RATINGS: 960   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 IPAsbeers that had taken a cue from the U.S. craft brewing movement and inspired us in return. Its a big reason 2008s 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, its our West Coast take on hop-driven Belgian beers.

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
greenhorn1 (850) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - SEP 4, 2008
22 oz bottle. Pours a clear golden color with a creamy head. Big aroma of banana, spices, and fruity. Flavor is similiar with addition of pepper. Creamy mouthfeel. Long bitter and crisp finish. I have concerns that it will get any better in 2012, but we’ll see and re-rate then.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
oteyj (2139) - New Hampshire, USA - SEP 4, 2008
Pours hazy peach with little to no head. Aroma is lemon peel, coriander, clove, and sweet nectar. Citrus and peach. Flavor is well hopped and spiced- lots of fruity notes. Palate is light and quite drinkable with a crisp finish. Drinkable and enjoyable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - SEP 4, 2008
THOUGHTS: Had this a day after Green Flash Le Freak. This is similar yet way weaker. I can’t really see this one getting that much better over time, especially with its seeming lack of bottle conditioning. But just like Le Freak, it has a nice little funk to it. This one just doesn’t quite have the hop presence needed to pull off this crazy hybrid style. i seemed more like a tweak on a Belgian ale. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a really nice beer, but if I was going to pick between the two beers it would be Le Freak every time. I really didn’t understand why there was no yeast in the bottle. TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a clear, dark yellow to light orange with a small, ever so slightly off-white head that mostly diminished. The aroma was light bread and caramel malt, light to moderate orange, lime and lemon citrus and lighter pine hops, moderate, sweat, horse blanket and cheese yeast (the funk was more and more as it warmed), candy sugar and a little spice. The initial flavor was moderately sweet and lightly acidic; while the finish was moderate to heavily sweet and bitter, and sour and funk with a long duration. There was candy sugar, funky yeast, caramel malt, citrus and a hint of pine hops The light to medium body was sorta creamy then very dry with fizzy carbonation and a metallic, dry and light to moderate astringent finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
craftycarl21 (2338) - Seattle, Washington, USA - SEP 4, 2008
pours a translucent dark gold with small bubbly head, evident carbonation. Aroma is very light and sweet, with notes of peach, grapefruit, orange, and hops. Flavor has definite hop and yeast character, with sugary sweetness coming through at the finish- very drinkable and nice. Palate is nice- a bit watery at first, but sticks nicely. Really a pretty solid effort from Stone.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
joshwilfong (1200) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - SEP 4, 2008
straw colored with mild white head. nose has some yeast bite in it, very uncharacteristic for stone. flavor of some light candi sugar with a ton of hop bitterness and a lot of flavor also. some yeast bite too. the style is the relatively new belgian pale ale or belgian easter seasonal. this version is too heavy on the hops, it ends up overshadowing the candi sugar and tastes like a american pale ale. very few american breweries attempt this style, so i will give them credit for it, but it is probably the weakest version of the style i have had and really doesn’t work all that well.

   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 (6066) - 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.

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