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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 625   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
brystmar (1314) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JUL 13, 2013
Boring pour: golden, nearly transparent, no head or lace. Spicy. Reminds me of a Belgian Tripel with its best qualities removed. A bit too sweet, not great.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Atheist_Peace (981) - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA - JUL 8, 2013
Fairly clear, dark golden pour with a shortish head. Cidery nose with lots of flowers, candi sugar. Complex nose. Every time the nose goes in it comes back with something new. The grapeishness really comes out on the palate. Thereís a slightly fortified feel with some floral notes. A little sweet and cloying.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
scoth (665) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 15, 2013
Pours cloudy copper with a medium beige head, very fine clinging lacing. Fruity and malty aromas, biscuit, grass, grape, spice, and a hint of bubblegum. Medium body, smooth and creamy. Medium sweet, some citrus, light bitter finish. Malty notes linger.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 16/20
Anova167 (328) - Manhattan Beach, California, USA - JUN 15, 2013
Sadly, my bottle saved for two years was lacking a bit in the carbonation department. Nice grapey windy aroma, but Belgian yeast is there too. Very unique flavor with the wine/beer blend. I really like this one and wish it had more bubbles.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
AmEricanbrew (6727) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - JUN 13, 2013
Last of the bottled Epics for me, except for the 2002, which Iím pretty sure tastes like hammered dogshit by now----15thJan2013 drink date. Clear light amber color with fleeting ivory sheen. Light pit fruit aromas with some pepper, tangerine, bread. medium body, average carbonation. Nice light pit fruit flavors with spicy yeast, tangerine, and bready, caramel maltage--very tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
maxwelldeux (4343) - Snohomish, Washington, USA - MAY 31, 2013
Draught. Pours a mostly clear amber color with a smallish white head on it. Nose is fruity and quite sweet with an almost sugar-like quality to it. Taste is actually a bit sour, but definitely fruity. Feels a bit thick and heavy on the tongue (thatís what she said). Very interesting.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mansquito (5208) - Nueva York, New York, USA - MAY 25, 2013
Local 44, Philadelphia tap ($5): Pours a brownish amber with a beige head. Aroma is aloe vera, white wine, flowers, raisins, berries, and maple syrup. Taste is winy and sweet, maybe too sweet actually. That being said, there is a good amount of complexity to this. Floral tastes and stuff abound.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
pushkinwow (2552) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 24, 2013
Bomber. Drinking this 3 years in and it definitely holds up if not improves. Cloudy orange amber with a nice white head. Some chardonnay with a belgian yeast, some light malt, bit of candied sugar (that reminds of liege waffles), alcohol is well hidden, wheat, bit of lemon liquor but quite faint. Moderate+ body, refreshing and bubbly body, tickles the palate, more alcohol at this point (Zinfandel and chardonnay), some belgian yeast with a high alcohol wheat beer. Great long finish that keeps on going. Tasty.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Atom (2139) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 10, 2013
This is one of the first beers I bought and decided to age while living in Colorado. Would have drank on 12.12.12 but I caught a nasty case of Noro, ha. Anyway, bomber pours an orangish amber with a small white head. Lots of grapes present in aroma but dominated by the Belgian Candi sugar. Now Iím usually not a fan of this style or Belgian spice in general but the blend of the grapes gives this a great approachable taste allowing the spice to be very present but not overbearing. I was afraid that I would like this one at all but found it enjoyable enough.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
sfontain (851) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAY 6, 2013
22 oz bottle, Andersons, purchased just last week for $7.99 (!). 2.5 years old. Pale orange-straw; half-fizzy-half-creamy white head dissipates into a medium ring; very light lacing. Aroma of a good abbey tripel, so Iím surprised to see this classified as a Belgian strong; floral, citrus, yeasty, a little spicy. Flavor is also typical of a Belgian dubbel or tripel, but with a slight white wine vibe, which I just subtly noticed before reading the description illustrating that several types of grapes were used in brewing this. I really enjoy that they went white grape in this instead of red grape; the red grape gives beer to much of a dark grape juice vibe that I donít care for. Sharp yet warm sweetness, the up front flavors are unusually long-lasting which I love, and I wonder if this is a result of the aging process. Alcohol is just on the verge of fusel and astringent but stops just short so that it presents an intriguing, pleasant bite. I found myself thinking, "As good as this is, it would be amazing oaked," and, lo and behold, there is an oaked version that Iíll never get. Oh well. Medium body only because of the level of sugar in this; otherwise a little lighter; medium, clean stickiness. This deserves more love than its current overall rating of 3.51, at least in its 2-year-old form. Really nice.

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