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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
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08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale by Stone Brewing Company
Belgian Strong Pale Ale
8.60 % ABV

Review by rhoadsrage on 01/28/13  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
56 2 8 10 3 5 2008
Drank on 1/26/13
(Served in a globe glass)
A- This beer pours a clear apricot body with a slow carbonation and a thin bubbly white head that is soon gone.

S- The green pithy citrus aroma lead to a soft dry spicy quality in the finish. Some apricot ester aromas grows to a soft hint with some candy sugar hints underneath.

T- The watery taste has a spicy finish that could be hops or alcohol but is to soft to tell. There is a dry finish that has a phenolic spice and some stale malt flavor in the back of the throat after each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a big alcohol heat that grows, especially in each exhale.

O- This beer has some nice but very light apricot yeast esters and the spice hint would be nice as a secondary flavor but the big alcohol and watery taste just dominate. It does have that stale aftertaste that I have had in old abbey beers.

(Served in a chalice)
drank on 9/25/08
A- This beer pours a crystal clear apricot colored body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles and a lumpy snow white head.

S- There is a yeasty perfume nose that is followed by a slightly earthy hop note and a dry bubblegum hint to the finish.

T- This beer has a dry soft hop pungency with a club soda flavor followed by a grapefruit pith note. There is a light soapy flavor to the slight bitter finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight vinous alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms. There is a champagne fizz finish.

D- This beer has some yeasty notes and some triple and pale ale qualities but nothing that is really to interesting. I don't think this beer has much hope of improving in the next 4 years but we will see.

Served In: Goblet

Review by joe1510 on 05/12/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
70 2 8 14 4 7 2010
22oz Bomber
Steve's Liquor
Madison, WI

Stone's Vertical Epic 08.08.08 is such a perfectly clear golden that I can read every word on my computer through the glass. An easy pour yielded a couple fingers of creamy white head that seemed to fade quickly to a thin skim, fat collar and stand up island of head in the middle of the glass. Sticky thin vine-like lacing gets left behind.

The nose has a huge amount of yeasty esters including banana, bubblegum and a medicinal quality that I'm not very fond of. Pale, slightly sweet malts lay themselves down as the base while a generous hopping for the style comes across with notes of undisclosed herbs, mint and a touch of freshly cut grass. There's a layer of booziness that tickles the nose. As this beer sits it grows in complexity with green apple being one of those things. The banana just takes over too much of the nose for my liking while the booze isn't hid very well.

The flavor has some of the same characteristics as the aroma but is muddled and more medicinal. The alcohol heat lets itself be known right off the bat but fades to let the green apple, banana, and bubblegum esters come through. The hoppiness isn't quite as noticeable but does show some of the mint. The herbal qualities stand out more on the tongue than any of the other hop characteristics. Sugar cookie sweetness from the malts stay in the back and are pretty one dimensional. The flavor isn't bad but just doesn't come together like it should.

The body leans toward the lighter side of the spectrum and while the carbonation is on the higher side it never gets in the way or becomes too aggressive. Finishes slightly dry with a fruity; green apple, peach, and banana aftertaste that lingers.

For the high abv this beer drinks pretty well. The alcohol is felt but more in the chest than in the mouth. The lighter body and carbonation keep this flowing pretty easily.

This is a solid brew from Stone. I don't think I'd pick up another bottle but it was worth a try. For some reason I haven't been all that impressed with the last couple Stone releases. This beer just isn't what it could be.

Reviewed: 12/1/08

Price: $6.49 Served In: Tulip

Review by seaoflament on 08/16/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
72 3 8 14 4 7 2008
Pours a golden color with almost an inch of white foam.

The aroma is a bit spicy from the yeast and also a pleasant fresh hop aroma. Sweet orange, wild flowers, honey, Belgian candy sugar, apples, and a bit of strawberry and cherry. There’s also a slightly toasted and bready aroma from the malt, a little nutty too. A bit of cinnamon begins to open up. It also has an odd, chalky, pez-like aroma which loses a bit of points for me. The nose on this one is very sweet too.

Surprisingly toasted malt flavor upfront with a bunch of sweetness and a light bitter finish. Some alcohol warmth in the end too. Quite a bit of ripe orange and grapefruit too. Fruity, yeasty and a little earthy.

Smooth mouth-feel, a tad syrupy but light and lively carbonation brightens things up.

Will be interesting to see what happens to this one in a year or two.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by SAP on 08/14/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
68 3 7 13 4 7 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

Served In: Tulip

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