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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 614   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.51   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
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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 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
DYCSoccer17 (3442) - Woodland, California, USA - OCT 13, 2010
12 ounce sample on tap at The Davis Graduate. Aroma is estery with bananas, cloves, and sweet hints. Very Belgian, and not much else going on in the nose. Transparent golden-copper body with a small, off-white head. Starts estery with bananas and clove yeast flavors. Becomes herbal, lightly tart, and astringent in the middle. Finishes floral and herbal. Not enjoyable at all.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
muteprint (176) - Olympia, Washington, USA - OCT 13, 2010
22 oz bomber. Similar to a barley-wine but not as harsh. Coriander is present in the aroma and taste similar to many witbiers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
randy1301 (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 13, 2010
22oz bottle.Pours a semi cloudy yellow/amber with a thin fizzy white head.Nose is yeast and banana with some tropical fruit notes as well.Taste is grassy and tropical wine notes with bready fruit yeasts as well.The flavors are insane!You can pick up the Belgian Tripel side but then you get the Sauvignon Blanc and Mucat wine complexity as well.I’m sure this beer is not for the one dimensional beer drinker who can only enjoy stouts and IPA’s but I really enjoy this one.Unique and solid 4 sure!!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
daleharshman (960) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 13, 2010
Had this at the brewery’s bistro a couple days ago, but this rating is based on a bomber purchased at the brewery ($6.50). Pours a golden amber color with one finger of white head which soon dissipates. Aroma is rather weak but does have significant fruity notes -- mostly from the grapes, but also the hops (citrus) and the traditional Belgian fruity esters (light banana, pear, apple). Flavor is also full of fruit (mainly grapes, of course), along with some bready malts, and hints of spice. I don’t find this anywhere near as sweet as some of the other raters have mentioned, though I should note that the draft version did taste sweeter than the bottled version. The grapes (and chamomile?) give this a really soft and pleasant palate. The alcohol is well hidden. The finish is strangely both dry (like many trippels) but also juicy with the grape presence. This is a weaker link in the VE series (at least of the five that I have rated), but the sum is greater than the parts and it IS very drinkable, actually. (11, 398)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - OCT 13, 2010
Bomber from Marine Mart Miramar: Clear golden color with a small, fading off-white head. Aroma is white wine fruity and floral. Flavor also has a wine like start followed by light orange rind, alcohol, a hint of citrus and a long dry orange rind finish. Medium body is tangy with moderate carbonation. Interesting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
ruskiimperial (308) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - OCT 13, 2010
Poured a very hazy orange with very light head which dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma is definitely heavy on the grapes and a bit of sweet candi sugar. Taste up front has the belgian yeast and the fruity taste of grape dominating, with the balance being created by the belgian sugars. The drier white grapes certainly create a nice fruity aftertaste, with the sauvignon blanc coming through more than anything else. All in all, a great experiment that should be reproduced in the future.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 13, 2010
Second miss in a row for me and the Stone VE series. Pours clearish straw yellow with a medium white head, leaves decent lace. Smells not very good. Very metallic smelling with the standard bread and yeast of a belgian tripel. Grapes in there as well. Eh. Tastes bready and malty yeasty with big, sweet grape flavors. Grapes don’t add much. Metallic sweetness. Eh. Medium’ish body, slick and coating, good carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerMePodcast (96) - Palm Desert, California, USA - OCT 12, 2010
The previous poster must just despise Belgian style ales, because this is a well-crafted, multi-faceted and yet subtle beer. Not much of a head to speak of. The aroma is candi sugar and Belgian yeast with some hint of the wine grapes. The taste is where all of this beer’s ingredients really shine. The esters, grapes in front and the chamomile and triticale rounding it out with some bitter flavors. The palate is really like a hybrid between a Belgian golden and a nice white wine with a touch of carbonation. This should age beautifully.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 12, 2010
From the nose I can already tell I’m not going to like this. It’s got an obnoxiously powdery, floral yeasty nose in the same vein as the yeasts used in past vertical epics, undertones of citrus, alcohol, and belgian yeast phenol spice with a malt-liquoresque quality to it as well. The beer itself is completely clear and bronze with little to no head formation and reminds me of lagunitas. Flavors are strange, the body is cloyingly thick and syrupy carrying with it some clearly non-complimenting hop bitterness, a grapey twang around the edges, and flavors from that floral, powdery yeast strain. The alcohol here doesn’t help either, making it kind of quesy-feeling to drink...and the underlying sweetness just makes it all the more cumbersome. The grape influence is juicy and takes an already awkward tasting beer and makes it somewhat awkwardly childish in the finish. Strange mess of a beer and certainly not one you’d expect from what others like to call a "world-class brewery"...but it’s something I have fully come to expect when Stone tries anything belgian-influenced...It just doesn’t seem well thought out at all and certainly a "F-You" for all those that hype up the yearly epic releases, though, again..to me, it’s not much of a surprise...who comes up with these recipes anyway? really?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - OCT 12, 2010
UPDATED: OCT 13, 2010 22oz bottle This poured an clear golden color with a quickly disappearing white head. The flavor starts out a bit floral then becomes sweet with a bit of stickiness. The presence of the grapes is very noticeable and complements the beer well. I liked this beer; however, the sweetness my not be to everyone’s liking.

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