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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 620   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52/5   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 4/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
dionysian_son (277) - Colorado, USA - OCT 14, 2010
Smells like dish water. Starts light and moves into a smooth amber finishing with faint grapes and banana esters. Solid but could be more momentous

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
HonkeyBra (3849) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - OCT 14, 2010
Pours golden with a white head, lots of bubbles. Aroma of belgian yeast, spice, and I do get some of the grapes. Flavor is stone belgian yeast, with some spices and a lingering sweet grape notes. I like the grapes in this. Medium mouthfeel, nice carbonation. Finishes kind of flowery. Pretty alright, but itís not really a standout and I donít see this being that great in a couple years.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 14, 2010
Bottle from Midtown. Pours medium orange amber with an off white head. Aroma smells like a Tripel. Lighter side of medium bodied with fine carbonations. Flavor of pale Belgian malts, herbal tea, and clove phenols. The grapes come out in the finish, along with some yeast and distracting tannic or astringent off flavors. Not really that cohesive, but I could see this improving with age.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
hoosiers1994 (684) - Maryland, USA - OCT 14, 2010
22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Very sweet on the nose, with the trippel style coming through. Not sure why all the haters out there are down on this beer. It is a neat take on the style, but certainly different from the last few Vertical Epics. The appearance is golden yellow with thin white head. Definite yeasty flavor with sweet notes of the grapes coming through. Very nicely done, and one that will likely grow on me. Palate is medium body with medium carbonation. Overall, I am interested to see how this ages. It is a very solid beer now, but hope it will only improve with age. Love the VE series.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jrmac (331) - South Carolina, USA - OCT 14, 2010
Not the best vertical epic I have tasted. Still the pour is pretty amber with a small white head. On the nose I do pick up some of the muscat and Gewurztraminer notes that I would associate with wines made from tose grapes. On the palate it is well balanced between hops sweetness and fruit.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
gorditoabd (629) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 13, 2010
Bottle. Pours a fey golden hue with minimal fizzy, fast-fading white head. Aroma is practically null, except for maybe a hint of white grape. Taste is malt and hay, followed by a semi-sweet white wine turn, but itís all wildly understated. A second sip reveals a touch more sweetness, but overall this brew is pretty bland. Hopefully, itís just immature and needs to bottle age.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
DYCSoccer17 (3513) - 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.Iím sure this beer is not for the one dimensional beer drinker who can only enjoy stouts and IPAís 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 (987) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 13, 2010
Had this at the breweryís 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 donít 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)

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