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Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale



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RATINGS: 623   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.51/5   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
fiver29 (1036) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - OCT 21, 2010
Bottle. Orange pour with very little head. Flavor is is semi-sweet juice, yeasty, some belgian malt, and wine essences. Aroma is grapey and yeasty; pretty strange to me. Flavors seem fabricated.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
dionysus (1485) - Arizona, USA - OCT 22, 2010
Bottle pours orange-gold with a white head. Aroma is dusty and doughy yeast, reinforced with underlying floral/fruit notes (primarily from the gewurtz and sauv blanc), a touch of bubblegum and toast. Flavor shows basically the same. Overall body is moderate, with sweet belgian candi sugar quickly being dried by a somewhat astringent oak presence.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
dmac (5090) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - OCT 22, 2010
22 oz bomber from Jonathan Ron Brielle. Poured a great looking clear orange body with an average size frothy white head with lots of continually rising carbonation. Aroma was largely comprised of something between wine and grapes along with a heavy dose of yeast, crusty grains, rock candy and dried tropical fruits. Medium bodied with slightly strong tight bubbly carbonation and a dry finish with a touch of alcohol heat that is so subtle itís not even noticed until itís almost at the bottom of your throat. Flavor reminds me a lot of church, chunky bread dipped in cheap wine. This one just tries to hard and has to many ingredients going on for it for any one of them to make a nice addition. Basically itís easily drinkable but just to complicated for it to translate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
SanfordBrewer (1422) - Sanford, Florida, USA - JAN 14, 2011
Hazy amber orange, thin white head, sticky full body, high carbonation.

Aroma: wheat tartness, belgian or weizen yeast esters, pale malt, stale hops, alcohol, and chamomile.

Taste: belgian triple, lots of yeast esters, alcohol, pale malt, stale hops, wheat tartness, spicy grain, citrus, dry grassy chamomile, and a bit of bright fruity twang from the grapes.

not much actual grape flavor, but plenty of added dimensions and complexity. The grapes do become more apparent about a pint in, but the pale malt and yeast esters of the tripel are still the main features. Interesting food pairing possibilities.

   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jake65 (3125) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAR 5, 2011
Bottle: Pours a translucent, very light golden color with a thin sandy head. Nose is fruity Belgian yeast and the depicted grapes. The taste Iím getting is mostly the Belgian yeast, a bit fruity, and some dry florals. Seemingly the least impressive of the VEís I had to date.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jb43 (1650) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - SEP 9, 2011
(bomber 10/31/10). Cloudy golden orange color. Medium off white head. Light yeast aroma, with light alcohol. Flavor of the same. Long duration. Very dry finish. Slick texture. Moderate carbonation. Spare lacing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 12, 2012
From notes. First reviewed 9/16/2011. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Out of the bottle this pours a full golden color, transparent except for a few yeast particles, with light straw color edges. An off-white head bubbles, foams,and fades without leaving too much lace on the glass. Bready malt is overshadowed by a strong white grape presence. Alcohol phenols are noticeable, and an understated spicy yeast is noticeable as well. The flavor is strong and mostly sweet. The malt takes on a dry biscuity or crackery quality, with sweet white grapes coming on really strong. A light lemon zest adds a soft tartness, and there is a light peppery quality. There is not much hop presence, just a herbal bite to go along with the alcohol toward the end. Maybe this is from the chamomile. Maybe I am just too accustomed to Duvel for this style, but the mouthfeel is a little bit off from what I expect. The body lacks the cutting dryness that thins the body out. This is still dry, but the body has more of a medium feel, with softly crisp carbonation. Given the amount of chatter about this beer series, it can be tough to examine this beer on its own merits. I enjoyed it, although it was a bit sweeter than I would prefer, and it would be nearly impossible to top Duvel in this style.

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