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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 618   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
This ninth edition of our Stone Vertical Epic Ale series takes two interesting left turns. A Belgian-style golden triple is the starting point of this beer, but the first left turn is nearly immediate with the addition of dried chamomile flowers, triticale, and Belgian amber candi sugar. The second, and rather unusual left turn takes us half an hour up the road from Stone to Temecula courtesy of the addition of just-pressed Muscat, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from our friends at South Coast Winery. As the Stone Vertical Epic Ale series has moved through the calendar, we found that the brewing schedule for a 10.10.10 release coincided nicely with the grape harvest, neatly providing an interesting twist in this epic ale.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
cpetrone84 (1705) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 12, 2010
Draft at Fat Headís Pittsburgh A-pours a transparent golden amber with a pure white head. S-the nose is of belgian yeast with notes of candied sugar. hints of lemons with tons of spicy phenolic peppers. T-the taste is syrupy with an assertive malt body and hints of caramel. a light belgian yeast is present but not enough of it, it is very sugary, candied belgian sugar. there are notes of bananas and lemon and the peppery spice comes in towards the back and is much more present than the nose. Some grassy hops sit in the finish with a light bitterness. M-this has a full syrupy body, creamy feel on the tongue, very dry champaign like finish with a fair carbonation but lacking a little with the syrupy and dry body. D-this is tasty and somewhat drinkable. it is well balanced but lacks a little in the integration department. the flavors can be extreme at times and work alon. the finish is univiting as it is so thick, dry, and spicy without the carbonation to give it a certain crispness to balance.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
bluejacket74 (1551) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - NOV 12, 2010
22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with about a quarter inch off-white head. Not much head retention or lacing. The brew smells like bananas, white grapes, coriander, yeast and a bit of bubblegum. It tastes mostly like white grapes/wine, along with coriander, yeast, and some herbs. Both the aroma and taste are relatively sweet, but there is some bitterness too. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, itís a bit slick and dry with low carbonation. Drinkability is decent enough, itís smooth and refreshing. I think this is an OK brew, but Iím not a big fan of it because itís a bit too wine-like for me. Itíll be interesting to see how this beer ages.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BeerFanDan17 (1033) - Brunswick, Maine, USA - NOV 10, 2010
A very solid strong Belgian style ale from Stone. Good flora notes and distinct fruitiness. Though not over sweet.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
argo0 (12111) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 10, 2010
22oz bottle. Small off-white head atop clear apple juice body. Aroma is moderately sweet, Belgian yeast/dusky/spicy, cotton candy/bubblegum, some grape, faint ethanol. Taste is moderately sweet, vinous/grape, spicy, cotton candy, some alcohol, alcohol astringency. Medium body, some stickiness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fourplayed (69) - Lakewood, California, USA - NOV 10, 2010
pours with thin off white head, mildly hazy golden and orange color. Smells if coriander and spices then mildly sweet vinous notes. Coriander and spice notes are first in the taste followed by mild sweet grape, yeasts, some hop bite and dryness, malt smooths it out. Medium carbonation fits well, Alcohol is very well hidden, mild alcohol warmth. An interesting brew, not masterful, but nicely enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
can8ianben (1402) - State College, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 10, 2010
Wow - very white wine upfront in the aroma - grapes and candied fruit. Looks just like a pale colored amber ale, with a frothy white head that diminishes quickly. Spicy on the palate with loads of juicy fruit. Tight (almost champaigne like) bubbles and mouthfeel. It has a faint bitter finish. Really delicious - would be an amazing transition beer if you are trying to convince your friends to switch from white wine to beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
IrishBoy (3956) - Bakersfield, California, USA - NOV 9, 2010
UPDATED: OCT 17, 2014 Bomber from Country Club Liquors. Nose is white grapes, sugary caramel, lightly sweet, and floral hops? Clear yellow with a very small yellow tinged head. Flavor is lightly bitter, with candi sugar coming through with moderate spiciness and some hints of white wine.10/10/13 update: Nose is ginger, chamomile, and some background grape hints. Flavor is cooking spices, lightly sweet candisugar, and a fruity note (with the spices almost pumkinlike) Update 10/17/14 Screwed up and did not take this to the beach on a trip last week so I did not rate it on my Vertical Tasting appropriate 10/10/14, making up for it now. Nose now predominates chamomile, sweet fruity notes, and a hint of bubblegum. Maybe better now than fresh. Probably time to finish the rest of my stock (see if I actually remember to) as I sense a tiny hint of oxidation starting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Boliv (1150) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 9, 2010
Bomber. Pours slightly hazy orange and gold with a small, thin white head. Aromas of slightly tart Chardonnay, white grape, sour cherry, coriander, and sugary bubblegum. Flavor is spicy coriander, a little citrus, and bitter flowers. Sour grape and white white give way to a bitter floral finish with grape and cherry notes. Tart, dry mouthfeel, medium carbonation, and warming. I enjoyed this. The grapes add a dry, wine-like quality, and I sort of dig it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bb (7510) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 9, 2010
Bottle. Amber beer with a cream colored head. Malt and light fruit aroma with light earth and light yeast. Malt and grape flavor with yeast. Medium bodied. Malt and grape linger with yeast and light earthiness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
pilgrimoutlaw (865) - Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 9, 2010
On tap at Sunset. Wasnít expecting much given the mediocre reviews, but was pleasantly surprised. Belgian ale base, but the chamomile and grapes are definitely evident.

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