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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 768   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.68   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 252   ABV: 8.4%
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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
GandGKevin (932) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - AUG 6, 2008
22 oz Bottle. Initially I loved this beer. Citrusy, piney aromas. Flavors followed suite with the aromas citrus, pine, slight pepper and a slight sweetness. Mouthfeel was excellent and the finish was dry and hoppy. Wonder how it will age?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
gunhaver (1030) - Tampa, Florida, USA - AUG 6, 2008
~RBSG ’08~

On tap at Stone. Pours a very clear yellow, with no head retention and virtually no lacing. Strictly speaking, looks like a fizzy yellow beer. Aroma has a spicy tropical feel, very hoppy, with some dry Belgian yeast qualities. Some oily hops in the flavor, Belgian yeast, interesting spices and clove. Sticky mouthfeel, not sure of the style at all, but drinkable and all-in-all an interesting beer. Will like to see how this ages.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
stefanberggren (135) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 5, 2008
Opening - good carbonation pop. Nose upon opening - phenolic, spicyness (yeast derived) Color -light straw, white head that fades after 30-50 seconds Taste/Flavor - phenolic, bitterness is more pronounced than most strong ales we have here (yes they are more bitter in Belgium when they are fresh) Spicy, Malty Alchohols are present, but seemingly subdude by the phenols. A little too sharp and astringent in the finish for me. Yeast character remains in the finish. Carbonation is lively and appropriate. Overall Its a nice drinkable beer that I think would pair very well with some Morbier cheese and some ripe pears. It does not seem to be very cohesive (possibly time) with regard to all of the flavors. Not bad, but not what I was expecting. I would buy again though...

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 5, 2008
Yellow golden color with a quickly diminishing, heavily dense foam. Aroma is sparse, but shows some notes of banana and clove along with minor hop aromatics. Flavor is heavily sweet, boozy and is dominated by yeast (pepper, bubble gum, spice) and hops (floor cleaner, lemon, pine.) Mouth feel is very heavy, firm and has lots of weight, unlike most Belgian styles. Had really high hopes for this one but it failed me. Overly boozy, forced, poorly balanced and it just seems very unauthentic. I was hoping for something comparable to Houblon Choffe, unfortunately, it’s not even close.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Odeed (1798) - Bakersfield, California, USA - AUG 5, 2008
golden body with a small white head.the aroma is a nice mix of citrus hops,belgain yeast,and allspice.the flavor is much of the same with some pepper thrown in.not bad stuff at all.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 5, 2008
everyone else’s pour may have been hazy but mine was clear & filtered as fuck with a spicy yeast nose showing notes of plump citrus. This was the continued theme in the flavors with the yeast taking bubblegum characteristics and the citrusy hops clash with this. The yeast, like most of the recent VE releases is too damn spicy and peppery and the peppery nature overshadows the citrusy hops. The ending is nastily peppery leaving unwanted flavors in my mouth.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
AgentSteve (1647) - SF Bay Area, California, USA - AUG 5, 2008
Pours foggy amber orange with decent off white head. The nose is very nice, with spice, yeast, breadiness and hops. The flavor follows suit with a hoppy dry finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Miver (609) - Silver Spring, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 5, 2008
BCTC draft. Poured hazy golden amber with a white head. Aroma is of fresh piney and floral hops, fruity esters from the Belgian yeast. Taste is of nice fresh hops, floral and piney, with a nice Belgian base. A bit fruity and truly nice. I remember this at one of my highlights from BCTC. I can’t imagine how this one is going to make it to 12.12.12, but I’m going to drink the heck out of it fresh.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - AUG 4, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 16, 2008 Draft at Stone Bistro for RBSG, fresh! Pours golden amber with a white head. Great wet hop, exotic fruit aroma. Medium bodied approaching a sticky texture. This has a belgian-esque maltiness with a hint of toffee, countered by a nice citrusy hop bite. A hint of candy as well. Nice amount of residual sweetness. I am not going to bash Stone for not replicating every damn characteristic of a Belgian Tripel IPA. It was probably not their intent anyway. This is a decent fusion or hybrid beer. I look at this an an American beer with Belgian influence. This is good right now, but I am curious to see how this will age until 2012 with the hops playing such a pivotal role. I suggest this one get cellared in the fridge.

Bottle version is just a tad weaker on the nose, as well has the hop characteristics in the beer. Palate is better on tap version. 3 for bottle, 4 for draft.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
TomDecapolis (4617) - Milton, Delaware, USA - AUG 4, 2008
Another highlight from BCTC 08 for me. I love the whole "hoppy Belgian" thing that has been catching on a bit lately and that is exactly what this beer is. Big and hoppy with Belgian yeast esters. Pours a lightly hazy amber/orange with a medium sized off white head that left sticky lacing down the side of the glass. Aroma of very floral/citrusy hops, some pine notes Belgian yeast esters, a little bready with caramel malt. Flavor was chewy hops, complimented nicely with the Belgian yeast esters and balanced well with the caramel malt, some pine and floral notes. I think I went back to the Stone table for this 4 times. The thing with this beer though...drink it fresh. With all those hops you really have to make sure you at least try this one fresh. It may hold up well to aging, but if you want to age some, make sure you buy enough to open a few bottles fresh.

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