Stone — 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale — 8.6%

Escondido, California brewery Stone has been crafting an on-going series of bottle-conditioned brews starting 02.02.02 and continuing through the end of the Mayan calendar in 12.12.12. The stated idea is to have enthusiasts store a bottle from each offering and have one heck of a tasting in 2012.

’Erm … good luck with that.

The 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a delicious Belgian-style golden tripel with extra American (Ahtanum, Amarillo, and Simcoe) hops. Tripel is a designation first used by Trappist monks to describe their strongest ale, and although this is a relatively high-alcohol beer at 8.6%, it was incredibly smooth and drinkable.

Upon pouring, the 08.08.08 gives off a fruity nose with hints of banana. Upon first sip, the brew reveals an inspired mix of flavors.

“It has the complexity and spiciness of the Belgian yeast,” Talking Bob said after taking a deep draft. “But with all the hops of a West Coast IPA.”

With the 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale, Stone has truly taken the best of both worlds and offered up  a beer worthy of the end of the world.

Grade: A+

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