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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
emarkd (100) - Georgia, USA - FEB 28, 2011
Pours very orange with a small head. Aroma is mostly chamomile with something sour around the edge, like old chamomile tea left too long in the pot. Some earthy, musty smells come out as the beer warms. The grapes dominate the taste, very wine-like. The citrus hops tastes come through in the end. The beer is very thick in the mouth with plenty of alcohol warmth. The flavors here work pretty well together but I found it way too sweet.

   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 beerís 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 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
MacDouglass (88) - Illinois, USA - JAN 25, 2011
Aroma: crisp, winey, mostly subtle; Appearance: hazy yellow, going towards orange, plenty of carbonation but not much head after the pour; Taste: HEAVY clover, or, as the label says, chamomile flowers, plus abundent white wine, its like someone took a wine and mixed it with chamomile tea, then carbonated the entire thing, a very unique beer, I typically like champaign-y beers, but this one was not tart enough and was almostly awkwardly bitter, still enjoyable for the unique experience though; Palate: aftertaste is honestly more enjoyable than the swallow, with the sugars coming out which are otherwise masked by the two primary notes, those being clover and wine; Overall: not my favorite Stone brew by a long shot, but truly unique and not boring in the slightest, Iíd recommend it for the experience but not as "one of my favorites"

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
UnionBeerCzar (81) - Michigan, USA - FEB 6, 2013
Bomber to white wine glass, appropriate? Really weird golden orangey color, small head that evaporated quite quickly. Nose is candied sugar with a little must, not really in your face. Medium to light mouthfeel, lots of carbonation, very bubbly. The high carbonation does not deter from the beer, it actually kind of makes it for me... Itís champagne-ey and I like it. Very Belgian blonde feel on the front palate, Definetly finishes with the white wine/grape/muscat action. Overall I really found this to be interesting, however Iím glad itís retired because I donít know if I personally would go after it again. Salut

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Slimbrundage (80) - USA - DEC 16, 2010
Cloudy golden with orange highlights. Grape aroma, mildly sour, floral hops with light island fruits. Full bodied with a viscous mouthfeel. Very wine like, I get the subtle citrus of Sauvignon Blanc, the body of Chard and the finish of a good sweet muscat. This is an interesting beer to say the least, well crafted layered and unique. I am happy with hint of sourness and the overall complexity of this beer. It may not be a crowd pleaser but good for Stone for pushing the envelope

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hoppyhampy (73) - , California, USA - DEC 30, 2010
22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Another bottle I have had for a while but am just now getting around to cracking it. Pours a lively opaque yellow. Good carbonation but little head. Smells like a Bavarian hefeweizen. Banana and coriander and some extra sweetness. There is a sugary, floral quality I canít place but is probably chamomile. Medium bodied and well rounded mouthfeel. Lots going on on the palate. I get guava up front and then banana and orange peel. The gapes definitely make this one unique. I wasnít sure what the outcome would be but this is quite good. There is a drier quality with this one than you find in most beers. Must be the grape tannins. There is also a very different sweetness to it. Lighter and grassy which has to come from the grapes. I like it. Stone is definitely on to something with this one. I predict more than one imitator.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
AJofDenver (71) - Colorado, USA - OCT 21, 2010
The appearance of this beer shows a hazed color that also has a small thread of a white foam at the top. The aroma of this beer has a sweet fruity start and ends with a hint of hops towards the end. The taste of this beer starts with a intense flavor of white wine and has a slightly floral ending.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Brewchacho4 (71) - Vancouver, WA, Washington, USA - APR 27, 2011
22 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass. Pours a light golden/amber color with a thin, off-white head. Aroma is sweet, orange zest, chamomile, fermented grapes, and fruity hops. Flavor is white wine, citrus, chamomile, floral hops, and subtle spices/peppery notes. Mouthfeel is thin, but carbonated like sparkling cider. Finishes dry, like white wine. Overall, it definitely takes a sharp left turn from what I was expecting, but itís still good. Not mind-blowing, but good. Iíd be willing to try this again, maybe after a year or so in the cellar.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
fourplayed (69) - Lakewood, California, USA - NOV 10, 2010
pours with thin off white head, mildly hazy golden and orange color. Smells if coriander and spices then mildly sweet vinous notes. Coriander and spice notes are first in the taste followed by mild sweet grape, yeasts, some hop bite and dryness, malt smooths it out. Medium carbonation fits well, Alcohol is very well hidden, mild alcohol warmth. An interesting brew, not masterful, but nicely enjoyable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jjh19 (62) - California, USA - NOV 1, 2010
Tiny bubbles, bright yellow color. A little spicy smell. Quite sour, some herbal notes. Fairly light mouthfeel, a little dry. Itís a fine saison, nothing to win me completely over to the style, but worth trying.

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