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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 778   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.68/5   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jredmond (6670) - New York, New York, USA - OCT 7, 2010
Draft during the 40 tap Stone Event @ Rattle n Hum with Andrew, Big Tony, PJ, and Brendan. Pours an orange amber body with slight haze, and absolutely no head or lacing. Aroma is sweet malts. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium with notes of sweet malt, belgian candy, clove, and citrus.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beerbill (3576) - Laurel, New York, USA - JAN 2, 2011
22 oz. bottle. Pours a mostly clear gold with a moderate sudsy linen white head that lasted through the first quarter of the glass and left partial lace. Weak aroma of citrus, sweet malt, and some very light spice. The flavor is sweet malt, citrus, sharp pine and black pepper. There is some noticeable alcohol heat that rises towards the finish, along with some moderate bitterness. Medium bodied. Ok, but nothing special.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
brokensail (14045) - San Leandro, California, USA - FEB 15, 2011
A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a white head and and spots of lacing. S: There is still a surprising hop presence to this beer with some nice bright fruit notes, but those may be from the Belgian yeast strain. There’s a bready and sugary sweetness to the nose along with some mild alcohol. T: Quite a bit of bitterness on the tongue with citrus peel, particularly orange and tangerine. The hops are a bit grassy but provide some pine, too. A bit of pear sweetness along with the bread. M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation. D: Not surprisingly, this beer is nowhere near as good as it was when it came out a couple years ago. But it’s still drinkable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
adnielsen (10199) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 10, 2012
Bottle @ Stephen’s house, courtesy of Stephen. Thanks! Hazy, dark orange appearance with an off white head. Spicy yeasty, bready, orange citrusy aroma. Tangy, coriander, orange citrusy, chewy bready flavor. Some oxidation notes, Not bad.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
ads135 (3702) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - DEC 16, 2012
Perhaps its unfair that I rate this so low, but I had an aged version of this beer, courtesy of James at the Winter beer tasting in 2012. 4 years later? This beer loses much of its carbonation and exhibits some peculiar oxidized off-flavors. More cardboard than banana, for instance. Not terrible, just don’t age it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jbruner (3211) - Athens, Georgia, USA - JAN 30, 2013
On tap at Proof. Pours a clear golden orange on tap with filmy white head and light lacing. Aroma of sweet belgian malts and tart fruits, but light on both accounts. Taste is a fruity belgian, but nothing that exciting. Meh, good but nothing special.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chalsk (1097) - North Caldwell, New Jersey, USA - FEB 28, 2013
Pours a golden amber color with a soapy white head. Aroma of grass, banana, peach, and caramel. Has a sweet caramel taste with some citrus and zest. Slight banana underneath. This beer is past it’s prime. You get that grainy dry aftertaste as the beer begins its descent into a malt bomb. Not sure why they chose a hoppy beer for 08, knowing the hops would fade.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
zvikar (4091) - Ramat Gan, ISRAEL - MAR 30, 2013
Bottle sample at the Vertical Epic Tasting at Mastikim. Thanks Ariel, Pours radiant yellow with a small head, aroma of honey, caramel, toffee, orange jam, flavor is slghtly bitter with honey, apricot and alcohol, medium bodied

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (4045) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 13, 2008
Sampled August 2008
Pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, copper hue as it sits in my glass but shows a brilliant, bright gold color when held up to the light. The aroma has an expressively fruity, sort of children’s aspirin like aroma to it that is magnified by a substantial sweetness. Weird is all I can really say, and not necessarily bad. Other aromas of juicy fruit gum, grassy grain, clean tropical fruit, ripe peach, just a hint of an herbal note, some phenolic clove. I think it is that there is a slight medicinal note in the aroma along with the clove phenolics and these, combined with how incredibly clean the hop character is (is it filtering that made the fruity hop aromas so clean?) is what gives this a children’ aspirin aroma.

Tastes like bubble gum with the juicy, fruity hop notes and a clean, almost cotton candy like sweetness. This is actually surprisingly sweet tasting given the terminal gravity; I think that the fruity hop flavors tend to accentuate what sweetness is here and the fact that the fermentation profile is so clean means that the noticed alcohol note also seems to contribute to the perceived sweetness. Some phenolics and a spiciness contribute a touch of spiciness towards the finish that seems a bit turpene like and definitely has an expressive clove flavor to it. The hops contribute flavors of tropical fruit, lychee, ripe peach, and when combined with the perceived sweetness, some notes of honey-suckle are evident. While the hop character is quite dominant, there is, especially as this beer warms, a significant phenolic character to this beer, especially in the finish.

Despite being perceived as sweet this does have a nice, light body for a beer of this strength; I wouldn’t call it a quaffing brew, but it does have a nice drinkability to it. It could use a bit more carbonation as I typically like my strong Golden Belgian’ish beers to be lively, though the lightish carbonation here really doesn’t detract too much.

This is somehow incredibly clean, despite the noticeable fermentation character and hop notes; the malt seems almost naked somehow as it is lacking that chewy, grain note that I like to find in a good, pale, Belgian ale. This is still a good beer, it just seems to be a bit too filtered (even if it wasn’t caused by the actual filtering process). I do like how this beer works as a whole, the entire experience is a bit more than a sum of its parts.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - AUG 23, 2008
22-ouncer. Dark gold, maybe almost orange-wait-who-cares color. Not a whole lot of head going on, but some lasting foam patches (Does that count as head? I guess.). The aroma strikes me with plenty of apple juice and some orange, then lots of spicy, garlicy hops, plus a little doughy yeast. The flavor is like a cleaner belgian strong golden that is pretty sweet for the style, and then a bunch of extra spicy hops are thrown in. I was expecting maybe something similar to the Chouffe IPA, but where that is different but works so effortlessly, this just seems a little awkward and forced. Neither in the Duvel mold or the Ruination mold, this seems stuck in a weird limbo. I can see how this could be amazing in theory, but just doesn’t click for me. Still drinkable and interesting, but a little odd.

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