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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 604   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.51   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rusty (1533) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - OCT 19, 2010
Pours a slightly hazed golden color with a white head. Aroma is esthers, Belgian yeasts, grapes, spices, chamomile, candi sugar. Flavor is chamomile, spices, sugars, belgian yeasts, and some grapes in the finish. Easy to drink and flavorful with a lot of sugar and grapes in the finish.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
daknole (8559) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - OCT 18, 2010
Clear gold pour. Yeast, white wine(sav blanc), dirty water, yeast. Flavor is grapey, lightly hoppy, lots of yeast, lightly tart. Meh.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
blipp (5680) - Newark, New Jersey, USA - OCT 18, 2010
Draft. Pours gold with a thin white head. Sweet malty aroma with some grapey sweetness. The has some estery sweetness, grapes, floral notes, and some hop bitterness. Decent.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
keepersj12 (2563) - Sicklerville, New Jersey, USA - OCT 18, 2010
Interesting brew this is. Maybe a few more will change my mind. I get some of the grape in the aroma and a bit in the taste, more as a bit of sourness, The Belgian flavor is there with some of the other ingredients trying to push through. I get a peppery feel and a dry finish. Iíll rerate this a little later after a few more samples.

3.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mrmartin (655) - New York, New York, USA - OCT 17, 2010
Hazy golden pour with little head. Sour pit fruit nose. Light body, tart cherry and weird tartness to the taste, lingering bitter finish. Tasty but I would not drink this regularly..

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
bikesandbeers (547) - san diego, California, USA - OCT 17, 2010
On tap at toronsdo sd. Nose is fruity. Tart chery and chrystal malt. Flavor is juicy sweet smoith lingering finsh. Grape jam?

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
riversideAK (5563) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - OCT 17, 2010
Spicy estery nose with hints of bubblegum, candi sugars, and a good deal of wine grapes. Very interesting and enjoyable nose. Pours hazy golden, not too much head or lace. The flavor is spicy and sweet, notes of candi sugar, some light malty notes, bubblegum, fruity esters, and really cool wine grape notes. Really enjoyed the nuances of the beer and how they all worked together. I will definitely revisit this one.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
slang (654) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - OCT 17, 2010
bomber. Pale Belgian w/ lots of twists. Long vinous finish, chardonnay & riesling. Perfectly drinakable. Spot on.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 17, 2010
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces an almost three-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a bright, dark gold color that shows a brilliant, perfectly clear (mechanically so even), gold hue with copper highlights when held up to the light. Interesting, in a wincing sort of way, I completely wasnít expecting that, but I actually donít know if I dislike it. The beer smells sort of funky, like a ripe, buttery cheese and a second look has me convinced that this is actually the aromas of the grapes used in this beer; it is a touch catty, somewhat like crushed, still green weeds (to messy to be just grass) and spicy like milk-weed backed by phenolic cloves, some woody pepper and a spiciness that seems characteristic of oak (is this aged in oak, I hadnít thought so). The nose on this is very, very interesting, I am still not quite sure what to think of it, but I am still intrigued.

Lightly sweet tasting at the first sip and it definitely tastes of grapes, funky Sauvignon like flavors some Gewurztraminer acidity along with notes of lime, perhaps a touch of tropical fruit, kiwi notes as well as some grassiness. This has more flavors from grapes than it does from the beer-derived ingredients. The yeast probably plays the biggest secondary role with notes of clove, some warming-spicy alcohol, a touch of ginger and an earthiness that tastes quite a bit like coriander and it also brings out much of the grape flavors noted before. Malt? I am not sure that this plays much of a role here, there is some pale malt character in the middle as well as a touch of cracker like grain, but both of these are subtle next to the expressive grape character. As the beer warms up more of the pale malt presence becomes noticeable. The body of this is not heavy considering the strength, it does have some viscosity to it and it has enough heft to be felt on the tongue; not light by any means, but also not thick or rich.

This will definitely be an interesting one to age. I am really not too sure what to think of this; it certainly is not bad, but the heavy grape focus seems a bit out of place. Despite not really liking the flavors and aromas here, they are so interesting that I am intrigued enough to keep on drinking this and figuring out what is going on; this is a fairly complex beer, it has a lot going on & it is making my head a bit fuzzy (so it canít be all that bad). In the end Iíll just have to simply call this beer an experience!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ApisAles (1576) - Greenbelt, Maryland, USA - OCT 17, 2010
On tap at RFD in Washington DC. Orange pour with a thin jute head. Aroma is Belgian spice and grapes. Flavor is vonous some Belgian east kick. Good, not great.


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