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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

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RATINGS: 606   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.


3.8
   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 (3810) - 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.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
patrickfannon (1240) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 17, 2010
Bottle. 24.5 oz. Pours a sandy peach orange with a thin, foamy white head. Aroma of honey, grapes, dry spices, slight pine hops, sweet tea, and some slight barley. Medium to full bodied with an overtly sweet, yet still loose and crisp mouthfeel. Very sweet in the finish, with a bit of alchol warmth and taste following through to the chest. I expected much better from Stone. Average.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
fiver29 (1035) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - OCT 17, 2010
Bottle pours clear amber orange color with off white head. Aroma is belgian yeast, white pepper, and herbal spice. Lively carbonation on the mouthfeel. Flavor is more belgian tripel, spicy, peppery, and finishes dry. I donít get any wine notes here at all. Tastes more like a belgian tripel than anything. Just average.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TheBeerGod (5263) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - OCT 17, 2010
Bottle. Golden amber pour with a short white head. Nose is slightly spicy, very yeasty, ripe fruit, citrus notes, candy, and light pineapple upside-down cake. Taste is very yeasty and spicy with ripe fruits, soft alcohol, candied fruit, grape skins, dried flowers, and sweet malt. Body is medium with a moderate carbonation but a strong dryness throughout. Ends with more strong yeast notes, grape skins, light white wine, dried fruit, dry flowers, sweet malt and candied notes.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dwyerpg (4579) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - OCT 17, 2010
This is very good. The flavor is spicy, but with a good strong alcohol flavor. Can taste the grapes a little. Pretty tasty.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
WisconsinBeer (705) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - OCT 16, 2010
Bottle. Pours a bright golden yellow color with a few carbonation bubbles emanating from the bottom. Very little head. Very interesting. Flavor is initially light Belgian malts and slightly sugary, recedes to a very wine like grape sort of sweetness, hints of Booneís Farm, grape jolly ranchers, and just a hint of booze. Iím really digging this beer, itís definitely different than the typical same old.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tripplebrew (777) - Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA - OCT 16, 2010
Pours a clear honey yellow with thin white frothy head. Aroma is a mix of green grapes, tart cherry, raisin, hay. Flavor is crisp with notes of tart green grape, candi sugar, bready notes, and floral presence. Body is light and crisp with active carbonation.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
tjthresh (1865) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - OCT 16, 2010
Pours clear amber with a bit of soap bubble white head. Thereís quite a bit of grape character here, and I donít care for it. Its giving me a bit of a headache. Some Belgian yeast in the nose. Medium, oily body. Just to much like wine for me.


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