--with a good bit of banana. The hops come through more here, drying out the finish and leaving a lingering grassy bitterness. Very good stuff, but the interplay between the yeast, spice, and hops could use improvement. Maybe some time will iron things out.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Cobra (1100) - - AUG 28, 2008
22 oz. brown bomber. Poured out a golden straw color, with a sticky tan colored head. Aromas are of cloves right off the bat. No banana or pepper in this bottle. Flavors are of cloves, sweet malts, lime leaves. Medium mouthfeel, decent body. Sub-par effort from Stone this time.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
screigh (607) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - AUG 28, 2008
Pours a hazy golden color like a wheat beer color. No head at all. Aroma is sweet, bready and a hint of saison. Taste is a little tart, peppery and again a little like a saison. Bitterness sticks around and a definite alcohol when you breathe. I tasted this thing blind, not knowing at all what style it was until I read the description here. I immediatly placed it as some Belgian style and it caught me off gaurd. I cannot taste the Amarillo hops at all. A decent beer but not a style I care for.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
flatmatt (1400) - Northville, Michigan, USA - AUG 27, 2008
22 oz bottle, finally found at my local grocery store. Pours golden amber with minimal head. Aroma is bubblegum yeast up front with some definite hops, but the hops are mostly masked by the strong yeast aromas. Flavor strikes an interesting balance of bubblegum/clove and hoppy citrus, hints of banana and alcohol. At first, it’s a little chalky, and the yeast seems to fight the hops too much. Balance improves dramatically as it warms, and actually becomes quite a nice hoppy Belgian. Let this one warm up more than usual.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
garthicus (2880) - Dublin, IRELAND - AUG 27, 2008
Shared with HogTownHarry, GregClow, Tupalev,Jerc & Blankboy -- courtesy of HogTownHarr. Appearance: Golden with a banana hue, small white head. Aroma: Banana, citrus, pepper. Flavour: Bitter, pepper, copper, lemon - so lovely, nice bitter finish.

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