Last month I wrote a post describing my anticipation of Stone Brewing's re-brew of its Vertical Epic 08.08.08. The re-release is a smash, my memory proved reliable, and any concern was unnecessary. VE 08.08.08 is an aggressive, hop forward Belgian strong ale. When brewed in 2008 it was probably ahead of its time, and even today with the mainstreaming of sours, wild ales, and all types of Belgian styles, 08.08.08 is still a standout beer.
Vertical Epic 08.08.08 had a distinct pepper smell. Its taste was sweet, with a healthy hop bitterness in the finish, more bitter than a typical Belgian golden ale. The Belgian yeast, mixing with the sweetness, brought spices and complexity to the beer. It was boozier than I remember - the abv a healthy 8.9% - and the alcohol was noticeable from start to finish, and was my only complaint about this beer. Vertical Epic 08.08.08 is a great American interpretation of a classic Belgian style. I plan to save a few of these bottles.