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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Hair6a11 (1427) - Illinois, USA - OCT 22, 2010
Bottle: Pours a fairly light, clear golden with an average white head. So - the infamous Vertical epic. Seems that I joined the party a bit too late considering this is my first one and by all accounts itís the worst one. I couldnít say that from experience, so hereís my thoughts on this one. Aroma is a bit vinous, a little funky. Itís a surprising 9.5%, to be sure because this brew feels very light for itís style. With that said, flavors are an odd mixture of Belgian yeasts, sugars, vinousness - thereís a bit of alcohol bitterness here like youíd expect from a wine bottle, honestly. Interesting and unique brew but it seems a bit off putting, honestly -

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
notalush (5392) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 22, 2010
On paper, this beer sounds pretty awesome - however, something like this requires nuance and subtlety, which are two things this brewer simply does not do well - cloudy gold with a saffron-ish tint - headless - aroma is heavy on the white grape/wine component, but with a hefty dose of yeast and phenols, herbal tea-like character - relatively inviting despite being a bit clumsy - pretty much everything in the flavor is overdone - the chamomile is overuse and generates an unwelcome bitterness - grape is fairly potent, but tastes kind of like cheap wine (the alcohol burn in the finish does not help this) - light phenols - overdone herbal bitterness in the finish, tasting a bit like a mouthful of yarrow - dry finish - too much of too many things.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
dmac (4740) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - OCT 22, 2010
22 oz bomber from Jonathan Ron Brielle. Poured a great looking clear orange body with an average size frothy white head with lots of continually rising carbonation. Aroma was largely comprised of something between wine and grapes along with a heavy dose of yeast, crusty grains, rock candy and dried tropical fruits. Medium bodied with slightly strong tight bubbly carbonation and a dry finish with a touch of alcohol heat that is so subtle itís not even noticed until itís almost at the bottom of your throat. Flavor reminds me a lot of church, chunky bread dipped in cheap wine. This one just tries to hard and has to many ingredients going on for it for any one of them to make a nice addition. Basically itís easily drinkable but just to complicated for it to translate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
dionysus (1466) - Arizona, USA - OCT 22, 2010
Bottle pours orange-gold with a white head. Aroma is dusty and doughy yeast, reinforced with underlying floral/fruit notes (primarily from the gewurtz and sauv blanc), a touch of bubblegum and toast. Flavor shows basically the same. Overall body is moderate, with sweet belgian candi sugar quickly being dried by a somewhat astringent oak presence.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
chicagodri (1683) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 22, 2010
Bottle. Pours gold with a thin head. Light aroma of floral hops, little bit of Belgian yeast. Crisp beer and a little sweet - you can taste grapes and some chamomile. The 9.5% ABV is well hidden, but I thought the beer was just average.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChazMania (659) - Oceanside, California, USA - OCT 22, 2010
Bomber poured into a tulip glass. Iím surprised by the many low scores on this. Maybe Iím rating it higher since my earlier beer was not so good. If that is true, then I will adjust this next time I drink it! Aroma is floral and light; color is gorgeous with amber/orange. Small head faded quickly. Taste is great, very cool marriage of a strong Belgian blonde with zesty white wine grapes. I can clearly taste the Sauv Blanc and Muscat. Very crisp and clean finish and the after burp is sweet! A very enjoyable beer. I think my wife would love this which means I need to go buy a couple more!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
tokyogoat (1503) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 22, 2010
Poured a bright golden yellow color, nose was heavily vinous with a hint of banana, taste was almost identical to thunderbird wine. This one should definitely be served in a paper bag.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - OCT 21, 2010
Bottle. Orange pour with very little head. Flavor is is semi-sweet juice, yeasty, some belgian malt, and wine essences. Aroma is grapey and yeasty; pretty strange to me. Flavors seem fabricated.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
mu11igan (133) - Davis, California, USA - OCT 21, 2010
22oz bomber pours a thin, white head that dissipates quickly. The body is light auburn. Aroma and flavor are distinctly Belgian. Lots of spice. Flavor starts a little sweet but finish tart. Very nice brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
monkeychugg55 (966) - Joliet, Illinois, USA - OCT 21, 2010
Clear golden yellow with a small white head that fades to a ring. Yeasty aroma with burnt wood, white grapes, floral notes, and very mild alcohol. The flavor is mostly white wine. Some tripel characteristics come through. Smooth mouthfeel with soft carbonation. Mildly alcoholic with a bone dry finish. For what it is itís not that bad, but itís not quite what I was expecting. Has a crisp, almost cider-esque taste. Can see this being refreshing on a hot summer day.

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